Americas' Gangster Government

PatriotPost Brief Monday, April 26, 2010 The Foundation "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." --James Madison

Government "The Obama Democrats portray the Dodd [financial 'reform'] bill as a brave attempt to clamp tougher regulation on Wall Street. They know that polls show voters strongly reject just about all their programs to expand the size and scope of government, with the conspicuous exception of financial regulation. Republicans have been accurately attacking the Dodd bill for authorizing bailouts of big Wall Street firms and giving them unfair advantages over small competitors. They might want to add that it authorizes Gangster Government -- the channeling of vast sums from the politically unprotected to the politically connected. That can boomerang even against the latter. Goldman Sachs employees gave nearly $1 million to the Obama campaign and $4.5 million to Democrats in 2008. That didn't prevent Goldman from being shoved under the SEC bus. Gangster Government may look good to those currently in favor, but as some of Al Capone's confederates found out, that status is not permanent, and there is always more room under the bus." --political analyst Michael Barone1

For the Record "If President Obama's financial regulations are adopted, there will be fewer loans, credit will be more costly, and individuals will face more risk. Obama argues today that his reforms are necessary to prevent 'a second Great Depression' from occurring, but he does nothing to fix what the government did. Nothing is done to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite their problems with fraud and costing taxpayers $400 billion in bailouts. Nothing is done to change government regulations that force banks to make risky mortgages. The powers that would be given to the president and the Federal Reserve are unprecedented. The bill gives the government the power to regulate the capital, liquidity and permissible activities for a long list of firms, including securities firms, insurance companies, bank holding companies, hedge funds, finance companies as well as others. The government will be also able to limit the size of these companies. ... In another of his proposals ... Obama says that he wants to stop government bailouts of companies. And that should be the goal. Otherwise, firms have an incentive to take too many risks when they keep their profits but taxpayers pick up their losses. Who wouldn't head straight to Las Vegas if you got to keep your winnings and the taxpayers picked up your losses? But Obama's solution ... is to still allow bailouts, but try to prevent them from becoming necessary by stopping financial institutions from taking what he considers to be risky behavior. ... The government caused the current financial crisis by forcing banks to make bad mortgages. And the solution is less, not more, government control." --economist John R. Lott Jr.2

Liberty "Ironically, the United States is moving in the direction of the kind of economy that China has been forced to move away from. China once had complete government control of medical care, but eventually gave it up as the disaster that it was. The current leadership in Washington operates as if they can just set arbitrary goals, whether 'affordable housing' or 'universal health care' or anything else -- and not concern themselves with the repercussions -- since they have the power to simply force individuals, businesses, doctors or anyone else to knuckle under and follow their dictates. Friedrich Hayek called this mindset 'the road to serfdom.' But, even under serfdom and slavery, experience forced those with power to recognize the limits of their power. What this administration -- and especially the President -- does not have is experience. Barack Obama had no experience running even the most modest business, and personally paying the consequences of his mistakes, before becoming President of the United States. He can believe that his heady new power is the answer to all things." --economist Thomas Sowell3