Monday, September 29, 2008

Maine's congressional representatives split

Second district Congressman, Mike Michaud, concerned about inadequate safeguards protecting taxpayers in the $700 billion scheme to bailout Wall Street, joined other fellow Democrats and Republicans in defeating the unpopular bailout bill.

Tom Allen, representing Maine's more liberal 1st District, chose to toe the party line and support the bill that retained much of the original provisions proposed by Bush treasury chief, Henry Paulson.

While some media outlets spun the vote as primarily a partisan issue of Republicans, 94 Democrats were counted among the 228 "nay" votes. That's 94 Democrats that thought siding with the sentiment of voters, rather than serving the interests of party, or Pelosi.

According to a statement released by Congressman Michaud's office,

There were other proposals that would have ensured protections for taxpayers. There were also credible plans proposed that were completely different than the bailout proposal that some financial experts believed could work better – some requiring little, if any, taxpayer exposure. And some economists suggested that directly aiding homeowners would be the best way forward, arguing that such an approach would directly help Main Street while having the additional benefit of adding value to troubled Wall Street assets. Unfortunately, we were not provided an opportunity to seriously consider these other options. Instead we kept the original White House framework and leaders attempted to add sweeteners to the bill in order to gain votes.

In the end, after a very careful review and meetings with top economists and financial experts, I concluded that the package as presented to the House for a vote did not adequately protect the taxpayer.

When it came down to the vote, Michaud remained true to his working class roots, and his constituency.

One top economist from Harvard makes the case that bankruptcy would be better than a bailout.

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