Mid-Southerners offer mixed reactions on bailout plan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - Many Mid-Southerners are talking about the bailout the way someone might talk about cough syrup: it leaves a bad taste in their mouths, but they feel it's necessary for the economy to get better. They just hope lawmakers know what they're doing.

Congress has reached an historic compromise in President Bush's $700 billion bailout plan, and the House of Representatives will vote Monday.
But the plan is getting some mixed reactions from citizens and legislators in the Mid-South.

As citizens like Steven Ballou of Bartlett spent Sunday afternoon grilling out, lawmakers on Capitol Hill worked frantically on a bailout plan.
Ballou hopes the bailout won't leave his family paying for other people's mistakes.

"As far as the bailout, I know it's going to be necessary for the economy, but they need to have tighter restraints on how things are being handled there."
While fishing with her family Sunday, Flementene Jones of East Memphis said she's concerned about how much the bailout may eventually cost her sons.
"This plan that they've got on the table, I hope it works."

During a phone interview Sunday, Congressman Steve Cohen was on his way to yet another meeting about the bailout deal. He said the government must act to prevent the banking system from freezing.

"If it's frozen - and it's close to frozen, not frozen now - it's going to make it difficult for people to purchase cars, purchase furniture...purchase anything. "

Congressman Travis Childers of North Mississippi said in a statement Sunday that he's leaning toward voting against the bailout deal because of its "incredible cost to American taxpayers."

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said that even after a weekend of revisions to the deal, she's still leaning toward voting against it Monday. She wants cuts on government spending.

"When you have a situation like we're facing now with markets, I think it's imperative that every agency in Congress do their part and reduce what they were planning to spend...it's a good place to start."
Ballou says he knows plenty about what it's like to cut spending.

"I never thought I'd be paying $80 to $90 to fill my tank up," he said. "It's already tight, but we have to tighten up some place else."

Click here to read the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.