Seems Jose Serrano, Congressman from the Bronx, was the only member of Congress from the New York area to vote against the bailout of Wall Street.
This makes him, by definition, a standout, and he will no doubt be accorded a great deal of attention and even respect for the position he has taken.
For while many tens of thousands of middle class Americans are suffering from the Wall Street meltdown, we are much moved by the New Yorkers who are outraged that they continue to lose their jobs, that they have no health insurance, that they have no chance to retire with a pension, and that at the same time the Bush administration and his partners, many of them Democrats, want to spend an unfathomable 700 billion dollars to cover the bad debts of institutional investors.
Let's not deceive ourselves. These bad loans that led to this crisis were incurred by greedy, evil people and they maneuvered well spoken types like Treasury Secretary Paulson into high places to be their public face.
Here's what Serrano had to say to a New York Times blogger about his nay vote, which helped to defeat Bush's bailout, for the time being anyway. Herewith:
“I felt it was not a situation where you should be giving large amount of money to be administered by the same people who caused the problem. I just felt it was not right to begin with.
"Second, I didn’t find enough provisions that satisfied me in terms of the oversight. In so many ways it was just giving them a blank check.
I represent the poorest district in the nation, located within the richest nation and within walking distance of the wealthiest district in the nation, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
"When Wall Street was doing great and these guys were giving each other $50 million bonuses, I couldn’t see anything happen to the Bronx that made me say, ‘Wow, there’s some good from what’s happening on Wall Street.’ So now, they want $700 billion — which could amount to over $1 trillion, and who knows how much more later on – and that debt would be incurred by the people of the South Bronx, directly or indirectly.
"Next year, when we want to increase funding for education, health care or veterans affairs – or just keep them at the same level – we will be told that we can’t because we can’t pay down the debt."
Somebody had to say this. Seems now that no one else in the New York delegation has the ability to say it and be taken seriously.
The previous, self-proclaimed Sheriff of Wall St. has of late been, shall we say, indisposed; maybe the badge should now be pinned on Jose Serrano.