The sacrifice

St. Ronald said:
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
If the bailout is necessary, those words are false. Liberals will, appropriately, keep harping on that point. As a result, conservatives will be tempted to deny the necessity of the whole thing.

What are the conservatives going to have to give up if they admit the Garbage Pail bailout is necessary? Only their single most cherished belief, as expressed by their favorite plaster saint:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Now we’ve got the entire financial services sector begging for help from the government, and claiming that if they don’t get that help the wheels will come off the economy. And no, I don’t promise not to rub the conservatives’ noses in that fact for the rest of my natural life, and longer if I can figure out how.

As a result, every conservative thinker and institution is going to want to be able to claim afterwards that the whole thing wasn’t necessary. To admit otherwise would be to declare intellectual bankruptcy.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com