Fixing America’s Budget Mess

I’ve spent a while pondering that we have a $5 Trillion per year budget deficit.

$5,000,000,000,000.00 Or in British Terms $5 Million Million.

That’s on top of whatever our accumulated debt to date might be now. About $15 Trillion.
$15,000,000,000,000.00 give or take a few $Hundred Million…

Oh, “My Bad”. The national Debt Clock says we are just a bit under $16 Trillion now… must have been a month or two back that I saw $15 Trillion…

The general trend is to have the Socialists / Progressives / American Social Liberals advocating for just taking more money from anyone who has it. ( i.e. “tax the rich”). Angela Merkel in Germany is advocating for a Tobin Tax, a tax on ALL financial transactions, to pay the EU bills and some have advocated for that in the USA. Never mind that all sorts of folks have ‘financial transactions’ and it is really just a stealth tax on money…

The general trend for conservatives tends to be “stop the spending” and occasionally added “then we’ll talk about some small taxes to maybe pay down the debt.” Unless, or course, there is a War To Fight when all the limits come off (declared war or not) or unless there is a Wet Kiss to give to an industry rich with donation dollars, or unless there is a program they can pass that both pleases a corporate donor AND looks like they too are handing out free stuff (think Baby Bush Drug Plan).

IMHO in looking for what is the basic cause of this, what was called the “root cause” in some class I had to take with fish bone diagrams, we need only look at ourselves.

The basic cause of all this is human nature.

At one point we had rules to constrain that human nature and to prevent it from running rampant. We have removed those rules, changed those laws, and basically put ourselves right back in the very kind of system that our Constitution was originally designed to prevent. We essentially need to make rules that prevent human action in their own interest.

The straight forward conclusion is simply that we ought to un-do those changes that removed those rules. I’d also suggest adding a couple of additional steps as well.

First off, Plato described Democracy as one of the bad systems, and it is. Constantly demanding “more democracy” is part of what caused this mess. We were set up as a Republic, for the simple reason that in a Republic the will of the people has a countervailing power. In a Democracy, the people demand more “goodies” from the political class and the political class buy votes via handing out money to people (often the same people from whom they took the money… go figure…)

Clearly it has been known for a long time that Democracies are not stable.

I explored at some length the history of folks who realized that we needed a brake on the ability of the people to vote for themselves the goodies in the public purse in this posting:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/progressively-corrupting-democracy/

Since we’ve now moved from a stable Republic with sound money, over to an unstable Banana Republic Wannabe, the question must be “What happened?” followed closely by “How to undo it?”.

What Happened?

Unfortunately, “What happened” has many many steps and parts. I can’t cover all of them, but even just fishing out the most important parts is a bit too long a list to treat in any depth. So some things will simply be stated as causal without a whole lot of analysis and / or proof. For example: TV has made us lazy, distracted, and uninterested in how our government works. Web browsing and the internet have extended this trend. As I think that is a minor factor, and not something likely to be changed, I’m only going to mention it in passing and without much else said about it.

There were many other changes that were more important. Those are the ones most in need of reversal. Several of them involve constitutional amendments that were passed, so un-doing them will also require constitutional amendments (or for the States to call for a Constitutional Convention).

So the first question is just “When was our budget not in a mess?”

That would be just after W.W.II. (During W.W. II it was a bit of a mess, but post W.W.II a lot of the debt was retired.) We then started the present budget melt down under L.B.J. from cost pressures for the Vietnam War. His is that little blip up in the late ’60s. Then later Nixon took us off the Gold standard and things got rolling even faster. But it was not until Carter was in place that some of the earlier changes started to come home to roost. Prices were rocketing up. Interest rates too. Regan came in and got the economy back under some kind of reasonable control, but the die was already cast for exponential growth of Government and Spending. His is that ramp up from 1981-89 or so. That was when we “Spent the USSR into the ground” in an arms race.

Unfortunately, we did NOT then pay off the bill and stop the arms race after the USSR collapsed and instead became Policeman To The World. Not to be outdone, following Presidents and Congresses have had a ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ agreement. Democrats pass social spending programs. Republicans fund military expansions. Both pass laws paid for by corporate donors via donations and PAC money in a round of Corporatism / Corporate Socialism. That’s the rest of the ramp.

But do realize that many of the programs started by each President and each Congress have a funding impact years and sometimes decades after passing. You can not just say “1981-1989 – That’s Reagan’s fault”. LBJ started Medicare, Medicaid, the “War on Poverty”. Programs that have had their major budget impact in later years are more people ‘aged into’ those programs. Similarly, Reagan ordered some weapons systems that were not delivered until later years. Baby Bush and his Drug Plan had little budget impact during his term, more over time. Nixon planted the EPA that is only now becoming a dramatic cash suck and general economy destroying agency. So that curve lags the causal event.

This graph gives a good idea how things are going, just remember that since it was made Public Debt has risen even more. The Federal Debt alone is now 1.5 X the $10 Trillion on this chart. So run that red line up half again…

US Debt 1940 to modern era

US Debt 1940 to modern era

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png

We can clearly see the massive debt spike in GDP terms to fund W.W.II and the pay down after that. Then, about 1970, things really take off (both in GDP terms and in nominal terms). That was when we abandoned the Gold Standard and gave The Fed the ability to create unlimited currency. It also allowed LBJ and all subsequent Presidents and Congresses to spend as much as they liked without raising taxes to cover it; as the excess just shows up in inflation that everyone covers and lots of people don’t even notice.

That “dip” about 2001 is a combination of the economic growth that lead into the Tech Bubble. Massive run up in the US stock market, focused into tech companies. Clinton took advantage of that (and the added tax revenues) to pay down some of the debt. There was also another interesting “revenue acceleration” done. The ROTH IRA. $Billions were converted to ROTH IRAs and the taxes payed early (but now are beyond the reach of taxes). So a good economy, a stock bubble, some capital gains bubble from the growing property bubble. But that was an unsustainable bubble (as we have seen).

The inevitable pressure for ever more spending tends to get more programs passed in that kind of context. Then, when the inevitable business downturn comes, or the asset bubble bursts: Income taxes plunge, capital gains taxes plunge, revenues fall. But the “programs” continue to grow. Now comes deficit spending on steroids.

Then the most pernicious thing of all. The bubbles have burst. It will take decades to happen again (unless The Fed goes nuts with added liquidity). The economy is tanked but will not pick up as the regulatory and tax burdens loaded on in the good times are ruinous in the bad times. The “solution” of higher taxes just forces things ever lower. All the prior Presidents and Congresses got the “brownie points” for the programs and the spending and raked in the taxes early via the cap gains bubble and ROTH conversion. The cupboard is now bare just as the bills come due.

