Archive for January 5th, 2013

Facebook is both a blessing and a curse.

I love the fact that I can converse with people from all walks of life who, in their own way, “get it”.  The downside is that occasionally, I encounter people who think they do, but then either dodge the question or downplay the fact that they don’t know understand what they are claiming to fix.  Their answers are rooted in their good intentions, but like those they elect, they do not understand what they are breaking in the name of fixing.  Take this conversation with “Bill”, which is of course, not his real name.

Bill: Randy [the person whose wall it was], you set up the same straw men that the Republicans do. (And, re Gover Norquist, a man whose only line is never to raise taxes but never proposes a solution to current problems, is a whiner not worthy of the attention he unfortunately currently receives.) Yes, there are contradictions in our country, we have probably always been that way. The current stalemate in Washington is ridiculous and unfortunate, but that makes it incumbent on all of us to find solutions instead of simply trying to tear each other down. If you think the deficit is a problem, what is your solution? Should we cut expenses, and if so, what expenses? If you think social security and medicare are handouts, are you proposing that we all give them up (including yourself), and if so, what are you proposing for the poor, that they simply do without? These are serious questions, and the rantings of most people today (especially in Washington and on Sunday morning shows) contributes nothing to their resolution.
Me:  Find for me the part in the Federal Constitution that says it is the federal government’s job to take money from people who earn it, so that IT may decide WHO to help with it, HOW to help them, and TO WHAT DEGREE.

Your bonus question is to explain the morality of a government that allows its elected officials to empower and enrich themselves by fomenting Greed’s ugly and retarded sister, Envy, with notions such as “fairness” that require someone else to provide for you, and the idea that “Sometimes, You’ve just made enough.”

While we’re waiting, in answer to your question:

Yes. End Social Security and Medicare both. Not only did the Federal Government never have the authority to engage in such largesse, but the decades of mismanagement of BOTH programs have conclusively demonstrated that the Federal Government is simply incapable of being trusted to simply use the money it compells from us for the purposes for which it was collected in the first place.

Then follow with massive cuts to the EPA…its jurisdiction should be the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, MCTA, RCRA, and the Model Toxics Control Act ONLY. Strip it of its rule making authority.

Department of Education? Gone. Department of Energy? Gone.

Repeal the 16th Amendment. It has far exceeded the original scope and purpose, and has fed the beast that has engaged in gross usurpation and overreach for more than a century.

Repeal the 17th Amendment. This one amendment has done more to destroy federalism and the separation of powers than any other aspect of the federal government, as it took one of the parties in the federal power sharing arangment right out of the equation, making it much, much easier for the federal government to completely ignore the status of states as co-equal sovereigns with the Federal government, allowing the Feds to usurp state powers and impose unfunded mandates in return.

That would be a start.
Bill: BiW, I appreciate your clear statement of what you think needs to be done. What you state goes to the heart, I think, of what separates those who want an extremely small federal government and those who think the federal government can and should play a role in helping certain citizens of this country. If that is what the Republican Party thinks should be done, then I would appreciate the Party so stating instead of simply talking about “cutting spending” without being clear what it truly wants. The reason they don’t do that is that they know most Americans don’t want that and thus so stating these goals is political suicide (as well as the fact that I think no politician, of whatever stripe, ever really wants to cut spending). However, the simple fact is that the majority of Americans don’t want this to happen, so all the GOP in the House is doing now is being confrontational without making any positive suggestions for what can be done to the current situation. So, I pose the question to you: if Social Security and Medicare are not going to end, if the Departments of Education and Energy remain, as well as the 16th and 17th Amendments, then what do you suggest, or will you simply emigrate?
Me:  Actually, what “goes to the heart” of what separates those who want LIMITED GOVERNMENT and those who confuse welfare with charity is an understanding that the federal government has a very short list of powers enumated to it, with the rest of those powers being reserved to the states, which are smaller, and far more accountable to those who are most impacted by their policies, or to the people themselves, along with an understanding that the blueprint that has been totally distorted by more than a century of progressive meddling was the product not just of a careful study of the nature and history of government, but of the nature of man, and more importantly, a recognition that governments would be run by men who are by their nature susecptible to corruption by the opportunities that power and the money that follows it afford.

If you want your state to be extraordinarily generous with your wages, if the state constitution permits it, knock yourself out. The Federal government DOES. NOT. HAVE. THAT. AUTHORITY. PERIOD.

I can’t speak for the Republican Party, largely because of the fact that for most of my lifetime it has been a major disappointment to me. Many in it are afflicted with the same brand of incumbentitis as the Dims, and subscribe to the notion of “cutting spending” not because they believe in, or even understand the blueprint, but because those they rely on for votes understand on a visceral level that it is an essential component of what is required to deflate the government back into the confines of its PROPER sphere of influence, even if they do not understand or don’t bother to demand that the next steps also be part of the equation they are being sold at election time.

No, the reason they don’t do that is that they have no interest in relinquishing power than they were never meant to have in the first place, and because too large a portion of the population has had little or no actual instruction in the law and the philosophy that informed the law in the first place, so that they willingly trade their own sovereignty, and the accountablity that comes with it to a government that redistributes the wealth of others (after a not insignificant handling fee is subtracted, of course).

