Who Knew? TARP Angered Fiscal Conservatives

The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility and limited government. The old political dichotomy in this country was between the Democrats—who wanted to increase the size, breadth, authorities, and cost of the federal government—and the Republicans who wanted to do the opposite. If you wanted a small, limited federal government, you voted Republican.

That was a nice theory, but the Republicans didn’t always practice what they preached. The Reagan revolution in the 1980’s and Contract With America in the 1990’s all promised reduced federal spending, and both delivered on those promises . . . at least to a point, and at least for a while. Things quickly went back to ‘business as usual’ in Washington, though. President George W. Bush (R) and the Republican Congress he enjoyed for much of his presidency expanded the federal government and increased our deficits, contrary to the wishes of the fiscal conservatives (like myself) that voted them into office.

The death-knell for Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign in 2008 was his idiotic move to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to help pass the bipartisan 700 billion dollar TARP bailout plan that virtually no Americans outside of the Wall Street intelligentsia supported. Then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) also voted for TARP, but he at least had the good sense not to say so very loudly. The TARP bailout was the first 700 billion dollars of many trillions of dollars since wasted for ill-advised socialist bailouts under both Bush and President Barack Obama (D). Anybody with sense opposed them; they passed in Congress with wide Republican support.

Now, many of those Republicans (including McCain) who supported TARP are finding themselves on the receiving end of a vicious (and well-deserved) populist backlash. The Republican Party has already found several of its ‘establishment’ politicos being supplanted by people with actual records of fiscal conservatism . . . you know, people who don’t think that sending trillions of your tax dollars to bankrupt banks and car companies made any sense.

People like me who have generally voted Republican for many years are rejecting those ‘Republicans in Name Only’ who supported TARP and these other monstrosities of anti-American legislation. says that votes for TARP ‘trap’ GOP incumbents and, indeed, they do—they ‘trap’ them in their own hypocrisy, and they deserve it.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.