Last night the Senate approved a bail-out bill as a way to pressure the House Republicans into doing the same.
The heart of the bill, and the opposition to it, remained the same. It would enable the government to spend billions of dollars to buy bad mortgage-related securities and other devalued assets held by troubled financial institutions. If successful, advocates say, that would allow frozen credit to begin flowing again and keep the economy from a deep recession.
What amuses me is that, with how important this bill seems to be, they can’t avoid putting in pork:
As revised by the Senate, the package would extend several tax breaks popular with businesses. It would keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million middle-income Americans, and provide $8 billion in tax relief for those hit by natural disasters in the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana.
With respect to my readers and friends in the Midwest, Texas and Louisiana– why is this in there?
It’s true what Sen. McCain said in last Friday’s debate: Earmarks are a drug, and that explains their presence in this bill. They’re betting that they can get this by the House Republicans by “sweetening the deal.” For our sake, I hope they’re wrong.