So what does any good politician do? Blame the last guy and pass more “Give them some goodies” programs! And we enter the exponential phase.

Congress Can Not Be Trusted

It is simply not possible to depend on Congress to control it’s own Tax and Spend urges.

Why can I say that with such certainty?

History.

We have had a congressionally imposed “Debt Limit” since W.W.I and it simply is a bad running joke.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/US-Debt-Ceiling-History.htm

Notice that this list leaves out the most recent rise of a couple of $Trillion…

The U.S. debt ceiling history began way back in 1917 with the Second Liberty Bond Act, which helped finance the United States’ entry into World War I. Since then Congress has raised the statutory limit on the amount of U.S national debt dozens of times.

Here’s a look at the debt ceiling history, based on White House and congressional data.

February 2010 – $14.294 trillion
December 2009 – $12.394 trillion
February 2009 – $12.104 trillion
October 2008 – $11.315 trillion
July 2008 – $10.615 trillion
September 2007 – $9.815 trillion
March 2006 – $8.965 trillion
November 2004 – $8.184 trillion
May 2003 – $7.384 trillion
June 2002 – $6.4 trillion
August 1997 – $5.95 trillion
March 1996 – $5.5 trillion
August 1993 – $4.9 trillion
April 1993 – $4.37 trillion
November 1990 – $4.145 trillion
October 1990 – $3.23 trillion
November 1989 – $3.1227 trillion
August 1989 – $2.87 trillion
September 1987 – $2.8 trillion
August 1987 – $2.352 trillion
July 1987 – $2.32 trillion
October 1986 – $2.3 trillion
August 1986 – $2.111 trillion
December 1985 – $2.0787 trillion
November 1985 – $1.9038 trillion
October 1984 – $1.8238 trillion
July 1984 – $1.573 trillion
May 1984 – $1.52 trillion
November 1983 – $1.49 trillion
May 1983 – $1.389 trillion
September 1982 – $1.2902
June 1982 – $1.1431 trillion
September 1981 – 1.0798 trillion
September 1981 – $999.8 billion
February 1981 – $985 billion
December 1980 – $935.1 billion
June 1980 – $925 billion
September 1979 – $879 billion
April 1979 – $830 billion
August 1978 – $798 billion
October 1977 – $752 billion
June 1976 – $700 billion
March 1976 – $627 billion
November 1975 – $595 billion
February 1975 – $577 billion
June 1974 – $495 billion
December 1973 – $475.7 billion
October 1972 – $465 billion
March 1972 – $450 billion
March 1971 – $430 billion
June 1970 – $395 billion
April 1969 – $377 billion
June 1967 – $358 billion
March 1967 – $336 billion
June 1966 – $330 billion
June 1965 – $328 billion
June 1964 – $324 billion
November 1963 – $315 billion
May 1963 – $309 billion
July 1962 – $308 billion
March 1962 – $300 billion
June 1961 – $298 billion
June 1960 – $293 billion
June 1959 – $295 billion
September 1958 – $288 billion
February 1958 – $280 billion
July 1956 – $278 billion
August 1954 – $281 billion
June 1946 – $275 billion
April 1945 – $300 billion
June 1944 – $260 billion
April 1943 – $210 billion
March 1942 – $125 billion
February 1941 – $65 billion
June 1940 – $49 billion
December 1939 – $45 billion
December 1919 – $43 billion

So what kind of “Debt Ceiling” / Cap / Limit / whatever… has an unmitigated record of consistent and wild violation or ‘lifting’?

The debt levels from 1791 to 1849 are in this link:

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo1.htm

where it basically wanders back and forth around $33,000 ish to $120,000,000 ish mostly in the $50,000,000 kind of range. Ending about where it begins at $ 63,061,858.69 which is clearly way below the 1919 debt limit that is in the $Billions…

But this does give us another clue. There was not a lot of debt on the entry into W.W.I and it was only after that time that the process went ‘crazy wild’.

What happened about then?

Pretty simple, really. The Progressive Movement rewrote some parts of the Constitution.

Things Done, To Undo

I would start with an assertion that the Income Tax was the start of the downfall. It introduces a mechanism for class warfare. It creates the notion in those in Government that there is a very large pot of money to be “spread around”. All in all, it has evolved into so much cruft that has nothing to do with revenue generation that it is largely just a giant vehicle for social manipulation and a straightforward shakedown mechanism.

The 16 th

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

So first off, I think that a repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment gets the grubby paws out of the pocket and away from the wallet.

From the very beginning, an Income Tax has been the Socialist Wet Dream vehicle to redistribute wealth and spend spend spend..

To raise revenue to fund the Civil War, Congress introduced the income tax through the Revenue Act of 1861. It levied a flat tax of 3% on annual income above $800, which was equivalent to $20,693 in today’s money. This act was replaced the following year with the Revenue Act of 1862, which levied a graduated tax of 3–5% on income above $600 (worth $13,968 today) and specified a termination of income taxation in 1866.

The Socialist Labor Party advocated a graduated income tax in 1887. The Populist Party “demand[ed] a graduated income tax” in its 1892 platform. The Democratic Party, led by William Jennings Bryan, advocated the income tax law passed in 1894, and proposed an income tax in its 1908 platform.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., all income taxes had been considered indirect taxes imposed without respect to geography, unlike direct taxes, that must be apportioned among the states according to population.

The Wilson–Gorman Tariff Act of 1894 attempted to impose a federal tax of 2% on incomes over $4,000 (worth $107,446 today). Derided as “un-Democratic, inquisitorial, and wrong in principle,” it was challenged in federal court.

Given that the programs, advocated by just those folks; are one of two major reasons we’re in debt beyond belief (the other being a variety of wars), the idea that they wanted this funding mechanism FOR this effect is not beyond the pale…

In any case, “Propensity to Invest” goes up with income. Having rich folks is important for the simple reason that they are the ones who do the saving and investing. I don’t have to like that to recognize what it means. “Redistribution” of the wealth means less total investment in plant, facilities, etc. To the extent you succeed at “wealth equality” you fail at investment and economic growth. Basically, poor people do not invest in factories and create jobs. (While the Government can create Government Jobs, they are a net drain on national wealth and productivity, not an enhancement of it.)

The 17th

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventeenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution


The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures.
It also alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. Under the original provisions of the Constitution, senators were elected by state legislatures; this was intended to ensure that the Federal government contained representatives of the states, and also to provide a body not dependent on popular support that could afford to “take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress.” However, over time various perceived issues with these provisions, such as the risk of corruption and the potential for electoral deadlocks or a lack of representation should a seat become vacant, led to a campaign for reform.

