Fred Thompson on the economy, part two

The video I linked yesterday was funny, and a bit infuriating, wasn’t it?

That Fred Thompson guy really seems to make a lot of sense, unlike the knuckleheads in Washington now.  But wait.  Didn’t Mr. Thompson run for President last year?  If he was saying these things then, why didn’t he win the nomination?  Why isn’t he the President now?

Actually, the sad truth is that a Republican candidate for President was saying these things last year.  And Mr. Thompson was one of the leading detractors of that candidate, frequently ridiculing that candidate when he insisted that a recession was beginning, brought on by wasteful borrowing and spending.

What was Mr. Thompson saying then?

Presidential Debate, Dearborn Michigan, October 9, 2007:
BARTIROMO: The economy is America’s greatest strength. In a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, two-thirds of the American people said that we are either in a recession or headed toward one. Do you agree with that? And, as president, what will you do to ensure economy vibrancy in this country?
THOMPSON: I think there is no reason to believe that we’re headed for a recession. We’re enjoying 22 quarters of successive economic growth that started 2001 and then further in 2003 with the tax cuts that we put in place.

THOMPSON: We’re enjoying low inflation. We’re enjoying low unemployment.

The stock market seems to be doing pretty well.
I see no reason to believe we’re headed for an economic downturn.
As far as the economic prosperity of the future is concerned, I think it’s a different story. I think if you look at the short term, it’s rosy. I think if you look at a 10-year projection, it’s rosy.

But we are spending money we do not have. We are on a mandatory spending lockdown that is pushing us in a direction that is unsustainable. We’re spending the money of future generations, and those yet to be born. That has to do with our mandatory spending problem.
 
 Everyone knows that we have to address that. And it’s the fundamental and foremost challenge, I think, facing our country economically.

BARTIROMO: Senator, you painted a very nice picture. The Dow and the S&P 500 today at new highs — tonight — record numbers.

BARTIROMO: And, yet, two-thirds of the people surveyed said we are either in a recession or headed for one.

Why the angst?

THOMPSON: Well, I think there are pockets in the economy that, certainly, they’re having difficulty. I think they’re certainly — those in Michigan that are having difficulty. I think you always find that in a vibrant, dynamic economy.

I think that not enough has been done to tell what some call the greatest story never told, and that is that we are enjoying a period of growth right now and we should acknowledge what got us there and continue those same policies on into the future.

So what Fred Thompson was saying then, was that there was no reason to believe we were headed for a recession, that the short term and long term picture was “rosy.”  Most incredibly, he insisted that we should “continue the same policies (that got us here) on into the future.” 

The next question in that debate was put to Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

MATTHEWS:  Congressman Paul, I think you have questions and concerns about the bonanza in the hedge fund industry. Do you?

PAUL: Yes. I think this is not a consequence of free markets. What’s happening is, there’s transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy.

PAUL: This comes about because of the monetary system that we have. When you inflate a currency or destroy a currency, the middle class gets wiped out.

So the people who get to use the money first, which is created by the Federal Reserve system, benefit. So the money gravitates to the banks and to Wall Street.

That’s why you have more billionaires than ever before. Today, this country is in the middle of a recession for a lot of people. Michigan knows about it. Poor people know about it. The middle class knows about it. Wall Street doesn’t know about it. Washington, D.C., doesn’t know about it.

But it’s because of the monetary system and the excessive spending. As long as we live beyond our means we are destined to live beneath our means.

And we have lived beyond our means because we are financing a foreign policy that is so extravagant and beyond what we can control, as well as the spending here at home.

And we’re depending on the creation of money out of thin air, which is nothing more than debasement of the currency. It’s counterfeit. And it is a natural, predictable consequence that you’re going to have people benefit from it and other people suffer.

PAUL: So, if you want a healthy economy, you have to study monetary theory and figure out why it is that we’re suffering. And everybody doesn’t suffer equally, or this wouldn’t be so bad.

It’s always the poor people — those who are on retired incomes — that suffer the most. But the politicians and those who get to use the money first, like the military industrial complex, they make a lot of money and they benefit from it.

MATTHEWS: Thank you, Congressman.

The bottom line is that Mr. Thompson, like most politicians, shapes what he says and does according to which political team is in command in Washington.  Because his party was in the White House during the campaign, he insisted that all was rosy.  Now that the other party is in the White House, suddenly he agrees with Congressman Paul.

And nothing ever changes.

Love Wins