Skip to comments.Paul Ryan explains his votes for TARP, bailouts and tax on AIG bonuses
Posted on 08/12/2012 1:10:08 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll
A recent column in which blogger Matt Lewis questioned the conservative credentials of Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, got a lot of attention on our Web site. A number of Daily Caller readers have commented about Ryan, saying he has cast votes they disagree with, particularly in favor of the $700 billion TARP bailout for Wall Street, the auto bailouts and the taxes on AIG bonuses.
Heres how Lewis put it:
"Though he talks like Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, some of Ryans most high-profile votes seem closer to Keynes than to Adam Smith. For example, in the span of about a year, Ryan committed fiscal conservative apostasy on three high-profile votes: The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP (whereby the government purchased assets and equity from financial institutions), the auto-bailout (which essentially implied he agrees car companies especially the ones with an auto plant in his districtare too big to fail), and for a confiscatory tax on CEO bonuses (which essentially says the government has the right to take away private property if it doesnt like you).
While Ryans overall voting record is very conservative, the problem with casting these high-profile votes is that they demonstrate he is willing to fundamentally reject conservatism when the heat is on.
Because it is impossible to believe the highly intelligent and well read Rep. Ryan was unfamiliar with conservative economic principles, one must conclude he either 1). Doesnt really believe in free market economics, or 2). Was willing to cast bad votes for purely political purposes."
I asked Ryan about these criticisms during a phone interview this week. Heres what he had to say:
The DC: As youre getting more attention, besides the criticism that youre getting from the Democrats, Ive also started to see some critical comments of you from the right over your votes for TARP, the auto bailout, and the tax on CEO bonuses. How often do you hear that in your home state, how often do you hear it on the Internet, and what do you tell people when they criticize you on those things?
Ryan: You know I dont hear it here at home that much. Youve got to remember Obama won my district. Dukakis and Gore won my district. Clinton won my district. So I dont come from, you know, a red area. So I think its important to keep in mind where I come from. I dont hear that here.
TARP. Ill take one at a time. I believe we were on the cusp of a deflationary spiral which would have created a Depression. I think thats probably pretty likely. If we would have allowed that to happen, I think we would have had a big government agenda sweeping through this country so fast that we wouldnt have recovered from it. So in order to prevent a Depression and a complete evisceration of the free market system we have, I think it was necessary. It wasnt a fun vote. You dont get to choose the kind of votes you want. But I just think as far as the long term objectives that I have which are restoring the principles of this country I think it was necessary to prevent those principles from being really kind of wiped out for a generation.
Auto. Really clear. The presidents chief of staff [Josh Bolten] made it extremely clear to me before the vote, which is either the auto companies get the money that was put in the Energy Department for them already a bill that I voted against because I didnt want to give them that money, which was only within the $25 billion, money that was already expended but not obligated or the president was going to give them TARP, with no limit. Thats what they told me. Thats what the presidents chief of staff explained to me. I said, Well, I dont want them to get TARP. We want to keep TARP on a [inaudible]. We dont want to expand it. So give them that Energy Department money that at least puts them out of TARP, and is limited. Well, where are we now? What I feared would happen did happen. The bill failed, and now theyve got $87 billion from TARP, money were not going to get back. And now TARP, as a precedent established by the Bush administration, whereby the Obama administration now has turned this thing into its latest slush fund. And so I voted for that to prevent precisely what has happened, which I feared would happen.
The whole AIG thing, you know that was you know I obviously regret that one. I was angry at the time because I was worried that all these companies were jumping into TARP thinking they could use TARP as a way to best their competitors, as a way to get cheaper credit, to get money at cheaper rates, at the expense of their smaller competitors. And so I was seeing TARP as sort of a new tool of crony capitalism, and I thought itd be a good signal to send to the large banks who were jumping into this thing, who really didnt need it: Stay away from this, dont get in bed with the government, even though it might in the short term give you a leg up on your competitors, youll be burned. That was what was running through my mind at the time, given the fact that we had about six hours notice on the vote, and our lawyers were telling us that it was not a bill of attainder. Now when a week went by, and our lawyers had a chance to read it more clearly and carefully, they reversed their opinion of the bill and said it was in fact a bill of attainder, which therefore should not have passed
The other thing that bothered me was the Democrats were in a real political pinch, because Chris Dodd wrote in the exemption for those bonuses in the bill, and they were on the hook for it. And they were trying to get themselves off the hook and Republicans on the hook. And that bothered me too, was just the political cynicism behind it bothered me and I didnt want to give the Democrats that as well. So those were the thoughts running through my mind when I had to make more or less the snap judgment on that bill.
his answer bother me. We need government intervention to save capitalism is what he is saying
Excellent circumlocution, Ryan. Sounded just like Obama in defending his TARP vote.
he better have a good one
Yes, I agree. He had to violate the founding precepts of our republic in order to be able to restore them later.
