Minnesota's Finest: Bachmann's bizarre questions on financial bailouts

Just...wow. Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann questioned Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke today about financial bailouts and succeeded in annoying just about everyone and exposing her lack of knowledge about governance. Right out of the gate, Barney Frank introduces Bachmann as the "gentleman from Minnesota" (am I hearing that correctly?). Then Bachmann asks Treasury Secretary Geithner what specific clause in the Constitution give the Treasury the authority to do what it's done since March 2008; she didn't seem to grasp that, as Geithner said, “Every action that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC has been using authority granted by this body, the Congress.” She then asked both Geithner and Fed Chair Bernanke if they "categorically renounce" China's call for a global currency. "They both are like uhh, obviously," Wonkette reports. "And then it’s a few more questions until Barney Frank finally tells Bachmann to shut the fuck up." (Note the guy behind Bernanke who at 3:54 starts shaking his head, I'd guess in disbelief.)


Uland said...

I have a lot of problems with Michelle Bachmann, but I think you've missed the boat on what she was trying to establish. This blog post sums it up pretty well:


"Representative Michelle Bachman kept trying to press them on where the constitutional authority came from, which authorized the actions which the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have taken over the last year.

I realize it is a tough question, and I also appreciate they can't just say, that for the most part, there is none. But wouldn't you think they could at least blow some smoke up their ass, and throw out the general welfare clause or something? After all, both Geithner and Bernanke have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

At the very least shouldn't they have a working familiarity with the document as it pertains to their particular governmental functions?

Both Bernanke and Geithner tried to answer Rep. Bachman with some vague assertions that Congress said they could do it. Neither one of them gets it --the delegation of constitutional authority is not the same as printing money out of thin air.

It is really sad that these intelligent guys do not understand that Congress does not have the power to do anything it wants, nor can it delegate non-existent power to other government officials or agencies---regardless of how big a crisis the country is in, the charismatic popularity of the president or how loud the mob is clambering for action."

I think any effort to keep these unchecked, assumed powers reigned-in as much as possible is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Does the Department of Homeland Security get a mention in the Constitution? Congress grants authority to create such agencies, and they're granted that power by the constitution.

Uland said...

They can create any agency they want to, but they can't grant it extra-constitutional power.