We’re not as far away from 1773 as we thought. The attendance at the Tea Parties Wednesday indicates a lot of people want to reclaim economic freedom. But CFIF says that’s putting the cart before the horse: Restoring Economic Liberty Will Require Restoring Democracy
Hope springs eternal for politicians in the minority. Embattled Republicans are already spinning scenarios in which the 2010 midterm elections will provide an unambiguous rejection of the Obama Administration’s dramatic expansion of government. But what if the GOP is proven right … the voting public once again demands change … and America discovers that a Congress full of resurgent Republicans is powerless to stop the bleeding?
That scenario is all too plausible given the breathtaking rate at which the legislative branch is losing its power to determine the nation’s economic future to unelected bureaucrats.
What are they talking about? Well, start with TARP. It gave a lot of unelected people great power over the financial sector.
Rather than buying up the “troubled assets” that were supposedly prolonging the credit crunch, TARP morphed into a plan for injecting liquidity into the nation’s banking system (a move, it should be noted, that has done little to increase lending rates). Because Congress had practically given the money away at gunpoint, the mandarins at the Treasury Department were free to change the program’s aims at will – despite the fact that they had claimed only weeks before that the original plan was the only thing standing between the nation and economic oblivion.
The GM bailout was bootstrapped onto TARP, giving more bureaucrats and “czars” power over another part of the economy, even though Congress had rejected the idea. And then there’s the incredible amount of power the Federal Reserve has amassed in a very short time.
The Fed was established in 1913 with a simple mandate: preserve the value of the dollar by keeping the country’s money supply stable. Yet in recent months, the nation’s central bank has called on obscure emergency powers to spend eye-popping amounts of taxpayer money without one ounce of accountability to voters.
And they don’t like questions:
Apart from profligate spending, the Fed is intentionally stonewalling the public on questions of accountability. It has steadfastly refused to disclose which banks it has distributed funds to, leading some members of Congress to call for an audit (which, needless to say, the Fed has resisted). Moreover, up until this week, the Fed was encouraging banks that are currently undergoing “stress tests” aimed at determining their long-term viability to keep the results hidden from the public.
Then there’s the EPA in charge of regulating CO2 emissions, which will give more unelected leaders massive control over just about every aspect of the economy. The nationalized healthcare plan features bureaucrats determining who gets what care by controlling payments to doctors. Card check involves the unelected National Labor Relations Board “to impose binding arbitration on companies who cannot reach terms with newly-formed unions within 90 days. The results of the arbitration could not be appealed and could not be changed for two years.”
One of the criticisms I’ve read of the tea parties is that the original Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation, and that’s not the case today. Given the above examples, where, courtesy of the Executive Branch, “Czars” are deciding how much tax money is needed and where it is to be spent, instead of Congress, a fair case can be made that unaccountable bureaucrats are determining the amount of our taxation, not our elected representatives. While it is true that historically departments in the government have always been instrumental in determining their budgets, the breath-taking explosion in back-door government control over American life should give taxpayers pause. Nobody was asked to vote on this–it was thrust upon us in the name of economic emergency.
It’s not just taxation without representation, though. We have no representation at all, it seems, just elected bureaucrats busy building their little kingdoms and devising ways to pay off their political donors. If Congressmen don’t want to do their jobs, we need to replace them with people who do, and who understand what representing their constituents means. They can start by getting rid of the mini-King Georges now running too much of the show.