The Letter vs. The Intent

The United States as well as individual states have thousands and thousands of laws on the books.  In Oklahoma, it is against the law to spit on the sidewalk as well as curse in public.  Those laws are still on the books but not enforced.  Political leaders find it expedient to have laws passed with many loopholes to allow virtually any action to be "lawful" by the government.  We spoke recently about the laws passed to fund the financial bailouts.  In a recent speech I heard by Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, he stated the following:

(Quote) "I think there are going to be two scandals coming out of this process when we get around to all the historians and reporters and people who pay attention because this is now a big enough scandal.  You might even get a book by Bob Woodward about this by the time it’s over.  It’s reached a stage where you might actually have political reporters try and understand financial things.  One of the scandals will be the entire process of political donations and power on Capitol Hill and the degree to which people like Senator Chris Dodd, who was the largest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is also in charge of the committee overseeing them.  And I suspect you may see a serious proposal to adopt a rule that no one who’s a member of a committee can take money from any political action committee or anyone involved in the industries they oversee.  We’re clearly going to have to look deeply because there is something fundamentally sick about watching the way in which the Congress has dealt with this.

The second, though, is Secretary Paulson.  I think it is profoundly troubling that the chief of staff to the president worked for Goldman Sachs, the Secretary of the Treasury worked for Goldman Sachs.  I’m told the person brought in to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was a past chairman of Goldman Sachs.  We learned in the New York Times on Sunday that the only private sector institution that was in the meeting at the New York Federal Reserve to discuss the future of AIG was the chairman of Goldman Sachs, and that Goldman Sachs had a 20 billion dollar interest in AIG and two weeks later the Federal government found 85 billion dollars to bail out AIG.

I received an email this morning from a very, very successful businessman who literally is worth hundreds of million of dollars and is very shrewd, who said, and I can’t prove this yet but we’ll be working on it all day today, if you look at the collapse of Bear Stearns, that it was his understanding that Goldman Sachs had been shorting Bear Stearns and that the head of Morgan said he would have paid more for Bear Stearns and was told by Paulson that he could only pay $2 a share.

Now, no one has slowed down – and here’s what’s happened.  Liberal Democrats have no particular interest in learning any of this because they like bigger government, they want more power in Washington, they believe in bigger spending, so they’re happy.  I mean this administration has given them a greater chance to move towards a socialist America than anything in modern times.  They can’t imagine how good George W. Bush has been for them being able to centralize power in Washington and spend your money.  They got 152 billion dollars in a stimulus package in the spring that didn’t work and would have been far better off being spent on investments to create jobs.  They got 300 billion dollars this summer for a housing bailout that didn’t work.  So they’re already up 450 billion dollars.  If you’re a liberal Democrat, it doesn’t get much better than this.  It’s very hard to imagine that if Obama gets elected how he’ll ever match the Bush administration in increasing federal spending.  And now they have a chance to have 700 billion dollars at the Treasury that they get to spend because they expect to replace President Bush with a Democrat.  They’re thrilled.  Why would they raise any questions?

On the other hand, Republicans are so embarrassed that this is a Republican administration that they have felt timid about telling the truth and raising questions.

But here are things that need to be looked at. Was Goldman Sachs shorting Bear Stearns?  Did Secretary Paulson insist on the lowest possible price deliberately, and if so, why?

Why did he punish those particular shareholders, or was he in fact indirectly rewarding Goldman Sachs?  Was Goldman Sachs, as the New York Times alleges, the only company in the room at the New York Federal Reserve in deciding the fate of AIG?  And by what standard, by what right?

I think this is frankly a level of such appearance of corruption, and I think that Secretary Paulson has shown in every way his complete misunderstanding of the job of Secretary of the Treasury (and I just cite – go back and look at his original proposal to give him personally 700 billion dollars with no accountability, no legislative oversight and no judicial review) that I really think the president would be vastly better off to accept his resignation and allow Bob Kimmitt to be the acting Secretary of the Treasury from now to the end of the administration. " (End quote)

This excerpt exposes some symptoms of the problems associated with the current system.  I submit this not a political issue but a heart issue.  Until the intent of the Law is followed, the letter of the Law will be abused and misused to accommodate the plans of the unrighteous.  "Love thy neighbor" also means to do the right thing and submit to the intent rather than just the "letter".

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