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Dear Cathy Edgett,
The proposed bailout of Wall Street banks gives $700 billion and unprecedented power to one man – Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury. If such large sums of taxpayer money are being risked, our elected representatives must have meaningful oversight and taxpayers should benefit more than companies.
The U. S. economic system is in grave danger, and Congress should address the situation quickly. However, any bailout bill must:
- Reject any blank check authority to Secretary Paulson
- Include real accountability, oversight, and transparency for any money authorized.
Assuming Congress can draft a comprehensive bill that includes meaningful changes in the regulatory system, then the bill must also include:
- A commitment that any funds spent by the treasury to bail out investors must be matched by at least a 10 percent tithe to support millions of Americans who have lost their homes and those still at risk of foreclosure.
Congress is working to pass a bill this week – spending a little less than 7 days to draft the largest government bailout package in history. With anxiety in Congress and pressure from the White House, taxpayers may be held responsible for gambling on Wall Street, without any guarantees that it won’t happen again.
It is not yet clear what the best long-term solutions might be to this crisis, so Congress must weigh its options carefully, not approving a poorly negotiated bill of such large proportions. Wisdom from the book of Proverbs is a good reminder to heed:
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” –Proverbs 15:22, NIV
Our government has committed grave errors in recent years because it acted out of fear. It should not make the same mistake again. As Christians, we ask you to join us in praying for wisdom for our leaders during this important time.
Elizabeth, Adam, Nate, and the rest of policy team at Sojourners