Tag Archives: economy

Time to Wake Up, America

Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth of depravity and corruption to which the American political system and the American culture have sunk than the practice of deferred taxation. Our national debt today is $15,701,934,801,235. That amount equals a debt load of $50,100 per citizen and $138,300 per taxpayer. (U.S. Debt Clock)

Government does not have the means or the capacity to generate wealth. By its very nature, it can only consume wealth. The only income governments have for paying off debt or purchasing necessary goods or services for its operation is the wealth confiscated from citizens through taxation of one type or another, whether it is through overt taxation, fees, inflation, fines or other means of raising revenue.

Since all debts eventually come due and since this generation insists on living off borrowed money while refusing to pay the taxes necessary to support our leaders’ opulent life styles and prolific spending, or to defray the debt, that debt necessarily falls on future generations. This generational theft, or as Frederic Bastiat would no doubt call it if he were alive today, “generational plunder”, is both our national crime and our national sin. We are plundering the livelihood of our children, grandchildren and future generations in pursuit of the impossible utopian promises of the godless socialists that have infiltrated and now control our governments and our political parties.

Again to quote Bastiat, “…legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism…” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 15.

…With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 21.

There are no innocents in this scenario. Both political parties, progressives, conservatives and even our beloved tea parties must share in the guilt. The Democrat Party has exploited the natural greed, jealousy and envy of its constituents to win votes by promising free food, clothing, medical care, education, loans, money, etc., all at the expense of other citizens. The gullibility, of what seems to be a majority of the American people, has allowed the Democrat Party and its socialist leadership to gain control over our government. They are using that power to destroy our cultural, economic and political institutions in order to replace them with socialist institutions that they believe will ultimately afford them total control over the lives and liberty of the American people.

The Republican Party has not escaped, by any means, the influence of socialism among its leadership. They may not be as taken in by the utopian mythology of socialism as their Democrat counterparts, but they are every bit as motivated by the lust for power as are the Democrats. In some ways, the Republican Party is even more devious than the Democrat Party. Democrats publicly reveal their intentions, depending on the apathy and gullibility of the American people and the ever-increasing financial dependency of their base, to return them to power. The Republican Party campaigns on conservative values promising to return America to its founding principles. However, once in office too many of them succumb to the perks and powers of office and become more intent on protecting and supporting the Party establishment so as not to risk their own coveted position than in their promises to the voters.

As we witnessed in the last several election cycles the Republican Party sometimes even seems willing to sacrifice the Presidency in order to maintain its dwindling power in Congress as well as in State and local government bodies. In primaries, they denigrate true conservative challengers, supporting candidates they believe will be most advantageous to the Party establishment. Once they have succeeded in winning their spot on the party ticket they drop the conservative façade they exhibited while campaigning and “move to the center” in order to hopefully gain the support of progressive republicans and the coveted “independents”. Once in office their sole consideration becomes how to hold onto the power they have won, perceiving that in order to do so they must kowtow to the Party leadership and support the establishment’s agenda. Their loyalty is to the Republican Party not to republican principles.

This lust for power, present in the breast of all professional politicians was the primary theme of debates during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. For 84 hot, humid days during that Philadelphia summer from May 25 to September 17, the framers wrestled with the problem of how to organize a government that would protect the liberty and property of its citizens while preventing it from being overcome by its leaders’ desire for power. They succeeded in creating the most effective and practical plan of government ever devised, the United States Constitution. However, like all plans, it only works when it is followed. Our Constitution is incompatible with socialism. For that reason, the socialists among us have been working for over a hundred years to destroy it. They have almost accomplished their goal. Actions by the Supreme Court this summer and/or the actions of voters this fall could sound the death knell for our Constitutional Republic.

Conservatives generally recognize this truth and have fought valiantly for the past couple of years in an effort to reverse course. The problem is that not enough conservatives recognize or accept the remedies necessary to cure all our national ills. Take, for example, the tea parties. The sole focus of many tea parties is fiscal responsibility. Some add to that focus, political reform, calling for a return to the Constitution. A few even address the cultural decay so rampant in America today; this diversity in purpose results in a splintered effort that in the long run may have little effect on the outcome. Many fiscal conservatives often overlook blatant breaches of the Constitution in order to enjoy their share of the socialist pie. They like the taste of the pie, they just don’t like the price attached to it. At the same time, many fiscal conservatives and constitutional conservatives alike denigrate the values conservatives, believing those values would somehow disturb the enjoyment of their pleasures and harm the chances of realizing their political agenda.

