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Oath of Office, TARP, and Stolen Piggy Banks

Scott Brown Sworn In Feb 4, 2010WASHINGTON: Did you watch the swearing in ceremony yesterday of Scott Brown as newly-elected Senator? Just to make sure things haven’t changed the NIP staff watched closely as Joe Biden stumbled his way through administering the oath of office.

We here at the NIP genuinely have been wondering if the oath of office has changed, because of the cavalier way this oath has been treated by our elected representatives. You may remember Nancy Pelosi’s response when asked about the constitutionality of forcing individuals to buy health insurance. Her condescending reply: “Are you serious? Are you serious?

So we naturally are thinking that the oath must have been changed. So the NIP staff dropped everything yesterday to watch the oath of office as Joe Biden asked Brown:

Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you am about to enter?

Scott Brown answered in the affirmative. This solemn act is the first taken by any of our representatives. Regardless of what Ted Kennedy’s son Patrick thinks, Scott Brown election was not “a joke.

The swearing in ceremony is not a trivial act, but one upon which the safety and stability of our country rests. In light of that oath we are disturbed at this administration’s apparent willingness to abandon the rule of law in order to further their political ends.

A most distressing example is the Obama administration’s disregard of the legal provisions of the TARP legislation. President Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and White House OMB Director Peter Orszag are treating the TARP as their personal piggy bank to dole out whenever and to whomever they choose.

The NIP is grateful that Senator Judd Gregg honors his oath of office and is willing to defend the law. In a Senate hearing this Tuesday Gregg lectured Peter Orszag as Orszag tried to justify the White House’s use of these funds as a piggy bank (video below):

No, no no! You can’t make that type of statement with any legitimacy. You cannot make that statement. This is the law [holds up a copy]. Let me tell you what the law says, let me read it to you again because you don’t appear to understand the law. The law is very clear: “The monies recouped from the TARP shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for the reduction of the public debt.”

When the TARP was passed on October 1, 2008 the language and intention was clear. Then Senator Obama voted for the TARP, including the recoupment provision. But now as President, Barack Obama wants free reign to spend it however he pleases, regardless of what the law states.

Has Obama forgotten his law school training? We feel fortunate that both our President and his wife have law degrees. However, we suggest that they both would benefit from a refresher course on Constitutional law. Why has Michelle been on court-ordered inactive status since 1993? Was there a reason Barack let his license lapse?

Regardless of the answers to these questions, Senator Gregg pointed out very clearly that this administration ignores the rule of law. In the case of the TARP fund’s mishandling, this reckless disregard will have grave consequences for the stability of our currency and the solvency of our country.

The TARP money is borrowed money. Obama is treating it as his own piggy bank. Only in this case, this piggy bank has been stolen from our children and grandchildren.

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