Retirement and Social Security Reform
Will Washington's Failures Lead To Second
Investor's Business Daily
July 31, 2010
By Ernest S. Christian and Gary A. Robbins
The Internet is a large-scale version of the
"Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first
American Revolution - and with Washington's failings now so
obvious and awful, it may lead to another.
People are asking, "Is the government doing us more harm
than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does
Pruning the power of government begins with the imperial presidency.
Too many overreaching laws give the president too much discretion
to make too many open-ended rules controlling too many aspects
of our lives. There's no end to the harm an out-of-control
president can do.
Bill Clinton lowered the culture, moral tone and strength
of the nation - and left America vulnerable to attack. When
it came, George W. Bush stood up for America, albeit sometimes
Barack Obama, however, has pulled off the ultimate switcheroo:
He's diminishing America from within - so far, successfully.
He may soon bankrupt us and replace our big merit-based capitalist
economy with a small government-directed one of his own design.
He is undermining our constitutional traditions: The rule
of law and our Anglo-Saxon concepts of private property hang
in the balance. Obama may be the most "consequential"
The Wall Street Journal's steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote
that Barack Obama is "an alien in the White House."
His bullying and offenses against the economy and job creation
are so outrageous that CEOs in the Business Roundtable finally
mustered the courage to call him "anti-business."
Veteran Democrat Sen. Max Baucus blurted out that Obama is
engineering the biggest government-forced "redistribution
of income" in history.
Fear and uncertainty stalk the land. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke
says America's financial future is "unusually uncertain."
A Wall Street "fear gauge" based on predicted market
volatility is flashing long-term panic. New data on the federal
budget confirm that record-setting deficits in the $1.4 trillion
range are now endemic.
Obama is building an imperium of public debt and crushing
taxes, contrary to George Washington's wise farewell admonition:
"cherish public credit ... use it as sparingly as possible
... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... bear in
mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue,
that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can
be devised, which are not ... inconvenient and unpleasant
Opinion polls suggest that in the November mid-term elections,
voters will replace the present Democratic majority in Congress
with opposition Republicans - but that will not necessarily
A President Obama intent on achieving his transformative goals
despite the disagreement of the American people has powerful
weapons within reach. In one hand, he will have a veto pen
to stop a new Republican Congress from repealing ObamaCare
and the Dodd-Frank takeover of banks.
In the other, he will have a fistful of executive orders,
regulations and Obama-made fiats that have the force of law.
Under ObamaCare, he can issue new rules and regulations so
insidiously powerful in their effect that higher-priced, lower-quality
and rationed health care will quickly become ingrained, leaving
a permanent stain.
Under Dodd-Frank, he and his agents will control all credit
and financial transactions, rewarding friends and punishing
opponents, discriminating on the basis of race, gender and
political affiliation. Credit and liquidity may be choked
by bureaucracy and politics - and the economy will suffer.
He and the EPA may try to impose by "regulatory"
fiats many parts of the cap-and-trade and other climate legislation
that failed in the Congress.
And by executive orders and the in terrorem effect of an industrywide
"boot on the neck" policy, he can continue to diminish
energy production in the United States.
By the trick of letting current-law tax rates "expire,"
he can impose a $3.5 trillion 10-year tax increase that damages
job-creating capital investment in an economy struggling to
recover. And by failing to enforce the law and leaving America's
borders open, he can continue to repopulate America with unfortunate
illegals whose skill and education levels are low and whose
political attitudes are often not congenial to American-style
A wounded rampaging president can do much damage - and, like
Caesar, the evil he does will live long after he leaves office,
whenever that may be.
The overgrown, un-pruned power of the presidency to reward,
punish and intimidate may now be so overwhelming that his
re-election in 2012 is already assured - Chicago-style.
- Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary
of the Treasury in the Ford administration.
- Robbins, an economist, served at the Treasury Department
in the Reagan administration.