In a move that should surprise no one, the Obama Administration is floating a scheme that would make the federal government’s power over the nation’s banks stronger and more permanent. The Administration says it can stretch what’s left of the $700 Billion in bail-out money by converting existing loans to common stock. Such a move would give the federal government voting power in the banks, and make it the largest shareholder in some of them. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 300 points in the wake of the announcement.
This is, of course, terrifying. This is the same government that brought us the Post Office, the Social Security system, and the Community Reinvestment Act. Tightening its grip on banks, giving it voting power, would only permeate the financial system further with its unique blend of incompetence and unaccountability.
But there is an encouraging facet to the Administration’s power grab du jour. It’s driven, at least in part, by the fact that the Democrat-controlled Congress can’t muster enough votes to throw more of the taxpayers’ money down the morally hazardous rat-hole of bank bail-outs. Granted, the Administration is responding in the never-waste-a-crisis way that typifies its opportunistic quest for more power. That’s to be expected. Our wanna-be overlords are scared of the mushrooming populist sentiment against their paternalism, but they’re not going to restore economic freedom without a fight. They’re going to keep trying to find ways to expand their power, while pretending to bend to the will of the people.
And we’re not going to let them get away with it. The fight against 21st-century tyranny is not over, but it has begun.