August 05, 2010

The Edict-Makers

My inbox has been flooded with a stream of disturbing information overnight and this morning... and sadly, there seems to be a common theme.

The DNC Stimulus
James Pethokoukis warns of of a possible "August surprise" from President Obama. There are hints that the President may leverage the Bush-era HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) to forgive some mortgage debt for the millions of Americans that are upside down a total of $800 billion. The bailout would amount to a backdoor stimulus package, sidestepping bi-partisan opposition in the Senate to increasing the debt. The reason for the backdoor bailout? Utterly cynical.

The nascent recovery is already running out of steam. Wall Street economists just downgraded the government’s second-quarter GDP estimate of 2.4 percent to around 1.7 percent. And as even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is warning, the unemployment rate may well begin to rise back toward the politically toxic 10 percent level given such sluggish growth. Many in the White House thought the unemployment rate would be dropping sharply by this point in the recovery.

But that is not happening. What is happening is that the president's approval ratings are continuing to erode, as are Democratic election polls. Democrats are in real danger of losing the House and almost losing the Senate. The mortgage Hail Mary would be a last-gasp effort to prevent this from happening and to save the Obama agenda. The political calculation is that the number of grateful Americans would be greater than those offended that they — and their children and their grandchildren — would be paying for someone else's mortgage woes.

The purpose of the possible debt-increasing backdoor stimulus is to pay-off millions of banking industry donations to the Democratic Party, while hoping to limit the damage to Democrats in November.

It does nothing to help revive the economy.

Backdoor Amnesty
Keeping up the theme of ruling class abuse originating in the Oval Office is a warning that the White House may attempt to use "administrative alternatives" to bypass Congressional opposition and create a stealth amnesty for criminal aliens:

Addressed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas and tellingly entitled "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform," the 11-page memo proposes a nonlegislative amnesty that uses executive orders and other legally questionable methods as the basis to circumvent congressional intent.

"It is theoretically possible to grant deferred action (i.e. non enforcement) to an unrestricted number of unlawfully present individuals," the memo cheerfully points out. Its four authors include USCIS Chief Counsel Roxana Bacon and chief of policy and strategy Denise Vanison, two former immigration attorneys who in effect are urging a modern version of the antebellum Sen. John C. Calhoun's nullification theory.

You'll note that we're finding out about these attempts to subvert the rule of law and will of the people from the conservative media... not Congress, nor their allies in the MSM. Both of these schemes usurp Congressional power for a corrupt and abusive executive branch, but as they serve the will of the would-be ruling class as a whole, congressional leaders are silent.

They aren't going to stick their necks out and risk the wrath of the people if they can feign ignorance or blame the President for doing what they want.

A Widening Gulf
Fittingly, Mark Tapscott rounds out today's discoveries with an editorial pointing out the obvious and growing gulf between the political class of would-be rulers and the majority of Americans:

Big majorities of Mainstream America also think the Political Class couldn't care less about what regular folks think, and most mainstreamers are embarrassed by the behavior of the Political Class. Mainstream Americans think cutting government spending and reducing deficits are good for the economy, Political Class members think doing that will harm the economy.

That the gulf between these two Americas is growing wider is seen most disturbingly in Rasmussen's finding that less than a quarter of Mainstream America now believe the government has the consent of the governed. Washington has a profound credibility crisis.

That Rasmussen's results are far from unique or isolated is seen in the Gallup Poll's most recent finding that only 11 percent of those surveyed have confidence in Congress and only a third have confidence in the presidency.

So how do we explain these two Americas? Rasmussen says his data shows that "the American people don't want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. The American people want to govern themselves."

Americans are increasingly disenchanted with corrupt politicians, elitist media, and disconnected academics, precisely at a moment in history when these would-be rulers have chosen to become more overt in both their quest for power and their contempt of our culture, history, and laws.

A collision course seems imminent.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 5, 2010 09:54 AM

Wouldn't an increase in the debt require more government expenditures? Aren't those expenditures supposed to come from an appropriation by Congress?

Article 1, Section 9 [7]: No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

If the money came from a slush fund from an earlier appropriation, such as TARP (i.e Obama's stash), then it shouldn't raise the deficit, should it?

Posted by: SouthernRoots at August 5, 2010 11:16 AM

Has this administration realized what a buyout will doe to home equity? Forgiving $100k morgtage principle on a a significant number of homes purchased at $300k immediately makes all homes in that market lose $100k of value. Now, how many people pulled out that equity in the form of a second morgtage? All those loans are immediately underwater. The screaming will be deafining three months after this takes effect.

