What Is The Price Of Tyranny?
By: Guest Authors
By: Chad MacInnes
What Is A Trillion Dollar Bailout Really Worth? While most of America was enjoying the last weekend of summer and watching football, our unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve were busy working on how to â€œsolveâ€ the financial crisis that seems to grow bigger and worse by the day. The â€œinitialâ€ solution that they came up with will cost between $700 billion and $1 trillion. That is the initial estimate of the cost. You can bet it will go much higher.
Wall Street has essentially collapsed and its geography has been forever change due to the deadly combination of greed, ineptitude of oversight, and government interference in the form of too much bad regulation. All this coupled with the Fed eternally manipulating interest rates and printing money in a vain attempt to affect a positive outcome and stave off the looming crisis as it simmered only served to compound the problem, and we are seeing the results. The result is an economic collapse or meltdown. It is primarily due to government manipulation and meddling in something it has neither the authority nor the tools nor the competence to be meddling with. It is the result of â€œcommand economicsâ€ and central planning. Central planning is always bad for an economy, and in this case really, really bad planning results in a really, really bad problem
Admittedly, there was a certain degree of satisfaction watching the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and the rest of the criminals on Capitol Hill standing there like deer in the headlights, with the shock and awe clearly displayed on their faces after their conference with Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke. One has to wonder, though, if the looks of grave concern were precipitated by the fact that they had just been told that the economy would imminently collapse if AIG were allowed to fail, or if it was because they understand that they are complicit in this financial catastrophe and are terrified that they will be found out.
Sadly they have no real cause for concern, though, because the only pseudo-mainstream publications that actually report the truth of this mater and name who is complicit in creating the conditions and ignoring the signs that allowed this financial meltdown to occur are your usual â€œright-wing conspiracyâ€ theorists like the editors and reporters at the Wall Street Journal, Portfolio, National Review, Weekly Standard, Investors Business Daily and the like. Guaranteed you wonâ€™t hear Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson bringing up names like Donna Shalala, Jamie Gorelick, James Johnson or, heaven help us, William Jefferson Clinton.
A remarkable thing is occurring before our very eyes in Washington, though â€“ Republicans and Democrats seem to be genuinely working together to implement a solution as quickly as possible to calm fears and the markets. Certainly there are many differences being voiced, but in general they are all in agreement and the final product will be a matter of hammering out the minutia, so to speak. This is actually more frightening than the actual financial crisis. Why? Because these are the folks that got us into this mess in the first place due to their own narrow self-serving interests, incompetence and corruption, and purposeful lack of oversight of the Leviathan wherein this meltdown began â€“ Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
The solution as it stands would give at present would give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson extraordinary, unprecedented and essentially dictatorial authority to essentially do what he pleases with $ 1 trillion in taxpayer money. The Wall Street Journal called it for what it is: â€œLots of money. Lots of power. Naked, ugly dictatorial power.â€
The actual language in the proposed bailout Act as written by Treasury lawyers doesnâ€™t inspire comfort either: â€œDecisions by the Treasury pursuant to the Authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.â€ This language is self-explanatory. And it is frightening.
And this is most likely only the beginning, the tip of the proverbial iceberg. On Monday former President Bill Clinton called for a bailout for all those homeowners who canâ€™t afford to make their mortgage payments. The auto industry in Detroit is lining up for handouts to the tune of $50 billion minimum, a deal that has all but been cut between Detroit lobbyists and Speaker Pelosi. One can be sure that credit card debt will mushroom sooner rather than later and all those banks holding that debt will be demanding their share of the taxpayer-funded pie. The airlines wonâ€™t be far behind as they are being crushed by unprecedented fuel prices. And on it goes with no end in sight, and that is precisely the problem with government bailouts on such a massive scale; once they begin they do not end.
Right now it is difficult to assess whether we are still at the crossroads or if we have turned a corner toward authoritarian socialism, but is the language in the proposed plan is any indication suffice it to say that things to not look good for the future of a free market or for liberty in the US. And this is unconscionable.
In undertaking to engage in the extraordinary practice of massive government bailouts and nationalization of the most fundamental sector of the economy the US government has stepped into territory unknown since before the Revolutionary War. In fact, it was this exact type of arbitrary government authority that was the reason for fighting the Revolutionary War. While the talking heads on TV and radio speak of entering into â€œuncharted territory,â€ the brutal fact of the matter is that this is far from uncharted territory for this same unchecked and arbitrary government power was seen, understood and resisted the Founding Fathers of our republic as they were not afraid to call it for what it is. It is called tyranny.
