BTS 9/29/08: Economics, Politics, and Drama

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Wall Street plunged 777 points today as the bailout package was rejected by Congress in a stunning defeat for Bush and the Congressional leaders of both parties. We’ll spend the hour talking about the economics, politics and drama of the day. Thomas Ferguson and Robert Johnson called the package the Bridge Loan to Nowhere, and they say the plan is not only the most expensive way to solve the problem, it is also the most likely to fail. With all the gloom, Ferguson and Johnson point to one silver lining: if a single payer economic policy is the prescribed solution, what’s to stop demanding it for health care too? They join us today to explain.

We then turn to the question of leadership: Do the candidates for President fill the bill? Harold Meyerson joins us from Washington and has a lot to say about the state of the campaign, the debates the kind of leadership we need and what is on offer.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Thomas Ferguson is professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is the author or coauthor of many books and articles, including "Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems" (University of Chicago Press). In 2007-8 He was an executive producer of Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar Winning Documentary produced and Directed by Alex Gibney.

2. Robert Johnson was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management, where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. He served as chief economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire and before that as senior economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici.

3. Harold Meyerson is Editor-At-Large for the American Prospect. He also contributes regularly to the Washington Post. His articles on politics, labor, the economy, foreign policy and American culture have also appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The Nation, The New Statesman; the op-ed, commentary and book review sections of The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and in numerous other publications. He is a member of the editorial board of Dissent, to which he is a frequent contributor of political analyses.