From RealClearPolitics: The Lawless State Comes to America by Robert Tracinski.
America's traditional legal system is all about laws and rights and contracts-a fine web of protections for the rights of the individual-and that tends to get in the way of vast schemes for government disposal of our lives and wealth.
So President Obama has decided to throw out that existing legal system and knock down the protections for individual rights.
Our first major warning of this is the deal being forced on Chrysler's "secured creditors." These are institutions that loaned money to Chrysler when it was in trouble; they were willing to take the risk because they were relying on a legal principle which gives them first claim on the company's assets in case of bankruptcy. Thus, in the worst case scenario, they expected to reclaim as much as 80 cents on each dollar of their investment, limiting their losses.
But the Obama administration wants them to accept only 29 cents on the dollar, in the name of "sacrifice." The beneficiary of this sacrifice is the United Auto Workers, a Democratic pressure group which is being shoved to the front of the line and favored above the secured creditors.
How did Obama get these creditors to relinquish their rights? Major banks who have taken TARP money caved in first. When they were dragooned into taking government money last fall, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson swore that the government would not interfere in their operations or dictate their decisions-except, apparently, for dictating how much they lend, how much they pay their executives, how much they accept as a buyout in major bankruptcy cases, and so on.
As for the non-TARP lenders, Obama has publicly singled them out as villains to be punished-and one prominent bankruptcy lawyer says that Obama's minions have been making direct threats to ruin firms who don't accept the sacrifice of their rights. Tom Lauria of White & Case, which represents several of the secured creditors, explains in a radio interview that "One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight."
Venture capitalist Bill Frezza succinctly sums up the meaning of the Chrysler deal: "There's no law to protect the politically unfavored in this country."
While Obama has not sought a real explanation of today’s economic problems, Americans should. Otherwise, we will simply swallow “solutions” that dogmatically assume the free market got us here--namely, Obama’s plans to swamp this country in an ocean of government debt, government controls, and government make-work projects. But alternative, free-market explanations for the crisis do exist--ones that consider the inconvenient facts Washington ignores--and every American should seek to understand them.
Those who do will likely end up telling our leaders to stop saying “Yes, we can” to each new proposal for expanding government power, and start saying “Yes, you can” to Americans who seek to exercise their right to produce and trade on a free market.