Bad idea

Timotheus has got it exactly right. This is the perfect storm of politics and problems – a recipe for wrongheaded government action. Like Timotheus, I have no doubt that the financial problems are real and will hurt the economy. I don’t want to diminish the very real hurt that will likely come.

Still, it seems as though conservatives like us – defenders of the free market principles that have built and sustained this country for almost two and half centuries – should not so quickly abandon our principles in the face of adversity. Indeed, it is when the call for government action into markets is so strong that we need to be most resolute. I could cite numerous sources of economists and other market watchers who can place the blame squarely on bad government policy – government incentives to lend to undeserving borrowers. Yet politicians think that more government is the answer, while doing nothing to address the underlying bad government policies.

Unfortunately, many elected officials can only see the expediency of the next election. These are the same people that have allowed the budget to bloat beyond control. They see the vote for the “bail-out” as their ticket to re-election – a way to show constitutents that they were “doing something.” That kind of “doing something” is the kind of good intentions that lead to one of those four letter words.

“Financial Crisis”

A thought about the “Financial Crisis.” Don’t get me wrong about the Quotes. I do think we are in a financial mess and calling it a crisis is probably appropriate. Unfortunately, a lot of the panic is being fueled by politics. Consider two, probably competing, interests. One: Bush and the Administration wanting to do anything they can do to avoid economic turmoil and the blame that goes with it. Two: The democrats wanting to harp on how bad Bush has ruined the economy. Together, they have convinced everyone that the world as we know it is coming to an end.

Now, the world may very well come to an end tomorrow. This may be the last you hear from me on My Man Mitt or anywhere else. But if it does, a lot of it will be because the “crisis” hit during prime time political season. Consider the stock market for a moment. People the country over who have any kind of money tied up therein are trying to find any other kind of investment vehicle that exists for their money because of the “crisis.” Someone with more financial wisdom than me may dispute this, but aren’t we talking primarily about financial institutions being in trouble? I was under the impression that many companies that are traded publicly have little to nothing to do with the credit derivatives and other gnarly schemes the JP Morgan types all conspire about at the cocktail parties. Even if there are problems with the insurance companies, do we realy think all of these other companies are going to default on their credit obligations for some reason?

The problem here is that the government lacks credibility and so they have to scream at the top of their lungs “crisis” to get attention and that doesn’t reassure us, it just makes us want to pull money out of our banks. Oh yeah, and since the government wants to throw another 700 billion on the credit card to buy stupid loans, we have lingering doubts about the whole FDIC thingy. We’re acutely aware that if all goes south as predicted, the FDIC is grossly undercapitalized.

So, where does this leave us? The Republicans are choking, many Democrats are gagging, and the whole country is turning blue as the administration, Pelosi and co. try to shove the package down our throat. If it doesn’t pass and all goes bad, its the Republicans fault. If it passes, it is the Republicans fault for getting us into this mess. And if the world doesn’t end tomorrow, it will be the Republicans fault we have to live to feel the hangover all of this “crisis” talk is giving me. So, I just want to thank the Democratic controlled Congress for the important work they have done the past two years to keep this from being worse than it could have been. I look forward to many more fine years with their steady hand at the helm.

Acting like Democrats

I haven’t seen any Romney quotes on the proposed bail-out. McCain has offered Romney’s name and Michael Bloomberg’s and Warren Buffet’s as potential executives to oversee the plan.

That being said, Romney had a saying in the primary that I thought was spot on: “When Republicans act like Democrats, everybody loses.” I can’t help but think that the bail-out is exactly the kind of thing that Romney was talking about.

President Bush, for all the credit he gets for tax cuts, deserves some serious blame for previously expanding the budget more than LBJ and now proposing the largest socialization this country has seen since FDR. He has turned his back on the free market and the principles of prosperity that underly it. If that is not acting like a Democrat, I don’t know what is. The ultimate consequence, as our man Mitt said so succinctly, is that everyone is going to lose.

Businesses will lose by not being punished for their bad behavior (i.e. lending with no prospect of being repaid) and not learning the lessons from their bad behavior. Taxpayers will lose because all we are taking on is debt, with no prospect of a profitable (or likely any) return. The government will lose because the additional debt could (and I think likely will) swamp the solvency of the government itself, destroying the value of the dollar and preventing the government from getting loans (even from such predators as China) to cover its own debts. All this will lead to the problem becoming not just a financial sector and housing problem, but to being a broader crisis of all Americans AND its government, too.

In short, everyone loses, all because Republicans and other defenders of market principles don’t have the courage to say that the market can and will correct the problem, which it is doing right now by punishing those institutions and homeowners who were reckless. Republicans should know better than proposing such an anti-market plan. The bail-out will not just lead to socialism, it is socialism. It is government at its worst, fighting against the market to impose its own idea of economics. It’s the type of thing we have come to expect from Democrats. Now that Republicans have taken on a similar tactic, we will all lose.

Mitt Romney Endorses Bill Dew for Congress

Bill Dew is running for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district against Democrat incumbent Jim Matheson. Find out more about Bill at

Mitt Romney Endorses Bill Dew for Congress

Boston, MA – Today, Mitt Romney endorsed Bill Dew, Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District.

“I’m proud to endorse Bill Dew for Congress. He’ll fight for the people of Utah by promoting policies that will strengthen our economy, keep taxes low and help us to achieve the goal of energy independence,” said Romney. “Bill Dew’s successful background as a business leader will give him a unique perspective as our nation confronts a new generation of challenges.”

Bill Dew was pleased to receive the endorsement. “At this critical time when our economy is crippled by the credit crisis and high energy costs, I am honored to have Mitt Romney’s support and endorsement. We agree on what is needed to fix Washington and Wall Street,” said Bill Dew. “Mitt Romney knows what it takes to turn around a problem, having done it here in Salt Lake and in Massachusetts, and he knows what it will take in Washington.”

Mitt Romney, a former Republican candidate for president, served as Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, he led the 2002 Winter Olympics as the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. A graduate of Brigham Young University, he and his wife, Ann, have a home in Park City, Utah.

Currently, Romney is Honorary Chairman of the Free and Strong America PAC, which supports officeholders and candidates who are dedicated to advancing social, fiscal and foreign policies that will strengthen America.

“America is at a turning point,” said Romney. “We need conservative leadership in Washington that believes in the principles of family, patriotism and freedom that have helped guide and build our nation. I know that Bill Dew will take the lead in protecting and defending those values.”

(full disclosure, I’m helping with Bill Dew communication efforts)