Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alternative to Bloated Federal Government

I was listening to Senator Judd Gregg respond to an inquisition by two MSNBC anchors' request for him to give specific alternatives to big government. Although Gregg did fine, he was obviously not afforded the time to give a specific response.

Barack Obama campaigned, in part, on the promise that he and his staff would go through the federal budget line by line and eliminate waste. Nice idea, but clearly never his intention.

So, I venture with this blog post to begin to lay the groundwork for a platform of what I am going to label a Constitutional Budget for our federal government.

The two MSNBC anchors kept pestering Gregg to identify what programs he would cut to help balance the budget, to reduce the size of government. They drummed up the old school liberal passions...should we cut funding to our children in school? should we cut programs for the poor? should we eliminate aid to the homeless?

If you read my blog from January 17th (two days before Scott Brown's victory), you know the story of Congressman Davy Crockett and his impassioned speech AGAINST government aid to the widow of a veteran of the War of 1812. I encourage you to read that blog entry, if you haven't already. But in summary, Crockett reminded his collegues then, and us today, that they, as public servants, have NO delegated authority to distribute any of the public funds on what are essentially charitable endeavors.

With that being said, some of my friends who read this blog, have asked me to now do what those two MSNBC anchors were asking of Gregg, identify what exactly SHOULD the federal government be spending the public's money on?

In pursuit of answering this question I have read from three sources: 1) mostly important source of all, the Constitution itself, 2) Setting Limits: Constitutional Control of Government by Lewis Uhler, and 3) Martin Gross' book, The Government Racket: All New Washington Waste from A to Z.

In the first source, the Constitution, the enumerated powers of Congress and the Federal Government are delineated in clear specificity. Where specifically NOT clear, the courts have often ruled that the Constitution should be interpreted to be restrictive of government powers, not inclusive.

For those who are not clear on what the enumerated powers of Congress are, please read the Constitution, especially read Article One, Section Eight (HERE).

In Setting Limits, Uhler ultimately concludes that there three tests to perform in determining what to allow the federal government to manage and fund.

First is the Practical Necessity Test. Uhler says, "It is impractical for any individual, business organization or state/local government to defend the entire nation, engage in diplomatic interchange with foreign countries, provide international security, etc."

Second is the Requirements/Values Test. In addressing this test, Uhler suggests several questions to ask when analyzing any expenditure of the federal government. First, What legal requirements underpin various federal functions? Is there a Constitutional requirement (see Art. 1, Sect. 8)? Is there a contractual obligation (i.e. - has the government entered into a contract with some other person(s)?) If neither of these requirements are there, then the "obligation" is essentially discretionary. Does the government HAVE such discretionary authority? He additionally thinks that we should always question whether something being spent by the federal government has any sense of payoff to it.

Third is the Performance Test. This is by far the test that would eliminate the greatest amount of government controls and spending. Some of the criteria espoused by Uhler in determining performance level are:

a)proneness to fraud and abuse,
b)proneness to error, inefficiency and waste,
c)conflict or lack of coordination with other programs,
d)failure to satisfy cost-benefit criteria,
e)unjustified expansion of benefit eligibility,
f)lack of uniform national benefit,
g)impractical/unattainable program goals,
h)programs best performed by state, local or private agencies.

Uhler's ideas are broad, wise and clearly delineated guidelines which would provide practical assistance in reducing the size, scope, power and budget of the federal government.

Martin Gross is far more simplistic in his ideas. He narrows that which the federal government should be allowed to spend money on to three areas:

1) Those activities clearly identified in the Constitution as the obligations authorized by we the people to the federal government such as military, diplomacy, interstate commerce and such.
2) Those expenses surrounding contractual obligations such as the existing national debt. Our government borrowed the money. We have an obligation to pay the interest on that debt and repay the money borrowed.
3) Those expenses where we have a moral obligation such as agreed upon payments to Social Security recipients and other such groups of people to whom we (meaning our government) have made a commitment. We are NOT, however, obligated to make additional similar commitments to other people.

