The Republican Party Platform, September 2, 2008-September 22, 2008

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The Politico's Ben Smith has a great catch from the Republican Party platform of… let me check the year… yes, of 2008.

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself.

Laugh so you don't cry. I've been talking to Republican congressfolk this week and there's absolutely no chance of the entire conference opposing the bailout. Rep. John Campbell (profiled here) told me that he'll support a bailout (and favors the unaltered Henry Paulson version) because "markets have participants. The participants in this market are human beings. And right now they are not acting rationally. Fear has set in." A bailout is the way he sees toward restoring confidence and preventing a disaster. He didn't back down from comparing the crisis to 1929.

Earlier today I heard a group of members of the Republican Study Committee discuss the bailout: Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), former chairman Mike Pence (R-IN), co-founder Dan Burton (R-IN), and a dozen others. Only Pence declared he would absolutely vote against a bailout. The rest of the members proposed various, politically safe conservative policy proposals that could mitigate the harm. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) suggested defraying the cost of a Wall Street rescue by opening drilling in ANWR and offshore areas. "The oil revenues that we could get from ANWR have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office at around $200 billion," Barton said. That's if you nationalized those profits, of course.

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  1. You left out the next line of the platform, which clearly states, “This, of course, is only in a hypothetical vaccuum. If it becomes politically advantageous to do so, we will commission blimps to hover over Wall Street and throw out bundles of cash.”

  2. “I’ve been talking to Republican congressfolk this week and there’s absolutely no chance of the entire conference opposing the bailout.”

    Well Dave what chance is there of any Democrats opposing the bailout? I am vicerally opposed to government bailouts. But when someone like Gary Becker comes out and says that we need to have one, I really wonder.

    http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2008/09/the_crisis_of_g.html

    There hasn’t been nearly enough solid reporting and analysis of this issue in Reason. Instead, there has been too much smart ass high school kid stuff like this. WTF Dave, I don’t care what either party platform says. I would like to know how much this thing is going to cost compared to what doing nothing will cost.

  3. We’ve had socialism for so long now that’s it’s become a conservative position. Sigh.

  4. I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling government bailouts of private institutions is going on in here.

  5. Thus spake John:

    I would like to know how much this thing is going to cost compared to what doing nothing will cost.

    Over what term? In the long term, doing nothing will cost nothing. In the short term, possibly quite a lot. The bailout will cost a lot now and even more later.

  6. Hmmm. Let’s say that there are 125,000,000 households in the United States. And let’s assume that any bailout, after the Congressional add-ons, will run $1.25 trillion. So that’s $10,000 per household, unless my math is wrong. So, how about sending us the money, and letting us use that to weather whatever market conditions we’ll face in the event of a financial sector meltdown?

  7. So, how about sending us the money, and letting us use that to weather whatever market conditions we’ll face in the event of a financial sector meltdown?

    You’ll just spend it on cheap booze and expensive hookers.

  8. “So that’s $10,000 per household, unless my math is wrong. So, how about sending us the money, and letting us use that to weather whatever market conditions we’ll face in the event of a financial sector meltdown?”

    Isn’t that what they call Check Kiting?

  9. So, how about sending us the money, and letting us use that to weather whatever market conditions we’ll face in the event of a financial sector meltdown?

    ‘Cause you’ll just spend it on booze and cigarettes and easy women.

  10. They’re going to spend the money, anyway.

  11. Hey no fair! J sub D beat me to it!

  12. That’s if you nationalized those profits, of course.

    Please try to use the Newspeak terms in the future. We need not speak of such things as nationalization. They’re conservatives, fer Chrissakes! They want to patriotize the profits. Right after they go America all over everybody’s asses.

  13. You’ll just spend it on cheap booze and expensive hookers.

    And the blow. Never forget the blow!

  14. No, I’ll use the money to support my wife and my children. However, if some households would prefer to spend their $10K on entertainment, that’s okay by me.

  15. sixstring,

    Great minds think alike.

  16. Episiarch! Query: My brother gave me the Space: 1999 series on DVD for my birthday. Should I keep it, or should I exchange it for Firefly? I figure I’ll buy the latter at some point, and I enjoy the schmaltzy fun of owning a 1970s series in its entirety. However, I could be wrong.

    If I get my $10K, of course, I can buy whatever DVDs I want.

  17. They want to patriotize the profits. Right after they go America all over everybody’s asses.

    “You’re not listening. We don’t want wild girls. We want good girls gone wild. It’s important to see the transition, watch the process…”

  18. “The oil revenues that we could get from ANWR have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office at around $200 billion,” Barton said. That’s if you nationalized those profits, of course.”

    Yes, and we were going to pay for the war in Iraq qith oil revenue as well right?

    What is it with Texans and their “awl” ? Yuck. They don’t have a clue anymore.

    Just when you think Republicans were strarting to get brass balls…keep those letters and emails coming. I feel the conflict within. May the Force be with them and shown them away from the dark side.

  19. “””They want to patriotize the profits.”””

