Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

11 April 2011

Too Little Too Late? The Answer is Private

People are all p.o.ed and perturbed over National Public Radio, to cut funding or keep it. Then you have another stupid leftist quote to add to their ever growing bank of them, by none other than Harry Reid. Yes I myself enjoy cowboy poetry, but I can assure you Mr. Reid that we are in the minority and the world won’t stop spinning if tax payers stop paying for it. The budget has after too many years, finally come to the tip of everyone’s minds. (Which you’d think would be quite easy for those whose heads come to a point.) Yet nobody in office seems to want to do anything serious to fix the problem, just moan and groan and propose feeble attempts to fix it. If you are shot, sticking your figure in the hole might be a solution for the few seconds until you can get an actual dressing on it, but it certainly isn’t a long term solution and not one that most people would even try because, it’s not really going to help. So to best preform the necessary cuts I used a little boot leather, accumulated calluses on my fingertips, and darn near broke a few toes when one of the books fell on my foot. If we think of this in a legal sense, like you would if bringing this to a trial at the supreme court, we have a lot of precedent that supports our cause, and a little thing called the constitution that tells us what we need to fund, and cowboy poetry just wasn’t one of the founding fathers priorities.
Article 1 section 8 of the constitution explains the purpose of the congressional coin purse, or in modern speak, credit card because the coin purse isn’t holding change, but rather moth balls. “ The congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States,”(don’t complain that is how it was all written and spelled) this provides a relatively clear picture of what they should be spending OUR money on. Defense is the first priority, blowing money like Clinton’s $400 doesn’t achieve any of them just like npr AMTRAK and the like. Then there is that vague general Welfare dooflinky. This has a muddled history that even the founding fathers couldn’t quite agree on with three different views on the subject. Hamilton saw it as there are no limits to spending and constantly pushed for this idea throughout his life. Yet the Constitutional Convention turned him down. In Hamilton’s 1791 Reports of Manufacture, he explains his view that the only limits of tax- and- spend power are that duties be uniform, that direct taxes be apportioned by population, and that no tax should be laid on articles exported from any state. The power to raise money was otherwise “plenary, and indefinite, and the objects to which it may be appropriated are no less comprehensive.” Thankfully the majority of the founding fathers didn’t share these views otherwise things might be a lot worse off than we are now. James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson both held the view that the power to tax and spend did not give congress the power to do whatever they thought best for the country, but that it was to further the end specifically enumerated elsewhere in the constitution. The third view was that “general” meant that it had to be of national benefit not local or state. This way of thinking is elaborated more in the X Amendment, basically stating that if that state thinks it’s good for that state, have at it, but at that states expense not the entire country’s. So, with those last two opinions it would look like a lot of what’s be going on of late is unconstitutional. Like bailouts, Haiti, NPR, National Endowment For The Arts, all of that has no business being paid for with tax dollars according to the constitution.
The First Congress refused to loan money to a glass maker after several members said it was unconstitutional. The Fourth Congress didn’t believe that they possessed the power to provide relief to Savanna Georgia after a fire destroyed the whole city. Guess what? Savanna looks like it’s still around, I think they made out quite well on their own. Now, what does that mean for New Orleans and the rest of the Katrina ravaged places? Precisely. Oh, yeah, George Bush in an alliance with global warming caused the hurricane. The debates don’t give their exact reasoning for not paying that really goes along with any of the above mentioned opinions, but rather that they reject such a broad interpretation of what they can spend. Pretty much they went against Hamilton’s interpretation. A few notable cases that go along with this limiting of spending include Andrew Jackson vetoing a $2oo million bill to purchase stock in the Maysville and Lexington Turnpike company, putting an end to this “dangerous doctrine” and the idea of directly paying for roads and canals by government. Congress got the message, (if they only would now) and didn’t even attempt to send another bill like it to his desk for four years. Then it was a bill to help make Wabash River more navigable, which he promptly vetoed, calling it a “fallacy”. Polk vetoed a bill for $6000 for the Wisconsin Territory, this in and of itself was permissible due to the stronger powers held over a territory, but the real reason for the veto was $500,000 for projects in existing states. Polk’s belief that to interpret the spending clause to allow for such appropriations would permit “combinations of local and individual interest [that would be] strong enough to control legislation, absorb the revenues of the country, and plunge the government into hopeless indebtedness.” Could he see the future? Read that again, that might make a nice new tattoo. That my friends, is pork barrel spending, and when you look at the big picture, he’s 100% correct, and that is how we are where we are. OK one more quick quote from Sandra Day O’Connor from her dissent of the South Dakota v. Dole case. “If the spending power is to be limited only by Congress’ notion of the general welfare, the reality…. is that the Spending Clause gives ‘power to the Congress… to become parliament of the whole people, subject to no restrictions save such as are self-imposed.’ This…. was not the Framers’ plan and is not the meaning of the Spending Clause.”
