That's not to say that something shouldn't be done. Something does need to be done. But maybe just maybe this time some deliberation and thought will happen instead of just passing whatever the Bush administration sends Congress's way.
There is a growing sentiment from both Republicans and Democrats that executive salaries should be reined in. Also that the American tax payer should be getting some of the assets of the companies that it's bailing out.
Here's the response from the White House by Tony Fratto on this:
"We certainly understand and are sympathetic to the sentiment regarding the pay of CEOs and senior management of these firms, but we have to focus on the problem, and the problem is that we need these firms to participate in the program and sell us this debt. Having punitive measures would provide a disincentive for firms to participate, and that would make the program much less likely to succeed.
"CEO compensation and corporate governance in public companies are very important issues -- especially when receiving taxpayer support -- but we need to be focused on fixing this problem in our markets right now. We can and should return to those issues once we get this legislation passed."
Except how exactly do you return to this issue when you've established the bailout package. The urgency presented by the White House and Fed makes it sound like the money is needed right away. It sounds like the buying of assets needs to start right away or else. But if that's the case then it seems to me there isn't going to be time to return to this issue.
The Post covers the hearings in this story and here's a great piece by Dan Froomkin.
I think this sums up what many people are thinking around the country and the type of comment Congress is getting:
"I don't think a single call to my office about this has been positive," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He said there was "outrage from taxpayers" about bailing out Wall Street financiers whose country club memberships cost many times more than most Americans' salaries.
And you know what, and this has been a long time in coming, members of both parties were actually concerned about what this would do to average people. Of course they might be so concerned because of the fact that the election is exactly six weeks away. But, if Congress has to be scared into doing its job, of asking questions, of deliberating, of making sure the plan has a chance to work, that's fine by me.