Archive for the ‘Big Government’ Category
The Chris Christie scandal shows the danger of big government, no matter which party is in charge.
The apparent target was Mark Sokolich, the Democrat mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who refused to endorse Christie for governor.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly famously wrote in an email to the political appointee who had the power to close down two lanes on a Fort Lee access ramp that funnels traffic onto New York City’s George Washington Bridge.
As a result of these unannounced lane closures that lasted several days, people had to sit four hours in traffic jams. At least one elderly woman died while in an ambulance that was stuck for hours in gridlock. And emergency vehicles could not respond to 911 calls in a timely fashion.
So, most likely, others died as well as a direct result of this breathtaking political vindictiveness by Bridget Kelly and other Christie cronies in positions of power to carry out the lane closures.
This is not how a civilized free society is supposed to work.
We still don’t know what Chris Christie knew and when he knew it.
My own view is he should resign over this even if he did not know. By surrounding himself with top aides in the mold of the evil Bridget Kelly (along with all the others who were in on this destructive escapade), he has shown he is unable to govern. Leadership comes from the top. The governor sets the tone for his administration. The people who work for Christie take their cues from him.
If Christie did know what was going on, he should be prosecuted and sent to prison.
Of course, this is exactly the behavior we see with the IRS scandal — where President Obama’s political appointees and assorted leftists at the IRS are abusing their power to target the Tea Party, other conservative groups, and political opponents of Obama with punishing audits.
Whether Democrat or Republican, political appointees and bureaucrats will abuse their power — which is why principled conservatives want to limit government power, limit the power bureaucrats and political cronies like Bridget Kelly have over our lives.
Now we have the specter of ObamaCare — where political cronies and bureaucrats will be making life-and-death decisions over who gets the medical treatment they need, and who won’t.
Who’s to say that a leftist ideologue in the HHS-ObamaCare bureaucracy won’t deny a liver transplant needed by a Tea Party leader?
Who is to say leftists in the ObamaCare bureaucracy won’t check party identification on voter registration rolls before giving the green light to medical treatment?
This is exactly what’s likely to happen with government-run medicine — government-run anything.
Richard Nixon had his “enemies list.” Nixon was looking at ways to use the Federal Communications Commission to punish the networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) for criticizing him. Nixon also used the IRS to target his opponents, as did JFK and FDR.
Whatever government runs becomes politicized.
Private companies do not set out to deliberately inconvenience their customers because they are driven by the profit motive. So they are eager to serve. And businesses could not care less about the political affiliations of their customers.
But political appointees and government bureaucrats are not driven by the profit motive. They are driven by the quest for power and the prospect of feeding at the government trough at taxpayer expense.
Some government officials, of course, want to use their power for good. But others like to use their power to push people around — even to punish people they don’t like.
Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff and assorted cronies got caught because they were stupid enough to reveal what they were doing in emails and text messages.
Political appointees and bureaucrats in government abuse their power all the time, everyday. It just doesn’t usually make the news.
Bureaucrats don’t need political motives to abuse their power.
Many abuse their power simply because they can. They are unhappy with their life and they take it out on whoever is unfortunate enough to be in their crosshairs, whoever happens to be standing in front of them at the moment.
Everyday we read news stories about out-of-control cops who beat someone senseless for no good reason.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’ve met many excellent government officials, many great cops. No doubt most are honestly trying to do a good job and serve the public the best they can.
But it doesn’t take many bad apples in government to make life a nightmare for many of us.
As Lord Action famously described the problem of government this way: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Of course, we need government because we need law and order. We also need government build roads and infrastructure, regulate commerce, take on big projects that can’t be handled by the private sector, provide for a social safety net, and to defend the nation from foreign enemies.
James Madison, the primary author of America’s Constitution, stated the great problem of political science this way in Federalist #51:
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
What James Madison and America’s founders tried to achieve when writing our Constitution was to establish a government that was very strong where government must be strong, but also limited in scope.
The purpose of the federal government is described in the Constitution’s preamble — to “secure the blessings of liberty.”
So James Madison and the founders set up a federal government with specifically enumerated powers.
