Vail Valley Voices: The height of irresponsibility |

Vail Valley Voices: The height of irresponsibility

Dick Gustafson,
Vail, CO, Colorado

Congress and the Obama administration are classic examples of the cliche “The inmates are running the asylum.”

Congress is fighting over oversights in the ridiculously exorbitant stimulus bill regarding bonuses to AIG, which they, themselves, caused.

It was caused by a rush to judgment and not knowing what they voted for. Even worse, it was signed by President Obama. An average inexperienced youth knows to read a document before signing it.

There are exceptions, however. Legislators, who now take credit for solving the problems, encouraged some to sign “junk” mortgages. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., blocked proposed subprime mortgage controls on Fanny Mae.

They remind me of two cats in a litter box frantically scratching to cover their messes.

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Dodd, Obama and Frank were top recipients of campaign contributions from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Surprised? If so, stop watching the three major networks for your news.

Dodd, chairman of the banking committee, also received the most campaign money from AIG, plus a sweet-heart mortgage from Countrywide. He denies all, of course.

Two Democratic presidents can take credit for this mess, as well. Jimmy Carter instituted the policy that started the economic meltdown. He demanded that Fannie Mae ease mortgage lending rules for subprime home purchasers..

The issue could have been reversed by Bill Clinton’s administration, but he refused.

President Bush made a half-hearted attempt to tighten lending regulations, but he was blocked by Frank and Dodd. He was too late with too little.

Sen. Dodd interjected language in the stimulus bill that guarantees the AIG bonus contracts, negotiated by the Treasury Department last November. Then he denied it. When exposed, he changes his story again. He is either stupid or a liar, probably both.

The House of Representatives voted to tax the AIG bonuses up to 90 percent, which violates at least three clauses of the Constitution and which will cause more costly hearings and court battles, at taxpayer expense. What do you expect from a Congress of lawyers?

Let’s review:

This recession was caused by the mortgage crises caused by subprime borrowers protected by Frank, Dodd and Carter.

“President” Pelosi proposed and delivered the votes for the stimulus package we can’t afford that stimulates only her constituents and which may even spark a Mexican trade war. Then Congress approved an automatic pay raise for themselves, through inaction.

Bills were to be free of pork and earmarks, but this stimulus bill is full of both. Democrats pilled on. So did some Republicans, to a lesser degree.

The promised five-day delay for bill public transparency was also ignored. No member of Congress had read the entire bill.

The jobs stimulus bill is full of social programs not job-creating projects. Democratic talking points include education, medical reform and criticism of Rush Limbaugh to hide the real issue: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

The real president (I think) has proposed a budget greater than that of any other president in history.

Obama’s budget will equal 13 percent of GNP. If passed, that will double the highest — 7 percent — proposed by any other president.

A bipartisan committee now projects that the debt will be impossible to repay.

Even the Chinese are lecturing our administration about money management.

Taxes, taxes, taxes will attempt to pay the bill; i.e., taxes on “carbon” credits, cigarettes, electricity (cap and trade), car mileages, your employee health benefits, and if you believe Al Gore’s global warming theory, they may even tax your exhaled carbon dioxide.

Obama promised that 95 percent of the public will not be taxed an additional dime. How many promises has he already broken?

Congressional Democrats are trashing the Constitution by punishing unpopular private contracts, voting without debate, taking away the secret ballot, passing legislation without transparency, lying to cover up mistakes, and eliminating dissent.

It’s mob rule, Hugo Chaves style.

We sure as hell got “change.” We can’t blame Bush.

This is now Obama’s calamity. The inmates are running the asylum.

Ben Franklin was asked, “What form of government did Congress create?”

He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Now let’s see if we can salvage it.

Dick Gustafson, of Vail, served as an Eagle County commissioner in 1985-93.

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