Daniel Davies, in one of the great blog posts of this era, laid down a key principle:Good ideas do not need lots of lies told about them in order to gain public acceptance.
He was talking about the selling of the Iraq war, but it applies more generally.
So, this morning Hank Paulson told a whopper:
We gave you a simple, three-page legislative outline and I thought it would have been presumptuous for us on that outline to come up with an oversight mechanism. That’s the role of Congress, that’s something we’re going to work on together. So if any of you felt that I didn’t believe that we needed oversight: I believe we need oversight. We need oversight.
What the proposal actually did, of course, was explicitly rule out any oversight, plus grant immunity from future review:
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
I’m not playing gotcha here. This is telling: if Paulson can’t be honest about what he himself sent to Congress — if he not only made an incredible power grab, but is now engaged in black-is-white claims that he didn’t — there is no reason to trust him on anything related to his bailout plan.
Paulson and Bush's Chicken Little plan for the bailout didn't panic Congress into passing his plan quick enough. Maybe they've learned something since falling all over themselves to let Bush start his criminal war:
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.