It was not just until two days ago that I realized here the laymen's opposition to the bailout, that was quickly taken up by politicians in the House to vote down the plan, was based on serious flaw: they think that the bailout is all about giving the taxpayer money to the undeserved Wall Street, the crooks who had just messed the things up.
You may agree or disagree with the plan, but I think it is imperative to at least understand that this is about how to deal with credit market, the heart of the economy that keeps its lifeblood flowing, that doesn't work. One lesson from the 1930 Great Depression and 1998 Asian Crisis is that the failure to do so will bring a prolonged credit crunch and output contraction. It could become indeed very nasty.
Unlike our fellow laymen, when economists disagree on that plan, they generally fall into three positions. First, the bailout lacks of convincing economics argument and detail to credibly support its claim to deal with the severely depressed credit market --and you can use different institutional setting. Or, second, they think that even without bailout, albeit painful, the current credit market will be able to recover by itself without plunging into the economic armageddon, the great depression. Or, third, the benefit of bailout doesn't add up with the cost, including the problem of (future) moral hazard.
To get you informed to the pro-bailout standpoint, these leader column and briefing from The Economist may help. Also apparently David Leonhardt has been trying to educate The Times' readers in his column here.