September 19th, 2008
05:47 PM ET

Are federal bailouts a good idea?

As much as $1 trillion could be needed to avoid a meltdown of the U.S. financial system.

As much as $1 trillion could be needed to avoid a meltdown of the U.S. financial system.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and members of Congress have quite a weekend planned.

They'll be behind closed doors hashing out this so-called "troubled asset relief program"… code name for really, really big bailout.

And while we're free to carry on with our regularly-scheduled weekend plans, rest assured we'll still be playing a pretty big role in this whole rescue plan... As taxpayers.

Secretary Paulson says the price tag for this bailout will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

But he is "convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative - a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion."

Wall Street seems to think he's right. As word got out yesterday stocks rallied, and when the plan was confirmed this morning, the explosive rally continued.

Time will tell if the celebration is premature.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ben writes:
Bailouts are not a good idea, but if the damage that results from not bailing out certain institutions is truly going to be so much worse, then it's the lesser of two evils, and I guess we just have to swallow hard and do it.

Jane writes:
Yes, federal bailouts are great for the million- and billionaires who don't want to lose their shirts. For the rest of us who will be paying this bill for the rest of our lives, No! Won't someone help the middle class? Where is the outrage?

Jeff from Dunkirk, New York writes:
For at least 100 years, we've been told that regulations are bad for business. Yet every time we deregulate, the rich fire both barrels, and everyone else takes the bullet. So what's really bad for business?

Mike writes:
This is a horrible idea, unless you are the ones running the financial institutions being bailed out. At the very least, since this brain-fart of an idea is going ahead anyway, the CEO, board of directors, and all senior management need to be permanently barred from working in the financial industry. Oh, and all bonuses, golden parachutes, termination clauses, and such need to be disallowed or forfeited if the companies accept any Federal assistance.

Chris from Bradenton, Florida writes:
Why is it that we socialize losses and privatize profits? If these mega-companies were booming, don't hold your breathe that those profits would be dished out. But if they're too big to fail, the losses are thrown on our backs? Am I missing something?

David from California writes:
Federal bailouts are great for those getting bailed out, but not so good for everyone else. I sure wish the government would come along and bail me out from all my bad decisions so I could make a fresh start.

Filed under: US Economy
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. fred

    yes if they take back the money from the ceo and help the little people

    September 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Joe in Missouri

    Only if you have mismanaged the economy so badly, you have your back against the wall. Then there's no choice.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  3. Rick Congrove

    Rich good old boys commit, inherently, fraud, then lose their butts. Then more good old boys in the government bail them out by increasing taxes on the people they bailed out. Can I get a piece of this? Mom and Pop banks that never made these loans would have loved to have bought up some of this debt, but that would have been the "old" American way.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  4. Ralph Marshall

    No to bailouts! This political/economic system is gut shot and it's time to let it bleed to death in the street. The Biden socialist commies just can not recall that it was over taxation that our nation was launched at the Boston Tea Party.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    who knows but in this case I dont feel there is any choice..things are so bad now it is impossible to just let these companies go belly up...BUT these ceos and brokers who cultivated and profited from this greed should be held accountable...too bad they wont and the american taxpayer will be again stuck with the tab....

    September 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Ernie

    Not a good idea, but necessary. I don't understand why McCain isn't touting his experience with such matters; after all, can't he point to the Keating-Five debacle?

    Bakersfield, CA

    September 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  7. Rick Congrove

    Rich good old boys commit, inherently fraud, then lose their butts. Then more good old boys in the government bail them out by increasing taxes on the people they defrauded. Can I get a piece of this? Why are they hunting down those who enriched themselves and getting their money back from them? Because their good old boys, too.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  8. Maureen / CA

    I think that the bail outs from this week were necessary. But in addition the Feds need to come up with a real plan to keep people in their homes. It's great that the lending institutions now have money to lend, but we need to keep people in their homes so that they are able to pay their mortgages which will keep cash flowing into the lending institutions. Otherwise, the same thing will happen again a few months down the line. Bush was wrong to only help the banks earlier this year and to not help the homeowners. Obama has been saying all along that we need to prevent the foreclosures from happening in the first place. And I think that he is correct.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  9. BillD

    No, bailouts are a bad idea. Nobody learns and nobody is prosecuted but we and our grandchildren will be paying for these golden parachutes for a hundred years. Why not let the "free market" kill off these companies? Again, they're socializing losses after years of privatizing profits.

    Champaign, IL

    September 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Connie Cisneroz

    On January 14, 2000, the DJIA reached a record high of 11,750.28 in trading before settling at a record closing price of 11,722.98 righ now the dow is at $11,400...how much money has the fed"s put in the sock.....to keep the corrupt corporations in bussiness ? how much have they really lost ?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  11. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    My question would be, “When is it my turn to be bailed out?” I loaned my dead-beat brother-in-law $50,000. When is the government going to reimburse me? Who do I apply to?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  12. Jayne

    Republicans – including McCain – have been touting free markets, deregulation and trickle down economics until this crisis. Now they're begging for welfare for the wealthy. Sounds like socialism to me. I guess there is no excuse not to have single payer, universal healthcare anymore.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  13. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Only if we don't want the very fabric of time and space to be rended apart due to the chaos spreading to the nation's Starbucks. I can live with the hit to my 401K, gas prices, foreclosures, and unemployment. but take my white chocolate mocha away and it's time to take to the streets.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  14. JTB in NYC

    They are a terrible idea, but unfortunately, a necessary evil.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  15. Ed Reed

    Yes, they are somtimes necessary. The question is why does only happen when a Republican president is in charge, like Hoover in '29, Reagan in the 80's, and Bush now?

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    September 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Michelle- Philadelphia, PA

    Generally no, but they are sometimes a necessary evil to prevent further economic damage and decline.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  17. Tina (Fort Worth)

    What does it accomplish? They want to be bailed out but they refuse to follow the rules and until you can cap the fat cats big bonuses you have achieved nothing.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  18. Connie

    Jack, They have made it harder for the little guy to file bankruptcy and stick it to the big guy,Then why do the feds make it easier for the big guy to stick it to the little guy ? Connie from Indiana

    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  19. Danielle, Dallas,TX

    Well, maybe bailouts wouldn't be a bad idea if the people in New Orleans & Texas weren't left to fend for themselves. I guess "big government" is good when it benefits "big" corporations. Big government is bad when it's needed for the "little" people.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  20. Frank

    Jack, the funny thing from my perspective is that when all major companies become owned by the federal, does that mean that the regime is becoming a communist one?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  21. PAUL, VA

    It is a GREAT IDEA if it is for the ordinary citizens – –

    September 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  22. Maria, Phoenix, AZ

    It's pretty hypocritical for the Republicans to say to the distressed home owners, hey, you got yourself in this mess, you get yourself out, govt is not here to bali you out and reward you for irresponsible behavior; and then turn around and say, where's that govt that is supposed to "regulate" the market? When are they bailing us out? Amazing how we have no money for education and healthcare reforms but quickly found 85 billion dollars to "help the economy".

    September 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  23. Paul

    Jack at this point it is sad to say they are badly needed. Without them the country would go all the way upside down and would be in real ciaos. it is not a good thing but the lesser of two evils.
    Round Rock, Texas

    September 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  24. Jason, Koloa, HI

    I think it would work better if the government gave the money back to the citizens instead. Then WE could stimulate the economy and decide for ourselves which bank to put the money back into instead of the government giving the money to dishonest criminals who screwed everybody in the first place. Or am I crazy?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm |

    tampa, fl only if they use their own money, not my tax dollars. could say the same for just about everything they do. that is a great idea, on any funding they want to spend 25% of their own money should be required on anything they spend over what they take in in tax revenue. watch them balance the budget then.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  26. jaffer

    Should be if we have no other choice.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  27. David, Orlando, FL

    I’m just about the dullest butter knife in the drawer, but even I know enough not to give a 110% mortgage to a retired postal worker to buy a 5,000 sq.ft. McMansion. So how can these six and seven figure morons be that dumb? They planed on the bail out, that’s how. So I say let them fail. We have to pay either way. No one helped me out when Worldcom failed and that wasn’t even fraud on my part.

    And while we’re talking about fairness, what happens to me if I ignore a subpoena? Is that Family values?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  28. tom west michigan

    When a ship is sinking you scramble. Good thing Captain W stepped
    aside and some competent hands took charge. Pity the new president
    and his crew who'll have to keep plugging leaks and battle a great
    ship listing perilously.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  29. Carl Caroli

    I have my doubts – it gives the banks a free pass on bad decisions and says its ok to start doing it all over again. There needs be some accountability somewhere. Same with loaning money to the car companies. The had 30 years to develop fuel efficient cars that would compete with Japan, but they didn't. Instead they paid their execs fat bonuses and now want help.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  30. R in CA

    Thanks to deregulation, we're now between the rock and the hard place. If all these institutions fail, we move to near anarchy and the nation grinds to a halt. If we bail them out, we're saddled with even more immense debt and those who reaped private and massive profits for years will walk away relieved. Either way, once again, it's the little guy, the middle class, that will suffer the most. It would seem the bailout is the slightly lesser of two great evils.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  31. Carol Kentucky


    "Bail outs to cover bad investments?" How about freezing the assets of the Executives pending criminal investigations....Hugh profits have been made and the money distributed.. Massive salaries and bonus's have been paid. The American people are on the hook again.

    Shady business practices will not stop as long as we reward them...

    Prison for those responsible and loss of ill gotten gains should be a part of the Congressional package...

    September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Laurie in Lawrence, KS

    The government won't nationalize our failing health care system, but let a few millionaires destroy our financial system, and the government is all over it. Guess we know who the "constituents" are

    September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  33. Marie Ontario

    With a part of the conservative fear mongering being the use of the word socialist it kind of makes me laugh. There can't be anything more in line with socialism than the government taking over private institutions whether they be financial or insurance.

    Anyway Americans shouldn't be too concerned with this as a man by the name of Tommy Douglas was a scrawny little Baptist minister who was just overwhelmingly recognized as the greatest Canadian ever and he was a socialist who gave Canada their universal health care.