The Constitution’s Tenth Amendment states:
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 other words, most of the governing in America was supposed to be handled by state and local governments — on the principle that government governs best when it’s close to the people. Also on the theory that if government in one state or locality is behaving badly, we would have the ability (the freedom) to move to another state without having to flee the country. There would then be free-market competitive pressures on the states to have good government and to be attractive places to live.
The central government’s role was supposed to be limited to national defense, general law and order, establishing a currency, and regulating interstate commerce.
If the federal government actually followed the Tenth Amendment, our federal government would be about a third the size it is now.
The Constitution’s framers also sought to limit the power of the federal government by dividing power equally between the branches. Congress and the President are supposed to be co-equal branches of government, with the Supreme Court (and other federal courts) making sure laws are followed and that laws passed by Congress are Constitutional.
But most of the governing was to happen at the state and local level, with the federal government stepping in only as a last resort — to quell rebellion, to end slavery, to safeguard the vote, and those sorts of big issues.
America’s founders knew human nature. They knew those in positions of power would abuse their power — not all, but enough.
Adolph Hitler was just one person. But he was certainly able to do a lot of damage when he had the reins of power, as did Stalin, Mao, Napoleon, Caligula, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and so many other tyrants.
The vast majority of people throughout world history have lived under tyranny.
The little tyrant of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, summarily executed his uncle along with his uncle’s inner circle – apparently making the decision while in a drunken stupor.
He had the power. He murdered his uncle because he could. He was annoyed with his uncle, or something.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Power often turns the people who have it into monsters.
Chris Christie’s deputy chief of staff is a little Napolean.
She was willing to use her power in government to hurt the mayor of Fort Lee in any way she could. She probably would have been happy to put him in front of a firing squad if she could.
She closed down two lanes of traffic on one of the busiest stretches of road in America because she had the power to do so, without any concern for the damage she was causing. At least one person died as a result. And she needlessly inconvenienced hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people — plus damaged the economy of the entire New York City area by closing those two lanes of highway for no reason other than spite.
This is the effect power can have on people’s minds. The ring in the Hobbit is a metaphor for this. If you put the ring on, you acquire near limitless power, but also become evil. Power often transforms otherwise decent people into lunatics.
Adolf Hitler might have been a perfectly upstanding citizen had he been, say, a shopkeeper . . . instead of Germany’s top government official. He was a hero on the battlefield in World War One. It was the power that fueled his megalomania and murderous insanity.
This is why we need limited government. It’s why we need smaller government. It’s why we need all kinds of safeguards to keep government locked in its cage and tethered to its post – to make sure government only does what’s it’s supposed to do. It’s why the out-of-control government we have now in America (at all levels) is so dangerous.
It’s why America’s founders were so right, and it’s why the Constitution they wrote was so brilliant.
Of course, it’s not a perfect document. Politicians have found ways to get around the Constitution (mostly by ignoring it) to grow government to a point where it’s now completely out of control.
Do you really believe all this data being collected on every American by the National Security Agency (and other government agencies) will never be used for nefarious purposes by those who have access to all this data?
What’s to stop an NSA analyst from using this data to see what an ex-girlfriend is up to — or perhaps just to ruin someone’s life? What’s to stop a President and his political operatives from using this giant NSA database as an opposition research operation?
The Chris Christie Bridgegate scandal is just the latest example of government officials abusing their power because they can — to vindictively punish people they don’t like, or for no reason at all.
The lesson is: We need to return to the Constitution. We need to UNDO ObamaCare — arguably the most serious threat to liberty in America’s history.
But we must go way beyond that.
We need to scale our federal government back down to Constitutional size — which is probably about one-third the size it is now.
Short of seceding from the union, the states can take strong action to counter an abusive federal government
The Red States should issue a “Declaration of Non-Compliance” with all unconstitutional Federal laws and regulations
For example, suppose a big state, such as Texas, declared itself a tax sanctuary — that no Texan will be required to pay an income tax of, say, more than 15 percent to the federal government.
It would cite the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments for legal justification.
The Fifth Amendment states that “Nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
This is known as the “Takings Clause.”
The Fourteenth Amendment states that the government must not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.“
This is known as the “Equal Protection of the Laws” clause.
The progressive income taxes violates both these Amendments.
