Wicker, Musgrove Against Wall Street Bailout

By Jon Kalahar - email

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The debate between Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove takes place Friday, and you can bet the Wall Street financial crisis will be a hot topic.

But with Senator Wicker voting against the plan that passed the senate Wednesday, we wondered what the candidates might do differently to help the country out of the economic downturn.

President Bush has warned of a financial meltdown across the country if a bailout plan isn't passed soon by Congress. Earlier in the week, the stock exchange dipped in a record loss. But what about here in Mississippi?

Roger Wicker voted against the bailout Wednesday.

"The people of Mississippi are very much opposed to this," said Wicker.

Wicker said he can't see writing a $850 billion check to bail out Wall Street.

"I think there are free market approaches that get to the root of the problem, rather than this sort of band aid," said Wicker.

Wicker was in the minority in the Senate. The plan passed Wednesday night with a vote of 74 to 25. But his challenger also sees problems with the plan.

"Governor Musgrove stands with the people of Mississippi who are fundamentally opposed to a bailout package aimed at one institution like Wall Street," said Adam Bozzi, Musgrove for Senate Spokesman.

Bozzi says the former governor wants more accountability in the Treasury Department and an investigation into possible fraud and abuses among Wall Street CEOs which could have caused the crisis.

"It's making sure the taxpayers get the best return. Because, yes, they're the people who are going to be on the line one way or the other," said Bozzi.

Wicker sees all this going back to our country's dependence on foreign oil.

"If people hadn't been having to pay so much for gas prices at the pumps and their power prices at home, I think a lot of them would not be in financial straits with their mortgages," said Wicker.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bailout plan Friday. Representatives failed to pass the first plan offered up earlier in the week.