Friday, March 20, 2009

Slippery Slope

I've been on slippery slopes before, and recall one instance very well. My middle son and I were shoveling the snow from the roof of our garage when suddenly my feet went out from beneath me and found myself up to my waist in a snowbank, from which I then had to dig my way out. The snowbank was actually the more dangerous place in that case, and thought the trip down was almost exhilarating I could have been hurt landing where I did, as I did.
Our high court justices often speak of slippery slopes: places they fear to go for danger of causing a larger problem than the one they're trying to address in a given case. I fear that we could be looking at one of these slopes in our nation today.
Like everyone else, I'm upset, maybe even outraged that the AIG executives were given multi-million dollar bonuses for inept work. It's most upsetting because it was our money--the taxpaying public's dollars. After it was over, our congress got into the act and decided to tax the bonuses at an exorbitant rate, and there starts that dangerous slide. Our constitution prohibits laws that are "ex post facto," after the fact. I fear that this is the most blatant example yet of this type of law. The money was given and taken before the law was even brought up before the House or Senate, let alone signed by the President--all after the fact, even if it becomes law.
Last night Jay Leno hosted President Obama on his late night talk show. Jay commented on his concern about what happens when the government decides it doesn't like him and goes after him for something he did in the past. The President sidestepped that issue and was, if I recall correctly, applauded for his response.
So, here we go down the slope, with most of the nation pushing the sled, or at least applauding the slide. If this passes, where will that take us?

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