Backers of a plan to allow the government to borrow up to $700 billion to buy troubled assets from banks and financial institutions insist that it's been miscast as a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street, even as opponents rolled out a competing proposal to unfreeze credit markets. Supporters of the bipartisan plan voted down by the House Monday, including real estate industry trade groups, say the cost to taxpayers is likely to be significantly less than $700 billion and that the government may even make money on the deal. The consequences of not acting will have very real consequences on Main Street, as a worsening of the credit crunch could cut off access to credit for small businesses and families, raising unemployment and pushing already depressed housing markets into a deeper funk. But opponents remain adamant that any action the government takes to unfreeze credit markets not put taxpayers at risk. Several lawmakers said they would introduce an alternative plan t...
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