Dr. Boustany explains that, in his view, he hears what we’re saying, but seriously, now it is time to bail out Wall Street.

His words:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the nation’s financial crisis. I appreciate your input.

Earlier this week I voted against the plan to provide up to $700 billion in taxpayer dollars to shore up the nation’s ailing financial markets. The bill failed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 205 – 228. Congressional leaders made significant improvements to the Administration’s original proposal – including increased oversight, mechanisms to recoup tax dollars over time, and prohibitions against sweetheart deals for irresponsible CEO’s. At the end of the day, however, I remain concerned that we are not doing enough to protect Southwest Louisiana taxpayers – while at the same time bailing out Wall Street billionaires. The free market system is built on key principles of risk and reward. Congress should give great pause before nationalizing Wall Street’s bad debt on the backs of hard working Americans.

This financial situation is serious and has far reaching implications for the entire U.S. economy. Over the past month, I consulted with a wide array of financial experts – from across the country and Southwest Louisiana. The financial instruments at the root of the problem are complex. It will take months, if not years, to unravel the mess created by some unscrupulous financiers and implement responsible regulations to ensure this type of market meltdown is not repeated.

In the short term, however, we must restore investor confidence in the markets. Right now, credit is essentially freezing-up nationwide – which means Southwest Louisianians will find it increasingly harder to get a car loan, buy a new house, or finance their children’s education. Havoc in the markets also puts at risk U.S. pension plans and harms responsible investors. Congress must act quickly and responsibly to restore faith in the U.S. financial system and work to ensure Main Street – not Wall Street – is protected.

Congress will reconvene later this week to continue discussions on legislation to stabilize the economy. I continue to push for alternatives to protect American taxpayers – like increasing FDIC insurance limits. Congress should also look at reforming outdated accounting laws that artificially undervalue good market assets which has contributed to the financial crisis. Finally, we need to take a hard look at reforming the U.S. credit ratings system.

Again, I appreciate your input. While there is no easy fix to the current crisis, I can assure you that I will continue to fight to safeguard taxpayers’ funds and protect the savings and livelihoods of all Southwest Louisianians.

Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.
Member of Congress

Me: I’d really like to hear more about limiting the size and power of Fannie and Freddie before I’m ready to sign on, among other things. Deliberation seems wise at this point.

Dr. Boustany: Ok, enough playing around
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