The idea that voters “always vote their pocketbooks” when they go to the polls is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all. It is not their pocketbooks they are voting, it is the pocketbooks of future generations. As for themselves, they will never agree to the increase in taxes necessary to pay for their leaders’ prolific spending. For generations we have been returning the same professional politicians to office in election after election. Obviously this practice is not working. Our debt keeps growing, our tax bills keep going up and our standard of living continues to decline. Our social programs are bankrupt, our unemployment rate is higher than it has been in eighty years, and few can say they are better off, spiritually, financially, or physically today, than were past generations. We can attend protest meeting and march with our cleverly worded signs all we want, but the only protest that counts is that expressed at the ballot box.

To solve our problem we have to change our system. We have to change the way our government is run and the people who run it. Thankfully, the Founders gave us a way to do that at the ballot box and not on the battlefield. In November, we need to vote out as many of the professional politicians as possible, replacing them with patriots who have the courage, knowledge and understanding to bring about true reform. As we have pointed out before, the American system has three components, its political system, its economic system and it culture. It is useless to believe that we can reform any one or two parts of this system and leave the other as it is, and hope that we can secure a lasting cure for our ills.

We must have political reform that restores the rightful authority to our Constitution, replacing our corrupt and self-serving political parties with ones made up of true patriots who take their oath of office seriously and abide by it. We must have economic reform that rejects crony capitalism and replaces it with the true market capitalism that made America the most prosperous nation on earth for generations. Last, but by no means least, we must revive the American culture that made us the beacon of liberty and opportunity the world over. In short, we need a political, economic and spiritual revival if we are to survive as a free nation.

To realize this revival we must learn all over again to cherish and abide by our founding principles as set forth in our founding documents, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I have heard mothers threaten their errant offspring with the threat, — insincerely, of course — “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” America was brought into this world by the benevolent providence of God and therefore, it can be taken out by His judgment…. Think about it.

 

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Obama Escalates War on Capitalism

On Thursday, Obama will return to Cooper Union in New York where he announced during the 2008 campaign his intentions to reform America‘s financial institutions.  He is expected to announce a major overhaul of the regulatory system dealing with financial markets.  To prime the pump, so to speak, the FCC has filed a criminal complaint against the investment giant Goldman Sachs.  A number of legal experts have questioned the merits of the government case, some suggesting that the charges may be politically motivated.  Whatever its merits or outcome, the case will be used to further vilify the banking and investment industry to promote public opinion in favor of more stringent regulations.

Control over the financial sector of the American economy is essential to the long-range plans of President Obama and his progressive supporters to transform America into an Americanized version of European Socialism. With the nominal control he already has over energy, health care, education, housing and transportation through bureaucratic regulations built up over the past century he only has a few more to go and his dominance over the nation’s economy and its citizens will be complete.  One way of viewing his presidency in the short time he has been in office is that he is merely putting the finishing touches on the work done by progressives (American socialists) since the Administration of William McKinley.

Of the remaining major hurdles still ahead for the Democrats before the November elections, Cap and Trade, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and finance reform, finance reform will probably do less damage to the Democrat Party than the other two.  Most of us do not understand the intricacies of macroeconomics and it is easy to fall prey to the MSM and Democrat propaganda demonizing the banking and investment industry.  There is little comfort in the knowledge that the average member of Congress understands basic economics even less.

Some Republicans are already dusting off the slogan used to pass the bailouts and stimulus packages of the past two years, “something has to be done”.  According to Reuters, the “legislation under discussion would impose the sharpest regulatory crackdown on banks and capital markets since the Great Depression”.  It is highly doubtful that Senate Republicans will be able to filibuster the legislation when, according to the latest Rasmussen polls, 54% of the American people distrust the banking industry.  The issue is tailor made for the Democrat/socialists strategy of capitalizing on the natural class envy that promotes class warfare.