Reformers tabled constitutional amendments in 1828, 1829 and 1855, with the issues finally reaching a head during the 1890s and 1900s. Progressives, such as William Jennings Bryan, called for reform to the way senators were chosen. Elihu Root and George Frisbie Hoar were prominent figures in the campaign to maintain the state legislative selection of senators. By 1910, 31 state legislatures had passed motions calling for reform. By 1912, 239 political parties at both the state and national level had pledged some form of direct election, and 33 states had introduced the use of direct primaries. With a campaign for a state-led constitutional amendment gaining strength, and a fear that this could result in a “runaway convention”, the proposal to mandate direct elections for the Senate was finally introduced in the Congress. It was passed by the Congress and on May 13, 1912, was submitted to the states for ratification. By April 8, 1913, three-fourths of the states had ratified the proposed amendment, making it the Seventeenth Amendment. Secretary of State Bryan formally declared the amendment’s adoption on May 31, 1913.

Critics of the Seventeenth Amendment claim that by altering the way senators are elected, the states lost any representation they had in the federal government and that this led to the gradual “slide into ignominy” of state legislatures, as well as an overextension of federal power and the rise of special interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously occupied by state legislatures. In addition, concerns have been raised about the power of governors to appoint temporary replacements to fill vacant senate seats, both in terms of how this provision should be interpreted and whether it should be permitted at all. Accordingly, noted public figures have expressed a desire to reform or even repeal the Seventeenth Amendment.

Again we see the push for more “Democracy” from the Progressives resulting in greater centralization of power, greater tendency to “buy the peoples votes with their own money” and the expansion of “special interest groups”.

If you want those things to go away, repeal the 17th Amendment.

FWIW, the 18th amendment was part of this same era… We already dumped it.

The text of the 17th Amendment:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

Those are the “big lumps” in the Constitution that need to be ironed out.

And Beyond!

For good measure I’d likely also remove:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-third_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

That lets the District Of Columbia residents have members in the Electoral College for President. Having folks able to pick their own boss (as most folks in D.C. work for and in the Federal Government) pretty much guarantees they will vote for more growth of government and more spending. (And every vote they have ever participated in has shown their votes going to the Democratic candidate – the party of more spending and bigger government. This shows that there is some evidence to support the notion of a self serving voting block.) Let them vote for anything local to DC. Just not for the Congress and President / V.P. who are their bosses at work.

and:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelfth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

The Twelfth Amendment is the one that changed how the V.P. and President were chosen. Prior to that Amendment, the loser got the V.P. slot. As the V.P. is the President Pro Tem of the Senate, this splits power between the President (in the executive) and is closest rival the “President wanna-be” running the Senate. As it is now, the two are “best buddies” from the same party and getting favored spending and payoff packages through the Senate becomes much more easily done…

At that point, we’re pretty much back to a government where one of the houses, the Senate, represents the will of the Several States and NOT that of the people directly. MUCH harder for the people to “vote for themselves the largess of the public purse” and at the same time, the senators have little desire to “spread the wealth” in a vote buying binge. Also, as the head of the Senate is in opposition to The President, it is more likely to act as a brake on Presidential Overreach.

As originally designed…

At that point I think most of the “heavy lifting” would be done.

Just Do What It Says

I’d only add that there are a few items in the constitution that have been stretched out of all recognition and / or just flat out ignored. They need to be enforced. How to do that I’m not so sure about… But once the Senate are again representatives of the States, they would likely act more in that manner.

In particular, this whole gallivanting all over the world having wars at the drop of a hat and being a UN Rent A Cop. Our Constitution does NOT allow for that. It says that a declaration of war must be passed by Congress. IMHO every war since W.W.II has been a basically illegal war (modulo that in some of them a mushy “powers” bill was passed).

Look at those deficit spikes. They happen on wars. Just cut out the whole war thing or at least throttle it back a bunch and a lot of the problem goes away.

I’m less keen on the “Gold and Silver” money angle, but frankly, that is what it says; that is what we ought to do. If we don’t like that, we ought to change it. Not just ignore it. Nor just ‘reinterpret it’ as we like. Look again at the ramp up post 1970 and the exit from the Gold Standard. Not pretty.

Basically, the ability to create money out of nothing must be removed from the hands of Congress and The Fed. IFF we could find a way to say something like “The total money stock of the nation shall be equivalent to global gold supply” or even just “The Fed shall make $20 Trillion of currency and no more.” and have it stick, I’d be OK with that kind of fixed limit on size. (Value will adjust accordingly). But since we can’t trust them (given what they have done), the only real alternative I see is some kind of commodity basis under the currency to physically restrict supply. (And yes, I know that this aspect “needs work”).

I’ve also mentioned the need to restore Glass-Steagall so that Investment Banks (which speculate in derivatives and stocks and all) are NOT backstopped by The Fed while Savings Banks are (normal retail banking); and Insurance Companies are in a third bucket. This dramatically stabilizes the financial system, keeps investment banking losses out of retail banking, prevents derivatives failures in investment banks from taking down insurance companies, etc. (Toss the CRA on the fire while you are at it…)

Then I’d add a couple of minor changes to “clarify” what already ought to be quite clear.

“The Commerce Clause is repealed. No State shall lay any tariff, duty, or impost on the products of any other State.”

“The Welfare Clause is repealed.” (Near as I can tell it’s just kind of Fluff anyway that has been construed to all sorts of nonsense.)

“No Treaty enacted under this Constitution can over ride, change, or revise any aspect of the Constitution and other Federal Law. All Treaties are junior to this Constitution and subordinate to it and to other Federal Law.”

“Congress shall have no authority to issue Grants, Gifts, Dues, or Payments of any kind to any foreign government or non-governmental organization other than as payment for goods delivered via competitive bid”

“In no case shall the budget or expenditures in any one year exceed 10% of the Gross National Product during the prior year.”

“All programs of future expenditures passed by Congress must include immediate funding in full.”

“All matters related to Education belong to the States.” (Or “Re-read the 9th and 10th Amendments”… )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In Conclusion

I think those changes would pretty much clean things up.

While I don’t think they ought to be needed, I could see adding:

“The United States are a Sovereign Nation and can not be subject to the laws of any outside body, agency, or government.”

and

“The Congress has no authority to cause any Citizen to be subject to the laws of any outside government, agency, or body.”

We might also need to add some specifics like:

“The Federal Government shall have no police powers nor rights of surveillance over Citizens of the several States.”
“The Federal Government shall have no authority over the environment within the Several States.”
“The Federal Government shall have no authority over Agriculture.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting the nature of commerce within any State.”