    That fact alone should debunk all the lies about how Canadians hate their health care system. Universal health care is loved by Canadians.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  34. Pat from NM

    Sure, they're good for those troubled financial institutions and the people who run them. You remember them, right? They were the ones who got wildly rewarded with millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses. The everyday taxpayer who knows he only has one home, partially owned by the bank, and their children will ultimately bear the burden.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  35. Charles, Lansing, MI

    If you like a socialized free market economy it is great. Wall Street makes the profits and the average sucker pays the bills. Now that Washington has set a precedent why not nationalize some of the profitable areas such as the Agriculture Industry and the Oil Industry. They have always been in our pockets. Let's get some back.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  36. Lucas - Pawling, NY

    I think not even the top financial advisors can truly answer that question. It seems that it certainly prevented a near catastrophic chain of events.
    But we must ensure that it does not become general assumption that every time things turn sour the government comes to the rescue.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  37. Dave

    Whether it's a good or bad idea right now is not relevant. Why isn't the news media asking "Who's going to pay for it?" I would hope that it would be the people who benefited from the lax oversight that created this mess, but I fear that it's going to be "we the little people"

    Richmond, KY

    September 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  38. marcia, san diego, ca

    I dont like the idea of a bailout using taxpayers money, but the alternatives for the economy are just as bad, if not worse. In the future, we may be able to recoup some of that money through selloffs. However, the biggest question is the solution. We know how we got to this point. How are we going to prevent it from happening again? We have to have more regulation and less glut on Wall Street and in our financial institutions.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  39. Julie Pawlak

    Now that AIG is the latest big corporation that taxpayer money is bailing out, I would like to know how much money in assets the company has and how much was the CEO paid over the last few years while they were getting into this situation?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  40. Fem, Knoxville, Tenn.


    I don't if this is a good idea or not but all I can say is that as long as it will stop the downward drift of the economy.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  41. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    No! The economy needs to self-correct. We're in this mess because of the people who cannot manage credit that is extended to them by lenders. People have been spending more than they can actually afford and it's finally catching up to them. The hard lesson learned is: if you can't pay cash for it, don't buy it!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  42. Rachael in Princeton, NJ

    A bailout was our only option. But the bottom line is, the government should never let an institution get so large that its failure would cause our economy to collapse. It's essentially a monopoly.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  43. angelic1

    today,given the status of the economy - they're necessary. otherwise, the ramifications would be global and could cause greater damage. however, if the government had be regulating the companies in the first place, they would not need to intervene now.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  44. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    While bailouts are never a good idea, they are sometimes necessary. A follow-on question is if The Federal Reserve and Treasury didn't take action starting with Bear Stearns and the banking failures continued, could we have gone into a real depression?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  45. Don Reynolds

    Jack....I have been an economist for over thirty years. The urgent bailouts recently have been totally outrageous. Now we have an emergency shift of bad debt from Wall Street to the taxpayers that absolutely MUST be done without discussion or debate in the next few days.

    Jack.....What they call sub-prime bad debt are abusive and predatory lending practices with rapid adjustable rates that have forced millions of families into default, bankruptcy, and homelessness. Every one of these mortgages were created knowing full-well the new homeowner did not have the income to keep up with the higher interest rates, which were visited very quickly. Now the fat cats want the American taxpayer to buy what is left. This has never happened in history, nor should it happen now.

    We have lost enough money already trying to save the wealthy from the fate they deserve......to be as broke as the rest of us. STOP the bailouts.

    Don Reynolds
    Austin, Texas

    September 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  46. kathleen, new york

    This administration wants to sweep the problem under the rug as fast as possible.

    The taxpayers will be paying for Wall Street's obscene salaries and bonuses and lies
    We are already paying for a 3 trillion dollar war we were lied into.

    Seven years ago,
    Osama bin Laden said he wanted to destroy the US from within

    On Nov 4, millions of Americans will vote for more of the same.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  47. James in Idaho

    Hard to say Jack. Is Bush really in charge of anything? If so we're...

    September 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  48. Democrat In Los Angeles

    From the looks of it, the bailouts only are put in place when it comes to effecting the world economy, not American taxpayers. What ever happen to the regulators.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  49. Precious Coker

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If the Government bails out wall street then it should go the whole hug and bail out main street!!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  50. Lorenzo in Atlanta

    Yes, Jack By all means. Actually I looked at my piggy bank last night and it was empty. Do you think I can get a federal bailout to pay my mortgage and credit card debts?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  51. James in Idaho

    When the alternative is far more devastating, yes. However, I would also stipulate that they dont' just give the people who got them there in the first place, a free pass like they did that illegal drug runner who put Ramos and Campeon in jail and was given immunitty so he could continue to spread addiction and feed existing addictions in the U.S.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  52. Rachel


    They would not be a bad idea, if the CEO's etc, have to forfeit the millions they receive for being a failure. The cost of most bailouts would be cut in 1/2.

    Rachel, Atlanta

    September 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  53. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Probably not, but the alternative is worse. The economy runs in part on consumer confidence, and allowing financial giants to fall would play extreme havoc with this most delicate of factors. When consumer confidence falls sharply, consumer spending and subsequently business investment drops, leading if unchecked to a downwards spiral into recession or if it continues, depression. Further, the exit of the finanical institutions causes quick tightening of credit, which exacerbates the fall in investment, and in a global environment causes havoc worldwide, as we have seen this week.

    Yes, bailouts are funded in part by tax dollars, partly by bank dues paid to the Fed. Or, they are funded by the Treasury selling more bonds. It this the cost of keeping the ecomony runnning? Perhaps, but would we prefer the cost of doing nothing?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  54. Docb

    I see limited value in mass bailouts to the American citizen but the octopus allowed by the repeal of Glass Steagell by the '99 Gramm Bill has put the World in peril. With this in mind, the unraveling of the monoliths could have been done gradually but the 24/7 globaliztion would never allow it
    What I would prefer to have seen is a move to support the mortgage holders and top down reorganization. Now , we tax payers own the debt created by the wallstreet corruption corporations.

    There again ..They did not ask me if I would assume $3,600 in debt annually for the Big Corps!!!! But it will be ours to shoulder once they do it.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  55. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Nope, the government is suppose to be in the business of governing, not loaning our money and especially to shisters. If the regulations had been left alone that were put in place after the Great Depression we wouldn't be in this mess. But then again that's Bubba's,GWB, way and will also be McCain's. Miss Eisenhower was correct.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  56. Ryan

    Jack, we didn't have a choice with these bailouts because the alternative resembles something like what occurred during the Great Depression. Thank god that those CEO's have their golden parachutes to make sure THEY land on their feet, while the American taxpayers foot the bill...PHEW!!!

    Ryan - Crown Point, Indiana

    September 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  57. Sheila

    No, not when I'm already paying higher taxes than they are and I'm a single parent of three bringing in less than $60,000.00/yr.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  58. Darlene Phila, PA

    I will have to wait to see what Obama's views are regarding this because he has been dead on the issues, often predicting them before they happen or offering brilliant judgement to their solutions.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  59. Anthony Smith

    NO! Then every other business will hold their hands out then individuals are going to want bailouts. When does it end? Too many suits, politicians, and executives are making too much money off the backs of the American workers. Throwing trillions here and billions here, it is making me sick. Excuse me, I have to go to my doctor to get my blood pressure checked!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    September 19, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  60. will


    I'm sorry, are we living in Cuba now or what?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  61. Paulette Dallas PA

    Right now I think it is the only solution. I hope it isn't too little too late. Why don't Bush and Cheney dig into their deep pockets and help with some of that money they've made for themselves over the past 8 years?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  62. J in Biloxi Ms

    Nope , im skeptical of any kind of "BAILOUT"

    September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  63. Steve

    This is just making me ill. How is it that we are so deep in trouble with the economy, and the Government steps in, takes control and "lays off" the ceo's, while saying that WE, the people are going to have to burden the load with more taxes. Who got punished here? The CEO's? I don't think so as they are walking off with their "golden parachutes". No, WE are being punished for the actions of many, including the government (this one and previous one's). Where is the justice? Why isn't someone (or group of individuals) being held account for their greed?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  64. Billy, Minneapolis, MN

    Hey Jack,

    Yes, the federal bailouts needed to happen to prevent major fallout resulting in sending our economy into a recession. During the great depression there was a run on the banks (people taking out their money enmass) while today we are in danger of having a run on the investment banks (i.e. people selling stocks, mutual funds, and money market funds).

    The real question tax payers should be asking is 'why were these institutions allowed to get this deep into trouble?'. Where have the federal regulators been for the last year?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  65. Bruce

    All of these lenders are to blame... Banks that loan one or two million dollars to people making fifty thousand dollars per year? Come on!!! These banks do not deserve to be bailed out by anyone. We should let them drown in their greed!! The CEO's of these failed banks should be put in prison and discover they have a new girlfriend named Big Bubba!!


    September 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  66. Tearched H Scott IV


    No federal bailouts are not a good idea. With most americans having to tighten up on what they spent, losing housing and jobs. The deficit being raised over 9 trillion dollars. We be luck if the country can survive another year with more americans now owning a peace of these companies and not seeing a penny back from it.

    Scott – Chicago, IL

    September 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  67. carol

    No there not, but it is better than China bailing us out. Although the Question IS; is that where our goverment will borrow the money.

