The Urgency of Paulson's Plan

Congress may debate what they see as key points in Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s proposed $700 billion bailout plan, but protecting the American taxpayer should be top priority, Missouri Senator Kit Bond told Cramer Monday.

“I represent the people on Main Street,” Bond said, “and they want to make sure that the burden doesn’t fall on them.”

In fact, there were reports that negotiations over a deal could extend into next week as lawmakers tried to decide what taxpayers should get for being Wall Street’s last line of defense.

But Bond was hoping for a solution sooner.

“The financial system is facing a stone age,” he said of the prospects for failed negotiations, something Cramer also believes. “So we have to act quickly.”

Luckily, Bond said, Paulson “scared the pants off of people, both Democrat and Republican” when he described to them the severity of what could happen to the financial system if Washington doesn’t agree on a deal soon.

Whatever the deal, Bond said it must include provisions for accountability, transparency and oversight.

“The system was filled with greed and regulatory loopholes,” he said, which enabled a lot of the problem to get much worse.

And taxpayers should get a share of the institutions to which their money will be going.

Bond agreed with Cramer that the taxpayer might actually make out given a general positive trend in housing and, down the line a bit, the U.S. economy as a whole. “Don’t count on a profit,” he said, but the mark-to-market accounting that values these assets at zero is wrong.

“This plan has got to pass, and got to pass soon,” Cramer said. If not, the entire financial system could freeze. So, “You’ve got to throw everything at this problem.”

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