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In Your Heart You Think He’s Right. (But In Your Gut….)

That’s right, your heart, Republicans. You heard Peter Schiff and he said the things you’ve been thinking.  He had the most to gain in tonight’s Hartford Courant/Fox CT Republican Senate debate, and he made the most of his opportunity.

The investor and financial analysis was fluid and compelling in his concise answers, pushing every button of free market-loving Republicans. His insights on the economy, the size of the federal government and the danger of soaring deficits to national security will resonate beyond the night’s debate.

Schiff also some truths that will have had Republican heads nodding.  There are ways to reduce the cost of health care with less government, not more. He does have a way with an anecdote.  You know he’s right when he says that some of the same people who oppose Obama proposals would support them if they had come from George W. Bush.

Schiff provided a stark contrast to former Congressman Rob Simmons’s hymn to bipartisanship when he said he doesn’t want to end gridlock “of it’s the only thing that stands between us and bigger government.”  He was warbling a love song into Republican primary ears with that.  He moved into the second verse when he pointed out that years of compromises have produced the mess we’re in. He hit his crescendo when he declared, “if you send me to Washington, I promise you one thing, that town will never be the same again.”

If more delegates and primary voters see him, he’ll certainly shake up the Connecticut Republican party, as long as he keeps restraining himself from going into that aria about the government doing so much the constitution doesn’t permit.  Don’t get all Ron Paul.

Linda McMahon also had a good night.  She was crisp and mostly fluent.  Her closing statement allowed McMahon to tell her compelling rags-to-riches story without sounding too contrived.  (Oh, how candidates, all of them, torture themselves preparing their closer.)  She got off one of the laughs of the evening with her quip that if all else fails, she could put up a ring in the Senate and put her experience to work.

Full marks to McMahon for trilling the dreaded name Ahmadinejad without a stumble.  She was also the only one to give full-throated support of our alliance with Israel.

McMahon showed she stand alone and hold her own.  It was a good night for her, too.

Simmons provided some glimpses of himself as an establishment politician in an anti-establishment year.  He lobbed one at McMahon early on over TARP and she effectively shut him down at the first opportunity.  Simmons was confusing on why he doesn’t qualify for veterans medical benefits.  No mention that he gets better ones as a gold-plated retiree of the State of Connecticut.

Simmons paled compared to both Schiff and McMahon.  He was better than Blumenthal last night.  Simmons’s performance tonight will likely add to calls that he consider segueing from the Senate race into the contest for the 2nd district against Democrat Joe Courtney.

27 comments

1 Michael Gerhart { 03.02.10 at 9:18 pm }

I concur with your analysis.

2 Republican Debate: All three beat the Dem pretenders | Radio Vice Online { 03.02.10 at 10:05 pm }

[...] smaller government and the free market as an answer to the nation’s ills and … well, he’s right. The investor and financial analysis was fluid and compelling in his concise answers, pushing every [...]

3 H.W.P. { 03.03.10 at 9:58 am }

As much as I agree with Schiff, the key issue in this GOP primary is electability – who can win. Clearly Schiff is too libertarian for CT’s electorate so that takes him out of the running. While Simmons may have the name ID, experience and familiarity with the state, it’s far from clear that he will have the resources needed to compete with McMahon in the summer primary let alone Blumenthal in the fall. Indeed, Simmons’ fundraising seriously tapered off in the final quarter of ’09 and that was when he was running ahead of then candidate Dodd. I imagine donors might not be so generous when he’s down 20+ points against Blumenthal.

That leaves the former WWE executive. While McMahon still relies heavily on talking points and handlers (and there’s the moral questions surrounding her company) she has proven herself capable of holding her own. That combined with her ability to outspend Blumenthal handily makes her the strongest candidate for Republicans going into the general election. The sooner the GOP gets this and rallies to her candidacy the better.

4 David { 03.03.10 at 12:39 pm }

Schiff could take this thing. He just needs some establishment GOP types to help him along the way.

