"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Abuse of power

I was disappointed, but not surprised, when Mr. Obama went well beyond providing loans to Chrysler, and decided to become their CEO,  savior and chief mechanic, too.

An article today on Yahoo Finance outlines both the frustrations and dangers of the Federal Government intervening with "bailout" operations.

The dangers of such bailouts are highlighted by the reaction of the Chrysler bondholders.  They started out as a group wanting to be anonymous, but out of fear, the group is shrinking.  Their lawyer in the bankruptcy says that they are fearful of "public reaction", but they also have reason to fear the long arm of the Federal Government.  Mr. Obama has already berated them publicly.  What other federal authority is he willing to bring to bear to pressure these institutions?

This article, in the NY Times points out that the federal government has no obligation to provide the bailout.

That's exactly right, but I would change the word "obligation" to "authority".  The president has no authority to do this, and no legal framework in which to work.  He is making it up as he goes along.  When the president does something, he sets precedent, and that has some legal weight.  He is expanding presidential authority to arbitrarily intervene in corporate affairs.  One has to consider that it is Mr. Obama's successors who will test the limits of this new power.  It doesn't take much imagination to see where this could go.

This is beyond picking winners and losers.  It is micro-managing the bankruptcy process for political gain.  It is corrupt and lawless.  I hope that some of our representatives in Congress will stand up and say so.

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