OK. The Senate passed the bailout pig (it has plenty of pork loaded in) last night. Click here for the vote record. Predictably, Hatch and Bennett voted for the bill (feel free to contact them and give them feedback as well).
More importantly, right now, is to call the House. Today!
Go to the House site and look up your Representative. For those in Utah here they are (I suggest you call all three, be polite but firm):
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT 1st)
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT 2nd)
Rep. Chris Cannon (R- UT 3rd)
John Hinderaker at Powerline has changed his mind and is now also opposed to the bailout:
As far as the broader issue of what to do (if anything) about the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of questionable mortgage-backed instruments is concerned, I have heard no coherent explanation of why the taxpayers need to buy those assets. This is the most expensive, most intrusive, least free-market-friendly solution to the problem. The House Republicans proposed an insurance system, funded by financial institutions themselves, as an alternative. Respected bankers have suggested that the government could lend money to affected institutions with the dubious instruments as collateral. These and other alternatives seem to be better, more modest approaches than the $700 billion blank check bailout that remains the essence of the pending legislation.
In all of the arguments that the administration, Congressional leaders and Presidential candidates have made in favor of the bailout proposal, the consistent theme is that the bailout is better than doing nothing. That could well be true. But I have not yet heard a single word of argument from the bailout’s proponents as to why that plan, which can fairly be described as extreme, is better than an insurance program, or a loan program, or a combination of regulatory initiatives to free up credit, or other alternatives that may be devised by banking experts.
There is only one thing we know for sure about a bailout program, as opposed to those alternatives: it will constitute a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to investors in banks and investment houses. I can easily understand why financial institutions that made bad investments would consider this desirable. It is not so clear why Congressmen looking out for the interests of taxpayers would find it so.
There are excellent alternatives to this bailout that use no or comparatively minimal tax funds. One worth checking out is Dave Ramsey’s which he has put in an email (or fax) friendly format ready to send to your Representative.
UPDATE: Some perspective. Enron, Worldcom, Tyco led to massive screams in Congress for justice and prosecution. Thus far, there is hardly a peep from Congress about the same with Fannie and Freddie (I wonder why). Also note that the following video doesn’t mention those in Congress who lead in perpetuating this mess – via HotAIr:
UPDATE: Keep calling and writing! (Some supporters of rescue plan may now vote against it). After calling the Utah Congressmen, consider picking a few to call from this list (remember, the area code is 202).