Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bush's Auto Bailout Is Illegal

Photo from WhiteHouse.gov

The recent White House decision to give over $17 billion in loans to GM and Chrysler is monstrous. It has extended this money from the $700 billion in TARP money that was passed by Congress to bail out the financial industry. For all of the reasons listed in this blog's previous post, an auto bailout is immoral and will be ineffective, but extending it from TARP is the icing on the proverbial "crap sandwich" -an illegal, unconstitutional slap in the face to Americans, their freedom, and rule of law.

The Troubled Asset Recovery Program passed by Congress to bail out the financial industry set very clear guidelines for its money's use and the White House has blatantly violated those guidelines: "The bailout statute defines 'financial institutions' eligible for the bailout as 'any institution, including, but not limited to, any bank, savings association, credit union, security broker or dealer, or insurance company.'" Does it sound to you like automaking companies qualify?

Bush's action shows a disrespect for the rule of law and an unabating height of arrogance that you would think the last eight years might have done something to correct. It represents a giant middle finger to America, its Constitution, its liberties, its carefully crafted separation of powers. It is an autocratic order from a runaway executive branch drunk with its own power and bloated with its false sense of self-importance. Congress should be taking bold action to deal with this blow to American liberty and the Constitutionally-mandated balance of power between the branches of government, but I guess they're too busy giving themselves a raise to care. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.