Cronyism in America

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The latest video on from our friends at Economic Freedom, featuring Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) and Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno.

Why is the Tea Party backing Gingrich?

The most interesting dynamic in the race for the GOP’s nomination for president is Tea Party-minded voters. They switched around from one candidate to the other just as quick as Mitt Romney changes on positions on issues. Frankly, it’s irritating given that a couple of the candidates they’ve gotten behind have supported big government programs and have intervention in the market.

Polls show that the Tea Party voting bloc is largely getting behind Newt Gingrich, who has emerged as their latest “hero.” My understanding of the Tea Party movement was that we were trying to fight against cronyism, corporatism, and big government; so that begs the question: Why is the Tea Party lining up for someone that epitomizes statism? Conor Friedersdorf explains that Gingrich encouraged Republicans, including George W. Bush, to betray taxpayers:

On December 7, 2003, Newt Gingrich appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” opposite Tim Russert, who asked about the beginnings of conservative discontent over President Bush’s profligate spending impulse:

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to the domestic front. Here’s the headline of yesterday’s paper: “Conservatives Criticize Bush On Spending.” You ran in 1994 with a Contract with America, pledging a balanced budget. Deficit’s now $500 billion.


MR. RUSSERT: You supported the president’s Medicare bill, another $400 billion entitlement. What happened to balanced budgets and Republicans?

Could Romney be Gingrich’s VP pick?

During a recent sit down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Newt Gingrich, who is leading the polls in the race for the GOP nomination, said that Mitt Romney is on his list of potential running mates (video at the link):

Newt Gingrich has at least one name on his list of potential running mates: GOP rival Mitt Romney. “I think Mitt Romney is a very admirable person, and I’m not going to pick a fight with Mitt Romney,” Gingrich said in an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

When asked if he would ever ask Romney to be his vice presidential nominee, Gingrich didn’t mince words.

“I think the consensus is that he’d certainly be on the list, whether he’d want to or not,” Gingrich said. “He’s a very competent person. This is a very serious man. I would certainly support him if he became the Republican nominee.”

Um, no thanks. Both Gingrich, who is the source of skepticism amongst conservatives, and Romney have supported an individual mandate for health insurances, bailouts, and other big government programs. Gingrich lobbied for GSEs like Freddie Mac, which helped inflate the housing bubble. Romney changes his beliefs almost daily. Neither of them are serious about reducing the size of the federal government.

A Gingrich/Romney ticket would essentially be asking voters to sign off on everything wrong with the GOP. That would be an electoral disaster.

Ron Paul on Newt Gingrich’s “serial hypocrisy”

It’s not the excellent video that one of his supporters recently put together, but Ron Paul’s campaign has put together a great video (you can watch it below) detailing the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich, who is the latest anti-Romney to emerge in the race.

Here’s part of the e-mail blast from Paul’s camp:

This candidate was for the individual mandate that served as the model for “ObamaCare.”  He was originally for the TARP bank bailouts before he was against them.  He joined with Nancy Pelosi to promote the anti-business “global warming” agenda.

He slammed Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “extreme,” calling it “right wing social engineering.”

You might think I am talking about Mitt Romney.  Heck, you might think I’m talking about a liberal Democrat.  But I’m not.

That candidate I’m talking about is Newt Gingrich.  He is what I like to call a “counterfeit conservative.”

And I have barely even scratched the surface!

The video also makes not of Gingrich’s lobbying and ties to the corportist health insurance industry. All of this should make conservatives skeptical of Gingrich, but sadly they are buying what he is selling:

Another bailout, more grasping at straws

As you have likely heard, the Federal Reserve, in coordination with other central banks around the globe, injected cash into world markets to ensure that credit remains available to European countries in need of cash:

The central banks of the wealthiest countries, trying to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, swept in Wednesday to shore up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars.

Stock markets around the world roared their approval. The Dow Jones industrial average rose almost 500 points, its best day in two and a half years. Stocks climbed 5 percent in Germany and more than 4 percent in France.

Central banks will make it cheaper for commercial banks in their countries to borrow dollars, the dominant currency of trade. It was the most extraordinary coordinated effort by the central banks since they cut interest rates together in October 2008, at the depths of the financial crisis.
“The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity,” the central banks said in a joint statement.

China, which has the largest economy in the world after the European Union and the United States, reduced the amount of money its banks are required to hold in reserve, another attempt to free up cash for lending.

The display of worldwide coordination was meant to restore confidence in the global financial system and to demonstrate that central banks will do what they can to prevent a repeat of 2008.

