If I had pick one defining feature of the politics of the last 8 years it would be the tendency of the current US government to use any real or debatable or fictitious emergency to accrue greater executive power while curtailing transparency and accountability. Even a financial crisis seems to require Bonapartism. Karyn Strickler in Counterpunch:
“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.”
— Language from Section 8 Treasury Financial Bail-out Proposal
Breathtaking in its scope and staggering dollar amount, the Treasury Financial Bail-out Proposal to Congress is a parting power punch from the Bush Administration. Even as the American economy melts down, George W. Bush and his cronies are taking advantage of the emergency situation to turn over $700,000,000,000 of American tax payer’s money to bail out the same greedy, corrupt corporations that got us into this mess; transfer most of the scant remaining congressional power into private hands and eviscerate judicial or administrative review of the process.
“The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation,” and so begins the Proposal that is perhaps the biggest peacetime (or anytime) transfers of power from Congress through the Administration to private corporations, in history.
Democrats, the American people and patriots of every partisan position, should not drink the $700,000,000,000 Power Punch. There is no circumstance under which we should tolerate this open theft of public funds, and permanent transfer of Congressional and Judicial power through one man, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, directly to private sector corporations, without oversight, review or accountability.
The upcoming Congressional elections and the fear inspired in the heart of every incumbent politician are certainly no excuse to capitulate to this brazen, corporate power grab. Democrats, true-blooded Republicans and the American people should not be intimidated by the rushed, fear-mongering tactics of King Henry Paulson.
While our economy is in historic trouble, it’s simply impossible that more of the same power without oversight – the same unmitigated, unregulated nonsense that got us into this mess – is the cure to the precipitous plunge the American economy is taking.