Paulson can assert that he can be independent in fact all day long, but his lack of independence in appearance, and attitude, is obvious.
Many of the provisions in what Paulson originally proposed betray his lack of true independence.
His original “solution” involved him becoming the country’s virtual chairman of the board. There may still be probably is too much power concentration even in the current bailout bill.
Not to mention the possibility that Paulson, perhaps with the help of Ben Bernanke, may have blackmailed Congress into acting — which, if true, is grounds for doing more than merely forcing his resignation.
Gingrich even expressed concern with Paulson’s connections to Wall Street. The treasury secretary served as the chairman of a major global investment banking and securities firm before joining the Bush administration.
“You have the former Chairman of Goldman Sachs asking for 700 billion dollars, and in his initial request, asking for it in such an un-American way that I think he should have resigned,” said Gingrich. “I think Paulson has terminally misunderstood the nature of the American system. Not just no review, no judicial review, no congressional accountability. Give me 700 billion dollars, 700 BILLION dollars! ‘I’ll be glad to spend it for you.’ That’s a centralization of power that is totally un-American.”
“Even expressed?” Zheesh, ABC, those connections form the heart of the problem.
Paulson will never be able to make a convincing case that valuation decisions involving investments originally made by people he used to either work with, manage, or hang around were made fairly and impartially. Despite the presumption that “of course” he’s leaving on January 20 of last year, I believe that he intends to convince the next president that he’s “indispensable” and needs to stay.
The bailout in any form shouldn’t pass unless Paulson leaves.
UPDATE: Here’s the link to Michelle Malkin’s post containing the bailout bill as of sometime yesterday afternoon.