- I don't trust Congress to make wise choices this close to an election. The financial crisis is a complicated issue. Even with their incumbency advantage, members of Congress are often concerned about losing their next election, especially when it is two months away. Will they be able to devote thought and energy to this problem, keeping in mind what is best for the country, rather than how it will look to swing voters in their district?
- "Bipartisan" often just means "incumbent protection." I know most Americans like bipartisanship, but when I see the parties working together, I worry. The one thing that Republican and Democratic members of Congress can agree on is they want to keep their seats. (Think about the tax rebates, for instance.) So, how much of this vote will simply be members of Congress showing their constituents that they are doing something about the problem? We won't know if they made the right decision until well after the election.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Congress and the Bailout
I'm not an economist, so I'm not going to tell you how Congress should vote on the proposed $700 billion plan to buy problematic mortgage backed securities. That question is "above my pay grade." Personally, I'm conflicted on the issue, as are, I suspect, most Americans. From the perspective of a congressional scholar, however, there are two things that concern me about the proposed legislation.