Home Sanford D. Horn | Founding Fathers spinning in their graves

Sanford D. Horn | Founding Fathers spinning in their graves


Those gurgling, choking and gasping sounds followed by a loud thud you hear are James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason and John Adams collectively coming back to life then dropping dead all over again as they no longer recognize the out-of-control government that once knew its place in American society.

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to use my tax dollars and yours to prop up businesses that should either declare bankruptcy and go through reorganization or simply dissolve and fade into that good night?

None of the bailouts authorized by both the current and previous administrations should have been approved by Congress. Not for the auto industry, the banks or the insurance industry. Sweden announced last week that is would not rescue auto mainstay Saab, yet the United States is dumping good money into troubled auto manufacturers. Sweden, Socialist for years, but now being led by a more conservative government, had its Minister of Enterprise quip “this is not a game of Monopoly.” This government should take a lesson from that simple philosophy and tell the troubled businesses not to pass “Go” or collect $200 billion.

Failure leads to success. Without a safety net, how many inventors struck out before striking gold? Think of the numerous failures by Thomas Edison and his creative brethren. Without failure, people do not have the drive to try again and succeed. If people are not buying cars made by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, then it is time to go back to the drawing board instead of demanding the government artificially prop them up.

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to fire a corporate CEO and require one American company to merge with another company – and a foreign one to boot?

Going under the premise that the bailouts are wrong in the first place, the government is wrong to force former GM CEO Rick Wagoner to resign. That is what stockholders and a board of directors are for. That’s free enterprise. The government is just as wrong for forcing a merger of Chrysler with Fiat – an Italian auto maker. (I have nothing against Fiat – my father drove one in the ‘70s.)

Where is it written in the Constitution that the government has the right to thrust my tax dollars and yours on states that just say no?

When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) shunned the government stimulus money; that should have been the end of the discussion. But instead, the federal government seemed to have forgotten about a little thing called the 10th Amendment.

Here’s one that really grills my onions. How did the government get so arrogant that it can shun its job of actually reading the legislation it is entrusted with reading, understanding and upon which it must then vote? Compounding their own irresponsibility, Congress then gets even more stupid by forgetting the Constitution once again by attempting to tax their way out of the original mistake.

First Congress, the Democrats, grants a monster bailout of AIG to the tune of roughly $170 billion. Then, after not reading the bill they voted to approve, Congress discovers they granted bonuses to AIG to the tune of about $160 million. Sheepishly, Congress attempted to right their own wrongs by declaring a 90 percent tax on the AIG bonuses. Once again, members of Congress, mostly attorneys, seemed to have forgotten their contract law classes. Legislation passed is a contract and the bonuses, however unsavory, need to be honored. Conduct your due diligence, Congress. Read first, then vote – avoid the embarrassment and the faux indignation that follows.

The Obama administration’s interference with and in the corporate world is its attempt to derail capitalism and the freedom of business to succeed and, yes, fail, on its own. News blast, you arrogant, sycophantic Congress: just because Obama wants to charge down the slippery slope from capitalism to socialism like a bull in a china shop does not mean you need to let go of the reins. When it comes to things economic in nature, and we learned this in grade school civics, money bills begin in the House – of Representatives, that is, and not the White House.

There is plenty of blame to go around. President George W. Bush certainly got this ball rolling toward hell with the first round of stimulus last September, all but helping to seal Sen. John McCain’s fate in November. But that does not mean that Congress must placate Obama and his grand quest to redistribute wealth by sinking this once solvent nation into a debt from which my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be digging out like a Montana blizzard.

Couple the arrogance and stupidity with lies and misplaced disingenuous anger. Should Congress want to lay blame somewhere, all they need do is look inward. Sadly, we the people must also take credit for some of the blame as well, for it was we the people who put these irresponsible pinheads back in office. We have the government we deserve. This falls into the category of we get what we pay for. Incumbents, with their name recognition and fat-cat lobbyist contributors take the average voter for granted knowing that theirs is the name the voters will remember on Election Day. Greater than 95 percent of incumbents get reelected, most of whom do so without so much as breaking a sweat.

Let us be forewarned by the words of yet another Founding Father: “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness,” wrote George Washington in 1753.

Clearly the words of Washington were to warn the people not to let down their guard for it is the assault from within our borders we must be mindful of – or to quote the King of Crass and the one-fingered salute, Rahm Emanuel, “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” This is not to praise the partisan’s partisan, but to serve as a warning that this is the kind of down in the mud street fight one gets with this administration. Kick the nation while it’s down. While the nation is watching its collective 401k turn into a 201k and struggling to put food on the table, more and more of our rights are being eroded and more and more of the former capitalistic society in which we once freely lived is decaying from the inside.

The government does not owe anyone a living or a job. The government does not owe anyone a home or an automobile. The government does not owe anyone an education or health care either. What the government owes its citizenry is the opportunity to earn those desires; and that opportunity comes in the form of protecting our borders with as strong a military as possible and using as few of our tax dollars as possible for the construction and maintenance of our roads, bridges, tunnels as well as the internal protection of the citizens from the criminal element along with taking care of those citizens who are mentally and physically incapable of caring for themselves. That’s it.

The people know better how to spend their money then the government. More and more liberties are taken by elected officials of all stripes, which in turn diminish the liberties granted the citizenry by the Constitution.

“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom,” said President Calvin Coolidge in his March 4, 1925 inaugural address. He may have been nicknamed “Silent Cal,” but his few words certainly packed a wallop.

The overwhelming majority of Congress needs a refresher course in the Constitution. Considering that most of them are attorneys by trade, they seem to have forgotten most of what they supposedly learned in Con-Law, and it’s not that long a document. People like Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) should be removed from Congress for their repeated lies. There are, no doubt, many others who should follow them out the doors of the hallowed halls as well.

The body politic continues to behave in an arrogant, irresponsible manner with no regard for the citizenry or anything else for that matter, save for their own reelection. It’s high time the voters wake up, and take notice that their own member may be part of the problem. It continues to astound when surveyed, the majority of folks say they like their individual member, but have no use for the institution as a whole. I am just the opposite. The institution as a whole can be salvaged if we dump the individual members – in my case, let’s start with my representative – Jim Moran (D-VA-8) who has voted in lock step in favor of every bad bill to come down the pike.


Column by Sanford D. Horn



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.