I just read Secretary Paulson’s plan for fixing the economic crisis. I don’t know whether or not it would fix the economy, I tend to have my doubts, considering his history. But, I do understand politics, and I know a power grab when I see one. This is really just a power grab disguised as an economic “good idea”. Let’s look at it in a little bit of detail.
First off, there is section 2, part b, subsection 1: “entering into contracts…” Look at the mess the executive branch has made of Iraq where they have entered into all kinds of contracts under the guise of the “public good”. And the contracts we have in Iraq are subject to more scrutiny (i.e. very little) than what he’s proposing here (none). For example, just look at the next sentence: “without regard to any other provision of law…” He wants the ability to break any law he damn well pleases and have no accountability whatsoever. That’s not just a bad idea, that’s completely unconstitutional. No public official should be above the law. And the last time I looked at the constitution, it said that congress is supposed to oversee the executive branch.
While we are mulling over the implications to the principle of the separation of powers, let’s look at section 2, part b, point 5: “issuing such regulations and other guidance”. He sets himself up as the sole regulator of this entire plan. Therefore the executive branch gets to regulate the executive branch’s plan. That’s congress’s job, per the constitution. This is simply wrong. If you love America, if you believe in our system of governance as laid down by the founding fathers, then you absolutely cannot allow this to be made into law.
Section 3 is absolutely insulting. “The secretary shall take into consideration…protecting the taxpayer”. That should be a bit more than a consideration. In fact, that should be the entire point of this proposal. It should be to protect the taxpayer, not to bail out corporations that screwed up, especially corporations that did so under Secretary Paulson’s watch.
And honestly, you don’t need to look any further than Section 8 to see where this is going:
Decisions by the Secretary 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. (emphasis mine)
This is a recipe for financial totalitarianism. If you already control the military (which the executive branch does) and if you have complete control over the financial system and you’re above the rule of law, then what does that make you? A Totalitarian State.
It would be far better for us to go into ten years of economic depression than to destroy our democracy in the name of saving a few banks and a bunch of investments. Please for everything that is good about this country, for everything that is bad, call your congress-people and tell them in no uncertain terms to block this takeover of our government.
What use is saving the economy if you lose your freedom in the process?