Posted by: garrettc at August 5, 2010 11:40 AM

Southern roots,
As I remember, the TARP was for $300 billion and carried specfic designations.

If the money is not spent, or has been paid back but is still in a holding account, then it would depend on how it is carried on the books as to if it would be part of the debt. I am sure its designation on the books is of an assest and not a debit.

Regardless, this guy has no desire to see the US strong and with a good economy. Everything he does is to obtain political power rather than to help us.

Time for a change. Past time.

Posted by: David at August 5, 2010 12:15 PM

Right, Obama has no desire to see us with a strong economy.

SRSLY? I mean really, are you serious?

Wouldn't a strong economy help him get re-elected? you guys are so overboard with your rhetoric that you're way past logic.

That's number one.

Second point: how can money that's already been appropriated increase the debt? All this appears to be is a reallocation of funds.

There are plenty of things to fault Obama for. The ones you guys are coming up with lately are laughable.

In Bob's seditious post about the coming revolution, he complains that Tea Party protests are met with mockery. No kidding. How can educated people NOT laugh at this stuff? Dislike his policies and we can talk... but this nonsense about wanting to tank the economy doesn't pass the smell test.

Posted by: Bob at August 5, 2010 02:19 PM

The purpose of the possible debt-increasing backdoor stimulus is to pay-off millions of banking industry donations to the Democratic Party

The banking industry already received over three trillion via the front door, with the aid of the Republican Party.

Posted by: flenser at August 5, 2010 02:53 PM

Either Obama is trying to tank the economy or he is one of one stupid guy (and his advisors). I live in Louisiana and it is clear the guy is trying his best to ruin our state. As to the Tea Party, I know many of the people associated with it and all are fairly intelligent with many having grad degrees. Perhaps if you listen to what they say you will understand that they are people that have had enough of both parties. Obama has done nothing on getting into office that would assist the economy and mostly he has put road blocks to employment and progress. How stupid can you be to enact a hugh health care measure in a depression? You would have to be nuts to hire someone with that over your head.

The banks have a bad rap. The major banks BAC, WFC have all held to stop the total elimination of the monetary system. They did much of this at the instigation of the government and not thinking about the shareholders. In fact, the whole financial mess is the government fault with their pushing for loans that were not backed or checked. So support the banks and not the government.

Posted by: David at August 5, 2010 04:10 PM

They did much of this at the instigation of the government

Balls. The financial sector owned the government officials who were supposedly "regulating" them. Chris Dodd, for example, never so much as blinked without AIG approval.

It's always a mystery to me why the tough-on-crime right makes an exception for criminals who are filthy rich. There's nothing in conservatism which says we have to bow down and worship people who happen to have a lot of money. Especially when they got their lot of money by bribing politicians.

Posted by: flenser at August 5, 2010 04:35 PM


@ flenser

"t's always a mystery to me why the tough-on-crime right makes an exception for criminals who are filthy rich. There's nothing in conservatism which says we have to bow down and worship people who happen to have a lot of money. Especially when they got their lot of money by bribing politicians."

You'd have a better argument if Obama, a Democrat, wasn't President and Eric Holder, a Democrat, wasn't in charge of the DoJ.

Unfortunately your complaining about conservatives while progressive Democrats control the entirety of Congress and the federal government makes you look like a complete and utter tool.

here's a tissue, wipe that stupid look off your face.

Posted by: memomachine at August 5, 2010 08:31 PM

Oh, and flenser, ALL of our most bloated examples of government waste come from programs started or expanded by Democratic / Liberal controlled Congresses. "The right" has NEVER had control of the Congress, not with RINOS like McCain, Graham, the Maine Twins, etc. to give the Copperheads "bipartisan" cover. This election and 2012 just might give us enough actual conservatives to do something about it.

Posted by: SDN at August 8, 2010 07:11 AM

Flenser -

So it is big business' fault that Chris Dodd didn't take his oath of office seriously? That's funny; I thought it was up to the politician to have morals. All that big business "owning" wouldn't be worth a damn if Mr. Dodd had just said "No", instead of taking a favorable mortgage. Maybe he still would be fighting for his senate seat too.

Posted by: Mikey J at August 11, 2010 11:13 AM