Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paulson & Bernanke: The New American Fascists
September 23, 2008

It's fashionable to toss the word "fascist" at one's political opponents, but I am deadly serious in accusing Paulson and Bernanke of attempting a fascist coup d'etat in which the central authority of the U.S. Treasury rules uncontested, with no judicial or legislative counter-balance or authority--not even for oversight.

In a constitutional system which carefully counterbalances Federal powers between judicial, legislative and executive, how can the Treasury department claim extra-legal powers and banish oversight by both the courts and Congress, and not be blatantly unconstitutional?

Yet here is the bill's key point:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Lest you think I indulge in hyperbole, let's go through the definition of fascism and Paulson's power-grab step by step.

Definitions of fascism:

Most scholars agree that a "fascist regime" is foremost an authoritarian form of government.
Note that Paulson's Power-Grab Bill claims total authority for the Treasury, and specifically excludes Congressional or court oversight. What else is that but authoritarian? Sure, it "reports" to Congress, but that is meaningless since Congress has no authority to question or over-rule Treasury's disbursements of taxpayer funds.

Several scholars have inspected the apocalyptic, millennial and millenarian aspects of fascism.
And here we have Paulson and Bernanke squealing that Congress has to grant them virtually unlimited powers to borrow and spend taxpayer funds immediately or a financial Apocalypse is at hand. Nice, but where have they been for the last year? Bleating at every opportunity how "sound" the U.S. banking system is.

They had the responsibility and the opportunity for over one year to address the fundamental rot at the heart of the U.S. financial system, and they did nothing but cover the tracks of their banker pals and loan out hundreds of billions to failed banks. They should both be fired immediately for gross incompetence and Treason. Our dithering President is also grossly incompetent and fortunately he will be replaced in January. But the damage he wrought in appointing and pandering to these two incompetents has already been done.

Here is President Franklin Roosevelt defining fascism in 1942 as the U.S. was in a literal fight to the death with three fascist regimes in World war II:

The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

Note that the Federal Reserve is a private bank, and that the "group" F.D.R. warned us against resides in the office of Treasury Secretary Paulson, who will have sole power to disburse trillions of dollars to whomever he pleases, without recourse, oversight or control by the courts or Congress. That is fascism, pure and simple.

Here is the best single analysis of the Power-Grab Bailout Bill: The Mother Of All Frauds (Karl Denninger)

You probably read Mish and Denninger already, so you know what needs to be done: email, call and write your elected representatives in Congress and demand they vote against any and all iterations of this caving in to Fascism Bill.

Regarding the power of language:

Let me make an additional suggestion: that just as President Reagan correctly identified the U.S.S.R. as an "Evil Empire," then clearly identify the Paulson Bill as fascist, and identify Paulson and Bernanke as fascists bent on grabbing extra-legal unconstitutional powers and authority under the phony guise of an "emergency."

Hitler used this same tactic again and again, loudly declaring an "emergency" and grabbing what he wanted as the bleating, frightened sheep ran about in disarray. Paulson and Bernanke have torn a page from the Hitler playbook and are working the fear and hysteria to perfection, demanding an "immediate approval" of their power-grab.

It's not considered "polite" to label someone a fascist, but the time for politeness is long past.
The toothless mainstream media stood idly by for the past year like a drooling village idiot mesmerized by the brightly colored tinfoil Paulson and Bernanke waved in their faces. Now they cravenly report the "emergency" without a shred of skepticism; Goebbels would have been delighted by their complete spinelessness in the face of a truly Evil danger to the Republic.
How about we go one step further and call this plan and its perpetrators Evil with a capital E. Anyone who purposefully tries to ban legislative and judicial oversight via a phony "emergency" is essentially a traitor, for they are attempting to destroy the very essence of our republic and our constitution.

So let's stop pandering to a propaganda machine all too willing to wag its finger in disapproval at anyone stating the truth: Paulson and his Bill are fascist. Just look up the word, read the bill, and then tell me it isn't a match.

In Christianity, that's called "speaking truth to power." The first step to rooting out Evil is to correctly identify it with the proper words.

If it isn't fascist to strip the courts and elected officials of any and all powers over a small unelected groups' secret actions in the Treasury, then what the heck is it? It certainly isn't American democracy.

So let's call this Power Grab and Paulson and Bernanke by their proper identities: fascists, all.
I know, the bill "expires" in two years--but since they can spend $700 billion, offload whatever toxic assets they bought, draw down another $700 billion, then rinse and repeat, they could easily saddle our children and grandchildren with $3-4 Trillion in debt and in the meantime enrich their buddies and pals in the process.

If you're still unconvinced, then just start reading. Here are three articles sent in by correspondent Craig M., and one submitted by frequent contributor U. Doran:
"Friends of Hank get more special favors from the Fed:"
Fed Allows Goldman, Morgan Stanley to Become Banks
Dollar May Get `Crushed' as Traders Weigh Up Bailout
U.S. Treasury Widens Scope of Plan to Buy Bad Debt
"How, given these changes, can the administration and Federal Reserve believe they are being forthright in their unrevised expectation of future losses?"
Lies From Paulson Keep Stacking Up: What You Can Do About It (Mish Shedlock)

Bottom line: contact your congresspeople and demand they vote against this bill or any permutation of it. Otherwise, Welcome to the Fascist States of America, where a small group in Treasury will be acting in secret, giving away your tax money and your children and grandchildren's money, with essentially unlimited authority to blow trillions of our future tax payments bailing out their buddies and pals.

You want to get tough, Hank? Then ask Congress for the authority to sue all CEOS of failed banks for civil damages (for fraud, collusion, etc.) equal to their salaries and bonuses from 2001-2008. Oh, and don't forget to authorize suing yourself, too; how much did you rake off as head of Goldman? $400 million? Or was it $1.2 billion, if you count stock options and all the other goodies?

Remind me again why Paulson is qualified to be Treasury Secretary. Because nobody understands a con like a con-man?

Footnote: Just as a reminder of how much Federal (taxpayer) money has already been thrown down the rathole: Paulson Bailout (thanks to Craig M. for the link)

By my count, the Federal Reserve has already extended something on the order of $455 billion in loans collateralized by some of these same troubled assets, namely $125 billion in repos, $150 billion in the term auction facility, $50 billion in "other loans", $30 billion from the Bear Stearns deal, and $100 billion in "other Federal Reserve assets". That $455 billion total does not include this week's $85 billion loan to AIG, nor the $180 billion in reciprocal currency swap lines. That's $720 billion, plus Fannie and Freddie and shadow loans to Merrill, Lehman, etc. Shall we round it up to $1 Trillion and counting?

New essay by Chris Sullins: The McRib Is Back!

Thank you, Edward B. ($25), for your very generous contribution to this site. I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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