If Rush Limbaugh wants to properly protest the Obama bailouts, he’ll have to boycott a lot more than General Motors.
Limbaugh and some other conservative pundits have suggested that Americans should refuse to buy cars from “Government Motors,” as a way to express their outrage at President Obama’s interference in our free-market economy. “Be it General Motors, be it Chrysler -- whatever else Obama ends up controlling and running -- the American people are not going to want it to succeed,” Limbaugh said on his radio show recently. He also cited a poll claiming that nearly one-quarter of Americans support a boycott of GM.
[See how GM gets its groove back.]
It’s not exactly a news flash to say that Americans are uncomfortable with a bailout regime that amounts to more than $9 trillion worth of government commitments so far. Duh. Hardly anybody thinks this is the ideal way to run an economy. But boycotting one of America’s biggest companies to protest the actions of the American government on behalf of the American people is a more interesting idea. Rush needs to go further, though.
He should also urge true patriots to open their wallets and promptly cut up any credit cards issued by American Express, Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC, Wells Fargo or any of the other 550 or so banks that have accepted bailout money from the Treasury Dept. They’re all beneficiaries of cheap government loans that have allowed them to earn a subsidized profit by lending taxpayer money back to taxpayers at higher rates than the taxpayers are charging the banks.
You may have trouble finding a credit card issued by a bank that hasn’t accepted Obamabucks, so get used to paying for everything in cash. And while you’re at it, make it euros instead of dollars, to protest the Federal Reserve’s expansion of the American money supply. The Europeans have been much more disciplined and deserve our support.
If you refinanced your mortgage over the last few months, you should march right back to the bank and renegotiate at an interest rate that’s 4 or 5 points higher. That’s only right, after all, since those low rates are courtesy of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts and further machinations by the Federal Reserve. It’s un-American to pay such low rates when we could have higher rates uncorrupted by government interference.
If you have a life insurance policy underwritten by AIG, Lincoln National, Principal Financial or the Hartford—bailout recipients all—the only honorable thing to do is make the insurance company itself the beneficiary of your policy. That way they’ll get all the money, no matter what happens to you, which is what the Darwinian outcome would be if the government simply stepped aside, the way it should, and let the insurers collapse.
And while boycotting General Motors and Chrysler, make sure you also boycott Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundia, Kia, Mercedes, and BMW vehicles that are made in America, since they too have benefited from Obama’s collateral bailout of the U.S. automotive supply chain. It might be more patriotic to buy a Japanese-made Toyota or a German-made Volkswagen, since governments in those nations have offered a bit less support for their home-grown automakers than Obama has.
But the purest form of protest would be to skip the new car altogether, and buy a jalopy that doesn’t require a loan. That’s all that most Americans would be able to afford if Obama hadn’t bailed out the banks and the car-financing companies, in addition to the automakers. And just to be safe, do all the maintenance yourself, since the mechanic down the street may be getting a tax cut this year. He doesn’t need any more of a bailout than he’s already gotten.