ACORN Bailout Struck From $700 Billion Paulson Bank Package: Report

The especially odious provision in the Wall Street “rescue” package that would have provided millions of dollars in government money for kooky left-wing activists has been deleted.

The Politico reports that the controversial provision in Henry Paulson’s Wall Street bailout package that would have funneled mountains of dough to radical left-wing community organizing groups like ACORN has been removed:

After several days of rage from conservative activists regarding a provision in the bailout bill that would send some of the profits from the sale of distressed assets the goverment buys into an affordable housing trust fund, congressional negotiators have removed section 105(d) of the bailout proposal, according to aides on both side. [sic]

ACORN, a Democratic ally, was not specifically directed any funds in the previous proposal, but money that went to state and local governments could then have been divvied out to the organization, which the GOP said was a deal breaker. Fevered opposition to the provision had become a viral sensation.

It appears that, with the removal of the affordable housing trust fund, all of the proceeds from the sale of assets will now go to retire the debt.

So while conservatism may be limping and moaning in pain right now, it’s certainly not dead, as the liberal Campaign for America’s Future insists

Politico posted a “discussion draft” of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s Wall Street bailout package (PDF of draft here, news story here) and is reporting that the proposal is likely to be voted on by the House tomorrow.

Meanwhile, conservative radio host Mark Levin, whose day job is running the Landmark Legal Foundation, notes correctly that no one is even questioning whether the Paulson bailout is constitutional. (Here is a link to Levin’s show Friday on which he discussed the issue.)

And finally, for those of us who don’t have PhDs in economics, it’s difficult to know who is right about what might happen if there is no bailout, but now Bruce Bartlett, a Reagan White House economist who is no fan of Big Government, says emphatically that the bailout is necessary:

We’re closer to the precipice than Congress or most of the public understands. Our entire economic system really is at stake – and those treating the bailout plan as just another government spending program are seriously wrong.

Failure of this plan risks another Great Depression. Really.

You can see the fear in Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s eyes and in those of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. But they dare not say how critical the situation is – lest it shake confidence and make matters worse.

This is not to say that the administration’s plan is the best we could do. But now is not the time to come up with something better. There is no time. The program can be revised later, when the emergency is past. For now, everyone should hold their noses and vote “yes” on the bailout.

Bartlett, who has a lot of street cred in the conservative and libertarian communities, faults the Bush administration for not properly explaining to the public the need for this unpredented intervention in the marketplace.

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