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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Barr Calls to Sell Off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Taxpayers at risk while McCain and Obama argue over Paris Hilton ads

“The American people cannot afford to keep bailing out big businesses, lenders, investment bankers, and brokers who made big mistakes,” says Bob Barr.“With bad financial news continuing to pile up, officials at the Treasury Department and the quasi-government companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are talking about a bail-out. We must turn these organizations into true private firms, with no special access to the Treasury,” insists Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were set up by Congress to subsidize the housing market, but they’ve lost $11 billion in past months and just announced another $3.1 billion in losses. The companies say that they have enough cash reserves, but some analysts believe they may have $1 trillion in bad mortgages between them. Their stock prices have been plunging and they are cutting dividends. It won’t be long before they put their hands out for the subsidies authorized by Congress in the recent housing bail-out bill,” Barr explains.

“Both organizations have started to cut back on buying loans. They also are becoming more careful in which loans they buy. This is what they should have been doing years ago, but Congress was too busy using them to try to win votes,” notes Barr. “Now we all are paying the price.”

“Before the Treasury Department provides a dime to either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, it needs to put together a plan for restructuring and fully privatizing both companies,” insists Barr. “After that, no more federal support under any circumstances. They would have to live within their means, just as we normally expect individuals and businesses to do.”

“Finally, the coming financial crisis with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should become a wake-up call for Americans to elect leaders who will put the government’s financial house in order," says Barr.

"It's time Senators McCain and Obama take a break from arguing over ads featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears," Barr says. "They should stop impugning each other's 'patriotism' long enough to address real issues of importance to voters, such as the looming housing bailout crisis."

"The federal budget deficit is $400 billion this year and will run $500 billion next year. The national debt is $9.5 trillion. We’ve promised to pay $100 trillion more in Medicare and Social Security benefits than we have money coming in for those programs,” explains Barr. “It won’t be easy, but for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must say no to more bail-outs, no to more wasteful spending, no to more special interest subsidies, no to more big spending programs and no to more adolescent bickering between candidates who claim to be able to solve America's critical problems.”

Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA. Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.