Saturday, October 11, 2008

AFP: George Will & Dinesh D'Souza: slamming the bailout

At the AFP Tribute to Ronald Reagan dinner last night, speakers included George Will, Dinesh D'Souza, and Ed Meese. Will gave a damning critique of the bailout. People are treating their homes as ATMs (with their lines of credit and 2nd mortgages). The pain of debt has been separated from buying through credit. The welfare state has bred a state of entitlement to security. This is incompatible with a free market society. Originally, government bailouts were meant only to be utilized in case of systemic threats to society. Then we bailed out the three major automakers. Uh, why? It was "Lemon socialism." Essentially finding the losers and subsidizing them! The saying in Washington goes: "If it moves, tax it, if it keeps moving, regulate it, if it stops, subsidize it." Everyone is lining up like Oliver Twist with their hand out. We need to pass George Will's law - No executive of a company receiving a federal handout can receive more than a civil servant's salary.

Healthcare: We can be like Canada where everything is free and nothing is available. We don't have a "healthcare crisis," we have people engaging in risky behavior who have brought things like lung cancer, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes on themselves. Our kids are fat because the trial lawyers have sued to remove the teeter totters and jungle bars out of the playgrounds.

There has been an erosion of the idea of personal responsibility. Barack Obama says he's going to give a tax cut to 95% of the population. Well 38% of the population doesn't pay taxes. So Obama is going to create a new entitlement to give more money to that 38%.

Will Rogers once said the difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. We need to give the free makrket some time to work. We're not in a "manufacturing crisis." We make as much steel as we did years ago, just with fewer workers. If we have a crisis in manufacturing, then we have one in agriculture as well. We have even fewer workers producing food, yet we still produce as much. When President Lincoln made his only mistake, creating a Bureau of Agriculture, there was 1 bureaucrat for every 220,000 farmers. Today, there is 1 bureaucreat for every 19 farms. There is a joke about an agriculture bureaucrat crying at work, because his farmer just died.

The difference between the Republicans and Democrats is the Republicans value freedom and its risks over equality and security. They are willing to accept greater inequalities in order to prioritize freedom. The good news currently is that neither of the two presidential candidates are advocating rolling back the great advances made under Reagan.

Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for your government - this means you reserve a spacious portion of your life for which government isn't responsible. Right now you can put together any combination of letters and it will spell out the acronym for some government agency.

Next Dinesh D'Souza spoke about the differences between Republicans and Democrats. He said he explained to his grandma living in India that there are two political parties in the U.S.: the stupid party and the evil party. The evil party is the Democrats, and the stupid party is the Republicans. Put stupid and evil together and you get bipartisanship.

JFK made it noble to go into civil service by joining the peace corps. Reagan changed all that, making the entrepreneur, not the civil servant, the embodiment of the American ideal. Once when Sam Donaldson was interviewing Reagan, he asked, "You blame Congress, the Democrats, and lobbyists for our budget problems. Do you share any of that blame? Reagan responded, "Yes, I used to be a Democrat." D'Souza ended with an old Indian saying about hard work, "After crossing the mountain, more mountains."

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