Ralph Nader: Congress "Sugarcoating" Bush Administration's Bailout Plan
Independent candidate for President of the United States, Ralph Nader, predicted the Wall Street financial crisis 8 years ago. Earlier this month, Nader released a 10-point Plan to Recover from the Financial Crisis and, yesterday, holding a news conference outside the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Nader indicated that "The financial-markets bail-out bill that the House rejected on Monday should be "scrapped forever" and replaced with mortgage aid for struggling homeowners and prosecution of Wall Street robber barons,...".
Nader began a daylong Bay Area blitz with a news conference outside the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco with running mate and former San Francisco Supervisor Matt Gonzalez as well as "peace mom" activist Cindy Sheehan, an independent congressional candidate challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Federal Reserve is "a secret government within a government, it is out of control, it is not accountable to Congress and never has been," Nader said, demanding such accountability as well as annual audits. Without such control and transparency, he said, the Federal Reserve will continue to do banks' bidding, leading to a devalued dollar, higher interest rates and a declining quality of life for most Americans.
Meanwhile, he said, Congress should hold public hearings on this financial-markets meltdown's causes and potential cures, rather than rush to judgment on a bailout plan advanced by "the most criminally recidivist administration in this country's history."
Congress' adaptation of the Bush administration's plan amounted to nothing more than "sugarcoating," Nader said: Its promises of taxpayer equity, transparency, oversight and accountability are "full of holes."
He wants stock warrants so taxpayers can make some money back if these businesses flourish again; no lobbying rights for bailed-out companies; no golden parachutes or get-out-of-jail-free cards for guilty executives; public hearings on everything; letting below-median-value homeowners facing foreclosure rent-to-own their homes at fair market prices; making the Federal Reserve into a Cabinet position accountable to Congress; and a securities speculation tax to relieve tax pressure on the working middle class while discouraging excessive speculation.
Congress will act in the public interest "only when they fear the people more than the corporations," Nader said, claiming that "without the rising tide of support for third-party and independent candidates in this country, this margin of defeat for the bailout bill in the House would not have occurred."