    ROFLMA

    “””Well Dave what chance is there of any Democrats opposing the bailout?”””

    Since when did the dems not like getting and spending your money? Why would dems oppose it. The republicans should get hammered on this issue more so than dems because they spoken against such things in the past. The expectation of spending tax dollars are different between the parties. The guy that tells you he won’t, then does it deserves a greater wrath than the one who tells you they are going to do it and does it.

  20. Query: My brother gave me the Space: 1999 series on DVD for my birthday. Should I keep it, or should I exchange it for Firefly? I figure I’ll buy the latter at some point, and I enjoy the schmaltzy fun of owning a 1970s series in its entirety.

    Firefly is eminently rewatchable; Space: 1999 is not. However, you have already seen all the Firefly episodes but not the Space: 1999 ones (I’m guessing).

    It’s a tough call. If you like quiet, cerebral 70’s scifi then hold on to Space: 1999. If you don’t, trade it in. Or get Firefly to own and rent Space: 1999 from Netflix.

  21. Pro Libertate

    So that’s $10,000 per household, unless my math is wrong. So, how about sending us the money, and letting us use that to weather whatever market conditions we’ll face in the event of a financial sector meltdown?

    Damn PL, I like the cut of your jib.

  22. The market has participants indeed:

    From the Deputy White House Press Secretary Tony Fratto:

    With respect to executive pay, again, I’m not going to get into specific, point-by-point details on what our views are on that, other than the Secretary of Treasury said it would make more difficult to make this plan work and effective if you provide disincentives for companies and firms out there who are holding mortgage-backed securities and other securities from participating in the program. You have to remember, these are not all weak or troubled firms that own mortgage-backed securities. A lot of them are very successful banks and investment houses that have done very well, have been responsible, are holding performing assets that have value. They were not necessarily irresponsible players, and so you have to be careful about how you deal with them.

    Emphasis mine.

    Why exactly are successful banks and investment houses that have done very well about to be able to unload their bad debt on the american taxpayer? Why is the US Government not demanding an equity stake in any institution who gets a government handout? Why aren’t there any punitive strings tied to the bailout? Why isn’t the government trying to discourage banks in good financial shape from participating the this “bailout” ?

    This isn’t about bailing out troubled banks, but is instead a giveaway to connected Wall Street Investment Bankers.

  23. Right after they go America all over everybody’s asses

    ROCK, FLAG, and EEEEAAAGGGGLLLLLLE!!!

  24. My brother gave me the Space: 1999 series on DVD for my birthday.

    Jealous! I’ll take those off your hands.

    The republicans should get hammered on this issue more so than dems because they spoken against such things in the past.

    And wrote it down in their freakin’ platform, which is the point of this post.

  25. ChicagoTom is right–no $10K check for anyone connected with this mess–executives, brokers, rating agencies, etc. The rest of us get to divvy up their share.

  26. “You know what? Let me kick down a little thing to you that our Founding Fathers kicked down to me. It goes, “Don’t. Tread. On me,” and right now, you guys are TREADING ALL OVER ME.”

  27. “You’re not listening. We don’t want wild girls. We want good girls gone wild. It’s important to see the transition, watch the process…”

    Actually, Charlie’s “Gonna rise up, gonna kick a little ass” song was better than that “Drill Here” tripe.

    Girls gone wild seems to be a recurring theme:

    “Ladies, here’s the deal. We have hats. You have breasts. You show your breasts, you get a hat, okay? So, if anybody wants to get back at daddy… now’s the time.”

  28. ^^^^^ well said. And I agree with poster who said “long term (it will cost) nothing”. I fail to see how this bailout will help me or my family. I have no debt other than my mortgage (30 yr fixed- 5.25%), all my stocks are Large Cap blue chips, I live within my means…. let the “investment banks” fail!!!

    I also noticed yesterday that the Republicans said we need to free up credit so the American Consumer can borrow and keep spending… because consumer spending is 66% of our economy…

    Q: how does that percentage rank with the rest of the world?

    Finally, I agfree with the idea that the $700b bailout would be BETTER spent on unemployment benefits for taxpayers who DO get layed off due to business failure, but the kick is that everyone should get the SAME AMOUNT, lets see how Joe Boardroom does on a working man’s salary….

  29. Pro Lib,

    What about short sellers? Do I still get a check?

    *blushes*

  30. Emphasis mine.

    Generally, ChicagoTom, emphasis is used to draw attention to a specific word or phrase. Bolding the whole damn quote kind of defeats the purpose.

    That said, your point is well taken.

  31. “That’s if you nationalized those profits, of course.”

    Wrong. That would be the (high) end of federal income taxes and royalty fees paid by whomever took the oil out of there. Source is here:

    http://opencrs.com/document/RL34547

    Of course, they assume $125/barrel oil. So, I would call this an exaggeration, but certainly within the realm of possibility, and would involve plenty of (non-nationalized) profit for whomever actually takes it out of the ground.

