As noted in quick hits by sb, Dodd's proposed bailout plan is now online (44 page PDF). Although I haven't been able to read the entire legislation in the last fifteen minutes, the two pieces of good news that I can discern is that it seems to be a buyout instead of a bailout, and that there is almost certainly no friggin' way that Bush, McCain and most Republicans will go along with it. Here is why:
Sen. Dodd's plan would not allow the Treasury Department to purchase any assets "unless the Secretary receives contingent shares in the financial institution from which such assets are to be purchased equal in value to the purchase price of the assets to be purchased."
Paulson, McCain and Bush want a bailout--that is, as Paul Krugman notes, the federal government hands over $700 billion to a bunch of rich corporate executives:
But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a "clean" plan. "Clean," in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached - no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out.
This is the line that can't be crossed. Dodd wants to purchase the financial institutions, while Paulson, Bush and McCain want to give them a $700 billion present for doing such a good job with money. It should also suffice as the "Hell, No" line that Matt seeks, since I can't imagine that Republicans would go along with it. Their entire economic philosophy is to funnel huge amounts of government money to corporate executives, because they believe those are the only people who can help the economy.
Like Atrios, I agree that the Dodd plan sounds better. Of course, like Atrios, I agree that "no proposal matters as long as the plan is to surrender when Mr. 24% stamps his feet." That is the real key here: this is a game of political chicken set in the middle of a huge election. We have to stick to our guns in order to make sure that nothing will actually get passed under Bush (because anything that Bush will sign will suck), and that the election turns on the competing plans--philosophies, really-- to fix the housing and financial sectors.
Hell no to the Paulson plan. Refuse to cross any lines on the Dodd plan. If Republicans refuse to agree to it, then leave the final decision up to the voters.