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On Monday, President Bush requested the Congress to release the second half of the $700 billion TARP bank bailout program. And, this time, we cannot approve the bailout without guaranteeing real accountability and conditions – no more blank check bailouts!

That's why today Tom Geoghegan is launching a petition telling Congress to do exactly that – ensure that the bailout money is directed towards those who really need it and that the interests of working Americans are protected. Click here to sign the petition.

We'll deliver the petition to the House and Senate leadership. And we'll show that we're not going to sit idly by while hundreds-of-billions of our money gets shipped to banks without any real accountability and oversight.

Many observers now say we wasted the first $350 billion, and we still don’t know where the money went. We need accountability and a serious plan for how to emerge out of this dangerous economic contraction.

So, before we approve another penny, our petition demands that the following three conditions must be met:

  1. Give priority – directly if possible – to help people keep their homes.
  2. Get public interest representatives or directors on bank boards in all of the banks receiving money.
  3. Penalize any bank that has been hoarding money from the first bailout.

And, before we start handing out any more money, we need to take a careful look at which banks should receive the money – we need to seriously consider whether banks which are insolvent should be saved. After all, we can’t spend taxpayer money to save every single banker when we have to worry about the solvency of Social Security and Medicare as well. The economic security of working Americans has to come before a federal guarantee of profit to every single banker.

Let's make sure Congress hears us, that they know we are not going to accept another blank check bailout. We demand real accountability, serious oversight, and reasonable, mandatory conditions.

Tom's been fighting for economic security for working Americans for the last 30 years. Sign the petition and join Tom in fighting to end the era of blank check bailouts.

~Julie Sweet, Campaign Manager

www.geogheganforcongress.com

Originally posted to Tom Geoghegan on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:29 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bush made the request at President Elect Obama's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, jsfox

    request.  

  •  What? (0+ / 0-)

    Like that's going to happen. Banks are failing.

    Citigroup just announced they’re selling their brokerage arm, Smith Barney, to Morgan Stanley for US$2.7 billion in cash.

    This sounds like a fire sale to me – looks like Citigroup is in deep trouble once again. Meanwhile, the government already gave Citigroup US$45 billion in TARP money – much more than any other bank has received, and they’re still selling their brokerage firm for a fire sale price.

  •  Sen. Levins knows but taxpayers have no need to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Words In Action

    Where is the openness and accountability that Obama promised?
    Why not pause for a few weeks for congressional hearings on how to spend the new money? We don't even know where the last batch went.

    On Monday, the Treasury Department finally agreed, and only after a subpoena threat, to turn over to Sen. Carl Levin and his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations the 10 secret contracts that it signed with top Wall Street firms in the first round of the bailout.

    Unfortunately, the subcommittee has no plans to make those contracts public, according to a Levin aide quoted in The New York Times.

    Full article onuffpo by Robert Scheer

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    This is God, Do I have to come down there?

    by allenjo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:49:37 PM PST

    •  Just a reminder, lest you forgot (0+ / 0-)

      Where is the openness and accountability that Obama promised?

      He's not the president . . .  yet

      In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

      by jsfox on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:52:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But is EVEN lobbying for openness on this issue? (0+ / 0-)

        He should be on the warpath. He may not be in the White House, but he can still represent with pride and stature as our President-Elect. He'll get a mic anytime he asks for one.

        We have no time but the time to change.

        by Words In Action on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:06:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here is most of Robert Scheer's article on Huffpo (0+ / 0-)

        We don't have time, President-elect Barack Obama's key economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, insisted in a letter to Congress on Monday, promising that the new infusion would not be squandered as was the first installment. But given that Summers is personally as responsible for this meltdown as anyone, why should we trust him on this? Yes, it sounds wonderfully bipartisan that Obama is backing President Bush's request for spending the money now, short-circuiting congressional inquiry, but it was just that sort of bipartisan politics that created this nightmare.

        How insulting that we must now accept Summers' assurance that the Obama administration will "move quickly to reform a weak and outdated regulatory system to better protect consumers, investors and businesses." This from the guy who, as President Bill Clinton's treasury secretary, pushed the deregulation legislation making the subsequent financial crimes of Wall Street legal. The "toxic derivatives" that we taxpayers are now forced to purchase from the Wall Street hustlers were deliberately shielded from all government regulation, thanks to the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Summers got Congress to pass in the closing days of the Clinton administration with the same urgency that he now pushes for the new Wall Street handout.

        Back then, Summers was a disciple of Robert Rubin, who just last week resigned from his director's position at Citigroup, the financial conglomerate that grew to unmanageable and corrupt proportions thanks to the empowering legislation that Rubin initiated when he was Clinton's first treasury secretary. Rubin has been paid more than $115 million plus stock options at Citigroup, and despite his horrid record is a close Obama adviser. It is one of the great swindles of U.S. financial history that Citigroup was bailed out with $45 billion in a deal that could eventually cost taxpayers an additional $269 billion to guarantee those toxic assets that would have been illegal if not for the legislation backed by Rubin and Summers.

