The 'Bailout From Hell' Must be Rejected

For Immediate Release Friday, September 26, 2008

An OpEd from Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr

In the name of restoring economic confidence, the Bush administration is demanding unlimited authority to implement a massive financial bailout. The Secretary of the Treasury would become an economic dictator, empowered to reengineer the economy as he sees fit. These powers fit Kim Jong-il’s North Korea, not the American republic.

The economy is in trouble, but the wrong policy could make things much worse. With the public deeply divided over the proposed bailout, and the future structure of our economy at stake, Congress must stop and take a deep breath before rushing such a far-reaching plan into law.

Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, claimed: “The private sector got us into this mess, the government has to get us out of it.” In other words, “Let’s just put Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama in charge and everything will be fine.”

This is nonsense. This is irresponsibility of the highest order.

The financial crash is not a “crisis of capitalism.” It is the result of foolish federal policies manipulated by private interests–precisely how Washington always operates. Giving Washington more power is no solution.

The federal government cannot eliminate financial losses and should not attempt to do so. It can only shift the burden — in this case from irresponsible borrowers, lenders and investors — to taxpayers. Keeping the walking dead on economic life support will only slow down necessary adjustments. The federal government’s principal responsibility at a time of financial stress should be to maintain liquidity for use by otherwise sound institutions.

Read the rest at the Huffington Post