“Government is the problem.”

Yesterday, John McCain took the surprising step–brilliant, bizarre, or both–of suspending his campaign in order to rush back to Washington to work on a financial bail-out plan.

While it’s good news that the Paulson power grab appears dead, Sen. McCain’s decision to gallop into Washington makes it more likely that the taxpayers will be burdened with some kind of bad plan to bail out irresponsible banks and borrowers.

A couple of things that Sen. McCain said yesterday are deeply concerning. First, that a plan should be devised before the market opens on Monday. Good grief! Such haste virtually guarantees an ill-thought plan, rife with unintended, unconsidered consequences.

Second, that the plan must be “bipartisan”. This comes as no surprise from the GOP’s premier Democrat-collaborator, but given his earlier forays across the aisle–McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy–it doesn’t leave much hope for a good bill that respects the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

But the move does fit with Sen. McCain’s knee-jerk, principle-free approach to public problems that exacerbates, rather than corrects, their root causes. Too many illegal aliens? Make them legal! Campaign finance woes? Eviscerate the First Amendment! Too many people taking out mortgages they can’t afford? I shudder to think.

Congressional Republicans have done a laudable job of standing up to a Republican President. But will they be as principled against the man who hopes to be the next one? The next hours and days will show.

And during those critical hours and days, they would do well to remember the dictum of the last great Republican President: “Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”

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9 thoughts on ““Government is the problem.”

  1. As a proud member of The Reality Base Community I’d like to point out the major flaw in Leslie’s argument.

    First Leslie starts with the premise that “government is the problem.” She assumes that this problem is the the result of to much government. That’s rather amusing since the entire tenure of Bush, the 6 years of the Republican held Congress has been to undo everything that would have prevented these excesses.

    Second, she complains about Paulson’s power grab. This is not a new thing The Bush Administration has being doing this right from the start.

    Finally, “Congressional Republicans have done a laudable job of standing up to a Republican President.” YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING! This whole act is disingenuous to the least. These the same Republican House members that have done nothing but roll over for Bush. When they controlled Congress they provided no oversight, question none of the policies, and allowed Bush to run roughshod over the Constitution. So please lets not stand up and cheer for these HYPOCRITES! Where they on the Patriot Act, Iraq, Katrina, 9/11, Intelligence? Wake up! Do you think that thier opposition has anything to with spending of taxpayers money? Have you been paying attention? Reading the news? Billion of dollars have gone down the sink hole in Irag and as result of Katrina while they controlled and THEY DID NOTHING! They are perfectly willingly to spend $700 billion but it has to be on their terms.

    So is government the problem? When has come to the Republicans? Yes. Because in every instances they have failed to execute the duties asked of them in the Constitution.

  2. If this ridiculous, anti-market, anti-capitalism, anti-common-freaking-sense bailout passes, may I be so bold as to suggest a topic for your next book? Here’s the title:

    Slaying Socialism: The Moral Case for Armed Resistance

  3. This bailout is a terrible thing. Again it shows there is not a lot of difference between the Democrats and Republicans. They’ll do what it takes to get elected even if it means trampling on our freedoms. I will be voting third party this year for first time a Presidential Election. As of now that will probably be the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin.

  4. I agree that this bailout plan is a bad idea. I’m not so sure he’s not going back on principle – they just may not be principles you agree with :).

    I’m not so sure I agree with Jenn either. I don’t think this is going to hurt with conservatives. Whether we like it or not some form of bailout will likely happen.

    I’d rather it be less, with great oversight, and no socialist agenda.

    Nick – I wish they would include Bob Barr as well. I would love to see a third party rise up that actually had a shot at winning. I’m so sick of a two party system.

    I’m supporting McCain now because I quite frankly agree with him on more things than not, I really don’t want Obama in the White House, and his choice of Sarah Palin sealed the deal for me.

  5. I agree with you, Leslie. This decision by McCain has, in my opinion, set his campaign waaaay back among conservatives, and fiscal conservatives. I am very uncomfortable with the direction this is taking – if we go through with this bailout, we’re taking one giant leap in the direction of socialized housing.

  6. Where oh where is my third choice? Oh yeah… Bob Barr… who isn’t even invited to the Presidential debates.

    Of course, if its so easy to reschedule them, I don’t understand why it’s just not as easy to include a third party.

    Given that the vast majority of Americans seem to be against this bailout, but that the two major candidates are both preaching that they want a bailout, we need a Libertarian voice in the debates now more than ever.

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