In light of the current state of what passes for Congressional action on the economic situation, I thought that it would be appropriate to cite some knowledge that ought to be “common,” but appears to be uncommon in the Capitol:
"No State shall… pass any pass any… ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…." US Const Art I, sec. 10
This basic precept of the Constitution (made applicable to the Federal government by Amendment XIV) seems to have escaped most of the Congressional worthies who are tripping over themselves to get to the cameras for the purpose of trying to force AIG to rescind the “bonuses” that have been promised to various of it’s employees. If AIG made a contract with its employees, the government has no authority to interfere (you could look it up). Furthermore, today, the House voted by a vote of 128 to 93 to tax 90% of the AIG bonus receipts (ex post facto law, anyone?)
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." P.J. O’Rourke
"Politics is largely the process of taking credit for oneself, and putting the blame on others – regardless of the facts." Thomas Sowell
Let’s consider some of the prime recipients of AIG cash: Christopher Dodd… what do you know???!!! Now we can begin to understand the basis for the “Dodd Amendment” to the “porkulus bill (which featured the ratification of the AIG bonuses). Just watching the machinations of Senator Dodd (who was pleased to take credit for the “Dodd Amendment” before the rest of us learned what was in it) twisting himself into a pretzel before his superiors ordered him to confess his responsibility for it, is enough to prove the wisdom of Thomas Sowell and P.J. O’Rourke (as if that were even necessary).
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Gerald Ford
Just watch some of those worthies: Barney Frank, Charles Schumer, Carolyn Maloney, threatening citizens with the invocation of confiscatory tax laws. Watch, my personal favorite: the Hon. Gary Ackerman, of the 5th Cong District of NY – my very own congressman. Watch this unaccomplished, undistinguished backbencher wax eloquent in his scolding of the captive Chairman of AIG (a man who is serving for no compensation while trying to clean up Congress’ mess). It would be infuriating, except that Ackerman (with his ever present lapel flower) makes me think of “Chuckles the Clown” whenever I see him. This turkey is making policy that will have dire consequences for my grandchildren. The most amazing thing is that he has the chutzpah to call attention to himself in public.
Reacting to news Obama picked North Carolina to win the NCAA Championship, Mike Krzyzewski says, "the economy is something that [the president] should focus on, probably more than the brackets." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/19/duke-coach-obama-worry-economy-ncaa-picks/
Let the President tend to his knitting. And let the members of Congress who are engaging in this Kabuki play, blaming everyone but themselves, slither back into the slime and leave us alone!