Today the Post-Gazette introduces a new blog, A Fine Point, where you can sound off with the newspaper's editorial writers on the issues of the day.
You don't need a degree in economics to have an opinion on the proposed federal rescue of shaky financial markets. The $700 billion price tag means every American taxpayer will have a stake in the bailout, like it or not. I think it's an unfortunate but necessary response to eight years of do-nothing by the Bush administration. You hate to raise the national debt, but who knows what economic cataclsym may be around the bend?
That doesn't mean we should give the White House a blank check, though -- especially this White House. Congress should cut out the golden parachutes for firms whose debt the U.S. taxpayer assumes, and it makes sense for the public to get an equity stake in those financial institutions, too.
If Bush were really honest and a true fiscal conservative, he would not dump the entire cost of his urgently sought rescue on the national debt. He would put forth a tax package to pay for it -- if, indeed, the rescue is so essential to all Americans. But that's not going to happen. He'll leave that up to the next president -- along with withdrawing from Iraq and finding Osam bin Laden.
No wonder the Bush administration and Wall Street say they want a "clean" bill and they want it fast. But Americans deserve more than stability for their $700 billion -- they deserve accountability and responsibility, too. What do you think?
Economics has been a challenge for me since my first encounter, in which a very patient Pitt economics professor, the late Jerome Wells, helped me acquire a very basic understanding. In order to keep up now, I've been reading as much as I can. There is a lot of good information out there, some explanatory, some inflammatory.
Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez visited the Post-Gazette on Monday and a short video of his comments is available, as well as a piece he wrote for the newspaper, published on Monday. More summations from members of the Bush administration also are available in the form of the testimony of Treasury Secretary Henry M.Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke .
If you're interested in what other PG readers have to say about the financial crisis, take look at this forum.