The Corner

Blame Goldberg

Paul Ryan has told me the story a couple times about how he was influenced by my book to vote for the TARP bailout. He’d seen in my book how progressives “never let a crisis go to waste” as Rahm likes to say and he took the Bush administration and others at their word about how dire the consequences would be if TARP didn’t pass. Anyway, I never wrote about it because I assumed the story was off the record. Well, not anymore. From the Daily Beast:

While Ryan’s entitlement-reform plan is likely the most far-reaching conservative legislation put forward this year, his economic record is hardly doctrinaire. He voted for the bank bailout, a position considered heretical by most of the right wing, and the auto bailout, an even more reviled bill among Republicans.

Ryan said his vote for the bailout was influenced by Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, a popular book among conservatives that argues that Nazism and other fascist movements were actually left wing in origin, and his belief that a second Depression would threaten capitalism—and rescue Obama’s presidency.

“I’m a limited-government, free-enterprise guy, but TARP . . . represented a moment where we had no good options and we were about to fall into a deflationary spiral,” he said. “I believe Obama would not only have won, but would have been able to sweep through a huge statist agenda very quickly because there would have been no support for the free-market system.”

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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