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UK foreshadows political future for US banks
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Blog

UK foreshadows political future for US banks

The <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8169225.stm" target="_blank">BBC is reporting</a> that Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (roughly equivalent to our Treasury Secretary), is interested in questioning banks over whether their interest rates for small business loans and mortgages are too high.According to the BBC article, <blockquote>Mr Darling's comments come after a report by financial website Moneyfacts said banks had increased the interest rates they charge for personal mortgages nearly fourfold in recent months, despite the base rate remaining at a record low of 0.5%.Angela Knight, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association (BSA), said banks had to pay a lot more than 0.5% for the funds they themselves borrowed in the wholesale money markets, and they had to pass this on to customers....However, Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said the chancellor was "quite right to haul in the banks"."It is hugely important that Mr Darling keeps tabs on the banks to ensure they are lending money to firms, and at fair rates. Firms need to be able to reap the benefits of the historically low base rate," he said. </blockquote>We've already heard some of this kind of stuff from Barney Frank and friends, but prepare for it to get much worse, not least because the TARP Inspector General, Neil Barofsky, recently said that <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/21/news/economy/TARP_report/index.htm?secti..." target="_blank">there's no way to know what banks have done</a> with their bailout funds.What the politicians forget is that banking is an extremely competitive industry.  If interest rates seem stubbornly high for loans, the reason is simple: The perceived risks to lenders remain stubbornly high.Not only is it perfectly rational for a bank to worry about being paid back on a business loan or a mortgage in the current situation, but it's also perfectly rational to wonder whether government will compound the problem, such as by allowing judges to alter the principal amounts due on mortgages.Think about it another way:  Let's say that in 2004 you had some extra cash lying around that you were willing to lend.  Someone asked you for a loan to buy a house and you offered him a loan at 8% based on what you knew of his employment, the housing market at the time, etc.  Now what if the same person came to you asking for the same loan for the same house (and let's assume that in that neighborhood, prices are now roughly where they were in 2004)?  Would you still offer that loan at 8%?  Of course not (if you're sane.)  The rate would be higher to compensate for a myriad of additional risks, regardless of the so-called lower interest rate environment.Mr. Darling said that the UK government didn't bail out banks "out of some charitable act". But that's exactly what they did if the intention of the bailout was to get banks to lend money at rates which don't compensate them for the risk they're taking. (The charity, in that case, is to potential borrowers, not the banks.  Though even that analogy isn't quite right because it's only liberals who believe that if A steals B's wallet and gives most of the money to C then A has been charitable rather than a criminal.)  Of course, they also did it out of typical left-wing economic and political idiocy, thinking that they would be able to buy votes the way they always do. But this time it's not going to work because "public choice" economics and the ability of politicians to get away with spending a lot of money to provide a benefit to a narrow set of people is based on the cost to the broad majority of taxpayers being too low for them to notice or care.In the US, the Obama Administration is obviously saddling us and our children with new debt that's as great as the total debt from the time of the nation's founding until the time of Obama's inauguration -- including the disastrous spending of George W. Bush.  Even the usually unaware average American voter, particularly the average American Democrat, will not look kindly on what Tom Coburn accurately termed "Generational Theft". (I think John McCain stole the term from Coburn, but if I got that backwards, I apologize to Senator McCain.)Some more from the BBC article:<blockquote>"The public will not understand it if they [the banks] don't seem to be doing their part," he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show."I want them to rebuild their balance sheets... but at the same time, because of the particular circumstances we're in now, because of the fact we've got this recession, we also need them to lend money," said Mr Darling. </blockquote>Allow me to translate what Darling really means:If the banks don't go out and lend money at lower rates, regardless of the business case for those loans or those rates, we will pillory them in public until they do. After all, I didn't divert billions of dollars of taxpayer money to those banks just to help my golf buddies (or at least not as far as the public knows.)  Don't they realize that my political needs trump their fiduciary responsibilities; after all that <i>was</i> in the fine print of the "loan" documentation we made them sign.Can't you just hear Tim "the software made me do it" Geithner saying the same thing, flanked by Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and the other scoundrels who have primary responsibility for the original mess?Chancellor Darling's words will with almost 100% certainty be parroted by Obama-loving bureaucrats and Democratic politicians in coming months as any so-called recovery fails to reduce unemployment and the high unemployment rates continue to dent Democrats' standing in public opinion.  It's the necessary outcome of letting politicians get their stinking claws into the economic body of our nation.

