Senator Bunning Goes to Washington!

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Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Hearing on Turmoil in the U.S. Credit Markets

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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So much has happened since we last had these witnesses before our Committee that we could probably hold hearings for a week and still have more to talk about. It is hard to even know where to begin.

Most pressing is the $700 billion Treasury proposal that is being negotiated with the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The Paulson proposal is an attempt to do what we so often do in Washington – throw money at a problem.

We cannot make bad mortgages go away. We cannot make the losses that our financial institutions are facing go away. Someone must take those losses. We can either let the people who made bad decisions bear the consequences of their actions, or we can spread that pain to others. And that is exactly what the Secretary proposes to do – take Wall Street’s pain and spread it to the taxpayers. The plan has not even passed, and already Americans are paying for it because of the fall in the dollar as a result of all the new debt we will be taking on.

I know there are problems in the financial markets, and I share a lot of the same concerns that our witnesses do. However, the Paulson plan will not fix those problems. The Paulson plan will not help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages. The Paulson plan will not bring a stop to the slide in home prices. But the Paulson plan will spend 700 billion taxpayer dollars to prop up and clean up the balance sheets of Wall Street. This massive bailout is not the solution, it is financial socialism, and it is un-American.

10:12 pm on September 23, 2008