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Be angry, but be responsible

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and other members of Congress must be hearing from the same voters we interviewed during our recent polling on the economy.

These voters are mad as heck - furious, in fact - and they aren't at all happy about the prospect of bailing out Wall Street.

But Blumenauer, who represents Portland, and his colleagues in the House of Representatives must balance their sensitivity to voter outrage against the imperative need to act and provide an infusion of liquidity to the American economy.

Earlier this week, Blumenauer provided one of the votes that defeated a Wall Street bailout bill. He said at the time that it wasn't the best plan for taxpayers.

Blumenauer is expected to have a chance to reconsider Oct. 3, and we hope he changes his mind and votes to provide federal relief to Wall Street. Other members of Oregon's delegation must, as well.

The approximately $700 billion bailout needs to move forward, not because it benefits Wall Street, but because it will help every American and small, medium and large businesses. Without liquidity in the financial marketplace, people and businesses will not be able to borrow money to buy homes, cars and other products. The economy, which already is teetering, will slam to a halt and millions of ordinary people will lose their jobs.

And without the bailout plan, a majority of people will see their retirement funds and homes lose even more value. Yes, we can all be mad about the myriad poor decisions and practices that led us to this point, but congressional representatives will act responsibly if they vote to place a floor under the falling economy.

With that floor in place, Congress should then impose the financial accountability and transparency that has been missing in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street.