Jun 7, 2009

GM takeover: Obama’s decision for Obama’s reasons

There is an op-ed article at the link below titled, I, Barack Obama reporting on the GM takeover speech by the “first person in chief.”

Last Monday Obama used the first-person singular pronoun "I" 34 times when he announced he was nationalizing General Motors.

He used “Congress” once and “law” not at all.

As Obama described it, the government takeover of General Motors was Obama’s decision made for Obama’s reasons.

To prevent GM from becoming a ward of the state, Obama made it the property of the state.

Obama did not say he would ask Congress to enact legislation to provide the funds needed to purchase 60 percent of GM or with the legal authority to restructure the company and oversee its business plan.

He said: “I decided then ... the United States government would stand behind them.”

Remember: In December, Congress specifically declined to enact legislation authorizing the president to bail out the auto industry--let alone to purchase an auto company. What law now gives Obama authority to buy General Motors?

The White House says, when pressed, it is the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that legislation was written specifically to allow the Treasury Department to purchase assets from “financial institutions.” It says nothing about buying auto companies.

The article points out that the Constitution does not say the government can take ownership of an auto company, let alone at the individual initiative of a president who cannot point to a duly enacted law that clearly expresses the deliberated will of the people that he should have that power.

Mr. Obama appears to be taking over decisions that should be deliberated and acted upon by elected lawmakers.