- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The column by Rob Collins and Douglas Holtz-Eakin in defense of the October 2008 bank bailout (“Rewriting the history of the bank bailout,” Commentary, Web, March 25) gives Bill Clinton a run for his money in parsing the English language.

I fail to see an iota of difference between “buying” $700 billion of “toxic” assets from banks and bailing out the banks. Giving the banks $700 billion is the same, whether the taxpayers give it to them outright or get something worthless in return. It’s a direct infusion of taxpayer money into the banks. That’s a bailout, cooked up by Wall Street minds to snooker the American public.

Mr. Collins and Mr. Holtz-Eakin say Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor wanted the Wall Streeters to “pay for their mistakes.” If so, why did he vote twice for the bailout? He could have voted to let the Wall Streeters fail. The banks created these arcane financial instruments in order to make a quick buck - and they lost. They, not the taxpayers, should pay.

Let’s remember something else: A majority of Republicans twice opposed this rip-off, even after all the arm-twisting by former President George W. Bush. It was the Democrats, including President Obama, who overwhelmingly supported it both times. The Republican Party is the party of the middle class. The Democratic Party is the party of Wall Street. If Sen. John McCain had shown some leadership and guts and had stood up to Wall Street, he would be president now.


Springfield, Va.

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