Stop Paulson's Plunder

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Petition

George Bush wants taxpayers to give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a $700 billion blank check - $2,333 for every man, woman, and child - to bail out Wall Street for its reckless speculation and greed. That's on top of $1.1 trillion for Bush's other recent bailouts, including A.I.G., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Bear Stearns.

The Paulson Plan is a total outrage with no restrictions, no accountability, and no repair of the underlying problem of foreclosures on fraudulent mortgages. Each of Bush's previous bailouts was sold as a cure for the financial crisis, but each had little effect. The Paulson Plan achieves only one goal with certainty: stealing from the middle class to protect the rich.

The current financial crisis is the direct result of 28 years of rightwing Republican deregulation, corruption, and greed, which became fatally toxic under Bush-Cheney and the Republican Congress. When George Bush stole the White House in 2001, President Clinton handed him a projected 10-year surplus of $5 trillion. But Bush immediately gave $2 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, then wasted $1-3 trillion invading Iraq on the basis of lies. Now Bush demands Congress increase the national debt to $11 trillion.

Congress must reject Paulson's Plunder and enact a plan with these progressive principles from the Backbone Campaign:

A. The people who caused the problem or profited most should pay for it

  1. Highly compensated executives total compensation should be capped or taxed heavily as a condition for being bailed out.
  2. Tobin tax on all transactions in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate including currency transactions.
  3. Government takes an equity stake, proportionate to the size of the bailout
  4. Tax hedge fund managers' income
  5. Accountability - fire executives of failed companies as done in the UK, and abrogate their severance packages.
  6. Impose a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers.

B. Re-regulate to prevent this from happening again

  1. Direct the Federal Reserve to intervene to prevent asset bubbles.
  2. Extend reserve requirements to new security categories
  3. Regulate the packaging of loans so they can be evaluated, rated, and priced rationally.
  4. Regulate hedge funds and private equity funds in a way comparable to banks

C. Include Main Street in the bailout and invest in a new productive economy

  1. Establish a moratorium on foreclosures, renegotiating mortgages or institute a rent-to-own plan to keep people in homes.
  2. Create a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages, in productive jobs that add value to homes and communities.
  3. Invest the taxes on speculation, executive compensation, and the surtax on the wealthy in clean energy, infrastructure, education, and health care.
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The question is: "Stop Paulson's Plunder?".

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