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ECONOMIC TERROR:

Thinking About Treason

by Fred Cederholm

In law, treason is the crime that covers the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or nation. It embodies the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery. You may disagree feeling treason is too harsh, but I’m not so sure - so please bear with me here.
I’ve been thinking about treason. Actually I’ve been thinking about last week’s $1.505 TRILLION in bailouts, our broken legislative process, solvency versus liquidity, and real patriots like US Congressman Don Manzullo. In law, treason is the crime that covers the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or nation. It embodies the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery. You may disagree feeling treason is too harsh a “buzz” word to use for this column which summarizes the culmination of events from last week. I’m not so sure - so please bear with me here.

You see never before in our nation’s history has a Congress and a President/ Treasury Secretary/ FED Chairman thrown so much money/ liquidity in the futile effort to drown a raging financial fire. The $700 BILLION emergency bailout bill grew to $850 BILLION. By Executive Order... “The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.” The auto industry was to be lent an additional $25 BILLION. And... for good measure, Congress passed a 3.9% pay increase for military and Federally employed civilians. Without quantifying the pay increase, the week’s tally of expenditure authorizations exceeded $1.505 TRILLION! Given the public’s negatives against the bailouts running 85 to 90%+ in opposition, these actions by our elected officials border on being treasonous.

The original three page proposal drafted by Treasury Secretary Paulson swelled to 42 pages in the immediate days after Congress got a hold of it. That version grew to 110 pages and was expanded to roughly 450+ pages which was passed and signed by President Bush on Friday. This pork laden abomination did not come cheap in words or dollars! The original $700 BILLION of the shotgun bailout for our misguided financial system run amok had to be greased by an additional $150 BILLION in pork projects to buy the necessary votes for passage. The 15,000% increase in page verbiage and 21.4% increase in costs (to the taxpayers) is so typical of how our broken Congressional/ legislative system of riders, earmarks, and add-ons is destroying/ bankrupting this nation. Did our elected officials even read, or much less fully understand the long range implications of their actions via this behemoth atrocity?

I have repeatedly said that the crisis facing our nation’s financial systems is one of solvency and not one of liquidity. The core of the problem is that our government, our banking system, and our citizenry are drowning in debt which cannot be repaid. Each (and all) need to focus on paying off, or reducing, the debt(s) they have and not look to more and cheaper debt as any solution. Digging a deeper hole will not make any “light at the end of the tunnel” visible by any stretch of the imagination.

This is an election year and on November 4th the people will elect a new President and Vice President, one/third of the US Senate, and the entire US House of Representatives. All the incumbents can TH*NK about is their re-election. The votes last week were nothing more than to give the lame appearance that “something” was being done by them. They all had hoped (and prayed) that the lid would be kept on these crises and that the bodies would stay swept under the rug until after the election. Such did not occur... and the knee jerk reaction was to burden generations of taxpayers with more debt.

I have never been so proud of my district’s US Congressman Don Manzullo from the Northwest corner of Illinois. He showed wisdom, understanding, patriotism, and conscience by voting NO to BOTH Monday’s $700 BILLION bailout and Friday’s $850 BILLION bailout. I wish the entire nation could have seen his appearance on the local TV stations and heard his words of explanation last week. His rejections of these atrocities were echoed by the other 170 patriots in the House of Representatives who “just said. NO!”

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at asklet@rochelle.net.

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This story was published on October 6, 2008.