07/27/2009
Help Us Defeat ObamaCare
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Press Release

Help Us Defeat ObamaCare

The battle against a government takeover of the healthcare system is raging this summer in Washington. Public support for Obamacare has been dropping significantly the last few weeks, and I believe that much of that is due to your grassroots organizing. So let me start by saying thank you to everyone who has called their congressman, written a letter to the editor or protested outside a congressional district office this summer. We have slowed the legislation down over the past few weeks, and we are on the verge of stopping it and forcing Congress to rethink its approach to health care reform.One of the promising developments has been the opposition to the government takeover by the Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives. Some of these Congressmen have flat out told President Obama that they will not support a government takeover, and others have focused on the trillions of dollars in new taxes that would be required for Obamacare. The battle against government-run health care is being fought within the Democrat party, and that is where we must focus our efforts. We need to urge the Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to continue to oppose a government takeover of the healthcare system.Please TAKE ACTION NOW to send a message to these key Members of the committee. Then, follow up your email with phone calls. Bart Gordon (TN 6th), (202) 225-4231Jane Harman (CA 36th), (202) 225-8220Mike Ross (AR 4th), (202)  225-3772 Jim Matheson  (UT 2nd), (202) 225-3011Charlie Melancon (LA 3rd), (202) 225-4031John Barrow (GA 12th), (202) 225-2823Baron Hill (IN 9th), (202) 225-5315Zach Space (OH 18th), (202) 225-6265I know that you have been working hard all year to fight against the outreageous federal spending, bailouts and the inevitable tax hikes required to pay for this unprecedented push to grow government. It's been a tough fight, but one worth fighting. If we stick together during the next few weeks we can put enough pressure on the Blue Dog Democrats to sink Obamacare and defend our liberty. Thank you for everything that you have done, and we will see you on September 12th for the March on Washington!

07/24/2009
Arizonans Can Take Preemptive Action Against ObamaCare
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Press Release

Arizonans Can Take Preemptive Action Against ObamaCare

I know you’ve heard about the battle that’s raging at the federal level over President Obama’s proposed hostile takeover of America’s health care system.  As one of the hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks volunteers that make-up our standing grassroots army, you have no doubt seen and hopefully participated in our “calls to action” against Obama-care that have hit targeted Members of Congress with a flood of emails, phone calls, and even face-to-face visits urging them to oppose this socialized medicine scheme.But as an Arizonan, I wanted to make sure you knew about an important opportunity to beat back not only today’s government-run health care threat, but any future attempts as well.A state constitutional amendment called the “Health Care Freedom Act” has been referred to the ballot in Arizona and, if it passes it will guarantee that residents of the state will be able to keep their current health plan and doctor – a right that government-run health care takes away.  It will also prevent big-government proponents from passing an individual mandate that forces people to buy insurance regardless of whether they need it or want it.As an Arizona voter, you can vote for the Health Care Freedom Act in November 2010 and deliver a serious blow to Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and others who want to transform America’s health care system into something resembling what is in Canada or Cuba where the government puts a bureaucrat between you and your doctor.2010 may seem like a long way off, but I assure there’s not a moment to lose in organizing against the forces of the liberal Left who will be working hard to advance the government takeover of health care.  That is why I also encourage you to get involved now with the group that’s actively working in Arizona to pass the Health Care Freedom Act, Arizonans for HealthCare Freedom.  Their website has up-to-date information on this critical ballot fight and opportunities for you to get involved and help ensure its success.  Go to www.azhealthcarefreedomact.com and fight for your health care freedom!

