Game Theory, Individual v. Collective, Uncategorized

The Case For Peter Schiff

One would think a Senate race—taking place in the middle of two wars and a severe recession—between the co-founder of the World Wrestling Entertainment and an economist and financial expert who predicted the financial crisis would be a no-brainer of relatively epic proportions. One would be mistaken.

On August 10th, Connecticut Republicans will decide whether they want the George Bush/endless wars/corporstist/neo-conservative nonsense that preceded Barack Obama or an actual change with a healthy mix of sanity thrown in for good measure. The choice is between Linda McMahon and Peter Schiff (Rob Simmons is also in the race, at least I think, he seems to be unable to decide whether he’s actually in it or not himself).

The latest Quinnipiac poll put Linda McMahon at 47%, Simmons at 30% and Peter Schiff at 14%. Schiff is, without question, a major underdog. Still the poll, while showing a bit of a tightening, likely overstates the discrepancy. The poll was taken before Schiff’s final media blitz and mailing started. Peter Schiff’s supporters are also much more enthusiastic and thereby much more likely to show up for the primary. Furthermore, Peter Schiff’s campaign has done two internal polls, one poll which showed he was slightly behind, the other poll had him slightly ahead! Internal polls are highly questionable, but it at least proves the cause is not hopeless.

But even if it is hopeless, I urge Connecticut readers of Swifteconomics to vote for Peter Schiff anyways. A vote for Linda McMahon might as well be a vote for George Bush. And another George Bush is no better than Barack Obama (in fact, with all their foreign adventurism and deficit spending, they’re almost indistinguishable). Remember, the bailouts occurred under Bush. And what does Linda McMahon have to say about them? Well she says it right there on her website:

“Most economists and many Republicans, including myself, considered the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) necessary because the economy was on the brink of collapse and doing nothing would have likely led to a complete financial meltdown.”

Connecticut's Soon-To-Be First Gentleman?

Not good enough Linda (also not true enough). And isn’t it strange how the few economists that predicted the crisis almost unanimously opposed the bailouts (see here, here and here)? Isn’t that strange Linda?

And how about the boondoggles in Afghanistan and Iraq –the wars that Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says almost all Congressional Republicans think was a mistake–where does Linda stand on those? Well she supports them of course. But listen to how her website describes the Afghanistan war, it’s full of politician-talk (empty, meaningless, wishy-washy rhetoric):­

“The President’s decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan was momentous, and now that the policy has been put in place, it’s important that we commit ourselves fully to achieving success. Our troops have to know we are committed to their success, and the Afghan people must have confidence that we are determined to succeed or they will never become effective partners in the effort to defeat terrorists.

“Like most Americans, I do not want to see another multi-year escalation of conflict. I’m gravely troubled about the human costs of war, and I’m apprehensive about the economic repercussions a protracted war will have on our country at a time of double-digit unemployment and record federal debt. But in my judgment, we cannot ignore the risks inherent in allowing Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorists. It’s my hope that we can bring our troops home safely as soon as possible, but we should bring them home in victory, not defeat.”

Talk about having your cake and eating it too. ‘I support the war, but not that much because Republicans have become a little more dovish of late, or I mean, umm, “I’m gravely troubled about the human costs of war,” or something like that.’

The first sentence of that mess of a “position” should rule her unqualified for office by itself; the president did something so now we must “commit ourselves fully to achieving success.” By “commit ourselves,” of course, she means commit the lives of soldiers who are unrelated to her, but regardless, what is her opinion on the matter? Did Obama make a mistake? Should we change policy? Or should we just blindly follow the president? If the ladder, why does she bother criticizing the stimulus package, we should blindly follow the president and “commit ourselves fully to achieving success.” And remember, this is on her campaign website! She and her staff could have spent as much time as they liked figuring out the best way to phrase her position and put it out there for all the world to see. And yet this is what they come up with? It’s an absolute joke.

On the other hand, Peter Schiff is the furthest thing from wishy-washy there is. Even if you disagree with him on an issue or two, at least you know where he stands. Way back in 2002 he was warning about the upcoming financial crisis. He got laughed at repeatedly, marginalized and all the rest, but he still said what he believed. The popular youtube video “Peter Schiff was Right!” (now with over 1.7 million views) shows him standing his ground against the mindless hoards of financial guru’s/talking heads/perma-bulls by himself. Needless to say, Peter Schiff has been vindicated:

Of course Linda McMahon didn’t predict the financial collapse. And her politician double-speak is compounded by her politician double-act. It is truly hard to believe she believes in fiscal austerity when she’s donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, including the maximum individual donation of $2300 to Rahm “never let a crisis go to waste” Emmanuel. Emmanuel is currently Barack Obama’s current chief of staff!

So while Linda McMahon is a flip-flopping opportunist, Peter Schiff has always preached fiscal restraint and small government and his long career provides ample evidence he will follow through on his word. He will undoubtedly work to shrink a bloated government, stop the bailouts and endless debt-financed spending. He will work to protect the Constitution. He’ll help to get an audit of the Federal Reserve (something Linda knows little if anything about). He opposed the Iraq War at the time of the invasion and as far as national security goes, he sums it up well on his website:

“Let’s truly have a policy of national defense, not national offense. We should end the concept of nation building and close unneeded foreign military bases that drain resources from more important uses.”

That seems like a reasonable policy, especially given we are on the verge of bankruptcy and have already suffered close to 5000 deaths in the two wars George Bush started.

And finally, Linda McMahon is still significantly behind Democrat Dick Blumenthal in the polls. If anyone has a chance to beat Blumenthal, it’s not going to be a business-as-usual Republicrat, it would be an outsider who predicted the financial crisis. That someone would be Peter Schiff.

If you would like to help Peter Schiff, you can go to his website and make a donation or a few phone calls to likely Republican primary voters. And if you live in Connecticut, make sure to vote for Peter Schiff come August 10th.
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