11.24.2008

Unending Spending

Oh, you know...$700 billion here, $700 billion there.  Meh.  Change.  Chump change.

I ask again, where does it stop?  As the link above notes, President-elect Obama anticipates a massive government stimulus plan early in his administration.  The stock market soared today as the federal government provided tens of billions of additional dollars for Citigroup.  President Bush, after supporting the initial bailout, then extolling capitalism at the G-20, supported the Citigroup measure and "warns us" unending-War-On-Terror-style that additional bailouts are coming down the pike.    

The federal government has now put itself on the line for $7.4 trillion in aid to various entities altogether in this crisis.  Bloomberg notes that only the paltry $700 billion plan, out of that total sum, was actually approved by Congress.

That's absurd.  That's wrong.  And that's fundamentally at odds with the concept of a limited government under our Constitution.  I, for one, care.  We are sliding down the slippery slope.  We are permitting our government to act as if it is truly a unitary government.  And far too few people seem to care about more than merely stabilizing the market.

Here are three columns and three choice quotes questioning the constitutionality of the bailouts:




---
"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."
-- President Grover Cleveland vetoing a bill for charity relief

"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity. [To approve the measure] would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
-- President Franklin Pierce's 1854 veto of a measure

"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
-- James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives, January 10, 1794