If it were needed; and one simply must use the meat ax:

“The Federal Government may not issue any debt instrument and neither incur nor accept any loans. Neither may it issue any loans. Congress has no authority to cause any debt, loan, or bond to be issued nor accepted by the Federal Government.”

If need be, well, we might have to point again at that “No standing budget for an Army” part of the Constitution and send parts of the military back to the States. The Feds can have a war with whatever Army and Air Force the States choose to provide…

But with the Senate back in the hands of the states, those kinds of States Rights issues would likely be dealt with anyway.

Would it be Chaos? Utter pandemonium? Nope. The States would no long be bankrupted by Federal Unfunded Mandates and each could decide for itself what it wanted in the way of various “protections”. One could choose to live in Progressive Peoples Republic Of California, or the Nanny State New York (pick up your 6 ounce state issued soda cup and diaper at the border), the “Smile for your Photo On The Freeway” Police State of Arizona, or the You’re On Your Own Wyoming. More freedom and folks could have exactly what they wanted.

Though frankly I think with the first set done, folks would be getting a clue or two…

There would likely be some loose ends that would need a bit more tightening, but at the end of the day, this would be most of it.

Couldn’t be much worse than what we have now, in any case.

Unfortunately, not a one of these changes is likely to happen, or even be considered.

Substantially the entire society is already corrupted to wanting the Free Stuff and the corporations of the world have learned the trick of getting government laws to enforce their profits. They would fight these changes with all they have.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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41 Responses to Fixing America’s Budget Mess

  1. David says:

    Like the post, but will have to think a bit on the solutions offered that will not happen, (;-
    But concerning this, I had a thought…”The general trend is to have the Socialists / Progressives / American Social Liberals advocating for just taking more money from anyone who has it. ( i.e. “tax the rich”). Angela Merkel in Germany is advocating for a Tobin Tax, a tax on ALL financial transactions” Humm? I see a steady increase in bartering in the future.

  2. BobN says:

    I agree with the solutions and recognize that none of them will be implemented as you stated. Our country is now too corrupt and has grown accustomed to free stuff. America seems to be split close to the middle between workers and takers and the political divide reflects this. No major legislation can be passed as its gridlock.
    We have an immigration policy that seems to be bringing in unskilled labor that migrate to picking up the easy benefits, so the takers will eventually win out. When this occurs the system will surely crash and only then will there be a chance for real reform. The problem being that the government will try and create a system for its own survival and in doing so will institute crazy laws like land grabs and wealth taking from any that may still have any. The system will look like Russia before the fall and will degrade quickly.
    Building a new government and putting society together will take time and many generations will suffer in poverty. There is no guarantee that a better government will emerge. Only after starvation and much looting and killing will things stabilize. I have a dark view of whats coming because we have politicians incapable of doing the right thing. Hope I’m all wrong.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    American society is much stronger and more honest then you might think. Politicians are disposable and easily replaced and are not really leaders. They are merely at the front of the mob. We need only to throw the bums out and get a new batch until we run through all the bad ones. pg

  4. Pingback: Fixing Eruope’s Budget Mess | Musings from the Chiefio

  5. Petrossa says:

    I can’t comment on the constitution not being american, however about the money issue. The positive side of banks being able to create money out of thin air is that now the whole world uses virtual money.
    And as with all things virtual, you can manipulate it as you wish.

    At a certain point in time globally banks can just cancel out debts, simply by changing the numbers in the computers. Just change the chinese ones it has receive their debt in full and change the us ones they’ve paid and bingo! All is well.

    Seriously, not joking. This whole debt thing is completely virtual, the money didn’t exist in the first place. So you can just take it out, or add to it as you please.

    These games being played are just that, games. Financial markets need debts to function else their existence becomes much less relevant.

    So do like Japan, just let it go.

  6. Pascvaks says:

    Agree that the “polite solution” is a “pipe dream”. Today will be an interesting “check” on reality. The Supremes will essentially tell us what the tea leaves say our future holds. It’s either going to be a) a No-Holds-Barred re-write of the first three words in the Constitution to “We The Almighty Congress..”, b) a limp split saying “Nothing Memorable Just More of the Same Sportsfans”, or (the least likely) c) a strong rejection to Congressional and Presidential Stupidity and claims of Unlimited Power. If it’s “a)” expect another Civil War this Century, if it’s “b)” expect more of the same and a total decline of the United States this Century, if it’s “c)”… well that’s not even worth pondering, never happen.

    Short Term – I think the South Will Rise Again! One day. In a Galexy Far, Far Away!

    Let’s hold our breath. At 10AM EDT something’s going to happen.

  7. philjourdan says:

    Regardless of common sense, none of this will happen. The devil disguises itself in a cloak of good intention, and the willing dupes are not even aware of the trap until they are in it.

    Take the 16th and 18th Amendments. The 16th was supposedly passed so that they 18th could be as well. Booze was a big source of revenue for the feds prior to the 20th century, so in order to “save the souls” of all the drunks, they gave them income tax. The 18th was repealed, and booze flowed again – as well as the taxes on it. But the income tax continued to rise.

    That is because the excuse was prohibition. The real reason is what you said – income redistribution. And while that is readily apparent, and some idiots do not even hide that purpose now, the smarter ones still talk about compassion (all the while stepping on the faces of the downtrodden).

    Truth was the first victim. And it was a mortal blow to it. Without resurecting Truth, there is no hope of any sanity prevailing.

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. You are right about this : American society is much stronger and more honest then you might think. …But, not only in the US but everywhere, and from 1713 on, in order to be an electable politician you must belong to certain association/group related to the “Novus Ordo Seclorum”.
    However, if you read Greek history and democracy epochs and non democracy epochs you will find a regularity of cycles between them. Thus it is not a matter of men but of stars. Not for nothing the Maunder Minimum gave birth the French Revolution. Now we are at a new “TURN OF THE SCREW”, another turn of the spiral, this time the other way, then the New World Order dream it is doomed to fail: Please remember that we are living in “interesting times”, just wait and see…and buy popcorn.
    I would dare to say that, it does not matter what THEY may want, NATIONALITIES will be back again and many Monarchies too, now with technology present, it would be possible to recognize ourselves in our diversity.
    SEEK DEMOCRACY IN NATURE: YOU WON´T FIND IT. The universe it is not democratic, it does not work that way. WE ONLY FIND DEMOCRACY IN CANCER CELLS , which is the equivalent of a French Revolution, a New World Order, a Novus Ordo Seclorum (new SECULAR order) against the laws which should naturally govern the body.

  9. Pascvaks says:

    Ref My Last –
    The Tea Leaves say: “It’s going to be a) a No-Holds-Barred re-write of the first three words in the Constitution to “We The Almighty Congress..”, expect another Civil War this Century; b) a limp split saying “Nothing Memorable Just More of the Same Sportsfans”, so we get more of the same and a total decline of the United States this Century.