If some Americans are taxed at a higher rate than others, they are being denied equal treatment under the law — a fundamental principal of common law and justice.
I should not pay a bigger fine for running a red light if I’m richer.
If the government is taking my money to give to someone else, clearly my property is being taken without just compensation . . . and not even for public use. So this is a violation of the “Takings Clause.”
So there is plenty of legal justification for Texas to simply declare (by passing a state law) that no Texan will be required to pay an income tax of more than 15 percent to the federal government.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution establishes the dual sovereignty doctrine. It states that,
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.”
According to the Tenth Amendment, most of what the federal government is doing today is unconstitutional.
If the federal government actually followed the Tenth Amendment, it would be about one-third the size it is now.
The Constitution set up a federal government to do certain very specific things –”establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Clearly, the federal government has no Constitutional authority to take money from one American to give to someone else.
The Sixteenth Amendment states that,
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.”
But the federal government does not have the authority to tax some people at a 30 percent rate and others at a 10 percent rate (for the purpose of wealth redistribution) because that violates both the Fifth Amendment’s “takings” clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection of the laws” clause.
The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly upheld the “dual sovereignty” doctrine of the Constitution’s Tenth Amendment.
Most recently, in the ObamaCare case, the court ruled that the states are under no obligation to comply with the ObamaCare law. That is, the states are under no obligation to use money from the state treasury to set up the ObamaCare “exchanges” or to expand “Medicaid.”
Thus, much of the financing mechanism for ObamaCare is gone if the states simply refuse to provide the funds and refuse to set up the exchanges.
James Madison and Thomas Jefferson both argued that the states have the right simply to refuse to go along with unconstitutional federal laws and decrees. After all, it was the states who created the federal government in the first place.
At North Carolina’s ratifying convention, James Iredell told the delegates that when “Congress passes a law consistent with the Constitution, it is to be binding on the people. If Congress, under pretense of executing one power, should, in fact, usurp another, they will violate the Constitution.”
In other words, the states would have the right to ignore any law Congress might pass that violates the Constitution.
So let’s say Texas declares that no Texan will pay more than a 15 percent rate on income to the federal government and that no Texan will be subject to arrest by federal authorities for refusing to pay more than this. What practically could the federal government do in response?
Well, the federal government could try to come into Texas to arrest the non-compliant Texan.
The state of Texas would then provide legal defense for the Texas taxpayer while the case worked its way through the courts, which could take years.
The state of Texas can just use the courts to tie up the federal government for years in litigation.
This would be taking a page from the ACLU’s playbook.
The ACLU has achieved a lot for the Left by threatening litigation and tying up the government in litigation.
Texas could take this approach with every abusive federal law, such as the Obama Administration’s plans to deny Americans their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, or all the unconstitutional regulations coming from the EPA.
In fact, the state of Texas could declare every federal regulation illegal that was not explicitly passed into law by Congress.
The federal agencies have issued hundreds of thousands of regulations that carry the force of law. You will pay fines and can go to jail for failing to comply with these regulations. But these regulations should carry no weight whatsoever because they were not actually passed into law by Congress.
Congress is the lawmaking body, not the Executive Branch.
And Congress has no Constitutional authority to transfer the lawmaking power to the Executive Branch.
So the state of Texas (or any state) could go through every federal regulation and declare it will no longer comply with these regulations.
What could the federal government do if Texas did that?
And what if this trend caught on in other solidly Red states? — such as Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, Nebraska, Kentucky, the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho.
That’s a pretty sizeable chunk of territory that we might call the “Free United States of America” — in contrast to the “Enslaved United States of America.”
What could the federal government really do if this happened?
We would not actually secede from the union. These states would just refuse to comply with unconstitutional laws and regulations. They would continue to comply with Constitutional laws. We would want, for example, to continue to pay for national defense because that’s authorized by the Constitution.
The states can go through the federal budget and determine what they will pay for (the Constitutional items) — and NOT pay for (the unconstitutional items).
We will be happy to pay for all Constitutional federal functions of government.
Another area for the states to put their foot down is to say “no more seizing of private and state lands by the federal government.”
The states are perfectly capable of identifying places of true scenic beauty to protect.
What’s been happening is that the federal government has abused its eminent domain power to simply seize as much American land as it can for itself.
The federal government now owns 84.5 percent of Nevada, 69.1 percent of Alaska, 57.4 percent of Utah, 53.1 percent of Oregon, 50.2 percent of Idaho, 48.1 percent of Arizona, 55.3 percent of California, etc. — in other words, most of the Western United States.
The Obama Administration has mapped out a plan to seize millions more acres of valuable Western lands, putting many ranchers out of business.
The Red States need to say not only no more lands will be seized the federal government, but should begin taking lands back from the federal government.
Who is the federal government to say what Texas or Alaska can and can’t do with their own land — including their oil?
Kick the federal government out of the state.
And it really doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court rules because most of these federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional, no matter what liberals on the Supreme Court say.
The Supreme Court is not the supreme authority of the land. The Constitution is. If the Supreme Court ruled that it’s okay to kill all red-headed children, that would not make it Constitutional to do so.
There’s no mention of the Supreme Court in the Constitution as the supreme authority in the land. That did not happen until 1958, when in Cooper v. Aaron the Court declared that its rulings have exactly the same weight as the text of the Constitution itself.
But that’s a self-evident absurdity.
The Constitution very clearly states that the courts operate under the laws established by Congress. And Congress operates under the Constitution.
It’s then clear from the ratification debates on the Constitution that the states are supposed to be the final arbiters on what is Constitutional, or not. In fact, that was the entire promise in the ratification debates, or the Constitution never would have been ratified. The states were assured over and over again, that they would be the judge of the Constitutionality of laws enacted by Congress.
If the federal law is Constitutional, the states would and should be pleased to abide by the law. We all agree that sensible laws and rules are needed for the proper functioning of a civil society.
But under the American system, most of the governing is supposed to be handled by state and local governments.
Instead, the federal government that is the big usurper and primary lawbreaker America. It’s come more to resemble organized crime than a real government.
We have a rogue President, a rogue federal bureaucracy, and a largely rogue Supreme Court — a court that actually found an unalienable right to an abortion in the text of the Constitution — where no such right exists — thus nullifying abortion laws in all 50 states.
So if the Supreme Court can nullify laws in all 50 states, the states can counter by nullifying unconstitutional federal laws. We then have a stand-off — which is what happens when the government attempts to impose its will on an unwilling people. We’re supposed to be governed in America by the “consent of the governed.”
Since we do need courts, the “Free United States” can set up its own Supreme Court — a competing court made up of Constitutionalists.
Again, what could the federal government really do about this?
The feds could theoretically take military action.
But that’s not likely to happen unless the states actually secede from the union. But the states would not be doing that. We are not talking about attacking Fort Sumter here.
The states would just be enforcing their Constitutional rights — vigorously, on every front and in every way.
It would not be a Declaration of Independence, we would be issuing a Declaration of Non-Compliance – non-compliance with unconstitutional laws and regulations.
The Supreme Court has already given the states the roadmap for how to do this with its ObamaCare ruling — declaring that the states are under no obligation to comply with ObamaCare.
Its time for the Red States to reassert their Constitutional authority in every area — to take authority back from the federal government.
And it would good to formalize the Red State complaint against the federal government with a formal Declaration of Non-Compliance — following the same pattern of argument as America’s Declaration of Independence of 1776.
America’s Declaration of Independence made its case by cataloguing a long list of abusive behavior by the British government. It’s well worth reading this list, because so many of these complaints apply to our own federal government today:
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world . . .
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance . . .
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation . . .
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever . . .
A strong case can be made that much of this is happening now — only more so. The federal government has vastly over-stepped its constitutional authority in many areas — “has erected a multitude of New Offices [not envisoned by the Constitution], and sent hither swarms of Officers [bureacrats] to harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
Isn’t this happening today?
Let’s take ObamaCare as just one example.
ObamaCare sets up a Soviet-style health care bureaucracy that will destroy freedom in America and wreck our health care system if its allowed to take root and spread like a cancer into every area of American life. ObamaCare . . .
- Requires the hiring of 16,000 brand to IRS agents to enforce the 2,700-page law.
- Establishes 159 brand new government agencies to administer the program;
- Includes 21 new taxes and tax increases.
