Archive for May 18th, 2010

I’m in Bratislava, where I spoke at the first stop of the Hayek Institut’s seven-nations Free Market Road Show. Slovakia is one of my favorite nations because it has both a flat tax and personal retirement accounts. A new wave of reform may be possible, depending on the outcome of the June 12 elections.

A new liberal (classical liberal, meaning free market) party has been launched, and their campaign’s message focuses on representing future generations. Here is the billboard that ones sees in Slovakia. Not sure how it would fly in America, but I certainly wish the party well.

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In an uncharacteristic display of fiscal rectitude, Senators voted 94-0 against the Greek bailout. But don’t get too excited. They only voted to instruct the White house to oppose the bailout in the absence of a plan to pay back the money. Needless to say, the Greeks, the IMF, and/or the White House will lie if the amendment becomes law. Speaking of which, approving an amendment in the Senate means nothing unless the provision is included in a final bill. Last but not least, the amendment is too weak. It should have blocked any bailout. Heck, it should have withdrawn the United States from the IMF altogether. But a baby needs to learn to crawl before it can walk, so I suppose we should be happy that the kleptocrats in Washington at least cast a symbolic vote to defend taxpayers. Here’s a report from the EU Business:

The US Senate on Monday easily approved a measure aimed at blocking International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid packages like the one for Greece absent a guarantee that the money will be repaid. Lawmakers voted 94-0 to approve the measure, crafted by Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, attaching it to broad legislation to overhaul financial industry rules in the wake of the 2008 global economic meltdown. The amendment calls for President Barack Obama’s administration to measure any IMF aid package to a country whose public debt exceeds its annual gross domestic product in order to certify that the loan will be repaid. If the administration were unable to make such a certification, it would be directed to oppose the assistance and vote against it at the IMF. “Greece is going to get 40 billion dollars in loans from the IMF, out of which seven billion dollars is attributable to the contributions of the American taxpayer. They shouldn’t have to do that unless we have an assurance that it will be paid back,” Cornyn said shortly before the vote. …If the Senate passes the overhaul legislation, Cornyn’s measure would still need to survive a House-Senate “conference” to reconcile their rival versions of the bill before it can go to Obama to be signed into law.

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The only question is whether he deliberately and knowingly lied, and I say to Fox News that there is no alternative explanation. The only issue now is whether he pays a price like the first President Bush, who also lied to the American people about taxes.

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