DOLE: CONGRESS MUST DELIVER A MARKET-BASED SOLUTION, NOT A GOVERNMENT BAILOUT
Today U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole made the following statement:
"Action is clearly needed to return stability to our financial markets, but most importantly, effective, sound action is needed. To fix the markets, we must deliver a market-based solution, not a government bailout.
"Because of unrelated spending additions, this bill now comes at a cost of over $800 billion, and it is still a government takeover of our economy with no protection for taxpayers. It raises the debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion. It bails out foreign investors before American homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. And it does nothing to address the root cause of this mess, the housing crisis.
"I was against the Administration's original plan. I was against the bill that failed in the House. This latest revision is an improvement but still contains the flaws of the earlier proposals, and I will not support it.
"While it may be easier for some in Congress to quickly pass a bill, pat themselves on the back and say they've done their part to stabilize the markets, then pack up and head home - I say we must take the time to get this right. There are a number of possible alternatives being suggested by economists, bankers and experts from every political stripe.
"Now is the time for careful, deliberate actions - not hasty, knee-jerk reactions. I will stand up for the taxpayers and vote no."
Dole would favor the following principles as part of a rescue plan:
Providing secured loans or establishing a loan guarantee program, instead of a model of direct purchases of highly illiquid assets and securities.
Providing a significant and immediate tax credit for purchasing a home.
Requiring the Treasury Secretary to provide a report on the future role of the federal government in the U.S. mortgage market.
Specifying how the government would price problem assets.
Suspending the highly controversial "mark to market" accounting standard.
Increasing transparency in the clearing and settlement of "swaps" contracts.