For my rabidly conservative friends, I’m talking about those who believed the bailout was the right thing to do just because the President was pushing it, please understand that133 of 199 Republican representatives voted against the bill. This was not Democrats shooting down Republicans; this was Republicans versus Republicans. House Minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) may have endangered his already precarious leadership position by pushing for this legislation.
Would the bail-out been the corrective measure the economy neeeded? I’ll state it again: I am not an economist; however, an economist that I highly respect was not in favor of the bailout. Thomas Sowell, whose columns frequent my “Shared” list on this blog, in an interview with newsmax.com said that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout could have signaled “the end of the free market.” Click on the link and read the interview. I believe it is a sane analysis and commentary on this fiasco. Here are my favorite excerpts:
Sowell said economic losses are just as important to capitalism as profits, because losses help people learn to make better decisions. Bailout plans “don’t take into account that people learn from paying the price for their mistakes,” he said. A bailout would encourage an entitlement mentality in which people seek to earn profits while being protected from losses. People need to take individual responsibility for their decisions instead of looking for taxpayers to cover the losses, he says.
The interview ended with the quote that provided the title of this post.
“Go to the American people and tell them, ‘There is no Santa Claus folks. If you want to take risks you are going to pay for it,’” Sowell said, adding, “Compassion should extend to taxpayers as well as everybody else.”
Another person whom I admire and respect is Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). He is from Indiana’s 6th District, which includes a portion of Dearorn county; my home county. Rep. Pence voted against the bill. He had this to say:
Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The decision to give the federal government the ability to nationalize almost every bad mortgage in America interrupts this basic truth of our free market economy. Republicans improved this bill but it remains the largest corporate bailout in American history, forever changes the relationship between government and the financial sector, and passes the cost along to the American people. I cannot support it.
I understand that something needs to be done, but I’m glad that this something wasn’t done.
(HT to Doses of Reality for the linked articles.)