Under the latest plan to try to rescue the country's economy, the secretary of the Treasury (Henry Paulson) would get a credit line of $700 billion minimum from the taxpayers (that's maybe $7,000 per taxpayer, minimum) to buy, hold and -- possibly -- sell toxic mortgage-related assets.
The NY Times points out that that would make Washington and not New York the nation’s financial capital, expanding the Treasury secretary's power beyond anything anyone ever imagined -- to become, in effect, " the chief executive for the nation’s financial system."
Paulson is the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which still survives.
In L.A. Land, a blog of the L.A. Times, this move is called "an astounding and thoroughly un-American power grab by the executive branch, which wants an economic czar with unchecked powers who would operate in private without meaningful congressional oversight."
Here's Section 8 of the bail-out plan:
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
To show their sincerity, "Bush and Cheney must resign immediately. No immunity, no pardons. Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes President, promising not to run for re-election on November 4. Her term will be one of the shortest in US history, just long enough to enact the provisions of the bill being proposed by the Republican administration . . . It's pretty simple. If they won't do it, we know they're bluffing."
Photo by SqueakyMarmot, Creative Commons license