Bush: “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”

posted at 1:00 pm on December 17, 2008 by Allahpundit

150 outraged comments in Headlines means the clip is mandatory. Readers are snarking about burning the village to save it, which reminds me of the anti-war canard about how bombing for peace is like screwing for virginity. Dubya’s consistent, at least: When he fears that inaction will bring calamity, he errs on the side of intervention and dives in, with the cost, the lack of an overarching strategy, and the risks of calamity inherent in action itself secondary concerns to be managed later. (Of course, if he were perfectly consistent, he’d have already hit Iran.) Maybe we should get Petraeus to manage TARP!

I like what he says about his obligation to his successor but can’t understand why he won’t go the whole nine yards rhetorically and pawn the matter off on Obama. The One supports an auto bailout and insists we’re headed for Carmageddon if we don’t keep the industry afloat. Fair enough. The people wanted Change, so give them Change a month early. Bush is going to bail out the Big Three anyway. Why take the hit when he doesn’t have to?



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Just, “wow”. Stunning.

stenwin77 on December 17, 2008 at 1:02 PM

I fully support kicking the auto bailout can down Obama’s road.

BadgerHawk on December 17, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Unacceptable!!!!!

mindhacker on December 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Thanks for keeping the country safe. People like me will always be grateful to you for it.

However, you can go now.

MadisonConservative on December 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Maybe we should get Petraeus to manage TARP!

We’d get a lot more bang for our buck.

amerpundit on December 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Greasing the skids for the Age of Obama

Kini on December 17, 2008 at 1:05 PM

A smart man that studied business, is abandoning the teachings of economics 101, to save his legacy.

Amazingly stupid idea Mr. President.

Can the Palin or Jindal presidency come any sooner?!

jencab on December 17, 2008 at 1:06 PM

I have always supported this president thought his good decisions and his bad ones. Now is is trying to fix a problem that he didn’t cause using the methods that have proved never to work. He should let it lie. For the remained of his term he should just concentrate on the things he’s really good at. Bombing terrorists straight to hell.

Tommy_G on December 17, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Its Herbert Hoover time.

Valiant on December 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Where’s my shoes?

sdd on December 17, 2008 at 1:12 PM

I believe in my principals with my heart and soul, except when it’s more convenient not to.

notagool on December 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Creative Destruction

LimeyGeek on December 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM

History repeats itself, first as tragedy with Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, then as farce with George W. Bush playing the role of Marx and Barack H. Obama being able to play the role of Lenin.

Tav on December 17, 2008 at 1:14 PM

Why do we elect people who’ve never had to worry about money their entire lives to govern our nation? Money is nothing to them. They spend it like they got it because – personally – they do have it. For them, money always works itself out because it’s always there.

Bush has so soiled himself in handling money that his last impression for me is his legacy with me – he’s the guy who spent part of my kids’ futures and thought nothing of it. If only the buck had stopped at his desk, but instead, he helped it along and pushed imaginary bucks along with it.

Him and McCain – the public face of Republicans. Yuck.

beatcanvas on December 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM

There is no going back. Our perfect storm of perfectly idiotic and corrupt politicians have doomed us all. In the end our children will be faced with servitude or revolution.

hogfat on December 17, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Where’s my shoes?

sdd on December 17, 2008 at 1:12 PM

+10

That’s perfect. lmao

beatcanvas on December 17, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Just keep passing this enormous debt on to the next generation and tell those folks our government thought the Ponzi scheme just needed a little tweeking.

Rovin on December 17, 2008 at 1:17 PM

jencab on December 17, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Jindal stays in Louisiana, period. Get your own good guy.

nolapol on December 17, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Frankly, it’s a bad sound bite, but he’s not saying anything novel. We don’t have a pure free market, and never have. Morons in Congress created, or at least induced a problem by abrogating free-market principles (e.g., forcing and/or encouraging irresponsible lending), and now another, very large block of non-free market intervention is required to get back to the status quo ante.

ParisParamus on December 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

a shockingly bad choice of words by POTUS.

Its been obvious for so many years & cost the country and the cause so much, but it bears repeating again and again and again: Worst.Communications.Shop.Evah!

Mike D. on December 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Abandoning principles to save a system….what will the system do to sustain itself, now that it has no principle to stand on? President Bush, I respect the hell out of you, and have willingly fought wars you have advocated. But this might be the most foolish thing I have ever thought possible. There is no justification to say that the principles of Capitalism are insufficient to save the system of Capitalism. Whom do you expect to inject the principles back into the system once you supposedly save it?

Spc Steve on December 17, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Since conservative morons continue to stick by him despite, oh I don’t know, 8 years of the most expansive government the WORLD has ever seen, Bush decided to break with his conservative supporters first.

Apologetic California on December 17, 2008 at 1:22 PM

Jindal stays in Louisiana, period. Get your own good guy.
nolapol on December 17, 2008 at 1:20 PM

OT: I am liking Jindal-Palin more and more as a ticket. Unless Romney-Palin or Romney-Jindal will fly (and it probably wont.

ParisParamus on December 17, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Sanford-Jindal?
Sanford-Palin?
Romney-Sanford?

Wethal on December 17, 2008 at 1:25 PM

I fully support kicking the auto bailout can down Obama’s road.

BadgerHawk on December 17, 2008 at 1:02 PM

its insane on Bush’s part not to kick this down the road a whole freaking Month. The National GOP should give him hell for it.

the Financial Bailout(given the circumstance, what inaction would bring, etc.) is one thing, since it lubes the entire economy. An Auto Bailout for the UAW is a different thing, paticularly when Toyota and Nissan are doing so well making cars in America.

Now, unless there is some sort of pragmatic thinking like was leaked and Bush is getting something in return like the Free Trade in Columbia thing?

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

the fallacy here is that we ever had a Free Market, we don’t.

We’ve had a moderately free market, but not a True Free Market.

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:27 PM

I hate the idea of bailing out the auto industry. But I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the loss of so many jobs, *unless* there could be some way to draw it out over time. I wonder if it would be possible for the government to effectively buy GM with the goal of dissolving the company over time. Bush is right, we could find ourselves dealing with many unresolved issues later if GM just picks up with taxpayers money and walks on.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Grrrrr.

And with a socialist coming into the White House, I doubt we’re going to see either free market principles or system for quite a while.

rbj on December 17, 2008 at 1:30 PM

Thanks for keeping the country safe. People like me will always be grateful to you for it.

However, you can go now.

MadisonConservative on December 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Yeah, sad but true.

grdred944 on December 17, 2008 at 1:32 PM

I hate the idea of bailing out the auto industry. But I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the loss of so many jobs, *unless* there could be some way to draw it out over time. I wonder if it would be possible for the government to effectively buy GM with the goal of dissolving the company over time. Bush is right, we could find ourselves dealing with many unresolved issues later if GM just picks up with taxpayers money and walks on.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 1:30 PM

But then I hate the idea of the government buying companies, anyway. So that’s not a good idea.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 1:32 PM

In other news, Bush has appointed Bernard Madoff to supervise the auto industry bailout.

Trust me, it’ll work this time!

hawksruleva on December 17, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Bail ‘em out George, Bail ‘em all out. I just need to find how to keep my money in my pocket and out of the hand of the federal government.

CASH! CASH! CASH!!!

Bicyea on December 17, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Bush: “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”

*SIGGGHHHHHHH* This is such a disappointing and unfortunate statement.

CP on December 17, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Let GM and Chrysler die. There’s no point in saving a job working at a failing company. There’s Ford, and Honda and Toyota and other local auto manufacturers, who are or can be profitable. Don’t prop up GM and Chrysler!

Paul-Cincy on December 17, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Seriously, folks, Bush was never a limited government guy. He thinks “compassionate conservatism” is what got him elected. First order of business was No Child Left Behind (aka the school bailout). Then came Medicare Part D (healthcare bailout, part 1). And then came TARP, the $700B plan to allow banks to buy other banks. Who is really surprised that he’d authorize the auto bailout?

The libs hated Bush, but he contributed a lot to their future security as a political party by increasing dependence on the nanny state.

hawksruleva on December 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM

the best rationale from the GOP I’ve heard for the Auto Bailout was Duncan Hunter’s point about WW2 and our Industrial base making our equipment. His concern was losing American companies that build that and have to rely on China and Japan to make it for us(hopefully).

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Its Herbert Hoover time.

Valiant on December 17, 2008 at 1:10 PM

I think this is part of their logic, Bush/Cheney do not want the house of cards to fall while they sit in whitehouse and are doing everything they can to punt it to Obama.

from a Political point of view, there is some merit to their point of view. Especially with the MSM being so in the tank for the Dems as it is, the left want nothing more than to label W = Hoover so Obama can be FDR

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Just toss a TARP over his headstone Legacy epitath and be done with it.

normsrevenge on December 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM

in his defense… it was not free market principles that got us here, so he thinks he is righting the system, like picking up someone who has fallen over. when the free market system dictates that they stay on the ground or pay for someone to pick them up. and he’s giving Obama enough rope to hang himself. can I say that or is that racist?

personally, yeah it’s wrong… oh so wrong… it saddens me, we have to watch him go like this.

Kaptain Amerika on December 17, 2008 at 1:45 PM

the best rationale from the GOP I’ve heard for the Auto Bailout was Duncan Hunter’s point about WW2 and our Industrial base making our equipment. His concern was losing American companies that build that and have to rely on China and Japan to make it for us(hopefully).

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM

That’s a good point. If US car companies go, we will be relying on foreign companies for something as basic to our lives as the automobile. From the standpoint of security that’s not terrific. Having said that, I’m not worried about a bad relationship forming with the Japanese at this point. And we could always build a new US car company.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Thanks for keeping the country safe. People like me will always be grateful to you for it.

However, you can go now.

MadisonConservative on December 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Absolutely!

HornetSting on December 17, 2008 at 1:49 PM

well not just cars, in WW2 Ford, GM…also made alot of our military Equipment and had the infrastructure to do it.

If they go under(thanks to UAW, Govt. Regulations, idiots in Michigan), then if another war breaks out we would need Japan and China to help us fight Russia or some such scenario.

I wonder who manufactures Bullets?

Hunter voted for the Auto Bailout of course, on National Security grounds. Meanwhile Putin is looking more and more like Stalin.

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:51 PM

An Auto Bailout for the UAW is a different thing, paticularly when Toyota and Nissan are doing so well making cars in America.

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Once card check passes, Toyota, Honda and Nissan are the fresh targets. The union obviously can’t feed itself in Michigan alone.

Vashta.Nerada on December 17, 2008 at 1:52 PM

I’ve abandoned being faithful to my wife in order to save my marriage..

I’ve also given up my diet to lose weight..

and I’ve bought a cartons of cigarettes in order to stop smoking..

DaveC on December 17, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Yeah, this sounds exactly like something he’d say. I’m wondering just how different the automakers are going to be, as a business model, once this whole thing is settled. If it’s gonna be the same, the same UAW hacks are gonna end up losing their jobs anyway, and Michigan will still go to hell in a handbasket.

Somebody’s collie must have something clever to say, in 3… 2… 1…

manwithblackhat on December 17, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Well will just need to legalize more illegals to pay for this scheme… After all, 20 million $6/hour jobs will be able to pay for this this, right?

rgranger on December 17, 2008 at 2:17 PM

OT: I am liking Jindal-Palin more and more as a ticket. Unless Romney-Palin or Romney-Jindal will fly (and it probably wont.

It won’t because Romney’s another neo-con. Look at what a crackerjack job that wing of the GOP has done so far. (Governor of Massachusetts? Real f@#$ing liberal state? Hello???) If he’s such a f@#$ing genius on the economy, make him either Treasury Secretary or head of the SEC, but don’t put him somewhere that he can humiliate himself. Again.

manwithblackhat on December 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Maybe we should get Petraeus to manage TARP!

This is assuredly a problem that can be solved with calm and efficient eradication of murderous thieves and the cowards who shelter them.

And after he disappears the DNC and unions, we could hire him to look into our border problems.

TMK on December 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Thompson-Palin or Thompson-Jindal ’12.

MadisonConservative on December 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM

That’s a good point. If US car companies go, we will be relying on foreign companies for something as basic to our lives as the automobile. From the standpoint of security that’s not terrific. Having said that, I’m not worried about a bad relationship forming with the Japanese at this point. And we could always build a new US car company.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 1:48 PM

All aspects of our economy now rely (or partly) upon foreign interests:
Clothing
Wood products
Energy needs
Technology
(what else have I missed?)
Coming soon from another country:
security
your FOOD!

So how do you like the “Free Enterprise” system now? If Congress just quit messing with crap, trying to make everyone happy-i.e quit paying farmers not to farm, quit bailing out companies, quit talking about how ‘free trade’ is the answer to agriculture, START enforcing laws already on the books! i.e. Stockyards & Packers act, etc………..

Maybe a little isolationism might work? I know we can’t do that completely. Maybe we should quit trying to help the rest of the world. Let them marinate in their own corruption & stink while we root ours out.
Maybe they’ll start singing a different tune.
Oh wait-China owns us.

Badger40 on December 17, 2008 at 2:25 PM

His concern was losing American companies that build that and have to rely on China and Japan to make it for us(hopefully).

jp on December 17, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Even if the big 3 fail they can restructure and survive through bankruptcy. Even if they don’t, and we find ourselves in a war for our survival, if Japan refuses to build vehicles for us we can nationalize their US facilities and use them for ourselves.

Let’s face it, the big 3 aren’t efficient companies, that’s why they’re failing, and if manufacturing vehicles is critical to our survival then efficiency will be a factor in our success.

I’ve long felt that America needs to maintain the capabilities to provide for it’s basic needs and defense in an emergency, but subsidizing failure isn’t a viable means to accomplish this; efficient companies are. So it’s in our national interest to let them fail so they can fix themselves.

FloatingRock on December 17, 2008 at 2:27 PM

You know, as a staunch Conservative, I’ve watched Bush make many mistakes and grit my teeth. However, this is perhaps the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

This is like saying you’ve abandoned the prohibitions on Murder to end crime. It’s stupid. It boggles the imagination. Only a Jackass without any equal would consider offering this argument. I abandoned the free market, to save the free market. There won’t be a free market to save. President Bush is the President, and I respect him, and his office. I’ll give him credit for what he did right, but this is beyond insane.

Perhaps the lefties are right, and we need to get Obama in right away. Perhaps this way, we can stop the bleeding of Conservative Principals from our party.

Snake307 on December 17, 2008 at 2:28 PM

They don’t need to abandon free market principals, they can USE free market principals to their advantage if they are willing to approach things in an unorthodox manner.

Rather than bailing out lenders and homeowners and placing homes back on the market at fire sale prices that depress regional values and actually make the problem worse, they could have approached things from a different angle.

Instead of re-selling the homes, they should raze them. This does several things: First of all, the resulting sale of a building lot at fire sale prices does not get marked as a home sale and does not impact the median home price. Secondly, it reduces the inventory of available homes acting as an additional support for the value of existing homes. Third, it provides business for the construction industry who might otherwise be idle while new home starts plummet. Fourth, it sows the seeds for additional home construction when the market turns around.

The net result would be a stabilization of home prices resulting in a stabilization of mortgage values and home equity. When faced with an over supply that causes market prices to plummet, you can either throw money at people to make up for the loss in price or you an remove the excess supply.

Had there been a program in place to raze foreclosed properties and put them back on the market as building lots instead of flooding the market with cheap houses, the problems could have been nipped in the bud.

crosspatch on December 17, 2008 at 2:29 PM

They believe in free enterprise in the Illinois governorship’s process to select a new senator.