In addition to the doomsday predictions so familiar from the debates over bailouts, stimulus and health care, if we fail to act, a new one will be added in Obama’s Thursday speech.  He will promise to end the business cycles that are inherent in Capitalism.  This can only be accomplished through tight regulatory control by the government over the financial markets.  The problem with this fantasy is the fact that no individual or group of individuals has the intellectual capacity or management skills to manage an economy the size of ours.  Efforts to do so can only end with the same results as those in other socialist countries where it has been tried.

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An Argument for Term Limits

minute-man-2-lithoWe have both the responsibility and opportunity of living with the most incompetent government ever to occupy the District of Columbia.  I say “responsibility” because, as a nation, we have looked the other way for a full century while the federal government abandoned the “American Dream” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” envisioned by the founders, settling instead for a pipe-dream of, entertainment, toys and ease.  Too many of us are more interested in our favorite sports team, the antics of the celebrity of the day, and how we can acquire the latest technological toy, than in what our government is doing.

In our quest for entertainment and comfort, we have allowed our government to be taken over by a group of political hacks, more loyal to their political bosses and campaign contributors who keep them in office than to the country and the Constitution they are sworn to defend.  Even the most incompetent among them are continuously returned to Washington, so long as we can snack on the scraps of pork that fall from their table, while they feast on the fruits of our labor.

I say “opportunity” because the crushing debt and level of tyranny bearing down on our children, our children’s children and us is something we can no longer ignore.  As more citizens become aware of where the road we are now on is taking us, the opportunity for changing course becomes more of a possibility.  The most frequent question we hear asked on talk radio today is, “What can I do?”  Everywhere we see signs that the American people are not only frightened about where our leaders are taking us, they are downright angry as well.  Millions of citizens are expected to take part in the “tea parties” planned across the country on April 15th.

There is a lot we can do as individuals, but we first have to take an honest look at how we got here. Conservatives need to take full advantage of the awakened interest and anger of millions of Americans to reeducate as many as possible on where our liberty comes from, and what the foundation of our past prosperity rests on.  We need to recognize that we no longer have the Constitutional, representative republic entrusted to us by our Founders.

Our type of government cannot survive without the rule of law.  We worry about the lawlessness on our southern border, and in some of our inner cities while our political class is the most lawless of all.  We cannot rightly be described as “a nation of law and not of men” as long as our political leaders continue to ignore and wantonly violate the Supreme Law of the Land, the Constitution.

Our representative form of government works fine so long as it is held in check by a Constitution.  When it departs from the Constitution it is no longer truly representative in the way it was intended to be.  The federal government is a creation of the states and was intended to serve the needs of the states to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  It no longer performs these functions that justify its existence.

Instead of forming a more perfect union, it seeks to divide us through class warfare, racial divides, and cultural diversity.  Instead of “establishing justice“, our judicial branch is used to promote political and social agendas that are anything but “just“.  In place of “domestic tranquility“, the federal government has become the primary source of domestic agitation.  It seeks to promote the welfare of favored groups rather than the “general welfare,” and is in the process of removing the “blessings of liberty from ourselves and our posterity.”  Last but not least, the most important purpose of the federal government, “to provide for the common defense” is the one most despised by our current political class.

For those who take exception to my claim that we are no longer a representative government, I would remind them that the purpose of our government is to provide us with a common defense against foreign adversaries, and to deal with a handful of issues that cannot be handled effectively by the states acting independently.  Under the Constitution, the only involvement by the federal government has in our economy is in maintaining the network of communication provided by the Post Office, protecting intellectual property through patents and copyrights, promoting and protecting free trade between the states through the regulation of interstate commerce, and promoting international trade through the regulation of imports and exports.  Under the Constitution, the control and use of natural resources, social services, and intrastate commerce is the responsibility of the individual states.

As a whole, the economy is left to the ingenuity of the American people through capitalism, with the states exercising the amount of oversight necessary to insure fair and honest dealing between buyers and sellers.  The products made and the services provided depend on the perceived needs of the people and the willingness of businesses to provide for those needs at an honest profit.  Necessary social services such as, fire and police protection, care for the aged, health care for the indigent, education, etc., are the responsibility of state and local governments, churches, private charities, families and the charity of individuals.  For the most part, individuals are left free to pursue their own avenues to happiness and prosperity.