    Short Term – I think the South Will Rise Again! VERY Soon. In a Galexy NOT Too Far, Far Away!

    Roberts was either a FOOL, or a Genius! History will tell. Either way, it’s de’ja Vue all over again, we’re in Charleston Harbor and the Rebels are loading and will soon be taking aim at Ft Sumter! Time to pick sides Sports Fans. It’s 1861 once again! Well Obama said he liked Abe best, I guess he’s in the books now for doing the same thing his Ol’Hero did, start another Civil War!

  10. p.g.sharrow says:

    My tealeave read; The Supremes say no to the thing and the Obamanation says no problem! We will recreate it through Executive Decree. pg

  11. Larry Geiger says:

    A republic starts at the bottom. The family. Voting was not originally about denying people the “right” to vote, but was about each family unit/producing unit having a vote. Family units voted for representatives to local and state positions.

    Family units also voted for representatives to the lower house of Congress. States sent the Senators. People thought about making their vote count. Power/money stayed closer to the lower levels, family and community. We have completely unended the entire system. It’s not repairable, as far as I can see. Pandora’s Box. Once it’s out it can’t be put back in.

  12. Richard Ilfeld says:

    well, well. Dred Scott again. Now that it is settled, let the accounting show that even with the new taxes there is both a greater increase in spending, and a big diversion of Medicare funding the will add even more debt. we are out of the band where a healthy economy can pay for the amount of government transfer from makers to takers, and our economy is not that healthy.
    Today, for sure, if you have 20 employees you can only support 19 going forward, unless you grow. What sectors can you grow in….well, health care but not by adding health professionals, in the same way that educational staffing has doubled over the last decade without adding teachers.

    In the short run, we’ll segregate ourselves into more Detroits and North Dakotas. If the progressive beaurobrats feel the need to remedy this…..
    The outcome of Dred Scott is a matter of history.

  13. philjourdan says:

    @Pascvaks says: 28 June 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Re: Roberts – I do not know what he is, but regardless of his intentions, I see a “midas gift” for Obama. While he technically got what he wanted, the decision made sure he could not run away from his legacy as the largest taxer in American history. It also calls him a liar.

    The ruling was bad for America. But the silver lining is that it was worse for Obama.

  14. Pascvaks says:

    @philjourdan –
    “In nomini Patri, et Fili, et Spiritu Sancti…”
    Let us pray you are right! But I just don’t feel very luckey. You don’t think He holds it against US saying He was dead do you?

  15. Jason Calley says:

    E.M., as usual, you have some really great insight into the subject. Unfortunately, I think you are also correct when you say that there is little chance of implementing the changes. As much as I deeply, deeply respect and admire the principles of limited, natural rights based, constitutional government, I have to admit that we (the USA) have not followed the Constitution for a long, long time. It is a dead letter. The politicians who swore to obey, not do so. Even more troubling, the military forces do not do so. The truth is, I have never met even one member of the US military (active or retired) who even had a working knowledge of the Constitution.

    It is time (past time, really) to reboot our government and our financial system — but since there is no painless way to do so, we continue to muddle along with patch after patch. “Yes, Doctor, I know I need surgery, but that would hurt! Can’t you just give me some morphine?”

    Madness! I do wonder though, whether Humpty Dumpty simply fell — or was he pushed?

    PS Long term and large scale, I am optimistic about the future of humans and the planet. Short term and on a national scale it is going to be a bumpy ride.

  16. Pascvaks says:

    @ Jason Calley – ..”Even more troubling, the military forces do not do so. The truth is, I have never met even one member of the US military (active or retired) who even had a working knowledge of the Constitution.”

    Jason, I have a feeling your deaf and blind and don’t retain a memory of much for very long. I’ll try to keep the sarcasm down as much as possible. Those kids are the living, breathing, sweating, breathing U.S. Constitution, the old Dogs were probably listening to you when you spoke but, I have a streange feeling, you probably came out with a similiar UCLA statement and they turned right off and thought saying anything would have been a waste of time. If they stay in for more than one hitch, they’ve memorized every little jot and wiggle. Can they recite it backwards, and cite chapter and verse, no; but I guarantee they know the meaning and measure of what they’ve sworn to uphold and protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    I don’t remember names, I’ve lived at my current address now for nearly 18 years, I know the street I live on (it’s named after a French palace and everybody gets it’s correct pronunciation wrong) and I know the name of the main through-street, always have; but I can not remember the street that connects the two (and it’s directly across from the house at a fourty-five degree angle and about 100′ from my front door). I don’t remember names, I remember people, places, things. I’m a Noun Man, but I don’t remember Words.

    Of course, there is a lot of room in what you might mean by ‘working knowledge’, but no one on the planet has a better ‘working knowledge’ of the Constitution than the members of the Armed Forces. Did you know that the original was written in blood?;-)

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    I spent 4 years in uniform in Southeast Asia in the late 1960s. and a lot of time in politics later.
    Whether in uniform or out American military types have to give some thought to orders and honor. While we must follow the chain of command, We can only carry out “lawful orders” and we, personally, are responsible. Upon our honor, we have sworn to protect the constitution from ALL enemies. I can assure you that both the current and former military people have a much better grasp of the constitution then regular citizens. Politicians on the other hand are often pathological liers and con men.Even those that are not crooked are easily mislead, as they just want to be popular.
    During the Clinton administration, war games were carried out to practice use of martial law in the United States. It was determined that the American military was not dependable for such use! Reno, Holder and the Clintons were disappointed and discontinued attempts to start a civil war against those that “clung to their guns and bibles”. The American military people are even more resistant now. Remember that only the “right wing” send their sons and daughters into our modern military. The “left wing” do not believe in having guns and receiving military training. They count on “police” to carry out the dictates of their democratic mob rule.
    There is an organization of current police and military that have sworn to refuse to carry out unconstitutional orders.
    It is the lawyers and politicians that have been trained to ignore or manipulate the words of the constitution to further their aims, as well as a lot of ignorant citizens easy to be mislead. pg

  18. As I said of the economic mess in the EU, “I sincerely doubt the economic mess in formerly “Free West” nations is an accident.”