    Springfield, Oregon

    September 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  68. Jim, Wellesley MA

    I don't know for sure, but as a taxpayer I think any company accepting a bailout should have to agree that it will accept new regulation to prevent messes like this from happening again. Otherwise this bailout will only set bad precedent for the next crisis. My other issue here is that the administration is a lame duck and will not have to account to the public for later fallout.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  69. LaWanda from Orangeburg, SC writes

    Bailouts are necessary if they truly affect the majority of Americans. On the same token big shot executives who make selfish choices and bad decisions should pay a steep price for their actions. Report them to the IRS, race their taxes, put them in jail, or hang them out to dry, but dont let them get away with robbery.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  70. charlene

    As long as these banks pay out these loans over time, i think it is the lesser of two evils which is the collapse of the world's financial market.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  71. Dee

    Only if those who created the problem are sufficiently penalized. If the government continues to bail out these companies without huge fines and jail time for those financial CEO's who were responsible – and these CEO's were paid huge salaries to BE responsible, there is no incentive to manage assets properly. Wall Street is NOT Las Vegas. In casinos people have the choice of whether to gamble. When your pension is tied up in a 401k or an investment-heavy pension plan, you are not in the stock market by choice but because that is often the only option.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  72. sherrill

    How come the government has decided that they can use taxpayer's
    money to bailout failing financial institutions run by greedy white collar criminals but they couldn't use taxpayer's money for health care, education and infrastructure? Oh I forgot, the government only helps the rich!.
    Amarillo, Texas

    September 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  73. Anne/Seattle

    Not unless every American wins Lotto and contributes their winnings to the government's bail out fund. Where does it end? I hope voters listen to Obama and realize some regulation is appropriate and necessary. What a shame Republicans didn't realize this and instead listened to Graham's self-interested version of economics for the wealthy. How can approximately fifty percent of Americans support the party who is against regulation and for endless tax breaks for the wealthy?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  74. Scott in Oregon.

    None of this was a good idea, but now we don't have any choice in the matter. We must pump billions of dollars into this corrupt system to prevent the kind of fall out we had in the last depression.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  75. Robert W. Brooks


    I've been in banking for over 40 years. Over that time period I've watched as banks got bigger and bigger. The local bank became the state bank that eventually became the national bank. With the larger banks came the potential for much larger "bad loans". Given the size of the charge offs being taken by banks and investors, our whole economic system would be in jeopardy if the government had not stepped in to bail everyone out. Consumers were better served when banks served the community they were located in.

    Forest, VA

    September 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  76. Larry in Florida

    It's a good idea if it keeps a roof over my head and not an underpass. Only time will tell Jack.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  77. Charles From Michigan

    Jack i live in Northern Michigan. I was a builder, but no longers thanks to high gas prices. I home is in forclosure, I have lost my work truck to the repo man, have a second truck they are trying to get right now. Me and my family will be homeless in May. Because i was self employed i get no unemployment. Where is the goverment to help the millions of others like me. OPPS i was a small business. No help for us. I don't have a golden net to break the fall for me. No pail out for us. No hslp for us.
    This mess was made by the big business, with their Greed and Fraud, And John Mcian was the one that thinks the Fox can gaurd the hin house. LOL
    I do however feel that we have to do this thing, But it needs to go on to help the main street people too.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  78. Conor in Chicago

    Federal bailouts are not a bad idea-they are a necessary step in order to stop a world wide financial meltdown that would plunge all of us into poverty.

    What's a bad idea is having a financial system that is so de-regulated that unethical practices still essentially remain legal and not illiegal (such as preditory lending).

    What is most important given this election is that people need to realize that despite all of Obama's faults it was McCain's chief financial advisor and close friend, Phil Grahm, who actually wrote and sponsored the legislation that made all of this possible. Furthermore, he is still wealthy, or maybe even wealthier, and you are not. Also, Republicans always demonize anything that could be considered Socialist. You know what nationalizing banks and international insurance firms is? Socialist. They've been forced to become what they hate. Think about it.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  79. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    for the rich, the poor allways get's the ugly end of the stick.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  80. Bill, Weddington, NC

    There wasn't a choice, Jack. You had to do something or it would have been like putting on a condom after she's pregnant.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  81. Kerry Diehl

    Had the government put the monies into the hands of the homeowners to assist in paying these mortgages, yes.

    I disagree with putting the money directly into the hands of these financial institutions. It will just be handed back out as CEO and Exectutive bonus or "golden parachute" packages.

    Since the money will go to these corps, I would suggest the requirements for bailout funds are that all CEO's and top management step down, with NO exit packages and then be held liable for criminal negligence and deceit of a publicly traded company.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  82. donna, Myrtle Beach, SC

    No!! This is nothg but another attack on the middle class, putting everything we have at risk to help those who engaged in criminal conduct.
    In capitalism those companies that can not stand are allowed to fail, in "Bushism" the incompetent and corrupt are rewarded, while those who behave in a responsible and ethical manner are punished.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  83. David, Tampa, Fl

    No. This bails out corrupt, irresponsible, greedy execs and saddles the tax payer to foot the bill. I would say yes, if and only if, exec bonuses and stockoptions are forfited and placed in trust to be used only to repay the tax liabilities generated by bailouts. My question is where are boards of directors of companies? Aren't these people supposed to be looking after the wellbeing of the company first and the enrichment of execs afterwards. Of course all these guys are buddies and grease each others palms first and foremost. If not now on the books, there should be laws and criminal penalities for execs that bankrupt a company and the public has to bail them out.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  84. liz4

    In this case it is.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  85. Ted, Beaverton, OR

    They don't need no stinkin bailouts, all they have to do is talk about it and the market goes up. The Bush speech ths morning did nothing. All he gave us were more scare tactics. Just a few words substituted and you've got his Iraq war justifications. Same old, same old. All he wants to do is take care of the high roller contributors...it's his last opportunity, and he's literally going for broke. And the Palin/McCain ticket wants to keep on, keeping on. No thanks.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  86. E B. Atlanta

    You go to Vegas and lose everything. Is moving back home to live with your parents, with your spouse and 3 kids, a good idea? The bad idea is becoming a troubled financial institution in the first place.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  87. Debbie from Chatham, VA

    Bailing out big corporations (Fannie & Freddie) is quite different, in my view, than bailing out retirement accounts & insurance policies (A.I.G.). I'm sure many Americans breathed a big sigh of relief when they learned there was a safety net for their safety nets.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  88. Fred T. Ogden, UT

    No. This reminds me of our infamous Amway uncle. He files bankruptsy every seven years, drives a new Cadilac every year, and lives in a house he cannot afford. When this jerk comes to the family for help, and receives his bailout from my blue collar grandparents I get the same bitter feeling in my gut that I have right now. These neglegent, self serving, greedy middle men DON'T deserve it! They got theirselves into this mess, they can get theirselves out!
    ..hope you like ramen noodles

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  89. joe providence R.I.

    Hi jack, their a good idea when they already let them run it in to the ground ,and if we dont do anything we will be in a worse situation. the feds got to be more proactive and not reactive , oh im sorry im talking about goverment. were screwed.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  90. Brad

    Lets see what is a Fed. Bailout? Its when the rich loose money and come and take it from the poor! Sounds like a great idea if your rich! But

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  91. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Sure they're a good idea! But they're bailing out the wrong people! I need a bailout! I can't even afford to completely fill my gas tank!! I have a job, but have to buy my own insurance, which doesn't cover much. So, I can barely afford to go to work, and can't begin to afford getting sick, but they take every last dollar they can get from me in taxes! When I am considered middle class, and have to cut back on groceries in order to buy my prescriptions, Something is wrong with this country!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  92. Geri Britt

    NO! But I don't think they had a choice. The countries of the world to whom we owe money probably demanded it or they would call in our IOU's.

    I'm ticked off by the fact that they are bailing out the crooks but none of us. Main Street doesn't even know if this is true or a Wag The Dog kind of thing in order to steal more of the taxpayer's money just like the Iraq war is..

    Geri – Mead, Ok

    September 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  93. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Federal bailouts of financial institutions are very necessary to protct all of us. If done properly, as in the case of AIG, the taxpayers can pickup majority interests in failed institutions at bargain prices. When the Resolution Trust starts buying up toxic mortgages, the sellers should have to pay income taxes on the value of the forgiven losses. The officers and investors who got rich on the upside of these criminal investments should not be allowed to walk away scott free at taxpayer expense.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  94. Anne/Seattle

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Not unless every American wins Lotto and contributes their winnings to the government’s bail out fund. Where does it end? I hope voters listen to Obama and realize some regulation is appropriate and necessary. What a shame Republicans didn’t realize this and instead listened to Phil Gramm’s self-interested version of economics for the wealthy. How can approximately fifty percent of Americans support the party who is against regulation and for endless tax breaks for the wealthy?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  95. Lyon/Nashville

    Of course, and we should also privatize Social Security. Oh and whiie we are at it lets just not make the top 5% pay any taxes at all. It's not trickling down Jack, it's flooding! Ha

    September 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm |

    well absolutely not a bail out, but a little regulation would have protected me on mainstreet perhaps ?

    i see no choice but for a bailout – one way or the other – we taxpayers would be responsible for it, maybe not the rich, but we poor folks are gonna suffer !

    hide in the "bushes" and watch !

