Shorter George Bush: "We're minimizing whatever clout the taxpayer could have exercised for bailing out the banks"
From his radio address
The government's involvement is limited in size. The government will only buy a small percentage of shares in banks that choose to participate, so that private investors retain majority ownership.
The government's involvement is limited in scope. The government will not exercise control over any private firm, and federal officials will not have a seat around your local bank's boardroom table. The shares owned by the government will have voting rights that can be used only to protect the taxpayer's investment -- not to direct the firm's operations.
If all that money is going to the banks, wouldn't the public want to have some say in how it's going to be used? Bush is "selling" the bailout by saying that there won't be much, or any, control over how those dollars are going to be used. Bush is pitching to the right wing free-market fundamentalists, but won't the rest of the country be pissed off?
If government takes controlling interest in the banks it will never let them go. We will have a permanent system of government banks.