Dear Mrs. Sharib:
Thank you for expressing your concerns with the problems in the financial sector and proposals to address them.
A lot of Ohioans, including me, are angry at the thought of bailing out people who made a lot of money making bad business decisions that created problems in neighborhoods across Ohio.
I agree that we need to avoid rewarding excessive risk taking. These institutions made unwise decisions, and taxpayers should not be expected to simply cover their losses.
Treasury Secretary Paulson this weekend sent a proposal to Congress that would give him almost unfettered authority to spend $700 billion purchasing troubled assets from financial institutions. On Tuesday, my colleagues on the Banking Committee and I held a hearing at which Secretary Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, and others testified.
They made a strong case for the need to act quickly to prevent further damage to our economy. The turmoil in the credit markets has the potential to do great damage to a lot of innocent bystanders. I am afraid that if we do not act, the economic instability could affect thousands of American jobs and the savings of countless middle class families.
But Secretary Paulson’s proposal is not the right answer. No Secretary should be given a $700 billion blank check. Taxpayers must be given an opportunity to recover their money, and assurances their tax dollars will not fund lavish pay and golden parachutes. We need strong rules to guard against abuse, and to ensure all types of institutions and regions are helped.
In the days ahead, we need to focus on containing the damage to middle class families and local businesses as much as possible. In the months ahead, we need to take a hard look at how financial markets are regulated so we never find ourselves in this situation again.
Thank you again for contacting me. I will certainly keep your views in mind as the Senate debates ways to help restore strength to our economy.
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