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The Mother of All Bailouts = The Death of Fiscal Conservatism

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 19, 2008 10:27 AM

Scroll for updates…10:54am Eastern Bush speaking now…bailout will be “grease for the gears”… “we expect this money will eventually be paid back”…HA-HA-HA…

Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson just wrapped up his press conference announcing the Mother of All Bailouts. He said a “bold” approach was needed to achieve “stability” in the market.

Let me translate that.

“Bold” = Massively massive, taxpayer-funded rescue.

“Stability” = Privatizing profits and socializing losses on a scale we have never seen before in our lifetimes.

I have had it with Pollyanna conservatives who continue to parrot the “fundamentals of the market are great!” line.

The fundamentals of the market suck. The fundamentals of capitalism have been sabotaged.

Yes, yes, crony Democrats are to blame for much of how we got here. You don’t need to recite all the talking points back to me. I’ve been writing about the Fannie/Freddie debacle for years.

But it is September 19, 2008. And this is a Republican White House presiding over the Mother of All Bailouts. Every step along the way since stimuluspalooza began last summer, we’ve heard that every bailout step was just a one-off. Each step was supposed to calm the markets. Each new government intervention and allocation of taxpayer dollars was supposed to achieve “stability.” Each new package of goodies rewarding irresponsible behavior and bad financial decisions was supposed to prevent new ones.

None did. And now, here we are.

This is your Bush legacy — not Pelosi’s, not Reid’s, not Obama’s: A ginormous bailout of every last, failing, panicked financial institution’s illiquid assets that may reach into the trillions — TRILLIONS – when all is said and done.

Reader John in Venice, CA e-mails: “Going forward there is no debate a conservative can win when pitted against a liberal wanting to spend money on social programs. What would the argument be against spending money on terrible social programs? Government money does not work? Conservatives who are supporting this welfare bailout are no different than Maxine Waters or Barbara Boxer. We have lost. Conservatism has absolutely no more moral high ground to speak from.”

Fiscal conservatism has been on life support for quite some time. Bush/Paulson pulled the plug permanently today.

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I mentioned the other day that both presidential candidates from the Evil Party and the Stupid Party support bailing out the automakers next.

Here’s more:

The auto industry and Wall Street took center stage in the presidential race Wednesday when Republican John McCain, after touring a suburban Detroit auto plant, declared in his strongest language so far that he will fight for government loans to help the U.S. auto industry retool.

Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign retorted that he’s late to the game.

McCain made an unscheduled stop at General Motors Corp.’s Orion assembly plant in the morning before joining his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for a town hall meeting in Grand Rapids.

He told a crowd of supporters in downtown Grand Rapids that the economy can be fixed.

“I reject the doom and gloom that says our nation is in decline, because our best days are ahead of us. We will restore America, we will restore this economy,” McCain said.

At the GM plant, McCain spoke to about 100 workers after a short tour.

“I’m here to send a message to Washington and Wall Street: We are not going to leave the workers here in Michigan hung out to dry while we give billions in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street,” McCain said. “It is time to get our auto industry back on its feet. It’s time for a new generation of cars and for loans to build the facilities that will make them.”

McCain’s support of the auto industry on Wednesday contrasts with his position last month when he visited the GM Tech Center in Warren and said he wasn’t inclined to support loans for the auto industry.

McCain, who also did not vote on the energy bill creating the loan program in December 2007, said then through his campaign that his proposals — a $5,000 tax credit for consumers to buy more efficient models and a $300-million prize for battery technology — would accomplish the same goals as the loan program.

Auto industry officials said they believed that without McCain’s support, the funding would get labeled a Democratic ploy. Michigan’s Republican lawmakers, especially U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, are credited with convincing McCain to back the loans.

Obama has backed up to $50 billion in loans for automakers.

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Here’s Jim Pethokoukis’s take.

Hans Bader at OpenMarket.org: Trillion Dollar Bailout Will Lead to Future Bubbles. Read it all.

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Update 10:54am Eastern: Bush speaking. He says the bailout will be “grease for the gears”…”we expect this money will eventually be paid back”…HA-HA-HA.

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