Sunday, April 19, 2009

Harold Ford Jr. Kicks Armey's Ass

I'm not a big fan of Harold Ford, Jr. usually because he rebuts Republican talking point statements with, "I agree with everything you said, but...", but I'll give credit where credit is due. On Meet The Press today, Ford took Dick Armey to task right before a commercial break with the following:

REP. ARMEY: Let me make a couple points. As Milton Friedman said, "The real rate of taxation is the rate of spending." It's going to be pay me now or pay me later, but eventually every dime's worth of government spending is going to be taxation. But I think there's a fundamental question here that Hubert Humphrey would appreciate. The fact is, even by Hubert Humphey's standards, Humphrey-Hawkins, this government is too big. It's too much of a burden on the economy. And people sense that this president wants to take an already existing burden on the American economy and make it even bigger with a questionable ability...

REP. FORD: All right.

REP. ARMEY: do any good. Has the government actually made health care better in America? I would argue probably not.

MR. GREGORY: All right. Comment, Harold?

REP. FORD: Two things. We use the term "bailout" when we talk about the help on the financial side. It's important to note that the TARP is designed to actually be paid back. If the banks perform at the rate that some have suggested they performed this quarter and across the year, you're looking at a dividend payment from the banks back to the taxpayer, rightly so, between $12 to $15 billion this year, number one. Number two...


REP. FORD: ...I would agree with you, Leader, in this regard. Spending is large, but what is the alternative? Government's playing the role of the, the, the, the, the financial investor of last resort, the spender of last resort. We, we fought this, we fought this battle for many years in this country. Think if we'd decided not to pass the Servicemen Readjustment Act back in 1944 called the GI Bill. It was an enormous expenditure. You sent eight million veterans to college, you provided one year of unemployment compensation and you ensured they could buy a home. The impact that had on the nation's economy going forward, educating that greatest generation, has been enormous. Think if Eisenhower's national interstate, the highway system would not have passed. It cost $425 billion in real day terms. The impact it's had on commerce, prosperity and growth has been immeasurable. We face one of those moments. This is one of those 100-year flood moments. And as much as I'd like to see government not engage and involve itself in so many enterprises, I don't know the alternative. And as much as I like and respect you, I've not heard from Republicans or conservatives or the TEA party attenders, what is the alternative? If the alternative, alternative is to sit back and do nothing, the majority of Americans, evidenced by poll after poll, say, "Do something. Be active and get us out of this mess."
Although Gregory interrupted to go to break, if you watch the video, Armey had no answer or else he would have responded.

1 comment:

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