Bailout Talking Points for LibertariansPosted 2008-09-23.
The bailout is in the news. We get new info daily, and it’s still in flux. If you believe in small government, or even responsible government, or even some semblance of a non-corrupt government, these are the key points to make when this subject comes up in conversation. Note that I wrote this on Saturday, 20 Sept, and things may have already changed (I don’t have a staff to figuring things out for me, I just read the news like you do).
- We don't know what the final number is going to be, but it's looking like $700 Billion. That's $2000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
- Yes, it's true that these are loan guarantees, not straight handouts, but the fact that no profit-driven investors stepped up to the plate means they aren't going to pay out. The banks are not going to be handing off good loans to the bailout fund, they will be handing off the loans that are being defaulted on. We would be lucky to see even half this money returned.
- These handouts punish the prudent and reward the foolish. Why should Americans be cautious with their money, make sure they don't get in over their head, when those who do will be forced to pay for the "bad luck" of those who bought houses they couldn't afford and those who made the loans?
- If a bank collapses, the only ones who lose money are investors. If the bank that holds your mortgage collapses, it isn't as if they can come and kick you out of your house. The worst case scenario is that you'll get a letter advising you that your lender is defunct, your loan has been purchased by another bank, and would you please send your future loan payments to a new address?
- We see that the true meaning of bipartisan action is helping out huge corporations that donate to both parties. It's no virtue to be generous with taxpayer money.
- Once the banks that have made bad loans have been taken over by more responsibly managed banks, the problem will be solved -- if investors lose money, they aren't likely to invest in bad loans again.
- As a Libertarian, my preference would be that that $2000 per man, woman and child went toward reducing the debt and cutting taxes, but whatever your politics, I'm sure we can all agree that there are many more important things to spend the money on than making sure the rich
- This is the kind of opportunity that can actually get a Libertarian elected. Hammer this issue hard. This is the wedge that will make voters look to Washington and say "you're out of your minds".
- Don't talk about the gold standard. It's not a related issue and talking about the gold standard makes 90% of the voters think you are a kook.
- Don't talk about inflation. The relationship of this bailout to inflation are too complicated to explain in anything less than a feature length article, so just stay away from the issue. If you actually get asked, say it is increasing the money supply so we can expect inflation. Keep in mind that inflation probably directly benefits debtors more than the negative effects on the economy harm them.