President Clinton says he wants a global New Deal plan to handle the challenges of the emerging worldwide economic crisis.

At a meeting of many of the world’s top financial gurus and moneychangers, Clinton repeatedly cited Franklin D. Roosevelt as he called on world leaders to take “decisive action” to create new but undefined “mechanisms” that can “temper the volatile swings of the international marketplace.”

“Just as free nations found a way after the Great Depression to tame the cycles of boom and bust in domestic economies, we must now find ways to tame the cycles of boom and bust that today shake the world economy,” Clinton told a joint meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The alternative, he warned, is that nations will make a “grave mistake” of “turning inward,” away from open markets and toward protectionism.

Code words. What they mean is America must stop looking out for its own best interests and join the march toward global socialism.

Now, this should not come as any surprise, given the source. But where’s the opposition? Caving, as usual. Congress, which had balked recently at throwing more good money after bad in bailing out the secret society known as the IMF, appears to be on the verge of transferring billions more U.S. taxpayer dollars down the rathole.

“The United States must — must — meet our obligations to the IMF,” Clinton implored. “I have told Congress we can debate how to reform the operations of the fire department, but there is no excuse for refusing to supply the fire department with water while the fire is burning.”

Fire department? Try the arson squad.

I don’t know why I should be surprised, but many Republicans are actually buying this transparent moralizing. The Senate has already approved $18 billion for the IMF. Even the House has agreed to cough up $3.4 billion for a new emergency lending fund.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-AK, predicted that Congress would approve the full amount in exchange for promises of reform. Promises, promises. When will they ever learn?

The only way for the IMF to reform itself would be to close up shop.

Even House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-TX, who has been among Congresss’ most vehement IMF critics, said he was “very gratified” to hear Clinton urge IMF reforms and predicted “there will be a basis to proceed” with IMF funding if the administration agrees to reforms that are “real and implemented.”

Armey said these reforms would have to include greater “transparency,” or openness, in IMF operations, an end to IMF loans at below-market rates and a new restriction to limit lending to one-year loans.

“We must have these reforms or there cannot be any increase in funding,” he said.

Note the word “increase.”

Clinton, meanwhile, was a little light on details. He wouldn’t want to give away any secrets about this stealthful transfer of wealth and power. Just trust him. And the global moneychangers. They know what’s best for us. But the absence of any specifics — and the mere promise of “reform” by a known liar — was apparently enough for Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Armey and the boys.

Quoting from a speech Roosevelt was writing the day he died, Clinton said: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be a strong and active faith.”

Faith? Faith in what? The ability of the insiders and banking interests to keep the good times rolling? The power of centralized authority?

It’s no shock that Clinton believes the New Deal was the greatest achievement of 20th century man. The harder fact to swallow is that the so-called opposition is also ready to embrace that flawed model on a global scale.

What Clinton is talking about are new controls — but not control by the sovereign people of the United States, guided by a Constitution and the rule of law. Rather he wants to set up new global mechanisms controlled by the elite, the select, the insiders, the privileged, the enlightened ones.

He wants to repeat globally all of the mistakes the New Deal wrought on the United States — regulations, welfare, government-provided housing, government medical care, unemployment benefits, Social Security, government subsistence on a worldwide basis. And guess who will pay for it all?

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