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  • Morning Bell: Bailout's Precedent Requires Vigilance

    According to the best sources on Capitol Hill, opposition to the financial rescue plan is wilting. This is good news for the American people. Action to address the credit crunch is urgently needed and both the addition of raising the FDIC insured funds cap to $250,000 and the SEC’s mark-to-market rule change make the total effort more effective. Unfortunately, the cost of getting enough votes to support the plan has been very high. The Senate bill contains “billions in earmarks” and Citizens Against Government Waste’s Tom Schatz told USA Today, “It’s a very transparent attempt to buy votes on a very controversial piece of legislation.”

    Two aspects of the bill in particular represent a grave threat to the U.S. economy if they are not properly addressed. First, as we have detailed before, the legislation breaks new ground in granting the executive branch broad and unchecked powers over the economy. The language delegating power from Congress to the Treasury secretary does more to expand the secretary’s possible range of discretion than to define it. Our Constitution allows no czar with standardless discretion to prop-up or manage various industry sectors.

    As bad as this new precedent is, it is even more worrisome when paired with a provision slipped in by the Senate in order to buy votes from the environmental left. Section 117 of the bill now directs the administration to conduct an audit of the tax code “to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects.” When completed, this audit will serve as a blueprint for the next administration to impose a crippling carbon tax on the U.S. economy.

    In fact, the administrative process to remake our entire economy without any input from Congress is already under way. Earlier this year the Environmental Protection Agency issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that derives authority from the Clean Air Act to implement economy wide regulation of greenhouse gasses. If implemented, the EPA’s plan will touch every aspect of your life. Not even your places of worship will be safe from government bureaucrats.

    But there is something you can do. The rulemaking process forces the EPA to take comments from the American people. The Heritage Foundation has set up a website, StopEPA.com that makes it easy for you to tell the EPA what you think about its proposed power grab. The site has links to the EPA’s plan, as well as analysis of it from concerned groups. Most importantly, it enables you to file an official comment with the EPA. The left is desperate to avoid the political accountability of having to pass economy-killing global warming policies through Congress. Our only hope is to stop the next administration’s power grab through the courts. Registering your opposition to the EPA’s plan is the best way you can help the cause.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Morning Bell: Bailout's Precedent Requires Vigilance

    1. Bryant Arms says:

      The financiers are snookering us again. We, the taxpayers, will never see that money once Congress caves in to special interests, (as usual). If we try to get it back by taxing these businesses, then they will take the good parts of their portfolios and flee to other countries. Suckers!

      If we use that money to enhance social security, then all of the retirees that lost their retirement funds in the stock market will at least be guaranteed a reasonably comfortable retirement. (The only ones who will still be unhappy are the ones trying to retire to their mansions.)

      Finally! Congress has found the money to make social security work.

      Let Congress know that if they get fooled by this bailout, then the only thing for voters to do is punish congress the way it was punished for the gulf war.

      Bryant Arms

    2. Jim, OH says:

      Opposition wilting, good news, action urgently needed, etc are deceptive leads to a real mess of a "solution!"

      Heritage, please provide leadership. This Morning Bell should begin instead with strong criticism of Congress' "business as usual" actions of packing legislation with needless crap.

      Simplify, simplify, simplify.

      The added 'special interest' items added here and to most legislation to bribe our elected officials is plain wrong. The current "bundling" of legislation is no different that the "pork barrel" stuff we all hate. It forces compromise into a new moral hell.

      We taxpayers must start demanding individual legislative initiatives that separate issues – like regulation at each level – so that we can see where our elected officials stand (through their votes) on each.

      Where is Heritage on this?

    3. Danny Grimes says:

      Dear Morning Bell: America Was not Founded on lies. Crimes, against the Country are any that weaken it's structure. What are the choices for most Americans as raising nessesities of life are so expensive that you, find yourself cutting back to just carry on daily affairs? If it is not time to stand against crime?-who, is going to save you? It is absoulutely a manisfesting scenario.

    4. Brad, Phx says:

      As a business owner/manager for many years I have always found that in business and in life when the pressure is on someone thats when their true characteristics flood to the surface.

      Our represntatives in the Congress of the U.S. have spent more time in "negotiations" for PORK and BS than they have in admitting there is a problem and doing whatever they can to fix it. How ashamed I am of my government that when WE the people needed them most they FAILED the leadership test. PORK….PORK…PORK. Do they have no shame? Do they think there is no end to the WELL of tax payer's willingness to pay?

