Bob Goodlatte and Jim Gilmore: Two men standing up to the establishment on one of the biggest government boondoggles in a generation.
Today the U.S. House of Representatives considered legislation, the Financial Stabilization Package, aimed at stabilizing the growing financial crisis currently facing our country. Nothing is more important to me than ensuring the future growth of our economy and we can all agree that Congress has a responsibility to act to ensure that credit, the lifeline of our economy, remains available to individuals, families, students, and small businesses all across this country.
Inaction has never been an option. However, after much deliberation, I reached the conclusion that this legislation, which I voted against, is not the solution to our long term financial problems or our short term credit liquidity crisis. While improvements have been made to the legislation, at its core it is the same as the revised Paulson plan which the House defeated earlier this week.
The Financial Stabilization Package represents the largest corporate bailout in American history by taking 700 billion dollars of taxpayers’ hard-earned money and handing it over to the very companies that made the bad decisions which led us into this mess in the first place. We literally reward those financial institutions who engaged in risky behavior to the tune of up to $8,000 for every family of four in the U.S. Since the federal government has to get this money from somewhere, it will borrow it, increasing the national debt. Not only will the government be paying $700 billion to bailout these reckless Wall Street companies, but also the billions of dollars in interest to pay off the debt. The bill requires the federal government to evaluate and purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of complex securities. Then the government will have to manage and ultimately sell these assets in an effort to recoup the taxpayers’ money. This is a responsibility for which it has no expertise and is a major intrusion in the financial markets with untold unintended consequences. This will directly affect every American by weakening the dollar and raising the cost of goods and services.
I believe there are other ways to turn this credit crisis around and stabilize our economy without penalizing taxpayers for the sins of those on Wall Street. The fundamental problem we face today is that no one knows how much the risky mortgage-backed securities are worth, and thus no private buyers are willing to purchase them. I am supportive of alternative initiatives to mandate that financial institutions purchase insurance from the federal government on these risky assets which places the burden on financial institutions to pay premiums for the insurance. The guarantee by the federal government would help unlock the liquidity of these assets by placing a minimum value on them. This would also limit the negative effects on taxpayers.
Other proposals worthy of consideration include funding assistance through a guaranteed bond program, which would be purchased by private investors, or a guarantee initiative similar to the net worth certificate program of the 1980s. These initiatives deserved scrutiny and consideration. Each of these would involve some financial participation by those who caused the problem. None were debated or voted on in this process.
I am pleased that after much urging from many Members of Congress, including myself, the mark-to-market accounting rules, which allows all financial institutions including local banks, to fairly value their assets and help to ease the credit crisis facing the country, were eased.
Our economy faces historic and unprecedented challenges. Most importantly Congress must not view the passage of the Financial Stabilization Package as the lone solution to the troubles in our national economy. It is critical that Congress continue to examine the root cause of this crisis, including fiscal irresponsibility and a lack of resolve to rebuild our domestic economy, including energy production.
I remain committed to working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure that businesses are held accountable for their actions, which should help restore long term confidence in our financial markets and set our economy back on the right track.”
Also, Jim Gilmore has finally found an issue to hammer Mark Warner with. His statement, following the vigorous debate on Friday evening:
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore, candidate for the Virginia U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, said today in a debate with Mark Warner on statewide television the choice for Virginia voters in the November 4th election is clear — a U.S. Senator like Jim Gilmore who will fight for taxpayers and oppose federal government bailouts or a U.S. Senator like Mark Warner who will sell out the taxpayers for the high rollers on Wall Street.
“I am strongly opposed to asking America’s hard working families to cover the bets of the Wall Street high rollers and insiders who exploited flaws in government regulations to make personal fortunes and devastate our economy,” said Gilmore.
Throughout the debate Gilmore repeatedly pointed out how as a U.S. Senator he will stand up for regular Virginians who are struggling and how Mark Warner will instead protect the special interests on Wall Street, rather than the taxpayers.
“Requiring taxpayers to cough up $700 billion without providing them any additional assurances for their own financial security is wrong,” Gilmore added.
Gilmore said Mark Warner supported the costly bailout of Wall Street while simultaneously taking in almost $3 million in contributions from the Wall Street high rollers who benefit from the taxpayer bailout. (Click here to see)
“Maybe Mark Warner finds it easy to take more and more of the taxpayers’ money, but I do not,” Gilmore said. “We must restore accountability in Washington – and on Wall Street – so America’s taxpayers are protected and our economy prospers.”
This third Virginia U.S. Senate debate between former Gov. Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner took place in Roanoke, Virginia. Sponsored by NBC affiliate WSLS Channel 10, the debate was held at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke and was moderated by WSLS news anchor and political reporter Jay Warren. The debate was broadcast live on television stations statewide.
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