    September 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  97. MB

    Let's first start with "are the thought of federal bail-outs a good idea?"
    I can tell you as a regular guy I feel poorer already.Meanwhile,the "moneychangers "that work at places like Wachovia are probably booking entire restaurants for happy-hour and dinner tonight.Their stock doubled in the last 2 days.So I guess it depends who you ask!!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  98. dennis hunter

    I though that we were a country of people but it looks like we are a country for rich people and big business and every one else lives to support their way of life this is what the big bailouts are about. we are a country with the following:
    1. millions of homeless people living on the street
    2.millions of children going hungry each day
    3.millions of people with no health care
    4. millions of people with no jobs
    5.part of our country with storm damage and people with no homes

    These are a few things that should be addressed first before a trillion dollar bailout of business. We are the richest country in the world but our money seems to go in every one's pocket except as we are described by the rich as common folk.As a common folk with a brain, I would think that sinking good money which we do not have into bad money when you do not have the regulations or laws in place leaves the door open for the same thing to take place in the future just a bigger hole for us common folk to dig ourselves out of or our children. What about us common folks?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  99. Prince Kaywood/ New Orleans

    It all depends on which institution needs bailing out. It made sense for the government to bail out AIG, and the mortages held by the banks. Some other bail outs are questionable. That said; we might as well try to help our own economy, because while we are rebuilding Iraq; the Iraqi government is laughing all the way to the bank with an 80 billion dollar surplus. What's asounding, however, is Republicans complain about using tax-payer's money to bail out our institutions, I've never heard any of them complain about the 12 billion dollars of tax-payer's money that we spend on the fabricated war in Iraq.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  100. Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach SC

    No! This is just another attack on themiddle class, stealing our money to reward those companies that behaved in a criminal manner.
    Remember capitalis? When a company failed it failed, under "Bushism" failed companies will be rewarded, those who acted in corrupt ways will be enriched and the rest of us will be at the mercy of those who've shown themseves to be greedy and crooked.
    Those companies that bought the Bush regime certainly got our monies worth.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  101. Bob from traverse city Michigan

    Jack I'm not sohisticated enough or educated enough about economics to give you a straight up or down answer to your question but I am logical enough to know if our economy ceases to function completely we all starve together. I am educated enough and sophisticated enough however to wonder why our government and their "oversight" agency, and their commerce and banking committee's and their high priced advisor's are now trying to fix a train wreck they must have seen coming a long time ago. If they had called me or any of the other 8.9% of out of work Michiganians we would have told them it was coming cause it's been here for quite a while and if they haven't managed to figure it out yet things are going to get worse with the deficit their pork spending, and their war and their bailouts has created for the next administration and the next generation or two or three of taxpayers. They probably had no choice about the measures they are now forced to take.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  102. Marcy

    I don't know Jack, but what I want to know is who decides yes we will bail this one out but not that one ... also ... where will it end?! At what point can the government say they can not afford to bail these institutions out?

    Mobile, AL

    September 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  103. Vittorio

    Yes a good idea, but at the same time a bad idea. Im just wondering when the CEO's of these tycoon companies went Duck hunting with Bush or Dick if they had discussed the outcome of this master plan? lol again another dirty scam by the so called leaders to target the poor hard working American people.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  104. Melissa, Charleston SC

    Federal bailouts are necessary when you have companies like Fannnie and Freddie holding the amount of paper that they do and given their position in our economic 'foundation' – hence the implied governmental guarantee by which they operate under. That said, given the number of bailouts – the taxpaper will bear this most definitely bear these burdens.

    So I would tell Joe Biden – did he ever hear the expression 'taxation without representation?" We as American citizens are truely being taxed and not receving any kind of credible representation (aka leadership) on the Hill. And my final comment is directly to both Obama and McCain – to consider tapping Alan Greenspan – remember him! – as chief economic advisor.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  105. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    There's what you can call a trade off here; either our Federal Government bails out troubled financial institutions or sell out our financial institutions by going to Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) owned and controlled by foreign countries. So it's a matter of naming your poison.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  106. mark kjergaard, SC

    No. Companies doomed to fail should be allowed to fail. Lookslikethose companies that bought the Bush regime got OUR money's worth alright.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  107. JD in NC

    It's better than a meltdown. A little preventative maintence would've been a lot smarter. Are we going to do the same thing with healthcare? Keep it privatized and deregulated until it is no longer profitable, then nationalize it?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  108. lou

    They should handle the bail out like a bankruptcy hearing. CEO's and board members who have been making unheard of amounts of money with these risky loans, should have to belly up to the bar. Sieze assets and bonus's they aquired using these faulty business practices. It may not make a dent in the big number, but it may make people like this think twice before they try a stunt like this.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  109. Adam, Pawtucket, RI

    NO! How is it fair that failing companies get relief and help from the government, but when low income "failing" Americans need help with money and paying day to day living expenses, along with, keeping up with bills, they are labeled irresponsible citizens? More than half of my paycheck goes to the government and I am left with little to keep up with the expenses of today. I must work more hours to try to make up for what is taken from me for my physical labor and time. Give the money back to the taxpayer, then watch the economy strive. We, the American people, are struggling. We need help. Large companies do not need help from the government. And this is an improper use of our hard earned money.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  110. Carl d. in Illinois

    In my opion, bailouts are bad, these Mortgage and insurance companies get to reap all the profit when times are good, then they complain and want the tax-payers to pick up the check when times get bad. If you want 4 more years of the extended Bush administration, then vote for McCain.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  111. Yvonne from Kamloops BC, Canada

    Federal bailouts appear to be a necessity at this time to keep the country afloat. The greediest of the greedy allowed this to happen and they won't be the ones paying for it; they will walk away unscathed with all the benefits – fists full of cash. This crisis is simply the tail end of the Bush administration's (and their supporters) original plan to steal all the money from as many as possible while they still can.... before they walk away into the sunset with all the cash from this and their illegal war. In the meantime, every hard working man, woman and child will work for rest of their lives to pay for these scumbags' lavish retirements....

    September 19, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  112. gail Centre, Al.

    If we want to go broke it is, and the thing about this nobody knows how to fix it. Congress is the biggest do nothing's I've ever seen. Nancy pelosi doesn't care, she's rich. The congress has set on their ass and done nothing. MCcain Palin CAN take care of these[ good ole boys] when they are elected, Maybe Palin will sell Pelosi's jet on ebay, I don't care if Pelosi has to walk to CA. The do nothing congress is like the Obama Biden ticket, the bridge to no where.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  113. ajks

    They are not a good idea–but they are better than the alternative. Our complete economic system might collapse without the bailouts.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  114. Colleen, NC

    I pay my bills on time, don't alot of debt and try to live within my means. I'd like to have the gov't bail me out when I spend more then I make, but it's not as simple as that now is it. The trickle down finance that McCain and every other Bush supporting Republican believes in is trickling down now and its not positive cash flow but the deficit. We are getting it from all sides. Our 401K's and stocks have tanked , costs of goods are soaring and our taxes will have to go up to support these (did I hear Trillion dollar) bailouts.....U know what, I don't want to pay!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  115. Billy G in Las Vegas

    not a good idea, Jack, BUT were painted into a corner.

    there is an old Texas oil patch saying. "if you owe the bank a MILLION dollars, YOU have a problem BUT if you owe the bank a BILLION dollars, the BANK has a problem" (because if they call the loan they will go bankrupt too)

    you can now add to that "and if you a TRILLION dollars, the GOVERNMENT has a problem"

    I just wonder how many multimillion dollar "golden parachutes" for the criminal CEO's, that got us into this mess, will float down from this bailout?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  116. jay Freeman

    I'm in greenville SC
    I just got my foreclosure notice,they have no intention of giving me a chance to get help, where is the bail out for workers like me, whom are being kicked out of there home.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  117. Malka D. Oceanside CA

    its only monopoly money so who cares they just bough a piece of property off the game of the USA after this administation is finished with the border they will fold it up and put it on the shelf until the next time they come back to play the game with us.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  118. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    These Republicans always bail out the rich and never the middle class family losing their home because of predatory lenders. Never the family going bankrupt because someone has cancer. Never the widow freezing in the cold unable to pay the jacked up price of Cheney's Big Oil cronies.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  119. Charlie (Bethpage, NY)

    No way! Why should the American taxpayer shoulder the load when the CEO's of these companies are walking away with millions after running them into the ground? The Republicans don't want the government controlling healthcare (which we need a universal plan), but they have no problem dumping billions into these companies that make poor financial decisions and cost the taxpayers big money when we are all struggling. it is time for a change!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  120. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Well it is an idea. Thats a plus. A good idea, nope. All they are doing is putting off what would have happened if they had let the financial chips fall where they may. This ought to produce the same results as our rebate checks did earlier this year. Just bought everyone a little bit of time to get further in the hole. Our US currancy is being used like toilet paper, use it once and flush it down the drain.
    This will be one of the biggest flushes of all, it should be heard around the world. Sad world we live in isn't it.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    September 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  121. Charles From Michigan

    Jack we have talked about the housing mess and how we got t here. Why not talk about how the Auto companys have done the same things when it comes to how they loan moneys to people to buy there cars and trucks. Anyone can get a car loan if they have enough money to put down. The Dealers will lie about your income, even when you tell what you really make. Then they get the car companys to take the deal, and why not. They get a huge amount of money down. They Charge you a higher interest rate. And Bingo when you default on the loan becaus of things like the price of gas, that causes lack of work, well they have that covered as well. They take you to court and get a judgement for what is still owed after they give your car to a dealership at a wholesale price. Sounds like the housing mess. Except the housing mess gets picked up by the Goverment. We have to protect banks from there own greed and mismanagement.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  122. Peter Fern Park, Fla.

    A common theme I heard from conservatives when people were losing their homes to foreclouser was "too bad". You got in over your head, you suffer the consequences and the taxpayers shouldn't bail you out. Now that the rich conservatives that actually created the problems are suffering we, the taxpayers, are very happy to bail them out for the good of the country.
    It's clear that we, the taxpayers, only purpose is to support the needs and greed of the rich. If we come out of this with policies that put the pensions and assets of those that created these problems at risk then perhaps it may have been worth it.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  123. Gary

    Unfortunately, a bailout is probably the only thing that will keep this country afloat. There are those that will lose everything, regardless, based on decisions made by those at the top of these institutions. I think it only fair that those at the top lose everything, also. They should have to turn over their assets to the government as "payment in kind" and start over, just like the poor citizen who put their trust in that company. But I'm guessing that they'll get to keep their millions and be no worse for the wear. It's a great (and greedy) country we live in.

    Jack, it's not getting ugly out there.....it is ugly and it is here.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  124. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No, maybe we need to fail to bring us back to helping each other instead of having all of the greed, corruption, and "legal loan-sharking" from taking place as it is today.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  125. Jack Browning

    You gotta love these free-market types. They all want the oppressive yoke of government regulation lifted from their necks. Then, when their greed and stupidity puts them between a rock and a hard place, they turn into socialists, and come back to their oppressor looking for a handout - corporate welfare - from the public treasury.

    Between the S&L bailout and this mess, at least a trillion dollars of taxpayer money - yours, mine, and the guy's down the street - has been spent to save these pigs from themselves.

