10 Ways to Bail Out Wall Street (and Main Street) Without Soaking Taxpayers in Debt - By Chuck Collins and Dedrick Muhammad
As Congress debates the particulars of the Bush-Paulson bailout, one key question has gone largely unexplored: Who will pay for this mess?
Lawmakers in Congress appear to have assumed that the federal government will simply borrow more money to foot the bill for the bailout. The national debt ceiling will rise to a whopping $11.3 trillion, up from $8 trillion a year ago.
But this rush to borrowing merely shifts the bailout burden onto the backs of future taxpayers. Congress needs to change course -- and develop a "pay as we go" plan that makes Wall Street pay.
The lion's share of bailout funding should come from the high-finance gamblers and the wealthy CEOs who have so profited from our casino economy.
Funding the Bailout: Basic Principles
- Wall Street and speculators should pay now for the mess they created.
- Instead of borrowing from the super-wealthy beneficiaries of the casino economy, we should tax them.
- Any bailout should stimulate the real economy with investments in Main Street, not just Wall Street.
Broadening the Bailout Dollars
The debate over the bailout has so far concentrated on the $700 billion purchase of "troubled assets" proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. A real "bailout" would also target the troubled households of working American families. A $200 billion "Main Street Stimulus Package" could bolster the real economy and those left vulnerable by the subprime mortgage meltdown. This package should include:
- A $130 billion annual investment in renewable energy to stimulate good jobs anchored in local economies and reduce our dependency on oil.
- A $50 billion outlay to help keep people in foreclosed homes through refinancing and creating new homeownership and housing opportunities. These funds could also help those locked out of the American Dream to purchase homes through nonspeculative mortgage programs.
- A $20 billion aid package to states to address the squeeze on state and local government services that declining tax revenues are now forcing.
A Responsible Plan to Pay for Recovery: $900 Billion in New Revenue
Below is our 10-point program to pay for this broader bailout. This plan would generate $900 billion a year until the costs of the bailout and stimulus program are paid for.