Gross goes into an A to Z detailed accounting of dozens of wasteful spending projects from virtually every agency and department in the government. But the most memorable of all specific suggests he made is that the U.S. Government should be required by we the people to enact what is called a Zero Based Budget process. In short, this would require every agency and department in the government re-submit their budgets every year, specifically providing justifiable reason for each and every expende listed. Every company in America uses a ZBB every year. It is an essential part of making any company profitable and yet our government simply allows departments and agencies to request budget increases without any justification.

Remembering that Gross originally suggested this when he first wrote the book back in the 90s, he projected an annual budgetary savings of between $50 billion and $500 billion. That's $500 billion per year in 1995 terms. I'll leave this for you to mull on a bit as you understand how easily we could regain fiscal control and reduce government control over our lives.

I welcome critique of these ideas. If you have any thoughts on it, please share them.

Review of the SOTU Address

In reviewing the speech given by President Obama last night I have a general observation of the content, an observation of a single event that occurred during the speech and an analysis of one thing the President said towards the end of his hour plus long speech.

Sarah Palin was asked if a single word could describe the tone of the speech. She took no time in describing the tone of the President's first state of the union speech with the single word, "scolded". She is exactly right. The President chastised the democrats for running scared. He scolded the republicans as obstructionists. He scolded the American people for not getting on board with his plans. He even scolded the Supreme Court for their recent decision concerning campaign contributions.

The only person he didn't scold was his own wife. Shoot, he even scolded himself for not explaining to us, the general public, the truth about the health care plan. As if somehow, like some ignorant little kid, we just weren't getting it and we needed daddy to spell it out for us like we're some silly little fourth grader.

This daddy-knows-best attitude of Obama was addressed not more than a few days earlier on one of the conservative shows (I want to say, Glenn Beck, but can't say that with absolute certainty). Whichever commentator it was who spoke of this brought up the idea that Obama was raised without a father. In one of Obama's books, he made it sound as if a large part of his persona is the result of not having that authoritative father figure around. Because of this, this commentator thought that this perhaps explains why so much of Obama's attitude seems to be of this authoritative father figure whom we desperately need to help us understand what's best for us.

This is exactly what the President seemed to be doing over and over and over again last night. He was projecting himself as America's wise and kind father teaching us all, even the SCOTUS, what's right and what's wrong.

This tone showed itself most significantly when the President chastised the Supreme Court for its recent decision regarding campaign financing. It was difficult not to sit with my jaw on the floor as I heard the president scold the justices for making a poor decision. What president has EVER openly and publicly...yea, internationally...scolded the Supreme Court for doing their job? The fact that he disagrees with the ruling is absolutely irrelevant. It is not his place to scold the members of a completely separate branch of government for doing their jobs. But the mere fact that this president feels compelled to do that very thing is a perfect example of his daddy-knows-best attitude towards EVERYONE.

This leads me to address the one thing that the President said that drew the greatest concern for me. At the very end of the speech he said this:

I campaigned on the promise of change — change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change — or that I can deliver it.

But remember this — I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is.

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths and pointing fingers. We can do what's necessary to keep our poll numbers high and get through the next election instead of doing what's best for the next generation.

But I also know this: If people had made that decision 50 years ago or 100 years ago or 200 years ago, we wouldn't be here tonight. The only reason we are here is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard, to do what was needed even when success was uncertain, to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and their grandchildren.

Our administration has had some political setbacks this year and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going — what keeps me fighting — is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on.

It lives on in the struggling small business owner who wrote to me of his company, "None of us," he said, "... are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail."

It lives on in the woman who said that even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, "We are strong. We are resilient. We are American."

It lives on in the 8-year-old boy in Louisiana, who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti.

And it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go someplace they've never been and pull people they've never known from the rubble, prompting chants of "USA! USA! USA!" when another life was saved.

The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people. We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward and to strengthen our union once more.

This is where the root of difference lay between Progressives and Conservatives. Progressives believe that the government is the source of the fundamental expression of the American spirit. They believe it is their responsibility to make sure we are charitable and kind and gracious and generous to those suffering or less fortunate than others.

Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the spirit of which Obama speaks lay in the hearts of the people...not the government. In the view of conservatives, the role of government is to make sure that we are secure enough to personally express this spirit as we see fit ourselves.

Progressives would like to convince us all that the obligation to do "right" compells us to allow our government to take from us what they deem necessary to properly express the charitable spirit of America towards those THEY consider to be the needy. The entire concept of redistribution of wealth is focused upon this concept.

But let it be made clear that America's Constitution was not designed to assign to the government the responsibility to be charitable on our behalf. All we conservatives want our government to do is to make sure that we have the personal and economic freedom to do as our conscience dictates. We do not need the government to be our conscience. We don't need the government making sure that everyone has an equal piece of the pie. We need them to make sure that we all have an equal opportunity to obtain a piece of the pie. We don't need the government to tax us more so that our neighbors in the Caribbean will have the money necessary to recover from a devastating earthquake. We need the government to obey the Constitution and tax us only so much as is necessary to perform the duties to which they were assigned by that Constitution, so when the time comes that those neighbors in the Caribbean are in need WE have the money to follow our own consciences in extending a hand of assistance.

This president, as well as the entire Progressive Movement, has completely and utterly misinterpreted the outrage in this country. His speech last night only solidified the opinion I have of him that he is a patronizing, out-of-touch, elitist president whom I cannot trust at his word. It was entirely disheartening to come to the place of understanding that no matter what he says, I cannot trust him. I cannot trust that he is not playing with words, twisting statistics, or talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Is Free Speech Not Free?

When that which you wish to say violates the values of those in power. This post is, perhaps, one of those posts I make that will step on the toes of even my fellow conservatives. Fifty plus years ago this country's fear of communism led us down a path which drew ire as we burned books and black listed people simply because of their beliefs and what they said in public (and sometimes just in private). Though some of these people actually did attempt to subvert the United States and even committed acts of espionage, most were simply found guilty of believing something different than what those of us in power deemed acceptable.

The pendulum has now swung and liberals and progressives are now in power and the exact opposite seems to be occurring. Whereas, fifty years ago, our students in public schools were somewhat forced to participate in school prayers and Christian-based activities, now, students are not even allowed the choice to express their Christian beliefs.

I saw this first hand this evening at my son's high school basketball game. Andy attends a private Christian school. They take the time to gather in a circle at center court before every home game to offer up a prayer for both teams, for safety and to thank God for the opportunity to play this simple game. Not a single person from the opposing team, a local public high school, was allowed to join them at center court. Surely there are Christians on that team. Even some non-Christians are often open minded enough to appreciate such an act of sportsmanship and friendship so as to join in on the prayer, if given the freedom to do so.

But in this case, the kids are not permitted to join in on the prayer. Why? Because of some Progressive interpretation of a letter written by Jefferson 200+ years ago...a letter that Progressives have chosen to use to remove God from the supposed free thoughts of our people, especially our children.

Another current event is leaving Progressives seething. One of the country's greatest college football players is a devout and outspoken Christian. Tim Teebow, of the University of Florida, is a Heisman Trophy winner (2008) and yet, when a Super Bowl ad is said be in the works that would show his mother explaining to him why she didn't have an abortion when she was pregnant with him, liberals fume and call for the ad to be pulled by CBS...under the same black-listing threats that McCarthy-ists of fifty years ago were accused of doing to Hollywood elite.

Apparently, the right of a woman to choose, in the eyes of Progressives, only means the right to choose and not the right to tell other people why you chose what you chose. I guess they that such an ad would be placing too much undo influence on pregnant women. These women would clearly be incapable of making a right choice with such information at her disposal. Just as the high school student wouldn't be capable of making an intelligent choice about what to believe if he/she were exposed to people openly expressing their own non-Progressive beliefs.

Here's a challenge to make to your Progressive "friends": why is it so easy to trust kids with information supporting the homosexual lifestyle, but not possible to trust them with information speaking out against such behavior? Why is it so plausible that they can trust two teenagers with a condom to make "right" decisions, but its not possible to trust them with information regarding the benefits of self-controlled abstinence? Why is that pregnant woman trusted with the choice about life and death of an unborn child, but not trusted to make such choices with information regarding the detrimental effects of choosing an abortion or adoption or keeping the baby? And why is it considered enlightened to expose our children to Witchcraft, Paganism and even Islam, but archaic and dangerous to allow children of Christian families to openly express their own beliefs?