07/24/2009
Help Us Send a No New Taxes Message to Politicians in North Carolina
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Press Release

Help Us Send a No New Taxes Message to Politicians in North Carolina

Here comes the tax man! Again. Legislators in North Carolina are well past their original July 1st budget deadline and more of your freedoms are up on the chopping block. For government reformers, a new budget sounds like a great idea as North Carolina faces a $4.6 billion deficit. However, rather than cutting  waste out of the budget, Governor Beverly Perdue’s plan calls for an additional $1.5 billion in spending for education, even as state revenues fall. How does she and legislative leaders plan to make up this huge difference? With a big package of new taxes and fees applied inconsistently across the economy, picking and choosing economic winners and losers. The House and Senate are considering different plans, but here are a few of the suggestions on the table that will hurt North Carolina families and businesses. * A so-called “Google” sales tax on internet purchases like digital books and music that will stifle commerce and presents obvious constitutional questions. * A $1-per-pack tax hike on cigarettes that comes on top of a recent federal hike and will push smokers to purchase cigarettes on the black market and hurt small businesses like convenience stores. * An alcohol tax that will slam an already suffering hospitality industry. * Taxes on lawn care and car repairs. * A sales tax hike. * An income tax hike for certain tax brackets. These taxes present a severe burden for families who are already suffering in this economic downturn and who face higher taxes and fees not only at the state level, but at the federal and county levels, too. They strike a blow directly at the heart of many businesses – some that are struggling to stay afloat, and some that have become the lynch-pin of communities and families that need their income and services. The last thing that North Carolinians can afford is higher taxes. Take Action and call your state representative at 919-733-7928. It’s essential that they hear from you and understand higher taxes won’t fix a budget gap created by wasteful spending. Governments need to learn to live within their means just as families do. Many of these same tax hike schemes have been tried in other states, but failed to address financial woes. North Carolina should choose a different path. Making the smart choice to cut spending and waste combined with lower taxes and less burdensome regulation will promote real, long term growth for the state.

07/24/2009
Protesting Socialized Medicine in NC
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Protesting Socialized Medicine in NC

Kay Hagan (D-NC) heard from her constituents in Greensboro today. Approximately 30 FreedomWorks activists showed up to her office to protest socialized medicine, then took the protest out to the street. Looks like a great crowd!

07/23/2009
Urge the Blue Dogs to Defeat Obamacare!
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Press Release

Urge the Blue Dogs to Defeat Obamacare!

One of the promising developments has been the opposition to the government takeover by the Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives. Some of these Congressmen have flat out told President Obama that they will not support a government takeover, and others have focused on the trillions of dollars in new taxes that would be required for Obamacare. The battle against government-run health care is being fought within the Democrat party, and that is where we must focus our efforts. We need to urge the Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to continue to oppose a government takeover of the healthcare system.

07/23/2009
Obama And Liberal Democrats Provoking Real Bipartisanship
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Blog

Obama And Liberal Democrats Provoking Real Bipartisanship

Obama opened his news conference yesterday with a brief speech on his support for government-run health care; he stated:

07/23/2009
"I've Never Got a Job From a Poor Man in My Life"
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"I've Never Got a Job From a Poor Man in My Life"

Mrs.

07/23/2009
Comparing Health Care: US v. UK v. Canada v. France
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Comparing Health Care: US v. UK v. Canada v. France

The Senate Republicans Joint Economic Committee recently released these charts comparing different aspects of health care in the US, UK, Canada, and France.  The UK, Canada, and France all have health care strongly controlled by the government, similar to what the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress are pushing.The numbers speak for themselves:  

07/23/2009
Almost 10,000 Comments Against Government Takeover of Health Care
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Almost 10,000 Comments Against Government Takeover of Health Care

[Click here to download over 9,400 comments from our activists on health care reform]Early in the health care debate this year FreedomWorks created a webpage for activists to post their comments to be delivered to Congressmen on health care legislation. So far we have collected over 9,400 comments.  In the spreadsheet linked above you will find name, town, state, and comment on health care reform from our activists sorted by state.

07/22/2009

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