    Ronald Reagan, the Great Deregulator, gets elected in 1980. Nine years later, we get the Resolution Trust Corporation.

    George W. Bush, promising a new wave of deregulation, gets elected in 2000. Eight years later, we get the [insert the name of Paulson's bailout agency here].

    And now, another Republican deregulator is running for president.

    Oh, wait, I forgot: McCain was a deregulator *last* week...

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  126. Jack Seminole, Floriduh

    The bailout of the mortgage bankers is the payoff of the biggest con game ever played. Bush and the Republicans have successfully looted the United States treasury.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  127. Jerry Fontes

    Look, if I was an American President from Texas without an economics degree, I would immediately seize all of the Social Security money and throw it into the stock market right now.

    That would infuse the world with that much wanted capital.

    Who's next General Motors? Red Lobster? What would a world without endless shrimp be like??

    Jerry Fontes
    Chatham, New JErsey

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  128. Major Michael, Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: I guess when the alternative is the entire financial system going bankrupt (and I'm not convinced that that was really the alternative), what other choices do we have? I"m sure that our government will provide the "devil" in details to the American people. But what it means is:

    *Higher taxes
    * Higher interest rates on government debt
    * Bigger government deficits

    One big question, Now that the government is rushing to the aid of Wall Street, is it going to do the same for homeowners? And until the housing problem disappears, American consumers will still be feeling the pressure.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  129. D. Armstrong for Obama-Biden-TN.

    If taxpayers are expected to pick up the tab on this, I'd say yes if the Government would bail out the company I just got laid off from too ! Insuring these institutions are one thing, but is that going to give me and the rest of Americans similarly situated our jobs back? So what? AIG stays afloat. But, the companies they insure won't need that insurance if they are steadily closing down, right?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  130. Sid ,Corona, CA

    problem solving first requiers awarness, then action , observation and then more action. At least they now admit a huge problem and have taken some action. We are out of the"Brownies doing a hell of a job fase" but there will be a lot more finger pointing. I just hope there are no golden perashutes for corprate and government officials who benefited from this mess! That too is a dream as accountability never seems to happen in Oligopolies!

    September 19, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  131. Jane - WI

    I don't approve of federal bailouts of financial institutions, just as I don't approve of federal bailouts of homeowners who have had their homes foreclosed on or who got in over their heads buying more home than they could afford or who chose to take out ARM loans that had the possibility of going up. However, it seems there are times when the government does have to step in if it will avoid an even bigger disaster down the road.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  132. Annie, Atlanta

    What choice did we have? It would be nice, though, if we, the taxpayers, started receiving dividend checks if and when they get back on their feet. Yeah, right, and I believe in the tooth fair and Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  133. Rubin from WashU

    Pretend it's a good thing. The Fed is going to need bailing out soon too.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  134. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    When is it my turn to be bailed out? I loaned my dead-beat brother-in-law $50,000. When is the government going to reimburse me? Who do I apply to?

    September 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  135. Jim in Puyallup

    Privatizing gains while shorting your losses to the government has to be the best of both worlds for any business man who can make enough in the first place to qualify for the benefit. BTW Jack I've got a great deaal for you on a bridge.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  136. Ed

    No... but there was no way out of this unless it would have been better to let the whole damn thing collapse around us. As a grandfather it makes me sick to leave trillions... yes, trillions of dollars of debt to my loved ones. I didn't go through one depression to have to live through another one.

    September 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  137. Christine from El Paso Tx

    Jack, Honestly I'm not an economic type person but I said 4 years ago that this bubble was gonna bust and bust big! Something should of been done to help the American people out 3 or 4 years ago when they started having to pay outrageous gas prices and food prices and then it went on and snow balled down the hill! Oh but wait our economy was still strong (Mr. Bush) so I guess we shouldn't have been worried!

    September 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  138. Jay in Texas

    Bailing out corrupt financial institutions is just one more way our elected representatives have of paying back their big campaign donors. You also have exorbitant tax breaks for the giant corportations and you have corporate welfare. Buying Democrat and Republican candidates for office is the most lucrative investment opportunity going!
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  139. Richard Sternagel

    I think the bail out should be limited and those CEOs should be held legally responsible to the America public! Wall Street and the Banking Industry have put a lot of Hurt on the Middle Class and the working poor.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  140. Richard B.C. Canada

    At the rate things are going future generations will finish paying off the debt by bartering shells and beads or we can attack Iran and seize their oil fields to pay the debt sooner.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  141. louie from Buffalo, NY

    NO!! I thought the conservative republicans were against WELFARE AND SOCIALISM, AND LOVED AMERICA? What HYPROCRITES! This is exactly that: CORPORATE WELFARE. These bailouts will enrich the very people who screwed up, and the middle class and working poor will pay the price. SHAMEFULL, VERY VERY SHAMEFULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  142. Michael Lungstrom

    Yes, it"s better than letting the economy come to a standstill.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  143. Russ in PA

    No, of course not, particularly when one considers that the Fed helped create much of the problem, in collusion with their banking cronies. As Ron Paul says, Congress is responsible for the money, not the Fed, as the Fed is unconstitutional. Allowing Paulsen and Bernanke to bail out cronies is just more rights taken from working Americans.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  144. Dina S., Ashland VA

    I understand that the bailouts have been necessary to try to stabilize not only our financial market, but the world markets as well. But it still burns my butt that the very folks screaming & begging for federal help are the ones who are always demanding less regulation, smaller government, to let free markets prevail. When the markets are free-wheeling, without regulation or morality, being driven soley by profit, this is the mess you get. I would like to be short-sighted, as all free-market purists are – yes, I would dearly love to see them all crash & burn. But, we must have mercy. On all of us.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  145. Ruie-Michigan

    Dear Jack: No bail outs are a good thing, especially since we are going to put ourselves into greater debt with China who I suppose will be the one to front us for all this. However, in the case of AIG and when people's retirement accounts are in jeopardy it just about seems there's no other answer.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  146. Dick B

    Yes more bailouts. The less risk CEO's have the more money they can make. The more money they make the more chances they will take. The more chances they take the more investment takes place. The more investment that takes place the more bailouts we will need. Without bailouts our economy would be at a standstill.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  147. Robert


    Federal bailouts are a great idea. Where can I get mine?

    North Port, FL

    September 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  148. John

    Jack: If this country can allow the top 5% of income earners get a total of $193 Billion tax cut every year, we can afford to bailout the working men and women of America. Bailouts should be done quickly, by we did it piece meal: bailout Bear/Stearnes; AIG; Fannie Mae; and Freddie Mac, and then someone in government woke an up realized the bill was going to be more than $800 billion, more like $2 trillion in the end.


    September 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  149. ANGIE IN PA

    was there any other choice?

    September 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  150. Carol

    I don't see any way around it. As a CPA, though, my friends and I wonder: how are we possibly going to pay for all this? The deficit is horrendous, we're spending billions to fund the wars overseas, and now more billions go to this. How can anyone even think about cutting taxes? It is inconceivable to me that tax cuts could stimulate the economy enough to pay for even a fraction of this.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  151. Greg in Cabot AR

    Years ago, I worked for United Airlines, they filed for bankruptcy, the CEO was fired for doing a poor job but still was given a multi-million dollar severance package....all I got was a pink slip.

    Some financial Institutions have been doing a piss-poor job of managing our money but I bet some of their CEO's will get golden parachutes and us taxpayers will get the honor of paying for it.

    It's extortion, if we don't bail them out, we loose our investments that they were supposed to protect.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  152. Jim, Long Island, NY

    Jack, sure it is, what's a TRILLION dollars of taxpayers money amongst friends.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  153. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    If they aren't using my tax money to do it, it's fine. I prefer my money to go to the defence budget...

    September 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  154. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    These bailout programs are not good idea's, but they are sometimes necessary, as they appear to be in these matters.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  155. Betty in Tampa, FL

    I'm goining to start taking Japanese / Chinese 101 at my Community College... to pay off all of this we'll probably have to sell all our interstate toll roads to them. Instead of Made in China we will be living there.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  156. shannon

    Yes, It's not fair to help the people who started the problem. By helping them it will hurt the tax payers. The tax payers are already struggling as it is why make us struggle more for them .

    September 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  157. Jamie Van Acker

    Before we purchase any of this toxic paper, we should require the brokerage houses, banks and hedge funds to open their books back to the date of issue of this garbage. We should require them to return a large percentage of their profits and bonuses that were based on the false perception that these instruments were anything but fraud. If they agree to digging into their own pockets, I'll dig into mine. If not, let the invisible hand of the market, that they seem so fond of, sort it out. Why is it that when they have profits they want capitalism, but they want to Socialize their losses?

    September 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  158. HD, NE

    Bush / Cheney have taken the country down a rat hole.

    McCain / Palin will only throw dirt in on top of us.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  159. David from California

    Federal bailouts are great for those getting bailed out, but not so good for everyone else. I sure wish the government would come along and bail me out from all my bad decisions so I could make a fresh start and a whole bunch of new bad decisions. The government had to act to try to prevent the second Great Depression. However, it is far from clear that the current plan will actually have the desired effect. After all, the government has tried three or four other bailout plans to fix the problem and those efforts failed miserably. Moreover, where is all this bailout money coming from? The government is already running a massive deficit. It appears we will just print as much new money as we need and wait until that problem reaches crisis stage before we address it. Yell "FIRE"!!

    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  160. Victoria Anderson Seattle, Washington

    I don't know Jack, but my bills gotta be paid. I really don't care who do what anymore because President Bush has simply lost his mind....
    Everyone who voted for him in 2000 – 2004 should feel pretty stupid.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  161. vern-anaheim,ca

    unfortunatly at times like this they are needed but they should help the middle class and not give further help to the rich which this administration wants to do.there is a huge problem out there and someone has to solve it.i read your book "it's getting ugly out there" and it was outstanding and truthful, you should write another exposing the goverments mess they have gotten us into

    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  162. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    I don't think so. First the CEOs rob their own corporations so they can get big bonuses then when the corporation fails, the government rewards them with a bailout when they should be behind bars. Where is our Justice Dept. in this mess? We haven't heard one word from them. Our Government is nothing but a big joke.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  163. Joe, San Diego

    Jack, the ultimate implication of your question is: "was electing George Bush a good idea?"
    Of course, the answer is "no".

