Save Main Street not Wall Street!

The following is a call for action issued Sept. 22 by the Communist Party USA.

The Bush administration has proposed a massive bailout plan of at least $700 billion (maybe as much as $1.7 trillion) to stabilize the financial system amid the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a Bush appointee, and the president are pushing for Congress to rapidly pass the plan this week with little debate and no amendments. The right wing and the banks want a plan that gives a blank check to Wall Street with no oversight.

We join with others who call on Congress to bail out Main Street before Wall Street. The process should include full debate and transparency.

While the full extent of the current crisis and its impact on working people cannot now be fully known, we do know that the crisis is deep and not easily resolved. Furthermore, we must insist that the criteria for any plan to solve the crisis must be what’s good for the working people of this county and the world, not what’s good for the mega-rich and massive monopolies that got us into this mess.

The situation is so dire that some type of dramatic action is needed to avoid disaster for U.S. workers. Organized labor, community groups and others are increasingly angry at the bailout currently on the table. Any plan before Congress must:

1) Protect homeowners faced with foreclosure by restructuring mortgage rates to be in line with family income.

2) Create economic stimulus for working people and small businesses.

3) Provide $100 billion in emergency relief to state and local governments wracked with budget cuts and diminished tax revenue.

4) Bar CEO severance packages and cap the pay of executives receiving a bailout.

5) Regulate banking and finance with transparent public oversight.

6) Maintain public control over monopolies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that have a decisive role in the economy.

7) Control speculation and increase revenues by taxing large financial transactions.

8) Ban predatory lending and cap interest rates on all types of debts.

9) End the war in Iraq, which is draining $700 million a day from public coffers.

Developments are moving quickly and their full impact has yet to be felt, but let’s make sure that American workers — those who made this country rich — do not further suffer at the expense of the financial elites, those who have created this crisis.

Call Congress today! Tell them no blank check for Wall Street!