"Shock and awe" statism

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus want the Treasury Department to subsidize minority owners of broadcasting properties. The broadcasters are not “too big to fail” and so do not pose a “systemic risk,” but, the representatives say, failures of minority broadcasters would diminish diversity.

Such government micromanagement of the economy is everywhere. The Post recently reported that Richard Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors who was removed by the government, remains on GM’s payroll “because senior Treasury officials have yet to decide whether he should get the $20 million severance package that the company had promised him.” His 2009 compensation — $1 — is payable Dec. 31. The $20 million promised to him includes contractual awards, deferred compensation and pension benefits accrued over 32 years with the company. Promise-keeping, including honoring contracts, is the default position of a lawful society. But suddenly, many citizens’ legal claims are merely starting points for negotiations with an overbearing government.