    September 19, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  164. Doug - Dallas

    No they're not but unfortunately there was no choice in this case. The financial system has been teetering on the brink for years. If it goes, the country will go down the tubes. It would make the great depression look like a hiccup.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  165. Kevin in Portland

    Jack, I just did the math... $85b works out to about $285 for every American, $1 trillion is around $3,300. Could we at least get universal health care for this?

    September 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  166. cesar/columbus, ohio

    Good or bad, what are the choices that we have? Let China come and bail us out once more. We did what we had to do and it's up to the next President not to let us down us like W Bush did.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  167. Rich M


    I found myself in financial problems in 2005, did all the right things to get myself out trouble, without any help from the banks or government.

    Now let me get this straight, after the bank told me they couldn't help me out. Now I’m bailing the banks out. What’s up with that?

    Rich M

    September 19, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  168. Joe St Louis, MO

    I dont like to call them bailouts I would call them emergency loans. If the institution pays back the loan according to the terms I am happy. I do believe the top level leaders of the company should be removed without the exit packages they set up for themselves. These so called comapny leaders should have to get unemployment like the folks get that bailed them out.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  169. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Bailouts violate the first principle of Reaganism: don't interfere with the private sector. This form of socialism (bailouts) merely spreads the risk among all the people to preserve the riches of a few.

    I'm thinking: if we have to have Socialism, let's have the kind that spreads the risk among all the people to benefit all the people.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  170. Christine in Natchez, Mississippi

    Jack, the real question is how much money did the CEO's make in bonuses last year while these companies were failing?

    September 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  171. John from Virginia

    If the government goes through with bail outs then those of us who do not benefit directly from those bail outs should get shares in the company being saved. We paid for it!

    September 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  172. Johnny Garcia, NY

    Federal bailouts are without a doubt, a very good idea for the institutions themselves. The average American most likely wouldn't see any improvement in their life from this. However, the toll it would take on the economy is a toss up at this point. It can either go really good or really bad; and if this idea turns out to be a bad one, we'll know exactly who's to blame.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  173. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    The guilty go free, and the innocent taypayers are punished.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  174. robgrant

    The Fed's bailout is only helping the wealthy fat cats. Today's 300+ point gain in the stock market was essentially completed by 8AM – 1 1/2 hours before the market was even open to the public. Unless your in the know, you cannot win with this administration.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  175. Walter Buck (Hop) from California

    We seem to be approaching at a very rapid pace the emergence of a National Socialist America ala NWO. The God Of Plantation appears to be a vampire at war with the God that sustains all life. This is the bitter harvest, Jack, the foul fruit of fraud. The McCain ideology has been the sower of the field.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  176. Marty

    This proposal that they are working on scares me to death! The amount of money involved is huge. But the worse part is that they are planning on shifting 100% of the liability of these failed companies onto the tax payer. Ultimately, it is more weight on the back of the common (wo)man that is already suffering from multiple fractures. Regardless of how they spin it, it's really the poor bailing out the ultra rich and I'm not sure how much more us regular folks can take.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  177. anonymous

    AIG Better not raise my premium because for the next few years i am paying their salary.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  178. Mary Johnson

    Bail outs, as a rule, are not a good idea, no. But Jack, this is different.
    this would have pulled not just our economy into the dirt but the rest of the world's as well. that's what happens when a world economy is created on a foundation of greed. Mary from Sarasota, FL.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  179. Patricia F Pine Plains NY

    As much as I don't like it, it is a necessary evil. Otherwise we will be faced with a Depression as bad as, if not worse than that which occured Oct 1929. More people in this country are now invested in the market in one form or another, through their IRA's, 401K's and the like.

    We will be paying for this for a long long time. The answer is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". McCain wanted to deregulate everything. He got his wish and we got the bill.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  180. Nancy in MN

    Did Bush say, "Charge it." I'd like to know how much these bailouts will cost my family, and when the bill comes due. I'll need to take out a loan, hah, to pay the bill. Why do you have to make millions of dollars to get any help from the Bush administration???

    September 19, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  181. K.A.E., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

    No. Federal Bailouts are not a good idea. There are just a way to temparorly stop the economy from going into the a second depression. Sooner than later, if the problem is not fixed (fixed without federal bailouts), then a depression will happen.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  182. Broke In California

    Have they asked Cindy to contribute to the bailout? What a sad state of affairs. We are the laughing stock of the world and we're closing in on being a thrid world country. Are you happy yet Republicans??

    September 19, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  183. Kevin in Webster, MA

    No!!!! You'll see.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  184. Christine Lindberg

    Absolutely! So, when do they bail ME out?????

    Oh, that's not how it works? Well, don't blame me, I didn't vote for him.

    Edmeston, New York

    September 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  185. Donna, SC

    Corporate welfare program-good for the rich-not so much for the rest of us! And these are the same people who oppose universal health care! Go figure!

    September 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  186. Danp

    Call me old fashioned, Jack, but I want to see guillotines on the mall. In the meantime, put failing banks in conservatorship, and let people more their market capital to start new banks with new rules. A change in leadership would also be nice.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  187. Judith, NYC

    It's like the surge. After a bad idea, a fix for it.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  188. camille

    No, but obviously we do not have a choice. Again we, the tax payers are bailing out the crooks, liars and thieves of the government who are so greedy they don't care who they step on to get their money. And when it happens again , we will bail them out again, except not to the tune of a trillion it will be the next number up what ever that is.

    Our president, government and ceo's should be proud of themselves obviously they don't have trouble sleeping at night.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  189. Jes (State College, PA)

    Seems like regulation might be a good idea afterall Jack.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  190. Terence

    Jack, Federal bailouts are great. My 401k is going belly up . Can they send me 25 billion to refinance it for me. Terry Gaffney , NJ

    September 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  191. annec, glenside pa

    I have a gut feeling this is a really bad idea and that we the taxpayers that includes the rich taxpayers that think John McCain is a financial guru are going to pay for this bailout bigtime.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  192. Dan in Waukegan

    My wife and I paid off a thirty year mortgage in eleven years so we'd be debt free when I retired. I've been retired for four years and all of a sudden I'm expected to help pay off billions in bad loans I didn't make. Where are the guys that caused this? They're the ones that should be given the bill. When they're broke, then come ask me.

    September 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  193. Dana Helms in Oklahoma

    I think the bigger question should be...When the Republican's take office, shouldn't large bailouts be part of their fiscal budget or rainy day fund, or back up plan to please their base?

    September 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  194. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Haven't you heard Jack? This is all Barack Obama's fault. John (Honor) McCain says so. Why don't you watch his never-ending lying speeches so you don't have to ask these silly questions?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  195. Catherine in New Hampshire

    Why not? Even though no one bailed me out when my business property insurance increased after 9/11 and my health insurance went sky high, my mortgage payments increased and my property taxes saw a major hike on my home that I can't sell–go ahead and let me also pay for other people's bad investments in a market that I have not one penny in. I know when I'm the trough and the others are the pigs.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  196. Debbie, Blue Springs, Missouri

    Fed bailouts to save my money market funds and a financial collapse are a good idea. Lack of regulation in the mortgage and financial arenas got us in this mess.

    McCain did not support regulation. Thanks McCain!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  197. Rudy NYC

    Bailouts are never a "good" idea. Sometimes they are a necessary evil. At least Bush could have spoken to the American people in prime time about why Congress was spending so many dollars on a bailout. This is a crisis of the greatest magnitude. Americans need reassurance.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  198. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Privatizing gains and socializing losses will create a moral hazard and a nation of slaves. Oh wait, it already has.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  199. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Jack, the so-called Conservative movement in this country likes to paint Liberals as ‘Socialists’. Yet, these "Reagan-bots" waste enormous sums of money, borrow until the well’s dry, and then look for a cherry government handout to cover their unbelievable losses? I call that what it is: Corporate Communism.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  200. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    Bailouts are good if it protects the market and the little people! Bailouts does not stop actions for bringing to justice the ones who took from the system and who jeopardize the security of people and the whole system!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  201. Robert

    The truth is the bailout is about politics.....Its an election year and all of a sudden the government is the answer. First FEMA now this. These Republicans are truly dispicable.



    September 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  202. Terry Moore

    Under this bailout do the CEO"s and management still receive their bonus and regular salary? Why not. Let the taxpayer pay for it all.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  203. Joseph, Ontario

    Lot of people around the world, including Bush and Cheney's friends in Middle East have invested heavily in the wall street. So, Obama is right when he says that the bail outs should benefit the working middle class Americans.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  204. Doug in New Mexico

    The bail outs while protecting the big corporation also is protecting the assets of many many small investors. Do we want them to lose their life savings? How many people have their retirements tied to AIG. I know of several people and there must be many more. This is what needs protecting and bailing out.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm |

    its good for china, they have the mortgage on usa, & control
    they are getting oil from Iraq & will continue to prosper

    September 19, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  206. Shafi Alam

    The federal bailouts may help temporarily. During first Bush Administration in the late eighties and early nineties, similar things happened. American people voted for the democrats to take over and the economy became much better. History should continue to repeat itself this time too. Otherwise the suffering of American people in general will not end and will linger for long time to come.

    Shafi Alam

    September 19, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  207. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    The government will catch the bad guys, and the public will serve the sentence. That's how it works. Nothing new.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  208. Dave from Maryland

    Bailouts are NEVER a good thing for the BAILOR. I think that part of the new regulations should be a required 'hedge fund' for each company to keep a certain % of earnings as insurance. I don't much care for the taxpayers covering the losses when they didn't get to share in the profits.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  209. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Add the cost of the bailouts to the huge deficit, and what do you think will happen to future generations? This is just a fine mess we're in now. I see no reason for celebration by the American people. The money always comes from the American taxpayer's pocket. What else is new?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  210. Anne-Lee St. Cloud, MN

    A qualified "yes." Yes, because now we do have a crisis. No one wants to see the kind of "runs on the banks" that characterized the Great Depression–of course, substituting "the whole financial system" for "the banks.

