COVID-19 Has Exposed the Lie in McClintock’s Policies

Tom McClintock

Tom McClintock has advocated for a hands-off approach to government for decades. He likes to talk about “Mother’s Rule” — when two brothers both want part of a slice of pie, Mother stands back while one cuts and the other chooses — as a metaphor for the idea that the market will equalize opponents. But he ignores the proof we get with every Republican Administration that his hands-off approach to government does not work.

In 1989, it was the U.S. Savings & Loan Crisis. Policies that began under Ronald Reagan and continued into George H.W. Bush’s administration prompted the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, which drastically changed the savings and loan industry. By 1995, when we finally saw the end result of the collapse, more than 1,000 savings and loans institutions had failed. While the causes are complex, as this article explains, most agree that “reckless lending practices, rapid deregulation, and lax oversight paved the way for the greatest banking disaster since the Great Depression.” In 2008, after colossally failed policies led to a staggering economic collapse — potentially triggering another Great Depression — George Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Again, a multitude of causes led to this crisis, but most agree that deregulation and reckless policies in industry were leading drivers.

And now we have another Republican president, and another collapse. This time it isn’t the finance industry, and the trigger is a pandemic, instead of economic recklessness. But the reason COVID-19 will cause harm is the same. A Republican president, advancing the policies that Republicans like Tom McClintock long have embraced and advocated — slashed an essential part of the government, leaving us vulnerable. When the need for government intervention became apparent, that Republican president looked away, convinced that the problem would resolve itself. He refused to unleash the immense power of the U.S. government, choosing incremental steps at a time when strong leadership would have been critical.

The U.S. government’s response to COVID-19 is, in too many ways, a terrifying example of the failure of “Mother’s Rule” and the political philosophy built around it. We need government in critical parts of our lives because only government has the ability to provide a widespread and uniform response to challenges like the one we’re facing now. The “hands-off” approach that Mother’s Rule embodies — that Tom McClintock embraces — has failed us yet again.

California’s 4th District deserves better. We deserve a representative who sees our challenges with clear eyes and takes meaningful action to fix them. We deserve a representative who truly cares about what happens in this District. We deserve a representative who will fight for us.

Join us, as we fight to send Tom McClintock back to his own District, and to finally stop him from selling us out, one vote at a time.

Because we know, as Margaret Mead said, that “a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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