Monthly Archives: September 2008
Top congressional and White House officials, stunned when the House rejected a massive rescue plan for the nation's economy, scrambled to structure a new bailout proposal that would attract reluctant lawmakers and still soothe the unnerved financial markets.
"Doing nothing is not an option," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said after seeing the $700 billion emergency package for the nation's financial systems fail 228-205 on Monday.
Republican John McCain has maneuvered himself into a political dead end and has five weeks to find his way out.
Last Wednesday, McCain suspended his presidential campaign to insert himself into a $700 billion effort to rescue America's crumbling financial structure. In so doing, he tied himself far more tightly to the bill than did his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.
The house always wins, gamblers are warned, and the U.S. House made John McCain pay Monday for his politically risky, high-profile involvement in a financial rescue plan that came crashing down, mainly at the hands of his fellow Republicans.
We may have witnessed the final implosion of the Bush administration with the rejection of the president's $700 billion bailout package.
Repudiation doesn't come much stronger than having 133 House Republicans ignore President Bush's plea that "our entire economy is in danger" if the bailout didn't pass. Brushing aside also the pleas of the administration's two top economic spokesmen, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Republicans provided the bulk of the 228 "no" votes.
The current financial crisis and proposed bailout remind me of Jubilee, the Jewish ritual year described in the 25th chapter of Leviticus.
Jubilee occurred every 50 years, and it represented a sort of return to a financial Square One for the Jews: debts were forgiven, property that had been sold was returned to its original owner, and any Jew who had fallen into indentured servitude because of debt was released of his obligations.
In short, everyone got a fresh start every 50 years. Needless to say, it's been a long time since this ancient ceremonial year was observed.