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Signs Amid the Rubble

1 June 2009

An excerpt from George Will’s latest column is reason for hope that the States will stand their ground – the redder ones, at least – against accelerating encroachments by the Obama government:

State governments, too, are expected to accept Washington’s whims, but plucky Indiana is being obdurate. Gov. Mitch Daniels, alarmed by what he calls the Obama administration’s “shock-and-awe statism,” is supporting state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s objection to the administration’s treatment of Chrysler’s creditors, which include the pension funds for Indiana’s retired teachers and state police officers and a state construction fund. Together they own $42.5 million of Chrysler’s $6.9 billion (supposedly) secured debt.

Compliant, because dependent, banks bowed to the administration’s demand that they accept less than settled bankruptcy law would have given them as secured creditors. Next, the president denounced as “speculators” remaining secured creditors, who then folded and accepted less on the dollar than an unsecured creditor — the United Auto Workers union — is getting. This raw taking of property from secured investors penalized those “speculators” — retired Indiana teachers and state police officers who, Mourdock says, are being “ripped off by the federal government.”

He is asking a court to declare that the Obama administration’s actions have violated “more than 100 years of established law by redefining ‘secured creditors’ to mean something less” and that the actions violate the Fifth Amendment protection against the seizure of private property. Furthermore, he says, the government is guilty of “misuse” of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, which gives the Treasury authority only to aid financial institutions, not industrial companies.

The setting aside of private contracts by government is, in a word, statist.  Shamelessly, Obama is assaulting the Constitution of the United States.  And it will not stop until persons of stout character and steel spine follow through on these kinds of legal actions and pursue them to the end, which just may be the Supreme Court because of the magnitude of the constitutional issues at stake.


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