Mercer Island’s congressman, Dave Reichert, voted against the $700B bail-out of the financial industry. A bunch of my friends are getting ready to jump out windows over this and I just can’t figure out why. Am I the only one who thinks a spending package this big deserves a lot more debate? By all accounts, the economy is still growing; inflation and unemployment are relatively low, historically. What exactly is the government “rescuing” here in such a hurry?
It’s especially strange to me that many of the same people who opposed the Iraq invasion because it was too rushed (“give the inspectors more time”) are now supporting a hugely expensive bill that was thrown together in a few days, with no time for serious public discussion.
Incidentally, Reichert’s opponent in the election, Darcy Burner, talks against the bail-out as well, though it’s hard to say if she would have bucked her own party leadership to oppose it.
Help me out here. Commentators on both the left and the right are absolutely convinced that Reichert’s refusal to spend $700B is going to lead to another Great Depression, but I just don’t get it. What am I missing?
Updates: Reichert voted against the second version as well, but this time it passed and appears headed into law. I still don’t understand the arguments in favor, but note that many people I respect think it was urgently needed. (See Warren Buffett, Jeremy Siegel, Robert Schiller).