  32. ChiTom – I am NOT, repeat, NOT supporting the bailout, but there is a certain amount of fairness in what was said there. There are companies who are going under through no fault of their own (that is, they’re feeling secondary and tertiary effects of the MBS meltdown).

    However, when I was told this, I said “meh. Life be hard. Let them fail.”

  33. You would only be nationalizing the profits if a private company acquired the oil rights and then drilled. If the federal government, which owns the land, got into the oil extraction business, they could see $200 billion in profits directly. That’s not an argument for the government trying to be a business; just a clarification.

  34. Naga Sadow,

    Yes, provided that you weren’t engaged in naked short selling. Naked Sith Lords are disgusting and should not be subsidized.

    I wish I’d taken a short position on (i.e., sold) my WM stock about a year and a half ago.

  35. NickM wrote: “If the federal government, which owns the land, got into the oil extraction business, they could see $200 billion in profits directly.”

    Yeah, that could happen. A much more likely outcome is that the Federal oil extraction business loses $200 billion, and politically connected oil refineries have $200 billion worth of oil delivered to their doorsteps for free.

  36. Via “Passport”, here are two separate (but similar) 419-scam-style parody letters in the name of Secretary Paulson.

  37. Dagny:

    Two Arrested Development references in two days? They’re doing a movie, you don’t have to try to promote the show anymore.

    Though I do appreciate another AD fan.

  38. Also, I again question John’s claims of being a lawyer, as he seems to lack basic reading and reasoning skills, based on his comment.

  39. Two Arrested Development references in two days?

    Did you miss all the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia references or something?

  40. “We’ve had socialism for so long now that’s it’s become a conservative position. Sigh.”

    I love this stuff, when folks equate FDR with socialism. You see, as I said on another thread, everyone knows we had this relatively laissez-faire period and then this horrible event (the Great Depression). Then we had this guy come along and push “massive government intervention” or “socialism” and we’ve never had anything close to that horrible event. So the average person is pushed by the hard core libertarian into accepting that if the New Deal was socialist, then give us more socialism!

  41. Was Arrested Development anywhere near as funny as Strangers With Candy? I frankly don’t watch much Network TV as I harm my brain enough with alcohol…

    Let me tell you what show I discovered which is the shit: Deadwood.

  42. I would like to know how much this thing is going to cost compared to what doing nothing will cost.

    There’s a very reasonable chance that doing nothing will cost me nothing, and strengthen our financial markets by weeding out the retards that caused this in the first place.

    The cost of doing *something* starts at $700 billion. And goes up from there.

  43. So the average person is pushed by the hard core libertarian into accepting that if the New Deal was socialist, then give us more socialism!

    Price controls, MNG, price controls. I hear Robert Mugabe is having a rollicking success with them in Zimbabwe.

  44. Was Arrested Development anywhere near as funny as Strangers With Candy?

    Different kinds of funny. AD is a Larry David-style show which is character driven (much like It’s Always Sunny). SWC is a Stephen Colbert/Paul Dinello absurdity that is almost completely detached from reality. Try it, I bet you’ll like it.

    Deadwood is fucking awesome.

  45. TIO,

    Firstly, there are never enough AD references. Moving right along…

    They’re doing a movie

    Rly? I reserve excitement. Movies from TV shows tend to suck a little. (Anyone here get dragged to the Sex and the City movie by an evil girlfriend?)

    I frankly don’t watch much Network TV as I harm my brain enough with alcohol…

    MNG, have you been hurt by dumb, unfunny shows in the past? AD and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will help your brain, not hurt it. Let the healing begin.

  46. Listen to Dagny, MNG. You can get both on Netflix. And they all go well with alcohol!

  47. And they all go well with alcohol!

    In fact, to exclude alcohol is considered poor form, as both shows celebrate alcoholism in all its glory. Makes me glad my drunken Irish & Scottish ancestors built up such a high tolerance for me.

  48. The cost of doing *something* starts at $700 billion. And goes up from there.

    The over/under is one terabuck. I’m betting the over. Any takers?

  49. as both shows celebrate alcoholism in all its glory

    Very true. Maybe I should go buy a shitty bar.

  50. Epi
    You know I am a long time SWC fan!

    I will have to check out AD as I have only heard good things about it, and I love Larry David-esque stuff.

    As for a celebration of alcoholism, try Charles Bukowski.

  51. Maybe I should go buy a shitty bar.

    “Dennis, our bar is south Philly in a scary alley. Might as well call it ‘Rape Bar.'”

    We have seen that said bar can be transformed into Libertopia with relative ease. The trick is not giving people too much freedom…

  52. In the short run, the bailout will admittedly be very expensive. But in the long run, it will be very very very expensive.

    So let’s all Support the President in a Time of War. This is not a time for partisan bickering. Everyone agrees that something must be done. This is something. Therefore it must be done.

  53. Well I say he does have to shoot me now! SO SHOOT ME NOW!

  54. Let’s not bicker and argue about who owes whom.

  55. re: It’s always sunny in Philadelphia and Strangers With Candy

    sorry, no cable, so I can’t compare/ haven’t seen/ don’t get the references

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