Remarks on the Greek Bailout

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom McClintock (CA -04) made the following remarks today at a forum held at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to discuss the Greek bailout.

Remarks on the Greek Bailout
May 19, 2010

I spoke with Marvin Goodfriend of Carniegie Mellon just before we came out and I don’t want to steal his thunder but he appears to have come up with a radical new economic theory that if you spend more than you take in year after year eventually you will run out of money.

I tried to explain to him that I’m from California and we’ve been doing things that way for years. Do you know the difference between Greece and California? About three years.

The first law of holes seems applicable in this case: When you’re in one, stop digging. That goes for my home state of California, whose fiscal affairs are just a few years behind Greece; and it goes for America whose fiscal affairs are just a few years behind California.

America must not become an enabler for the fiscal folly of Europe. Nor should it become an imitator of that folly.

Under this administration, it is doing both, and Americans have had enough.

Shakespeare’s advice applies to profligate nations just as it applies to profligate sons: neither a borrower nor a lender be. It’s about time we heed that advice before we destroy our country.

If we cannot afford to allow Greece or the European Union to collapse, then we certainly can’t afford to bail them out. If we all agree that their fiscal policies are unsustainable, then it naturally follows that prolonging those policies simply deepens the ultimate crisis. The issue is not whether their policies will collapse but when – and whether they take America with them when they do.