Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Financial Crisis, Government, Politics — Rick Moran @ 12:14 pm

Conservatives are rightly up in arms over the trillion dollar (and climbing) taxpayer funded bailout packages being thrown around Washington these last weeks. Beyond that, many are livid at the ridiculous notion being advanced by lefties that the free market “failed” and that government takeovers (if not in fact then certainly in effect) of the financial industry, banks, insurance companies, and now The Big Three will somehow solve this crisis, stemming the flow of lost jobs and re-opening the credit markets thus getting the economy growing again.

I have come to the conclusion that anyone who says anything definitive about the “root causes” of this crisis is a loon. There are as many theories about what caused the sub prime collapse, the mortgage security mess, and the subsequent contraction of financial institutions as there are economists. Both right and left have their favorite theories (”de-regulation” on the left and “government interference” on the right) none of which will probably be proved true in the end. Once historians sink their teeth into what caused the crisis a decade or more from now, I fully expect many factors to have been at play - some of which are probably not even dreamed of at this point by any of the “experts” who so confidently rail against capitalism or Democratic interference in the mortgage industry.

That “failed” free market just finished giving the United States the longest, the most sustained period of economic growth and prosperity in the history of western industrialized civilization. But there is also little doubt that someone, somewhere, should have applied the brakes to the mortgage security madness both at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and on Wall Street.

In the end, I believe that like 9/11, one key factor that will be highlighted when historians make their judgements may very well be a failure of imagination by government and the Big Banks to anticipate the consequences of some of the actions taken by the players involved. Yes there were doomsayers - just as there were Cassandras warning of a terrorist attack. In hindsight, it is too easy to say policymakers and regulators should have listened to them. This should be obvious but never is to those who see history as a linear progression of events rather than the confused, contradictory, babble it truly is.

So historically speaking, the “root causes” arguement means little at this point. But politically, it is everything. In the real world, Barack Obama and his team are formulating policy based on their perceptions of what happened and why. They are planning a response to the crisis based on their political understanding of events and their lifelong experiences that have shaped their worldview. They also feel constrained to act because the voters who just resoundingly elected them want the government to “do something about the problem.”

The soothing assurances we are getting from the Obama camp that a half a trillion dollar “stimulus package” and bailouts of the auto industry and other troubled concerns are all well and good. We should expect them to have confidence in their ability to turn things around and prevent an even worse downturn than the one we will surely have to endure regardless of what the new Administration does.

But are they right? And for my conservative friends, I have an even more difficult question.

Do you want Obama to be right? Do you want him to succeed?

Anyone with even a passing familiarity with this site knows that I am not in the business of cheerleading for liberals. But we are in a very bad spot and wishing Obama to fail - even if it means that success might mean his certain re-election - cannot be an option if you care about America.

If it is your desire to see us sink into a deep recession or even a depression because we know Obama’s policies won’t work, then you have no conception of what that will mean to millions of your fellow Americans not to mention the extraordinary damage it would do to entire industries.

Should we fight the bailouts, the stimulus package, and the rest of his program? Absolutely. In fact, stopping a lot of his ideas from becoming law may be our salvation. But to do so, we must have alternatives that we can offer rather than simply screaming “NO” at the top of our voices while openly cheering on the destruction of our economy. Bailouts are not the answer but what about steering some of that money away from business failures and offer loans to successful companies where we would have a reasonable expectation that the money would be paid back? Companies on the verge of bankruptcy are not going to be hiring anyone. Companies who are successful but suffering as a result of the tight credit would benefit both themselves and the nation if they used that money not to stay afloat but to hire on more workers and expand their businesses.

Rather than giving money to taxpayers outright, why not lower taxes permanently? Instead of enacting protectionist policies, why not approve the Columbian trade agreement? There are many conservative responses to this crisis that are not being pushed because we’re so busy screaming “socialism” that nothing else matters.

