Government Power Excesses

Friends,

It seems like every week there is at least one more conservative group that starts up to advocate for one or another of our constitutional rights. I applaud all of their efforts, but it seems like I am reaching overload. Like most of you, I am a go-to-work kind of guy; and like most of you I don’t have time to read all of the blogs and information that comes in every day. But scanning over the plethora of information I find a common thread in the complaints and concerns with our current governments; yes, I said governments, plural.

The common thread is that no matter what level of government the blogger is discussing, or the issue, the issues all seem to eventually boil down to an excess hunger on the part of our legislators, executive department personnel, and judges to exercise power that is not afforded them by our city, state or national charter or constitution. Since I don’t have time to write a volume on the excesses of government I will limit this discussion to a few of my hot buttons.

I recently received an email discussing Social Security as the system relates to our congressional representatives and senators. They do not seem to be bound by the same constraints that we mere mortals are when it comes to collecting Social Security. The crux of the email was that everybody should be covered by the same system. I agree. However I have a different idea. Why not just do away with Social Security! My proposal is to grandfather all individuals who are currently drawing benefits and those within 10 years of Social Security eligibility. For all others, move their accumulated money into whatever investment vehicle the individual chooses. Mandatory payroll deductions would still be made but instead of the Feds getting it to squander, the money would go into investments that each citizen deems right for him. There could be stipulations on the types of investments that could be made but the bottom line would be to keep the money out of the hands of the politicians. This would apply to ALL citizens. This is my concession to the federal government telling us what to do but it falls short of allowing them to do it for or to us.

Another area that is kind of sticking in my craw is in the area of our right to keep and bear arms. The OWH has appointed a fair number of “czars” whose decisions carry the weight of law. Take, for example, the Regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein. He has called for the end to all hunting and even goes so far as to advocate animal rights to the extent that a human can sue another human on behalf of a “wronged” animal. If I shoot a bear charging me in my own yard do I go to jail or face a law suit on behalf of the bear that is trying to make me his dinner?

What about a ruling from the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, David Michaels. If Mr. Michaels says that having a pocket knife in the work place is dangerous and I carry mine to work, am I subject to being fined or charged with a crime? To carry this a little farther, Oklahoma passed a law forbidding companies from discharging employees who carry their personal protection guns to work and keep them locked in their cars. This law has been upheld in federal court. However, the way federal regulations are structured, Mr. Michaels could declare that guns locked in personal cars pose an unacceptable risk in the work place. This declaration by an unelected official would carry the weight of law and negate the Oklahoma law. Someone needs to explain the constitutionality of that to me.

The recent abrogation of our first amendment rights comes in the form of the so-called hate-crimes bill. Now the feds can charge us under this act for not only the act of a crime, but for the reason for the crime. That gets into the category of retribution, not justice. Also, it does not apply equally to all citizens. “As WND reported, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted a homosexual activist who is attacked following a Christian minister’s sermon about homosexuality would be protected by the proposed federal law, but a minister attacked by a homosexual wouldn’t be.” It seems that Congress and the OWH are trying to foist class warfare on us. One class of citizen is more equal than other classes. This comes very close to double jeopardy. As I have written in previous posts, there is an element of hate in every crime. Further adding a characterization of the crime just to add retribution is far outside the realm of justice.

As I have stated numerous times, I am not a constitutional scholar, but I do refer to that revered document often. As many times as I have read it, I have yet to discover where it says that the federal government has the authority to do or say ANYTHING about our health care. As far as I am concerned, this entire debate is a complete waste of the taxpayers’ time and money. The bottom line of this waste is that it is going to cost every taxpaying US person a great deal of money. Of course, those who do not pay taxes will get off with a free ride.

Now to the bottom line; all of these regulations, social welfare programs and non-constitutional departments are not only breaking our bank but our backs. As well as not being a constitutional scholar, I am not an economist, just a working stiff. However, I think I have a way to pay off the national debt AND get our country back on the track set down by the Founders. It is a fairly simple solution. Eliminate all government departments that are not enumerated in the constitution; stop federal spending on all items that are not specifically laid out in the constitution (that includes all social welfare programs); eliminate the “death tax;” lower corporate taxes to 10%; and lower the income tax rate to 15% for all wage earners who earn over $35,000. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan proved that when you lower taxes, revenue to the federal government increases. Putting the tax burden on those who pay wages simply does not make sense.

