The budding American dictatorship 4

 From Investor’s Business Daily:

Rep. Barney Frank, the Democrat who sits atop Congress’ efforts to deal with the financial crisis, has enough chutzpah for 100 politicians — which is saying a lot.

In comments before testimony from both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed chief Ben Bernanke Tuesday, Frank said he wants to regulate pay on Wall Street — even for companies that aren’t getting bailouts.

And he called retention bonuses — a time-honored practice on Wall Street and elsewhere in America in which key employees are compensated for their enormous value — "extortion" and "bribes."

Frank, one of the chief architects of the housing mess that’s brought us so low, isn’t satisfied merely with pretending he and his Democratic pals aren’t to blame for all this. No, exploiting voter anger over the now-infamous AIG bonuses, he also wants to dictate to American capitalism what it can earn and what it can’t.

This is the kind of thing that normally happens in Third World countries ruled by tinhorn dictators, or in fascist states, where the democratic rule of law has collapsed. Not the U.S.

Yet, that’s where we find ourselves today, isn’t it? Democrats in Congress, who steadfastly rejected virtually all efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they went on the wildest, most irresponsible lending binge in the history of finance, now pose themselves as the saviors of fallen capitalism.

The hypocrisy is nothing short of stunning.

Take Frank. As we’ve written before, he spearheaded congressional Democrats’ efforts in 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005 to block reform of Fannie and Freddie.

Those two "government-sponsored enterprises" were the nexus of this crisis, holding $5.4 trillion of the $12 trillion in U.S. mortgages, while originating or funding 90% of the subprime market.

Their failures presaged the subsequent financial meltdown from which we’re still trying to regain our economic footing.

Then there’s Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, another posturing moralist in the flap over AIG bonuses. He turns out to have inserted the bonuses into the bailout legislation in the first place.

An innocent move? Please note Dodd was No. 1 on the list of recipients of AIG’s political contributions. Also that his wife was a former director of IPC Holdings, a company controlled by AIG.

We wish all this tinkering with the private sector was limited to Congress. But it isn’t. The Treasury wants what the Washington Post called Tuesday "unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy."

Citing the AIG precedent, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended this radical move, saying on CNN, "We need resolution authority to go in and be able to change contracts, be able to change the business model, unwind what doesn’t work."

Breathtaking. Coupled with the vast expansion of government spending over the next 10 years, this is socialism, pure and simple.

Yes, we know it’s unfashionable to use the "S" word. But we’re willing to be unhip in the service of the truth.

It’s a frightening thing to see a once mighty, and free, capitalist economy placed under the heel of an incompetent government. But that’s precisely what’s happening now.

Executive pay, the focus of much public fury right now, is only the start. Your pay will be next, rest assured. So hold on to your wallets, sure, but also hold on even tighter to something even more precious that now seems at risk: your freedom.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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This post has 4 comments.

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  • Aero Nee

    If you defederalised, most of the states in the US would eventually end up electing “socialist” administrations. You would just end up with Californication multiplied by 50.

    I have to agree with Roger! It appears that most of the unwashed masses have been fully indoctinated in the ways of global capitalism and cultural marxism and it is they who have put “socialist” republicans and “communist” democrats in power through the ballet box.

    There’s no turning back. The solution should be obvious by now. Abolish democracy! The last bastion of populist ignorence! Dust down your muskets boys, its time for the last remaining 16 true patriots and their dog to storm the senate and put Barney and Nancy in the stocks … let the counter-revolution begin!

  • roger in florida

    Ms Becker;
    How long for the re-learning to begin? It may never happen. History is full of examples of poverty stricken ignorant peasants living amongst the ruins of their former civilisations. The issue is; how does a populace control the political class? The US Constitution was a magnificent effort, perhaps the pinnacle of human political development, especially if you study the background of the constitutional conference as described in the Federalist Papers. What the political class has done (and the democratic party is absolutely artful at this) is to make sure that almost everybody is “on the take” from govt. largesse. This corrupts the populace, once you take the King’s shilling, you work for the King. Between the 2004 and 2008 elections there was a 5% swing in Florida to the democrats, I believe this was entirely because older people will selfishly put their own needs for various handouts before the needs of society as a whole. This brings up the demographic issue; the white population of the US is ageing and is being replaced by hispanics, who have no culture or history of freedom as expressed by the US Constitution. Where are we headed? I believe the course is set and the wheel is lashed, we are going right over the falls.

  • Jillian Becker

    What you say is important, I think, r in f. It’s a reminder of what the Constitution intended. How long do you think it will take for the re-learning to begin? Four years? Eight? Or even more? Though both major parties have increased statism, the Democrats are the greater offenders. The longer the left stays in power from now on the worse it will get and the harder it will be to undo the harm.

  • roger in florida

    This situation seems to me to be purely fascist; in the sense of “seizing power/authority, without consent”. The Constitution of the US is now virtually meaningless. We have an imperial Presidency, an imperial Congress and now an imperial bureaucracy. A major problem is that the govt. structure of the US was never meant to support the structure as it has evolved, it was meant to be a federation of close but mainly independent States with a central govt. performing only the essential tasks of setting rules of interstate trade and performing the international representational functions of the Federation. This has been skilfully usurped over a long period, to our current situation of an omnipotent Federal govt. calling all the shots over a disenfranchised populace. Through cynical manipulation of Congressional boundaries, members of Congress have all but assured themselves of automatic re-election, this has been done by both major parties. The democratic party has been particularly successful at mobilizing various thug groups to influence election outcomes, we can expect more of this. What this structure cannot do is efficiently manage the economy, this will have great implications for various groups whose expectations have been raised to completely unrealistic levels, the black community comes to mind immediately but trades unionists and govt. workers are other constituencies who are eager to get their snouts in the trough, only to find that the trough feed mechanism has broken. Realistically there is no possibility whatsoever of reversing this, it will have to run it’s course to complete ruin before enough people learn again that freedom of the individual, private property rights, strict constitutional govt., etc. are the only route to prosperity.