Welcome to fascism

Thursday, April 2, 2009 Comments

It was bad enough when the government started throwing money at failing banks and companies with endless bailouts. It got worse when Congress and the President put on their show of feigned outrage over AIG bonuses when they themselves specifically made those bonuses possible, and then decided they had the power to nullify legally binding contracts and use the tax law as a weapon to target a specific group, retroactively. They showed no concern for the safety of AIG employees (the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with why AIG is now in trouble) and in fact did everything they could to stoke anger against "those greedy executives."

Now? Apparently the administration has decided they ought to just do away with the formalities of appearing to be separate and just start running the companies directly.

Tim Geithner asked Congress for unprecedented, sweeping powers to seize private firms, whether they received federal bailout money or not, if he deems them a risk to the economy.

Barney Frank wants the government to set the salaries of all employees, not just top execs, at companies that have received government money. (Right now, I think that means TARP, but who's to say next week it won't be any company who has contracts with the government or has contracts with people who have contracts with the government?)

And the Obama administration fired GM CEO Rick Wagoner (made his resignation a condition of receiving any further bailout funds). Call me crazy, but last time I checked, the hiring and firing decisions with regard to the CEO are the responsibility of the board of directors, not the president or any government official.

Apparently Obama & team sent both GM and Chrysler back to the drawing board to come back with better business plans. Really? Who in this administration has ANY business experience? They wouldn't know a good business plan if it bit them. I'm not saying that the GM or Chrysler plans were good or bad, I haven't reviewed them so I couldn't even offer comment on that. My point is - do we really think that a bunch of politicians / lawyers led by a former community organizer can possibly know better than executives who have been in the auto industry for years?

They're getting into the day-to-day operations as well - Obama (and your tax dollars) will guarantee the GM warrantees.

This is insane, and I can pretty much guarantee you it's not going to stop here. This is exactly the kind of thing conservatives warned of back when Bush & Pelosi said we just had to bail everyone out. Why? The bankruptcy code exists for a reason, and letting these failing institutions file for bankruptcy would have enabled them to restructure much of their debt and have a chance to emerge as a viable company again. All without spending billions of taxpayer dollars propping them up.

Mussolini once said, "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Considering recent events, I think that's a pretty accurate description of where we are. The lines between the private and public sector are not only blurred, but fading fast.

Links to this post