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Bailout benefits only the big boys

September 25, 2008

Re "Heavily invested in the outcome," Sept. 23

In most reputable professions, there is the notion of conflict of interest. If I'm a judge who knows or is involved with you, I cannot decide your case.

So why is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson -- who helped craft the Wall Street leveraging practices that created the clearly avoidable financial nightmare that this country is in as head of Goldman Sachs -- now going to be the arbiter of how $700 billion is spent to bail out his own malfeasance?

The Democrats and Robert Rubin -- advisor to Barack Obama and secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton -- also have blood on their hands. But just as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment off the table with regard to President Bush, it seems that now criminal prosecution is off the table for Wall Street.

This de facto corporate-controlled two-party system reminds me of a scene in the film "Bulworth," when Warren Beatty's character asks his black audience, "What are you going to do if you don't like it -- vote Republican?"

If this were a real representative democracy, the government might freeze foreclosures for a year and -- to quote the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. -- make the chickens of this economic disaster come home to roost on Wall Street, where they belong.

Leonard Isenberg

Los Angeles

Always the corporations, never the people. Why is that?

Could it be because all the politicians get huge contributions from big corporations? This is what we get for allowing special-interest groups to support our politicians' insatiable greed for power. Now look at the mess we are in.

Julie Sebenoler

Los Angeles

Re "A better bailout," editorial, Sept. 23

So each of us is going to be in hock for $2,300. I've finally become a believer in the GOP's deified trickle-down theory. The $700-billion debt is going to trickle down to us.

Sid Fleischman

Santa Monica

Re "FBI said to be probing failed firms," Sept. 24

Would we have given Exxon executives and the captain of the Exxon Valdez full, unfettered authority to fix future shipping laws?

The FBI is now investigating the very companies to which the Republican junta has given money or wants to give money for fraud. The tone and timing of this "urgent" bailout are reminiscent of the Iraq war resolution.

Bush has run this country aground on so many levels, and he is devising a plan that allows him and his buddies to jump ship, with all the goods, before the passengers.

I hope and pray that this great country can survive not only until November but until January, when we all have to roll up our sleeves and clean up after Hurricane George.

Tim Pfeifer

Long Beach

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