In September, Paulson offered his lofty pledge: “The ultimate taxpayer protection will be the stability this troubled asset relief program provides to our financial system, even as it will involve a significant investment of taxpayer dollars. I am convinced that this bold approach will cost American families far less than the alternative — a continuing series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets unable to fund economic expansion.”
Two months later, Paulson’s conviction melted faster than microwaved butter. “Our assessment at this time is that this is not the most effective way to use TARP funds,” he sheepishly told the nation Wednesday.
Hey, who died and put Emily “Never Mind” Litella in charge of the economy?
Paulson explained at his non-mea culpa press conference that he knew when the bailout was signed that it wasn’t going to work as sold: “It was clear to me by the time the bill was signed on October 3 that we needed to act quickly and forcefully, and that purchasing troubled assets — our initial focus — would take time to implement and would not be sufficient given the severity of the problem.”
Now he tells us? Would have been nice if he had made this clear — quickly, forcefully, and publicly — to the Beltway stooges who were pulling the TARP over our eyes. So much for Paulson’s earnest transparency commitments on the Hill.
Members of Congress who let themselves be bullied into switching their votes on the bailout should be experiencing the biggest case of buyers’ remorse in U.S. history. They fell for what Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek called “the fatal conceit” — the disastrous idea that a federal bureaucrat has the knowledge to do a better job than the private market in organizing and directing an economy. They gave unchecked power to a single government official without a clue.
15 November 2008
Malkin on Paulson
Normally I find Michelle Malkin noxious--in fact I haven't read anything by her in a few years. But I stumbled upon this, and she's right. My favorite parts (emphasis added by me):