If the GOP wants to take back government, they are going to need people like Schiff to propel them there.

5 Cheddie { 03.03.10 at 12:43 pm }

Mr. Schiff’s contention seems to be that government is the cause of all problems and the free market is the solution. Interesting, coming from a marketplace (financial) where his peers’ free actions nearly brought down the economy and country.

6 Frank { 03.03.10 at 1:14 pm }

“…he’ll certainly shake up the Connecticut Republican party, as long as he keeps restraining himself from going into that aria about the government doing so much the constitution doesn’t permit. Don’t get all Ron Paul.”

Yes. By all means, don’t point out how the federal government has used the Constitution as toiler paper for the last century or two.

7 John Smith { 03.03.10 at 2:01 pm }

Support for Israel? Really? What have we ever gotten out of that relationship that was positive? What a terrible excuse to go to war.

8 zack { 03.03.10 at 2:49 pm }

Pretty good analysis, but Schiff towers over McMahon and Simmons who just read out their talking points without the faintest understanding of why the Keynesian economic system supported by the Dems and the mainstream GOP fails. Schiff is an adherent of Austrian economics, which is how he was able to predict the economic crisis as early as 2005 and 2006 (Look up “Peter Schiff Was Right” on Youtube). Schiff is the real deal – the other two are powder puffs.

9 zack { 03.03.10 at 2:53 pm }

To HWP – what’s the point of electing McMahon – she is clearly just an empty suit repeating the GOP establishment’s talking points. She’d vote just like Scott Brown (who crossed party lines to vote for Obama’s “jobs” bill recently). We need to elect someone of principle that will make a difference; that’s Schiff. Not McMahon.

10 Jeremy { 03.03.10 at 3:07 pm }

Cheddie,
Really? Was it the fault of the market that the financial industry had so much room to speculate? Were they responsible for the influx of cash necessary to create a bubble? Was the market responsible for the moral hazard that eliminates any risk involved in doing business within the financial industry? Was it the market?

Does the market endorse the “too big to fail” doctrine? Were market forces at work when legislation forced lending standards to take a turn away from caution for fear of default risk and towards carelessness? Was it the market? Or have you not done your homework?

Jeremy

11 H.W.P. { 03.03.10 at 4:22 pm }

Zack,

“Elect” being the key word in your final sentence. CT’s electorate isn’t philosophically aligned with Schiff – has a real libertarian Republican been elected in this state in the last 30 years? McMahon is flawed, no doubt about that, but she’s better than Blumenthal and has the best shot to win in November.

12 JJ. { 03.03.10 at 6:38 pm }

H.W.P.,
“in the last 30 years” being the key words in your post. But interestingly, you are missing the whole point of all that has changed in those 30 years! McMahon presence is so dull and preprogrammed, she could never win. Schiff has the understanding and experience, the spirit, strength, character & vibrancy!

13 Jacob { 03.03.10 at 7:44 pm }

Cheddie — You clearly don’t understand what caused the meltdown. It was corporatism — Government getting into bed with big business. The government is the problem not the solution. Those are not Schiff’s peers. He has a small CT based brokerage that he built from the ground up.

14 Cezary { 03.03.10 at 7:53 pm }

Peter Schiff is the only one electable in this race because he has economic credibility that both McMahon and Simmons lack. Peter’s pro constitutional positions resonate well with the center and even the democrats, so he can steal much more votes from Blumenthal than McMahon or Simmons could (if any). Economy is the #1 issue for CT and it only makes sense for GOP to put up an economic expert against the Democrats.

And finally, Peter’s campaign is something to get excited about. He has the most volunteers and the young people behind him to motivate people to vote and canvass and spread the message of limited government.

15 Giovanni { 03.03.10 at 8:06 pm }

Cheddie: The collapse wasn’t caused by the free market or people acting freely without restraint; it was caused by a government sanctioned private company with full powers to regulate the economy and print money out of thin air. It was regulation and government intervention that caused the collapse, not free will.

