White House to Become Self-Funding Through Fines and Forfeiture
Today, President Obama signed Executive Order 13652, the Regulatory Agency Freedom Initiative, establishing a permanent program that would allow the White House to self-fund its regulatory agenda without Congressional budget approval or oversight. At a Rose Garden news conference, where he was flanked by the heads of all 75 federal regulatory agencies and departments representing over 275,000 federal employees, the president declared this a historic moment.
The American people are fed up with Congress not doing its job in funding the budget, while holding a gun to our heads attempting to deny citizens the federal regulations they need and desire. Not satisfied with delaying our hard working federal employees' pay for the 16 days they were forced to stay home during the government shutdown, Republicans are now turning their terrorist tactics to target thousands of new rules and regulations designed to help Americans live better lives. Executive Order 13652 will end the tyranny of the minority that prevents us from moving forward.
The federal government's squeezing of $13 billion out of J.P. Morgan for alleged crimes it committed when it purchased bankrupt Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual at the urging of panicked Treasury Department officials is just the beginning. Using the JPM settlement as a model, the Regulatory Agency Freedom Initiative will give each and every regulatory agency the power to exact both fines and property forfeitures against any target of its choice, with limits set only by the negotiation prowess of the U.S. Attorney General.
EO 13652 will also deny corporations the use of ill-gotten gains to defend themselves against regulatory enforcement charges. Section 27(b)2(iv) will freeze the bank accounts of any corporation accused of regulatory violations deemed "serious" by the Attorney General. In addition, CEOs and CFOs of accused companies believed to be flight risks will be placed under house arrest.
Taking a break from his victory lap to speak with reporters, Attorney General Eric Holder waxed philosophical. "Any country sheriff knows how to threaten petty criminal with excessive charges to persuade them to cop a plea rather than roll the dice hoping some goober of a public defender will get them off in court. But to do this to Fortune 500 companies lawyered up with $1,000-an-hour attorneys, now that requires some finesse!"
When asked about the next trophy on his hit list, Holder excused himself to dash off to a meeting with Bank of America.
And where will all this new settlement money go? Fifty percent will go directly to the agency that extracted the fines and forfeitures, 5 percent to employees of targeted companies who become state's witnesses, 25 percent into a common pool to be distributed to other agencies at the White House's discretion, and 20 percent into a reparations fund to be doled out to government-sponsored entities, campaign donors, and selected consumers in key congressional districts. To equitably distribute this money, the president named Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to the new office of Czar of Reparations, assisted by an advisory council made up of representatives from the SEIU, Sierra Club, and Organize for Action.
According to a report jointly authored by the Regulatory Studies Center of George Washington University and the Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in Saint Louis, federal regulatory agencies are budgeted to spend a total of $56.4 billion in fiscal year 2013. This is scheduled to be slashed to $59.4 billion in FY 2014 thanks to the sequester, underscoring the dire need to obtain outside funding. Under EO 13562's distribution formula, the White House needs to find only six more J.P. Morgans to fund its entire regulatory apparatus.
Asked what Congress would do then, the president said, "They can go pound sand."