    Of course, had the President and the Congress taken the kind of comprehensive action McCain advocated three years ago and that Obama advocated two years ago and again last year, we wouldn't have the crisis we now have. There is plenty of blame to go around, but both presidential candidates have been ahead of the curve on this one. (Just firing the SEC chairman, though, is not an answer–sound bites like his for political points are just plain silly!)

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  211. jim martin

    That a bailout is necessary ,as this one is, is a result of this administrations failure to provide regulation and oversight.

    Also directly responsible is Phil Gramm and legislation pushed by him.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  212. lisa tx

    It is okay as long as they cut all the co's salarys and goverment salaries for a job not very well done.you can bet the average americans wages will suffer.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  213. The Trippster of PA

    If Bush and his Republican cronies had stepped in more than a year ago to help those whose homes were being foreclosed, today's bailouts would not be necessary, those evicted from their homes would still have their pride and decent credit rating, property values would not have plummeted, and our financial institutions would not be in bankruptcy or sold. It is time for the financial conservatives to face the fact that voodoo, trickle-down economics and laissez-faire handling of the free market are fatally flawed policies.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  214. Jan Payne, Julian, CA

    The bailout is another massive transfer of wealth from "us" (taxpayers) to "them" (the super-rich morons that got us into this mess). Legalized theft, pure and simple.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  215. Jeff DuShane, Flint, MI


    I'm swamped with a mortgage, credit card bills and $40K in educational bills. Where do I sign up for a bailout?

    Flint, MI

    September 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  216. JImmy in California

    It is good for those being bailed out but not so good for those being bailed on to pay for the bail out unless there is some financial stake in it for the taxpayer.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  217. Kevin Duff

    If the Bush adminstration can put up hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out banks that made poor investment decisions, can they send me the paltry $200,000 dollars I lost in the stock market (high tech) over the last five years?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  218. Diane Glasser

    No, No, and No. Why should the public who has been working hard for their paycheck now see our tax money go toward bailing out greedy, thieves, who knowingly put their companies and the public in this crisis situation. I am for having those responsible forced to pay back all the money they lost.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  219. Daniel From Englewood Florida

    It's fine if you want a weaker Federal Government.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  220. Lynn in Ohio

    Jack, in this case I don't think there is much choice. However, this situation should be the poster child for drawng support for very strict regulation of enterprises that directly affect the welfare of the state and/or general population. Possibly even nationalization of energy providers.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  221. Robert in Tucson

    I suppose they are; but why did I work so hard to pay off my mortgage, buy my vehicles without credit; and pay off my credit card every month? This all seems backward to me.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  222. Roland from St George, UT

    Only if part of the deal includes a law that assures investigations into the causes of each failed institution, and assurances that federal charges will be pressed against those responsible, as well as assurances of sweeping reforms so that this never happens again. Whatever happened to the term "fiduciary responsibility"?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  223. Angela

    It's a good idea for the short term. But I have serious reservations about it for the long term. When a person files bankruptcy, and the creditors start immediately handing out more credit like candy, the person eventually repeats the same mistakes and files bankruptcy again. My fear is the same thing will happen here but on a much bigger scale, and the result will be a rotten mouth filled with rotting cavities from too much liquidity candy.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  224. Michael JM Raffin, PhD

    The filthy rich are getting filthier and richer. In America it pays to be morally corrupt. We throw money at the government of Iraq, who doesn't need it, and foreign aid at other arabs who already get our money through oil sales, we don't have money for our children's well-being and education, we don't have money for our disabled Americans, but we have money for the billionaires, and through tricks of fancy delude ourselves into thinking we are helping the economy. So, we pay the criminally incompetent, or the consciously malicious economic traitors, and we're already broke and broken. And our top leadership is telling us it's a good thing they're robbing our money and our children's money.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  225. Aaron, Corinth TX


    I think it's a great idea! Now excuse me while I go and learn Chineese... I belive they will be holding all of our financial futures soon.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  226. Terence Davidson

    It is sad the our federal government had to bail out those big Corp. If they keep doing it. Then there is no money to bail out or help people in United States. Feel like we are going back to 1929 all over again. What next??? This is what on many people mind right now. It seem that Congress and the President is not doing their job. They are worry about themselves and no one else ( same with Wall Street People).

    September 19, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  227. don in naples, florida

    No, they add to the national debt-And then ultimately to the trickle down economics affect. Hopefully these disastrous economic times will serve as a harsh reminder to folks about the dangers of trickle down economics and the poor leadership that this congress and Bush have shown. I only hope we can dig ourselves out of this mess.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:22 pm |

    John McCain should understand what triage and first aid are. The economy will recover, but not if you leave it on the littered battlefield to bleed to death. The actions being taken now will allow the economy to stay viable until it does recover.

    I also saw Rep. Feeney's comments. I am retiree trying to get good enough return on my life earnings to live out of the poverty level, not a fat cat. I'm sure his investments did recover a bit,as did mine, unless he is a short sale shark, not an investor! Thanks to the coalition of people who understand the situation and are working together to solve the problems. Boo to Feeney!!!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  229. Alvin White

    Well heck yes, Jack! How else are we going to protect upper management's ludicrous paychecks and bonuses? Seriously, I hope that any bailout includes provision for these fat cats to give up their bonuses, stock options and maybe most of their paychecks. If they have to suffer along with the stockholders and customers, maybe they'll be a little more thoughful where they put the customer's money in the future.

    Murphy, NC

    September 19, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  230. nathan

    what is in it for us? do we get our credit cleared? do we get some ownership in the company's we bail out? will we get lower intrest rates? if we don't get something good then let them fall!!!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  231. Lynn Music

    I honestly don't know. All I do know is we are between a rock and a hard place. Either way the lil guy always seems to get stuck.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  232. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    We can't afford not to! AIG was too interwoven with the world economy to take a chance on its collapse. This was due primarily to the relaxation of regulations due to politicians like McCain who vigorously supported such deregulation. He probably won't remember that- Alzheimers must be wonderful!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  233. dave from NH.

    Jack, I was just wondering if the American tax payer will be receiving stock for these companies that we just recently purchased? If not, why not!
    On another note, if Alaska residents receive dividends from the oil companies that operate in their state, then why don’t the residents in other states, where energy is extracted from their land receive the same benefits?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  234. Patti (Garner, NC)

    Bailouts should never be used unless it is a last resort. Everyone should try to remember that most of our 401k money, even that in money market mutual funds, and our pension funds are invested in index funds that include these big financial firms. Just imagine how we'd all feel watching our retirement funds and savings decline another 10, 15, or even 25 percent!

    Now, just imagine if we had privitized part of social security?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  235. Jim

    I suppose there's no real choice. But it really galls me that we will pay hundreds of billions while the CEOs walk away with hundreds of millions. It sure seems like there ought to by something criminal about the big guys making financial decisions so incredibly irresponsible, or about members of congress getting rid of the regulations that might have protected us. I do have one question, though. Of all the corporate officers that got us into this mess, how many, do you suppose, call themselves Democrats?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  236. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    It goes against everything the free market stands for. I once read an article that said to pay off all American debt it would take around thirty thousand dollars for every man woman and child in the US. I wonder what that number is now.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  237. Kelsey N.


    Does it really matter what we think? This has been characterized as 'far too complex' for the ordinary citizen to understand. Actually, it's pretty clear that the President is not even required to understand it, so why ask us?

    Guess I should have stayed awake in Econ. 101 after all...

    September 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  238. Bill Summerfield, Fl

    If you're rich and getting richer, the answer is yes.
    If you're middle class or poor, then the answer is no because you will end up paying for the mistakes of the rich.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  239. Mike Smith, New Orleans LA

    Only if they bailout the middle class that the Republicans sold out in the past eight years.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  240. George Nathanson

    Cleaning up the mess they facilitated... But at who's expense???

    They're closing the barn doors after all the animals have left... Now they are going to buy all new animals using the taxpayers money...

    September 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  241. Stanley Jr.

    You know honestly i think the government needs to be more involved in big companies on wall street and stop giving them breaks.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  242. Independent

    The fact is the common citizen is not qualified to advise on economic issues. Yes, we can balance our personal checkbooks. But we are not experts in the field of economics. Neither are our politicians. We/they rely on experts in the field to advise them. Most of us would condemn federal bailouts because that is "our" money being used. But we cannot see the "big picture." How are bailouts going to affect our future? I plead ignorance and must trust those in high office to make the decision for me. I trust in Senator Barack Obama to make the wise decisions.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  243. Texanna

    I think it would be nice if they would bail us out , you know the little guy, the ones that will have to pay for all of this.. But i understand they really dont care about us..

    September 19, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  244. Roy - Midwest

    As Nancy Pelosi said earlier this week, it is a shame that the Upside to the financial deregulation has been 'privatized' to a few wealthy people who got their money regardless of the performance of their corporations, and the downside of the deregulation has been 'publicized' so that the AMERICAN PEOPLE are left holding the bag....AGAIN. Enough is Enough! If bailouts are given, more stringent stipulations regarding monetary layouts by these suspect corporations should be mandatory! We need the transparency that Obama wants...... and then someone should explain all of this in simple terms to John McCain.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  245. Maria from SC

    NO. People with just half a brain, know what they can actually afford and should not bite off more than they can chew.. The rest of us should not have to pay for their STUPIDITY.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  246. Caroline, Hamer SC

    They should bail us out who do you think got us into this the GOOD OLD BOYS Club Bush, McCain and the rest of the club at the White House, but don’t worry none of them will be held accountable.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  247. Lorraine

    So if you do BAD TRADES... AND SELL BAD MORTAGES... and do short sales.... We will reward you.... That is Our Goverment at its best..

    Main street is getting in the neck again... and all the top 1% will get out great and will get tax cuts from McCain.....