Joe Scarborough blasts Newt Gingrich

As you know, Newt Gingrich has emerged as the latest anti-Romney candidate. His campaign is riding high right now, coming off an important endorsement from New Hampshire’s Union Leader. While others that have managed to find this niche in the GOP field, albeit temporarily, Gingrich is more likely to stick around because conservatives know him and generally respect him.

Gingrich is often lauded as the intellectual conservative who took on Bill Clinton, managed to work in bipartisan fashion for welfare reform, and balance the budget. They’re also more willing, it seems, to gloss over the not-so-conservative marks in his long record, among them are his support for TARP and expansion of Medicare. Yesterday, Joe Scarborough, who served as a Republican in the House from 1995 to 2001, laid into Gingrich for often supporting statist positions:

Dan Liljenquist likely to make a primary bid against Orrin Hatch

Even though Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) decided against a primary challenge, it doesn’t mean that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is out of the woods. It looks as though State Sen. Dan Liljenquist will make a run against Hatch, according to a recent interview:

“God bless Orrin Hatch for his service to the state,” he said in the interview. “But we have a different philosophy on what the federal government should and should not do.”

Previewing what would likely be a line of attack against Hatch in a campaign, Liljenquist said Hatch was “advocating in the early nineties for the individual mandate, that the federal government role was to drive people into insurance products.”

“To me, I’m looking for leadership. And I haven’t seen it,” he said.
Liljenquist, who studied at Brigham Young University and later went to law school at the University of Chicago, said entitlement reform would “absolutely” play a major role in his campaign if he runs.

Liljenquist has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

“In the state of Utah, Romney is very well respected for what he did on the Olympics,” he said.

Liljenquist said he and his wife will make a decision about getting in the race by the end of the month and an announcement will be made by early next year.

The biggest consideration is how a campaign will affect his six kids, he said.

Conservatives supporting Gingrich are being played

Newt Gingrich is the lastest Flavor of the Month for the conservative movement, which is feverishly looking for an anti-Romney candidate. But the former Speaker of the House has been forced to fight back against accusations that he lobbied for Freddie Mac, the government-created housing giant:

As he tried to leverage his recent rise in national polls into a full-fledged bid for the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich was badly knocked off message on Wednesday by repeated inquiries about the more than $1.6 million he got in consulting fees from the mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which had a role in the housing collapse in recent years.

At a campaign event, Gingrich said that he characterized his work for the mortgage-finance entity as offering “strategic advice” and not as lobbying. He said he provided “strategic advice for a long period of time” after he resigned as speaker of the House in early 1999. The federally backed mortgage lender has been the target of a backlash since the collapse of the subprime-mortgage market and the deep recession in the housing market.

Gingrich said his lucrative association with Freddie Mac as a consultant – he has also said he was paid for his knowledge as an historian – should not trouble voters, he told reporters on Wednesday. “It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington,” he said. “We just tried four years of amateur ignorance, and it didn’t work very well. So, having someone who actually knows Washington might be a really good thing.”

No, Mitt Romney will not bring the end of conservatism

Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState and political commentator, wrote a lengthy post yesterday declaring that if Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination that conservatism will somehow die.

Should Mitt Romney win the Presidency, conservatives will find this pattern play out repeatedly. Romney will head in a direction conservatives do not like and they will bitch and moan repeatedly and maybe, just maybe, he’ll part his hair in their direction.

We’ve seen this play out over and over. Jon Huntsman comes up with the best economic plan of all the candidates, Herman Cain follows up with 999, Perry comes out with a flat tax, and Romney refuses to do anything. Until he does something.

Mitt Romney is not the George W. Bush of 2012 — he is the Harriet Miers of 2012, only conservative because a few conservative grand pooh-bahs tell us Mitt Romney is conservative and for no other reason.

That is precisely why Mitt Romney will not win in 2012. But no worry, once he loses, Republican establishment types will blame conservatives for not doing enough for Mitt Romney, never mind that Mitt Romney has never been able to sell himself to more than 25% of the GOP voters. It’s not his fault though, it is the 75%’s fault.

Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee. And his general election campaign will be an utter disaster for conservatives as he takes the GOP down with him and burns up what it means to be a conservative in the process.

I realize there is an anti-Romney sentiment in the conservative movement and among tea partyers.That’s understandable given, as I’ve written here many times, that Romney has no real core principles. The man will say anything it takes to get elected and therefore lacks authenticity.

Ron Paul’s latest ad: Consistency

The latest ad from Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), which will be airing in Iowa and New Hampshire, focuses on the consistency of his message over the years while targeting Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney over their support of the Wall Street bailout:

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