Wall Street Bailout Should Get Main Street Support

It's a painful plan, but things will get worse before they get better.

By SHARE

To all you "Main Streeters" who protested the federal bailout plan for its lack of accountability and socialization of losses, I have a message for you: I feel your pain, I share your pain, but things are only going to get worse if Americans don't come together and tell their members of Congress to vote for it.

Every hard-working American has a right to be furious about CEO golden parachutes in which corporate titans were able to strip companies of all their value and walk away with large fortunes for their great (er, I mean, horrendous) work. Clearly, Congress and the White House must rein in, even ban, huge payouts for self-promoting profiteers who buy Lear jets and McMansions while the rest of us see our life savings dwindle to nothing.

The list of profiteers is disgusting. According to the New York Daily News, the plan the U.S. House turned down on Monday would have allowed, "Washington Mutual Chief Executive Alan Fishman, who had been on the job for just three weeks when the bank went bust...walk away with more than $18 million in salary, bonuses, and severance. Robert Willumstad, former chief executive officer of insurance giant AIG, could have gotten a $22 million exit package—after just three months at his post. Willumstad turned down the package." (As well he should! My gosh, one of them has a conscience!!!)

The list continues: "If failed CEO Richard Fuld were to leave Lehman Brothers as it struggles to sell off its assets, he could rake in about $65 million in salary and bonuses, a top Wall Street analyst said. That's on top of the estimated $446 million he was paid between 1993 and 2007."