What the U.S. Congress did this week is reminiscent of third-world nation politicking. Using the tax code as a political weapon to punish a class of citizens is something we come to expect from Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Argentina’s Christina Kirchner, or the European Union. One would hope that cooler heads will prevail in the Senate, but all indications point to this political farce becoming law as soon as next week.
Beating up on success and free markets makes for good political theatre during tough economic times. For some Democrats and the left wing, there is no better time than the present to advance pro-government, anti-free market poison pills. They have purposely thrown political gasoline on a complex economic problem that is mainly of their making. It was the robbing Peter to pay Paul mindset that put the United States in this economic quandary to begin with, and they know it.
Not once during the AIG hearings this week did the witnesses ever remind Congress or the American people that it was this very Congress and the Obama Administration that approved this de facto nationalization of a large private corporation. The Congress and the Obama Administration did so knowing full well that these so-called golden parachutes were contractual obligations that had to be paid. If the Democrats purposely staged this tax revolt to score political points this week, then our country is really headed in the wrong direction.
In his Essay on Property, James Madison penned that “a just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species.” No better example of this took place this place in Washington, DC. Bills of attainder and attacks on free markets is not the “change” that most people bargained or voted for.
My family left a communist state because it did things such as this. The one question I kept asking myself this week was, throughout this mess, who will fight for free-markets and rule of law? Folks should not be blinded by the political kabuki theatre this week. AIG is a sideshow, a dangerous one at that.