Thomas Sowell

The Constitution of the United States set out to limit the powers of the federal government but judges have greatly eroded those limitations over the years and the dispensing of bailout money has allowed the Obama administration to exercise powers that the Constitution never gave them.

Edmund Burke understood that, no matter what form of government you had, in the end the character of those who wielded the powers of government was crucial. He said: "Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state."

He also said, "of all things, we ought to be the most concerned who and what sort of men they are that hold the trust of everything that is dear to us." He feared particularly the kind of man "whose whole importance has begun with his office, and is sure to end with it"-- the kind of man "who before he comes into power has no friends, or who coming into power is obliged to desert his friends." Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and others came to mind.

The biggest challenge to America -- and to the world -- today is the danger of Iran with nuclear weapons. President Obama is acting as if this is something he can finesse with talks or deals. Worse yet, he may think it is something we can live with.

Burke had something to say about things like that as well: "There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief." Acting -- not talking.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate