Examples could be multiplied with revolting ease. There is one underlying philosophy that unites them all: Fascism.
David Obey. The Appropriations Chairman wants to slash defense spending as a money grab for more social programs and entitlements. Fellow spender Barney Frank recently added that a military budget cut of 25% was about right...
Chuck Schumer. The Senate Democrat and his friends are already threatening banks if they don't lend more money instantly under the Troubled Asset Relief Program...
George Miller. Some Democrats are starting to target the tax subsidies for 401(k)s and other private retirement options. Mr. Miller, who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, calls them "a big failure" and recently held a hearing to ponder alternatives, including nationalizing pensions and replacing them with special bonds administered by Social Security...
Pete Stark. The Chairman of a crucial House subcommittee dealing with health care doesn't think Mr. Obama's proposal to significantly federalize the insurance market goes far enough. He wants a single-payer system like Canada's.
That F-word is one I avoid whenever possible since, in popular discourse, it usually means no more than "I strongly despise that guy (or his position)." Here, I use it in a stricter sense, to describe ideas and a movement similar to those popular in Italy in the 20s-40s. It's a form of statism. However, its distinguishing attribute is — unlike communism — not to nationalize businesses outright but only to control them utterly. In that sense, communism is more honest.
The current Congressional Fascists could never be accused of being honest about their means, but their ends are pretty clear: to control business, utterly. Their rationalizations are equally clear. They hold that private property is only justified to the extent it serves their desired social engineering outcomes. In effect, they act as if the businesses belong not to their owners, but to 'the people'. Mussolini would agree wholeheartedly.
Military doing things you dislike? Restrain them by draining their lifeblood of funds. Health care costs too high? Strap them down with government and apply some good old-fashioned electro-shock therapy. Banks not lending as much or to whom you think they ought? Threaten an even greater Federal takeover than Fascist Paulson, who paved the way (this time).
In every case, they — as has become grotesquely common in American politics — act like they are the CEOs and executive managers not only of a single business but entire economic sectors. In short, they're completely at ease with the principles of Fascism. Unfortunately for freedom lovers, so are most Americans apparently, judging by the people who keep getting re-elected year after year.
Yes, there's nothing new about any of these proposals or the thugs advocating them. These murderous Mrs. Lovetts have been in office for decades, cooking up the same kind of crap pies. But their knives have been newly sharpened and they have several new interns to train. You have to wonder when the American frogs are going to sense that the water is getting dangerously warm.