Progressives aren't more enlightened or advanced. They are just the people in power right now and as such they, too, can clearly prove just how abusive they can be of such power. You'll just have to excuse me if I won't keep silent about your abuse of power, usurpation of authority, and blatant hypocrisy. Fortunately, you won't be in power much longer.

Why Are Public Employees Unionized?

Just some simple questions today. What are the historic benefits of unions? Historically speaking, unions helped to create an atmosphere where workers were not taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers. They helped to make sure workers received a decent wage for their work, protected them from on-the-job dangers, worked to help them gain better benefits and ensured their families were taken care of in case of death, disability or illness.

But why for public employees like teachers, firefighters, police, government employees and such? If those unions are not happy with their pay, are they not striking on you and me, the taxpayers...including themselves, for that matter? If they demand higher pay, are they not asking you and me to dole out more in tax dollars? If their union negotiates some cushy retirement plan for them, are WE not the ones they asking to pay for it? And not just us, they are asking themselves to pay for it. Afterall, they pay taxes too.

No, the nearly exclusive benefit of public employees unions is to force government to raise taxes force the rich to pay more so the Progressive agenda can be fulfilled. The unions who gain more power by their sheer size benefit from their own existence. Public employee unions do no one any good, except for the elite power brokers like Andy Stern of SEIU.

Unions like SEIU stifle achievement and the pursuit of excellence. Union members don't get promotions and raises based upon performance and achievement. They get them by longevity. If they just stick around long enough they will get a bigger piece of the pie, whether they are good at what they do or not. And we wonder why government bureaucracies are so utterly inefficient and wasteful.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What Is This Census Thing Really For?

Article One Section Two Clause Three of our Constitution says:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse [sic] three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

Although segments of this provision have since been amended, including the 3/5th provision and the number of citizens a Representative shall represent, the fundamentals of the provision are unchanged to this day.

Primarily, the purpose of the census is still only two-fold. The census is used to determine the number of representatives per state and it is used to determine the amount of DIRECT taxes each state must pay. No other provision in the Constitution dictates that the census be used for ANYTHING else. Although, now days there's no longer any direct apportioned tax. Though, that provision of the clause has never been repealed.

The real problem with the Census Clause is not what it says, but what our out of control government has transformed it into. Today, on television, I saw a public service announcement encouraging us to cooperate with the census process not because its our constitutional duty, but because it will help make sure that government aid to our state is not adversely affected. WHAT?!

Read that clause again. WHERE does it say ANYTHING about using the census to help determine how much charity the federal government gives to each state? This is warped on so many levels.

And now, the President wants to take complete control over the Census, bringing it completely in house. He had originally planned on having his ACORN buddies hired to do the job...a nice little perk for helping get him elected and a guarantee that the results will meet his desires.

However, in my humble opinion, the most obscene usurpation of this provision in the Constitution surrounds the apportionment of taxes amongst the states. Originally, taxes were collected by the federal government from the states, not the people. The amount of money the states each paid was tied into their population. The states would then collect taxes from the people of the state to pay this debt to the federal government.

The government was not afforded, by the Constitution, the right to collect unapportioned direct taxes from the people. Numerous court cases confirmed this up until 1913. What happened in 1913? (Read The Creature from Jekyl Island for a thorough understanding of the institution of the federal income tax). In 1913, the sixteenth amendment which, apparently, gave the feds a new power to tax the people directly and without apportionment. Although, the courts didn't actually agree with that assessment. The Brubaker case in 1918 indicated that the sixteenth amendment gave the government NO NEW POWER of taxation. So, let me get this straight, if the courts said for decades prior, that the feds had NO power to tax the directly without apportionment, then went on to say that the sixteenth amendment gave them no new powers to tax, what the heck gives them the idea that they now have the power to tax us directly and without apportionment?

We've been hoodwinked, my friends. This is all connected with the Federal Reserve and controls the government now has over our monetary system. No wonder Jefferson once said that the government's power to print money was more dangerous to a free country than any standing army.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

History Does Repeat Itself

We are often told that if we forget the past then we are doomed to repeat it. The past is not such a bad thing to repeat when it was a good thing. It is difficult for me to bear quietly the foolishness of people who wish to "change" something simply because we live in a new time or because it old fashioned or antiquated.

