Friday, September 26, 2008

Slattery on the Wall Street Mess, proposes principled solutions

Thursday, September 25, 2008 Abbie Hodgson, 785.215.0530

Slattery Outraged by Wall Street Mess
Proposes principled solution

Topeka, KS- Jim Slattery, candidate for the U.S. Senate, held a press conference today to discuss his position on the financial crisis and the proposed bailout.

"First let me say, I am outraged that hard-working Kansas taxpayers are being asked to clean up the mess made by greedy Wall Street money changers, incompetent regulators, and members of Congress from both political parties," Slattery said.

Slattery said the crisis was a result of the reckless mismanagement of our nation's financial affairs by the Bush Administration and that Senator Roberts supported the policies.

"In 2001, our nation had a budget surplus of $127 billion and we were talking about paying off the national debt," Slattery said. "This year, the annual budget deficit is projected to be a near-record $389 billion and our country owes almost $10 trillion in debt. And this was before the Bush Administration asked taxpayers to bailout Wall Street at a cost of almost $1 trillion."

Slattery also pointed to the lack of oversight and accountability of the financial markets as reason for the crisis.

"As the old adage goes, when you're asleep at the wheel, you drive your car into the ditch. Well, President Bush and Pat Roberts were asleep at the wheel!"

Senator Roberts supported two pieces of legislation that paved the way for the crisis. He voted in favor of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 that stripped regulations of the financial services industry, and in 2000 he supported the Commodities Modernization Act that explicitly barred the SEC from regulating credit default swaps, which are at the center of the current financial crisis.

In addition to presenting 10 principles (attached) that he said were necessary to help resolve the financial crisis, Slattery said he would support a bailout that included the following protections for taxpayers:

No Blank Check – "The Bush Administration helped create this crisis, therefore it would be not just irresponsible, but foolish to give them a blank check."

Require Oversight and Accountability of Treasury – "The cornerstone of democratic process is three equal branches of government. We must not give one branch unlimited and unchecked power."

No Golden Parachutes – "The greedy CEO's who bet on Wall Street and lost, should not benefit from this bailout. I will oppose any bailout that unfairly compensates CEOs.

Support Kansas Families at Risk of Foreclosure – "We must do everything possible to help ordinary Kansans at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure."

Ensure this Never Happens Again – "This crisis is a result of too little regulation, lax oversight, and little to no accountability. We must put in place stiffer regulatory framework to avoid these problems in the future."

Before concluding the press conference, Slattery questioned Sen. Roberts apparent absence in this time of crisis.

"As our nation faces the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, I am left wondering where Sen. Roberts is during all this," Slattery said.

Slattery issued a challenge to Senator Roberts to a debate on how the crisis should be resolved.

"Roberts is an out of touch, ineffective leader for Kansas," Slattery said. "This financial crisis requires leadership that we have not seen from Sen. Roberts during his 40 years in Washington. It is time to elect politicians who put the average, middle-class Kansan first."

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