    Society has been guided toward a totalitarian, one-world government since 1945, an agenda that escaped public notice until world leaders and leaders of the news media and scientific community “tipped their hand” by trying to justify or excuse global temperature manipulation in 2009 Climategate emails and documents.

    https://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-142

    – Oliver K. Manuel

    http://www.omatumr.com

  19. Jason Calley says:

    @ Pascvaks “I’ll try to keep the sarcasm down as much as possible. ”

    Yes, and thank you. I will do the same. I have always respected your opinion and still plan on doing so after this particular exchange is past. I fully expected someone to disagree with me so I will not say I am surprised. Heck, if the subject had come up ten years ago, I would probably have expressed pretty much the same opinion you did. That is what I had been taught and it took years of study and conversation before I finally was forced to admit to what was a very different and rather unpleasant conclusion. Oh well.

    However, you say “I guarantee they know the meaning and measure of what they’ve sworn to uphold and protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    The ones I have spoken to have not. I had a retired Navy Chief tell me “I could care less about the Constitution.” I had a former Army demolitions expert tell me “the Constitution is OK in theory, but it doesn’t work in the real world!” When I expressed disapproval about Congress refusing to vote on a declaration of war, I had another retired Navy Chief tell me “Why are you always throwing up the Constitution?!” (By the way, the last two both told me any number of times about how important their oath of induction was to them.) About the only military person I can think of who had a real commitment to the Constitution was Michael New. http://www.conservapedia.com/Michael_New I never met the man, but God bless him.

    I think any knowledgeable person could come up with a long list of actions that have been taken in the past, or that are being taken now that are obvious violations of the Constitution. It could be the use of fiat currency in violation of the clause that legal money be only gold or silver. It could be the rounding up and imprisonment of Japanese Americans. It could be warrantless monitoring of emails, or the illegal searches of homes, or of travelers boarding airplanes. It could be the use of executive orders to create legislation bypassing Congress. It could be illegally passing treaties like NAFTA with a simple majority vote instead of a supermajority. It could be originating tax or spending bills in the Senate instead of the House. It could be the tens of thousands of pages of gun control legislation which clearly violate the Second Amendment. It could be some of the tax laws which were passed and then applied retroactively. It could be the seizing of US citizens for suspected terrorist acts and holding them without charges. It could be waterboarding prisoners or coercing “confessions”. It could be the clause guaranteeing to protect states against invasion and yet the Federal government refuses to apprehend people entering illegally. It could be the War on Drugs, or the Department of Education or any number of agencies and projects which are not specifically authorized in the Constitution. It could be the enactment of Amendments that were clearly never properly ratified. It could even be something as minor as having Hillary Clinton be Secretary of State in violation of Article One, Section Six. I could go on, and I have no doubt that you could probably add some that I have not bothered to include. I have no doubt that there are some that we would disagree over. But can you honestly tell me that that there have been NO times when the Constitution has been violated?

    I have no argument with the bravery or effectiveness of the US military as a fighting force; pound for pound they are formidable. But simply fighting whomever they are pointed at is not their job description. If that were all, then they would just be another mercenary force. Their real job is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. How many times has the US military (or even a sizable fraction of it) taken any substantive action to stop an unConstitutional act from being committed by the United States government? If our military actually understood and obeyed their oath, the simple answer would be “Every time.” I wish it were so, and if you can give me some verifiable and affirmative answers, I will gladly apologize and change my mind, but so far, the US military commitment to the Constitution is almost like Global Warming to me. Everyone says it is so and makes a great point of it, but every time I look for actual evidence, I cannot find it. It is a darn shame, because We The People could sure use some support about now.

  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Jason: Long ago General Washington set the standard that the military would carry out the wishes of the people and their elected representatives in congress. The military is not supposed to enforce the constitution, the people are. The military will not go against the American people. pg

  21. Pascvaks says:

    @JasonCalley –
    OK, understand, you’re talking apples and I’m talking oranges. Regardless, you can now say that you’ve met one member of the US military (formerly active now retired) who had/has and will retain to his dying day a working knowledge of the Constitution;-)

    PS: As PG said, we follow lawful orders of those appointed or elected over us. Out of uniform, we don’t tend to follow much at all. In uniform you’re not a Dem or Rep or Ind or XYZ, you’re a dog.

  22. Jason Calley says:

    @ p.g.sharrow “General Washington set the standard”

    Well, you make an interesting point. On the other hand, when Washington was around, there was no standing army, only a permanent group of mostly officers to coordinate and lead the various militias when called into active duty. All adult males (with religious and minor exceptions) of appropriate age to serve were in the militia. The military WAS the people.

    Would it be appropriate to change the oath of induction to just say “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all foreign enemies” and leave out the “domestic” part? It would certainly more closely reflect the current situation.

    “There is an organization of current police and military that have sworn to refuse to carry out unconstitutional orders.”

    I guess you are referring to Stewart Rhodes and the Oath Keepers group. Yes, I remember when he started that and it is without doubt a step back in the right direction. My only point of contention is that the group only goes part way in adhering to the oath to protect and defend. They swear that they will not obey unlawful orders. Is that enough? Consider this analogy; suppose you hire a bodyguard to protect your family. One day you come home and discover that your wife has been beaten and your daughter has been raped. You ask the bodyguard, “What happened?!” He answers, “A gang came in did all this. You’ll be proud of me though — the gangsters told me to help them and I refused!”

    “The military will not go against the American people.”

    Like this time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre
    Or this time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army
    Or this time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_American_internment
    Or this time? http://reason.com/archives/2005/09/10/defenseless-on-the-bayou
    In all fairness, on the last incident listed, there were at least some units of the National Guard who refused to confiscate guns from law abiding citizens. They refused to help confiscate, but neither did they take any action to defend the Americans of Louisiana.

  23. Jason Calley says:

    @ Pascvaks “Regardless, you can now say that you’ve met one member of the US military (formerly active now retired) who had/has and will retain to his dying day a working knowledge of the Constitution;-)”

    If I were French and you shaved closer I would kiss you! Seriously, any member of the US military who honestly obeys their oath has my GREAT respect. My fear is that with the changes we have seen in the military (especially since Clinton) it has become almost impossible for a soldier to both refuse unlawful orders and still remain in uniform. The Michael New case comes to mind. Here was a young man who remembered his oath and also US history. Eisenhower was made Supreme Commander exactly because the people of the time knew that no US soldier was to be placed in a position where he was commanded by officers who had not sworn an oath to the Constitution. That used to be common knowledge, but today that will get you a dishonorable discharge. Times have changed, what used to be an exception has become the rule.

    Thank you for your service.

  24. philjourdan says:

    @Pascvaks says: 29 June 2012 at 11:32 am

    I pray you are correct. But I also remember Kent State. While I think A soldier will never go against the American People, A mob (or group of people) is not the same thing.

