"Blink and you might miss it," is how the saying goes. People use variations of this saying for all types of reasons. For travelers: "That town is so small, if you blink, you'll miss it." Empty nesters: "Childhood goes so fast, if you blink, you'll miss it."
Friendly Neighborhood Republican: "Freedom and liberty were changed before our eyes, but America blinked."
And we missed it, or so it seems. Missed what? The beginning of the end to our liberty. The blatant actions of a tyrannical government. The consequences of a government run amok with power.
While America was busily distracted by Arizona immigration law, President Obama signed into law one of the most frightening pieces of legislation I've ever seen. And we blinked.
It's time, America, to open our eyes to what is really happening here. Conservatives, Tea Party Members, Libertarians and other freedom-loving Americans have been concerned about the rise of socialism in America since Barack Obama was elected president.
What is contained in the new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law makes socialism seem like a beach party.
Obama called the "reforms" contained in the bill "the strongest consumer protections in history," after signing the bill in the Ronald Regan Building (a slap in the face to Regan-loving conservatives).
Obama added that the recent recession was caused by a breakdown in the financial system that cannot be allowed to happen again. "I proposed a set of reforms to empower consumers and investors, to bring the shadowy deals that caused this crisis into the light of day, and to put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all," Obama said. "Today, thanks to a lot of people in this room, those reforms will become the law of the land."
There is such irony in those words. The people in the room included senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who created the law. Barney Frank's fabulous Fannie/Freddie debacle is blamed by many for the bulk of our current financial woes. It strikes me funny, in a very creepy way, to credit him for creating a law that Obama says will bring "shadowy deals that caused this crisis into the light of day...," when those shadowy deals were created by Barney Frank in the first place. And isn't it convenient that in the new law, Fannie and Freddie are exempt from any scrutiny. Hmmmm...
So America prattles on about Arizona immigration laws, amnesty, and the Mosque at Ground Zero. These are important issues, but they are a distraction from the real monster lurking around the corner.
Buried in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law are some little "gems" that should be of interest to all freedom-loving Americans. Let's talk about a few of the ones contained in this new law, which some have called the most sweeping piece of financial legislation since the Great Depression.
First, at the last minute, in the middle of the night, Congress added to the bill a $19 billion tax on the most successful financial institutions to pay for the implementation of the new regulatory powers contained in the law.
The tax can hit any financial firm with more than $50 billion in assets (excluding banks that have deposit insurance, and Fannie and Freddie or any government-sponsored enterprise) and hedge funds that manage more than $10 billion.
This will take $19 billion out of financial firms that supply capital to growing companies, and it will punish the firms attracting the most capital because of their above-average performance. Who suffers here? The growing companies, of course.
Typical liberalism here: let's punish the successful to pay for our whims, without thinking it through enough to realize that by punishing the successful, we're really punishing the little guy that relies on the big, successful firm to survive. When will these people get it?
Secondly, hidden in the bill are job-killing, employer-crippling diversity mandates. Former chief economist at the Department of Labor, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, explains it well in this article she wrote for the Washington Examiner. In a nutshell, government agencies that deal in finance will be required to prove they meet standards for race, gender and ethnic diversity. Not only the government agencies, but private-sector contractors who work with them. This requires the creation of more than 20 Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion in key government agencies. This is considered by many to be unconstitutional and in direct opposition to the 14th Amendment's equal protection policy.
But with an administration whose motto seems to be: "Constitution, Schmonstitution," the unconstitutional status of the bill certainly wasn't a problem for Obama, who happily signed this 2,319 page monstrosity into law.
The third gem hidden in the law is the power given to unions and activist organizations to install their representatives on the boards of directors of every major American corporation.
"This legislation includes provisions totally unrelated to the financial crisis which may disrupt Americas fragile economic recovery" said John J. Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable.
Gem number four hidden in the gigantic law is that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will no longer be compelled to present documents or records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The FOIA, enacted in 1966, was intended to give the public access to government records. The FOIA gave power to the people of the United States by allowing them to ask for, and receive government records, with only nine exemptions. Disallowing the FOIA to have access to SEC records is a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to hide information from the American people. One wonders what they are cooking up that the SEC will need to hide.
At least this portion of the law has caused enough of an uproar that several bi-partisan bills have been created to amend it.
One can only hope they are successful in their quest for true transparency, a term this administration throws about freely, but clearly doesn't understand--or doesn't care--about its real meaning.
These are only some of the items included in this law that should be of interest to all Americans. Our freedoms are being chipped away, new regulations threaten to cripple America's financial industry, and $19 billion in taxes are hidden in a law happily signed by the president.
It's fascinating how much damage can be done in the blink of an eye.