      I am embarassed to say that we, the American tax payers are ALL SUCKERS!!!!

      Brad

    5. Michael J O'Bri says:

      Most likely the House will pass the TARP bill today and it will become the law of the land Monday. We can all kick back, light up cigars, enjoy a Napoleon Brandy, and watch football this weekend. Most Americans and Congress think the government just saved the financial markets, and Washington in its own way of thinking will take some 4 weeks off to enjoy the elections. Life for many will return to normal. In reality life will never be the same.

      The architect of the bill, Hank Paulson, most likely will leave office in 90 days. The importance of this is that Treasury has yet to detail the operations, responsibilities, audits, safeguards and metrics for the effective execution of the plan. The next Administration and Treasury Secretary will not only be responsible for the successful implementation of TARP, but the restructuring, hopefully downsizing and privatizing of Fannie and Freddie. Additionally, the taxpayer is on the hook with AIG and those monies are due back in some five years. Oversight of these complex plans will require a great deal of sophisticated financial knowledge and excellent management skills. This has yet to be engineered by Treasury. In addition, a new regulatory structure is necessary, but requires careful thought, planning and vetting prior to implementation. The most critical and needed component however, is a “lessons learned analysis". This also has not been discussed, but discussions should begin soon, and should have been a part of the TARP bill. From Washington sponsored programs such as CRA, to mortgage originators, to Wall Street, to regulatory agencies, to lobbyist, all should be investigated to determine root causations. A cogent and comprehensive analysis of the elements of causation including government individuals, elected officials, regulatory agencies, must be investigated and fully examined for their contributions and / or possible malfeasance that caused this debacle. This must be outside of the Congress and completely objective. The American people deserve to know the truth and root causes of this sad debacle. It is always the American people who suffer, and it is always the great American people who step in and save the day.

    6. Pingback: Bailout » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: Bailout ’S Precedent Requires Vigilance

    7. Duke Lynch Redding C says:

      The United States,foundwd as a Republic, based on the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights,with an operating system called Democracy, has been corrupted by greed, self interest, and party politics before national interest, by a KATZENJAMMER CONGRESS pandering to

      special interest groups infested by the "doodoogooders" of the ignorant masses seeking their "entitlement rights" needs to be reconstituted with the moral imperatives that drove the Founding Fathers. CONGRESS HAS IT BACKWARDS EXPECTING THE PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO THEIR BLATHER…THEY ARE ELECTED TO OFFICE TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE.!

    8. Larry Harasansky says:

      Angry..Darn right were angry…Lenders deliberately appropriated mortages to people who they knew could not pay back or knew they would default after the sub-prime period was up. Where is the punishment for the lenders…when are we going to see some jail time.

    9. dave schraub says:

      personally,i believe this is the first step toward socialism. i am ashamed of our so called leaders, especially president bush. rewrite the constitution, now i am responsible for paying the bills of people that are ignorant and irresponsible, not to mention that the united states of america has the most corrupt politicians in history. this cannot be undone!

    10. IrishEyes2c, Alabama says:

      I think and believe that the American taxpayers need to take control back from our deceptive members of Congress. We should all demand re-elections caps and terms limits and put them into place. Create a new amendment that provides re-election caps and term limits so they get the hint. I am just so fed up with these political lawyers who seem more interested in lining their own pockets then worrying about the American taxpayers. They all need to go, update their resume and see if they can work for a lobbying firm so they can make even more money screwing over the American public.

      Our wonderful Congress earlier in the year voted to give themselves a raise come February 2009. I don’t think they deserve it and I don’t think they earned their salaries this year as well. I will look into it to see if there is any way to stop the raise from happening. And find out how we can add time limits on the ballot this year. If it’s too late we have next year.

    11. dave schraub says:

      ditto to IrishEyes2c, we need to implement term limits on all of these crooks, but i guess thats why they went to law school, so they could get into politics and make the laws to line their pockets legally. they don't pay social security, and yet 4 years in congress they receive life time benefits. go figure

    12. Roland, Montana says:

      Certainly is obvious that our members of congress would use any disaster, impending or otherwise, to draft a pork-barrel filled piece of legislation and then try to sell it to us as a great and sacrificial rescue. The only ones sacrificing are the tax-payers. The mega-bucks claimed as income by those who headed up this fiasco should be recovered 100% and applied to this debt. This election should be about defeating every legislator who signed on to this mess and getting some fresh blood.

      Term-limits anyone?

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