16 Giovanni { 03.03.10 at 8:10 pm }

H.W.P:

It’s time for change man, it’s time to vote for change and have change. REAL change. And every person in that debate has a chance.

I’m tired of the nay saying. The time for that is over, as many wonderful things have happened. Peter Schiff IS the only legitimate candidate for actual, real change in direction.Stop voting for a captain to keep a ship sinking. ”Electability?” Grow a pair. You push until you win.

17 AUTO { 03.04.10 at 9:35 pm }

The more debates they have the better it will look for Schiff. People are starting to be able to see through the lies and insincerity everyone running democrat and republican are spewing.

18 geoff { 03.04.10 at 10:30 pm }

“Government getting into bed with big business. The government is the problem not the solution. ”

Of course, the bad government forced those poor businesses in to risky decisions. Give me a break. Greed drove our recent financial meltdown, greed and lack of long term vision.

I would never sit here and argue that “the government” isn’t without its fair share of the blame for our mess. But to absolve the private sector, the market, and whole industries of blame and not subject them to an equal standard is disingenuous and a revision of recent history. I think that’s why my fellow residents don’t take Schiff seriously. The cuffs don’t need to come of business. They need to get tighter

19 stephen m { 03.05.10 at 11:37 am }

@geoff

Blaming the financial crisis on greed is like blaming a plan crash on gravity. You have to be able to describe cause/effect. Greed doesn’t explain the confluence of errors. Why did the entire industry get so deep into trouble? The free market has natural checks on greed, its called risk. When someone makes bets that are risky, there is an opposing party making the bet that that risky bet will go south. If everyone was betting that these bets were actually safe, then why did that happen?

The answer is that cheap credit from the central bank and perverse regulations in the housing market made regulators and bureaucrats COMPLICIT in the housing bubble. Cheap credit lowers the cost of loans and makes risky bets appear more profitable. Housing regulations encouraging risky borrowing is the reason that the crisis was focused on housing. But it would have occurred anyway since the cheap credit would have found its way into the economy one way or another.

Know this. No amount of regulation would have prevented the financial crisis. Regulators knew what was going on, it wasn’t some grand secret. The problem was that they didn’t know that the boom was fake because they do not understand how monetary policy distorts prices in the market.

20 Carlos { 03.06.10 at 3:59 am }

Thank you “stephen m” …saved me the trouble of explaining that perspective to geoff.

@geoff …it’s understandable to fall victim to these excuses being thrown around while the same politicians toss the financial sector under the bus to cover their a**es. Please read stephen’s comment carefully, as he’s spot on. Take the time to research moral hazard, and how government policies have a tendency to guarantee a return, no matter the risk. If I told you I’d cover your loses if you went ahead and loaned $100k of your money to a random individual… would you do it? There’s only upside. Without fear of failure, there is only unfettered greed. The government will strive to suppress the chances of failure, in a do-good attempt to push a positive social policy, never taking into consideration unintended consequences that will ultimately make things much worse for everyone else.

21 Mike { 03.06.10 at 6:25 am }

Geoff,

–Of course, the bad government forced those poor businesses in to risky decisions. Give me a break. Greed drove our recent financial meltdown, greed and lack of long term vision.–

The government owns or guarantees $6 trillion worth or mortgages, 50% of the US mortgage market, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The government also actively pushed banks to make unwise loans in low income communities.

This is a nearly 10 year old article that predicts the housing crisis due to Bill Clinton’s push to expand the power of the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act):

http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_1_the_trillion_dollar.html

The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities
Howard Husock

Winter 2000

The Clinton administration has turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American cities—and, as Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation’s banks. Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being.

The Clinton administration also pushed Fannie Mae to expand its low income lending:

http://www.nytimes.com/1999/09/30/business/fannie-mae-eases-credit-to-aid-mortgage-lending.html?pagewanted=1

Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29— In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

Stop living in leftist fantasy land and looking at the facts. Democrat propagandists and lied and BSed through 4 decades of ruinous policies.