Under such a constitutional government, those who represent the states in national affairs are truly representatives of the people and sensitive to its will.  That is no longer the case, however.  Today, our Congressmen and Senators represent the interest of political parties, and their supporters, not the interest of the people.  The federal government has become so intertwined in the economic affairs of the states and their citizens that virtually every law they pass has a tangible effect on how each of us is permitted to live our daily lives.  Congress exercises power over individual citizens that was never intended by the founders nor permitted by the Constitution.  Yet, we seem powerless to do anything about it.

The Congressman or Senator from New York sponsors and votes for laws that determines how the citizen in Utah or Louisiana lives his or her life.  A Congresswoman elected by the citizens of one city and a Senator elected by the citizens of one of our least populated states exercise dictatorial powers over what types of legislation can be debated and voted on in Congress and the conditions under which they can be considered.

No member of Congress is elected by more than 1% of the national vote, yet they are able to determine what 100% of our citizens are allowed to do with their lives.  To prevent this is precisely why the Founders crafted a Constitution that limited the powers of Congress and the federal government to matters that were truly national in nature.  The Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution to insure that the limitation placed on Congress and the federal government was understood and adhered to.

To correct the abuses of Franklin Roosevelt, the Twenty Second Amendment limiting the terms of the President, was added in 1947 and ratified in 1951.  Experiences of the last fifty years indicate we need another amendment that limits the terms of our Senators and Congressmen.  The argument most often given is that the people should be allowed to elect anyone they wanted for as long as they are doing an adequate job, and that to do otherwise would infringe on the right of the people to be represented by the person of their choice.

This would perhaps be a valid argument if we were still governed under a Constitution that limited the powers of government to those delegated.  However, as long as Congress exercises the power to protect us from ourselves by telling us what to eat, what to drive, how much electricity our appliances can consume, and how much water our toilets can use, we deserve the right to protect ourselves from the uninformed, indifferent, and just plain stupid voters who continue to return incompetent, self-serving officials to Washington election after election.

Meanwhile, at the state and local level we need a method for recalling representatives when it becomes evident they are not going to honor their oath of office by protecting and defending the Constitution.  The mere existence of such a possibility would perhaps, provide the leverage we need to remind them that they are there to serve the interest of the people not the party.  Just as Rom Emmanuel says, “we can’t let a good crisis go to waste”.  We truly have a crisis in government, and we should take the opportunity it provides to return our government to the purposes for which it was created.

The Real Experts Have Spoken

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The election of a socialist President and a socialist Congress notwithstanding, the American people always make the right decision when they have correct information.  The takeover of Congress and the White House by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party is the result of over forty years of relentless propaganda by the left especially focused, during the past eight years, on the administration of George W. Bush.

The people who make this country work are busy pursuing their own avenues in “pursuit of happiness” (prosperity) and for the most part, depend on the mainstream media for their information about what is going on in America.  In spite of the media’s love affair with President Obama and its continuing efforts to prop up support for his policies, it is difficult to fool the American people for extended periods of time.  As more and more people begin to feel the effects of socialist policies on their personal economic wellbeing they are starting to pay more attention to what is going on in Washington.

When it comes to the economy, the experts who understand how it really works are not found in the halls of academia, or walking the halls on Capitol Hill.  The real experts are those whose fortunes, and indeed their livelihood, depends on rightly reading and predicting the economic health of the country.  These people have given a resounding “NO!” to the policies of President Obama, his financial advisers and Congress.

The performance of the stock markets since the election of Obama in November represent the collective wisdom of these economic experts, whose responsibility it is to invest their own money or the money of those they represent in the future of the U.S. economy.  They have weighed the proposals of the President and found them wanting.  No amount of manipulation, threats, dire predictions, or empty promises on the part of politicians can persuade these experts who spend their entire wakening life studying the impact of current events and government policies on the economy, to bet their money on Obama’s socialist policies.

The reluctance of investors to risk their money in the stock market is not based on an unreasoning fear, but on over one hundred years of history.  The policies being promulgated by Washington are not new.  They have all been tried and failed by nations all over the world at some time during the past century.  The failure of Roosevelt’s New Deal, the lost decade of Japan and the failure of socialist policies in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden and other showcases of socialist experimentation all show that socialism is detrimental to the economic welfare of a nation.

