Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On the Road to Serfdom: CNN Suggests Obama Should Bypass Congress on Economy, Rule by Executive Fiat

Incredible. This is something no American should approve of regardless of political affiliation. The people that ask for Obama to circumvent Congress are asking for a dictator, not a President! The sad thing is - they are too ignorant to know this.

I truly believe America is in serious decline and will undoubtedly implode due to our present condition. It is not hard to understand the reason why. - Reggie

Yesterday CNN asked its viewers whether President Barack Obama should bypass Congress to enact his economic policies, using–and expanding–his executive powers to control vast swathes of our economic life.

Adopting Obama’s premise that our economic woes are all the fault of Republicans on Capitol Hill, agreeing with his view that more government intervention is necessary, and accepting his assurance that his new mortgage and student loan plans will actually work, CNN’s Carol Costello all but urged viewers to applaud Obama’s rule by decree:

What is clear? Unless Congress acts in a big way, the economy will continue to suffer. And Congress does not appear likely to do that. So President Obama is moving forward on his own. Monday, the home mortgage plan. Tomorrow a plan to help with student loans. The President’s intent: to show Americans he’s doing something, and of course to shame Congress into acting.

So the Talk Back question for you today: should the president bypass Congress if he thinks it will help the economy?

Note that Costello did not just ask viewers about specific policies that may or may not already be within Obama’s executive jurisdiction. She presented the general conclusion that the president should bypass Congress to “help” [sic] the economy–in the form of a question, to be sure, but with the answer already a foregone conclusion.

Predictably, three out of the four responses Costello later read supported the idea that Obama “should take whatever executive actions he can to get things happening for America,” that Obama should have “done this YEARS ago,” and that Obama “should definitely bypass Congress.”

Executive fiat is preferable, CNN has now suggested, to democratic deliberations that might limit the government’s or the president’s power over the economy. And it expects citizens to be able to “talk back” in such circumstances.

That is the dangerous fallacy that F.A. Hayek warned about in The Road to Serfdom (1944)–namely, the idea that we can increase the power of a central economic authority without losing our cherished political freedom.

In fact, Hayek warns, economic dictatorship leads directly to political dictatorship, whatever good intentions the advocates of central planning may have:

Note: There are two MRC TV videos with this story but I did not embed them because of the trouble I am having with MRC TV videos. When you click to read the rest of the story, you can watch the videos.
- Reggie

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