"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

REP. MIKE PENCE ON THE BAILOUT: "To have the freedom to succeed, we must preserve the freedom to fail. "

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence calls for alternatives to be studied
before Congress approves a bailout


Our financial markets are in turmoil and the Administration was right to call for decisive action to prevent further harm to our economy but nationalizing every bad mortgage in America is not the answer.

The Administration's request amounts to the largest corporate bailout in American history. Congress should act, but should act in a way that protects the integrity of our free market and protects the American taxpayer from more debt and higher taxes.

To have the freedom to succeed, we must preserve the freedom to fail. Any solution to our present crisis must preserve our essential economic freedom.

Congress should delay consideration of any legislation until the facts and competing solutions can be fully debated, consider alternatives to massive government spending and figure out how to pay for the solution through budget cuts and reform instead of more debt or taxes.

Congress must not hastily embrace a cure that may do more harm to our economy than the disease of bad debt

Before any bailout is enacted, Congress must set itself on an unalterable path to truly overhaul these Government Sponsored Enterprises from the top down and hold those accountable, in and out of government, who drove them, and our financial sector, to the brink of bankruptcy. Some important work is already underway, but additional reforms are needed. Even now, we read that the Treasury Department is using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase many of these bad mortgages while it seeks the authority to purchase them all. Congress should also ensure that these GSEs can no longer pose a systemic risk to the entire economy while placing them on a brisk schedule to be fully private companies with no guarantee of taxpayer support in times of trouble. And Congress should immediately repeal the Affordable Housing Fund, which will actually siphon off capital from these under-capitalized entities, in order to fund left-wing, third party organizations.

Next, Congress must consider all available options to put our nation's economy back on its feet. There are no easy answers but there are alternatives to massive government spending.

Indexing the Capital Gains tax to inflation (which the Treasury Department can do without any help from Congress), or suspending it for one year, would release an enormous amount of capital into our economy. Passing an energy bill that lessens the price of gasoline at the pump through more domestic drilling, wind, solar, nuclear and conservation would bring relief to family budgets and create American jobs. Establishing an entitlement reform commission to develop bipartisan solutions to the crushing weight of entitlements would strengthen the American dollar.

These and other alternatives to a massive federal bailout must be fully considered and debated before Congress acts.

Finally, any new expenditure of taxpayer dollars should be paid for with fiscal discipline and reform. If Congress decides to spend nearly 1 trillion dollars on a corporate bailout, it must find budget savings to prevent that cost from being passed along to the American people.

We must address this crisis with forethought, creativity and fiscal discipline. Protecting the American taxpayer from higher debt and taxes and renewing our belief in the power of the free market must be our guide.

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