Terry Jeffrey

President Obama used the first-person singular pronoun "I" 34 times when he announced he was nationalizing General Motors.

He used "Congress" once and "law" not at all.

As Obama described it, the government takeover of General Motors was Obama's decision made for Obama's reasons.

"Just over two months ago, I spoke with you in this same spot about the challenges facing our auto industry, and I laid out what needed to be done to save two of America's storied automakers," said Obama.

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"From the beginning, I made it clear that I would not put any more tax dollars on the line if it meant perpetuating the bad business decisions that had led these companies to seek help in the first place," he said. "I refused to let these companies become permanent wards of the state, kept afloat on an endless supply of taxpayer money. In other words, I refused to kick the can down the road."

To prevent GM from becoming a ward of the state, Obama made it the property of the state.

"I decided then," said the first person in chief, "that if GM and their stakeholders were willing to sacrifice for their companies' survival ... then the United States government would stand behind them."

Here, I, Barack virtually identified himself with the United States government.

He did not say he would ask Congress to enact legislation to provide the executive with the funds needed to purchase 60 percent of GM or with the legal authority to restructure the company and oversee its business plan.

He said: "I decided then ... the United States government would stand behind them."

Remember: In December, Congress specifically declined to enact legislation authorizing the president to bail out the auto industry -- let alone to purchase an auto company. What law now gives Obama authority to buy General Motors? The White House says, when pressed, it is the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that legislation was written specifically to allow the Treasury Department to purchase assets from "financial institutions." It says nothing about buying auto companies.

And if Congress has not enacted a law authorizing the president to take ownership of an auto company, who will say when he must surrender it?

And where does the Constitution say the government can take ownership of an auto company, let alone at the individual initiative of a president who cannot point to a duly enacted law that clearly expresses the deliberated will of the people that he should have that power.


Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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