Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barr: Government's Fiscal Irresponsibility Reaches New Height with Housing Bail-out

“When George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001, the federal budget was in balance; no longer. This year the deficit is nearly $500 million – half a trillion dollars -- a record, and roughly three times larger than last year’s deficit. Yet, even as the economic downturn is forcing many American families to cut back their spending, Congress just passed and the president is preparing to sign a massive bail-out bill for the housing industry that significantly increases government red ink – raising our national debt to $10.6 trillion,” observes Libertarian presidential nominee and former Georgia congressman Bob Barr.

“Such bipartisan fiscal irresponsibility threatens to bankrupt our nation,” Barr notes, adding, “this housing bail-out, which provides massive new support to federally-sponsored mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which already hold some $1.0 trillion in bad loans –will expand further the federal government’s total unfunded liabilities. These new obligations come on top of some $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for the Medicare and Social Security systems. When will the spending stop?” Barr asks.

“Clearly, the onslaught of red ink will not stop if either Barack Obama or John McCain is elected president,” Barr observes. “Both Senators Obama and McCain backed the housing bail-out, which will continue the practice of subsidizing irresponsible lenders and borrowers that caused the current problem, spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on “counseling” for homeowners facing mortgage problems, and enrich activist groups. Both of these major-party nominees support policies to impose massive regulatory burdens on the U.S. economy in the name of fighting climate change. Both of them want more military spending to defend wealthy allies and engage in nation-building, rather than to defend America. And both of them are beholden to lobbyists, who have helped push Congress to approve nearly $100 billion in corporate welfare every year.”

It is high time to say “no” to the status quo, Barr has said. “The American people simply cannot afford more of the same,” insists Barr, “which means more government spending; more special interest pay-offs; more fraud and waste; and continuing to treat American taxpayers like geese to be plucked rather than citizens of a free society and democratic republic.”

Barr has declared that if elected, he “will begin on Day One with a freeze on all discretionary spending,” and a “challenge to Congress to begin dramatically cutting federal spending, not just nibbling at the edges by going after pork barrel spending.” Barr also has said he “will insist that just as we had welfare reform in the 1990s, in a Barr Administration we will have corporate welfare reform, refocus our national defense policy on defense and closing overseas bases and bringing troops home.” Finally, Barr has said he will “push Congress to work with me to reform entitlement spending before it consumes our entire economy.”

“Returning responsible budget-making to Washington won’t be easy,” Barr admits, “but as Ronald Reagan challenged all of us, if not us, who? If not now, when? We owe it not only to ourselves, but more importantly to our children and grandchildren, to return to the principles of limited government and individual liberty.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizen’s right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

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