Boehner calling TARP opponents knuckledraggers is one of the reasons I can't rally behind this guy. Yes, obviously, he is better than most of those on the left so I'm not implying that he is a fiscal leftist or anything related to that, but his thinking that TARP "had to happen" is the attitude I hate about some guys in the R party. Van Sustern asked Boehner about Ryan voting for TARP and then becoming a "budget-hawk" and how he could sell that image politically. The following is Boehner's answer.
BOEHNER: I mean, I think that he's a practical conservative. He's got a very conservative voting record, but he's not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save -- save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. I wish we didn't have to do it, either, but he understood that. 1
Did TARP have "...to happen...to save our economy, save the world economy..."? Ron Paul didn't think so. He gave three good reasons. It is immoral--Dumping bad debt on the innocent taxpayers is an act of theft and is wrong. It is unconstitutional--There is no constitutional authority to use government power to serve special interests. It is bad economic policy--By refusing to address the monetary system while continuing to place the burdens of the bailout on the dollar, we can be certain that in time, we will be faced with another, more severe crisis when the market figures out that there is no magic government bailout or regulation that can make a fraudulent monetary system work. 2
TARP didn't have to happen. TARP was unconstitutional. Federal Government intrusion to "solve" disasters wasn't something that was expected until the 20th century. In fact, 19th century and earlier presidents wouldn't have even dreamed of something like TARP. Why? Because it was unconstitutional. Because it would create this "dependency," cater to special interests, and ruin liberty. Most people like the idea of liberty, but only the benefits of liberty, they don't understand the consequences of liberty.
Boehner has problems. If following the constitution is "knuckledragging" then I guess I'm, according to Boehner, an knuckledragger. It's not so bad.