Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky came out swinging during a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, calling Treasury's plan for the biggest financial bailout since the Great Depression "un-American."
From Bunning's prepared statement:
The Paulson proposal is an attempt to do what we so often do in Washington—throw money at a problem.
We cannot make bad mortgages go away. We cannot make the losses that our financial institutions are facing go away. Someone must take those losses. We can either let the people who made bad decisions bear the consequences of their actions, or we can spread that pain to others. And that is exactly what the Secretary proposes to do—take Wall Street's pain and spread it to the taxpayers. The plan has not even passed, and already Americans are paying for it because of the fall in the dollar as a result of all the new debt we will be taking on.
I know there are problems in the financial markets, and I share a lot of the same concerns that our witnesses do. However, the Paulson plan will not fix those problems. The Paulson plan will not help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages. The Paulson plan will not bring a stop to the slide in home prices. But the Paulson plan will spend 700 billion taxpayer dollars to prop up and clean up the balance sheets of Wall Street. This massive bailout is not the solution, it is financial socialism, and it is un-American.