David Cay Johnston, in a short post at TNR, offers perhaps the smartest response I've read: practical, prudent, brave, sceptical -- and most of all, genuinely creative in that it asks some foundational questions that seem to have occurred to very few observers:
1. Are there cheaper alternatives?
It's the "cheaper alternatives" and "temporary measures" that really seem to let in some conceptual daylight. It's not that any single one hasn't been proposed elsewhere. It's the frame -- what package of measures might produce an effective impact with less risk and less long-term power formally allocated to the Federal government?
2. Are there temporary measures that might keep the credit markets liquid while alternatives are examined?
3. What risks does borrowing $700 billion pose to our future, especially if the bailout is not enough to lubricate the credit markets?
4. What is the backup plan?