Solomon was right when he said there is nothing new under the sun. There isn't. A wise man will understand the events that surround him and make decisions based upon what it RIGHT...a rather arcane concept to those on the left these days...rather that making his decisions based upon what feels good.

Obama and the far left extremists do not live by these words. They have their agenda and they are bound and determined to see it through whether its the right thing to do or not. Petulant teens, I tell you, petulant teens.

Well, for the better part of a year now, Patriots from around the country have found themselves on fire to push back against this man who would be king. There were a lot of speeches and yelling and protests at townhall meetings all over the country. And yet they wouldn't listen. There were two million who marched right into their backyards and still they wouldn't listen.

Polls began to show they were losing popular support, still they wouldn't listen. Then there was Virginia and New Jersey Ironically, two of the original thirteen states who began the original revolution against another king. And yet, they still wouldn't listen.

Now, in of all places, Massachusetts, where the original Revolution began. Massachusetts where they had the original Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. Massachusetts, where the original shots heard round were first shot, has now become, ironically, the place where those same shots have once again been heard round the world.

Will they be heard, however, in the White House and the Capital Building in Washington? I think its impossible for them not to have heard them. Will they heed their warning and avoid further repetition from two hundred plus years ago or will we be sitting here reading more about the repetition of our country's great history.

We, as a country, are beginning to realize that when you're the greatest country on earth, you really should be repeating the history that made you so great in the first place. Where's George Washington? He's next to be repeated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Now?

Okay, so Scott Brown did the unthinkable. He won the seat held by a Kennedy for more than 50 years in a state so blue they make a summer sky pale. We can just coast now, can't we? Think again, my friends.

The Revolutionary War lasted years. And it took these Progressives decades to infiltrate our country and government AND EDUCATION SYSTEM. This is NOT over. Despite their attempts to make it seem like Brown's win was no big deal, the Progressives are now aware that we are for real. We are not gonna lay down and let them roll right over us.

Obama even suggests that the same anger that got Brown elected is the same anger that got HIM elected. Am I wrong or is Obama trying to ride the coattails of Scott Brown? How in the world did he come to THAT conclusion? There are only two logical ways Obama can say that: 1) he is not the intellectual that we thought him to be, or 2) he is trying to con the electorate into misinterpreting what happened yesterday. I'm leaning towards the second option, though I am not all that convinced anymore that he is all that intelligent either.

So what will they do next? Nothing is off the table now. Barney Frank suggested this week that perhaps it is time to eliminate the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to overcome filibuster. He had the gall to suggest that God didn't give us the filibuster. Wondering why he cares what God gave us or didn't give us (just curious).

Then, in the wake of the Brown victory, Obama seems set to take a new direction. If he can't socialize our health care. Then he'll go after the education system and lock it in to a federally controlled program. He'll go after the banks to take complete control of our financial system. He'll go after control of utilities and water access.

One thing he WILL do is try to fix the economy. There is no question that if the economy is as bad in November as it is right now, despite all his lies about it being over the hump, there isn't a single job in Congress that is safe. The only people who will feel safe are those who's jobs are NOT up for a vote.

This is not the end. Not by a long shot. Illinois' Republican primary is next...on February 3. Then come the remaining primaries and the election in November.

We must, in the meantime, STOP Obama's agenda completely. Do NOT trust the man.

And lastly, it is time to begin the long, long, long term plan of making sure our education system, both primary and secondary, are restored to their fundamental elements and controls are giving back to the local entities.

One last, lastly, my last blog entry opened the door to something I will be following up on in the next few days. If, as I wrote a few days ago, our delegated representatives do NOT have any authority to distribute our monies in charitable-like manner to any individual, community, group of people or even country, then we must begin the process of making sure we know EXACTLY what authority we HAVE given to them and make sure to hold them to that.

Coming soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Restoring Constitutional Credibility

Its been interesting observing the Massachusetts Senate race these past several days. Out of nowhere, Scott Brown has become not just a challenge to Martha Coakley but could actually win this race. Big shots from both parties have jumped into the fray. Even Obama was in Massachusetts today stumping for Coakley and Foxnews says that he has become her "point man".

