Bailout Update

Apparently, as are much things in life, the initial facts about the ‘new’ bailout package were not nescessarily reported accurately by news outlets.  I was just reading Daily Kos and they are doing an ‘oops’ too.

The bailout package is not the blatant pork barrel package that it sounded like this morning.   What the Senate did was take several issues on the table already: AMT tax, disater relief, energy credits, and a few other items and added it to the package in the hopes of getting those items passed with more votes than typically would have occured (e.g. provide more political coverage).  So, my initial rant on this new package was a little off base – particularly to my accusation against the Republicans.

It’s funny, the Senate is usually more level headed, less partisan, and more conservative (not politically, but acting) then the House. It did seem odd they were adding all these ‘sweenters’ from the get-go without further negotiations with the House.  

Now, I still have a problem with the package – particularly the AMT tax.  I fully agree that the tax does need to be changed as it puts an added burden on many middle class families.  However, my concern is the same as it was this morning and the same the Congress and various Presidential administrations have had for many years – that there is no offset for reducing the AMT.  Tax receipts are being reduced significantly without cuts in spending or tax increases in other places.  Again, I think it is a ‘what the hell’ philosophy – we are in bad debt already, we are making it worse, why not add more too it and do the dirty deed we’ve been avoiding for years.   I don’t think it’s the proper way of addressing the need to change the AMT.

As for the other ‘sweetners’ they do not seem as significant as the the press reported earlier in the day and are not significant drivers in boosting the cost of the bill.  Most of them are can’t lose propositions during Congressional campaigning and eases some of the ire of the voter.  In a lot of ways, it backs many into a corner who won’t vote for the package – what Congressman wants to come out against disater relief tax credits or energy credits?

I am currently watching the Senate vote and the yea’s are very bi-partisan.  It’s interesting, just like in the House, some of those in a dog fight election voted nea (Elizabeth Dole, for example).  It just passed 74-25 with only Kennedy not voting.