For Immediate Release Wednesday, October 1, 2008
‘Few people thought it could be done, but members of Congress listened to the people rather than the establishment to vote down the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street,” notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. ‘Their courageous action gives us a chance to start over. Our starting point should not be a government bailout. It should be a market work-out,’ says Barr.
‘The bailout package was flawed from front to back, starting with its price tag,’ Barr explains, noting that a Treasury Department spokesman admitted to Forbes.com that the data was ‘not based on any particular data point.’
Following the House’s vote, New York Times Chief Financial Correspondent Floyd Norris stated that although the bill was supported by Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, “a majority of the House voted along with Bob Barr.”
“On this basis the Bush administration would stick every American citizen with a bill for 2,300 dollars,” says Barr. “That would cost a family of four more than 9,000 dollars — which is a really large number for the average Americans who pay most of the government’s bills. This is arrogance masquerading as leadership,’ adds Barr.
‘Moreover, the prospect of a government bailout has discouraged private companies from taking tough steps to improve their financial balance sheets,” says Barr.
“Why sell damaged assets in a slow market when the government might take them off your hands?’ asks Barr. ‘Administration and congressional leaders should announce that the bailout is dead and financial institutions will be responsible for their own mistakes. That may mean takeovers for some, work-outs for others, and bankruptcy for the worst off. Government bailouts don’t eliminate the pain of an economic bust. They only shift who pays,’ he adds.
Most important, Barr says, ‘The administration and Congress should get busy addressing the policy mistakes which have gotten us into this mess. We need fraud investigations and prosecutions to police the market. We must privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so they can no longer be used as political tools to irresponsibly expand mortgage lending. We must adjust accounting rules, like the ‘mark to market’ standard, which have crippled the balance sheets of essentially sound companies.’
Instead of being panicked into voting for a bad bill, ‘legislators should take a deep breath, stay out of the way as the market continues its painful adjustment process, and start fixing the financial problems that government caused over the years. The best person to oversee this process is someone who hasn’t been part of the problem in Washington. Only a vote for Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party will yield the sort of change necessary to get our financial system back in order,’ Barr says.
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.
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.