I personally couldn’t care what party you’re part of – as long as you show me that you have a real plan grounded in research/facts, that has a priority appropriate to the funding/time it will take, and is fiscally responsible.
While I didn’t necessarily agree with the ways he suggested to fixed things (but I bet it would have worked just fine – way better than the current proposal anyway), Earl nailed the problem right on the head. Here’s one congressman who I’ll vote for in the next election because he actually gets it and voted against the current plan both times – calling for more options to be explored.
While the markets are still in freefall (which I predicted), and I do bet that the bailout package did help stabilize things a lot – I still don’t think it’s the right or best long-term solution we can be pursuing.
Anyway, I got a few responses back from my emailing capaigns that I went nuts with during the voting proceedings. Here’s the response I got from OR congressman Earl Blumenauer(D)
Dear Mr. Fife,
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. During the past two weeks, I have received comments from thousands of constituents deeply concerned about the ‘fiscal fitness’ of our country. Like you, I opposed this legislation, voting against it at every opportunity. My opposition was grounded on a simple concept: that Congress should work to protect American homeowners, not to save Wall Street from a crisis of their own making. As Congress deliberated on the legislation, I worked to include improved bankruptcy protections for homeowners and to include a small fee on financial transactions, so that Wall Street could help finance the bailout. Because the final version of the legislation failed to include these common sense proposals, I voted against the bill.
This was difficult because the final bill included several important provisions that I’ve championed for many years. The bill reauthorizes the Secure Rural Schools and Roads funding which is critical for rural communities in Oregon and it prevents the Alternative Minimum Tax from hurting millions of hard-working middle class families. It extends the production tax credit for wind energy and the investment tax credit for solar energy. It includes legislation I drafted to provide a tax credit for the purchase of small wind turbines. These programs will create jobs in Oregon. The legislation also provides tax fairness so employers can offer the same transportation fringe benefits for bicyclists that they offer to employees who commute by car and public transit.
Even with these additions, I could not support the final bill. While I’m frustrated that this legislation did not deal with the underlying cause – housing values in free-fall and homeowners in distress, I hope that it is successful. As a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, I will work very hard to oversee the implementation of this legislation. I will closely scrutinize the Treasury Department and will work to contain the consequences of billions of dollars of added debt which our children and grandchildren can ill afford.
As a country, we will be dealing with these issues for months to come. Again, I appreciate your advice and counsel. I look forward to working with you to improve America’s fiscal fitness to strengthen our financial systems and economic security.
Member of Congress