Has the federal government exceeded, or is it on the verge of exceeding its constitutional authority with the recent series of events connected to rescuing an ailing banking system?
Although Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was ridiculed for raising that question in a congressional hearing on March 24, conservative talk show host, constitutional lawyer and legal commentator Mark Levin, told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on March 24 that government was indeed exceeding the constitution. According to Levin, there is nothing in the Constitution that would allow the Obama administration to expand the government's ability to seize non-banking financial institutions as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has proposed.
"It's unbelievable," Levin said. "There is no constitutional authority for this. I thought the American people like capitalism. I mean look, we luxuriated in this society as a result of the market system."
Levin, former chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese currently has the bestselling book on Amazon.com, "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto." He remarked the public was expected to put their trust in a Treasury head that has made some questionable decisions about his own personal finances.
"Now we have a guy that couldn't remember to pay his social security taxes, couldn't remember to pay his Medicare taxes, even though he was subsidized to pay them, told to pay them," Levin said. "He's smarter than everybody else in all these industries, and now we have another czar."
The appointing of czars, he said, has been a trend according to that doesn't comply with the powers set forth in the founding document,
"We have an administration full of czars, full of people who don't comply with the constitution. The question today is, ‘What is your authority, Mr. Secretary, to do this?'" Levin said. "I would like to know what's the president's authority to do this?"
The Obama administration and its proponents say that a lack of government involvement in financial sector is what caused the current woes of the economy, specifically the banking system. Levin insisted it was just the opposite - that the banking system was never a "free market" and that's how it got to this point.
"The problem is, we didn't have a free market in the banking system," he explained. "The banking system is the most regulated system next to the automobile industry. So there is no free market in the banking system. It is heavily regulated. We know about all these toxic loans thanks to Uncle Sam - pushing them as fast as they could, bundling them, encouraging the free market to respond with all kinds of packages and then they pretend it's something wrong with the free market."
Levin labeled advocates of the Obama agenda as "statist," explaining that it is part of their desire to control every aspect of certain segments of the U.S. economy.
"That's the way the statist operates and that's what I explain here," Levin said. "There are no limits on our government today. They've close to nationalize the automobile industry. Frankly, they basically nationalized the steel industry. They control the labor unions in giving them the authority that they give them. They control the products that are produced. They control what comes out of the chimney. They control what goes into the chimney. Now they want to control executive pay and they're not going to limit it to bailed out companies."