JEFFERSON CITY — President Bush's Wall Street bailout plan has come under fire from Gov. Matt Blunt.
In a news conference held at the governor's office, Blunt said the president's plan is not the right option for reforming the country's economy.
"I don't think it's what a free market economy does to respond to challenges," he said. "I don't believe it's necessary to send $700 billion to Wall Street, which is essentially what has been proposed."
On Wednesday, the president addressed the country on national television and defended a buyout plan of up to $700 billion to help bolster the nation's economy and try to solve what he described as a "serious financial crisis."
Blunt said that he's not sure the president's plan suggests the best alternative for the average citizen and that taxpayers will end up paying for Wall Street's mistakes.
"I don't think Missouri taxpayers should bail out companies that literally made billions of dollars over the past decade," Blunt said.
In his speech, Bush said that the entire American economy was in danger, and that failing to pass this plan could lead to a recession.
"The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal," Bush said
Missouri Sen. Kit Bond issued a statement following the president's speech, praising Bush's support of immediate action.
"Now is not the time for bipartisan finger pointing or partisan games, but instead, for quick and responsible action that will not only stabilize our economy but will uphold Main Street values," he said in the news release.
Maria Speiser, spokesperson for Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, said that many in Washington, including McCaskill, were skeptical of the buyout at the beginning, because of potential problems in transparency.
Congressional leaders want to make sure the funds go toward altering America's economic future, not lining the pockets of Wall Street executives who managed the failing companies.
While debate continues on whether the buyout is the best option, one Missouri professor said acting now is key to avoiding a bigger financial crisis.
"If something didn't happen and that continued, I think we would see some sort of financial disaster that would reach everyone from the top down," said Karen Schnatterly, professor at MU's Robert J. Trulaske Sr. College of Business.
Schnatterly said it's hard to judge whether the $700 billion figure is enough money or too much to bail out the failing assets, which are tied to how the economy continues to shift.