Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Opinion/Editorial
A D I E U!
by Steve Fair

Senate Democrats made a deal with three RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) to pass a $780 billion dollar stimulus package this week. The House version of the bill has $819 billion in it, so the two plans will have to be reconciled before they go back for a final vote in each chamber and ultimately land on President Obama’s desk.

The stimulus package is pork laden and will only grow government, but at least we know the government is spending that money. Senator Tom Coburn, R- Oklahoma, is working to identify earmarks and pork in the bill and thank God we have him in the Senate but what about the money we don’t know about? According to Mark Pittman and Bo Ivry at, the Federal Reserve, Treasury and the FDIC have lent or spent almost three trillion dollars in the past two years and have pledged another six trillion. Pittman and Ivry say the money pumped into the economy by the three agencies is enough to pay off more than ninety percent of the nation’s mortgages or enough to write a $1430 check to every person alive in the world. That’s a pile of money and most of the spending has been done out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with no oversight or transparency. The new Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, served as President of the FRB of New York.

The Fed and the FDIC have not disclosed who got the commitments in lending programs and guarantees, which amounted to almost two thirds of the value of everything produced in the United State last year. “We’ve seen money go out the back door of this government unlike any time in the history of our country, "Senator Byron Dogran, D-North Dakota, said on the Senate floor last week. “Nobody knows what went out of the Federal Reserve Board, to whom and for what purpose.” “How much from TARP?” How much from the FDIC? When? Why? "Dogran exclaimed to a nearly empty Senate chamber.

What is TARP? TARP is the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program and according to Amy Barnett of Businessweek, TARP has gone from being an asset purchase program to a capital investment program. Barnett says the government has or will invest $250 billion in the nation’s banks through the TARP program and not just in banks that are in trouble, but those who are just not lending because of the economic enviroment. The hope is that new capital will get banks lending again. But that is not the stated purpose of TARP. Where is the oversight? Where is the transparency and accountability?

Newsweek’s February 9th edition features a story entitled, We are all Socialists now. The story outlines how the U.S. government has already—under a conservative Republican administration—effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries. “Whether we want to admit it or not—the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state,” Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas state. “We remain a center-right nation in many ways—particularly culturally, and our instinct, once the crisis passes, will be to try to revert to a more free-market style of capitalism—but it was, again, under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly. People on the right and the left want government to invest in alternative energies in order to break our addiction to foreign oil. And it is unlikely that even the reddest of states will decline federal money for infrastructural improvements,” Meacham and Thomas confidently state.

If we raise our children believing that government, not God will provide their needs, they will become dependent on government, not God. If we raise our children to believe that no one is directly responsible for anything, but everyone is reponsible collectively for everything, they will become slackers. If we teach our children there is no moral absolutes, they will embrace situational ethics. A fundamental principle for us to remember is what we excuse in moderation, our children will abuse in excess.

Meacham and Thomas go on to say, “As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French. This is not to say that berets will be all the rage this spring, or that Obama has promised a croissant in every toaster oven. But the simple fact of the matter is that the political conversation, which shifts from time to time, has shifted anew, and for the foreseeable future Americans will be more engaged with questions about how to manage a mixed economy than about whether we should have one.”

The real issue in America is no one is paying attention to their government. Norman Thomas, a Presbyterian minister and six-time socialist candidate for President said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

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