The $410 billion “supplemental” appropriations bill intended to run the government for the remainder of 2009 has stalled in Congress, but is scheduled to be brought up for a vote again early next week.  The bill contains billions of dollars in “earmarks” (bribes) placed as amendments by both Republicans and Conservatives alike.  Most Republicans are standing firm against passage along with some Democrats.  However, it seems at this point the opposition is mostly for “show” to placate constituents in conservative districts. (NOTE: The Bill was passed and signed into law by President Obama, on Tuesday, March 11.)

My prediction is that the temptation of “bringing home the bacon” and shoring up support among contributors and uninformed voters will outweigh patriotism and the bill will pass with the necessary majority including a handful of Republicans.  When it does, it is likely that the economic experts referred to above will take even more money out of the stock market, either in protest or in fear.  That will just be another rebuke to the policies of Obama and his Democrat/socialist minions.

Totalitarianism 101

minute-man-2-lithoThe patterns of totalitarianism are taking shape in the American government virtually unacknowledged.  Few Americans can fathom the possibility of elected officials deliberately carrying out policies detrimental to the country’s welfare.  In the minds of Washington socialist dominating our government, the policies they are advocating are really best for the country.  To them, American is a flawed government that must be remade for its own survival.  Totalitarian policies are intended for the good of the people, to protect them from themselves.

A look at the despotic governments of the twentieth century reveals at least four characteristics of totalitarian governments.  Three of these characteristics are evident in recent developments we read about on the front pages of our daily papers or hear about in prime time newscasts every day.  The fourth is a necessity that must be implemented in order for the first three to take root and flourish.

1. Centralized Power

One of the fundamental themes of our Constitution is protection from tyranny and the preservation of liberty.   The original plan consisted of thirteen independent and sovereign states united in a federal government believed to be necessary for the collective security and harmony of the several states.  One of the greatest fears of the founders and their critics was that any federal arrangement might develop into a consolidated government that would usurp the sovereignty of the states and trample on the liberty of the people.

To guard against this possibility the Framers listed in the Constitution the specific powers granted to the federal government (Article I, Section 8) and then emphasized the sovereignty of the individual states by adding the Tenth Amendment.  Over the years the Federal government has chipped away at this feature of the Constitution through targeted tax incentives and economic and social regulations designed to transfer power from the states and the people to an elite ruling class in Washington.

For over forty-five years—two generations—the Federal government has managed our education system.  The end result is that most Americans have lost sight of the federal, republican character of our government and think of it a monolithic central government designed to direct the affairs of all the states and their citizens.  The economic downturn that started at the end of 2007 and continues today provided an opening for the government to centralize economic planning and direction in Washington and they are taking full advantage of the opportunity.

The central planning and control of economic activity is a central part of all totalitarian governments. Through the trillions of dollars being pumped into the economy by “stimulus packages” implemented by both the Bush and Obama administrations we have been placed firmly on the path to the tyranny of centralized planning.

2. One Party Rule

All totalitarian governments have one political party that acts as a “rubber stamp” for the head of the party who functions, to a degree, as a dictator, much like the City Council and Mayor of Chicago, Illinois.  In America we have two major parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  Regardless of the label, all political parties in America fall within a continuum from Constitution Fundamentalism on the right to Marxist Socialism on the left.  The Democratic Party, with the election of Barack Obama, is on the threshold of becoming a true Marxist Party to the left of European Socialism.

The Republican Party is slightly to the left of center and would be further left if not for the restraining influence of its conservative base.  Too many Republicans share the aspirations of power with the Democratic Party and believe the way to get and keep that power is by supporting big government and raiding the public treasury on behalf of their supporters.  The touted ideal of “bipartisanship” is nothing more than a tool for moving the Republican Party further to the left until we eventually have one party with two labels.

During his first month in office, Obama has instituted a number of policies designed to entrench the power of the Democratic Party for generations to come.  As we have pointed out numerous times over the past year, Community Organizers are the “foot soldiers” of the socialist movement.  They work diligently at the local level to “plant” the principles of socialism at the grassroots of American Society.  Few have been more active or more successful in this task than the former affiliate of Barack Obama, ACORN.  In the stimulus package just signed into law millions of dollars have been allocated for “community organizing” and organizations similar to ACORN.

