Issue Position: Bailouts/Stimulus
Inhofe on the Issues: No More Bailouts
Sen. Inhofe has consistently opposed every massive government bailout and is one of 12 senators (all republicans) to have voted against TARP, auto bailout and the stimulus. So far the government has spent over $9 trillion on bailouts to help the economy in the last two years -- with the continual decline of the economy and the rise of unemployment it is clear these bailouts do not work. The only certainty is the increasing burden of debt that has been forced upon generations to come.
Sen. Inhofe is calling for an end to the irresponsible spending and a renewed focus on the areas that will help get the economy back on track: infrastructure, defense, and tax cuts.
Obama's Stimulus Plan: "1.2. Trillion Mistake"
Immediately after taking office, President Obama opened the floodgates of spending with a $1.2 Trillion "stimulus" plan. Spending an outrageous $200,000 taxpayer dollars per job created.
Infrastructure Amendment 169: Only 3% of the stimulus bill pertained to road and bridge construction. Inhofe's amendment, which had bipartisan support, would have increased the percentage of the stimulus to go towards shovel-ready infrastructure projects that would have had an immediate return in jobs created. This would have helped every state including Oklahoma where there is $1.1 billion in shovel ready projects. For every $1 billion invested in highways and bridges, 27,800 jobs are created.
Defense Amendment 262: Only 1% of the stimulus bill was dedicated to military and veterans. We know for every $1 billion invested in military procurement, 6,500 jobs are created. Sen. Inhofe's amendment would have responsibly increased investment in defense manufacturing and cut some of the wasteful spending that does not stimulate the economy. Defense spending has double the reward: it creates good manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and provides for our national security interests.
Auto bailout: Here we go again
Sen. Inhofe predicted the $700 billion would be followed by more requests from every industry asking for a government handout and one month later the Big Three Automakers came to Washington asking for help.
12/10/08: "The Democratic majority seems to believe D.C. politicians and bureaucrats are the best suited to build the car industry of the future," Senator Inhofe said. "A political solution to a business crisis is the wrong approach. Nationalizing industries in an attempt to save them has been tried before. The track record is abysmal."
12/12/08: Even after Congress rejected the auto bailout legislation the Bush administration once again changed course and decided to spend TARP funds on the auto industry - undermining the confidence placed in the massive recovery plan.
TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program):
Sen. Inhofe was one of 25 Senators to vote against the $700 Paulson bailout proposal concerned that a rushed decision to hand an outrageous amount of money to one unelected bureaucrat was not only irresponsible, it offered no accountability, transparency, or end game in sight. Worst of all, the original intent of this spending -- to buy troubled assets - was quickly tossed aside.
He offered 6 ways to steer the Economic Recovery Plan in the Right Direction:
* Address the immediate financial crisis: Congress should divert a portion of the $700 billion to the FDIC and the Federal Reserve to help shore up both the traditional banking system and money markets.
* Make tax cuts permanent: Any economic recovery must focus on making the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 permanent.
* Stabilize the housing market: Instead of rewriting mortgages, the government can provide an immediate tax benefit to help struggling home owners stay in their houses by allowing credit?worthy home owners who are currently struggling, but have a high likelihood of staying in their homes, to deduct a portion of their principle in addition to their already deductable interest payments.
* Incentivize savings: Congress should consider relaxing limits on Roth IRA contributions to provide a greater incentive to save.
* Increase American jobs: Congress should increase the phasing-in of domestic manufacturing tax deduction ("section 199").
* Promote investment: Congress should temporarily eliminate the capital gains rate and allow a repatriation of foreign earnings.
On November 15, 2008, Sen. Inhofe sent a letter to Senate colleagues which laid out his plan to roll back the TARP bailout.
On November 17, 2008, Sen. Inhofe introduced S.3683, which was supported by a bipartisan group of 12 senators, to freeze unspent bailout funds and ensure Congress votes on any further plans to spend the remaining $350 billion in available TARP funds.
He took his message to the airwaves and launched a YouTube channel www.youtube./jiminhofepressoffice, to engage the public in the ongoing debate surrounding the financial crisis.
On January 15, 2009, Sen. Inhofe voted once again against TARP II - spending the second half of the $700 billion which he renamed S.O.A.P.: spend on anything program. This time the number of senators opposed jumped from 25 to 42, but still it was not enough.
National Review Online
Take It Back
By: U.S. Jim Inhofe
Published November 21, 2008
The government must begin the process of extricating itself from the financial sector of our economy
"The American people have been shocked, and frankly disgusted, to watch their government spend $4.28 trillion dollars (the total spent by the Fed, Treasury, and Congress) to bailout institutions that only last year showered their top executives in cash. At the same time, we are about to confront an unheard of $1 trillion deficit this year alone. Since there is no plan for this money, and the crisis for which its availability was made no longer threatens us with absolute economic devastation, perhaps it should not be added to the deficit. There comes a time when you have to draw the line in the sand. That time is now, and the line I am drawing is refunding the remaining $350 billion to the American taxpayer by removing the authority to spend it."