Sept. 26, 2008
While it has been a few years since I focused strictly on fiscal issues this bailout plan is troubling me (and that is not just because Hugo Chavez has basically endorsed it). Whenever the Federal Government demands that "this needs to be passed now" and "trust us," my first feeling is one of great doubt.
I agree with National Review's (NR) assessment that something needs to be done and that it needs to insure strong conservative ideas (something I am not seeing coming from the White House or the Senate). Others, including NR, have analyzed some of the even more socialistic proposals coming from the Democrats such as government controlled CEO pay and allowing judges to set and change mortgage rates.
I have seen nothing however addressing what I see as a huge problem - there appears to be no withdrawal plan (or "exit strategy" as Code Pink might say). Once the market rights itself what will the federal government do to extract itself from this huge takeover and involvement? Every indication seems to point that they plan on sticking around for quite a while.
Since last Friday I have been inundated with an unprecedented number of e-mails and daily requests to be on White House phone calls where it appears the only
people allowed to ask questions are those who support the plan (I say this knowing myself and others - all of us with questions - have not been called on to comment during the Q and A sections of the calls, despite repeated attempts to do so.) The e-mails coming from the White House have been your typical talking points and "what others are saying" sheets.
However the one I received yesterday titled "A Lot Of That Money - And Maybe All Of It - Will Come Back: The Financial Rescue Plan Will Not Be A Handout,
But A Purchase Of Assets That Are Expected To Be Repaid Over Time" stood out. This handout is telling us all the things that others are saying on how the Paulsen plan will make the government money and potentially even bring back a profit. Is there no one disturbed that if this is true that once the government makes money they will be more reluctant to get out of the market?
Additionally, say the government does make the money back and even makes a profit - what happens with that money? The Congress has no plans to cut spending to make up for the billions of dollars going to this bailout so this is money on top of the trillions they are already spending. "(P)erhaps the eventual profits can fund new investments in infrastructure or energy technology," is one of the quotes from the White House handout. And today it has been revealed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is looking to add to the proposal that any profits from the takeover be directed to groups like ACORN, which is infamous for violating election laws while receiving over 50 percent of its budget from the taxpayers. Neither the White House or the Democratic Leadership has suggested "we will pay for this by cutting Washington's already out of control spending - and we will return the money and any profits to the American taxpayer directly."
Is it any wonder fiscally minded Americans are not swallowing this bitter tasting medicine coming from DC?