Well, I'm still on the fence about the overall concept of a bailout package, but I've heard two details about it that are making me lean heavily against it.
The first is the notion of a cap on executives' compensation for those who sign up for the bailout. As I said earlier, this will radically limit the pool of potential new leaders in the banking industry, as the most successful people -- those with a track record of success in leading large, troubled corporations -- will have to take a substantial pay cut if they want to try turning around some on-the-ropes financial business. Further, I despise the notion of the government -- the home of some of the most inept managers in the world -- micromanaging things to this degree.
But that takes a far, far distant second place to another concern of mine: an attempt by the Democrats to demand that a portion of any profits that the government might make on the bailout be funneled to ACORN.
If that particular measure stays in the bill, then my opinion on the bailout -- no matter what other provisions stay in -- my answer is simple (language alert below):
At that point, I will make it my personal crusade to take down every single Senator and Representative who votes for the bailout measure.
The proposal from the Democrats is simple, as quoted by Ed Morrissey of Hot Air: If the bailout package eventually yields any profits, 80% will be applied to the national debt, and 20% will be diverted to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund in a 65%-35% split.
The "Housing Trust Fund" is set up to help poor people buy houses. The last time I checked, "helping poor people buy houses" was one of the major causes of our current problem -- getting people of limited means into houses that they couldn't keep up the payments on. People aren't defaulting on their mortgages because they feel like it, but because they've allowed themselves to sign up for loans they simply can't repay as they promised. As harsh as it sounds, perhaps this would be a good time to raise the standards on mortgages and reduce the number of risky loans, not increase them.
But more importantly, if there is a single chance that some of this money might end up in the pockets of ACORN, I want this plan dead. I want a stake driven through its heart. I want its head on a pike. I want it skinned and the hide nailed up on the wall.
And I might be tempted to call for similar measures against those who push it through.
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now!, is rapidly becoming my political bete' noir. I can feel my blood boiling at their very mention. They wrap themselves in "helping the community" and call themselves a non-partisan horde of high-minded do-gooders, but every single election cycle more and more of their employees and volunteers end up getting caught in engaging in one of the most heinous crimes one can commit against democracy -- voter fraud.
It has gotten to the point where I think it would not only be a good idea, but damned near mandatory that concerned citizens ought to go anywhere ACORN holds one of its "voter registration drives" and offer peremptory challenges to every single registration they submit -- because they have such a lengthy track record of submitting fraudulent registration forms.
It's been a couple of years since I first started calling for a RICO investigation into ACORN's activities, and if anything, I think that it's more important than ever. And even more troubling for me is Barack Obama's long ties to the group.
ACORN is one of the most dangerous types of scum around. They wrap themselves in the banner of high-minded, lofty-sounding goals and intentions, but push their agenda with the most despicable and loathsome tactics. If you oppose them, or question them, or even simply don't agree with them sufficicently, then you obviously hate the poor and want to keep the underprivileged oppressed. They are thugs and swine who have taken the most downtrodden hostage for their own social-engineering goals, and don't give a damn about the actual results of their actions.
There is some doubt about whether or not any of the potential profits (a questionable presumption, anyway) of a bailout would actually end up in the coffers of ACORN or any of their affiliates or any other similar organizations, but even so the idea of pouring more money into the very same programs that helped trigger the crisis strikes me as slightly insane. The phrase "spraying gasoline on a fire" comes to mind, along with the image of the mythical Ouroboros (the snake swallowing its own tail), the archetypal image of the cyclical nature of the universe.
This notion, of funneling any potential profits from the bailout into even more funding for helping people who can't afford a house of their own get into one anyway, is a horrifically bad idea. Naturally, it's being pushed -- hard -- by the Democrats, who have even said that it is non-negotiable.
Fine with me. If it's a deal-breaker, let the deal be broken. "Fiat iusticia ruat caelum."