Steve G.

Barr Slams Freddie/Fannie Bailout

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Personal Responsibility on July 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm

On this score, Barr is taking a broadly libertarian approach to the issue and differentiating the Libertarians from the Democrats and Republicans on a key policy issue.

Barr’s statement to FOX on this issue can be viewed here.

  1. Gee, did we both watch the same video??? I first saw it on Knapster’s site, and it was then picked up on IPR after I pointed out that Barr and LPHQ were taking OPPOSITE stances on the issue…

    The Faux News video that I saw had Barr saying that while as a (pseudo)-Libertarian he was opposed to gov’t programs like F/F, he did NOT think they should just be allowed to fail, as they were “too big to fail” – he just wanted a SLIGHTLY smaller scale bailout than was being proposed… Sounded to me like a more big government approach.

    This was at about the same time that LPHQ was putting out a press release saying to let F/F do the crash and burn, so that some better run private operation could aquire their assets, without sticking the taxpayers with yet another bill…

    My response was that Barr’s pro-big government stance was no surprise; while that the LPHQ folks got it right (for a change) was a mild one – coupled with noticing that there seems to be a problem with getting our Presidential candidate and our party leadership onto the same page…

    (OTOH, I suppose it’s better than having Sean “Firebug” Haugh suggest that we just burn the mortgages… {GRIN?} )


  2. Nope, not a libertarian message but then I was never under any misguided impression that Barr was a libertarian. At least he acknowledged that his position wasn’t libertarian at 2:03 before he went on to say that there has to be congressional restructuring.

  3. It’s not a purist doctrinaire libertarian message, no, but it is distinct in that it calls for limitation and begins with a slamming of the concept of the bailout in the first place.

    That *is* significant differentiation. Not to the degree that many of us would prefer, but it’s a distinctly superior response versus the others in the race.

    As an incrementalist, I’m open to approaches that take us in the right direction. A position stating that the government should not bail out big institutions, followed by a call for minimal spending on the issue, is libertarian incrementalism when contrasted with the “spare no expense, they’re too big to fail” position of the Republicrats.

  4. Brian, surprise, surprise, I agree with your view on this one! (Maybe we should celebrate it with some wine :-)). Yes, I think many Barr-critics are missing the distinction and huge difference between “doing something about F&F” and the “acceptance of a government bail-out”. Barr did not approve of the bail-out either
    but suggest since it is the government’s mess and creation, they should do something so that the individual people (not investors) do not stand in a difficult situation. What will happen with their mortages when F&F are liquidated? There must be a company that take some “responsibility”. A privatization of F&F is actually a very libertarian approach, e.g. leave it to the market. There could be a hedge fund or other investors willing to take over the debt and develop the businesses.

    The same issue with regard to social welfare, e.g. you cannot morally say to an elder who is used and dependent on the system, to suddenly not receive welfare anymore, the market takes care of it. This would simply mean that those people are put on the street and then you will have a huge condemnation of libertarianism. You need to take an incremental approach and realize it is going to take time to end the system. Start by giving young people the option to opt out.

    Barr and “doctrinaire radicals” have exactly the same libertarian ideals, just Barr thinks practically and has experience and knowledge of how the government system and balance of power between the president and congress works. A LP president would have to persuade congress, and they will ONLY be able to do so with the incremental approach. There is a limit to what the president can and is allowed to do.

  5. Art: if the govt. wants to provide a short term loan for F&F in order to give them time to restructure, e.g. for negotiations with private or public companies to acquire them, then it would be acceptable. But 5 B is a huge amount to pay, you would need several sovereign wealth funds to “let the market” decide instead of the government. The whole moral problem already occurred with Bears Stearns bail-out, what is next GM? A very vicious spiral….

  6. Absolutism in theory is gradualism in practice; gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.

    Wm. Lloyd Garrison.

  7. What a joke. Barr SUPPORTS the bailout and giving the Fed MORE control over the housing market. He supports making the implied government backing of Fannie/Freddie debt a reality.

    How can you be so wrong on this, Brian?

  8. Barr doesn’t support the bailout — he supports some federal action in the matter.

    That means he’s not perfect.

    It also means he’s much, much better than the competition.

    Since many radicals like yourself managed to fuck up the Libertarian nomination, attacking strong LPers like George, and handing it to someone who was imperfect with your antics, the rest of us have to live with “better than the Republicrats on most issues,” rather than perfection.

    Next time you want to complain, look in the mirror.

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