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September 25, 2008 2:56 am

Bipartisan skepticism of bailout good for taxpayers

Written by Tribune Staff

As political hoopla escalates in the final six weeks before Election Day, it may seem unusual for Democrats and Republicans to agree on a major national issue. Yet, as they considered the largest financial bailout in American history, that's exactly what members of Congress did — agreed.

Members of both parties challenged Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the $700 billion rescue plan. Wary Democrats called it unacceptable. Upset Republicans said it was un-American.

The bailout may be the best solution for a fluctuating financial market, but it's a good sign for taxpayers that lawmakers are asking tough questions and determining whether the proposed federal rescue really is the best solution.

In the height of a heated and historic election year, both parties are anxious. Yet, in an increasingly unstable market, lawmakers need to put partisanship aside and decide what's best for every American taxpayer — red, blue or purple.

Wyoming lawmakers and candidates, both Democrat and Republican, voiced their concern this week over the bailout.

Republican Sen. Mike Enzi criticized the Bush administration for the plan's lack of detail, and he spelled out the cost of a $700 billion bailout. It could cost every American man, woman and child $2,300 in taxes, he said.

Enzi called for proper oversight and accountability for the taxpayer, and rightly so.

Democratic U.S. House candidate Gary Trauner shared the concern for accountability. He added that the plan goes against American capitalism as it privatizes the profits, but socializes the losses.

These next six weeks will determine much in America's future, both politically and economically. Whether Democrat or Republican, our elected leaders need to consider what is best for America — not a party — and to stabilize America's crumbling economy.