Brief of the Week
INHOFE AT WAR: As talks continued over a bailout of the auto industry last week, one Republican senator made it clear he was not through fighting the $700 billion bailout of the financial institutions that Congress passed earlier this year. "People may be sick and tired of my recent frustration," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told HUMAN EVENTS last week, "but I'm committed to returning to every American taxpaying family half of the $5,000 that was wrongfully taken from them in the [Wall Street bailout] by freezing the remaining $350 billion."
From his office in Oklahoma, Inhofe explained to HE Political Editor John Gizzi how the notorious "Bridge to Nowhere" cost $1.50 per taxpaying family in America, the proposed auto bailout would work out to $85 per family, and the $700 billion Wall Street bailout works out to $5,000 per family, "or more than the entire cost of the Iraq War." The senator noted that the bailout package sought by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson was in two increments: "the first $350 billion with no strings attached, to do as [Paulson] requested, and the second $350 billion is available unless Congress specifically passes an act to prohibit this from happening." (See "legislative Lowdown" on Page 16.)
With 11 co-sponsors, Inhofe has introduced S3697, which would force an affirmative vote to justify the second increment of $350 billion. Inhofe repeated his oft-stated denunciations of the bailout as "money used in a manner other than as promised" and "given to favored banks and friends of Secretary Paulson." With Paulson's statement that he would not use the $350 billion but "punt it to Obama," Inhofe said, "there will be $350 billion on the welcome mat for him to spend as he wishes with no oversight" unless his measure passes.