Monday, September 22, 2008

The Financial Bailout's Catch-22: Paulson Wants Unchecked Authority

We don't have the economic background to debate the finer points of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout plan for the struggling financial sector.

But we do have the idealism and common sense to raise serious questions about one aspect of the bailout plan. In particular, we're more than a little alarmed by this language in Section 8:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Yikes! The plain language of this language puts the Secretary of the Treasury above the law, does it not? He gets a blank check to do whatever he likes—with no oversight whatsoever. Even in the best of times, this seems like an exceedingly bad idea, one that gives a single agency far too much power and then limits everyone else's power to review the agency's decision.

We don't think we are being paranoid to point out that this sounds just a wee bit anti-democratic. Given the Bush Administration's checkered record in this area, we have every reason to be worried.

It's time for Democrats and Republicans alike to fight this administration power grab.


Dan Paden said...

You're right: that bites.

Tulsan said...

I'm glad to agree with Dan on this one. These are "conservatives"?