22 Nik { 03.06.10 at 9:19 am }

Geoff,

You are completely offbase in calling Mr. Schiff disingenuous and saying that he’s a revisionist of recent history. Clearly, you have not done your homework before commenting on him.

I suggest you search youtube for the following speech:

“peter schiff mortgage bankers 2006″

In this speech he explains in detail how and why there was a crisis coming. If you watch this speech, keep in mind that it’s in 2006.

Regardless, if you trust the very people who were saying that the fundamentals were sound to enact regulations to prevent future crises, then I guess there isn’t anything that’s going to change your opinion.

One thing on greed that u must understand is that the greediest people are also the most risk-averse because they FEAR losing money. The problem comes when you remove that fear of losing and that’s what government policies do with their guarantees. Also, cheap money, thru low interest rates, brings down the cost of borrowing and discourages saving and this also breeds speculation and risk-taking because since interest on savings is so low, more people take risks seeking higher returns that would not be sought if interest rates were higher on conservative investment options.

Anyway, good luck to everyone, I am not an American, but I find people like Mr. Schiff and Ron Paul so inspiring because of their knowledge and honesty among other things.

23 jpj { 03.08.10 at 3:05 pm }

@David

You Wrote:

“(Schiff) needs some establishment GOP types (…) they are going
“to need people like Schiff to propel them there.

That would be a sad day when establishment GOP types would manage to ride back to Washington on an honest man’s back

24 conativejj { 03.08.10 at 6:25 pm }

Nice getting that bit in there about McMahon’s support of Israel, which is really all it comes down to in order to be elected. It doesn’t matter how much you claim to support the free-market, the Constitution, or the military (on the right of the spectrum) or how much you care about fairness and equality, welfare programs, and government “oversight” (on the left) – So long as the candidate supports Israel unconditionally is all that matters in order to be elected here in the US.

I’m just curious, does the same principle apply in Israel? Do you have to support the US unconditionally to be elected there, or can you criticize the actions of the US without being called some equivalent of “anti-Semitic”?

25 DiMOOSE { 03.08.10 at 7:38 pm }

Nice to see the wise ones out telling people to vote for someone “because they can win”. WoW. See you voted for Bush, because he could win. Then you voted for McCain “because he could win”. But we ended up with Obama “cause he’s for change”.

Give a constitutionalist a shot, what’s the worst that can happen? Get hit with a terrorist attacks? Banking Crisis? Worldwide warfare? Continual loss of liberty. Oh wait, nvm, you’ve already decided that’s what you wanted.

Keep burying your heads in the sand and imagine you’re free. Slaves

26 Al D { 03.08.10 at 10:26 pm }

Schiff doesn’t need talking points, nor a teleprompter and 200 hours of rehearsing. He just gets it. He understands how government actions, business decisions, and consumer behaviors all impact the economy. And right now, that’s exactly what voters want, and exactly what this country needs. It’s about the economy. And yes, the government SHOULD stay out of businesses’ and consumers’ decisions, with one exception: to ensure that the open competitive market is allowed to work.

27 John Doe { 03.25.10 at 2:57 pm }

One question to the idiot “geoff” who thought Schiff was being disingenuous.

He PREDICTED the crisis you utter utter nincompoop. Way back in 2005 he knew what was going to happen and was sounding off about it on the business news channels trying to warn everyone.

So what you’re effectively saying is that the same guy who was warning us about this 5 years ago actually secretly wanted it to happen?

Your logic:

1. “Free markets caused the crash” >
2. Schiff supported Free Markets in 2005 >
3. Schiff was warning people about the forthcoming crash in 2005 >
4. Schiff secretly wanted the crash to happen but at the same time was neurotically trying to warn people about it.

Are you actually a retard?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw