On the Government Shutdown vs the Supreme Court

So in the fury of the Government Shutdown, the left has become apoplectic about the “Affordable Care Act”.  You’ll more likely recognize it as “Obamacare”. They consider it to be Constitutionally tested by the Supreme Court, therefore it’s the “law of the land”.

This logic is fundamentally unsound, let’s debunk it.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articleiii

1) The Constitution does not grant “kingly” powers to the Supreme Court.  Their job is to rule on the law brought before them, and to clear up controversies between states.

2) Nowhere in article III of the Constitution or in the Federalist papers, Thomas Jefferson’s letters, etc do you see that the Supreme Court was supposed to be the “final say”.  Jefferson in fact believed their power should be limited even further, than the Constitution did already.

3) We know for a fact the left doesn’t actually believe their own words. Let’s go through their history of fighting against the Constitution itself :

3.A) The Progressive Income tax was tried several times before the amendment was brought up and each time it was found unconstitutional.  Did that stop the Progressives from trying to trash the Constitution and implement their marxist utopian tax?  NOPE.  They kept fighting and eventually (and illegally) amended the Constitution to add the Progressive Income tax.

3.B) The recent rulings declaring corporations have free speech and that every citizen has a right to defend themselves with a firearm.  Has the left stopped fighting against Corporate speech?  Have they stopped fighting for gun control?  HELL NO.  They never give up on those things, even though, in their own words, “The Supreme Court is the law of the land.”

4) The Supreme Court only ruled on one part of the law, the individual mandate.  But as this site states;

Feel free to examine the entire text of Article III to assure yourself that no power of Judicial Review is granted by the Constitution.

“Well,” you might say, “someone has to review laws for constitutionality. Why not the Supreme Court?” Some possible answers:

  • First and foremost, it is not a power granted to the Supreme Court by the Constitution. When the Supreme Court exercises Judicial Review, it is acting unconstitutionally.
  • It is a huge conflict of interest. The Federal Government is judging the constitutionality of its own laws. It is a classic case of “the fox guarding the hen house.”
  • The Constitution’s “checks and balances” were designed to prevent any one branch of government (legislative, executive or judicial) from becoming too powerful and running roughshod over the other branches. There is no such system of checks and balances to protect the states and the people when multiple branches of government, acting in concert, erode and destroy the rights and powers of the states and the people.
  • Even if the Supreme Court could be counted on to keep the Executive and Legislative branches from violating the Constitution, who is watching the Supreme Court and will prevent the Judicial branch from acting unconstitutionally? Unless you believe that the Supreme Court is infallible (and, demonstrably, it is not), then allowing the Supreme Court to be the sole arbiter of Constitutionality issues is obviously flawed.
  • Justices are appointed, not elected and may only be removed for bad behavior (which has happened in the distant past but these days, appointment to the Supreme Court is like a lifetime appointment). If the court upholds unconstitutional laws, there is no recourse available. We the People cannot simply vote them out to correct the situation. Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1823:”At the establishment of our constitution, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions, nevertheless, become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the constitution, and working its change by construction, before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life, if secured against all liability to account.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the individual mandate was ruled constitutional by the Government.  They are exercising an authority that doesn’t belong to them.  It certainly was never meant to be the *final* verdict on constitutionality.  As http://constitutionality.us/SupremeCourt.html – so poignantly points out;

“It is the Constitution, not the Supreme Court, which is the Supreme Law of the Land. Even the Supreme Court should be accountable for overstepping Constitutional limits on federal power.

Conclusion:

Obamacare is bad and unconstitutional law, just like the Alcohol Prohibition, which was upheld by the Supreme Court, and Slavery, which was also upheld in the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is not the final say in our Country, we are not a country ruled by Justices.  The Constitution is the final say, and it’s up to EACH body and Representative to uphold and fight for that document.  The Government Shutdown MUST continue until we defund/delay the implementation of this HORRIBLE law, that none of the proponents bothered to read before voting YES.

ObamaCare-Totally-Safe

Obamacare is killing jobs, Obamacare is killing privacy, Obamacare will kill people.

The goal of Obamacare, is not to increase Health Care access.

It’s goal is to decrease the amount of money we’re spending on Health Care.  That’s all the left talks about.  How much more we spend on Healthcare than countries with “wonderful” universal Healthcare.

I hate to burst their bubble, but life is not all sunshine and lollipops with Universal Healthcare.  ObamaCare AKA the Affordable Care Act, is a step towards Universal Healthcare and will destroy the wonderful Health Care this nation enjoys.

It is completely appropriate to compare it to Slavery, as the Government will judge your worth, and determine if you are worthy of being helped.  You belong to the state. 

That is why Republicans need to keep the Government Shutdown! We CANNOT stop fighting hard enough against this bill, it is bondage.

Shackled to ObamaCare

Why don’t we Link Spending and Revenue

Google Plus user +Paul Clayton Smith asked a fundamental question yesterday, which I’ll paraphrase here: “Are the dollar figures we see coming out of Washington DC taking into account the nature of the wealthy to avoid taxes, or do the assumptions of revenue gained by tax take into account only present day figures of GDP, incomes, taxes and other inputs into the economy?”

Budget
The question is key because to understand the way politicians and the Beltway play with our money is to understand the fundamental disconnect between the amount of that money they take from us and how much they spend on things that benefit only portions of society. For instance, the current “budget” for the Federal Government is over $3.79T, while current revenues only make up around $2.47T. Simple math would indicate the nearly $1.32T in deficit spending the Government takes out of hide based on these numbers. With all the talk in DC about the deficit and how it is a potentially crippling black hole that must be dealt with at some point, one would think that meant there should be a mechanism that would force Congress to keep spending to within a manageable range compared to revenue, but if you take our current “budget” numbers into consideration you’d find there isn’t much in a way of a link between taxes and spending at all.

What is the problem?
Why should there be a correlation between spending and revenue? What difference does it make whether or not the Federal Government balances its budget? Can’t the Treasury just print the money it doesn’t have to make up the difference, or borrow against the credit of the United States in order to keep the bills paid?

Technically, the Federal Government can’t ever “run out of money”. The Treasury can simply print every dollar that is required to fund the Government above and beyond tax revenues, or the Federal Reserve can borrow the money. Many Liberals believe this is acceptable as a course of action, and in fact, a combination of printing and borrowing has been the make-up of over $0.40 of every dollar the US Government has spent for the majority of the last four years.

Printing devalues the currency because it increases supply when there is not a corresponding increase in demand. Demand, in this case, is the productivity of the economy creating money out of products and services. The US Government requiring funding to accomplish its agenda doesn’t constitute demand for the dollar because there is no corresponding product or service created by the Government when the money is created.

Borrowing is expensive, and, if uncontrolled, as it has been for decades, can put the Government in a situation where its interest liability is so high that the revenues brought in by taxes are not enough to cover both spending goals and the mandatory servicing of the debt. Servicing the debt is the primary concern in every budget because to default is to damage the full faith and credit of the US Government on the world stage. If we don’t pay our bills no one will want to continue lending to us. What we’ve done, though, instead of paying our bills, is effectively taking out a loan to pay down only the interest on another loan. This is not a sustainable track.

Whats the solution?
We borrow and print over half the value of revenues into the Treasury every year (in the present budget model, which isn’t actually a budget, but a continuing resolution). In order to solve the fiscal problems the Government has this funding activity must be reversed. Currently the budget is set up so that safety net entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, which politicians have convinced voters are the Government’s responsibility, are considered mandatory spending. Items the Federal Government is actually Constitutionally charged with providing for its citizenry, for example, a strong defense, are considered discretionary spending. In order to reverse the overspending we’ve seen over the course of the last several decades there must be a concerted effort by all in Washington DC to stop spending more money than the Government can generate in tax revenue. To do this our politicians must come to terms with what the Government is required to provide for its citizenry and what it can afford to provide for its citizenry.

Why not just raise taxes?
Over the course of our Nation’s history there have been attempts in both local and Federal Government to increase revenues through higher taxation as a means of reducing deficit spending. The idea is that the increased taxes will bring more money into the coffers, and the spending can continue at its present rate, unabated. One major problem with tax rate increases is that the individual is free to make choices that will impact the overall revenue generated by the increased taxes. A prime example of this is the exodus of wealthy individuals from California following the recently passed Proposition 30 tax increases. The State decided to increase income tax rates for individuals with incomes over $250k/yr, up one percent to 10.3% (the increase is retroactive all the way back to January, 2012, due in April, 2013), while those making over $1M/yr will see their tax rates increase to 13.3% (again, retroactive to January 1st, 2012). These tax increases on the wealthiest in the state have made many consider taking action that will reduce or eliminate their tax liability in this regard. There are also considerations that need to be taken into account in terms of property taxes and other, locally generated government revenues, which are not able to be voted on directly by the citizens under the local government.

Human beings will all avoid pain, given the opportunity to do so and no motivations to do otherwise. As noted in the linked article, the financial planner being interviewed commented that until the tax rates reset down in seven years he will make sure his clients incomes are less than $1M/yr. Those who can shelter their incomes from the tax man will do so. Those who cannot may have no choice but to leave the state.

What about at the Federal level? The Federal Government has a captive audience when it comes to tax increases because its much more difficult to simply leave the country to avoid taxes than it is for Californians to go to South Dakota or Texas, right?

Well, when taxes, an inversely proportional input into the overall economy, are increased, overall economic growth decreases. This stems from the fact that when an individual or entity is forced into a liability that is payable before their income is realized that liability is taken into account when the individual or entity budgets their remaining income for a period of spending. For the micro scale, simply put, if the tax man takes X from individual Y based on income Z, net income Zn is the remaining spending power of the entity. If X is increased there is an inversely proportional decrease in Zn.

For the macro scale, when the economy sees a collective decrease in Zn, across all entities and individuals, the entire economy stalls. Since taxes are a function of a percentage of the Nation’s GDP, if GDP growth stalls so does tax revenue.

Conversely, when taxes are decreased, Zn increases, causing entities to purchase more, which causes producers to produce more, sell more, and the engine runs faster. When the engine runs faster tax revenue increases because the overall number of entities with tax liabilities increases along with GDP. As indicated before, tax rates being a function of a percentage of the Nation’s GDP, when GDP grows quickly Federal revenues grow quickly.

Coupling lower taxes with decreased spending will solve our Nation’s fiscal problems. The path to this lies in
the hands of the politicians we vote for. They won’t do it on their own, though. Once most politicians find themselves enjoying life in the Beltway they learn quickly that they need only give their constituents gifts from the public trust in order to continue their employment. Every dollar they earmark or bring home to their district is a dollar spent by the Federal Government on something that benefits a few, but is paid for by everyone.

To claw our way back from the brink of fiscal collapse we Americans must hold our elected officials accountable for not only their responsibilities to their constituents, but also their responsibilities in being proper stewards of the public trust. Until this happens, we’re going to repeat recent history every year until it is no longer sustainable to do so. Once it is no longer sustainable, we will find out very quickly what government services are luxuries and what services are necessary. We’ll also find out very quickly how to live with neither.

Obama Fails The Civility Test…Again

Just think back to January 2011, after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a maniac outside a grocery store in Arizona.  President Barack Obama had some deep, meaning comments at the remembrance ceremony following that tragedy:

“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together. … Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.”


The country was moved by Obama’s remarks, and his poll numbers after the speech showed the public appropriately reacted.

However, Mr. Obama has never lived up to those lofty standards.  He seems unable, or more likely unwilling, to criticize persons on his side of the aisle when their behavior crosses the line.  He has no problem complaining about his political opponents, however…even when their actions pale in comparison.  In other words, he is making sure that his choice rhetoric originates from the “usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.”

The labor riots in Lansing, Michigan over the new Right to Work laws in that state were a perfect moment for Mr. Obama to step up and be the true moral leader he proclaims to be.  This is not about crushing dissent; there were many union protesters that behaved decently and went about their business opposing the law, as is their fundamental right under the First Amendment.  But for those that attacked opponents, with direct violence (including Steven Crowder, shown below in the video being punched by a union worker), there should have been no cover from Presidential criticism.




However both the White House in general and President Obama in particular passed on the opportunity to call for a civil discourse.  And this is far from the first time

I for one do believe we need more civility in public discourse, but this President is responsible for creating less civility and more discord by his silence at times.  If you cannot tell your friends (in this case, the unions) that they are behaving badly, why should those opposing you ever take you seriously?

Mr. Obama has never elevated his actions to the level of his lofty rhetoric.  And for that, America is worse off. 

I’ve been over a Cliff. It wasn’t fun. We’re nearing another. Do we go over?

When I was very young, around 5 or 6 years old, my brother and I were left alone in a 1980 Chevette at the top of a driveway. The driveway faced away from an unprotected cliff; one could walk right up to the edge and see down every inch of the 75 foot drop to the parking lot below.

My brother, wanting to play race car driver (in a Chevette? Really?), jumped into the driver’s seat, while I sat in the hatch back, one of my favorite places to sit while being driven around. It was quite a different time than we’re in now.

My brother had managed to knock the car out of gear, and we started rolling backward toward the cliff. I was the first to realize what was going on, but unfortunately I was also privy to front row seating to what may very well have been the end of the world for my brother and I.

So, it turns out, our worlds didn’t end. My brother and I survived what looked like almost certain death with very little injury at all. I’ve some scars, my brother’s one scar healed and disappeared over the years, and neither one of us remembers the event.

Now I hear there’s another cliff approaching, and it makes me wonder if we’re in all that much trouble, seeing as how I’ve been over one before. Having experienced danger and survived nearly unscathed often makes one braver in the face of the same danger, but also more wary. There’s a lot of talk of a cliff in the news these days, and I, for one, am very wary of what’s coming.

The United States, in its rise through its Industrial Revolution, two World Wars and several other scarring events, including the indelible marks of terror in Oklahoma City and on 9-11, has weathered every one of these events with courage and resolute dignity. It may be that we’re unable to see the danger associated with our present condition due to our ability to withstand our past tragedies, but, based on what I’m reading and hearing from those who take our Nation’s fiscal condition very seriously, we will not be able to weather this “Fiscal Cliff” and continue to be the United States we’ve known.

There are two directions being discussed to address our Nation’s fiscal condition, but neither one of them actually addresses the problem. As a doctor will treat the cause of the symptoms instead of simply medicating away the symptoms, so must Congress and the President address the cause of our fiscal destruction instead of simply salving the symptoms. Our Nation can ill afford to continue failing to meet its obligations in a way that doesn’t expose our citizens to the irresponsibility of passed Congressional malfeasance.

We’ve spent our way into a sealed tomb. While the “Full Faith and Credit of the United States Government” still means something, we need to cauterize the wound that bleeds our Nation out, address how to pay for our previous largess, and bind our Nation’s financial future to a balanced budget that will only allow for borrowing in times of dire need, instead of using borrowing to fund the majority of our Federal Government’s activities, many of which are not legitimate in terms of our spending is concerned.

Until we do something about our Government’s insatiable appetite for our money, present and future, borrowed and otherwise, there will be no way to back away from the “Fiscal Cliff”. There will be no way to build a bridge far enough to get us over the chasm, and there will be no way to keep us from seeing the suicide of the greatest experiment in self governance humanity has ever known. Our founders knew this day would come, and they told us as such during the Nation’s founding. Why have we failed to heed their warnings?

A better question… How much longer will we be allowed to ignore their warnings before things are so far gone we’re not able to recover?

Budget Negotiation 101: Avoiding The Fire

Many in the media are proclaiming President Obama’s ‘nonoffer’ offer for a solution to the erstwhile fiscal cliff as ‘brilliant‘ and ‘courageous‘.

No, I am not kidding… read the New York Times or Washington Post.

The left seems to believe they have Republicans where they want them.  And actually, they may be right.  Republicans took a drubbing in the elections, and polls show the public will blame them, and not Democrats, if the fiscal cliff occurs.  And moreover, they don’t think that Republicans have any counter offer that will matter.

So, in answer, I present to you the Bowles-Simpson commission of 2010.

Look, the above commission is not ideal; far from it.  It raises taxes far more than I like and cuts some programs like Medicare far less than I would.

But the reality is we are in a deep dilemma as a party.

We have two choices:  one, walk away from the talks, let the fiscal cliff occur, and take the blame.  In which case we either get lucky and the public forgets their anger at the GOP by the time the 2014 elections roll around (unlikely), or we get crushed and Obama has two years where he is a lame duck but has control of all segments of Washington, D.C. A frightening thought.

The second choice is to present something that may pass that may solve at least a few of our problems.  For all the problems with Bowles-Simpson, it would start to put the country on a track to some fiscal sanity.  It restrains entitlements significantly enough that we have the prospect of avoiding a debt crisis, and forces long term changes to programs that have so far been untouched.

One side benefit:  Liberals hate it.

Sure, it raises taxes.  Tremendously.  But we better start to realize that is coming anyway.  If we walk away from the talks, the Bush tax cuts expire, in which case we actually get a scenario where we raise taxes more than the Commission ever would have.

Of course, the right wing of the party would have to get behind this, which is unlikely but possible.  We should unite as a party, and say we will vote for this solution, lock, stock and barrel.  No one in the media can state this isn’t a serious proposal, after two years of anointing Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson as the ‘Guardians of deficit sanity’.  Furthermore, it would show Obama for what he really is:  a paper tiger, and nothing more.  Obama is as unserious about deficit control as any man on the planet, and putting this up would show his true colors.

Sure, passing Bowles-Simpson would hurt.  The economy might take a hit from the tax increases alone.  But the GOP is a party with few open paths before it.  And among the very bad choices we have at hand, this may, at the very least, be a viable path forward.

Cross posted from Neoavatara.