One day after the House Republicans, with the help of a significant number of Democrats, stopped this disaster of a federal bailout, the world hasn’t collapsed. The Dow rebounded a little today after its terrible day yesterday. I still think those who voted against this bill did the right thing. I am, however, unsympathetic to the Republicans complaining about Pelosi’s partisan speech, and making that a reason to oppose the bailout. The bailout should be opposed on its lack of merit, and its expansion of government welfare to those who acted irresponsibly. Republicans haven’t been making this case, and that’s why Democrats could still win the PR war.
Some of my fellow conservatives are trying to tell us the sky is falling and that we must pass Bush’s plan NOW. Not so fast. A federal takeover of this kind must be carefully studied and discussed, and alternatives must be presented. Any acceptable plan must attempt to correct past errors as well as to hold those responsible for this mess accountable for their actions. We aren’t there yet.
To the Democrats still willing to support their Speaker, I would ask them: Doesn’t it concern you that the Bush administration wants to expand the reach of the federal government to take over a large section of our economy? I thought you all were against more power for the federal government under George Bush. Why all of a sudden do you believe the Bush administration and Secretary Paulson when they insist that the only way to save the economy is through a federal takeover? If this bill passes in its current form, then Democrats will share the blame with our President when it fails to achieve its objectives. Hope you all are ok with that. Looks like a no-win to me.
There are a few economists who are opposed to this bailout, and I would take their opinions over those of some of the know-nothings in Congress.
Here’s part of what one of them, Jeffrey Miron (day job- Harvard), had to say:
So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending.
The right view of the financial mess is that an enormous fraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in the first place. Someone has to pay for that. That someone should not be, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer.