Monday, September 22, 2008

Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Decisive action to stem the continuing financial meltdown is required. However, let's be certain "decisive" isn't a synonym for "rushed" or "rash." As long as the markets know something will be done, we have a little time to think about the bailout and stem longer-term undesirable consequences a simplistic 'get 'er dun' bailout is likely to lead to.

Steve Fox of Steve Fox of the American Freedom Campaign Action Fund sums it up well:
If we have learned one thing over the past seven years, it is this: Do not EVER trust the Bush administration when the question of executive power is at issue! From the Patriot Act to the authority to use force in Iraq to the need to pass a new FISA law, the Bush administration is always saying some kind of crisis necessitates urgent action, which inevitably leads to the administration being given -- and abusing -- unprecedented power.

This week, the Bush administration is at it again. With the specter of a complete Wall Street collapse hanging over our heads, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is seeking 700 billion taxpayer dollars to bail out the financial industry. While the American Freedom Campaign is not taking a position on the financial details contained in the Bush administration legislative proposal, we are outraged by one specific section related to executive branch accountability.

Section 8 of the legislation provides, "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Yes, the Bush administration is asking Congress to give the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to spend $700 billion as he wishes, without any real oversight or accountability. With respect to Congress, the proposed legislation requires the Secretary to merely submit reports about his activities starting three months after the first purchase of mortgage-related assets and semi-annually thereafter. That's like giving a gambling addict your life savings and asking him to send you a postcard from Las Vegas every once in a while.

If you believe, as we do, that it is time for Congress to actually serve its constitutional function and guide and oversee the activities of the executive branch*, please click on the following link to send an email to your members of Congress.

After you send your email to Congress, please be sure to forward this email along to friends and family or use the Tell-A-Friend option on our site. It is critical that members of Congress hear from their constituents before they adopt any legislation related to this crisis.

Thanks for taking action.


Steve Fox
Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund

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