I think we should try and help Obama succeed. His success is America’s success at this point. We know that his policies carry enormous risk and the potential to make things worse by propping up failed businesses led by incompetents. Better to offer rational, reasonable alternatives that would accomplish the goal of restarting the economy and get people back to work - even if it means Obama gets the credit.

No, it is not likely that that this will happen and Obama will go on his merry way, throwing money that we don’t have and can’t pay back at businesses not likely to survive this downturn. But I for one will not hope that his policies meet with utter failure. The consequences of this would be too terrible for the country.


  1. The United States is in competition with other economies/societies (China, India, the European Union etc). So we always have to work at staying at the top. So to wish for our country to go down the drain just to make a point is not only foolish but also unpatriotic. However, your point about the lack of a ‘conservative’ stimulus plan is well taken. Let’s look at the Auto Industry, the main competitors being Japan and Germany. So a lot of conservative economist suggest going into bankruptcy and then rebuilding from scratch is a better solution (that would probably send all but Ford down the drain). However, I’m not sure these companies would have the resources to go up against Toyota, BMW and the likes. Remember that they are also backed by their respective governments. So while I am against the current bail out I do believe assistance from the government is necessary to protect our last manufacturing stronghold.

    Comment by funny man — 12/9/2008 @ 12:41 pm

  2. You’re 100% correct on the conclusion. Obama has been playing the Grim Eco Reaper. No way the pols will not enact just about all of his stimulus. The only really important fight in the Obama term will occur before he’s sworn in. As you predict, Republicans chances are worse than zero about being able to block the “omnibus stimulus bill”. More probable is some will jump on the vote-buying bill and actually expand it.

    Buy gold.

    Comment by cedarhill — 12/9/2008 @ 1:29 pm

  3. I guess I just don’t buy into the idea that presidents suceed or fail. I don’t believe presidents have that much influence and I believe they are often at the mercy of events beyong their control (that can be fortunate or unfortunate). I believe we all (at the encouragement) of the MSM, invest way, repeat, WAY too much into presidents. Presidents influence things, especially the economy, in tiny ways around the margins. Nothing more.

    I oppose BHO because basically, he is a big government, statist. I oppose him because he has harbored anti-American and anti-Western views, because he indeed “palled around” with self admitted communists, terrorists, radical muslims, “intellectual Fabian Socialists”, etc. I believe he is unfit to the the American President.

    I will work to oppose him, to weaken him and to even destroy him politically. I believe we will witness a large, conservative backlash emerge in 2009. It hasn’t even begun yet…..

    Comment by RSSG — 12/9/2008 @ 1:42 pm

  4. Good post, but for the record Australia has had the longest period of sustained economic growth and prosperity. Okay, okay. Maybe it isn’t a classic Western industrialized nation, but the good times have rolled because of and not despite government involvement and micromanagement.

    By the way, David Hubbard is an idiot, or as you might put it, a loon.

    Anyone who follows Chicago politics as a contact sport knows that Obama has sought to keep Blago at arms length. He will be embarrassed to be sure, but that’ll be it.

    Comment by shaun — 12/9/2008 @ 1:42 pm

  5. David,
    why don’t you take your racist trashtalk elsewhere.

    Comment by funny man — 12/9/2008 @ 2:17 pm

  6. Tough question Rick. While I want the country to succeed, I really want obama and his friends to go down in flames. We ,of the right, need to come up with some good alternatives to the current ideas and I think some new leadership in the RNC might help. The current crop isn’t coming up with much of anything.

    David Hubbard…..meds man, meds. Take them like the doc said when the doc said.Your particular brand of thinking is not wanted or needed.

    Comment by Finrod — 12/9/2008 @ 2:38 pm

  7. Like Dennis Miller (no relation) I hope that I am joyfully able to vote for Barack Hussein Obama for a SECOND term in 4 years. I doubt that this will happen, but I honestly do hope that he does so well that I could.

    And it has absolutely nothing to do with me wishing for the best for our President-elect,it has to do with me wishing for the best for our COUNTRY.

