The Bush Administration’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout is under fire for misspending and not boosting the economy as it was expected to do. With the U.S. economy in turmoil it is easy to point. Unemployment is at a high. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that everyone is looking at President-elect Barack Obama to make America whole again.
Instead of just talking about what needs to be done to fix the ills that are affecting the U.S., Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s Wall Street Project are proposing solutions.
At a breakfast meeting kicking off the 12th annual Wall Street Project economic summit PUSH unveiled a ten point plan for economic recovery that addresses a need to restructure the economy in a way that provides bottom up answers.
“Those who are locked out must not remain locked out,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. at the breakfast session. “We want to make certain that any bailout is bottom up.”
The proposal identifies areas where President-elect Barack Obama’s economic recovery should emphasize access to capital, mandate regulatory oversight of bailout recipients, grant relief to distressed families and students, strengthen the nation with community jobs programs, and provide legal protection for employees to unionize.
“I think a lot of the recommendations make sense,” said New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, who spoke at the breakfast. “The next bailout package should be focused on people, cities, and states. We have to make sure that access to capital isn’t just for the big businesses.”
Central to the breakfast’s theme was the concept that although small businesses and individuals were suffering, Wall Street executives who caused the economic crisis were still receiving bonuses, which now are bankrolled by tax payers thanks to the U.S. Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout.
Jackson says that the difference between last year’s summit and this year’s summit is that the government is more aware. “Last year it was the moderate to low income people that were losing their homes,” says Jackson. “Now the $300,000 plus crowd is facing foreclosure and there is more relief for them then for the low end borrowers.”
The Full Plan:
l. Transform the economy, don’t just make a temporary fix
We need a restructured economy, not just a return to the old status quo of deepening inequality, low wages, outsourced jobs and tax cuts for the rich. We need to think about what we want–not just what are against–with an emphasis on equality, sustainability and fairness. We need to democratize the economy and initiate a fundamental restructuring of trade, import/export, and industrial manufacturing policy, with more bottom up participation, not just top-down decision-making.
2. Mandate criteria and goals, and strengthen regulation and oversight for recipients of taxpayer bailout funds
The first $350 billion of bailout funds have been issued to financial institutions with few, if any, restrictions or mandates on how the public funds are to be used, allowing banks to use the public funds for any purpose. There has been inadequate or no regulation, transparency, accountability, or oversight