Thursday, July 16, 2009

A soundbyte from the soundbitten for the soundbiter

Today the chairman practiced for his upcoming "Town Hall" gig in Kansas, to be moderated by Jim Lehrer on PBS. I gave the chairman some soundbyte practice:
I hear a lot of talk about increasing regulation to fix the economy. It seems ironic that we are looking to regulation as the solution even though over-regulation may have been part of what created this crisis. For example, government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie and Freddie created much of the toxic debt by purchasing subprime mortgages. Do you see a place for deregulation as a tool for addressing the crisis?
The chairman's response was polished and lame, as if had given some thought ahead of time about how to avoid this question. He had two points.

First he agreed that it is correct to put some blame on Fannie and Freddie; they should not have been buying some of those mortgages. Then he said that the problem is not the quantity of regulation, but the quality. He leaned heavily on this point through the rest of the Q&A, even referring back to my question at one point to restate his answer. He said it's not a question of how much regulation we have, but instead it is a question of whether we are making smart regulation.

Duh? Yes, duh. This was soundbyte time. What else could have he said? Did I expect him to commit political suicide and provide a list of ongoing government programs that are currently planting the seeds of the next great crisis? Of course not. But he could have taken the opportunity to promote my libertarian creed:
  • Federal programs are easy to create, costly to run, highly fallible, and difficult to kill.
  • We must take every opportunity to kill unnecessary regulation.
  • Existing government regulations should be constantly examined for unintended consequences.
Maybe he will do better in Kansas, after reading this post.


Anonymous goodbadi said...

His term is almost up, right? You want a job?

6:01 PM  

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