    On 1/20/09 Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States and MY president, YOUR president, EVERY U.S. resident’s president. And whether we like him or not, we must help him do his job as best he is able to do it.

    Bottom line - if we don’t like his job performance over the next couple of years - another election is just over the horizon!

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 12/9/2008 @ 3:07 pm

  8. Wow Gail Miller, could you slobber some more over Barry’s butt?

    You think it’s your duty to help him? I also like the poor choice of word “resident” - you mean illegal aliens that Barry-boy panders to?

    Question: What if we genuinely disagree with his policies? I would suggest almost half and will be more than half of the population will disagree with his policies, once he’s in office. What do we do then? Help him? What a joke.

    Comment by T-Man — 12/9/2008 @ 4:08 pm

  9. To those around the world who now want to brag about how wonderful their countries are, I have this to say: Great, please stay there, don’t immigration here!

    Anyone beyond the age of 8 should know that economies don’t always go up and up and up. They fluctuate up and down unless they are state controlled. Then everyone is equal - equally poor.

    Bottom line: Let’s not exaggerate the current troubles, what’ya say? We’re in a recession. They occur every 8-10 years and have so for half a century now. Everyone grow up.

    Comment by RSSG — 12/9/2008 @ 4:11 pm

  10. I have often disagreed with Gayle (mostly regarding Palin) but she is right on this one. If you want to see this country go down just so you can say I told you so, you are no better than the moonbats at DailyKos.

    Comment by funny man — 12/9/2008 @ 5:29 pm

  11. RSGG:
    Bottom line: Lets not exaggerate the current troubles, whatya say? Were in a recession. They occur every 8-10 years and have so for half a century now. Everyone grow up.
    Respectfully, we have no idea how bad the current recession will become. The numbers already look as bad as the beginning of the early 80’s recession, but that one was inflicted by Volcker, and uninflicted by Volcker, and Reagan tax cuts. (At least that’s how I recall it.). The monetary tools are mostly tapped out now.
    FWIW, this cycle took about 6 years from recession start to recession start, not 8-10. (March 2001 to January 2007. The March 2001 date has never been officially revised.)

    Why do you believe that 2009 will bring a conservative backlash? As a Democrat who believes in balance-of-powers government, I want a strong opposition with actual ideas, not just predictable anti-Democrats. I’m not seeing the current conservative movement deliver at the moment.

    Comment by Bill Arnold — 12/9/2008 @ 5:49 pm

  12. Good points Rick. as a conservative, I have to say I definitely don’t want Obama to fail. I usually find it entertaining when liberals stumble of course (ie, “57 states!”), but given the seriousness of the situation, it’s not really a game or an entertaining diversion for me anymore–it’s something I feel worried about and hope is handled in a constructive way. I’m all ready to board the “O” bus and put on my Hope t-shirt if it gets us out of this mess.

    Comment by Shelby — 12/9/2008 @ 7:35 pm

  13. Tricky question and the kind to drive people to distraction. Do I want B.O to fail? If by fail you mean he is unable to enact massive tax increases, gut our military strength and place the U.N as the last word on American foreign policy then yes. I want him to fail in his socialist/statist/collectivist endeavors and succeed where his policy follows a path that leads America to economic strength, greater individual freedom and security from America’s enemies including the Islamonutbag faction. I support ideas which support this goal which in a broad sense means free markets and an understanding of all the tools to keep America and the free world safe from attack. I do not support parties or individuals. I support them when they support me and my country. I want B.O to fail therefore because success of his primary ideas means long term failure for my country.

    Comment by Big V — 12/9/2008 @ 7:40 pm

  14. It’s not that I want Obama to fail. It’s that if he is Successful in implementing his Policies, America will Fail. I want America to Succeed, so I’m hoping his “Bills to Socialism” fail on the Congressional Floor.

    You make the point that is often missed, while we oppose Liberal Ideas, we Must offer solutions of our own.

    Comment by BiasedGirl — 12/9/2008 @ 11:25 pm

  15. I want America to succeed.

    For this reason, I will hold my tongue on foreign policy matters where Obama will have to do right or wrong and we can judge after.

    But on domestic policy, America will succeed only if the liberal excesses that Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to implement are curbed or stopped. In other words, I want bad policies to fail and good policies to succeed.

    So far, the only really good news from Obama was assurances that windfall profits tax and new taxes wont be raised right away. we still face the threat of CO2 regulation, of illegal alien amnesty, of huge socialized medicine.

    The stimulus package is not the worst of the policies, I’d rather the healthcare and CO2 regs as the worst and most damaging to our economy, but even the stimulus will be on balance more bad than good. We cannot afford the debt burden of bailout after bailout. Rep Gohmerts proposal for a tax holiday, while gimmicky, would at least do more good and highlights the expense of this so-called stimulus.

    Comment by Freedoms Truth — 12/10/2008 @ 1:04 am

  16. “Respectfully, we have no idea how bad the current recession will become.”

    While true, the claims that this is the ‘worst since the great depression’ is unwarranted nonsense. Its wrong to have worst-case-assumption… best guess is this will be akin to the 1981-1982 recession … hmmm, maybe we need a taxcut.

    Comment by Freedoms Truth — 12/10/2008 @ 1:10 am

  17. Gayle Miller - Wow!

    That’s some pretty upstanding stuff…

    What are you smoking?

    Nevermind….I’m impressed. That’s what we need now… Bravo!

    Comment by Tim — 12/10/2008 @ 3:30 am

  18. Do I want him to succeed? Do I want him to succeed? Let’s see. Everything about the man himself, and his anti-American, anti-capitalistic ideology, are 180 degrees from what is good for America. Unless you don’t believe all he has said and done (remember that silly old constitution that needs to be fundamentally changed?), and unless you believe he has a double-secret, super, ultra conservative agenda hidden away that he REALLY plans to implement for our country, then no. I don’t want him to succeed. In fact, I want every one of his proposed “solutions” to fail miserably. To want him to succeed, is to want his ideology to prevail. No thanks…

    Comment by JWS — 12/10/2008 @ 9:02 am

  19. To #12 above, all recession aren’t equal. The most recent recession never even met the historic standard: two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The last significant recession was 1981. And this long period of no significant economic contraction was no accident. Politicians learned: there’s no job security, in politics, when you’re in recession. Which leads to: no recession on my watch. Which leads to Greenspan hitting the gas whenever there’s even a wiff of a slow down. Flood the zone with cheap money and unemployment stays low and the recessions are regional/industry specific more than national/all encompassing.

    This recession will be deep and long, punctuated by brief stabalization whenever the government steps on the gas. But ‘the gas’ is no longer cheap money. It’s giveaways. The healthiest thing for the long term of this country is rolling government shutdowns and massive cuts in government spending to create a new, sustainable government spending baseline. Throw out a few tax holidays for companies that hire workers, builders that build houses, or stimulate the broad economy in any way and we’ll go through a painful year and come out far stronger. But politicians might lose their jobs so the odds of this happening are nil.

    Comment by East Bay Jim — 12/10/2008 @ 10:43 am

  20. Rick wrote: “Do you want Obama to be right? Do you want him to succeed?”

    These questions can be decoupled. No, I don’t want him to be right, because that means I’m wrong- I disagree with him on most things. But yes, I do want him to be successful, because his success will be measured by the strength of the economy.

    I don’t hate Obama, I just think he’s not good for America. I hope I’m wrong- as poor a candidate as McCain was, he had a great campaign slogan: “Country First”.

    Comment by lionheart — 12/10/2008 @ 3:22 pm

  21. Rick, comment 2 should be deleted. He’s an idiot and an asshole, but allowing that racist bullshit reflects poorly on your excellent site.

    Don’t usually get the racists here. I didn;’t read all the way through - just thought he was an Obama hater.

    Thanks for bringing to my attention.


    Comment by lionheart — 12/10/2008 @ 3:28 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress