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The Unconstitutional Bailout
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Op-ed Placement

The Unconstitutional Bailout

BY Matt Kibbe

When you get beyond the rhetoric of change, it is astonishing how close President Barack Obama is following his predecessor in economic policy. Just as George W. Bush attempted to jump-start the economy with a jolt of hundreds of billions of dollars, Obama is doubling down on the bailout bets. In the Troubled Assets Relief Program process, the legislative branch is authorizing nearly a trillion dollars in spending.But isn’t this backward? Doesn’t Congress have the sole power to authorize executive branch spending, and the president, the power to veto congressional spending authorizations?I opposed the $700 billion bailout legislation because, among other objections, I believed it to be an unconstitutional delegation of congressional authority to an unelected official in the executive branch. Both the short history of the legislation’s implementation and a new legal analysis published by FreedomWorks Foundation confirm my original fears. This dramatic role reversal, with the executive telling Congress what to do, is exactly why the bailout is unconstitutional and must be stopped.The bailout legislation violates the bedrock constitutional principle of nondelegation by investing the treasury secretary — an unelected member of the executive branch — with too much discretionary authority to exercise too much power. In a recent legal analysis prepared for FreedomWorks Foundation, attorneys note, “Rather than making the policy choices necessary to guide the secretary’s discretion, Congress has given the secretary far-reaching power to intervene in the nation’s economy and effectively to nationalize American businesses — upon the thinnest reed of statutory constraints. And in doing so, Congress has effectively chosen not to make law but, rather, to make the treasury secretary the lawmaker.”The debate over the second half of the bailout being authorized continues this backward approach to lawmaking. It has members of the Congress asking the Treasury Department to make promises that it will do better this time than it did before. But it is Congress’ constitutional duty to tell Treasury what to do, not ask.Critics may say government being bound by the Constitution is a quaint idea, and the current crisis allows no time for it. But the Constitution is as relevant as ever. Drawing on their firsthand experience with King George, the Constitution’s Framers made the exercise of power difficult by design to protect liberty, to force deliberation, and to ensure accountability — all of which are threatened by the continuation of the bailout.

02/05/2009
Obama Should Channel Harding, Not FDR
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Op-ed Placement

Obama Should Channel Harding, Not FDR

BY Matt Kibbe

In the first half of last century two presidents inherited recessionary economies from their predecessors. Both campaigned on smaller government, and both blamed the profligate ways of the previous president for their economic problems. One ended the recession in less than three years; the other lengthened it by seven. One responded with laissez-faire capitalism; the other with unprecedented government expansion. Scholars rank one among the worst presidents ever; the other they rank as one of the best. These two men are Warren Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

02/05/2009
Obama Legislature's Ghost Writer?
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Blog

Obama Legislature's Ghost Writer?

This morning I was reading an interesting article in The Washington Times.My favorite paragraph:Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, told reporters after meeting with the president that she thinks the White House should have written the stimulus bill instead of offering broad principles to Congress for it to craft the plan.I hope this is sarcasm, but I fear even my naturally optimistic attitude won’t allow that.

02/05/2009
DC Unemployment Second Lowest in Country
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Blog

DC Unemployment Second Lowest in Country

Jobless claims reached a 26-year high last week according to government data released today.  Unemployment rates reached 7.2 percent in December and analysts expect that to increase.  Of course, the unemployment rates vary across the country.  The Washington, D.C. area, for example, has the second lowest rate for any metropolitan area at 4.7 percent.  Why could that be?

02/05/2009
Tom Daschle: "Tax Cheaters Cheat Us All"
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Blog

Tom Daschle: "Tax Cheaters Cheat Us All"

The Washington Times gets in one-last parting shot to disgraced cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle with a steaming bucket of irony:

02/04/2009
Key Vote No Ensign/McConnell Fix Housing First Amendment
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Press Release

Key Vote No Ensign/McConnell Fix Housing First Amendment

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to vote “No” on Senator Ensign’s Fix Housing First amendment to H.R. 1, as promoted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The Senator claims this act would “fix” the housing problem, considered to be at the root of so much of our current economic pain.  However, far from fixing anything, this plan would create even more problems and rather than letting the market naturally adjust, will merely delay recovery creating bigger problems in the future.

02/04/2009
Key Vote "YES" DeMint Jobs Plan: Amendment #168
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Press Release

Key Vote "YES" DeMint Jobs Plan: Amendment #168

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to vote “Yes” on Senator Jim DeMint’s Job’s Plan, Amendment #168.  This amendment is an alternative to H.R. 1 and would create nearly 18 million new jobs in ten years without the wasteful spending and debt that comprises the current stimulus plan recently passed by the House. The DeMint Jobs Plan provides for real, long term growth in addition to immediately relieving the tax burden for citizens nationwide.  The two step plan is simple, and transparent.

02/04/2009
Tax Code too Complicated for Obama's Team
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Blog

Tax Code too Complicated for Obama's Team

Several of Obama’s cabinet picks have had trouble paying their taxes.  Timothy Geither, Treasury secretary, owed $34,000 in unpaid taxes on income while working for the International Monetary Fund.  Nancy Killefer, Obama’s chief performance officer appointee withdrew from her cabinet bid over unpaid payroll taxes for her household help, and Tom Daschle, former Health and Human Services secretary appointee owed $128,000 in back taxes.

02/04/2009
FreedomWorks Ad Campaign Targets Key Senators on Stimulus
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Ad Campaign Targets Key Senators on Stimulus

This week FreedomWorks unveiled an ad campaign targeting Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over how they will vote on the more than $1 trillion stimulus plan now before the U.S. Senate.  These print ads, scheduled to run in targeted newspapers in each senator's state, highlight the potentially devastating economic impact that the proposed stimulus plan threatens and urges them to oppose it. An excerpt from the ad relays that this legislation:

02/04/2009
The stock market has little hope for Obama
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Blog

The stock market has little hope for Obama

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to financial markets (which is probably somewhere between 0% and 2% of my readers), I’d like to point out that the Dow Jones was not only down 9% in January, but it’s down 17% since the election of The Chosen One.

02/03/2009

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