From a press release late last week.
Barkley on Bailout: 'Key Questions Remain Unanswered'
Pre-Election Rush to 'Solutions' Reminiscent of 2002 Iraq War Debate
For Immediate Release
Contact: Christopher Truscott
SAINT PAUL—Dean Barkley, the Independence Party candidate for U.S. Senate, outlined his concerns about the proposed Wall Street bailout with eight key questions at a press conference Friday morning at the State Capitol:
1. We should not take at face value that a meltdown of our financial market is imminent. What specific events can be cited that foretell these doomsday prophecies? Specifically, where is credit being withheld and where is there inadequate liquidity in the markets?
2. What percentage of the financial market is involved in this problem? The banking sector seems to be just fine. Bank America and Wells Fargo are still making loans. Can't the Federal Reserve pick up the slack to provide the capital necessary to replace this source of funds?
3. Who decided that the sky will fall if a decision is not made by Monday? What was the basis of this prediction? What is happening in the market now that would prove this immediate danger?
4. Where did the $700 billion figure come from?
5. Isn't the doom-and-gloom rhetoric coming from the Bush administration creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? Why do we need a rush to judgment on this issue?
6. What specific reforms in leverage requirements, contingent liability disclosure, and regulatory oversight will be implemented to ensure this situation does not resurface?
7. How will adding $700 billion more to the national debt affect the exchange rate and the price of oil?
8. Once this precedent is set, who will be next in line? The auto industry? Airlines? Auto loans? Hedge funds?
"In the rush to find 'solutions,' too many key questions remain unanswered," Barkley said. "I'm not ideologically opposed to a bailout at some point, if necessary, but the way in which the Administration and Congress is handling this is reminiscent of the pre-election Iraq War debate six years ago. The American people deserve better than that this time around."
Earlier this week, Barkley called for responsible business leaders and non-partisan politicians, like former Medtronic CEO Bill George and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to be included in the search for answers to the problems affecting certain sectors of the economy.
On Thursday, he said Congress should delay action on the bailout proposal.
"Everyone is worried about the economy, including me," Barkley said this week. "But the worst thing Congress can do right now is rush through a massive bail-out bill before adjourning in just a few days. More than 100 leading economists agree: Let's take a while to breathe, talk to voters over the next month and get a better handle on how the economic indicators are shaking out before we hand over hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street titans."
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Barkley, a 58-year-old Minnesota native, served as the director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long Range Planning under Gov. Jesse Ventura. In November 2002, Ventura appointed Barkley to fill the final two months of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's term.
The former governor said recently that Barkley is "measured minute by minute … the most effective U.S. senator in Minnesota history."
More information is available online at www.senatorbarkley.com.