Another effective means of strengthening the Democratic Party is by Gerrymandering Congressional Districts and manipulating the counting of citizens.   By Executive Order, Obama intends to take over the 2010 census.  By changing the way in which citizens are counted and “estimating” rather than counting citizens difficult to find, the Democratic Party can substantially increase its representation in the House of Representatives and alter the number of Presidential Electors allocated to the various states.  Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution places the responsibility for conducting the census totally in the hand of the Legislature and not the Executive.

“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 (Congress) shall by Law direct.” (Article 1, Section2, Clause 4)  The transfer of this duty to the White House by Executive Order is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of power by the Executive Branch.

3. Dependency

Still another means of concentrating power in the hands of a single party is through the creation of dependency.  The third and most reliable tool of totalitarianism is to cultivate a dependency of the masses on the power of the state.  The three most effective means for creating dependency are in the areas of defense, crises, and economics.  Because of the natural dangers in the world of international relations, the “enemies” ploy is a “gimmie” for the would be dictator.  Every modern dictator has used the threat of real or manufactured enemies as a means of solidifying the support of the people behind the protection of the state.

Sometimes the enemy is real and easily identified, like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Islamic Terrorism.  Sometimes they are manufactured like “The Great Satan” of Islamic despots or “global warming“.  Always they are used by aspiring tyrants as a means of creating fear and rationalizing an ever expanding role for government.  Unfortunately, we in America are not immune to this tactic.  Whatever the good intentions, and even the necessity of some policies, there is no denying that the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on poverty and the war against climate change has seen a steady erosion of personal liberty and freedom in our own country.

Another means of creating dependency is crisis management.  Natural disasters like hurricane Katrina provide fertile ground for the expansion of government.  Although federal response to Katrina highlighted its shortcomings in dealing with local disasters, it has still been used to increase the dependency of citizens on the national government rather than state and local governments in responding to local crises.  At the same time it is utilized as the rationale for expanding the federal government into areas that should be the primary responsibility of the states and the people, weakening the power of local government and further consolidating the power of Washington bureaucrats.

On the economic front, a large majority of the American people are to some extent dependent on the federal government for part or all of their livelihood.  In addition to those we normally think of as being on the “public dole”, anyone who works in an industry dependent on government contracts, grants, tax incentives, or other government programs ad infinitum, is to some extent, a ward of the federal government.

The best example of this is the health care industry.  In spite of the picayune payments made by agencies like Medicare and Medicaid on behalf of individual patients, the industry as a whole has become dependent on the federal government for its existence; from the phlebotomist to the hospital administrator they all rely on government for a substantial part of their paychecks.

Almost any problem can be turned by the government into an opportunity to increase dependency and expand the scope of government.  As Rom Emmanuel says “never let a crisis go to waste”.  In the hands of government anything can be and often is turned into a crisis.  The mild recession we entered in 2007 has been turned into an economic crisis by the Democratic Party and used to justify the largest expansion of government in our nation’s history.

4. Control of the Means of Communication

With proper information, people will always make decisions based on what is best for their own welfare.  Information is power, and for that reason totalitarian governments always fear the free flow of information.  An argument could be made that America today would not be on the verge of converting to socialism, if not for the national media functioning as propagandists for the socialist movement over the past decade.

The Democratic Party controls the flow of information through the mass media with only a few exceptions.  Those exceptions are talk radio, a segment of the internet, and FNC.  No one would voluntarily choose tyranny over liberty if they were aware of the choice they were making.  Eight years of misinformation, slanted reporting, half-truths and propaganda against the Bush administration by the MSM created the circumstances that led to the election of Obama as President.

Now that we are at the point of transition between capitalism and socialism, control of information is even more critical to the new President and his supporters.  In order for the transformation of our society planned by Obama to go somewhat smoothly, the tens of millions of listeners to talk radio must be neutralized.  For Obama and the Democratic Party that is not just something that would make their lives easier, it is an absolute necessity.  Democratic leaders like Schumer, Durbin, Pelosi, Reid and others are already sending out “feelers” as they cast about for a plan that can be sold or forced on the public.

