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Entries in ALG (1574)


NRN - Must Reads for July 6, 2010

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson's quote of the day in reference to the Financial Takeover conference bill passing: "House members have voted to not address the real causes of the financial crisis that government was responsible for. Instead, they have created a new, radical regime to seize disfavored financial firms, bail out favored ones, monitor finances, and levy unlimited taxes on the American people, all without any vote in Congress or the opportunity to object in court."



Video: White House Coffee Breaks With Lobbyists

ALG Editor's Note: In the following featured video from Americans for Limited Government's Andrius Vaitekunas, after White House visitor logs exposed Andy Stern of the SEIU as the number 1 visitor of the White House in 2009, White House staff has decided to meet off site at a Caribou Coffee for their lobbyist meetups. Meeting off site keeps meetings with lobbyists off the books. After all, the Obama administration promised to be the most transparent in history.


Obama administration contradictions go on for miles

By Adam Bitely

With all eyes on the Blagojevich trial, some hard truths and contradictions are coming to light. The Obama administration, already jolted by claims of corruption in their involvement in Democrat party primaries, is now facing new questions on Obama's role in Balgojevich's Senate seat pick.

According to a memo released on December 23, 2008 by President-Elect's Counsel-Designate Greg Craig, Obama never took an active role in the Illinois Senate seat appointment. However, sworn testimony from SEIU official Tom Balanoff says otherwise.

According to Balanoff, who received a phone call from Obama on the eve of the 2008 election:

"Tom, i want to talk to you with regard to the Senate seat," Obama told him.
Balanoff said Obama said he had two criteria: someone who was good for the citizens of Illinois and could be elected in 2010.

Obama said he wasn't publicly coming out in support of anyone but he believed Valerie Jarrett would fit the bill.

"I would much prefer she (remain in the White House) but she does want to be Senator and she does meet those two criteria," Balanoff said Obama told him. "I said: 'thank you, I'm going to reach out to Gov. Blagojevich."

Clearly someone isn't telling the truth. And with the pattern of events around the Sestak and Romanoff scandal, it would appear to be the White House.


Further, in the wake of the Sestak and Romanoff scandals, we now know that this White House plays in every election it can get its hands on. And, when asked of their involvement, they stonewall. Robert Gibbs has gotten pretty good at avoiding the tough questions of the Administrations roles in these elections, amongst other things.

But here is what we all know. Blagojevich was attempting to sell the seat in Illinois. We know that Obama has denied having any role in the future of his former seat. And we now know that Obama may have been lying about his uninvolvement. After all, what does Tom Balanoff have to gain by lying under oath about a phone call from Obama?

While it is important that people remain innocent until proven guilty, an Administration that is stonewalling on important questions that require serious answers does nothing but give off the appearance of guilt. It would behoove Obama and his staff to come clean and prove his role in the Blagojevich affair. After all, if Obama wants the trust of the nation, he should be up front with his actions.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of


Erin Go Bragh – Ireland Inspires Europe with Budget Cuts as NYT Plugs Obama, Decrys "Austerity"

By Kevin Mooney

Ireland's "Celtic Tiger" economy, the envy of Europe throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st Century, has slowed dramatically and The New York Times recommends stimulus spending to grease the engines. The Irish Prime Minister is quoted offering a sober, straightforward assessment of the economic climate that sharply contrasts with Keynesian thinking that maintains favor in the liberal media.

"The facts are that there is no easy way to cut deficits," Prime Minister Brian Cowen is quoted as saying. "Those who claim there's an easier way or a soft operation – that's not the real world." But where the prime minister sees a need for budget cutting, The Times sees an opportunity for greater government intervention and higher levels of spending. The other European nations to their great credit are lining up behind Ireland and in opposition against so-called "stimulus" strategies.

"Other European nations, including Britain and Germany are following Ireland's lead, arguing that the only way to restore growth is to convince investors and their own people that government borrowing will shrink," the report says. "The Group of 20 leaders set that in writing this weekend, vowing to make deficit reduction the top priority despite warnings from President Obama that too much austerity could choke a global recovery and warnings from a few economists about the possibility of much sharper 1930s style downturn."

The European rebuke of Obama is of particular importance. While U.S. Administration falls back on Keynesian polices with a checkered historical past, the European Union appears more inclined to revive its private sector. The Times makes every effort to discourage any movements away from further government intervention.

The headline that runs on the jump page is particularly instructive.

"As Europe Looks to Cut Deficits, Ireland Shows the Cost of Austerity."

Not too subtle.

Europe should eschew government budget cuts so as avoid the economic pain that follows from belt tightening – that's the central message in this front page piece. Here The Times joins forces with the Obama Administration to cajole and pressure Europe into Keynesian practices that are a proven failure.

As Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has observed, Obama has positioned himself on the outside of rationale thought and mainstream economic thinking.

