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Maxine: Read the Constitution!

By Henry Lamb
web posted June 2, 2008

Maxine WatersIn a moment of accidental candor, Rep. Maxine Waters blurted out before God and everybody, that her answer to rising gas prices is nationalization of the petroleum industry.  This revelation of her true socialist philosophy came in response to what was perhaps the most important message delivered during the recent Congressional hearings on gas prices:

"I can guarantee to the American people because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices, unless the demand comes down, and that $5 will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies." 

This prediction came from Shell Oil President, John Hofmeister.

Maxine Waters replied:

"And guess what this liberal will be all about?  This liberal will be about socializing – would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies."

Maxine:  read the Constitution.  Where does the Constitution give Congress – even a liberal Democrat Congress – authority to even think about nationalizing, or socializing the oil companies?

It is absurd for liberal Democrat Maxine Waters to chastise and threaten the oil companies because oil prices are high - when the reason prices are high is because Democrats have repeatedly blocked every effort to increase the supply.  There is at least a 60 to 70 year known supply of domestic oil available.   Had Democrats allowed these reserves to be developed as requested over the years, supplies would more closely match demand, and competition in the marketplace would keep the price at its' minimum.

 Apparently, Maxine Waters and her liberal Democrat colleagues, have more faith in Hugo Chaves' formula than in the founding fathers' faith in free markets. 

Government's refusal to let the free market work in the oil industry is the primary reason why gas prices are spiraling upward.  More government control, as Maxine Waters threatened, would simply make a bad situation even worse.

There are two unmistakable messages to take from the Waters-Hofmeister exchange: (1) Government must get out of the way and allow free markets to utilize the known domestic petroleum reserves, and (2) Maxine Waters, and her liberal Democrat colleagues, should read the Constitution – again, and again, and again, if necessary, to understand that the power of government is limited to those powers enumerated.  All other powers remain with the states, or with the individual people.

This is not a hard concept to understand.  It is hard for people such as Maxine Waters and Hugo Chavez to accept, but it is not hard to understand.  Liberal Democrats, and far too many "progressive" Republicans, refuse to accept the concept of limited government power.  Government intervention into the market place is justified only to ensure consumer safety and honest competition.  Beyond this, government intervention into business affairs creates a drag on the economy, and the greater the intervention, the heavier the weight that drags down the economy.

Even the massive economic powerhouse that has been the United States is not immune from the weight of excessive government regulatory intervention.  The more government dictates what business may and may not do, and the more costs the government imposes upon business in the form of taxes and regulatory compliance, the slower the economy turns.

Maxine Waters' remedy – to nationalize the oil companies, and by inference, any other business she thinks the government can run better than the owners – is a sure-fire formula for the destruction of the U.S. economy, and of the nation.

A better remedy is to read and comply with the dictates of the Constitution.  In fact, every Congressman, and every candidate should read the Constitution.  Even better, every voter should read the Constitution before voting in November, and then be sure to vote for only those candidates whose platform reflects the principles enshrined there.

Zeldon Nelson ame up with this idea, and he is doing everything he can to get voters to read the Constitution.  His organization provides a pocket-size Constitution nearly at cost, to schools, to the military, to judges, to candidates, and to individuals, to encourage people to read, or reread the Constitution.  They are now working on distributing their second million copies.    

Unless the elected representatives at every level of government get a grip on the principles of freedom the Constitution holds, the United States of America will continue to descend into the collectivist, dictatorial regime that Maxine Waters threatened.  It may already be too late.  A generation, or more, of people have been taught to expect the government to take control and solve whatever problems may come along.  This is the mentality that drives the likes of Maxine Waters and Hugo Chavez.  ESR

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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