It is no secret to anyone who has read the Constitution of the United States with even a modicum of understanding that al three branches of the Federal Government have been violating their Constitutional authority for quite some time now. However, the actions taken by the government over the course of the last week are truly unprecedented. No branch of the government has any Constitutional authority whatsoever to takeover operations of a private business. No government authority is granted by the Constitution to appropriate public fund for such purposes. And certainly no Constitutional authority exists to allow for granting dictatorial powers to a cabinet secretary to run attempt to manipulate the economy as he sees fit. It is unprecedented and entirely unconstitutional.
And yet knowing it is unconstitutional, out of fear this Congress will overwhelmingly approve this illegal action. And they will hope and pray that it works. And if it doesnâ€™t? It this plan doesnâ€™t work â€“ and keep in mind that there is no Plan B because this is Plan B â€“ amid all the uncertainly that would follow such events, the one thing you can be assured of is even more invasive and strict government intervention. But too what end? Government issued and approved credit becoming mandatory and the sole acceptable manner of conducting commerce? Government seizure and control of all banks and credit issuing agencies? Where does it end?
And what if it does work? What if those administering the government later decide that the government should remain in total control of the financial sector and through still more illegal Acts of Congress continue to â€œrenew the contrived authority to seize and maintain private companies in conservatorship? What then?
Perhaps most frightening is that no one in government is listening to anyone who is raising these concerns because that is what happens when fear rules the day, and more alarming still is the known fact people will accept anything that promises even temporary security when real fear is being held over their heads. Hitler, Stalin and Mao did not rise to power because people were happy and comfortable and felt secure politically and economically. Fear is a dangerous weapon and history has shown time and again how fear, when employed and exploited by government, always proves fatal to liberty. And when government moves quickly to address a problem, even a well-intentioned solution will result in some very foreseeable repercussions that no one in Washington wants to acknowledge, much less address.
When a people willingly sacrifice their liberty â€“ as is about to occur here â€“ they are no longer sovereign, but subjects, for a republic exists only when a free people willingly submit to a governmental authority de jure, that is an established and mutually agreed upon system of government that by law may operate only with clearly defined limitations, purpose and intent. Should said government exceed any or all of those limitations, thereby exceeding its constitutional authority, it is the responsibility of a free people to take what power with which it is vested â€“ that is all real power â€“ and bring an abrupt end to government abuses of authority.
In a republic, government exists and operates at the pleasure and by the authority of the people. That is what is meant by government de jure â€“ government by and of legitimate law. When government abuses its power and acts outside of its legally defined authority it acts arbitrarily and becomes a government de facto, that is government by decree or imposition. In such a case citizens are no longer sovereign, but subjects; and, so it almost goes without saying that given the purpose of government being control, thus itâ€™s natural tendency to encroach on liberty and thereby necessitating a clear legal definition of its valid scope of authority, once government exceeds said limitations of authority with impunity it will continue to do so. And in doing so it will continue to encroach upon and usurp individual rights and liberty unless the people fulfill their own obligations as a free people and stop it.
In a republic such as ours, all true, valid and legitimate power and authority is vested in the people, not in the government. That is unless or until the people relinquish that power either by action or inaction to the government. Such is our present predicament.
As stated above, we all know that all three branches of our government have been exceeding their legitimate authority for many, many years now, encroaching on liberty and violating the Constitution. With this latest government incursion and illegitimate execution of authority it does not have the stakes have become frighteningly high and all too real in a vey short span of time. Now is the time for the people to decide: subject or sovereign, courage or cowardice. This action now being undertaken by the US Government takes the idea of sanctioning the violating of the Constitution to an unprecedented and very dangerous level. This time the politicians and bureaucrats have not only arrogantly wiped their hind-sides with the Constitution, but once they are finished wiping they intend to rub it in our collective faces â€“ but only if we let them.
If we rise up and let our voices be heard, they will respond, for nothing motivates career politicians like fear, especially in an election year and with the elections a little over a month away. We have a choice: we can make our collective voices heard now, loud and clear and force them to respond, or we can wait and see what happens. The problem with the latter choice is that the next time the people decide to rise up in the face of tyranny they may have to do it with torches and pitchforks and rifles.
So what is a trillion dollar government bailout really worth? What does it really cost? The true cost of the thing is liberty and a free market economy. The price we will eventually pay is subjection to tyranny.
Chad MacINNES is an independent conservative author who originally hails from Massachusetts and is now living in Orlando Florida with his wife and children. He is a former pilot for a large US carrier, a former police officer and a veteran of the US Army where, incidentally, he was cured of his disordered liberalism. He has studied politics and government, international relations, philosophy and theology. His blog may be found at http://freebornman.blogtownhall.com/. Chad is a frequent contributor to landofthefree.net and may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.