How to Get the House Republicans On Board

Is this elegant, or simply disingenuous?

There are disagreements over aspects of the rescue plan, but there is no disagreement that something substantial must be done. The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty, but we are going to get a package passed. We will rise to the occasion. Republicans and Democrats will come together and pass a substantial rescue plan.

There aren’t disagreements over "aspects" of the rescue plan, there’s a very basic, fundamental disagreement over whether there should be a government-funded rescue plan at all.

But as Justin Fox says, the House Republicans’ plan isn’t obviously better from a fiscal standpoint: it just shunts uknowably large losses onto a state-owned insurance fund, rather than recognizing at the outset that a lot of money is going to have to be spent.

I think the trick now is for Paulson to put a very large price tag on the House Republican’s plan, making it clear that it’s not a clever get-out-of-jail-free card. I honestly believe that a lot of House Republicans think their plan is cheaper than Paulson’s bailout. If they’re shown that in fact it’s more expensive, they might be more amenable to constructive dialogue.

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