So where does NPR, the poetry festival, and pork projects fit in? There is no place in our government for them. We have debt because of them. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that this broad interpretation of the Spending Clause has been used, and since FDR started taking an extreme approach to spending, others have used this as an excuse to increase it even more. If it in some way benefits us all that would be one thing, but only taking care of people to buy votes and get reelected is pure and simple abuse of the power that we have entrusted them with. By waiting for a government handout, whether it be in the form of subsidies, welfare, or a bailout you are only helping them bankrupt us morally and economically. We shouldn’t have this notion that the government is always there to help us out, because for starters, that is not why the government is there, but history has shown us that the government is never there when you expect it. Instead you should plan ahead for yourself, social security is bankrupt, and even if somehow you do get paid it’s not enough for you to get by on. If you had that money invested in an IRA it would actually be worth your while and not spent already. With all of these programs are we any better off? Johnson’s War on Poverty hasn’t eradicated poverty in America; it just created more government bureaucracies and even more dependency on government. Which might not trouble you, but it does trouble those that actually have to pay for it, while you get handouts for nothing there are people that are struggling to get by, or they themselves have to get a handout because of having to pay for you.
The Grace Commission estimated that unless something was done about spending by 2000 the nation would have accumulated $15 trillion in debt, and as a result proposed how to cut, and where to cut. But this fell on deaf ears. Their plan would’ve eliminated the national debt in a few short years. I think this is something that maybe we ought to revisit now, that would mean wiping out programs entirely, but limiting the fraud and waste of a lot of programs. My personal opinion is that we can cut around ¾ of the government and that would fix almost every problem with the government. There is no need for Amtrak, they along with the postal service lose money every year. You want my suggestion? Either privatize them, or make it that they can cover their costs, such as paying their employees and upkeep. Regardless of if they are privatized or not they need to be run like a business. Tax money shouldn’t go to support it. How many people have ridden AMTRAK? Not too many. It isn’t providing something necessary, instead it wastes tax dollars to keept it afloat and by not trying to cover its own expenses; it essentially under cuts the private legitimate businesses providing the same service, but if you aren’t trying to make a profit, (at least break even) you have a monopoly on that service, and not only cause higher taxes, you eliminate fair competition from numerous other private companies that do the same thing, so you also have no competition and job creation to compete with you. That is socialism, the beginnings of communism. Take a look at the power that they are abusing, they refuse to let us drill for oil due to environmental concerns, yet they offer the tools and training to Brazil for them to drill, while telling them that we will buy it from them. It would seem that we would take better care of the environment due to all of the environmental wackos in the country and the standards that we have in place. They want to lessen our dependency on foreign oil, yet they promise Brazil that we will buy from them and give them the resources for it. This is doesn’t make any sense. They complain about the price of oil, and the economy; their solution: high speed train.
The reason why we don’t already have high speed trains is because people don’t want it. If we did the private industry would already have built it, so while the market sees it as a waste of money, they want to add to the debt by building one. The states are already starting to refuse it because of the high cost it would create for the states. The true solution is quite obvious. We drill now. This creates jobs. That will lower the cost of oil because we aren’t paying anyone else for it. The tax base will increase because of more jobs and the increase of money flow into this country. Yeah sure what if it does take ten years before we start seeing everything, the positive effects would be immediately obvious. The job creating and the stability that would come from it would start turning this country back around until to where it should be going.
We should be focusing on letting the private industry work itself out and not dabble. Fannie and Freddie is proof of this, whenever the government starts messing with the private sector it creates more problems than it started out to fix. We should be focusing on that, and not whether or not to cut funding for NPR and poetry festivals. The cuts that are straight forward obvious won’t hurt a thing except maybe a few liberal feelings. I’d love a world where we greased the treads of our tanks with leftist tears. If we apply this simple litmus test to most of the government’s spending: why isn’t the private sector doing that? That might explain why the government shouldn’t be doing it either because it is just a money pit. The excuse that we must do this to create jobs does not help the situation at all, instead it makes it much worse. Creating and or increasing the number jobs for government bureaucracies whither they are new ones or already existing shouldn’t even be considered as creating jobs. Why? Because it does the exact opposite of its intended purpose, sure those people are now employed, but that means that the government needs to increase revenue to pay those people. What does the government do whenever it wants to increase revenue? Raise taxes! That’s how. This once again stifles the economy, causing more lost jobs in the private sector, and even less revenue in the gov’t coffers. Is it me, or does that seem like an awful lot of harm just to claim that you created jobs for your reelection bid?
This is just a plain and simple economic reform that I know would do wonders for our current woes. This isn’t rocket science, it is a plain and simple answer to it all. Why are we bickering over a few billion, when the real number to be concerned is trillions? Remember that come election time. If a business did 1/5467949372393903932837 of that financial mismanagement, there would be no company come years end. The government doesn’t need to turn a profit, but they shouldn’t be wasting the fruits of OUR labor. This year’s tax freedom day is 12 April, tomorrow. That means that we have all worked over 3 months before we have started making money that goes into our pocket. That’s ¼ of the year. Yes we should be all very very P.o.ed over that we have wasted a quarter of our lives funding useless, fraudulent programs and actions that have no business existing. Remember that.


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