03.07.2013 0

Take the IMF’s hand out of Uncle Sam’s wallet

Stop European BailoutsBy Rick Manning Awkward.

That is how the Washington Post characterized an Obama Administration request to make a permanent $65 billion pledge to the International Monetary Fund.

But the request is more than just awkward, it is a window into the priorities that Obama is setting for America.

At a time when Obama has gone around the country playing sequester chicken little, threatening to furlough employees, shutting down White House tours, and putting our national defense at risk over what amounts to $44 billion in budget cuts, he has submitted a request to send $65 billion to the International Monetary Fund so they can prop up failed socialist European states like Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

What makes the request all the more galling is that the IMF itself has been arguing that Americans should pay higher taxes in order to close our massive budget deficit.

Incredibly, the IMF knows no shame as they IMF already have their hand in Uncle Sam’s wallet through a special $100 billion line of credit.  This means they can withdraw money from the U.S. Treasury, any time they want without anything other than the Secretary of Treasury’s approval.

No vote of Congress is needed, no public debate, nothing.

Now, the IMF and Obama want a permanent $65 billion into their coffers.  As a reminder for those keeping score, $65 billion is about what the U.S. has authorized for emergency Hurricane Sandy relief, and it is dramatically more than the $40 billion that the recently imposed small business tax increases are expected to generate.

To make matters worse, the IMF actually advocates for increased taxes on U.S. taxpayers in its spare time.  They have even gone so far as to participate in the economy killing push for a carbon tax which a National Association of Manufacturers study found would not only hurt our overall economy, but would drive workers incomes even lower.

Yet, the same economic geniuses at the IMF who have led Europe into an economic tailspin that can only end in depression and default, now are trying to tell the U.S. what to do.

One thing that the U.S. should not do is continue to give the Eurocrats who run the IMF unfettered access to our Treasury through a line of credit.

House Republican Conference Chairperson Cathy McMorris Rodgers is expected to re-introduce legislation which would cut off the IMF’s line of credit, protecting more than $80 billion from being wasted in an attempt to bail out European banks that bet badly on Greek bonds.  Increasing the U.S. debt to bail out foreign banks will just make the job of restoring fiscal sanity in the U.S. and around the world all the more difficult.

After all, the U.S. debt burden is the number one threat to the world economy.  If our government gets so swamped in debt that it cannot pay investors, the world economy is sunk.  And at a time when budget cuts equaling less than a 3 percent of U.S. government spending is being treated by the Obama Administration as the end of the world, it is time to impose a little austerity on the IMF.

It is time to cut the IMF credit card access to the U.S. Treasury up into little tiny bits of plastic, and tell them to mind their own business.

After all, at some point even Ben Bernanke will run out of the ability to monetize the U.S. debt, and when that happens the impact will make a potential Greek default seem like a small pothole when the entire world economy is falling into the debt created sinkhole.

It is time for Congress to take the simple steps available to restore some semblance of fiscal sanity, and  passing legislation keeping the IMF’s hand out of the U.S. cookie jar should be easy.

What’s not to like about cutting a cool, $80 billion off of our nation’s liabilities.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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