Hatch is Wrong on Bailout

My friend email Senator Orrin Hatch about the recent bail out bill that he supported at the beginning of the month.  I believe that my friend’s email was letting Hatch know that he didn’t support the bail out.  And this was the response that he received from Hatch.

It is just further eveidence as to why the 110th congress needs to be removed from duty.  I share the email in its entirety.  But of course, I have to pause for comment. (Just for clarification, the italicized and indented portion is the letter from Hatch, the rest are my thoughts.)

From: Correspondence_Reply@hatch.senate.gov
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 11:54 AM
To: My Friend Whose Name Has Been Removed
Subject: Response to your inquiry to Senator Orrin Hatch

Thank you for contacting me to express your view that the Congress must act to address the current crisis in our financial markets and the state of the economy. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you well know, our financial markets have become increasingly volatile over the past weeks. The collapse of major financial institutions and a giant insurance company sent a clear signal that we were on the brink of a major financial catastrophe. Something had to be done in order to prevent the problems of our financial markets from leaking into other sectors of our economy. Secretary Paulson and President Bush offered the first solution to the exacerbating economic decline as an attempt to get the dialogue flowing. However, many, including myself, believed that this plan was not sufficient. The House amended the original plan in an attempt to protect taxpayer’s interest, prevent exuberant executive packages for participating entities, and provide more oversight. Even with these additions, the plan failed to pass the House, and that day the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 778 points, the biggest single-day point loss in history.

Politics of fear.  If you want people to believe that they should give more power to the government just make them afraid.  Create enough fear in them and they will bend over to let you have more power.

As you, I am deeply troubled by the financial situation we are facing. We did not get here because of any one decision or policy – these problems were years in the making. For example, in the late 1990s, the Clinton Administration began pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase loans to subprime borrowers. We are seeing the consequences of a long series of policy errors, both in private and public sectors, which have combined to create a “perfect storm” of financial problems. In my view, one thing was for certain, inaction was not an option. We had to provide relief quickly because the consequences of inaction far outweighed the cost of the provisions in the legislation.

Just a minute here.  We are blaming the Clinton Administration here?  Let us not for gets that is the congress that has more control over the economy than the President.  And let us also not forget that Hatch and Bennet were both Senators during the Clinton Administration.  He is right that “these problems were years in the making.”  And Hatch is part of those years.

If we had not addressed this problem, we would be ignoring a much greater danger. For everyone who has a savings account, retirement savings, or a job, inaction placed these lifelines in jeopardy. For anyone who needs a mortgage loan, to borrow for a car, or to finance an education, the prospects had significantly worsened. With business expansion and job creation, there is a need for credit in order to make our economy work.

Wow, this isn’t what President Bush said.  Bush said that it was all about credit.  So, who is right?  Simply put, the real solution here is to manage our money.  To keep debt to a minimum, or eliminate it all together.

The Senate version of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, HR.1424, which ultimately passed the Senate and the House and was signed into law on October 3rd, broadened the ability of the federal government to revitalize our economy. The legislation is designed to help secure retirement savings, help small-business owners meet payroll and help restore the American people’s confidence in their own financial well being. Furthermore, the Senate added specific provisions to curtail the jobless rate and promote investment. Among the added provisions was a set of extensions to expired and expiring tax provisions, including the research tax credit and the Alternative Minimum tax (AMT). While it is estimated that 70 percent research tax credit dollars are used for wages of R&D employees, the AMT relief will free 23 million Americans, including hundreds of thousands of Utahns from having to pay the unfair AMT.

Thank you Uncle Sugar. I knew that you would come and save the day.  What would we do with out.  Sarcasm over.  The real solution is that we need to be willing to sacrifice.  By sacrifice, I mean to suffer the pains of an indutry that got greedy, and the consumers who were just as equally greedy.  We shouldn’t be placing this burden on someone else shoulders (our children) by getting in to debt.  The worst way to get out of debt is by incurring more debt, it makes no sense.

This legislation, while not perfect, will have a greater impact beyond Wall Street into Main Street. I believe that one reason why the financial rescue legislation failed to pass in the House the first time was because the American people were not convinced that the bill would help them personally.  Along with this, I believe that many Americans failed to see the connection with the current crisis with our financial markets and their own future economic well being.

Oh, I get it, Main street is too stupid to realize that they will be affected by Wall Street. This is just further proof that Hatch is an elitist.  He thinks he knows better than us.  We do realize that these companies failures will hurt us.  But, that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.  Government intervention is never the solution.

While the Economic Stabilization Act may hold off an impending economic meltdown, it must now be followed up with decisive action on our part. Foremost, we need to change the way the financial sector works. The Federal Reserve needs to rethink its definition of good monetary policy and determine whether its existing policy tools — such as reserve requirements, oversight capabilities, and reporting rules — are adequate. In addition, Congress must reconsider what it has charged the Federal Reserve to do. The Fed has been charged with two goals: 1) providing a sound currency with stable purchasing power, and 2) maintaining steady economic growth with low unemployment. At this point, it is obvious that an aggressive, excessively easy monetary policy in pursuit of short-term growth is self-destructive in the long-run. It leads only to inflation and speculative excesses in the credit markets that harm the economy. Only by focusing on a stable currency can the Federal Reserve achieve both its objectives.