        How did Obama allow himself to become ensnared with the very same folks who are the most culpable? His treasury secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, is another Rubin protégé, who, as head of the New York Fed, worked tirelessly with Rubin to concoct the Citigroup bailout. When candidate Obama gave his major economic address back on March 27, he couldn't have been clearer in condemning the deregulation that Rubin and Summers had engineered:

        Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one -- aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight. In doing so, we encouraged a winner-take-all, anything-goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.
        He was referring to the deregulation legislation that Summers hailed on the day that Clinton signed it into law as "a major step forward to the 21st century." Now Obama is relying on Summers to reverse a disaster of his own creation. It's like returning to the same surgeon who almost killed the patient in the first operation to once again cut open the body to repair the damage.

        What we need is a second opinion.

        Where is the openness and accountability that Obama promised? Why not pause for a few weeks for congressional hearings on how to spend the new money? We don't even know where the last batch went. On Monday, the Treasury Department finally agreed, and only after a subpoena threat, to turn over to Sen. Carl Levin and his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations the 10 secret contracts that it signed with top Wall Street firms in the first round of the bailout. Unfortunately, the subcommittee has no plans to make those contracts public, according to a Levin aide quoted in The New York Times.

        That is outrageous. This is our money we're talking about. Why don't we get to read the fine print in what will end up being trillions of dollars in taxpayer obligations? Because we are suckers, that's why, and the folks who swindled us into this disaster can count on it.

        Robert Scheer is editor in chief of Truthdig and author of The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.

        This is God, Do I have to come down there?

        by allenjo on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:44:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The government should lend money directly to us (0+ / 0-)

    USA citizens. Why lend it to banks to lend to citizens? Oh, sure, quibble that the gummint doesn't have any loan officers or any nice safe deposit boxes.

    See if I care if you raise all these silly objections to my fine plan.

  •  Didja notice. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    The man nominated to supervise the IRS did not pay his taxes for four years, then paid two of those years' back taxes and was asked by the vettors for the Obama administration to pay back the remaining two years.

    I really, really despise tax cheats!  And I don't appreciate his being appointed to supervise the IRS because he has proven to be a cheat.

    We will never find out where the money went until somebody writes a book in about 8 years, too late to hound the suckers with public humiliation.  Opps I forgot, that won't work because they would rather look stupid than appear as devious as they are.

    ...do the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:57:19 PM PST

    •  Will you guys (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      get off of this? He paid all his taxes except the self employment half of the With holding tax (he was not self employed). He was one of hundreds in the diplomatic community that the IRS discovered and, as soon as they asked he paid it. When teh Obama team figured out that there were a couple of earlier years the IRS had not found out about, he paid those too. I have not heard that anybody else did.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:14:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still, we're talking about the guy who is going (0+ / 0-)

        to oversee the IRS screwing up his taxes. Like hiring a plumber who can't fix his own toilet?

        We have no time but the time to change.

        by Words In Action on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:09:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lawrence O'Donnell (0+ / 0-)

          was just on Rachel Maddow. He was a staffer for the Senate committee we're talking about. He said that a subject like this comes up every session and the staff gets to pass out form 1040's and W-2's so the Senators could all discover that they can't fill the damned things out properly.

          For one of the filings Geithner paid an accountant who gave him a written opinion that the half of the withholding he paid was all that was owed. This is utterly fucking trivial. The Republicans are using it to catch a little media wave. Next week they'll all vote to confirm him.

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 06:45:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's Not What You Think (0+ / 0-)

      Same thing happened to me.

      Believe me, no one is cheating. Without those paticular taxes you can't get Medicare.

      •  Somehow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        I feel that the person to run the IRS should not be confused about its rules.

        ...do the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

        by Silverbird on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:29:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Makes sense to me. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          We have no time but the time to change.

          by Words In Action on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:10:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not as bad as it sounded. (0+ / 0-)

            Apparently about 50% of the UN workers employed as he was make this mistake, so it is complesity of the tax system that may cause this.  However, his employer did have staff specdifically to see that their employees complied with this.  Plus a check was sent to each person that would cover the extra employers share they were to pay as individual contract employees.  So he should have known, but did not or chose to not use that check for payment of taxes. Seems like a rather minor ethical breach given the general run of ethical breaches coming out of DC in the past years.

            So I support his appointment and think he should not be kept out of the job because, while embarassing, he has paid in what he owed.

            ...do the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

            by Silverbird on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 07:34:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    for the petition. I've signed and recommended the diary and, when I get home, I'll make a contribution to your campaign. I've been reading your stuff for years and really want to see you in the Congress.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:16:14 PM PST

  •  Change Bank rules then! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Many banks are hoarding money whether they received a bailout or not for a very good reason.  Bank value have been crushed by the stock market.  When a banks value decreases, they are forced to decrease there amount of debt.  In uncertain times, Banks are Forced to hoard cash in case the market devalues them more.

    If they don't hoard cash, they could easily be bankrupt in the blink of an eye.  Demand the Fed's losen or remove the rules on Banks when it comes to debt to equity ratios.

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