Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wall Street Bailouts

There is, of course, much talk about the past, pending and proposed "bailouts" of Wall Street and AIG, and I have consistently taken the position that these bailouts are not actually bailouts, they are in effect, guarantees by the government. Not one taxpayer dime has been spent in these "bailouts."

While I am still undecided about whether these guarantees are the right thing to do, the new, and true, bailout is coming down the pike. The Bush Administration is working on a $700 BILLION dollar bailout...a true bailout. There are about a trillion things wrong with the proposed bailout, including the fact that Wall Street executives are going to be hired as consultants to decide which of them get the money, but the most outrageous part of the package is the soon-to-be-infamous, Section 8.

Bush's proposed bailout will be administered by Secretary of the Treasury Paulson. Nevermind the fact that he shares some of the blame for the current mess we are in, the proposal contains the following statement, labeled Section 8:

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

Over the past 8 years we have seen constant attacks on the Constitution,
but this one is the mother of all attacks, and is a flagrent, unabashed and outrageous attempt to re-write the Constitution. There was a time when certain factions in the government was embarrased about trashing the Constitution, and it did so in private, behind closed doors, in secret whispers. No more.

Now they have given up all pretenses - the decisions by the Secretary are non-reviewable by any court of law.

Nevermind that the first court to decide this issue will strike that provision in a heartbeat, are our Republican and Democratic Senators and Congressmen going to pass a bill that totally violates the doctrine of separation of powers and judicial review?

My hair is standing on end. We are going to use 700 BILLION DOLLARS to bail out Wall Street (it will actually be much more than 700 billion, as the power of the Secretary is only limited to 700 billion at any one point in time. He can buy 700 billion in assets from a failed bank, sell those assets for 200 billion, and do it all over again). Forget that for the moment, forget whether the bailout is a good idea or not (just for a moment), the Secretary of the Treasury, who is partly responsible for the crisis, is going to hire Wall Street executives to distribut the funds, to other Wall Street executives, and his actions are not reviewable by anyone in the government?

And even if you think Paulson is the greatest financial genius of the modern age - we are going to have a new Secretary of the Treasury in a few months. There is nothing that says that McCain will keep him, and surely Obama will not.

I am sorry to say it, but this is yet another example of the "politics before country" doctrine that has become so prevalent in Washington. Screw everyone, lets make sure we stay in power (or get the power), control the government and turn billions over to our supporters and cohorts.

This bill needs to be quashed, and quashed fast. There is no excuse, no justification, no reason, for this disregard of the Constitution; even assuming that the bailout is a great idea.

Update: We are not the only one outraged by this in-your-face attack on the Constitution:

The National Review: The Bailout

The National Review - Newt Gingrich: Before D.C. Gets Our Money, It Owes Us Some Answers

The Conservative Voice: The Mother Of All Frauds

Huffington Post: Dirty Secret Of The Bailout: Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter

The Nation: Is Paulson's Bailout Proposal Constitutional? No

Global Economic Analysis Blog: Weep For The Unites States of America

OpEdNews.com: The Bailout Bamboozle
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