Actually, their current response is to recognize that no matter the perceived goodness of the Left’s intentions, welfare states aren’t free, and you cannot keep borrowing money in order to simply give it away. Well, some of them realize this, anyway. The rest are just as lost as the Dims, and will continue to be enacting new entitlements and “benefits” for their dependents even as the furniture is being reposessed from beneath them.

You aren’t paying attention, which is why it is difficult to take your question seriously. Social Security WILL end. It is going broke, and with current spending being what it is, Uncle Sam will not have the financial wherewithall to “save ” it when that day comes in just a few short years. Medicare was already on that same path BEFORE Obamacare raided it for 60 Billion Dollars it could ill-afford to lose. Most of the bureaucracy will be equally insolvent as montization of the debt results in hyperinflation, and interest payments on the debt exceed discretionary spending, even if the government is unwise enough to attempt confiscatory tax policies.

Now that’s TWO questions of your that I’ve answered. I believe you owe me some answers. Go back, re-read my prior comment, and answer the questions I asked you.
Bill: BiW, thanks for your interesting response. Not being a Constitutional lawyer, I cannot say where that document permits Congress the powers it has used, however, the final arbiter of that power, the Supreme Court, has upheld the New Deal and similar spending authority and thus these activities are not therefore unconstitutional. Whether that is “moral” or not, and whether fairness is the basis for government activities is not an easy question to answer. Because government is a creation of an imperfect species, homo sapiens, it is itself imperfect and always will be. Democracy is the least bad system because it entails the most compromise. It appears we both have a dim view of the capabilities of the Democratic and Republican parties to really address these issues. I doubt that either Social Security or Medicare will simply disappear, numerous economists would disagree on that point, and, even if they ran out of money, they would be numerous ways to restructure them to ensure their viability, even if in a different form. And I certainly doubt that the Republicans, if they were to come back into office, would do much to cut back or eliminate these programs (any more than they would eliminate the government giveaways to corporations and other of their supporters, as the Democrats do for unions and their supporters). Given that state of affairs, I tend to concentrate on what MIGHT be doable: a vastly simplified federal tax system, careful reductions to the federal budget (such as military spending, subsidies and tax benefits to large corporations, big agro, oil and gas), simplification of federal regulations, an end to the drug wars (with legalization and regulation of drugs) and so forth.Me: The court was acting under duress. Look up “The Switch In Time That Saved Nine” and FDR’s court packing scheme.

As for the morality that was the basis of our law, I suggest reading Blackstone.

And as far as cutting military spending goes, it is actually one of the Federal Government’s legitimate duties. 
Finally, we aren’t a democracy. The much maligned “old white guys” who drafted the blueprint had some very unflattering observations about democracies, which is why they set up a republic, so we could be a nation of laws and not men.

Your mistake isn’t unusual, but it can be corrected. Start with The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and Blackstone’s Commentaries.
Bill:  BiW, thank you for reminding me we are a republic. You cite worthy material to re-read, and your points are well taken, however, I don’t see how they help address the current political situation. We have to work with the system we currently have. I suppose one could just oppose everything and just hope the system collapses of its own weight (a tactic I sometimes think the Republicans now follow), but that is highly unpredictable and quite destructive. I would rather discuss what are the actual policies that we should pursue as a nation, rather than debate the “morality” of the past 100 years. That seems to me a more worthwhile, if harder, course to follow.
Me:  Or you could discover that many of the problems we have are the result of deviations from the blueprint undertaken by people who claimed to know better.
Much like today.
Welfare states do not work. The evidence clutters up the 20th century. Math also provides evidence, and nature of man also makes it clear…just watch what is going on with Greece. Keep doing what the Dims are doing here, and you’ll have front row seats here.
Bill:  Well, given that you seem to distrust both the Dems and the Reps, doesn’t seem like much can be done. Are there any countries in the world today that you think are doing it right?
Me:  Sure there is “much to be done”. It starts with educating people and weening them off of the error of believing that for every “problem”, government has a solution, and then SHOW them every point where government has gotten it wrong, which means dismantling a lot of myths that are taught to them by the “educational” system.

At the same time, you work to elect people who know better at your state and local levels. The change will come last at the Federal level, but it WILL come. Either when the current band of brigands spends themselves into irrelevancy, or if they give free reign to their beast’s rapacious appetites, and they reach a little too far into our pockets and lives and draw back bloody stumps, or we dodge both of those, and the pendulum swings back when the hippies aging badly die out, and their progeny reject their legacy because it has made Americans poorer in spirit and poorer financially for their excesses.And no, no country is doing it right. Canada at least is pursuing reasonably intelligent tax policy at the moment, and is enjoying a measure of economic prosperity because of it, but they are far too wedded to the hallmarks of the welfare state to be as successful and free as they could be. Their immigration policies are also destructive, and over the last thirty years, have largely disproved the “vertical mosaic” theory that they embraced in the 1960s._______________________________________________________________

 Asking  questions without ever listening to the answers.  Assuming that what has never worked before will work now.  Because they are the ones imposing it.  Much like the Obama cheerleaders who discovered with their first paychecks of the new year that they now have some skin in the game too.One complained to me that he could do better with his money than the government could.  I said “Welcome Brother!”


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