Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Paul Craig Roberts: The Bitter Fruits of Deregulation

Excellent commentary by Paul Craig Roberts in CounterPunch (one of the online places I sneak off to visit when desperate for 'real journalism.')

Roberts - for those who don't know of him by name - was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and a Contributing Editor of National Review.

In other words... he knows exactly what is happening, and why.

Here is one small portion of an excellent (if frightening) essay. I can't reprint it here in its entirety, but I wish I could. Please read it for yourself.

Exerpt from The Bitter Fruits of Deregulation

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

This crisis comes at the worst possible time. Gratuitous wars and military spending in pursuit of US world hegemony have inflated the federal budget deficit, which recession is further enlarging. Massive trade deficits, magnified by the offshoring of goods and services, cannot be eliminated by US export capability.

These large deficits are financed by foreigners, and foreign unease has resulted in a decline in the US dollar’s value compared to other tradable currencies, precious metals, and oil.

The US Treasury does not have $700 billion on hand with which to buy the troubled assets from the troubled institutions. The Treasury will have to borrow the $700 billion from abroad.

The dependency of Treasury Secretary Paulson’s bailout scheme on foreign willingness to absorb more Treasury paper in order that the Treasury has the money to bail out the troubled institutions is heavy proof that the US is in a financially dependent position that is inconsistent with that of America’s “superpower” status.

The US is not a superpower. The US is a financially dependent country that foreign lenders can close down at will.

Washington still hasn’t learned this. American hubris can lead the administration and Congress into a bailout solution that the rest of the world, which has to finance it, might not accept.

Currently, the fight between the administration and Congress over the bailout is whether the bailout will include the Democrats’ poor constituencies as well as the Republicans’ rich ones. The Republicans, for the most part, and their media shills are doing their best to exclude the ordinary American from the rescue plan.

A less appreciated feature of Paulson’s bailout plan is his demand for freedom from accountability. Congress balked at Paulson’s demand that the executive branch’s conduct of the bailout be non-reviewable by Congress or the courts: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion.” However, Congress substituted for its own authority a “board” that possibly will consist of the bailed out parties, by which I mean Republican and Democratic constituencies. The control over the financial system that the bailout would give to the executive branch would mean, in effect, state capitalism or fascism.

If we add state capitalism to the Bush administration’s success in eroding both the US Constitution and the power of Congress, we may be witnessing the final death of accountable constitutional government.

And after that... the bankrupting of the United States. Mission Accomplished?

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