Nader brings up a terrific question here. He asks us:
Ask why they (our politicians and government officials who approved and wrote the bailout) didn’t require speculators to fund their own bailout while you, the taxpayer, pay 5-10 percent sales tax for necessities. Speculators buy $500 trillion of securities derivatives each year and don’t pay one penny. A mere 1/10 of 1 percent sales tax on purchases of these derivatives would raise $500 billion per year to pay for their bailout. Let the speculators fund their own bailout.
Also, Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the Treasury under Reagan points out why Pauson’s bailout of Wall Street is a massive fraud against the American people:
The bailout is focused on the wrong end of the problem. The bailout should be focused on the origin of the problem, the defaulting homeowners. The bailout should indemnify defaulting homeowners and pay off the delinquent mortgages. As Koppell and Goetzmann point out, the financial instruments are troubled because of mortgage defaults. Stopping the problem at its origin would restore the value of the mortgage-based derivatives and put an end to the crisis.
This approach has the further advantage of stopping the slide in housing prices and ending the erosion of local tax bases that result from foreclosures and houses being dumped on the market. What about the moral hazard of bailing out homeowners who over-leveraged themselves? Ask yourself: How does it differ from the moral hazard of bailing out the financial institutions that securitized questionable loans, insured them, and sold them as investment grade securities? Congress should focus the bailout on refinancing the troubled mortgages as the Home Owners’ Loan Corp. did in the 1930s, not on the troubled institutions holding the troubled instruments linked to the mortgages. Congress needs to back off, hold hearings, and talk with Koppell and Goetzmann.Congress must know the facts prior to taking action. The last thing Congress needs to do is to be panicked again into agreeing to a disastrous course.