Dems have begun circling the wagons to protect the president against the embarrassment of Coakley losing and are making arrangements to bypass the reconciliation process by sending the Senate health care bill directly to the House for them to vote on. This would sidestep the need for returning the reconciled bill to the Senate for further debate where a newly-elected Brown would be the deciding factor in a filibuster against the bill.

That all being said, something was blatantly familiar about how the Dems have been conducting their campaign against Brown. They have spent the majority of their time assuming that the people of Massachusetts WANT what they want and need to simply trust Obama and the Dems to do what's right. They attack Brown with innuendos and name-calling and villainous connections to far right wing groups in an attempt to stir the emotions of the voters against this man.

It wasn't until I saw Brown's response to these attacks that I finally understood what these Progressives/Liberals are doing and DID do in the 2008 election. Brown turned these attacks around by essentially telling everyone they can call him whatever they want but that he's there to debate the issues. Stone cold shut them down.

So what do the Dems do next...they bring in the "personality"...the man himself...Obama. In the same vein as his 2008 campaign he hopes that his sheer charisma and oratory skills will once again wow the voters into doing things his way.

Obama's losing the support of the people not because he is no longer charismatic or a good public speaker, but because the people are becoming aware of the issues and do not like what they see.

Back in the early 1900s, the king of the Progressive, Woodrow Wilson, tried to garner public support for the fledgling League of Nations. He went across country for months on a train making speeches to no avail. The League collapsed due in no small part to the lack of support by the United States public.

When it came time to try again in 1945 the very same people who backed Wilson had learned their lessons and simply bypassed the American public. Truman pushed the US right into the UN without so much as a single attempt to garner public support for it. He simply signed the treaty, the Senate ratified it and left the public to simply accept it.

As many Constitutionalists would argue today, the US involvement in the UN is completely unconstitutional. But that somehow never seems to stop the Progressives. They do what they want and laugh or deride anyone who questions the constitutionality of what they do. When Pelosi asks a reporter if he's joking when he questions the constitutionality of forcing Americans to buy health insurance or go to jail she's just doing what all good Progressives do.

Earlier today I was reminded of a story I had heard once a very long time ago about Davy Crockett...then, Congressman Davy Crockett. The gist of the story is that Congress was about to vote on a simple allocation of funds to help the widow of a veteran of the war of 1812. It was apparently a no-brainer. Everyone expected it to be a unanimous vote. Yet several congressmen took turns speaking eloquently to the reasons for allocating this small amount of money ($10,000) to this woman.

Finally, Crockett stood up and spoke. Rather than summarizing what he said, read it for yourself:

"Mr. Speaker – I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

The full story contains far more amazing insights into the Constitutional war waging between Patriots and Progressives. You can go HERE to read it.

The revelation of this story transcends to today. Progressives/Liberals (whatever you want to call them) have increasingly played upon the emotions and heartstrings of Americans to the detriment of the Constitution.

Apply Colonel Crockett's speech to today. When that reporter asked Pelosi what Constitutional authority they have to force Americans to buy ANYTHING under threat of imprisonment we MUST not settle for her simply calling such a question a joke. They HAVE no authority. The only public support they have for it is our sense of kindness and charity towards those who live without health insurance.

The same can be said for something as universally accepted as helping the people of Haiti. Does Congress have the authority to send our money to help the people of Haiti (or any country, for that matter)? Hard question to answer for only one reason: no one with a heart would want to see these people suffer and anyone who would deny them US funds must certainly be the offspring of satan himself.

THAT is how the Progressives get us to give them the authority to bypass their Constitutional powers. That's how they did it in 1934 with Social Security. That's how they did it with Medicare and virtually every entitlement program we all know so well today.

No one denies the importance of caring for the less fortunate, but NOWHERE in the Constitution have we EVER delegated the responsibility for our own charitable obligations to Congress or anyone else.

Read the words of the man who inspired Crockett to say what he said on that day in Congress, a man by the name of Horatio Bunce:

"The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country...If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other."

Remember, lastly, what Crockett himself said on the floor of Congress: "I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it."

The men and women in Congress know their power to collect and disperse monies from one group of people for the benefit of another group of people does not come from the Constitution, which they swore to uphold, but from the ignorance of the people to know the powers WE have delegated TO them. They have stirred our emotions to the detriment of our own good.

