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Just Askin'

  • November 29, -0001
President Obama is asking for the authority to take over failing banks, resolve their difficulties, and get them back on a proper footing. Well, he wouldn't do it himself; Mr. Geithner would oblige, since he's the banking expert in the Administration. You gotta admire the President's ambition. If you think you are the one appointed to fix just about everything, and you don't yet have the power to do it, all you have to do is ask. Mr. Geithner, on behalf of the President, today began the process of asking Congress to grant something called "Resolution Authority", the effect of which would be to give the President de facto control over the people's money. Hmmm. I don't know; something about that makes me a little uneasy. Seems like my money ought to be mine to control, and to put in whatever bank I think I can trust, without having to worry that one day I'll get a letter from the President advising me that he will henceforth and for the time being be acting on my behalf to ensure that my money is being properly handled and everything's gonna be all right. The hubris of this request at this particular time - on the heels of the AIG fiasco and who knows what else (Mr. Geithner is reluctant to tell us more) - would be laughable were it not so shocking. When asked for chapter and verse from the Constitution for such authority, Mr. Geithner replied in "laws of the land" terms, suggesting that he thinks the Constitution has no binding power to prevent Congress from passing whatever laws it wants. The Constitution, this Administration seems to believe, is a work in progress rather than the final bar of appeal for all matters relative to the common weal. James Madison would be astonished. We should be, too.

T. M. Moore

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