Barack Obama promised in his 2008 campaign for the Presidency that he would “fundamentally transform” the American system (his words) — including our Constitutional structure of government.
The engine that’s driving this fundamental transformation of our society is”ObamaCare.”
Communists and socialists have always known that the fastest and surest way to move a country to socialism is through socializing medicine — that is, by putting a country’s health care system under government control.
Vladimir Lenin, the founder and architect of the Soviet Communist state, said “Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.”
Lenin and the Communists knew that once you control people’s access to health care and medical treatment, you control their lives. The Left here in America is well aware of this also.
When radio host Paul W. Smith asked liberal Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) why it will take the government until 2014 to fully set up the ObamaCare system, Dingell said this:
“It takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”
Source: News Talk WJR Radio with Paul W. Smith 3/23/2010
Does this sound like the America established by our nation’s Founding Fathers and described in the Constitution of the United States?
Is this really the purpose of our federal government — “to control the people“?
The Constitution says the primary purpose of government is to “secure the blessings of liberty” and to provide for the “common defense” – not to “control the people.“
Under our Constitution, people are supposed to be free to do whatever they want, so long as they are not harming someone else.
That’s called freedom.
America’s Declaration of Independence says the purpose of government is to secure our “unalienable rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
ObamaCare is about none of this. ObamaCare is about the opposite of what described by our nation’s founding documents.
No wonder Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro hailed the passage of ObamaCare as “a miracle.”
In other words, when Barack Obama told us in 2008 that he was out to “fundamentally transform” America, he meant it. And he’s doing it primarily through ObamaCare — but also via the EPA, Executive Orders, and his administrative control of the vast federal bureaucracy.
His bureaucrats and regulators are issuing an avalanche of regulations on their own every week that carry the force of law — complete with criminal penalties and sanctions. All this is unconstitutional.
It’s time for the Red States to Declare Independence from all this — or rather Declare their Non-Compliance with a long catalogue of federal abuses by the federal government, very similar to America’s original Declaration of Independence of 1776.
This is not a proposal to go to war or to secede. It’s a proposal simply to refuse to comply with all federal laws and regulations that are clearly unconstitutional.
What could Obama and the Left do if the Red States actually did that?
I favor going over the fiscal cliff. No more talks with President Obama.
It’s about time the American people (including the Middle Class) start paying for the government benefits they are demanding.
Going over the fiscal cliff means we start making that happen.
Today, the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it’s spending. We now have a $16.4 TRILLION national debt.
Obama’s own budgets propose adding a $1 TRILLION+ to the national debt every year for as far as the eye can see.
This means the American people are enjoying lots of benefits from government without paying for them. We are passing the bill onto future generations.
That’s not fair. And it’s immoral.
Assuming there’s no fiscal cliff deal (I hope there isn’t) the tax bill for the median family or household will increase by about $3,500 in 2013.
Some mandatory spending cuts also kick in. I’m all for that.
Now, if it were up to me, I’d cut the entire federal budget by about two-thirds.
That’s about what it would take to scale our federal government back down to Constitutional size. But that’s not what the American people are voting for.
The American people want more from the government. So it’s time they start paying for it.
When you really think about it, the fiscal cliff IS the compromise.
Obama wants no spending cuts, only tax increases.
People like me want all spending cuts, no tax increases. In fact, I want tax cuts plus spending cuts, while Obama wants more spending and more taxes.
So there’s no possibility of any meeting of the minds in further discussions with Obama.
We just have a very different (polar opposite) philosophy of that the proper role of government is.
With the fiscal cliff, we get some tax increases and we get some real spending cuts. We begin the process of bringing the federal budget back into balance.
So that’s the compromise. It’s the compromise Barack Obama, John Boehner, and Harry Reid all agreed to in 2011.
It’s the compromise both chambers of Congress voted for. So let’s stick with that.
Even at this rate (of fiscal cliff-scale spending cuts and tax increases) it will take decades before we actually start paying down the national debt. But at least we’ll be heading in that direction.
But something eles may happen when we go over the fiscal cliff – something good.
Once the median family’s tax bill goes up $3,500 in 2013, more voters will start to wonder if all this government they are asking for is really worth it. As long as they can push the bill for all this government onto future generations (who have no vote), it’s fun to accept all these goodies from the government . . . because they seem free.
