No Bailout, Some Conservatives Insist
September 25, 2008 - 6:45 AMDon't you dare accept this Wall Street bailout plan, some conservative Republicans are telling Sen. John McCain and other Republicans.
McCain, apparently feeling the pressure, has suspended his presidential campaign so he can be part of the solution. He plans to meet with Sen. Barack Obama and congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Thursday.
"If John McCain supports this bailout, he will lose all of the goodwill and support he has gained from conservatives by picking Governor Palin as his running mate," said Richard A. Viguerie, the chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
Viguerie said the proposed $700 billion bailout almost certainly would be followed by bailouts for automakers, credit card companies, and every other business hurt by the bailout-produced economic downturn.
"Millions of conservatives and millions of other Americans will refuse to vote for anyone running for president or Congress who supports the bailout," Viguerie predicted.
“Our country's leaders have failed us, and Americans have every right not to believe what President Bush is saying,” Viguerie said. “Month after month, he and his treasury secretary assured us that everything was fine…Which version of the state of the economy does the President want us to believe - what he said then or what he says now?"
Viguerie calls the bailout “economic fascism.”
McCain has called for changes in the plan as it now stands. "I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time," he said on Wednesday.
According to the Associated Press, McCain has two “unpalatable choices.”
He can oppose the administration’s financial rescue plan and take the blame if the economy collapses further, as the administration has warned it will do; or he can vote for the $700-billion bailout, which many taxpayers (including conservative Republicans) oppose.
But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other conservatives see a third way:
McCain could push for an economic recovery package rather than a bailout.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said leaving the campaign trail and returning to Washington is an “enormous gamble” for McCain.
He said McCain needs to stand up to both President Bush and the Democrats -- and find another way to help the nation out of its financial mess.
If McCain insists on an economic recovery package (including lower corporate taxes, an energy bill) rather than a bailout – he’ll look like a national leader, Gingrich told Fox & Friends on Thursday.
“If McCain is able to carry us that far, then I think this will be one of the great leadership examples in modern American history. If he, in the end, caves in and becomes part of the usual gang in Washington, then I think this actually has highlighted how bad the problems of Washington are, and Obama is correct to stay on the campaign trail.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced on Wednesday that he cannot support the $700 billion rescue plan. He called it “completely unacceptable.”
“This plan does nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy,” DeMint said.
“Most Americans are paying their bills on time and investing responsibly and should not be forced to pay for the reckless actions of some on Wall Street, especially when no one can guarantee this will solve our current problems."
DeMint said in addition to taking on enormous debt, the plan could send the value of the dollar into free-fall.
“It's also very likely that this plan will extend the cycle of bailouts, encouraging other companies to behave in reckless ways that create the need for even more bailouts, triggering an endless run on our treasury. This plan may make things look better for Wall Street in the next couple months, but the long-term consequences to our economy could be disastrous.”
DeMint said instead of passing the bailout package, Congress should pass “proven pro-growth reforms,” such as permanent reductions in the corporate and capital gains tax rates.
In the House, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said Congress should act – but in a way that protects the integrity of the free market and protects American taxpayers from more debt and higher taxes.
“But nationalizing every bad mortgage in America is not the answer,’ Pence said in a speech on the House floor.
“The strength of America resides in our faith in God and our faith in freedom, including our economic freedom. To have the freedom to succeed, we must also have the freedom to fail and any solution to the present crisis must preserve that essential economic liberty.”
Pence urged Congress to consider alternatives: Indexing capital gains to inflation, passing a real energy bill, and regulating the credit default swap market. “These and other alternatives to a massive federal bailout must be fully considered and debated before Congress acts,” he said.