The “Big Two” Bailout – Let’s See the Bill!
Back when the bailout train was getting rolling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posted the financial services bailout legislation on her blog Sunday September 28th, 2008 at 3:12 pm.
The House voted on the bill the next day at 2:07 pm. It was only 22 hours, 55 minutes later – not quite the 24 hours that the Speaker had promised. But posting the legislation online for the public to look at was a big deal, and an important step forward in government transparency.
Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, reports were that congressional Democrats and the administration were close to a deal on a $15 billion bailout package for the auto industry. Not the “Big Three” any more – Ford Motor Company has decided not to go begging to Washington for help. Kudos, Ford.
Anyway, $15 billion is a little over $50 per family in the United States, or $16 per person. It’s not certain that the entire amount is being put at risk, and this report has it that the money would come from an existing fund to help produce more fuel-efficient cars (thoughts on that here). But we should get a look at this bill and where our money is going 24 hours before it gets a vote, just like (er, a little better than) the financial services bailout.