In a war, you dont always get to have the choices you want.
I rest my case.
Paul Ryan is a good man. We republicans have to stop self destructing.
It’s the lack of leadership that is always most bothersome. Why does the media paint him as a conservative leader? If he were a leader, he would have taken a stand and not voted for these bills. But he’s the most conservative RINO of all the others Romney was considering.
I trust the guy. Sometimes in a war you have to retreat and bide your time until you can get a clear show at the enemy - think Sam Houston retreating before Santa Anna after the fall of the Alamo until he caught the Mexican Army and destroyed it. If you read Ryan’s answer he is a very astute politician who understands what is possible and what is tilting at windmills.....I was impressed with his answer on TARP....that if the deflationary depression hit at that time we counld have had a complete run to socialism. Now, in 2013, when it threatens again we will have the congress and the presidency to take the medicine and time to let the economy heal.
Neither man was necessarily wrong about the TARP. What was wrong about the chain of decisions made over the preceding 18 months which led to the near collapse of the banking system. As a stopgap, it may have been necessary, but then Obama began using this reserve as a kind of slush fund for all kinds of stuff. Not so sure about these founding principle things. Hamiltons national bank was not foreseen by the Constitutional Convention, which was why Madison broke with his erstwhile ally over the issue. Madison would have won if Jefferson had not brokered a deal. Short term, Hamiltons plan was a good fix, but then we seen speculators gaming the system to make a ton of money/going broke. Jefferson was soon aghast at what he had done and began working to correct his mistake. Our Founders were great men, but even Ted Williams only hit over .400 for a single year.
The latest description for Ryan coming from the administration and media is: “Ryan is a right wing radical who wants to take away the safety net for seniors, make drastic cuts which hurt the poor and middle class and give tax cuts for the rich.”
The irony os that analogy is that ole Sam had to be talked into the attack. His plan was to provoke the Mexicans into following him closer to the Louisiana border, where Taylors force was waiting. Old Rough and Ready would have taken Santa Anna’s force apart. BUT Santa Anna may have been smart enough to stop short. IAC. he sure wasnt expecting an attack, and Houston had learned war from Jackson.
Do you have one where he explains his votes for the Medicare Plan D and No Union Teacher Left Behind?
Not at all, the economy NEEDS to deflate from the current inflation. The economy have too much money mis allocated. Too many industries are in a bubble. Some industries simply needs to go bankrupt so that viable ones can begin. Without this cleaning process, the economy will never recover. Its like a person on drug, needs to go thru withdrawal to cure itself. Ryan is saying, we need the drug to keep us from going into withdrawal as its painful. Deflation is not something we need to fight. Its capitalism cure for the system.
During Reagan, interest rate was set to 20% to deflate the money supply. We need something similar for this economy to recover
There is a right way to vote and there is a wrong way to vote, if you vote the wrong way all the mumbo jumbo coming out of your mouth cannot and will not make it a good vote. All the lip stick in the world will not adhere to the lips of that particular swine.
You can look at this two ways:
1) Ryan is a good conservative who got caught up in the politics of the moment and tried to make bad votes into better votes.
2) Ryan is a good RINO who votes for what the establishment wants at crucial junctures.
I agree with you 100% The system needs to collapse so that we can wipe out all the bad investments. In fact, I believe we have no choice...deflation is already baked into the cake. And Ryan believes that also. My only point was that by delaying the inevitable until the GOP (scum bag RINO’s and Tea Party conservative all) is in charge of all branches of the Government ( hopefully in 2013) we have a better chance of saving the system of capitalism from a panicked population than if Obama and his commies are in charge.
Not buying his vote on TARP, but Ryan is a thousand times better than anyone in this current administration. I think that Ryan is a capable man who will be asset to Romney should he get elected.
Back in 2010, I would have been less forgiving of Ryan for these votes. But after seeing Cesar Obammus and his Chicago thugs twist arms, issue executive orders and stomp all over the Consititution in the past few years, Ryan is probably right. This band of Bolsheviks was going to get their way one way or another. Ryan was simply not put in a position to win.
All water under the bridge now. There’s not an alternative right now.
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