  25. Pascvaks says:

    FWIW –
    Think of each of the people in the Armed Forces as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. You might want to think of cops that way too. For the most part they just walk around chewing bubble gum. Sometimes all bloody hell breaks out. Sometimes the fate of “The World” (aka “The Land of the Round Door Knob”), or whatever/whoever, is in their hands for a very brief and frightening moment. They are not there to ‘make’ the world sane, they are there to ‘stop’ the insane.

    PS: The sheepdogs do not elect the shepherd, the sheep do.

  26. Jason Calley says:

    If I may backtrack a bit and get closer to E.M.’s point in his post (and please correct me if I misinterpret what you say), there are systemic errors in the way the today’s political and financial system, systemic errors that are literally driving our nation into bankruptcy and chaos. In almost every case, these errors are a result of our politicians failure to comply with the limits and powers which the Constitution for these United States attempted to lay upon them. As Washington pointed out, the basis for government is force. One of the very important factors which was responsible for the enormous success of our government in years past was that unlike almost all other nations, the US was designed from the first to have the potential for force dispersed throughout the people and not held in a monopoly by agents of the government. This was a giant change, a radical change — and it worked to a greater or lesser degree for almost 200 years. We have, however, drifted further and further from that principle. The farther we have drifted, the more our politicians have implemented laws and regulations that restrict our prosperity and our liberty. They show no evidence that they are willing to rescind these measures which have so enormously increased their own power. The courts have shown no evidence that they are willing to follow the clear intent of our own laws, so much so that the “conservative” head of the SCOTUS ruled yesterday that federal taxing authority grants the power to coerce citizens to sign contracts with third parties. Once this principle is granted, then what powers are not allowed to the government? Can we be compelled to buy electric cars for our own good? Can we be compelled to undergo psychological evaluation and observation for our own good? Can we be compelled to sign exclusive contracts which limit what we may read or eat? We have gone so far from the concept of limited government that only a fool or a liar can say that we are under Constitutional rule. Our politicians refuse to abide by their stated beliefs, the platforms upon which they were elected. Our various branches refuse to compel rogue politicians or judges to be removed from office. Our courts refuse to enforce open and accountable elections or verifiable counting of votes. What route is there open for those who insist that our leaders obey our own laws? My family has been in America since the Pilgrims landed — some in the boats and some on shore watching. Observant people can see what needs to be changed, but there does not appear to be a way to compel adherence to the principles upon which this country was founded. I would hate to leave here, but what are our options?

  27. Pascvaks says:

    @ Jason Calley –
    Remember LBJ’s “Silent Majority”? It could also be called the “Silent Pudding”, or the “Silent Moron-ity”. You ARE in the Majority, but it’s the “Majority of the Silent”. Your ancestors, my ancestors, our ancestors, they knew as we do today that talk was cheap. They knew as we do today that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They knew as we do today that if you want to get something done that you have to get up and do it yourself. They knew as we do today that holding up the Bible or the Constitution and saying a bunch of nothing wasn’t going to do diddly-squat. Perhaps what ‘the’ problem is more than ever is the unwillingness of the Majority to get off their fat asses and roll up their sleaves. I know I’d rather sit inside at this keyboard and slam the system then take a shower, shave, comb my hair, get out on a day over 100F, and go sign up and start working for the Obummer or Rumney Campaign. Ain’t A/C, Tea, and a nice homemade ham sandwich a hell of a lot better than putting together thousands of yard signs or sitting at a telephone all day trying to talk other folks into a contribution or a help? Jason, the difference between us and our ancestors is guts; they had ‘em, we don’t. Want to scare a damn politician, go to work for his opponent; want to beat him/her into a lifeless, sniveling, bloody pulp, get your friends and neighbors to “work” with you. Oh, and as you see, the side with the most thick-headed, most one-track-minded, most tenacious, most blood-thirsty supporters usually wins. Don’t know why, but it just seems to always work that way in politics. Live the Constitution! Don’t wave it! Don’t talk about it! Do it!;-)

    PS: I got off my back pockets a few years ago and rolled up my sleaves and put together 4,547,736,613 Campaign Signs during a General Election(or it seems it was that many;-). Guess what? Our guy won!

  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Jason; you are right that this is a problem of men with no honor. The founding fathers believed that men of honor would follow the dictates of the constitution and forgot to install “teeth” to deal with those did not. The supreme court has not been up to to the job and are in fact part of the problem. You can run, Me, I’m looking for a real solution. Greedy Bastard Control is what is needed. The Constitution is a valid contract that must be enforced. pg

  29. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: You have a very clear reasoning: Jason, the difference between us and our ancestors is guts; they had ‘em, we don’t..
    Obviously you mean the remedy passes through “having guts”. Well, but, have you already clearly identified who the opponent is or are?. By a simple reasoning politicians are not; they are the butlers, servants or whatever; they are just the crumbs pickers. You have to identify who are those, in front of whom your guts should be tighten up. If you don´t then you will be fighting against phantoms.

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    There is a push to get rid of cash due to the amount of underground economic activity. The whole monitoring of transactions of more than $10,000 (that sometimes can drop down even to $5000) that is supposedly for combating drugs is largely to try and prevent any sort of non-taxed economic activity.

    It is the reason we no longer have $500 and $1000 bills nor bearer bonds. And, IMHO, why many places have put a sales tax on gold and silver. Yes, barter has already increased; as evidenced by the efforts to suppress non-governed transactions.

    @BobN:

    And I thought I was embracing Economics as “The Dismal Science” ;-)

    @P.G.Sharrow:

    I’m still hoping for a “Tora Tora Tora” moment in the USA where “they” discover they have just “Awakened a sleeping giant”… but not much evidence yet.

    If The Supremes Obamacare vote doesn’t do it, nothing will.

    @Petrossa:

    Anyone who can read the US Constitution can comment on it. No need to be an American. Frankly, it is written in an older English closer to that from the UK and elsewhere so folks there might well be more suited to comment…

    That “canceling out” and just ‘letting it go’ is the repudiation solution. It has the consequence that folks don’t care to loan you any more and that interest rates go sky high…

    Even virtual things can have real life impacts. What is more “virtual” than an idea? Yet look at the impact of the idea of Marxism on the world….

    @Pascvaks:

    Well, it’s “A” unlimited Congressional Power to Tax and (through that mandate as tax) Mandate.

    In November we find out if we moo and baa our way down the path to Democratic Collapse or not.

    @Philjourdan:

    Well said…

    @Larry Geiger:

    There is a difference between “possible to repair” and “likely or will be repaired” ( “can” and “will”) I think it is possible to repair, but will not be.

    @RichardIlfeld:

    Looks that way. There’s a BIG hurdle at 50 people. (Any wonder why “small business is the growth engine of the USA”? )

    There was a bit good in it: States can opt out of Medicaid increases now.

