Monday, September 29, 2008

There Are Alternatives

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence - a principled leader leading:

Our nation has been confronted by a crisis in our financial markets. The President and this Congress were right to act with all deliberate speed in addressing this crisis. And we now have a bill that promises to bring near-term stability to our financial turmoil, but at what price?

Benjamin Franklin said in 1759: ‘They that can give up liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.’

Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The decision to give the federal government the ability to nationalize almost every bad mortgage in America interrupts this basic truth of our free market economy.

It must be said, Republicans in this Congress improved this bill, but it remains the largest corporate bailout in American history, forever changes the relationship between government and the financial sector, and passes the cost along to the American people. I cannot support it.

There are no easy answers, but the American people deserve to know there are alternatives to massive federal spending.

The Bush Administration and this Congress have acted quickly but have largely ignored free market solutions to this crisis. The House Republican plan, as a solid alternative, would have set up an FDIC-style mandatory insurance program in which Wall Street firms would have paid to insure their mortgage-backed securities. Doing so would have made Wall Street pay the cost of this rescue, instead of Main Street.

And while there is an option for an insurance plan in this bill, it falls far short of the substitute that Republicans desired.

The House Republican plan would have injected liquidity into our markets through fast-acting tax strategies, releasing the economic power inherent in the American economy.

Temporarily reducing the repatriation tax, as we did in 2005, would have brought hundreds of billions of dollars back into this economy, and the other business deductions would have helped the financial sector back on its feet.

There were alternatives.

So, I say to my colleagues, before you vote, ask yourselves why you came here, and vote with courage and integrity to those principles.

If, like me, you came here because you believe in limited government and the freedom of the American marketplace, I urge you to vote in accordance with your convictions. Duty is ours, outcomes belong to God.

The American people and our posterity deserve to know that there were men and women in this Congress who opposed the leviathan state in this hour.

And if you do this, I promise you, I will stand with you and I believe with all my heart the American people will stand with you as well.

Stand up for limited government and economic freedom. Stand up for the American taxpayer. Reject this bailout and vote ‘no’ on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

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