The Right’s Pathetic Opposition to the Auto Bailout
December 15, 2008
Washington, D.C.--Republican opponents of the auto bailout are being accused of putting ideology ahead of the economy’s well-being. They are accused of having an ideological animus against bailouts.
“That criticism pays Republicans a compliment they don’t deserve,” said Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. “The Republican opposition to the auto bailout was not a matter of principle, but of pragmatic nit-picking.
“A principled opposition to the auto bailout would have denounced as immoral any attempt to use taxpayer money to prop up failing companies. It would have insisted that such attempts at central planning are destructive and un-American. It would have said that the government’s proper function is not to engineer the economy, but to protect individual rights and otherwise leave the economy free. That is not what the Republicans claimed.
“In his floor statement opposing the bill, leading Republican senator Mitch McConnell’s ‘stinging’ criticism consisted of finding that the bill ‘does not’ lay out ‘an effective strategy for securing the long-term viability of these companies,’ that it did not give the proposed ‘Car Czar’ enough power, and--the ultimate deal-killer for Republicans--the bill would have adjusted auto worker wage rates at ‘too slow’ a pace.
“The tragic fact is that Republicans do not regard central planning as objectionable--they merely disagree with the Democrats’ central plan.”
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