Writing over at Townhall.com, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann have some advice for the Republicans. Morris says what we all know, that this non-stimulus collectivists’ wet dream pork package is going to pass unless the GOP can keep all 41 Senators on board for a filibuster. Morris and McGann point out that while the GOP would have a hard time getting the support of the American people for a straight filibuster to stop the entire package, they could insist on some amendments that would limit the government’s power over soon-to-be nationalized industries. First, he points out the problems with the so-called stimulus package:
In the name of economic stimulus, it not only has every item any liberal ever asked of Santa Claus on Christmas eve, it also contains the seeds of a permanent shift toward a European-style socialist democracy. Its dramatic exemption of more than half of Americans from paying federal income taxes (it is now about one-third who don’t pay them) and its generosity in awarding this voting majority a welfare check — called a refundable tax credit — moves the politics of taxation sharply to the left. The federal government’s acquisition of preferred stock in virtually all our major banks sets the stage for full nationalization. After all, if the feds are using their “preferred” status to hog all the dividends, why should any private person buy bank stock?
Paging Dagny Taggart! Paging Hank Rearden! Paging John Galt! It is time to stop the motors of the world and head out to the Gulch. But I digress.
The husband and wife writing duo then continue:
By demanding that Citibank cancel its plans to buy a private jet, the Obama administration is tapping into a justified populist anger against the greed, privilege, stupidity and sense of entitlement of the Wall Street biggies. But he is also setting the precedent for government control over the actions of private banks.
And once the government controls the banks, it controls the economy. At best, we will have a Japanese system where winks and nods from bureaucrats turn industrial policy upside-down; at worst, we will have outright federal control, with government-appointed latter-day Blagojeviches determining who gets loans and who doesn’t.
If that sounds like a stretch to you then you have not been observing leftist politics for very long. Morris’ advice:
The answer is for the Republicans to caucus and come up with a Free Enterprise Amendment to add to the stimulus package. The amendment should spell out what the government may not do in influencing the policy of private banks. It should, for example, make it illegal for the feds to urge certain lending policies on banks or to suggest specific loans that might be granted. It should enjoin the feds from intervening in decisions on who should manage various aspects of bank operations. The idea would be to cordon off large parts of the private sector, even in subsidized institutions, to bar public federal government influence.
Morris and McGann make the point that filibustering the entire bill would be difficult given the panic that many Americans are feeling, but that if they insist on the amendment that he describes and have a smart PR campaign, they can filibuster against a bill without that amendment. Even with that amendment, I sincerely hope that the GOP would vote against it for the collectivist crap sandwich that it is.
Contact your Senators now, people.