I’d love to have a credit card that allowed me to spend as much as I want, and have someone else in the future pay for all my spending. What a gas that would be!
That’s exactly what Congress and President Obama are doing.
At least the fiscal cliff imposes some discipline — on both Washington and the American people. Not much, but some.
Will we double-dip back into another recession if we go over the fiscal cliff?
Yup. Probably. Almost certainly . . . because the government’s credit card spending will be curbed.
When you hit your credit card limit and you’ve been living off your credit cards, your lifestyle is going to take a hit.
That’s what will happen if we go over the fiscal cliff and don’t raise the federal debt limit.
It’s tough medicine. But it is medicine. It’s ultimately good for us to live within our means. But that can be hard.
The endess deficit spending without consequences must end.
It will end eventually. The question is: When?
Will the spending end when the economy completely collapses, like a house of cards, under the weight of debt?
Or will some fiscal discipline start now — when we still have a country we can save?
I vote for starting now — which is why I hope we go over the fiscal cliff.
I vote for going over the fiscal cliff because it’s immoral to pass the bill for all these government benefits onto my children and grandchildren. It’s time to pay the Piper.
Hillarious video — and sad, too. “Why be a taxpayer when I can be a tax spender?”
Government is unpopular already. But how much more unpopular would it be if we actually had to pay for it?
President Obama keeps telling us how great government is. He’s having a tough time selling this message even though we are getting all this government at a 42 percent discount.
That is, we are getting government for 42 percent less than it actually costs because the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends.
Obama’s big bureaucratic government vision is becoming less and less popular by the day.
Recent Rasmussen polls show that . . .
- 55 percent want ObamaCare repealed compared to 39 percent who oppose repeal;
- 69 percent say spending cuts should be considered for all government programs;
- 66 percent say government should cut spending to help the economy;
- 49 percent think government anti-poverty programs increase poverty compared to 45 percent who think these programs might be helping at least some;
- 45 percent fear the government will try to do too much to help the economy compared to 43 percent who fear the government won’t do enough; and
- 72 percent say small businesses are primarily responsible for their own success compared to 13% who disagree.
So Most Americans think government is much too big and spends way too much. Most Americans also think government is too inefficient and is often counter-productive.
Right now, government might not seem so bad because we really aren’t feeling the true cost of government. Politicians have learned that they can spend money like drunken sailors and pass the bill (42 cents of every dollar they are spending) on to future generations to pay.
So many Americans might not be thrilled with what we’re now getting from our government, but they feel we are at least getting something, so are willing to put up with it. You can live pretty well on your credit card for a while, until the bill comes due and the piper must be paid.
But what if we actually had to start paying what government really costs with a, well, about a 90 percent tax increase?
Of course, a tax increase on that level would collapse the economy overnight, so the revenue would not actually come in. Capital and businesses would flee the country. We would rapidly implode to banana republic status.
But a 90 percent tax increase is about what it would take to pay for the federal government we are now getting.
How popular do you think government would be then?
The bank bail out was not $770 billion (TARP). It was $7.7 TRILLION . . . from the FED’s money printing press
That’s more than half the total size of the U.S. economy
BLOOMBERG: The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.
“TARP at least had some strings attached,” says Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, referring to the program’s executive-pay ceiling. “With the Fed programs, there was nothing.”
DJ PANGBURN-D&T: A 42-year old Illinois man named Michael Allison is facing 75 years in prison for recording video of police. This, of course, just days after the 1st District Court of Appeals upheld the right to record police actions in public in Glik v. Cunniffe.
Michael Allison recorded video of Illinois police visiting his mother’s home to investigate his unregistered vehicles. Allison recorded the police without their consent while they fined him and impounded his vehicles. Now he faces 75 years in prison for these videos as well as those recorded at a court proceeding related to the case.
And Allison is being prosecuted under archaic laws governing eavesdropping on police. Each of the five counts of eavesdropping would bring him 15 years, as it is a class-one felony in Illinois, which puts Allison’s actions in league with rape.
Of course, police are free to videotape citizens at will.
