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Welcome to TokyoFreePress Thursday, March 23 2017 @ 09:23 PM JST

Would Sarah Palin Have Voted for the Rescue Plan?

In the wake of the near-meltdown of the entire financial system, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed into law the 700 billion bailout package presented by President Bush and Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson, with John McCain and Barack Obama fully supporting the plan in a truce unprecedented in the history of presidential elections. Now it's increasingly evident that there are no fundamental differences between the policy lines of the two camps. Neither do we see a major difference between President Bush and the self-styled maverick Republican.

These days we are asking ourselves: "Would Governor Palin have voted for the bill if she were a congresswoman and had not been picked by McCain as his running mate just to fill the '18 million cracks' Hillary Clinton had left behind?". Most probably she would have voted against it because the bailout plan is one of those "bridges to nowhere" the Alaska governor is not inclined to subscribe. Palin's way of thinking now looks much closer to Ron Paul's than to the Republican presidential candidate's.

Even after the bill was sweetened by the additional tax breaks and the cap on the deposit insurance raised from $100,000 to $250,000, there still are 171 lawmakers in the House who think the emergency measure is unacceptably "un-American" and nothing but a "financial socialism." This indicates that America as a whole still has some resilience with which to potentially get back on the right track on its own. Admittedly, though, we cannot expect either McCain or Obama to bring about real change.

Now I am afraid that McCain, Obama or the 2012 presidential hopefuls will have difficulty once again giving plausible excuse for having voted yea for another misuse of taxpayers' money for a mere stopgap measure where there is no exit strategy articulated by Bush or Paulson. In the last several years, we have already seen how easy and useless it is to say in hindsight that Bush and Rumsfeld should have laid out a specific exit strategy when launching the attack on Saddam Hussein's regime.

Japanese analysts keep saying it's good to see the Americans acting like the Japanese who could "successfully turn around" the post-bubble situation by injecting the public funds totaling hundreds of billions of dollars into failed financial institutions. That certainly indicates that the U.S. government, just like its Japanese counterpart, will fail to pay dividends to taxpayers who are now coerced into investing $700 billion to bail out the existing financial system which has proved simply unviable.

In short it's now crystal clear that anything short of drastic overhaul of not only economic but also political systems will not work in the long run. In this context, it's heartening to know there are Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and many other like-minded Americans who believe that "a ship in haobor is safe, but that's not why the ship is built."

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