I've been a huge supporter of Senator Obama. I've given as much time and money to the campaign as I can. I truly believe that Senator Obama "gets it"--he understands that you can't have a vibrant and growing economy without a strong middle class.
That's why I've been so troubled by Mr. Obama's support of the bailout plan, even with the safeguards he has fought for. The underlying principle of this deal still rewards risky behavior, and puts the hope that liquidity will find its way to small business in the hands of Wall Street. In a way, I feel this is trickle-down credit, and it won't work.
I'd really like to see Mr. Obama take greater ownership of this issue and substitute his economic plan for this rescue package. If liquidity is needed at the small-business level, then lets expand the SBA, a program that we know works. Let's buy the foreclosed homes on the market, and rent them to people under a "rent to own" plan that rewards good payment behavior. Let's give these homes to qualified teachers who teach in troubled neighborhoods (where a lot of these homes are!). And if a few more big banks fail, we can seize them as we have the other recent bank failures.
We need a more grassroots approach to this financial crisis than the one being offered. If Senator Obama can tap into the angst and frustration felt by so many (Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike) and offer a truly unique vision of a rescue plan, I firmly believe this election will be his.
Sep 30 2008 - 4:28pm