Mark Shurtleff (R)
SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-The United States government is far what the Founding Fathers had envisioned, said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Shurtleff, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate, said there was supposed to be a fundamental balance of power between the federal and state governments, and between the government and individuals.
"But now things are different. Frankly now things are a mess," Shurtleff said. "And I'm not talking about the economy, which is awful. I'm talking about the state of our nation: The balance of power between the federal government and the states - the balance of power between government and the people."
Shurtleff, a Republican, said in remarks given to Legal Newsline that among other turns the nation has made is one toward an embrace of socialism.
"The government now thinks it is its duty to make the citizens happy rather than preserve our liberties so that we can pursue happiness on our own," he said. "And it goes about accomplishing its errant pursuit by plundering those that through their labors have been successful by means of excessive taxation and redistributing wealth to those who have achieved less success."
Shurtleff decried the recent $700 billion federal bailout program for the U.S. financial services industry, known as the Troubled Asset Relief program, or TARP.
The program, which is aimed at improving banks' liquidity, is "a perfect example of government reaching beyond its power, compelling the taxpayers to go into debt to give to Wall Street," the attorney general said.
The taxpayer-funded program allows the U.S. Treasury to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions in order to strengthen them amid the global credit crunch.
"The nation must be very careful about the tax burden it places on the citizens," Shurtleff warned. "It was predicted by Karl Marx that our form of government would slowly change to socialism, which is naturally just one step away from communism. And the catalyst for that change Marx said is higher and higher taxes."
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.