Jan. 4, 2012, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President (ALG) today urged Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman to oppose any bailout of European banks that bet poorly on the sovereign debt of socialist governments like Greece.
"Your continuing opposition, along with that of other Republican candidates for president, can help lead the way toward preventing a European bailout," Wilson wrote in his letter to each candidate.
Romney, Perry, Santorum, Paul and Huntsman have all declaratively stated they oppose any U.S. bailout of Europe.
Wilson urged the candidates to be more specific, and to specifically oppose U.S. funding of a bailout through the International Monetary Fund, something that Romney for instance still supported as recently as the Nov. 10, 2011 CNBC debate.
"Candidates need to be very specific, because it's one thing to say you're against bailouts, and quite another to say you're in favor of funding the IMF when the IMF is already using U.S. taxpayer money to bail out Europe," Wilson explained.
The letter also urged candidates to "urge the Federal Reserve to end the back-door bailout that is being accomplished through the low cost currency swaps, and to make a commitment not to make any asset purchases of European sovereign debt, or to lend to any institution making such purchases."
"It's not enough to stop the IMF when the Fed is already propping up European financial institutions," Wilson noted.
Polling in early election battleground states Iowa and New Hampshire finds likely Republican voters deeply opposed to bailing out Europe. Overall, 68 percent in New Hampshire, 77 percent in South Carolina, and 76 percent of Republicans in Iowa oppose any U.S. involvement of bailing out Europe through the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"These polls send a direct message to Republican candidates for President, which is if they support another bailout, they're finished," Wilson declared.
ALG commissioned the two surveys conducted by the polling company, inc. in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in November. Both had samples of 500 likely Republican voters.
"In 2008, Republicans destroyed their brand by supporting the TARP bailouts for banks that were at the heart of the financial crisis. Politically, they were a catastrophe for the base and handed Democrats complete control of government for two years," Wilson recalled.
In 2010, Republicans promised in the Pledge to America to "prevent Washington from forcing responsible taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible behavior by ending bailouts permanently".
Wilson said the polling shows that Republicans have "a golden opportunity to restore the confidence of their base as the anti-bailout party" after their failure in 2008 to claim that mantle.
The U.S. currently contributes $65 billion to the IMF in quotas, $27.68 billion of which has already been lent in various bailouts throughout the world, including Europe. Additionally, in 2009, a Democrat-led Congress approved a $100 billion credit line to the IMF, only $5.9 billion of which has been used thus far.
Legislation by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers would repeal the $100 billion line of credit and recover the remaining $94 billion that has not yet been used. In a recent oped for Human Events, she warned, "The specter of European bailouts — and America's involvement in them through the IMF — is a powerful issue that continues to grow and won't go away."
Last year, the IMF, with U.S. support, proposed doubling the current quota subscriptions to the IMF, bringing the U.S. total to $130 billion. The additional $65 billion would replace a portion of a 2009-approved $100 billion credit line.
But the Obama Administration has yet to make a formal request to Congress for the additional funding, as reported by the Washington Post. Wilson called it "simply a matter of time."
"House Republicans have two opportunities to defeat U.S. involvement in the European bailouts. The first is by passing the McMorris Rodgers legislation, and the second will be defeating any increase of the U.S. quota to the IMF," Wilson said, looking forward to the 2012 legislative agenda.
Ultimately, U.S. taxpayers should be held blameless for the crisis in Europe, Wilson said, concluding, "European socialism has failed and must be allowed to die. No more bailouts."
ALG Letter to Governor Mitt Romney, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/RomneyIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
ALG Letter to Governor Rick Perry, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/PerryIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
ALG Letter to Speaker Newt Gingrich, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/GingrichIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
ALG Letter to Senator Rick Santorum, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/SantorumIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
ALG Letter to Rep. Ron Paul, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/PaulIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
ALG Letter to Governor Jon Huntsman, Jan. 4, 2012 at www.getliberty.org/files/HuntsmanIMFLetter 1-4-12.pdf .
Iowa Poll of 500 Likely Republican Voters, the polling company, inc., Nov. 11-13, 2011 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/ALG - Iowa - Early State Omnibus - Topline Final to Client- 11 14 11.pdf .
New Hampshire Poll of 500 Likely Republican Voters, the polling company, inc., Nov. 18-20 2011 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/ALG - New Hampshire- Early State Omnibus - Topline to Client - 11 21 11.pdf .
South Carolina Poll of 500 Likely Republican Voters, the polling company, inc., Nov. 18-21 at http://www.getliberty.org/files/ALG - South Carolina - Early State Omnibus - Topline to Client - 11 22 11.pdf .
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.