No-strings-attached bailout? No way

To the editor:

It was with a dark sense of irony that I have watched Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson over the past couple of weeks. First he was drawing a "line in the sand" against future bailouts for financial institutions. Now he's screaming from the rooftops for $700 billion for immediate bailouts, with no strings or "administrative review" attached.

Isn't this the same Henry Paulson who bailed out of his position as CEO of Goldman Sachs just before the ship began to sink? How much was his golden parachute worth, I wonder? And will his current position in the federal government render him immune from the prosecution he deserves?

Before Congress consents to anything this criminal proposes, they need to remember what got us into this mess: inadequate regulation of the financial industry. Mr. Paulson is now proposing that we somehow raise hundreds of billions of dollars and hand them over to the individuals whose investment practices now endanger our economy.

If Congress finds a bailout necessary, it should come with some very weighty provisions, such as complete transparency, repayment of federal bailout funds with company ownership and oversight and a thorough investigation and prosecution of the appropriate individuals.

We should not allow Mr. Paulson's proposals, however necessary or timely, to cover his backside.

Ty Weller



To the editor:

The proposal from the Bush administration regarding a bailout of failing financial institutions is philosophically indefensible as well as economically unfeasible.

Where will this money come from? If the financial instruments in question are of no value to the financial institutions unloading them on the public, what will become of them upon assumption of ownership by the taxpayers? How did this become a "do it now or it's the end of the world" situation over the course of a few days? Where are the calls for congressional hearings on the present economic crisis?

Oh, wait a minute, there is a national election in a few weeks. We the people must wait for our overlords to complete the dog and pony show known as a presidential election. I'm sure then they will lead us to prosperity, peace and freedom.

Welcome to "Mission Accomplished II."

Stuart Estrine


Third World debt

To the editor:

We the people just borrowed from the treasury a half-trillion dollars to help the banking sector overcome their -- our -- financial problems. Why didn't we borrow this sum from the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank?

Maybe this can be answered because our credit rating, as measured by the three major credit rating agencies, is too low -- the national debt is well above $9 trillion. Or maybe it's the record budget deficit of $500 billion that would make this loan highly risky.

Of course we could always quote that infamous duck hunter in our application by saying that "deficits don't matter." Or maybe the real truth is that this would put us on par with the rest of the Third World.

Whichever way you look at it, we the people got screwed again. And that is something that will never change.

David Hagenson


Job creation

To the editor:

In response to your Sept. 19 article, "3rd Congressional race: Titus puts focus on new jobs":

That's a nice headline for Dina Titus. The problem is that this is just more of the same Democratic policy of "tax someone to benefit someone else -- I get to make the choice, of course."

I, like everyone else (almost), really would like to see an increase in jobs and an improvement in the local economy. More of the same just won't do. The idea of selected tax breaks for some businesses is a problem, not a solution. What is needed is a complete rewriting of tax laws to reflect reality rather than some simplistic idea that legislators know what's best for the community.

No successful business pays taxes. Taxes are a cost of doing business that must be passed on to customers, or the business fails.

This creates the question of how we obtain the money for tax breaks to attract business. The answer: We stop giving tax breaks to attract businesses. Instead, we stop chasing them away with taxes.

My solution is a flat tax with deductions limited to legitimate business costs and an exemption equal to the 50 percent of total company assets. We replace both business taxes and business tax breaks with a tax law that would encourage businesses to hire locally and produce locally. I would retain one possibility for business promotion by local government: grants that carried a "first mortgage" on the profits of the company. The government would be repaid before the shareholders receive dividends.

Restructuring the tax laws would simply make us more competitive.

Charles J. Lingo