Editor: Here is the third and final installment of Graham's bill of particulars on socialist attributes of President Obama's goals and methods. Here's Part 1. And here's Part 2. As he says at the close of Part 3, with all this evidence now spelled out, it's up to each of us to decide: Do we have an actual socialist in the Oval Office for the first time ever? Tom Graham, Part 3
Interference leading to control of finance is a hallmark of a move toward Communism. Healthy economies allow failing businesses to dissolve, although bankruptcy affords much protection and opportunity for salvage. The bailout program becomes more unpopular as publicity about non-productive loans and grants increases. Bonds issued by the government to prevent defaults are an equity acquisition, or nationalization. Now, an additional $1.9 trillion, along with increase of the national debt to $14.3 trillion, is being requested by Senate Democrats.
Timothy Geithner, appointed Secretary of the Treasury, under Obama, is under fire for questionable bailout decisions. Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve when $350 billion went to TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program). Years earlier he had directed the Ford Foundation’s swing to the left. In December our Democrat Congressman Ed Perlmuter, with Obama’s encouragement, submitted a bill to assess a tax of up to a quarter percent on securities transactions. Many TARP recipients are borrowing money at 0.025% and paying off debts rather than lending to businesses. The mortgage market remains sluggish and job creation remains close to zero. After a year of taxpayer-funded economic stimulus, almost all new jobs created are in government or public education.
Here’s a typical local example of stimulus jobs: A $150,000 Westminster street project generated two full-time jobs. As money is taken out of the economy for government expansion, everyone recognizes the net loss of productive jobs. According to the Washington Examiner, after a few months of the stimulus, 90,489 of the reported stimulus-created jobs are fake, while unproductive pork runs rampant. The new Obama method of counting assigns an arbitrary number of new jobs if a company gets bailout money, whether or not there have actually been any. Investment banks, formerly separated because of potential conflicts of interest, are buying savings banks. TARP money was intended for the purchase of the assets but was used for bailouts and an all-purpose slush fund. Meanwhile the treasury bill business is abused. Stimulus funds have a distinct porcine odor and the next ineffective 12-digit stimulus package is coming. Obama hoped that TARP would nationalize banking, another cog in the takeover.
Obama demanded that the House Financial Services Committee seize financial firms large enough to harm the economy if they failed. The Federal Reserve then could dismantle firms that “had grown too large” Costs of such actions would be paid by taxing financial companies with more than $10 billion in assets. We learned that no one at the Fed knows who has received loans, how funds are used or what the total is. It appears to be about two trillion of our money. Always a target of the right, the Fed didn’t evoke confidence when also admitting they had no handle on a figure for purchase of assets.
The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD) relieves consumers of the need to make their own decisions regarding credit by having the government do it for them. In addition to the seven current consumer protection agencies, the House recently passed the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This promises to control businesses that have little to do with consumer finance. It will restrict access to the much needed consumer credit and further stifle the economy. Other controls of individuals in the Marxist tradition are the minimum wage law, which harms the poorest, and executive maximum pay to be slashed by as much as 50%, as dictated by dictated by the executive pay czar.
Trillions must be borrowed or printed, and taxed, all of which grind down the economy. Who can visualize such figures? Business managers cannot expand with the fear of such taxes, and loss of their customers’ purchasing power in mind. Where is the short-term memory of the massive federal revenue increases resulting from the reduction of marginal tax rates by Presidents Reagan and Kennedy? Progressives obsessed with Bush-blame fail to mention that more money has been taken out of the economy during three years of Democrat control, and that almost all of the problem was caused by the Democrat-led sub-prime debacle.
Obama and his people, although lacking qualifications, arrogantly believe that they have been granted the right to direct the lives of others. Nothing in the Constitution authorizes these government Socialist and Communist activities. Notwithstanding this, they consider the Constitution to be an archaic annoyance, subject to change to conform to the progressive dictates in vogue. Historians recall Woodrow Wilson’s advocacy of such, whereby a “living constitution” would not be constrained by protection of the individual. About 42% of US expenditures are expected to be financed by inflationary money creation this year. A figure of 40%, unavoidable with huge deficits, is considered by many economists to be the point of hyperinflation, along with the resulting fall in exchange rates.