    Mccain has been there over 20 years he is the PROBLEM..... and Bush is an idiot... we wanted a president that that we could have a drink with.... HOW DID THAT WORK OUT FOR YOU

    September 19, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  248. Al Amirault

    John McCain gets to many free passes because of his hero status. McBush, who charges that Obama doesn't have any executive experience, has none himself. His solution to a problem is either fire someone, or start a war. His advisor Carly Fiorina ran Lucent Technologies into the ground before being asked to leave Hewlet Packard with another golden parachute. I cannot believe this race is as close as the poles say. It will be Obama by a landslide.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  249. me46

    No, but maybe necessary. If you drive your car without maintenance until it breaks down, you have three choices. Fix it, replace it, or walk. If we try to fix the old clunker, we may just be pouring trillions down a rathole. If we replace it, at least we'll feel good about cruising around in a shiny new model even though it's costing us a lot more. If we walk, we can get off cheaply, but we'll be miserable and it will take us forever to get anywhere. Gotta go, Jack. My bus is coming.

    Tom M.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  250. rich

    I would say OK, only if Mr Paulson was to leave right now.Then tell ALL ceo's that there is no more bailout and part of this bail out would be that ALL ceo's make no then more $1,000,000.00 a year and NO perks. And as far as mr obama well I didn't know being the president was a game? And mr mccain he has been there for years, time to go home. Also NO member of congress can serve more then four years. I think that might get us straight. My pick for president a farmer who cares.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  251. ellie of Ann Arbor

    Did you see the name someone suggested for the new emergency fund? Securitized Housing Investment Trust. Need to say more, other than that this "plan" is a huge pitfall for congress Democrats? So far, nobody in Washington said anything about putting the people who originated, condoned and fested on a toxic derivatives buildup, triggered by subprime mortgages, in jail? And McCain wants to make their tax cuts permanent.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  252. sandy in ohio

    Jack, Bailouts are not a good idea but never getting into this mess isn't an option now. For all of these fianancial institutions, a complete restructoring is called for. The first thing they need to do is limit CEO salaries to 250,000 dollars annually and golden parachutes to twice that amount. Second they should freeze the assets of all those CEOS until every transaction that took place on their watch is investigated. Finally, those who received huge salaries and bonuses while these ships were sinking should have to forefit some assets. Let those responsible begin to assume some of the burden before the taxpayers must.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  253. James from Utah

    No. If I owned a business and made bad decisions and was about to file for bankruptcy, the government would not "bail me out" for that bad decision. As a matter of fact, there would be someone there the next day to take my place in the business. Let those greedy fatcats fall on theirbutts. Since it seems inevitable that we will bail them out, I would require that the management in place be replaced without the golden parachute.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  254. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    Jack, the so-called Conservative movement in this country likes to paint Liberals as ‘Socialists’.

    Yet, these clowns waste enormous sums of money, borrow until the well’s dry, and then look for a cherry government handout to cover their unbelievable losses?

    I call that what it is: Corporate Communism. If we had to do it, then we do it...but there should be a whole bunch of people lined up for the latest prison clothing as far as I am concerned.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  255. Terry from North Carolina

    In certain situations a federal government bailout maybe necessary however the end result is the taxpayers will carry the burden.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  256. nathan

    don't bail them out.. lower our gas prices we will spend money again because we would have it..

    September 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  257. Curt W

    No No No! We are only making things worse in the long run. Fiscal responsibility is everyone's responsibility. And irresponsibility breeds consequences. Bailouts remove consequences.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  258. chris strow bethalto il.

    why should people who make less than 60,000 dollars a year have to pay higher taxes for something that does not apply to them. i am a nurse who lives pay check to pay check with no retirement, no insurance, and no savings at all........ i feel the republicans are responsible for this let them pay. i do beleive in america but we have no say in where are money goes. mc cain has no idea how the lower class live, he needs to have reality check. i worked two jobs for 10 years to raise my family. working 12 hrs. 6p-6a just to pay bills and have the things we needed. i do have the american dream my family, a home and car. stop spending are money...........................................

    September 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  259. Phil, Rolling Meadows IL

    In general, if the fundamentals of the economy are sound, the market will heal itself. But since Mr Bush has no idea how to govern and lead, the government has waited way too long and let things fall out the bottom. Now it's time for the American people to hitch up their belts and bail out these companies regardless of whether it was their own fault through mismanagement or just the victim of circumstances beyond their control or making. I just hope that as the American people are digging into their pockets to once fund a bail out, they remember which party is in power when they go to vote in November.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  260. Ernest

    No bad idea, how are the taxpayers going to benefit? Are we going to get a piece of the profit or will they offset our taxes for a few years. NO!They are just putting a band aid on a foreshadowed problem that will continue. Companies will continue to fall. Companies will pass on cost to consumers, and for the bottomline, people are still going to lose their jobs. So, what was the point? What is the benefit for the international bankers/central banks that have invested? Is america for sale. This is going to cause inflation, nobody will get a loan, the rates will go back up to at least 11% to cover cost like the 80's, and you have to know that insurance is going to the moon now!! We need a watch dog over the Fed's/International Bankers who are making all of the money, and enslaving us all. Someone not connected to the Rockefellers, Rothchilds, and JPMorgan's please thanks.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  261. Nancy, Tennessee

    My theory is they may as well try to help things with a bailout. After all, what have we got to lose. If we don't try something, the Great Depression will look like a good era to have lived in.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  262. a2burns

    cindy mac should give the government her 100 million dollars to pay for these bailouts !!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  263. C.Ross


    In Russia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    September 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  264. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    As long as the CEO's got the same deal as their employees. Why should we give our money to them so they can still live in the lap of luxury when everyone else is wondering where their next paycheck is going to come from.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  265. Robert from Virginia

    41st – George Herbert Walker Bush

    43rd – George Walker Bush

    43rd – September 19th, 2008 – George Herbert Hoover Walker Bush

    what more is there to say...?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  266. Dr. Isaac J. Donald

    Federal Bailout's is the right approach but the wrong area! The federal bailout should be focused on getting the US out of the war and potentialo wars!

    Stone Mountain, GA

    September 19, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  267. iowa dave

    bail out are walfare for the super rich let the chips fall then help clean it up

    September 19, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  268. Libby Cantrell

    As I recall, before we invaded Iraq we were told that the situation was dire - attack by aerial drones with nuclear weapons was possible, etc. All of that turned out to be a lie and the war which has cost many lives was a big boon for businesses such as KBR and Halliburton. Now, the sky is falling again. Are we really supposed to believe these guys? Or, as I suspect, is it just another opportunity to funnel money into the pockets of the wealthy? Throw the bums out!

    September 19, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  269. Bradley S

    Can they please come bail me out of my student loan debt! I would appreciate it alot by the way.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  270. richard haglund

    Bail outs! The federal government owes roughly 4 trillion dollars to retirement trust funds; when and how do they plan to make these plans whole? Where will the money come from? Glad I'm your age Jack.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  271. Michael, Toronto, Canada


    Federal bailouts are only good when they help the average American.

    Bailouts that help management, shareholders and those that thrive on greed are never good.

    The important question to ask is, "what is the real cost of a bailout to every American?" And "where will Government get the funds to pay for these bailouts?"

    September 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  272. Marlyce Downen

    No they are not! As a taxpayer I am tired of picking up the tab of these companies that have over bloated salaries to match their over bloated egos. Why do we have to keep paying for other people's fiscal irresponsibility?
    This is not the way a democracy works, this is the way socialism works. Our government does not need to have ownership in financial institutions – it will be too tempting to manipulate numbers and the real financial stability of this country. We also need to stop all these foreign countries from gaining ownership of our companies also.
    Is this still America for crying out loud or are we now a new Global States of the World.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  273. Fred from San Jose

    In politics, good ideas only comes from people who have money. Does that answer your question?

    September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  274. Susan Shevlin

    Before we start bailing these companies out, we need to ask some serious questions. What kind of bonuses have the CEO's of these companies been making in the last 7 years? If they've been making millions, maybe its time to pay it back.

    September 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  275. Lisa MacAllister

    The Republicans have proven during 20 years at the helm that they are incapable of smaller government and less spending. The press has talked little about Phil Gramm's bill that began the deregulation that caused this whole mess. Can you imagine if he were Treasury Secretary?! McCain can look at his old pal for the reason we are now bailing out these Wall Street hogs. Are the CEO's going to walk away from this with their millions at American's expense? Our forefathers are spinning today! Lisa M Jackson, NH

    September 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  276. Shirley -AK OHIO

    It does not matter if it is a good idea or not, they are going to do it anyway, they have no choice.

    September 19, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  277. Karen - Nashville

    Bailouts are not a good idea, but these are a necessity caused by a runaway system that has allowed huge bonuses to the incompetent and dishonest. This must not be allowed to happen again, and I'm glad preventing it won't be my headache.

    September 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  278. Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

    No, federal bailouts are great. In fact, I think we should bail out EVERY failing business, so no one EVER has to feel the harsh realities of life or learn the painful but necessary lessons that keep us from doing stupid things later.

    Then after that, we're going to work really hard to ensure the government provides a unicorn in every garage and a leprechan in every pot. Idiots.

    Here's your next headline:
    "Tax Independence Day pushed to Sept 30"

    September 19, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  279. Rick PA

    It's good for a quick fix,but it's making the bubble bigger and will pop much quicker than expected. This was meant to help foreign investor's and to get their companies back for pennies on the dollar. There was a song by Buffalo Springfield: Stop, hey what's that sound everyone look what's goin' down. Are we all really zombies or is it just me?

    September 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  280. John

    It is a good idea for this time of crisis and I have little confidence of president Bush for his lack of leadership to deal with the crisis.

    September 19, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  281. John from Mission Viejo, CA

    Well the only branch that hasn't weighed in on the bail out is the Supreme Court. What if they find it unconstitutional? "First Base"

    September 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  282. whataplace

    Um. It's a bad idea.

    September 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm |