Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailing on the bailout

Well, as we all know, the big bailout is being held up in the US House of Representatives, with dramatic results. I don't honestly know what to think of this. The folks at Kitco, and to a large extent iTulip as well, are applauding the defeat of the bailout. Of course, most of these people lean in the direction of libertarianism (in the contemporary North American sense of the term), so their opinion is to be taken with a 10 kg bag of salt. However, although the bailout was mostly opposed by Republicans and supported by Democrats, there were substantial numbers of people in both parties that broke ranks on the issue. What's interesting is that among its critics are Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders, two of the most progressive elected officials in the entire country, as well as the (on the surface at least) libertarian-leaning Ron Paul. I say "on the surface" because there are reports that suggest he has some strongly socially conservative views (thanks to bugsybrown for the tip); in any case, though, Paul is usually at odds with his own party, be it about the war or about monetary policy. It seems to be opposed by "mavericks" of both the left and the right; ironically the guy who's always billed as a maverick is shitting himself trying to figure out a way to move it forward. Go figure.

It remains to be seen whether or not the House can be brought to agreement on the bailout, and if so what changes are necessary to allow it to pass -- not to mention whether or not it will be effective. Again, interesting times...

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