Cash for America

By: Neil Braithwaite

If there were any doubts that America is headed for a complete nanny-state, socialist government just read the global warming bill recently passed by the house or any portion of the health care legislation proposed by congress and the Obama administration.

The prelude to a new and improved socialist America is evidenced by an $8,000 federal tax credit to buy a home, an up to $4,500 government rebate to buy a car if the trade involves remitting an environmentally “unfriendly” clunker, and now the Obama administration is proposing another government program to give everyone up to a $200 rebate for purchasing energy efficient appliances.

Under the guise of stimulating the economy, the Obama administration is implementing government “rebate” programs that have hundreds of thousands of people jumping through hoops in order to try to get some financial relief during this recession.

The dirty little secret about all these government funded “stimulating” programs is that a rebate or tax credit will only be given if consumers spend money on what the government wants them to purchase and from whom they want them to buy.

These government incentive programs are very similar to programs offered up by a federal agency tasked with establishing price controls on nonagricultural commodities and rationing essential consumer goods during World War II (1939–1945) called, [The] Office of Price Administration (OPA).

The initial task of the OPA was to ration everything from cars to typewriters, but it began to do more than just ration goods. On the surface, this effort by the government was an honest attempt to preserve a highly stressed wartime economy. However, as happens with most government programs implemented with “good intentions,” the OPA spawned other government agencies and quickly morphed into several over-reaching arms of the federal government that began usurping individual rights and freedoms.

One such agency emerged when Congress passed the Stabilization Act on October 2, 1942. This offshoot of the OPA was called the Office of Economic Stabilization (OES) and was “responsible for controlling wage levels, regulating food prices, and generally stabilizing the cost of living.”

Paved with good intentions, this bureaucratic road took a government agency designed to help bring stability during an economic crises, from rationing goods needed during the war effort, to “controlling wage levels” and anything else that might destabilize the economy. These government programs, implemented during a crisis, also ended up controlling just about every economic aspect of American life during WWII.

However, the difference between what took place during WWII and what is happening today is very clear. Emerging from the great depression while entering a world war pushed the limits of the government and economy to the brink. Temporary government programs like the OPA were implemented to try and stave off economic disaster. Conversely, President Obama wants the American people to believe these “temporary” financial incentive programs are designed to help the current economic crisis. However, he is actually trying to control market competition for the purpose of permanently changing America’s free market economic system into a government controlled socialist state. The President has already proven this can be done in the financial and auto industries by hand picking which companies will survive or fail through the use of government bailouts.

To the consumer, these rebate programs are helpful financial incentives, but they are actually “individual” government subsidies. To businesses and corporations involved in the rebate programs, they are government subsidies as well. The Obama administration is in the process of making sure that any business or individual that participates in a government subsidized rebate program will become subject to federal regulations and also strict oversight by one or more of President Obama’s 32 handpicked “Czars.”

One such czar is Obama’s new Pay Czar, Kenneth Feinberg whose recent statements on Sunday, August 16, were both enlightening and somewhat disturbing. Feinberg said that “he has broad and binding authority… and he is weighing how and whether to use that power.” When asked if he could “target” companies that have already paid back “bail out” money, Feinberg said, “Anything is possible under the law.” Really? Anything? Does that include any individuals that got a government-subsidized rebate as well? Isn’t this all eerily similar to the “wage control” powers of the OES in 1942?

The companies Feinberg is speaking of, including both banks and auto companies, are prime examples of how easily the government can take control of major corporations once they receive federal funds. Private companies, small businesses, and now individuals will become an even easier target for government control as the economy stays in a crisis.

President Obama’s so called incentive programs are nothing more than a back-door effort to control and limit individual freedoms, weed out and destroy unwanted industry, and ultimately make every individual, small business and major corporation in America beholden to and dependent upon the federal government.

To meet his objective of bringing America closer to a socialist state, Obama needs to keep the country in a financial crisis by controlling the length and depth of the current recession. Taking full advantage of this crisis, as Rahm Emanuel implied, is paramount to Obama’s political agenda because he knows that he needs the majority of people, small businesses, and major corporations to be dependant upon the government for their financial security and stability.

These government incentive programs are specifically designed by the Obama administration to carefully manipulate targeted sectors of the economy. The desired outcome of these programs is to create misleading economic numbers intended to elicit false consumer confidence for the purpose of presenting President Obama as a proactive and innovative leader working to restore an ailing economy. Ultimately, these incentive programs are only being used to forward President Obama’s socialist agenda to, in his own words, “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”

It will begin small and seem benign at first – even helpful, but as time goes on and people become more desperate in this ongoing recession, confused by false economic reports and fearful from the reality of their personal economic situations, the Obama administration will implement more government incentive programs involving specific consumer goods from carefully chosen industries to accelerate a socialist agenda.

This insidious plan being perpetrated by the Obama administration should be called, “Cash for America,” because President Barack Obama is now poised to buy off Americans – using their own money.

Neil Braithwaite is a Real Estate Broker and writer in Charlotte, NC. He writes political commentary and satire and is a regular contributor to

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