When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Monday, March 16, 2009

Congress Is On The Warpath

This past weekend I was entertained by what was originally an HBO mini-series on our founding father, John Adams. I got the three DVD set from Netflix, and spent about 10 hours engrossed in the biography of one of the most impressive men in our nation’s history.

What was particularly interesting was the interactions and friendship between Adams and Thomas Jefferson. It portrayed a relationship that is exactly that which I have decried for years as what the nation needs to see from its political leaders. Adams, a devout Federalist, believed to the core that a strong Federal government was necessary to the freedom of the nation. Jefferson, influenced by Locke and others, believed that it was the individual and the sovereign states which held the powers and the responsibilities. He served as Adams Vice-President, and the two were good personal friends while political opponents. Their deaths, which occurred within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, ended the lives of the last two signers of the Declaration of Independence.

So while these two men possessed complete opposite views of the size and responsibility of government, agreed on one thing: The role of the government was to protect the rights of individuals guaranteed under our Constitution. Today, our government, and particularly those on the left, find that the power of government should be used for personal folly. Senator Christopher Todd (D-CT) decided that he would target specific individuals with the United States Tax code. The issue arises from the massive and absurd bailout bill given to companies to weather this recessive storm. AIG received massive amounts of that money, and gave their executives $165 million in bonuses. Now, forget the ethics of the bonuses. I am opposed to them in principal, as the company failed and is needing citizen’s money to survive. I want to focus on the targeting of the bonuses.

Dodd and his colleagues rushed to pass enormous amounts of bailout money with no oversight, in an attempt to correct a regulatory system that had no oversight. It is taxpayer money and should not have gone to pay huge bonuses for failure. Yet, there was no such provision in the bill. Dodd wants to target these bonuses with special tax legislation. Do you think that is a legitimate function of government? I say not. I say a government that will write into a tax code provisions to tax at immoral and surely unconstitutional rates is out of control. Do you think that these fat cats deserve the money? Do you think they deserve individual action by the United States Congress? Is say they do not, and that any sanctioning of this measure is indicative of supporting the most tyrannical of regimes.

What is to stop them from individually targeting the money of families? is someone else’s success today, it could be yours tomorrow. Even John Adams would find this reprehensible, and I think is rolling over in his grave. United in spirit, there men, yet again.


Patrick M said...

Robert: Read the book. It's even better than the miniseries (I have both).

All the Founding Fathers are in spin mode by now. We've taken the role of government to such a ridiculous place that, were we to hook their bones to generators, we could power the east coast off of them.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

The Fouding Fathers are absolutly rolling voer in heir graves!

BTW Robert, my son bought me the DVD set of John Adams and the book for Father's Day last year. I have read the book and watched the series twice. Loved both!

One thing you did not mention thought was that while Adams and Jefferson were best friends, their poltical rivalry drove them apart when Adams became president and it was not until after Adams wife Abigail died that they renewed thier friednship.

Until that time they were almost bitter enemies. Adams would not even attend jefferson Inaguration. The later found out that Jefferson financed the move that ended up destroying Adams chances for re-election.

So harsh politcal rivalries were very much around even during the birthing pangs of our Nation.

Good to see you writing again my friend!

Joe said...

I deplore the bonuses, but will fight to the death the corporation's right to pay them if they want to, even thought they are morally reprehensible.

The government has decided that it has the right to RETROACTIVELY tax corporations. It invented this right, for it is the anthesis of what the Constitution has to say about it.

The bail-outs are what is immoral. They should never have been made, but, after all, they were made by a bunc of immoral and ammoral representatives.

Silent_Majority said...

I dare say that there is no elected official left who truly understands the power of the Constitution. They have elected to abandon the sound principles it enumerated and in its place put greed, self promotion and apathy to the needs of the populace. I am sadened but optimistic. There are some glimmers of hope but we need to hold their feet to the fire and make them understand that we will indulge "politics as usual" no more.