Can you please explain to me how printing more money will help to stabilize our currency?  And further, increased regulation will not fix this problem.  Isn’t government involvement in the banking industry what got us here in the first place.  Keep your dirty hand off of the private sector.

We also need to completely rethink Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As we’ve heard countless times over the last few weeks, in creating these two government-sponsored enterprises, we have made sure that the benefits of their investments are private while all the risks are public. Put simply, this is bad policy, with considerable moral hazard. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together represent an immense government-created and government-coddled duopoly. In the years since their creation, they have focused mainly on their own expansion, recklessly urged on by many in Congress who believed this was a way to make home ownership more affordable for lower income families. However, as a recent Fed study has demonstrated, most of the benefit of the previously implicit – now explicit — federal guarantee of their debt has gone to their shareholders as higher earnings, not to reducing costs for new homeowners. In their efforts to expand, Fannie and Freddie took too many unwarranted risks. They needed an ever-expanding supply of new mortgages to package and resell and to hold for income. Others fed this expansion effort with unsound lending. The recent Federal rescue package of these institutions requires an immediate step: Congressional oversight. It is a little late in coming, but, as of right now, it is essential.

Yep, I was right.  It was the government meddling in the private sector that caused it.  Thanks for helping me to understand how WRONG you are.

The regulatory and rating agencies also need to be reviewed. We need to ask whether they have enough resources for adequate supervision and whether they’ve failed to recognize the evolutionary changes in the credit markets and the new business arrangements that reduced transparency in financing. These and other questions will have to be explored as we move forward.

Yep, that’s right.  The problem has been that these federal programs don’t have enough money.  Why don’t we just print some more money and give it to these regulatory agencies.  When are you going to get it through your thick head, that government and money are the only solutions to every problem.  The solution in this case has to be self-regulation.

I believe that we clearly need to reform our financial markets and refine the powers of the Federal Reserve in order to ensure crises like this don’t happen again. And, though I hesitated to support the idea, it is not unreasonable to conclude that government intervention can provide immediate relief and prevent any more catastrophic losses in the near future and give the financial market time to sort out the mess. But, if we don’t adopt policies that are pro-growth, pro-business, and pro-job creation, we won’t be able to ensure long-term economic security for our country, no matter how many bad mortgages we purchase with taxpayers’ money.

Government involvement hasn’t been working so far.  Why would it work now?  Come on.  I am tired of this.

In order to address these concerns, Congress must be very careful as we work to solve this crisis. We must meet the demands of taxpayers and restore confidence in our financial markets.

Again, thanks for writing.

Sincerely,
Orrin G. Hatch
United States Senator

I have posted in several places (twitter, facebook, Newspapers, personal emails, etc.) that I will not be supporting Hatch or Bennet for reelection.  This email has solidified by reasons for such a move.  Hatch believes that government is the solution to all our problems.  When in reality it is usually the cause of it.

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To B(ailout) or Not to B(ailout)?

You have all read about this, you are probably sick and tired of reading about this.  But this is something that I have become passionate enough about to call my Senators on.  I have even commented on them at Chris Cannon’s Blog.  I am still waiting for them to be posted.

Listening to President Bush’s explanation, I was struck with something.  This is all about credit.

Am I the only person here who believes that we can have economic stability without credit?  As I have mentioned before, I am Debt Free.  I have managed to get along quite well in my life without racking up much debt.  It’s actually quite refreshing that I have few financial obligations to another person.

Some might argue that it isn’t feasible to run a business without debt.  But the fact is I know of several organizations from small to big that have run debt free operations.  Some examples are Expeditors International, The Kid’s know it Network (h/t: Hiram), and the Jason for Congress Campaign.  I am sure there are others, but these are one’s that I have personal knowledge of.  Each of these have also run very successfully.

I have said it before, we are operating under a false economy.  And while I was too timid then to call it, I almost wanted to predict the failure of our economy when I wrote that.  However, I have felt for a long time that this was coming.

It’s just maddening that this whole bailout is about credit.  This makes me even more adement that we must not pass this bill.  So mad that I call my Senators.  Unfortunately, none of our congress men have made a decision on the issue.  You have got to be kidding me.  In a nation where a clear majority of the citizen are opposed to a bail out.  You can’t make a decision.  This is just another example of the elitism in D.C.  It must stop.

It appears from everything I can see that America is willing to take the lumps on this one.  We don’t care how much it hurts.  Let us pay the price and have our economy struggle for a while.  Better to pay the price now then to pay for it later.

It drives me crazy to think that this socialist concept is going to happen.  We need to do everything we can to stop with bail out.  Please write, call, email, scream at your Senators and Congressmen to put a stop to this.  If they don’t then, the simple action is to vote against them the next chance that you get.  I know that I will.