    So California will undoubtedly “opt in” and accelerate their collapse and Texas will opt out. More “takers” to California, more “makers” to Texas. Repeat until done…

    @Philjourdan:

    I’ve never liked solutions of the form “Sure I put out one of my eyes, but he is blind in both now.”

    We have $One Trillion of new APPROVED taxes now. We get to fight to haul it back… We have an established precedent that Congress can tell anyone how to spend their money in unlimited amounts. Think they won’t do that?

    @Jason Calley:

    Pushed. See “Progressive Movement” and various socialist manifestos.

    You need to talk to a wider group of folks in the military. It is a very diverse group.

    Some carry a copy of the constitution and read it, knowing what it says. They just take seriously the “chain of command” that starts in the Oval Office.

    @P.G Sharrow:

    While more “right wing” than left go into the military, it still has a lot of American Social “Liberals” in it. (My neighbor being one. Democrat. Great guy. Loves many of our more “social” programs. Was recently in various countries in uniform from Turkey to ward “places east”…) All for National Health Care.

    There is no one soldier…

    @Oliver:

    See my response to a similar comment on the EU thread.

    @Jason:

    Nice rant… didn’t think about Hillary and the 1:6 rule… Interesting….

    Anyone challenge that one in court?

    That one chafes under a known egregious and potentially illegal ignoring of the Constitution does not mean one is ignorant of it…

    On the ‘backtrack’ to my point: Reasonable summary.

    I, too, would like to know how we enforce folks to The Rules, especially when most of them seem to not care one whit and a near majority want more of the ignore-ance….

    @Adolfo:

    The problem is that in large part the politicians are doing exactly what the people want. THAT is the failing of Democracy. THAT is why Senators were to be States representatives, not directly elected.

    It is, IMHO, only The States who can take back their power and fix this mess. Don’t know if enough of THEM have been similarly made “Democratic” to the point where that is not possible. ( I personally remember when California voted to change our Senate to directly elected instead of County appointed. That was about the time our turn to downhill started… so what likelihood a State like ours would fix the same problem at the Federal level? About nil… so the question is: How many States like Texas and how many like California? Is it enough?)

  31. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. The problem is that in large part the politicians are doing exactly what the people want. THAT is the failing of Democracy :-)
    The politicians do what the people want just as far as it makes possible for them to attain what THEY want, which in turn, is to get a few crumbs from their masters´table while they, at the end of the day, do what their masters want. .

  32. adolfogiurfa says:

    What comes after democracy? A benevolent and patriot tyrant or a monarchy?

  33. Pascvaks says:

    @Adolfo – “The politicians do what the people want just as far as it makes possible for them to attain what THEY want, which in turn, is to get a few crumbs from their masters´table while they, at the end of the day, do what their masters want.”
    Your politicians don’t seem to work in the same fish pond that our politicians do. Our politicians think ‘they’ are omniscient, omnipotent, and everything to every man, woman and child who ever was or will be; the way they talk and act now, they think that you and every citizen in Peru and every other country of the world is a constituent as well. Why there’s one group of them that thinks Mexico is in their district and can be relied upon to give them the deciding votes in any contentious re-election. Your polywogs don’t seem to have that “World View” that our’s do; they sound more like lawyers representing some Crime Boss. In our country ‘They’ are the Crime Bosses!;-)

    PS: As EM has said on many an occassion, ‘pure anything is poison’ (or words to that effect or I wouldn’t have thought of it;-). What’s the answer? Controlled Chaos! A democratic republic with a means of making wise decisions about current and longterm internal and external policies.

    (Oh well, there’s the answer! But how do you build something like that?)

  34. Zeke says:

    “The Congress has no authority to cause any Citizen to be subject to the laws of any outside government, agency, or body.”

    I am reading the EPA, DOE and the UN into the penumbras of this amendment! (:

  35. BobN says:

    @Zeke – This would be a wonderful amendment, but with the progressives in government I think this has zero chance of passage. Maybe via the state route, but even that would be tough with the likes of NY, Cal …

    Its sure worth a try if someone can be found to champion the legislation.

  36. Zeke says:

    James Madison actually foresaw that an unrestrained majority would eventually plunder the rights and strip possessions of the minority. That is why the Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare is actually Constitutional as a “tax” is so interesting (one of the reasons).

    So do you plunder the individual of his property in order that all people may have a particular service – in this case medical? That choice is more clearly before the court of public opinion now. If Obamacare is a “tax,” it is the largest increase in taxes in history.

    And there are 20 Hidden Tax Hikes in Obamacare in addition to the “penalty” (- which Justice Roberts transmuted into a “tax” in order to make the bill Constitutional). http://www.newsmax.com/GroverNorquist/Obamacare-20-hidden-taxes/2012/06/29/id/443995
    Also, the bill actually provides hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the IRS in order to make sure that you have government mandated coverage.

    @BobN – I know, I was just daydreaming. (:

  37. BobN says:

    @Zeke – It is very difficult for me these days to tell what people mean. Views are all over the map as are peoples knowledge of the issues. Now that I know the context, I share your fantasy. :-) .

  38. Pascvaks says:

    The most important political choices every American voter faces eventually: Dog Catcher, Coroner, School Board Member, County Councilman, City Councilman, Mayor, State Representative/Assemblyman, State Senator, Lt. Governor, Governor, Congressman, US Senator, US Senator, US President. (I think Brits have it a little easier) If you have hard wired people with integrity in office that think the way you do you’re in control. The less control you have the more you should worry.

    PS: The longer someone is in a particular office, the less hard wired they become, and the more their integrity turns to mush, and the less control you really have, and the more you should actually worry. Life is sooooooooo difficult!

  39. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: Back in the good old day of feudalism you knew the ONE who may bother you. That was better. (BTW.:You would have to add a bigger list, perhaps too long to be displayed with less than a few gigas)

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    The typical pattern is that Democracy is followed by Tyranny. The exact form can vary…

    I do think you are correct that the modern tyrants have learned to hide more and not be as prone to Mob Revenge…

    @Pascvaks: “The poison is in the dose” quoted from others… but your paraphrase is pretty close… Oxygen is toxic over about 2 atmospheres partial pressure, so dives below 30 feet need a dilute mixture. Over 200 feet Nitrogen is toxic so you need to start adding gases like helium. In some cases you can offset one of the toxic effects with another, so below about 600 feet you start to see “exotic” gas mixtures where one toxicity is balanced by another and the mix would kill you at sea level… or 200 feet… Scuba diving adjusts your attitude towards things “right quick” or you don’t live long…

    @Zeke:

    Yes, and a few ‘hypothetical’ future ideas they might have too…

    @Tckev:

    Ouch! ;-)

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