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Congress: Look Before You Leap on the Proposed Wall Street Bailout

I urge you to oppose any bailout for Wall Street firms or investment banks, unless and until they completely open their books to examination by all Americans.


President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke appear to be rushing in to accept obligations of unknown size without Congressional authorization and no disclosure. Remind me again: what company did Paulson work for two years ago? Bernanke? And whose policies have brought us to this cataclysm?

I hope you will remember that you represent the people of Highland Park, Hollywood, and East LA, many of whom are losing their homes with no safety net, because of the actions of this cabal of greedy, free-market ideologues, who recently employed Paulson and Bernanke.

Unless we are able to fully understand the actual level of these companies’ debt and the chicanery they’ve been up to that got them into this mess -- not to mention who made how much off what deal -- you must oppose these bailouts.

Finally, if Senator Obama is elected as our next President, these unsecured debts will severely restrict what he and a Democratic Congress could do to improve the lives of the American people on health care, the environment, infrastructure investment, education, and national security.

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We must remember that it has always been the Republican’s goal – as David Stockman famously remarked – to build up so much debt the Democrats won’t have any money to put into social programs. Giving in to their plans will force the next President to ‘shrink the government to the point it can be drowned in the bathtub,’ fulfilling Grover Norquist’s desire, while leaving the American Dream a shambles for most of your consitutents.

John Gallogly

Mr. Gallogly is the executive director of Theatre West and a member of the board of directors for California Arts Advocates.

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