30 September 2008
House fails to pass rescue package
The much talked about £380 million Wall Street rescue package has now gone seriously tits up after having been thrown out by the American House of Representatives. As the politicians try to pin the blame for this fiasco on each other, let's look at some of the reasons for the failure.
The first is that it had the George Bush seal of approval. He said that if the measure didn't pass then the economy would grind to a halt. He also once said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Nobody really believes a word that he says, nor wants to be associated with any of his policies.
Secondly, the entire House is up for election in November and each member is snowed under with e-mails, faxes and telephone calls from their constituents who are demanding that saving Wall Street's fat cats whilst the little people lose their homes is not an option. At least not an option for a Representative who wants to be returned in November. . .
Finally, this package did not have anywhere near enough bacon products. It may be argued that pork should be the last thing on anyone's mind, but that is not the point. A bridge here and a new military base there would have helped ensure the bill's passage as they could have been presented to reluctant voters as a quid pro quo. The punters would have bought it, but the Representatives couldn't deliver because the money just isn't there.
As to what happens next, that is anyone's guess as well. In theory all this should hurt John McCain's bid for the White House, but given the strange way that this election has gone up to now even that is unclear at the moment.