So where did the $700 billion number come from?
Sec. Paulson told congress yesterday that the plan was to spend roughly 50 billion a month,
Sen. Schumer asked: why not $150 billion then, and let the next administration do a re-evaluation in January? No real answer.
That’s not good enough. And I would go further — give him less than that and say that he can revisit the issue with the President-Elect and the lame duck congress after the election. There’s a strong case for taking immediate action to forestall an immediate problem, but there’s no need for congress to authorize now things that won’t happen until March or February. The answer to the Schumer/Ambinder question seems to me to be, basically, that Paulson wants to tie the next administration’s hands. But that’s silly. After the election the country will have new, non-discredited leadership and that new team should play a key role in shaping the response.