The Governor of South Carolina urges President Bush to resist sending TARP funds to Detroit:
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is warning President Bush to back away from using the $700 billion Wall Street bailout for ailing Big Three automakers, saying doing so would fundamentally alter the nation’s economy.
In a letter sent to the White House on Monday, the Republican governor says Bush would be committing a “very great mistake” that would “open the floodgates to federal monies for every distressed industry across this country — and there will be many in this economic slowdown.”
Sanford, a potential 2012 contender for the GOP nomination, is siding with the anti-bailout wing of his party that is furious with Bush for trying to prop up the Detroit automakers and help distressed banks. He also is siding with his fellow Southern politicians who have sparred with Northern Republicans who hail from manufacturing states that are heavily unionized and have a significant Big Three presence.
“And I believe we are at a tipping point in moving from a market-based economy to a politically-based economy, wherein one’s success can be determined not by good decisions and hard work, but by the size of one’s voice and connection to Washington,” he said.
Here’s the letter itself:
I believe this would be a very great mistake. It would open the floodgates to federal monies for every distressed industry across this country—and there will be many in this economic slowdown. The American public was sold on the original TARP proposal based on the explanation that the banking industry held a unique and universal role in our nation’s economy in providing credit to every business and family. If we now abandon that nexus to credit, every struggling industry would see itself potentially eligible for these funds. Your own administration made this very cogent argument only last week.
What’s unfolding now is ultimately bigger than credit in our financial system and distressed businesses. We are placing an unhealthy and unprecedented level of debt on present taxpayers and future generations. And I believe we are at a tipping point in moving from a market-based economy to a politically-based economy, wherein one’s success can be determined not by good decisions and hard work, but by the size of one’s voice and connection to Washington.
Given how the Bush Administration has conducted itself of late, I fear that Governor Sanford’s words will fall on deaf ears, but at least he’s standing up and saying them.