Paulson, Bush, Bernanke and whoever are threatening Congress with a "market meltdown. They are asking for 700 billion bucks and unlimited discretion in how to spend it and with absolutely no, nada oversight. Nowhere have I seen a justification of the 700 billion dollar number. How do we know that 700 billion is required? Could the job be done with 50 billion? Who knows? Yes, there is some turmoil in the market and yes some of the big banks are insolvent but that is not the fault of the American taxpayer, it is the fault of GOP de-regulation and a lack of oversight and poor judgement and greed on the part of all of Paulson's buddies on Wall Street.
So here we are with Paulson, Bush and company trying to rush Congress into giving them a real big shit pile of money with no oversight. It worries the hell out of me that they are insisting that there is no time to think it through, do any due diligence and if Congress doesn't act immediately then a disaster will occur on Tuesday. Anytime someone tries to rush you into a decision, especially about money and power, without giving you time to think it through and doing some research, alarm bells should go off and the red lights should flash.
Paulson wants to bail out his friends at the highest levels on Wall Street. Remember that this is Paulson's world, the one he has been a part of all of his life. He doesn't want it to change. He wants the same friends that have been in charge to stay in charge and he wants them all to stay wealthy and comfortable. He doesn't give a shit about all the little people because regardless of what happens they are going to lose their jobs anyway.
Paulson and Bush are rushing Congress to act before any meaningful reform is included in the bill and before there are a lot of conditions and before there is time to properly re-regulate the market. There is a reason Paulson is rejecting any talk of Wall Street executives suffering any kind of punitive actions. He is calling it a "poison pill".
At some level or degree the economy is in a crisis. The question that needs to be asked, is it in a crisis of sufficient magnitude to warrant giving an appointed government official 700 billion dollars to do with as he pleases ( even to the point of buying foreign toxic paper) and literal dictatorial powers? I don't think so. Congress does not need to sign a blank check and give legal immunity to Paulson for how he spends it.
Don't forget that the Republicans are really good at this scam. They have used it before with great success. It worked with the Patriot Act and they turned right around and repeated it with AUMF. Here's the drill. Create a crisis, real or a lie, then rush Congress into granting dictatorial powers and unlimited spending authority to deal with it. Bush and Paulson are betting they can pull it off one more time.