Vail Valley Voices: New president attempts a huge power grab |

Vail Valley Voices: New president attempts a huge power grab

Dick Gustafson
Vail, CO, Colorado

One of the great arguments in writing the Constitution of the United States is the determining what was sacred. The Declaration of Independence stated that “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was sacred. Some founding fathers believed that “property” was even more important than “personal liberty.” “Pursuit of happiness” was a compromise.

The word “capitalism” had not yet been invented in 1776. The economic trend was developing, manufacturing, buying and selling goods and services for a profit. That is capitalism. Profits are the rewards, or are the fruits of one’s labor (A.Lincoln). Property included land, slaves, businesses, creative endeavors, and nearly all other forms of chattels. But slavery is not the subject of this editorial.

Since business endeavors are property, therefore forms of business ownership are property. Preferred and common stocks, various indentures, or bonds have different priorities. Bondholders have first claim to assets. Common stock owners vote for members to the board of directors. Boards run the corporation according to the stockholders’ wishes. When a corporation no longer rewards the owners, it fails. Bankruptcy courts administer the distribution or reorganization of the company in the owner’s best interests. It is a very orderly legal process, at least it was until the election of Barak Obama.

Obama promised change, and change we got. He changed our culture, laws and political system toward government control, more than all the other U.S. oresidents combined, including FDR. He did it is just over 100 days. Our 220-year republic experiment in liberty has sprung a major hemorrhage, and the patient may not survive.

Here are 13 examples of power grabs:

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

1. The last administration, issued a TARP for $700 billion to “solve the mortgage crisis created by the Carter administration.

Power grab: Banks wishing to return TARP fund are denied until they meet stiff Treasury Department requirements created by an Obama appointee.

2. Obama stimulus, with 900-plus special interest “ear-marks” to solve the banking mortgage crisis by freeing up credit capital and funds for shovel-ready “make work” jobs projects. It has done neither. Jobs are being lost at 300,000 per month. The money has not been budgeted or accounted for. Only grants to unions and ACORN have been given, with no accountability. Of a nine-member oversite committee created to monitor spending, only three members have met.

Power grab: Net jobs are lost, not created with taxpayer money. That tax money goes for vote purchasing social and special interests projects buying party support.

3. Twenty billion taxpayer dollars were given to the auto industry to stave off bankruptcies. Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy (and GM is not far behind) yet wants more money for the reorganization with Fiat. Where is Chrysler’s $9 billion? Down the drain. Was it given to unions?

Power grab: Union stimulus money is buying ads against Republicans. The UAW moves above private investors with 55 percent of new company stock plus one board member. UAW members voted 99 percent for President Obama. Union “concessions,” if any, are undisclosed. The Canadian government pays in a small amount of money for 3 percent of stock, Chrysler-Fiat plants in Canada, and a board member.

Here’s the kicker: Our government, the big contributor, gets only 8 percent of the stock but four of the nine Board members. Obama and the UAW get a conflict-of-interest voting majority.

Private bond owners were offered 29 cents on the dollar. They believe the court will grant up to 50 cents. When they refused the offer, Obama publicly vilified them for not supporting his redistribution of their wealth. “They should sacrifice for the public good.” (Or the UAW?).

General Motors’ CEO was fired by Obama, taking the power of the GM Board of Directors.

4. Obama wants to eliminate bank student loans for government loans.

Power grab: Students will be beholden to the government from cradle to the grave. They can “volunteer” for public service to work off the loans with groups like ACORN gathering illegal election registrations.

5. Speaking of ACORN, now under indictment in Nevada for voter registration fraud, as are many ACORN employees in about 13 states. A grant for ACORN is in the stimulus bill. A proposal is that ACORN conduct the U.S. census while continuing its “impartial” voter-registrations drives. Some of those grant funds are purported to be used to buy ads against Republicans.

Power grab: The founder of ACORN is now associated with labor unions while still being involved with ACORN. Obama worked for ACORN as an attorney before his election to public office. With ACORN’S “impartial honesty” supported by George Soros and Obama, is there a conflict of interest here?

6. A hidden clause on health-care reform, taken directly from British laws, is in the either the stimulus bill or budget.

Power grab: It opens the door to socialized medicine in which bureaucrats decide who gets medical attention and by whom. They’d even decide what procedures, if any, are available depending upon your age and health.

7. “Cap and trade.” The government could monitor, control and tax the amount of energy businesses use based upon some arbitrary CO2-emission formula. We also exhale CO2, so can we personally be taxed for CO2 use? Plants require CO2 to live, as we require the oxygen they emote. Does that mean plants have to pay taxes, too?

Power grab: Every mile you drive in your government-designed and approved car could be taxed regardless of your ability to pay. It is estimated that the bill will increase a family’s budget by $3,000 to $5,000 per year. So where the promised “no tax increase” be?

8. “Card check” removes the secret ballot for employees to decide if they wish to unionize.

Power grab: Card check is a classic payback for union support. Union organizers would know which employees support the union. They could then pressure employees to join, punishing those who don’t sign up. With Obama’s support, it would guarantee increased union membership and fees to contribute to support Democrat Party candidates.

9. The Fairness Doctrine would force broadcast stations to provide equal time for liberal and conservative programming.

Power grab: It would eliminates conservative voices that oppose liberal policies. Most liberal programs have little market appeal and have failed. Stations would be forced to eliminate both sides to remain profitable. By eliminating the only source of conservative voices, the liberals can guarantee silenced opposition. Result: a one-sided media. Any dictator would be pleased.

10. Obama proposes a $3.6 trillion budget for 2010, with a $1 trillion interest payment annually. He says he’s “saving” $17 billion by cutting defense and literacy programs.

Power grab: It locks your children and grandchildren in debt to the government for years. Reporters indicated on May 7 that the debt can never be paid off. Funds are actually shifting to socialized health care. The literacy project money is being transferring to cover education department expansion. Where are the savings? Is it just another Madoff pyramid scheme?

11. Obama’s appointee Eric Holder threatens to prosecute or punish the State Department attorneys who gave legal advice on “torture” to the Bush administration.

Power grab: This is another attempt to intimidate decent people to Obama’s policies.

12. Stress test of U.S. major banks is designed to check the ability of banks to survive another economic crisis.

Power Grab: The first percentage unemployment crisis threshold is 8.6 percent. Unemployment has already passed 8.9 percent. Question: Why was the stress test made public? Answer: The FDIC regularly performs confidential stress tests. Banks have three choices: one is to sell stock; another is to liquidate assets; and third, ask for government help. Today’s market may limit the banks to option 3.

The government began as an insurer and shifted to a lender. The next shift was to a preferred shareholder and finally converted to common stockholder, giving the government voting control of the bank’s board and assets. If successful, the bank’s profits go to enlarge government. If the bank fails, government covers the loss, socializing the bank. Therefore, Obama has total control, and big government is the beneficiary.

13. California Gov. Schwarzenegger cut union home-health worker’s salaries to help the states financial crisis.

Power grab: Obama’s administration has threatened to cut the $6-plus billion stimulus unless union wages were reinstated, thus bankrupting the state. It’s another example of union power under presidential protection.

If you are still not convinced by these power grabs, the left (logical) side of your brain may be dead. Check and control your emotions (right brain), monitor your taxes, and above all, protect your liberty and help restore it.

A note: If Al Franken becomes a senator, the Senate will hit a new low, though it didn’t have far to go.

Dick Gustafson of Vail is a former Eagle County commissioner.

Support Local Journalism