Congress does need to act on the Economic Patriot Act

If you hadn’t been following it, credit markets are still seized up — even more than when Paulson first presented his bailout plan the Economic Patriot Act for Congressional approval. The fact of the matter is Paulson has shown leadership. I don’t like his plan. Most Americans don’t like his plan. And we can all sit here and debate the pluses and minuses. But, we have to act.

This plan is long overdue. Anyone who has been following this crisis knows that we have had three periods of significant panic: in August 2007, in March leading to Bear Stearns’ collapse and this Fall with Fannie and Freddie, Lehman, and AIG. How much more damage needs to be done before we realize the severity of the situation?

Frankly, I see the Economic Patriot Act that Paulson put forward and the fear mongering the Bush Administration has used to get it to pass as unpleasant. But, Congress has failed to perform its elected duty. They are the legislative branch of the United States. Shouldn’t the U.S. Congress have come up with its own Banking Crisis Bill long ago?

But, they failed to do so because they have no leadership. All they are concerned about his hitting the campaign trail to be re-elected. Into this void stepped Hank Paulson. Hats off to him for putting forward his own agenda — however much I may disagree with it.

If Congress fails to act by Monday, we may see something much worse in the financial markets. As unpleasant as this possibility is and as much as we should be suspicious of the Bush Administration’s goals, we must urge Congress to act now. If Congress had acted before, it wouldn’t be looking to pass a bill with a gun to its head, the economy on the brink of collapse.

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