This came from my US Representative, Jeb Hensarling (R-Dallas):
Every day in Washington people throw around the word “crisis,” but this week I’ve given it more weight than before. Last week, the Bush Administration requested $700 billion from Congress to bail out banks on Wall Street that held troubled mortgage-related assets. I am extremely concerned about the state of our economy, the status of our capital markets, and how the problems of Wall Street are being assumed by Main Street. I remain skeptical of the Administration’s plan and am utterly unconvinced that this is the only alternative.
I have concerns about the ultimate cost to the Texas taxpayer. I am concerned that the federal government is becoming the lender and guarantor of last resort. I am concerned that the plan will put the taxpayer on the hook for a trillion dollars and still might not solve the problem. I am concerned that the plan could fundamentally change the role of government in the American free enterprise system. I am concerned with any taxpayer bailout for Wall Street that does not set strict limits for executive compensation. I am especially concerned for future generations who will have to pay to bail out Wall Street.
Fifth District residents have made it clear that they want a “work out,” not another bail out. I am fighting for an alternative that reduces taxpayer exposure and does not reward the people who made bad decisions with other people’s money. We need to quell the panic and get some capital back into the market, but that capital ought to come from Wall Street, not the Texas taxpayer. This problem on Wall Street can impact Main Street, but Wall Street has to pay for it.
This is a serious situation that needs to be resolved, so inaction is not an option, but it is always more important to do the right thing rather than the quick thing. The time has come for Congress to rationally debate alternatives – the consequences are too severe for us to rush to judgment, because we may have a taxpayer bankruptcy for the next generation. It is essential to stop thinking only about today and start thinking about the next generation.
He said it a lot better than I did.