We hear a lot from our friends on the Left about the cause of the 2008 financial crisis. The often claim that capitalism and “predatory lending” deserve a large share of the blame. But in a new video from Reason, Peter Wallison, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), explains how federal housing policy was the main cause of the turmoil that led to the Great Recession.
While the official report from the FCIC blamed deregulation of the financial sector, Wallison wrote a lengthy dissent noting, according to Reason, that “there were about 28 million high-risk mortgages in the U.S. in 2008; roughly 70 percent of those mortgages were owned by government-sponosored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
Watch the video with Wallison below. It’s well worth your time:
The blow-up over contraceptives has really hurt Republicans, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a point when it comes to whether or not taxpayers should foot the bill for them. Jacob Sullum, who is no social conservative, weighs the arguments that Sandra Fluke and others have put forward about the cost of birth control:
Although Fluke chose to attend a Jesuit university knowing that its student health plan did not cover contraceptives, she believes it is unfair that she has to live with the consequences of that decision. “We refuse to pick between a quality education and our health,” she said, “and we resent that, in the 21st century, anyone thinks it’s acceptable to ask us to make this choice simply because we are women.”
The ad Chrystler ran during the Super Bowl featuring Clint Eastwood — dubbed “Halftime in America — has prompted some criticism from conservatives who see it as an endorsement of the auto bailout and President Barack Obama.
Eastwood, who describes himself as a libertarian, denied that the ad was meant to lend any support to Obama, rather to promote the Detroit. According to Eastwood, earnings from the making of the ad went to charity.
It sounds innocent enough on Eastwood’s part, and I think making his part out to be anymore than it was is misguided. However, the criticism of Chrysler, which was bailed out by taxpayers, is understandable as they are running an ad with a name and face familiar to Americans to make us feel good about the fact that they took billions from the government because they couldn’t compete on the open market.
Over at Reason, Remy gives the ad the humorous treatment that only he can give:
There are few times when I find someone who says exactly what I was saying. This just happens to be one of those times, as I just found this video of Veronique de Rugy from the Mercatus Center on reason.tv speaking about entitlement programs and creating a social safety net:
[Ed: That’s a little short for a blog post. Me: Oh.]
I’ve been telling my friends, coworkers, relatives, and anyone else who will deign to hear my opinions that I have no problem with a social safety net for the truly poor in society. Scale it back, reform it, design it so that it incentivizes improving oneself and not sitting around all day waiting for the check (and for the love of Milton Friedman, let’s get the 80+ cash transfer welfare programs down to some number I can count on one hand) yes, I am totally onboard with all of that and more, but I do not think that in the modern world we can simply eliminate the social safety net entirely. There are arguments for having at least a minimal system for the truly poor, to roughen out the edges of the market, and giving them a helping hand back up.
There are no arguments, however, for giving money to people simply because they are old. None. Poor yes, I can see that, but there are simply none for the elderly other than purely emotional ones—and even they are specious. As cold and brutal as it sounds, what value are the old creating for society? They are not being productive, whereas the young are. And then we get into wealth.
In this new video from Reason, Veronique de Rugy, an economist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University who has extensively studied the 2009 stimulus, explains why the the deficit spending failed to revive the economy. Reason and De Rugy use the city of Silver Springs, Maryland, who receive subsidies for transportation projects, as a case study, as well as analyzing other aspects of the stimulus spending:
Remy, a hilarious comedian, and Reason TV bring us a theme song for the nascent “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The song (the video was apparently shot during an actual OWS protest) pokes fun at the idea behind the movement, that the “99%” are somehow oppressed by the “1%,” noting that are “four dollar generics at all big box stores, a sultan and student both have iPhone 4s” and that we live in a country where we’re “given vaccine and rendered immune to all kinds of disease.”
Many of us are still trying to figure out the so-called Occupy Wall Street movement, which has now spread to other cities around the United States; including Atlanta, where civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was denied an opportunity to address the “general assembly.”
The folks from Reason TV visited New York City to see what the mob, who has been protesting the evil corporate machine that employs many stock traders that fall into the 99%, is so angry about. Enjoy, you’ll probably roll your eyes as much as I did:
Adam Kokesh, host of Adam vs. The Man, visited the Occupy DC protest at McPherson Square in the nation’s capitol. The ignorance of some of the people in this video (particularly the woman at the end), specifically when it comes to the policies of President Barack Obama, are hilariously astounding:
Even though he has been excluded from debates with other GOP hopefuls, despite being tied with or polling ahead of three other candidates in a recent poll that have been invited to participate, former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is still campaign and spreading the message of limited government and free markets.
Reason.tv caught up with Johnson recently at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas to discuss what he’d do as president, including balancing the federal budget by cutting spending by 43% spending (yes, Congress spends that much more than they take in):
The folks over at Reason TV put together this short video back in March. It shows a family (the United States) that has nearly reached their credit limit because they have spent too much by money buying homes and bailing out banks. Instead of fixing the problem, the husband’s solution is to just “get more credit cards.”
Given the stalemate between the White House and Republicans, it’s looking like a real deal to address these problems won’t be reached and we’ll just see a capitulation to increase the debt ceiling and enable Washington to spend more.