Make no mistake about it.  An attempt will be made by the federal government to silence talk radio.  It’s only a matter of finding the correct vehicle for its implementation.  When that happens it will be the fourth and final step on our road to totalitarianism.

Is President Obama Really a Socialist?

minute-man-2-lithoMost Americans reject socialism.  After more than forty years of cold war with the Soviet Union and its eventual collapse, the obvious failure of socialism in Cuba and countries of the Eastern Block, most of us realize that socialism simply does not work.  That’s good, except that most of us clearly do not recognize socialism even though it permeates every fabric of our society.

This fact is obvious in considering the reaction by a majority of us to the various attempts to “stimulate the economy” including the “stimulus package” passed by Congress last week and signed into law by President Obama.  We cling to the classic definition of socialism as communal ownership where the state owns and controls the means of production and distribution.  Any system that does not measure up to that definition is not considered socialism.  That is not the way modern western style socialism works, at least, not in the beginning stages.

Because of the negative image of socialism in the West, governments have been content, until now, to allow private ownership of business property, contenting itself with taking a lion’s share of profits through taxation and controlling commercial and industrial operations through regulation.  The dictionary definition of socialism simply does not accurately define socialism in its modern Western form.  Consequently, it is easy to accept the idea that is put forth by pundits and opinion makers in the media that Obama and his policies are not socialist but progressive.

What is not properly understood by many of us is the difference between means and goals.  In socialism, the goal is to redistribute wealth to attain what they believe to be social justice.  Nationalization, progressive taxation, targeted tax policies, and proliferation of social programs are merely the means used to reach this goal.  A necessary by-product of the goal is control over the personal behavior of the people; otherwise, they will not voluntarily cooperate in its achievement.  This is particularly true of those who are heavily taxed only to see those taxes redistributed to less productive members of society.

The litmus test as to whether a policy is socialist or not is whether it results in a transfer of income or wealth from one group of citizens to another.  Policies that take income or wealth from the person or persons who labored to accumulate it and transfers it to other individuals or groups who had no part in its creation is socialism, whatever label might be used to disguise the fact.  By this easily understood standard, President Obama is clearly a dedicated socialist and the policies he proposes are just as clearly socialistic.

Aside from the world wide, historical evidence that socialism is destructive to any society where it is practiced, in America it is also illegal.  The one thing all Americans, including our elected officials, agree on is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.  The problem is that not enough of us know what that means.  The Constitution was crafted by delegates to the Philadelphia Convention on behalf of their respective states to provide a means of performing certain necessary functions that could not be effectively performed by the several states individually.  After much debate, it was finally ratified by all thirteen of the original states.  The Constitution had two major purposes.  First, to provide the new government with the powers necessary for national defense and the protection of liberty and property.  The second purpose was to limit that power to the functions spelled out in the document.

Any powers not spelled out (enumerated) in the Constitution that may be necessary to maintain a stable and free society is left to the discretion of the states and the people by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.  As with most laws, the limited powers of the Federal Government were soon tested in court.  The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, George Marshall, wrote in the majority opinion of a Court case in 1803, “Any law passed by Congress not sanctioned by the Constitution is by its nature, void.” (Paraphrased for clarity)

Socialism, which is based on greed, envy, resentment and a lust for power, is undeniably unconstitutional and therefore illegal.  When elected or appointed officials of government impose their will on the people either by legislation, bureaucratic regulation or Executive Order they are in violation of the Supreme Law of the Land and it is the duty of every citizen to resist such unlawful behavior by any means at their disposal.

The Trillion Dollar Pork Barrel

liberty-bellIf you have noticed a loud whirring sound lately, it is probably the sound of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the signers of the Constitution spinning in their graves as they watch the devastation of their beloved document by our socialist leaders in Washington.

On Saturday the White House released a four-page document outlining the President’s spending plan.  The report was a more detailed version of the plan announced in his speech January 9.  It calls for $825 billion in pork barrel spending under the guise of “America Recovery and Investment”, otherwise known as the “stimulus package”.