Of course this must be accompanied by central control of the complete economy. In this behalf, we see the “The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” emerge from the House despite unanimous Republican rejection. Provided for in its 1,500 pages are new controls over financial institutions, including banks and credit unions a federal insurance office, derivatives market control, and executive salary regulation. A Consumer Financial Protection Agency will oversee mortgages and small business loans. We don’t know if it’s in this bill, but Obama is having reimbursements withheld from mortgage companies that don’t modify loans for those who welch on repayment.
The Financial Services Oversight Council can take over firms determined by a bureaucrat to be large enough to undermine financial stability if experiencing difficulty. This is an assault on fundamental economic liberties of the citizen. A bill by our congressman Ed Perlmutter, self-avowed Keynsian economist, calls for every purchase of stocks, options, and futures to be taxed 0.25%. This would affect half of all Americans, for the establishment of a permanent $150 billion for bureaucrats to bail out favored private business at their discretion.
Congress is discussing ways to raise the national debt to $14.3 trillion. Some conservative Democrats are campaigning to hold it to a picayune $12.4 trillion, but what’s a few trillion among friends? According to the credible Peter G. Peterson Foundation, unfunded liabilities totaled $56.4 trillion at the end of fiscal 2008. Obama added to the burden with the $787 billion “stimulus,” of which most went to long-term pork projects, stimulating nothing, and as of recently, 78% was unspent.
The Obama progressive blitz will try to destroy the stability of the bond market, an escape route for investors, by having the Fed manipulate rates. $400 billion has been invested in the bond market in the last year, driving prices up including those of the U.S. Treasury. Instability in both Treasury and corporate bonds is anticipated to further the Obama agenda.
Spending last year was $3.5 trillion with a deficit of $1.42 trillion. The national debt is $12. 3 trillion and the Obama plan calls for it to reach $18.5 trillion by year 2020, with no way to retire it. Entitlements approaching $50 trillion are in unfunded notes. We owe about 30 times what we make each year. Can anybody visualize such amounts? It won’t take much more of Obama before we’re ready to default and declare capitalism dead.
“You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.” This also refers to opportunity for some swindles to accompany socialization. When we heard of the closing of auto dealerships as part of the government takeover, we naturally thought that the prosperous ones would be awarded to big Democrat contributors at discounts. We weren’t far off. With Car Czar Steve Rattner in charge, the “Automotive Task Force” closed 788 Chrysler dealerships who had donated exclusively to the Republican Party. Only one closed business was a Democrat supporter, but their small donations were to Hillary’s and John Edwards’ campaigns. Rattner’s wife is former finance chair of the D.N.C. Ex-Bill Clinton Chief of Staff, Mack McClarty owns six Chrysler dealerships, all remaining in business. All eight competing Chrysler dealerships were closed. Rattner is under investigation for a multi-million dollar investment bank scandal. Sound familiar? Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says of Rattner, “I hope he takes another opportunity to bring his unique skills to government service in the future.”
More goodies moving us toward Obama’s Socialist or Communist state: A bill to tax on-line purchases, a move to outlaw loans for private education, attempts to renew the Fairness Doctrine, whereby radio stations would be required to broadcast leftist material to offset conservative radio, as determined by an appointed bureaucrat, provision for your computer to become government property if you access certain programs. Don’t forget Obama’s announcement of participation in a U.N. arms control treaty, which a congressman warns could be a “slippery slope to gun confiscation.” Is it paranoia to recall the history of such becoming a precursor to loss of sovereignty?
This move toward the far left has the fingerprint of the Obama’s guru, Saul Alinsky, who instructs how to tear down local governments, then the U.S., from the inside. New York City’s 1970s disaster is an example. All of this headlong decline into third world status is made possible by contrived ignorance in public education. To quote another Hitlerism, “The broad masses are more amenable to rhetoric than any other force.”
You decide. Socialist, Communist? All Obama actions fit one or the other. After a few months of Obama, we have 17% real unemployment, a quarter of homeowners facing “underwater mortgages,” doubling of the national debt, tripling of the deficit. How’s hope and change working for you?