This Discourse seems to have spread all over the spectrum but as I stated up front, there is a common thread throughout, and that is the excessive power assumed by the federal government. It is my crusade to assist in reversing that trend. I would hope you would join me in this effort.

Your comments and discussion are welcome.

Dan

New Secretary of Defense?

Friends,
There was something very scary in the rumor mill this last week. Columnist Bill Kristol has speculated that the Obama administration is going to cut and run in Afghanistan. These are not his words, but it is the bottom line of his predictions.

When Robert Gates was selected to continue as SECDEF for the new administration a lot of folks were surprised, myself included. I am not aware of one cabinet officer of a previous administration being held over to the next, new party administration. This says a lot for the capability and, presumably, apolitical stance held by Gates. From outward appearances, the Secretary enjoys the support of his senior military officers. At any rate, he certainly seems to be intent on winning in Afghanistan, despite the ruling party’s penchant to cut-and-run. However, this may be his undoing.

Mr. Kristol has speculated that the OWH is going to reject General McChrystal’s request for additional troops and ask Secretary Gates to resign. The OWH obviously has no experience dealing with professionals. The Secretary and the General are part of a team with a common goal in mind. This does not seem to be the same goal as the OWH.

The first question to come to mind is, why doesn’t he just tell the Secretary to draw down troop levels until they have to pull out? That way the goal is accomplished. But I have a feeling that the Secretary and the General may not go “quietly into the night.” No, these two have too much integrity to dishonor all those brave fighting men and women who have given so much to help the Afghan people. So, what has to happen?

The first thing that has to happen is for Secretary Gates to go away. In his place, needs to be someone who would have no shame in losing a war and a people in the process. This is where not-to-soon-to-cut-and-run former senator Chuck Hagel comes into the picture. Krystal speculates that the OWH will pick Hagel as the new SECDEF. Let’s take a brief look at Hagel’s history. He voted in favor of using troops in Iraq in 2002. However, in 2007, he was one of three Republicans who supported starting the troops home within 120 days of a Senate vote.

Senator Hagel was a decorated E-5 Army sergeant during Viet Nam. One can only speculate on the effect this experience may have had on his feelings toward the Iraq war. But this support for withdrawal certainly brings into question what actions he would take as SECDEF, should he be chosen and confirmed.

Just yesterday (05 Oct), the OWH said, through his press secretary, that he is not anticipating pulling out of Afghanistan. Does that include going against the experts in the field, implementing disastrous tactics, and causing many more casualties? The result of this strategy will be to declare that he is getting us out of Afghanistan to prevent more American lives from being lost.

Chuck Hagel is the perfect fall-guy to implement this strategy. He is a Republican for the liberals to point to, thereby somewhat shielding the OWH from criticism. With Senator Hagel’s demonstrated proclivity for giving up the fight, the blame will flow off the OWH’s back.

But what would be the consequences? The Taliban, al Qaida, and their affiliates only respect strength. It could be argued that US interests really became a target after the Beirut bombing in 1983. The Iranian “students” tested the waters in 1979 but seemed to be unwilling to face newly inaugurated Ronald Reagan. Hezbollah tested the waters again in Beirut and when President Reagan withdrew US forces from Lebanon they knew where our national resolve lay.

Withdrawing from Afghanistan will be no different. Once the Taliban, al Qaida and the rest of the gang sees that our national resolve is just as rubber-spined as always, they will be emboldened to take action where ever they please. This action will not be limited to outside our borders. In just the last two weeks, two plots to create massive craters in two of our cities have been foiled. How many other plots are in the works at this time, just waiting for final arrangements or for the word to come from some coordinator?

I sincerely hope Mr. Kristol is wrong. The consequences of this sequence of events could be devastating.

As always, I welcome your comments/discussion.
Dan