This has all happened amidst a trend of citizens armed with smart phones recording video and audio of police arrests and encounters. Rochester, New York citizen Emily Good was arrested for videotaping a police arrest outside her home, even though she was on her property (because the officer Mario Masic felt threatened). And, of course, OpenWatch released CopRecorder and OpenWatch Recorder to monitor police encounters.
Cop threatens to shoot motorist in the face during routine traffic stop
Watch cop assault 14-year-old skateboarder for calling him “Dude”
My son calls me “dude” sometimes. But I don’t take it as an insult. It’s just the way kids talk these days. Sometimes I will say: “Pete, probably best not to get in the habit of calling adults ‘dude.’ They might think you’re being disrespectful.”
He’ll then say, “Oh, yeah, sorry Dad. I guess it’s just a habit because that’s what everyone my age calls each other.”
Good thing we had video of this
Without camcorders, we never would have learned about the Rodney King beating
YOUR FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT: Man in critical condition after cops beat him into a coma for riding a bicycle without a light
KRISTV: It’s news no one wants to hear; a family member is in the hospital on life support unable to speak and even worse there are few answers about how it all happened.
That’s exactly what one Aransas Pass family says they are going through.
Martin Garcia Ortiz is in critical condition after an incident allegedly involving Aransas Pass police back on August 10th.
The family and their attorneys say they believe a rogue police officer may be to blame for Ortiz’s severe injuries.
“We want to find out what happened to my uncle. We want him to hurry up and talk to see what he can tell us,” said Victoria Hernandez, Ortiz’s niece.
48-year-old Martin Garcia Ortiz is a life long Aransas Pass resident, though for the past few weeks he’s been at Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi.
On August 10th, Ortiz’s family says he was riding his bicycle home and just a few blocks away something happened to put him in critical condition.
Just before midnight, the family’s attorneys say they believe police tried stopping Ortiz for not having a headlight on his bike. Then, the situation took a dramatic turn when one officer allegedly knocked Ortiz to the ground.
“Either with his vehicle or with his person pushed him over on his bicycle. He fell over to the street,” said Stephen Carriganan, attorney for the family.
Attorneys say Ortiz was knocked from his bike along Cleveland Street. The allegations are only more shocking from there.
They say they believe when Ortiz was already on the ground bleeding the officer got out and punched or kicked him causing even more injuries.
Attorneys say they have evidence that supports their claims, but are holding off on revealing their sources.
We contacted Aransas Pass police department for comment but our calls weren’t returned.
It’s not clear if the officers involved received disciplinary action, but it appears they’re still on duty in the city.
Police are charging Ortiz with public intoxication and resisting arrest.
The family’s attorneys report the police department has told them the dash-cam video from the police unit was- for some reason- unable to record the incident.
Attorneys also say the department hasn’t given them a complete copy of the incident report.
“I can find very little justification. If what we believe is true; if they pushed or ran this guy of the road, whatever they did with their car or their persons. I’d be very surprised if there is any justification for that in a report,” said Chris Gayle, an attorney for the family.
Now, the family and attorneys say they are faced with a lot of unanswered questions about exactly what went on that night, but they’re hopeful they will find the truth.
BEWARE! If you own a Gibson guitar, you might be a criminal (according to Obama’s wackos at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
BOB BARR-ACJ: Are you a guitar owner? More important, do you own a guitar made by Gibson, one of the most well-known American guitar manufacturers? If so, listen up; you may be in Uncle Sam’s cross hairs – as a criminal.
Just ask Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitars.
Last week, heavily armed federal agents raided two guitar manufacturing facilities in Tennessee owned by Gibson — one in Nashville, another in Memphis. The feds were not acting on a tip that an al Qaeda cell was holed up in the buildings; or that Mexican drug cartel gangs were lurking inside. It was actually something far more serious; far more serious, that is, to a bunch of federal bureaucrats with nothing better to do.
The raids were carried out because the Department of Justice and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claim that parts of the iconic guitars manufactured in the plants contained the wrong kind of imported wood. And, although the feds have not made clear to Gibson just what it has done wrong, the government appears also to be claiming the guitar parts might have been exported to the U.S. contrary not to American laws, but to certain domestic laws of the countries exporting the parts to the United States!