Monday, September 29, 2008

Have the House Republicans Grown a Spine in the Past Couple of Months?

I will be honest, my family is facing a financial crisis of our own, one which is of our own making. While I would love a bailout, I simply don't see one coming.

But on the heels of the House GOP successfully killing the Bailout Bill, can it be that free market, free enterprise conservativism is on the verge of carrying the day? On the heels of two recent bank meltdowns or near meltdowns (See WaMu and Wachovia) and the FDIC stepping in to prevent a massive run of failures, are the GOP and a few people like me actually making a difference in reminding people that failure is as much a part of capitalism as success.

But did the GOP kill this bill or did the Democrats simply want to keep painting Bush and therefore McCain with a "failed economic policy" meme? The House vote was 228-205 to reject the bill. Keep in mind that 218 is the magic number in the House and the Democrats have control of the chamber, with 233 Democrats. Thus, in order to force a defeat of the bill, at least 14 Democrats had to cross party lines. And lots more did, although more Republicans voted to kill the bill than Democrats.

I wondered what the rationale would be if the bill failed to get passed. The rationale for many conservative free market, small govnerment Republicans is rather apparent. But why would so many Democrats vote against the bill?

I have been concerned about this bill for a number of reasons. James Joyner eloquently summed up my feelings:
Then again, I’m not at all convinced that anybody truly understands what’s going on here, let alone that there’s an expert consensus on what the impacts of the compromise legislation arrived at some 24 hours ago will have on the economy. That some action needs to be taken and soon seems to be a given. This action? Right now? That’s hardly settled.

It may be true that when forced to eat a crap sandwich, the thing to do is to take big bites. But it’s not unreasonable to first take another look in the pantry to see if there’s a more palatable option.
Some action will be taken, but I think all the hoopla surrounding the potential bailout is creating a false expectation that this particular bill, with these particular specifics (or rather lack thereof) and the complete lack of reasoned analysis of the bill (how can you have reasoned analysis of this monstrosity in less than 48 hours) is reason enough for us to pause and say, hey, maybe we don't know what we are doing here.

Congress is pretty good a long term discussion, maybe not effective but good at the process, and notoriously bad at quick action.

I am sure something will get done, but I pay my leaders to take a deep breath before committing me and my children and potentially my grandchildren to a disasterous step that may not be absolutely necessary.

1 comment:

Frank Miller said...

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Regards,
Frank Miller
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