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Christian economists and policy advisers say they cautiously back the Senate's $700 billion bailout plan that would allow the government to buy troubled assets from financial firms.

The bailout package that included $150 billion in tax breaks passed the Senate Wednesday night, and the House is expected to vote on it today.

"I believe we've got to do something," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. "From people who know a lot more about this than I do tell me, we're in the middle of what could be called an economic coronary thrombosis."

Land said on Wednesday that the Senate bill became progressively better every hour. He was pleased that the Senate's bill would curb executive pay, provide relief for another year from the Alternative Minimum Tax, and increase the amount covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from $100,000 to $250,000, and set up oversight committees.

"I think a theological perspective would tell us that you have to have sufficient oversight over people and accountability," Land said. "If we believe in the sin nature, and I do, then some people are going to find the temptation to resist when there's no one holding them accountable."

Although some conservatives have called for market solutions rather than government intervention, Rusty Leonard, founder and CEO of Stewardship Partners Investment Counsel, believes that the government is the only entity that can deal with the scope of the economic crisis.

"They're ideologues and they don't understand the scope of the problem," Leonard said. "They understand their ideology but they don't understand how the system works."

John E. Anderson, professor of economics at the University of Nebraska, ...

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