A physicist supports the bailout bill

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I just turned on CSPAN to see Illinois Democrat Bill Foster (who won a special election in March to replace retiring former House Speaker Denny Hastert) defending the bailout legislation. I didn’t catch much of what he said, just that he liked the way the AIG deal was structured (with taxpayers getting up to 80% of any upside), and that he thought the bill would enable Treasury to cut more deals like that.

I should add that while the bill certainly allows Treasury to cut such deals, it doesn’t require it. But I’m mainly writing this post because, impressed with newcomer Foster’s thoughtfulness (not to mention his articulateness and cleanliness) when he said his two cents at the House Financial Services Committee bailout hearing last week, I looked up his bio. And this seems like an excellent opportunity to share some excerpts with you:

Over the last 25 years Bill has played a leading role in several groundbreaking experiments in elementary particle physics. He also managed several multimillion dollar accelerator construction and research projects, and led teams of engineers and physicists to help build the latest round of Fermilab’s giant particle accelerators.

Foster also:

received the Rossi Prize for Cosmic Ray Physics for the discovery of the neutrino burst from Supernova SN1987a

Oh, and:

When he was 19, Bill and his younger brother started a business from scratch in their basement. Starting with $500 from their parents, they built a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States.

Seriously, they let people like this into Congress nowadays.