"Unfortunately, Obama is apparently the only leader on Earth who doesn't think there is an overspending problem with government," Wilson said. "Despite a $13 trillion national debt at home, he urged world leaders to ratchet up the deficit-spending — only to find that the world has gone chilly on the idea of "stimulus" in the wake of the debt crisis."

Instead of offering readers tangible facts to substantiate its stance in favor of big government, The Times falls back on anecdotes.

"In the impoverished Ballymun neighborhood, developers began razing slums to make way for new low-income housing," the report says. "Halfway through the project, the financing dried up, leaving some residents to languish in graffiti-covered concrete skeletons. `Welcome to Hell,' read one of the tamest messages."

To be sure, Ireland has cycled back into tough economic times that are not unfamiliar in its long history. But it is well positioned to lead Europe away from Obama and back in the direction of restrained government. Fortunately, Ireland has a receptive audience as ALG's Wilson has noted.

"While the rest of the world is taking on the grave and growing problem of unsustainable sovereign debt, Obama calls for more spending," he said. "He has asked Congress for another $47 billion to balance state budgets this year, including $23 billion to bail out unsustainable public school spending."

Deficit spending is going out of style much to the chagrin of the liberal news media.


ALG Condemns House for Approving "Government Takeover of Financial Sector" Conference Bill 

"Members who voted for the Dodd-Frank financial takeover have signed off on an unlimited bailout-takeover authority, unconstrained bank taxes, financial  privacy violations, and have ignored the root, government causes of the financial crisis.  They must be held accountable."—ALG President Bill Wilson.

July 1st, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today condemned the House of Representatives for approving Dodd-Frank conference legislation "that will institutionalize government bailouts and takeovers for all time."

"House members have voted to not address the real causes of the financial crisis that government was responsible for," Wilson said.  "Instead, they have created a new, radical regime to seize disfavored financial firms, bail out favored ones, monitor finances, and levy unlimited taxes on the American people, all without any vote in Congress or the opportunity to object in court," Wilson said.

Wilson warned that "bailouts and takeovers under the so-called 'orderly liquidation fund' will never end, and the American people have 237 members of the House to thank."

The final vote in House was 237 to 192

The "orderly liquidation fund" would be financed by "risk-based" assessments levied by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on institutions totaling $50 billion or more in assets, proceeds from securities issued by the FDIC of seized firms, interest and other earnings from investments owned by the fund, and "repayments to the Corporation by covered financial companies."

According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of a similar bank tax proposal by the Obama Administration, "the ultimate cost of a tax or fee is not necessarily borne by the entity that writes the check to the government. The cost of the proposed fee would ultimately be borne to varying degrees by an institution's customers, employees, and investors, but the precise incidence among those groups is uncertain."

Wilson noted that the bill still includes a controversial Office of Financial Research that empowers the office, according to the legislation, to "collect, validate, and maintain all data necessary" to maintain financial stability "obtained from member agencies, commercial data providers, publicly available data sources, and financial entities."

"Members voted to create the Office of Financial Research, which will have the ability to know about every transaction in the country it deems it necessary for the sake of financial stability.  That's the power to monitor everyone's finances, if it wants," Wilson said.

According to the bill, the OFR would "require the submission of periodic and other reports from any financial company for the purpose of assessing the extent to which a financial activity or financial market in which the financial company participates, or the financial company itself, poses a threat to the financial stability of the United States."

The legislation also outlines that the Director of the OFR would be given subpoena power to require "the production of the data requested … upon a written finding by the Director that such data is required" to maintain financial stability.

Wilson also condemned the Dodd-Frank conference bill for what he said was "its inherent failure to address the root, government causes of the crisis.  For example, the bill does not audit the Federal Reserve, whose easy money, low interest lending policies fueled the housing bubble," citing research by Stanford economic professor John Taylor stating that "the Fed's target for the federal-funds interest rate was well below what the Taylor rule would call for in 2002-2005. By this measure the interest rate was too low for too long, reducing borrowing costs and accelerating the housing boom."

Wilson also cited research by former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, Ed Pinto, demonstrating that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weakened mortgage underwriting standards and mislabeled high-risk mortgage-backed securities, defrauding investors; that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lowered down payments on mortgages; and that the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Reinvestment Act regulations and "affordable housing goals" reduced lending standards and forced banks to give loans to lower-income Americans that could not be repaid.  "None of these root causes are addressed, either," Wilson said.

"The Dodd-Frank bill even prohibits the liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the 'orderly liquidation' authority, a provision that was only added in conference," Wilson noted.

Wilson concluded, "Members who voted for the Dodd-Frank financial takeover have signed off on an unlimited bailout-takeover authority, unconstrained bank taxes, financial privacy violations, and have ignored the root, government causes of the financial crisis.  They must be held accountable."


"'Down a Rabbit Hole:' The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to the Private Sector," Updated June 28th, 2010, Americans for Limited Government.

"Big Brother is Watching You: The Threat Posed by the Dodd Bill to Privacy," Updated June 28th, 2010.

Letter to the U.S. Senate, ALG President Bill Wilson, April 26th, 2010.