Forests and Trees

Posted by on March 22, 2009

This past week we endured a round of pitchforks and torches in the Congress with some of those people calling for a return of the AIG bonuses and others going further than that by quite openly calling for these executives to kill themselves for taking money that was rightly theirs.  We can argue about the AIG bailout.  We can argue over how AIG should use the bailout money with respect to it being taxpayer money.  We have been arguing over President Obama’s outrageous spending in the Stimulus package and his proposed budget.  We are losing sight of a much larger issue however.

I talked alittle about this here.  I have seen far too few people talking about this oversight and it concerns me.  We have tea parties popping up all over the country with people of all stripes coming out to protest the fleecing of the responsible and the encouragement of the scoundrel.  Throughout the tea parties, the news coverage of the AIG travesty, and the debate over the proposed federal budget there is one thing that no one is really talking about.

When we were in school and someone came up and demanded our lunch money we called that person a bully.  If we are on the street and someone lifts our wallet or steals our purse we call that person a thief.  Both the bully and the thief will have some wild excuse for their need of our money.  Maybe it’s because they can’t find work and have to feed their baby.  Maybe it’s because they need a drug fix.  Maybe it’s because they are just evil b@st@rds.  Whatever the reason reasonable Americans will still call them a bully and a thief.

What makes the Congress any different than the bully and the thief when considering their actions against the AIG bonus executives last week?  These people were being compensated for work they had done.  The money was already in their pockets.  What the House of Representatives have done is reach into the pockets of private citizens to take something from them.  The congressmen and women will say they are defending the American Taxpayer, but they didn’t have any such principles when they passed the stimulus package.  Whatever the reason, reasonable Americans will call them bullies and thieves.

Reasonable Americans will also recognize a very sinister and dangerous precedent being set.  The debate leading up to the vote in the House was chock full of hyperbolic rants about how much certain House members didn’t like these executives.  They moved forward with this bill and passed it out of the House for the sole reason of not liking the people that took the bonuses.  They singled out a select group of American Citizens, reached into their pockets, and are trying to take their money.  Reasonable Americans will call them bullies and thieves.

Obviously, members of the House of Representatives are not ragamuffins on the street trying to pilfer money for booze…well maybe some of them are but that’s for another rant.  They should be honorable members of their communities led by civic duty to stand for election as their community’s representative in our Federal Government.  They should take that responsibility seriously and always remember that it is The People that put them in their office in DC.  They should wake every morning and think, “What can I do today that will be in the best interest of my district and my Country?”  These people take an oath before they take their seats in the House.

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”  (emphasis mine)

Article 1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution:

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

While we have found ourselves all worked up over whether Secretary Geithner knew about the bonuses, who is to blame for the existence of the bonuses, or the bailout in the first place we have lost sight of a very sinister and dangerous thing.  We are angrily staring and shouting at the trees be they Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives, or Liberals.  We concern ourselves with a dollar figure in the millions, billions, and trillions and scream at each other because it’s just too much.  OH how we are mortgaging our children and grandchildren’s futures!  We are staring at some very BIG trees.

The forest is bigger still.  What we witnessed last week was the United States House of Representatives passing in true Bi-partisan style a bill that they had to think was a worthwhile use of American Citizens time.  That bill would take money from specific individuals simply because the United States House of Representatives didn’t like them or what they did.

So…who’s next?  The House is going after those they deem as greedy rich people right now.  What happens when they decide that those who

That’s right Mr. President, what happens when those who get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations?

Don’t miss the forest for the trees people.

Last modified on March 22, 2009

Categories: General
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One Response to “Forests and Trees”

  1. Hendo Says:


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