Monday, December 22, 2008

Detroit's early Christmas

The most remarkable and in fact rather alarming aspect of the $17.4 billion bailout the Bush administration decided to give to the auto industry (though not to Ford, at least not now) is the utterly arbitrary way the Bushlet decided to do it. The $700 billion was supposed to be to buy toxic securities, then to inject money into banks (apparently with no accountability) and for no other industry. Then Congress declined to bail out the Three. So Bush just did it on his own. Such power is more than almost any absolute monarch ever had -- and on a far grander scale, since the U.S. was free enough long enough to build a far larger economy than any past monarchy could dream of.

That was the emphasis of the Register's editorial on the subject. George Will made note of the phenomenon also, suggesting that Congress is becoming more or less obsolete in the era of the Imperial Presidency.

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