I had the opportunity to watch some of the debate on c-span yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Yes, there was the old-boy’s-corporate-network, declaring that the sky is falling and we have to save our friends on Wall St. And there were the government-interventionists, who saw this as their golden opportunity to gain more power and control, to redistribute the wealth of our nation as they see fit. And I’m sure there were some political whores who have no position at all, and just want to get re-elected next month.
But in the middle of all that, I saw a few who recognize that maybe Washington doesn’t know everything; that maybe their own meddling in the markets is what caused the problem in the first place; that maybe, just maybe, if government gets out of the way and allows our decisions to be followed by their natural consequences – then maybe we’ll learn to make better decisions.
First among them, of course, was the gentleman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, who said that pumping in another $700 billion will destroy the dollar.
And then there’s the fiery gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Dennis Kucinich, who suggested, among other things, that we end the manipulation by the Federal Reserve.
Another that struck me was the gentleman from Florida, Mr. Jeff Miller. For some reason, I was unable to embed the clip, but here are some of his remarks from the congressional record.
Madam Speaker, almost 2 weeks ago, Secretary Henry Paulson came to this Congress requesting $700 billion of taxpayer money for his friends and former colleagues on Wall Street. The former chairman of the investment bank of Goldman Sachs also asked this Congress to pass a law ensuring that his actions “are nonreviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”
The Founders of this great Nation set up an ingenious system of government to ensure that power was not disproportionately given to any one individual. The goal was to avoid tyranny, to avoid tyranny at all costs. But Secretary Paulson most likely skipped class that day and was hoping that we had as well. Many wonder how such a poorly constructed piece of legislation could even come to the Congress in the first place. And I wonder how our President approved this as well.
By demanding this bailout money, the administration attempted to circumvent the legislative process. Moreover, the administration continues to insist that their way is the only way to avoid an imminent crisis.
And perhaps most stunning is that the administration officials that are responsible for protecting American taxpayers and our free-market system were asleep at the switch. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox recently admitted his culpability in this matter and amazingly, the Secretary of the Treasury recently admitted he had seen this crisis coming for almost a year and just now has come to our Congress.
This is an historic battle playing out before us, one that will determine the direction of our nation for decades to come. Maybe we should watch a little more c-span, and a little less reality TV.
Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny.
A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or rather, apparently, welcomes it.
The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude
Etienne de la Boetie, 1530-1563