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Anyone looking for bureacracy at its worst need look no further than the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Since its founding in 1945, the IMF has accomplished abroad what President Johnson's Great Society accomplished domestically: it has created an ever-expanding financial burden for prosperous countries while encouraging a culture of dependency and indebtedness in developing countries.
Like most welfare-state bureacracies, the IMF is rarely held accountable for its failures. Poor countries which receive IMF funding usually become worse-off as a result, but the IMF continues to operate behind closed doors and independent of people's oversight. This secrecy at the IMF allows them to neglect issuing annual appropriation reports on their permissive spending of American tax dollars.
IMF European Bailout
The past profligacy of the IMF has been bad enough, but the economic crisis has given the IMF an opportunity that all bureaucracies wait for: the opportunity to expand. Now, instead of creating an international welfare state by spending money that will never be repaid (even though it wasn't their to begin with), the IMF intends to bailout the already-developed welfare states of the European Union. Even now, the IMF has spent $145 billion to bailout Greece and intends to spend a comparable amount to shore up the spendthrift economy of Ireland. It is likely that the IMF will draft similar plans for Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Belgium.
How to Stop IMF Bailouts Now!
The IMF poses a formidable threat to American national sovereignty. Accountable government is not possible if a large portion of its financial obligations are determined by an international bureaucracy managed by a man like Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a lifetime member of France's socialist party. But it is not too late for our American sovereignty to stop international cronyism.
Any IMF initiative requires an 85% supermajority vote of the member nations. The United States Treasury Secretary commands 17.7% of the vote, enough to veto any IMF initiative which violates American national sovereignty or runs contrary to the interest of the American people.
Conservative leaders have already drafted legislation which would require the Secretary to exercise his veto power and protect the American taxpayer from bailing out profligate European economies. Representative Mike Pence and 40 co-sponsors have put forth the H.R. 5299-European Bailout Protection Act which would require all EU member receiving IMF funds to comply with their treasury's debt-to-GDP ratio requirements. With S 3383, Senator Jim DeMint has drafted similar legislation in the Senate.
The End of the European Bailout Only the Beginning
The European bailout must be stopped, but this would only begin to curtail the IMF. As long as the IMF exists, more transparency of its initiatives is needed, transparency and efficiency provided by initiatives like:
The IMF must be held accountable for having failed for more than half-a-century to achieve its goals. As with all government institutions, reining in the IMF will be difficult, but it is necessary and, as with all important exercises within a democratic society, the revolution that curtails bureaucracy must begin with the people.