West Michigan Representative Vern Ehlers who last week voted for the Wall Street bail out bill despite receiving a thousand messages opposing the bill, authored a piece in yesterday’s Grand Rapids Press explaining his decision.
He began by sharing two stories that he heard from constituents who are facing economic difficulties and moves into an argument that the bill was necessary to help address the credit crisis. Of course, he makes no guarantees that it will work–and indeed it doesn’t seem to be keeping things from getting worse:
“There is no guarantee that this act by Congress will immediately reverse the crisis in our financial system, but it will prevent it from getting worse. The improved liquidity in the credit system will help the economy bounce back. This is only one step in a process to protect families in West Michigan from further financial harm, fix our economy, and put in place the proper regulations to prevent a similar crisis in the future. I lived through the Great Depression, and it was horrible. I do not want anyone in West Michigan, or anywhere else in America, to suffer in that way again. I will continue to work diligently in Congress to make sure this situation never happens again.”
If this is only one step “in a process to protect families in West Michigan from further financial harm, fix our economy, and put in place the proper regulations to prevent a similar crisis in the future,” how does Ehlers plan to move forward? Who knows – he offers no proposals for additional policies. Even when he references the problems in the housing market–none of which are addressed by this bill–he offers no policy ideas.
Ehlers also speaks about how the bill was imperfect, but that it was better than doing “nothing.” However, few opponents of the bail out were suggesting that the United States should not act, rather they were saying more time should have been taken to develop a better plan of action.