A Conservative Reality Check: Main Street is Tied to Wall Street

If you listen closely, you can hear a lot of the “hell no” rhetoric starting to shift to “maybe we should vote for a plan.”

Even Tom Coburn has now said he would vote for the plan.

Why? Because while the conservatives on the Hill have been listening to people like me and you who are opposed to the plan, they are starting to hear from the front lines — the people who are already seeing that there is problem.

As I said the other day, I don’t support the plan, but I don’t begrudge those who do because it is very clear that something serious is happening out there that a lot of us in Macon, GA and Scranton, PA and Alameda, CA don’t quite see yet.

The White House and others are starting to circulate quotes tying Main Street to Wall Street. Whether you are like me and not so inclined to support this plan, or not, these are people who deserve to be heard.

Here’s a sampling:

“The defeat of the bipartisan financial rescue package earlier today was uncalled for and wrong for America. This is no time for politics as usual in Washington. The severity of this situation is a reality that none of us likes, but we must deal with it. To avoid a massive financial crisis, our elected officials must lead and protect our national interests. This legislation, while not perfect, will enable the Treasury to stabilize the global financial markets and restore confidence in the U.S. financial system. We cannot afford to waste any more time on political posturing. The NAM strongly urges Members of Congress of both parties to reconsider their “no” votes on this important legislation. Our economy is at stake. Further delay will foster uncertainty and do greater damage to financial markets.” — Former Governor and current President of the National Association of Manufacturers John Engler

“Make no mistake – if Congress does not act quickly, decisively, and responsibly to prevent a total freeze up of our financial system, the entire economy could collapse with devastating consequences. Without a doubt, it would be the greatest financial calamity since the Great Depression, impacting consumers and small and large businesses alike.” — R. Bruce Josten, Government Affairs VP at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“In particular, the administration should be given the authority to require appropriate reforms by any companies or entities whose bad debt it acquires so that this situation does not reoccur, including authority to deal appropriately with excessive executive compensation at a time when taxpayers are footing the bill.” — Former Secretary of the Treasury and all around bad ass James A. Baker.

“[T]here are times when events force timetables on you and force action.” “[R]ight now business is having trouble throughout the economy. But a collapse of the kind of institutions that were threatened last week, and their inability to fund, would have caused industry and retail and everything else to grind to something close to a halt. It was, and still is, a very, very dangerous situation.” — Warren Buffett

“While the Paulson plan has risks in both design and execution, we support it as a way to defend the larger financial system if it can be passed in clean enough form to create a market. … What Americans deserve to hear is that, despite 13 months of credit turmoil, our resilient economy is still standing; and that this $700 billion will be the best money Congress appropriates this year if it prevents a recession and crash.” (Editorial, “The Paulson Sale,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/08)

[Editors Note: It’s a sad, sad day when we conservatives treat the WSJ Op-Ed Board as the enemy]

“‘The banking system can’t shut down all credit or you’ll shut down the economy,’ Ward said.” “‘If you’re not careful, you fulfill your own prophecy. You have to have faith in small businesses, you can’t pull into a shroud and stop all credit. The reality is this may be affecting the growth of our economy.'” — Ron Ward, owner of RSW Management, Inc. in Balsam Lake, WS.

“My construction company [Cyprus Construction] has grown from a one-man show to 14 employees, grossing $1 million annually. Last year, the phone stopped ringing – nothing was coming in. I tried bank loans but got nothing.” “Then I tried the ‘receivables loan’ people, who promised a great package that would just skim off my credit card sales for repayment. After 2 months of endless document requests, phone calls and e-mails, I was turned down by all of them.” (Michael Downey, “Small Biz Credit Crunch: In Their Own Words,” Money.CNN.com, 9/23/08)