Walter E. Williams

Here's one among thousands of examples: Incandescent light bulbs are far more convenient and less expensive than compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) that General Electric now produces. So how can General Electric sell its costly CFLs? They know that Congress has the power to outlaw incandescent light bulbs. General Electric was the prominent lobbyist for outlawing incandescent light bulbs and in 2008 had a $20 million lobbying budget. Also, it should come as no surprise that General Electric is a contributor to global warmers who help convince Congress that incandescent bulbs were destroying the planet.

The greater Congress' ability to grant favors and take one American's earnings to give to another American, the greater the value of influencing congressional decision-making. There's no better influence than money. The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi covering up for a corrupt Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charles Rangel, said that while his behavior "was a violation of the rules of the House. It was not something that jeopardized our country in any way." Pelosi is right in minimizing Rangel's corruption. It pales in comparison, in terms of harm to our nation, to the legalized corruption that's a part of Washington's daily dealing.

Hopefully, our nation's constitutional reawaking will begin to deliver us from the precipice. There is no constitutional authority for two-thirds to three-quarters of what Congress does. Our constitution's father, James Madison, explained, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined ... (to be) exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce."


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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