More seriously, Rep. Paul Ryans justification for his pro-TARP vote would be perfectly reasonable if the GOP wasnt content to leave it at that.
To recap, Ryan said that “Im a limited-government, free-enterprise guy, but TARP . . . represented a moment where we had no good options and we were about to fall into a deflationary spiral. . . . There would have been no support for the free-market system.”
Then-President George W. Bush expressed a similar sentiment (as quoted in my book!). In November 2008, at Federal Hall in New York City, Bush said that “we are faced with the prospect of a global meltdown. And so weve responded with bold measures. Im a market-oriented guy, but not when Im faced with the prospect of a global meltdown.”
Okay, fine. But the GOP seems to think thats the end of it. TARP was a mysterious beast that descended on Washington and demanded temporary surrender of free-market principles. But TARPs over, the banks paid it back, the party has got its principles back none the worse for wear, and maybe they shouldnt speak of the whole strange, unpleasant incident again.
Without adequate financial regulation, though, the next crisis is inevitable and worse. In the Daily Beast article to which Jonah refers, Ryan focused on entitlement reform really important, of course.
But financial firms enjoy a particular multi-trillion-dollar entitlement, too entitlement to future bailouts. Finance competes, then, with an unfair advantage that other industries dont enjoy the expectation of government guarantees. This distorts and weakens the entire economy.
So where is the GOP, publicly, on this issue? In committee, the Senate Banking members (Shelby, Corker, Johanns, and others), to their immense credit, have taken the issue seriously, asking good questions last week about the proposed Volcker Rule, for example.
But in campaign style, Republicans and conservatives barely say a word about how important it is to fix finance so that it doesnt remain immune to free-market discipline.
Ryans Roadmap for Americas Future mentions financial regulation only to shoot down the Democrats proposal not to say what must be done instead. The GOP has ceded the issue, rhetorically, to the Democrats.
Its as the historic economic crisis one to which the president has responded poorly, to be sure came from nowhere.
Original Source: http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTllNzcwOTVhNDRkYWQ2ZTE5YjljMTgyNjdhMWFkZWI=