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Friday, November 21, 2008

Bailout Flashback: Ron Paul in '79

In 1979 Congressman Ron Paul gave a speech on the House floor in opposition to the bailout of Chrysler. His words are extremely relevant to the new round of bailouts being discussed today. Some excerpts:

“Do we in Congress have the authority, either moral or constitutional, to cause this suffering? I can find no provision in the Constitution authorizing Congress to make loans or loan guarantees to anyone, let alone to major corporations. Nor have I yet seen a valid moral argument concluding that we, as representatives of all the people, have the right to tax the American people – most of whom receive less in wages and benefits than Chrysler workers – to support a multibillion-dollar corporation. What right have we – and I pose a serious question that deserves an answer – what right have we to force the American taxpayers to risk their money in a business venture which private investors dealing in their own funds have judged to be too risky? Chrysler paper is now classified; that means that any private investor who is handling funds for his depositors, shareholders, or clients may be judged as violating his fiduciary responsibilities should he invest in Chrysler. Don’t we have a trust equally important from the American people? Are we not betraying their trust by voting for a Chrysler bailout? I believe so.”


“Last year there were 200,000 bankruptcies in this country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Yet we have selected only the largest for our aid. This is discrimination of the crassest sort. We ignore the smaller victims of this government’s policies simply because they are small. Only the largest, those with the most clout, the most pull, get our attention. This aristocracy of pull is morally indefensible. What answer can be given to the small businessman driven into bankruptcy by government regulations when he asks: “You bailed out Chrysler, why not me?” No justification can be given for this discrimination between the powerful and the powerless, the big and the small.

It is an axiom of our legal system that all citizens are to enjoy the equal protection of the laws. That axiom is violated daily by our tax laws, and now by this proposed corporate welfare plan for Chrysler. Apparently some citizens are more equal than others. That is a notion I reject, and I hope you do, too. I urge you to reject this proposal for all the reasons I have stated.”

I highly encourage you to read the whole speech.

Posted by Isaac Morehouse on November 21, 2008 in Economic freedom | Permalink


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"This aristocracy of pull is morally indefensible."

Someone's been reading their Ayn Rand.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-11-21 12:30:24 PM

Ron Paul 2012

Posted by: Hyrum | 2008-11-21 10:39:26 PM

Ron Paul speaks the truth!!

Posted by: Yan | 2008-11-23 10:24:45 PM

You might consider pointing out that when Iacocca took control of Chrysler, he did it for a salary of $1 a year. He said that's all he deserved if he couldn't pull out the company. It also wasn't a gov't. 'bailout' - it was a loan. And Chrysler paid it back. The difference is, the gov't gave them the $$ then with conditions and expectations and Chrysler had honor enough to turn around. Now... hey, it's 30 years later. Honor? What's that?

Posted by: wednesday | 2008-11-24 6:22:57 PM

Bailout 2008, a poem by David Jeffrey

Like a bloodied warrior,
laying broken and torn.

Like a dying soldier, hopeless and forlorn.

But the blood, it be green,
the color of money.

And the soldier is an economy,
and it is anything but funny.

Broken are it's people and shattered are their dreams.

Thanks to the ultra rich and their full proof schemes.

It is a tragedy with more pain to come.

Finance will be Hell, and their wills will be done.

Posted by: Kimbo | 2008-12-02 10:30:23 PM

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