On the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and member of the oversight boards for TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program), stressed the importance of redefining the wave of bailouts and federal intervention as temporary solutions:

[I]t is incumbent upon federal policy makers to ensure that the extraordinary actions of the past months are understood to be temporary, and constructed so that they are self-liquidating. Since government programs do not on their own go away, there has to be a deliberate design to eliminate them, and a relentless adherence to execution of that plan. Anything short of this will almost certainly guarantee eternal life for these vast new federal roles.

Your credit card

Your credit card

As Ayn Rand Institute‘s head Yaron Brook said, once you open the door for one, others will surely want the same privilege:

[Bailouts] are horrible. I think that the biggest mistake that was made was probably the bailout of Bear Stearns. I think they should have let Bear Stearns fail. The fact that everybody else now wants a bailout makes complete sense. Why bailout AIG and not General Motors? General Motors employs more people.

Surely the Big 3 are looking for a federal rescue line too, and they will probably get it under the same “too-big-to-fail” mindset. In this case it’s worse than the financial bailout, as we know these auto companies are going to face problems again in the near future, and this money will be tossed out. Even GM’s vice chairman Bob Lutz admitted that those fuel-efficient “green” cars will be unsellable unless gas prices are high:

Very few people will want to change what has been their ‘nationality-given’ right to drive big and bigger if the price of gas is $1.50 or $2.00 or even $2.50.

Public opinion in general is strongly against federal bailouts. The general feeling is that big corporations, always the evil in the eye of the public, profitted for decades but are now getting away with murder. More specifically, public’s resentment is against that upper management with big paychecks and perks, responsible (directly or not) for those bad decisions, and who are now getting easy loans to ride the bad times.

Coming to the rescue

Coming to the rescue

During subprime bailout negotiations, polls showed extreme opposition slowly turning to reluctant acceptance as stock markets crashed day after day. Given how much Americans have invested their retirements in Wall Street, that is another evidence that the pocket is still the most sensitive part of the human body.

That explains the way votes were dispersed, among both republican and democrats, based on whether or not a congressman was in a election year:

Bailout vote by party

Bailout vote by party

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