Panetta & Rendition
Lt. Gen. Harry Kinnard, RIP

Looters at the gates

The current economic crisis bears considerable resemblance to the global warming crisis. We are told the sky is falling by pointy-headed know-it-alls who couldn't possibly know all about systems so large they defy puny human attempts to model them. And in both cases the solutions proposed could be as dangerous as the crises themselves. The ongoing fiasco here in Washington was created by fools meddling in the housing markets in an altruistic effort to make sure more minorities owned homes. Now these same fools think they can fix their mistake by printing money and shoveling it out the door of the Capitol. I guess they envision the Obama riding his white unicorn dispatching satchels of Hope & Change dollars to deserving souls.

Well I protest! We may actually have a once in a lifetime crisis here, but I am unconvinced that blowing tons of borrowed money and propping up failed industries is the correct answer. Government is a necessary evil and almost always the worst and least effective solution to any problem. We need national defense and..... well, give me a second, we need a national defense and I'm sure  few other things run centrally. But what ever happened to the notion that government should be kept small enough to be drowned in a bathtub if necessary. Our current Parliament of Hoors seems hell bent on unleashing a sea of red ink that may drown us all. Every looter and moocher is cobbling together their mewling request for a slice of the pie or in some cases their own bakery. Some podunk craphole with 179 citizens had the unmitigated gall to ask for $350M. It's enough to make a guy consider going on strike and refusing to carry these baby possums around anymore. You knew where this was going and I never believed it really would, but.....


Atlas Shrugged is a book that should be required reading for every American at about the age of 16. Love it or hate it, you will choose a side in the struggle between socialism and individualism. Who owns the output of your efforts? Who will distribute the wealth you create from the sweat of your own brow? The left cannot stop themselves from the view that greedy Scrooge McDucks are oppressing workers so they can wallow in piles of filthy lucre. They know that if they simply had access to that money, they could make America the paradise they envision. They hate to be reminded that their goal is really from each according to ability, to each according to need, but it is. It somehow never occurs to them to actually generate some wealth to redistribute if that is such a great idea. Nope, they simply look around for success and then lay claim to it in the name of the downtrodden.

Stephen Moore lays out a chilling look at the parallels between those exploiting the current crisis to remake our free systems and the looter-driven destruction detailed in Atlas Shrugged.

In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as "the looters and their laws." Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the "Anti-Greed Act" to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel's promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the "Equalization of Opportunity Act" to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the "Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act," aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn't Hank Paulson think of that?

These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act." Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan." This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion -- in roughly his first 100 days in office.

The current economic strategy is right out of "Atlas Shrugged": The more incompetent you are in business, the more handouts the politicians will bestow on you. That's the justification for the $2 trillion of subsidies doled out already to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses, and auto companies -- while standing next in line for their share of the booty are real-estate developers, the steel industry, chemical companies, airlines, ethanol producers, construction firms and even catfish farmers.

The auto industry in the US bears the most offensive resemblance as the not so Big Three whinge that they are unable to match those dastardly Dog Eat Dog foreign car companies who pay wages commensurate with the work being done. Gettelfinger of the UAW, who sounds exactly like a Rand creation, wails that requiring the unions to live within their means is somehow un-American, that if the evil car companies can't make a profit it's not the fault of his team. They sit idly by as management is unable to fire even the most incompetent losers and the companies are bound by 6,000 pages of work rules. Gettelfinger believes his stranglehold on productivity is an inalienable right to live high on a hog he and his his workers have already slaughtered and eaten.

I now regret supporting John McCain and wholeheartedly back Obama and those on his team who will remind America that wealth and prosperity have to be created. They cannot be co-opted and given to co-ops that consume what others have toiled to construct. The battle between the state and man is back on with a vengeance and I know where my allegiances lie.