South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is one of the rare Republicans who not only talks about small government, but who is capable of making clear arguments to back up his beliefs without resorting to empty talking points. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see (via Marc Ambinder) that Sanford had sent this letter to President Bush, making a cogent argument against using U.S. Treasury’s TARP funds to bailout the auto industry.
These two paragraphs especially stood out for me:
What’s unfolding now is ultimately bigger than credit in our financial system and distressed businesses. We are placing an unhealthy and unprecedented level of debt on present taxpayers and future generations. And I believe we are at a tipping point in moving from a market-based economy to a politically-based economy, wherein one’s success can be determined not by good decisions and hard work, but by the size of one’s voice and connection to Washington.
The real economic stimulus of our country lies in the daily work and effort of the millions you have seen across this land. These bailouts represent not only an enourmous cost that they will be left to carry, but a shattering of the rights and responsibilities that have historically been linked to achieving the American Dream.
People keep asking me what I think is needed to revive the Republican Party. Finding more candidates who can make this type of argument would be a good place to start.