Something wrong there…

IlikedAUH2O on December 17, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Oh, and the federal government doesn’t need to do the razing. The lenders can take some of that bailout cash and do it themselves when they foreclose on a property. They can raze the house using the bailout cash and sell the building lot. They could look at the cost of the razing as an ‘investment’ in maintaining the value of the other mortgages they hold in the area. It doesn’t require a federal program, it requires financial institutions willing to look at the big picture and think “out of the box”.

crosspatch on December 17, 2008 at 2:38 PM

Free market principles abandoned, ..tsss, sorry.

Alden Pyle on December 17, 2008 at 2:42 PM

I’m reading Hot Air to cure my procrastination.

kirkill on December 17, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Bush’s medicine is worse than the disease; and may kill the patient. See the Examiner’s editorial today on Who Bails Out the Federal Government. The fed’s assets, and all of our combined individual assets, are no longer sufficient to pay the government’s debt and unfunded commitments.

To Bush’s legacy, add Insolvency; along with Incompetence, Iraq and Illegals.

james23 on December 17, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Instead of re-selling the homes, they should raze them.

crosspatch on December 17, 2008 at 2:29 PM

That absurd. You want to destroy perfectly good homes to preserve astronomical housing bubble prices?

FloatingRock on December 17, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Bush abandons principles.

For some reason that statement is getting way to familiar.

MarkTheGreat on December 17, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Let GM and Chrysler die. There’s no point in saving a job working at a failing company. There’s Ford, and Honda and Toyota and other local auto manufacturers, who are or can be profitable. Don’t prop up GM and Chrysler!

Paul-Cincy on December 17, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Survival of the fittest. Let the one who falls be cannibalized by those who still stand.
As for the pensions, well, they invested poorly.

Count to 10 on December 17, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Had there been a program in place to raze foreclosed properties and put them back on the market as building lots instead of flooding the market with cheap houses, the problems could have been nipped in the bud.

FDR tried the same thing with the AAA – reduce production/supply to increase (or keep from decreasing) prices. It didn’t work then, and it wouldn’t work now. It’s a transparently bad idea. Falling prices, when that’s the result of free market forces, is one way in which malinvestments are resolved.

Jeff Perren

JDPerren on December 17, 2008 at 3:49 PM

I’m reading Hot Air to cure my procrastination.

kirkill on December 17, 2008 at 3:03 PM

ROFL. I’m doing the same thing. But it’s not working. At all.

tartan on December 17, 2008 at 4:23 PM

Fair enough. The people wanted Change, so give them Change a month early. Bush is going to bail out the Big Three anyway. Why take the hit when he doesn’t have to?

Like I’ve said before because he’s unpopular and the bailout is unpopular. I guess he might as well be the one to do it. What does he have to lose?

terryannonline on December 17, 2008 at 5:14 PM

I really believe that history will show that Bush was a decent president and, on balance, did far more good than harm. But when he says things like this, I have a hard time waiting for history to kick in…

JackOfClubs on December 17, 2008 at 5:27 PM

I was surprised as I listened to Beck for a few minutes today while he defended this “medicine”. Bah, humbug.

jgapinoy on December 17, 2008 at 8:19 PM

“Read my lips. No new bankruptcies.”

If he’s such a free market guy, maybe he should have actually tried some free market fixes, like eliminating the “mark to market” rule, lowering corporate taxes. You know, stuff that isn’t socialism.

darwin-t on December 17, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Like I’ve said before because he’s unpopular and the bailout is unpopular. I guess he might as well be the one to do it. What does he have to lose?

terryannonline on December 17, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Nah, I’d have left it all for Hopenchange & Co. to deal with. It would’ve been a lot better than weird Ben Tre Paradoxes.

ddrintn on December 17, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Anyone think this sort of Bush ‘abandon logic’ would fly with the wife. Honey, I had to abandon monogamy in order to save it…

Get real…

droofus on December 18, 2008 at 1:33 AM