According to White House sources, the plan is near completion in the Democratic controlled Congress.  The proposed bill will contain more pork than all the meatpacking plants in America combined.  However, there is very little stimulus of the type that might create a substantial number of new jobs, or “jump-start” our lagging economy.  Instead, it seems designed to enhance the reelection of the Democratic Congress in the 2110 elections.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts that most of the spending will occur in 2010 and 2011, coincidently just in time for the 2010 and 2012 elections.  Among the goodies supposed to create jobs and stimulate the economy is $30 billion to promote renewable energy, $200 million for renovating the Capital Mall, $275 billion in tax relief, even for the 40+ percent who pay no taxes, $50 million for the Endowment for the Arts, and, oh yes, $360 million to buy condoms for preventing the spread of venereal disease.

President Obama indicated his estimation of the intelligence of the American voter by boasting that the bill would contain no “earmarks”.  With that much pork, who needs earmarks?  Many Republican lawmakers expressed opposition to the bill as it is emerging, but for the wrong reasons.  They are not opposed to the idea of “bailouts” per se; they seem more upset that some of their pet projects are not being funded.  The vote buying is directed mostly to the reelection of Democrats.

When this spending plan goes into effect, the social, economic and political structure of American will be changed forever.  As government takes more and more control of businesses through stock purchases and regulations the capitalist system that has given us a standard of living that is the envy of the world will gradually be transformed into a government planned socialist economy.  With the planned deficits running at the rate of over a trillion dollars per year for the foreseeable future, we can expect the onset of hyperinflation and taxation that is even more confiscatory.  If not for us, then for our children and grandchildren.

It is not, however, the bleak social and economic outlook that should bother the true patriot.  It is the total, complete and probably irrevocable loss of our Constitution that should concern us.  Socialism cannot exist within the framework of our Constitution.  The Constitution is based on the idea of free market capitalism with each individual free to pursue his or her own prosperity as they think best.  The changes required just to make the proposed plans for health care and energy use in any degree effective will require major “forced” changes in our personal choices of lifestyle and living habits.  An outline of the plan is posted on the White House website.

  • Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years.
  • Modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.
  • Making the immediate investments necessary to ensure that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized.
  • Equipping tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries.
  • Expanding broadband across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
  • Investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries.

The reader with a working knowledge of the Constitution will notice that none of the six items listed above fall within the authority of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress by the framers.  Pseudo-Constitutional scholars like President Obama and others will attempt to authenticate the constitutionality of the plan by pointing to the phrases, “general welfare” and “necessary and proper” found in the first and last clauses of Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution.

I have written many articles on these two clauses in the past.  This time I prefer to offer the opinion of two REAL Constitutional scholars, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.  One of the arguments used by those opposed to the ratification of the Constitution in 1787 and 1788 was that these clauses granted too much power to the federal government and there was the danger that future Congresses would use them to infringe on our liberties.  In an article appearing in the Independent Journal a New York newspaper James Madison responded to this objection:

“It has been urged and echoed, that the power ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.”

“No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases.”

“A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms “to raise money for the general welfare. ”But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?”

“If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?”

“Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter.”
~ Federalist No. 41 by James Madison

In 1791 Thomas Jefferson was engaged in an argument with Alexander Hamilton, the Secretary of the Treasury, concerning the establishment of a National Bank.  In a paper to President George Washington concerning the matter, Jefferson dealt with the so-called “elastic clause”.

“The second general phrase is, ‘to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the enumerated powers.’ But they can all be carried into execution without a bank. A bank, therefore, is not necessary, and consequently, not authorized by this phrase.

It has been much urged, that a bank will give great facility or convenience in the collection of taxes. Suppose this were true: yet the constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary’ not those which are merely ‘convenient’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase, as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one; for there is no one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience, in some way or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one phrase, as before observed. Therefore it was, that the constitution restrained them to the necessary means, that is to say, to those means without which the grant of the power would be nugatory.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, January 15, 1791

The framers rightly believed that to protect the liberties of the people it was necessary to limit the powers of the federal government to those specifically granted to them by the Constitution.  To further reinforce this belief the ninth and tenth amendments were added to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights.  That premise was no truer then than it is today.

The doctrine of “enumerated powers” is still the best protector of liberty we have to defend ourselves against the spread of tyranny threatened by Obama’s plan to “save us”.