I rest my case.
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”
They made it up to be sufficiently ginormous to frighten everyone into rapid action.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill seem determined to work together to pass a bill that will get the credit markets churning again. But will they do it this week, as some had hoped just a few days ago? Don’t count on it.
“Do I expect to pass something this week?” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., mused to reporters Tuesday. “I expect to pass something as soon as we can. I think it’s important that we get it done right, not get it done fast.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says his office has gotten “close to zero” calls in support of the $700 billion plan proposed by the administration. He doubts it’ll happen immediately either. “I don’t think it has to be a week” he says. “If we do it right, then we need to take as long as it needs.”
The more Congress examines the Bush administration’s bailout plan, the hazier its outcome gets. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle complained of being rushed to pass legislation or else risk financial meltdown.