12.01.2008 0

Paging Dr. Einstein

  • On: 12/03/2008 10:30:20
  • In: Conservative Movement
  • By Robert Romano

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”—Albert Einstein.

    America has preserved some semblance of a two-party system with the re-election of Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to the U.S. Senate. But it will not make any difference in the short or long run unless the Republican Party takes a hard, introspective look at itself and what it stands for, and how it can begin to mend its ways.

    There is no question that there is a hard road ahead for the Congressional minority to redeem itself to the American people, and for the conservative movement to thwart the agenda of the Hard Left. Really, the results of the 2008 election—with Republicans barely maintaining the ability to filibuster in the Senate—are not worth rationalizing. It was a rout.

    The only silver lining is that it was not conservatism that was routed. The true failure has been years in the making: Republicans have failed to develop a compelling, conservative alternative to the philosophy of Big Government. And they failed to deliver that message to the American people. And to continue to fail to deliver an alternative would be the very definition of morbid insanity.

    Let’s be specific. This year alone, when Republicans had an opportunity to craft an alternative to the bailout bonanza, the party was split in Congress between supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and opposing it. It could have stood on principle; instead, it bowed to pressure. Again.

    True, the GOP did manage to remove handouts to ACORN, trial attorneys, and Big Labor, but it is clear that in hindsight the program has failed to bring relief to failing companies. Companies that come in for aid, whether through the Federal Reserve’s discount window or the Treasury’s TARP, have wound up coming in for yet more taxpayer bailouts when the initial aid proves inadequate to prop up a faltering financial system.

    In the end, the American people did not have an alternative presented. Both presidential candidates supported the TARP. As did the overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress. And even now, few in government, despite the obvious failure of the program, appear to see anything wrong with spending more than $7 trillion in ill-fated bailouts.

    Clearly, Congress has lost the power of the purse. And it is the inevitable result of losing the power over the printing press. Long have opponents of central banks and, generally speaking, central planning, warned of the profound, detrimental economic consequences of bad government policies. And for too long have they been ignored.

    It is time for the GOP to become the anti-bailout party, and to admit that the broad economic failures on the order the TARP is designed to prevent, mitigate or relieve, are really unpreventable. To a larger extent, the current global monetary and financial system has failed, and there is no sense in attempting to prop it up by steeping the American taxpayer further into debt. This bears repeating, because government appears committed to this insanity.

    Republicans ought to take a view that it was government policies that created all of these failures. The monetary and financial policies that created the easy credit system were all government-directed, government-created, and government-operated.

    The responsibility for the currency lies with government. It is a constitutional responsibility of Congress, and clearly Congress has fallen down on the job. It has outsourced monetary policy to the nation’s central bank for decades.

    And yet, where are conservatives on monetary reform? Sure, there have been voices in the wilderness, but clearly there has been an extreme reluctance to address the issue with specific proposals. Representatives Paul Ryan and Ted Poe have put forward sound proposals in the House, as ALG News has previously reported, but there is no broad consensus within the Republican caucus to oppose Big Government’s failed system.

    It may be hard to do so in the coming session, but the minority Republican caucus needs to find the courage to say, “No.” To say, “No” to bailouts, handouts, kickbacks, and subsidies. To say, “No” to anything intended to prop up this failed system.

    The alternative is for Republicans to cede defeat, raise the white flag of surrender, continue to wave the White Feather, and say that Big Government has won.

    And if that is the case, there should at least be an explanation to the American people. About why there can be no sound money policy. About why endless reams of debt are the answer to any economic problem. About why the public treasury has been emptied.

    Because, if Republicans cannot come to a consensus against this insane policy of ceaselessly pumping money into a crumbling financial system, and provide some sort of alternative, then it ought to come to think of itself as a permanent minority. Because there will be no need for a two-party system. And the insanity can continue unabated.

    Robert Romano is the Editor of ALG News Bureau.

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