Blunt opposes bailout
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Blunt opposes bailout

Date: September 25, 2008
By: Juana Summers
State Capitol Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - President Bush's Wall St. bailout plan has come under fire by Missouri's top Republican officeholder.

In a press conference, held at the governor's office, Gov. Matt Blunt said the president's plan is not the right option for reforming the country's economy. 

"I don't think it's what a free market economy does to respond to challenges. I don't believe it's necessary to send $700 billion to Wall Street, which is essentially what has been proposed."

On Wednesday, the president addressed the country on national television and defended a buyout plan of up to $700 billion  to help bolster the nation's economy and try to solve what he described as a "serious financial crisis."

Blunt said he's not sure the president's plan suggests the best alternative for the average citizen, and that taxpayers will end up paying for Wall St.'s mistakes.

"I don't think Missouri taxpayers should bail out companies that literally made billions of dollars over the past decade," Blunt said.

In his speech, Bush said that the entire American economy was in danger, and that failing to pass this plan could lead to a recession.

"The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal," Bush said

Missouri Sen. Kit Bond issued a statement following the president's speech, praising Bush's support of immediate action.

"Now is not the time for bipartisan finger pointing or partisan games, but instead, for quick and responsible action that will not only stabilize our economy but will uphold Main Street values," he said in the news release.

Maria Speiser, spokesperson for Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said that many in Washington, including McCaskill were skeptical of the buyout at the beginning, due to potential problems in transparency.

Congressional leaders want to make sure the funds go toward altering America's economic future, not lining the pockets of Wall St. executives who managed the failing companies.

While debate continues on whether the buyout is the best option, one Missouri professor said acting now is key to avoiding a bigger financial crisis.

"If something didn't happen and that continued, I think we would see some sort of financial disaster that would reach everyone from the top down," said Karen Schnatterly, professor at MU's Trulaske College of Business.

Schnatterly said it's hard to judge whether the $700 billion number was enough money or too much to bail out the failing assets, which are tied to how the economy continues to shift.

Bush's speech on the state of the American economy came just hours after Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, announced he ws suspending all campaigning and fundraising in order to focus more closely on the current economic situation.

McCain also called for the first presidential debate at the University of Mississippi to be postponed, so that both he and the Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama could turn their attention to the country's economic crisis.

Obama rejected these ideas, and said the debates must continue as scheduled so American voters could see each candidate's leadership in rebuilding the American economy.






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