Miller Votes Against $700 Billion Bailout

September 30, 2008

U.S. Representative Jeff Miller of Florida cast a vote against the massive $700 billion bailout bill on Monday as it failed by a 228-205 vote.

The bill would have allowed the government to purchase failing mortgages and other financial securities.

Miller submitted the following comments about the bill:

Almost two weeks ago the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, sent a three page request to the Congress asking for 700 billion dollars of your money for his friends and former colleagues on Wall Street. The former Chairman of the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also asked the Congress to pass a law ensuring his actions “are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

The Founders of this country set up an ingenious system of government to ensure power was not disproportionately given to one individual. The goal was to avoid tyranny at all costs. Secretary Paulson most likely skipped that class in college and was hoping you had as well. Many wonder how such a poorly structured piece of legislation could even come about in the first place. I wonder how the President approved this as well.

By demanding this bailout money, the Administration attempted to circumvent the legislative process. Moreover, the Administration continues to insist that their way is the only way to avoid an imminent crisis.

Perhaps most stunning, is that the Administration officials responsible for protecting American taxpayers and our free market system were asleep at the switch. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox recently admitted his culpability in this matter and amazingly, the Secretary of the Treasury recently admitted he had seen this crisis coming for nearly a year and just now came to the Congress.

Such large-scale government interference in our markets ensures the correction process will take much longer than it would have otherwise. What would help toward long-term stability is an injection of private capital into economy. We need to establish and maintain low tax rates on capital gains and corporate income, allowing people to invest more of their money and relieving American companies from one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

The Democrats did not care to address the corporate tax rate issue and in fact, their response to the Administration’s bailout plan was just as bad, if not worse. They attempted to allow unions to take over corporate boards of failed companies, let judges rewrite the terms of your mortgage and even set up a slush fund for housing groups that among other things, register Democratic voters. Nowhere did they address one of the fundamental issues that got us into this mess, the implicit government backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to be changed into purely private companies, not government sponsored enterprises with special privileges. They need to pay taxes like everyone else and until they are purely private, they must be prohibited from spending taxpayer money on lobbying the government to ensure their continued existence, despite their failed management and banking practices.

An overwhelming majority of constituents have called, emailed, and written into my office stating their outright opposition to any sort of bailout for corporations that were reckless and irresponsible with their management. Moreover, responsible people who live within their means should not be bearing the burden of bailing out corporations. The American taxpayer deserves better. We must not sacrifice long term freedom for short term financial gain.


2 Responses to “Miller Votes Against $700 Billion Bailout”

  1. J Carson on October 2nd, 2008 8:04 am

    I second that.

  2. Richard Clark on September 30th, 2008 1:03 pm

    Jeff Miller’s justification for his no vote is idealogical pontification at a time that calls for practical solution to a critical problem. The bill that ultimately went to the floor for a vote did not contain the flaws complained about, so it is misleading to cite these flaws as justification for his continued opposition to the bill. If he continues to cast his lot with those who have decided to become part of the problem instead of part of the solution I will vote for his Democratic opponent. I have never voted Democrat in my life. I too am a taxpayer, and the value of my IRA dropped $23,000 in yesterday’s market crash. Did Miller not think about the consequenses of a defeated bill to taxpayers like me. If Miller gets his way, it will not be Wall St vs Main Street, because we will all be living at the end of a Dirt Road.

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