If you liked the TARP bailout, you’re going to love the coronavirus bailout

Do you remember how George W. Bush attempted to redefine conservatism when he adopted “compassionate conservatism” as a pillar of his presidency? Besides the obvious socialist implications that conservatism wasn’t compassionate, what “W” was really saying is that he held the same ideals we find in the current attempt to redefine conservatism as nationalism.

In other words, Bush didn’t believe the free market could be trusted to address America’s ills at the time without the assistance of big government.

Before he left office in 2008, Bush exploded government spending and created new entitlement programs like Medicare Part D. Near the end of his presidency, he “abandoned free market principles to save the free market” with the first $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) — Obama’s was the second — to bailout the banks during the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Likewise, Trump and the GOP have exploded government spending — with deficits that exceed those of Bush and Obama — and have created new entitlement programs like paid family leave. Now faced with an economic meltdown of their own making and made worse by coronavirus hysteria, they are also ready to abandon free market principles to save their derrieres.

With the Families First Coronavirus Response Act now working its way through the U.S. Senate — Trump has already promised to sign it — Mitch McConnell is promising even more spending on big government “solutions.”

What might McConnell be talking about? Perhaps the following proposals answer that question.

Mitt Romney embraced his inner Tulsi Gabbard with his proposal to “immediately send $1,000 checks to each American” adult. The Massachusetts liberal masquerading as a Utah conservative also proposed giving grants to small businesses, expanding Pell grants for students, and requiring insurance companies to cover telemedicine costs.

But Mittens may need to move to the back of the “abandon free market principles” line by the time Sen. Tom Cotton is through. Cotton is calling for a national “shutdown” that would only exclude “absolutely essential work.” He also wants the military to be used for “civil support,” and he’s working on a way to have stipends (a fixed and regular payment) paid directly to individuals and small businesses to live on.

The Arkansas Senator up for re-election in November — assuming Republicans don’t shut that down too — appeared with Trump’s morning intel team (FOX & Friends) and criticized the Families First Coronavirus Response Act because it “doesn’t go far enough” and “doesn’t go fast enough.”

This isn’t likely to be the end of the bailout-palooza. For example, Airlines for America (A4A) put in a request yesterday for grants, loans and tax relief amounting to about $50 billion dollars. Trump is already on record in support of bailouts for airlines along with hotels — hey, doesn’t he own a few hotels? — so the checks are likely to be in the mail sooner rather than later.

Get ready, America! If you liked the TARP bailout, you’re going to love the coronavirus bailout.


UPDATE!! After posting this piece earlier today, Reuters is reporting this morning that Trump is requesting $850 billion in additional bailout funds.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds members of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.

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