Obama could succeed in stirring those emotions again in Massachusetts. If he does, then we must fight even harder to break those bonds and restore the dignity and respect we once had for our Constitution. If he fails, and we will know in two days if he has, then we must take Scott Brown's approach to every state and district in the country this November.

Call us what you will...we're here to debate the issues.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Predictions

I am no psychic, thank God. Nor am I a prophet of God (I don't think I would enjoy the stonings that were afforded prophets when they were wrong). But I think it will be fun to make a few predictions for 2010. I know this is a political blog, but bear with me while I make a few non-political predictions as well.

1. Obama's ratings will continue to plummet as his foreign policy inexperience will come to the forefront. Conservatives were outraged at his bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia and his Apology Tour. But his most recent gaffs will be only the tip of the iceberg. He will make one mistake after another angering first his liberal anti-war peaceniks supports. Then irritating conservatives. It will be come clear that all his foreign policy decisions are laced in re-election overtures. We will be fortunate if the world doesn't fall into a global war because he is too weak to stand up to terrorists.

2. Harry Reid will actually have trouble winning his own partys nomination before losing by double digits in November.

3. Nancy Pelosi will lose huge amounts of support even in her own far-far left wing district. She will win, but not by much and will fall out of favor even in her own party.

4. Tea Partiers will not go away, but will actually grow...peaking at a huge 912 event kicking off the final election push. More than 3 millions will show up in D.C. and over 5 million nationwide for the event.

5. At least 10 more blue dog dems will switch parties to the Republicans.

6. Counting the dozen or so blues dogs that switch parties, the Republicans will win back the House with the biggest sweep of Congress in history. More than 125 Dems and Reps will lose their seats in the House either in the primaries or in the election. Republicans will take over control of the House by at least 10 seats.

7. Dick Morris predicts that the Republicans will win back the Senate too. I agree. The result will accentuate the mandate AGAINST Obama policy.

8. Iran will develop nukes, but Obama will do nothing...nothing except prevent Israel from bombing Tehran back to the 8th century.

9. There will be several terrorist attacks on US soil. None nearly as bad as 91 but none the less leading to outrage and anger and despair in many ways. If there IS another major attack, it will be in multiple cities at one time (including, D.C., NYC, LA, Atlanta and Seattle. I pray to God it doesn't happen.

10. The dollar will stabilize only long enough for us to take a breather from the down cycle we've been under. Unemployment will not get better, though it is close to at its worse. The falling tax revenues from the unemployment figures will blow deficit predictions out of the water and cause the next major troubles in the stock market and for our dollar. Gold, and especially silver, will go through the roof.

11. Growing unrest from unemployment, socialist D.C. policies, and international tensions will lead us to the precipice of civil war. It will be a tinder box. We must hope and pray no one throws a match on it to light it. Or we will be far worse off than I predict.

12. The issue of Obama's eligibility will continue to fester for the first half of the year. More and more cases will be brought forward under differing conditions. I am predicting that it will never be discovered where he was born. They will continue market it as an issue of the fringe whackos. And the upcoming 2010 election will divert attention away from it, even with patriots. It IS possible that the Republican take over in 2010 will lead to an investigation by Republican led Congress. But don't count on it.

13. If a health care bill of any kind will pass it will be right away in January. If so, the controversy will not go away. The constitutionality of it will be challenged immediately. A court order will be sought to put a hold on ALL of it until its constitutionality can be determined. Obama will, of course, fight it. As will the fringe media. Enough of a delay will ensue that the 2010 elections will basically kill the bill...HOWEVER...we must not let it end that way. If it is signed, even if the courts never determine its constitutionality...stays are only temporary unless renewed. If we do not move to rescind the bill it WILL kick in eventually.

14. The Saints will win the Super Bowl and Drew Brees the SB MVP.
15. Cavs will win the NBA title.
16. Sharks will lose to the Devils in the NHL
17. Tiger will not play at all this year, get a divorce, go into depression and possibly retire.
18. Boston Red Sox will win the World Series.
19. Avatar will win 10 Oscars
20. Taylor Swift will win 6 Grammies, Kanye West none.
21. I won't be asked by the National Enquirer to do predictions for 2011.