David Limbaugh / December 12, 2008

No More Bailouts

If our government’s economic experts really knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t be frenetically experimenting with the people’s money, treating billions like nickels. They wouldn’t be so hellbent on dampening expectations and instilling fear as if oblivious to the real impact of public psychology on the economy.

I’m just not buying their doomsaying anymore. Even if they’re right and we do end up in a full-scale financial meltdown, at least it will be finite and America’s best days will still be ahead of us. But if we don’t stop this panic-driven government intervention madness now, the chances are we’ll still face a major meltdown and pass the point of no return into the bottomless pit of socialism.

The auto bailout and future proposed gargantuan government interventions must be rejected.

Government bailout architects ominously warned that unless we adopted their original “$700 billion” bailout proposal to purchase distressed mortgage assets, we’d face catastrophic economic consequences rivaling or exceeding the Great Depression.

Just weeks later, these same architects betrayed their own warnings and said their do-or-die plan would not work after all. Buying the troubled assets wouldn’t inject capital into the banks quickly enough, so instead the government would have to distribute the money directly to major financial institutions.

But whatever happened to the government’s mollifying assurance that if we pursued the original asset purchase plan, which involved buying the assets at a bargain, taxpayers might even make money on the deal? How about its promise that its involvement would be short-term? Obviously, the government’s promises were more short-lived than its intervention.

Predictably, all kinds of supplicants showed up at government’s doorstep looking for their own “rescue” funds. And we’re just getting warmed up.

While Congress probably never should have authorized the original bailout plan, there is at least a plausible rationale to draw the line in the sand now. As others have noted, most bailouts to date have been to the financial sector. But once we open the door to the automakers, on what non-arbitrary basis do we deny future private industry petitioners, especially when their collective failure could arguably have a major impact on the economy?

Free market capitalism is obviously not perfect, but it’s the least imperfect economic system, and its pricing mechanism does an infinitely better job of allocating resources and rationally picking winners and losers than government planners could do, even if they had the foresight of Nostradamus on his best day.

Keynesian interventionist types insist that the intrinsic weaknesses of capitalism require large-scale government interventions from time to time, such as FDR’s New Deal. Nonsense. While there are certainly cyclical ups and downs inherent in market economies, there is usually scant justification for such major government adjustments.

Indeed, but for liberally biased historians, we’d understand that FDR’s actions exacerbated and prolonged the Great Depression and that Obama’s planned New Deal would do likewise. The financial meltdown was not caused primarily by too much capitalism but reckless government policies that interfered with the market’s pricing mechanism, such as mandating un-creditworthy real estate loans.

Even if we draw the bailout line now, we must understand that we’ve still seen an enormous government intervention under a Republican president’s watch, which will make future bailout proposals difficult to credibly oppose.

Some contend there is a silver lining in these bailouts, namely that their inevitable failure will teach the lesson that they don’t work and cause our rededication to market principles.

But this ignores that a large percentage of the political class has no fealty to market principles. The Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis of the world are licking their lips in anticipation of the opportunities for government intervention this crisis presents, as Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, brazenly admitted.

In the typically arrogant spirit of social planners, they are poised to micromanage an industry they know less about than they know about balancing the federal budget. Worse still, they refuse to divorce their self-assigned mission of restoring financial stability to the industry from their policy and political goals of imposing environmental mandates and protecting their union voting constituencies.

It’s time to take our medicine, even if that means bankruptcy and the restructuring of an industry whose wages have long defied market standards. Any resulting hardships are sad and troubling, but the alternative is worse.

If we don’t stop this runaway freight train now, there might be no extricating ourselves from the government planning model, which would be disastrous for America’s unique and world-leading prosperity and liberty.

Conservatives better start screaming bloody murder, or the market enemies soon to dominate two of the three branches of the federal government with a lust for the third could build a socialist momentum that would be difficult to restrain, much less reverse.

Enough is enough.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC. 

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.