Category Archives: Executive Bonuses

Obama Presidency Most Lawless in History

The Obama government is the most lawless government in American History. When the fifty-five delegates to the Philadelphia Convention debated and crafted the U.S. Constitution their intention was to write the rules for the operation of the federal government. Their task was to preserve the principles of government identified in the Declaration of Independence, while at the same time, drawing up a plan that would provide the new government with the powers necessary for carrying out their legal functions and preserve the sovereignty of the participating states. A crucial goal of the Constitution was to limit the power and scope of the federal government and prevent it from encroaching on the legitimate powers of the states.

Article VI of the Constitution established the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land”. More specifically, it established the Constitution as the supreme law governing the operations and scope of the federal government. Only to the extent that the government is in compliance with the Constitution can it make any claim to being a government “of laws and not of men”.

The first ten Amendments to the Constitution were adopted to clarify portions of the Constitution and give emphasis to its limited powers. The limit on the powers of the federal government was given further emphasis in the Tenth Amendment. From the beginning, many power-hungry elected officials, tried to expand their powers beyond those granted. For the first hundred years Presidents and the Supreme Court were somewhat effective in defending the integrity of the Constitution. However, in the presidential elections of 1892 and 1896 conscious decisions were made by all the major political parties to begin testing the limits imposed by the Constitution.

The most important proposed departures from the original plan was to allow the federal government to collect a graduated income tax, and elect Senators by popular vote rather than by appointment of the state legislators as the Constitution required. The sixteenth and seventeenth amendments ratified in 1913 during the “progressive era” opened the floodgates, allowing for the wholesale violation of the Constitution. The sixteenth Amendment allowed for a direct income tax on individuals, making it possible for socialists and progressives in government to engage in income redistribution through a graduated income tax. The Seventeenth Amendment shifts the election of Senators from the state legislatures to the general population of each state, effectively neutralizing the Tenth Amendment placing the real government power in the hands of political “bosses” of the Parties in power.

Since that time the powers of the federal government and violations of the Constitution have increased exponentially to the point that it is questionable whether we are any longer a Constitutional Republic. Every administration since 1896 has violated the Constitution, both Democrats and Republicans. However, none have so blatantly refused to acknowledge the authority of the Constitution as Barack Obama, beginning with the first sentence of the first Article.

Article 1.1.1 “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

This clause makes it clear that the Executive and Judicial Branches do not have the power to legislate or make laws. Yet, most of the laws enforced by the federal government today that infringe on our liberties originate in the Executive and Judicial Branches and not in the Legislature. The legitimate functions of the various departments in the Executive Branch are to implement the laws and policies established by the Legislative Branch. The Treasury Department, State Department, Interior Department, Justice Department, and Defense Departments exist under the “necessary and proper clause” of the enumerated powers section. Others are unconstitutional because they do not relate to the limited powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution.

Today we have a plethora of Executive Branch bureaucracies, reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, making laws affecting every aspect of our personal and business life. These bureaucracies are headed by “Secretaries” who are illegally authorized by Congress to make laws at their discretion. This is a double violation of the Constitution; (1) Most are unconstitutional because their jurisdictions are not authorized by the Constitution; (2) Congress does not have the authority to delegate its legislative powers to another branch of government.

President Obama has taken this egregious violation of the Constitution to a new height by appointing Czars over the various bureaucracies who answer directly to the President, and have the authority to “dictate” to the Secretaries and department officials the “rules” to be made and enforced by the full power of the federal government. Department Secretaries are confirmed by the Senate and are accountable to it. The Czars are appointed directly by the President and are not confirmed by or accountable to Congress. This situation cannot be allowed to continue if we are to maintain any fragment of our liberty in the future. It is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to cut funding for these unconstitutional departments until they are forced out of existence.

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Article 1.3.6 “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

This clause makes the Vice President the Chief Executive Officer of the Senate. The phrase, “but shall have no vote” has been interpreted by Senate Political Parties to turn the office of President of the Senate into a ceremonial position with no executive authority. Contrary to the belief of Vice President Biden, The Constitution places the office of Vice President in the Legislative Branch not the Executive; its position in the line of Presidential succession not withstanding. As a matter of fact, Presiding over the Senate is the only duty assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution. The office of Majority Leader, an unconstitutional office created by the Senate in 1921, has been allowed to usurp the authority of the Vice President with impunity for almost a hundred years. The Senate is the primary check on the Executive Branch of government. This departure from the Constitution upsets that balance of power in favor of the Executive Branch. There is no historical or Constitutional justification for the office of Majority Leader in its present form.

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Article 1.7.1:  “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;”

1.7.2:  “but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

This clause gives the House of Representatives the “power of the purse” since revenue can only be raised to fund the legitimate functions of government and all revenue bills must specify the purposes for which the revenue is to be allocated.

Article 1.9.7:  “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Since budgets, revenue and allocations are inseparably linked, budgets are to originate in the House although the Senate may propose amendments. The President can make budget recommendations to Congress under Section 2 of the Constitution.

Article 2.3.1:  “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;”

The undisciplined and often unconstitutional methods of budgeting, allocating funds and raising revenue are a primary culprit in our present financial crisis.

Congressional authority for taxing and spending is further explained in section eight, Article I.

Article 1.8.1:  The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States;

1.8.2:  but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

1.8.3:  To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Here Congress is given the power to tax and spend for three specific purposes; pay debts, provide for the general welfare and common defense. This is followed by a list of sixteen specific items for which revenue may be raised and spent, clarifying the general phrases “general welfare” and “common defense”.

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One of the ways Party leaders ensure their choice of candidates for President and Vice President is to manipulate primary dates in violation of Article II of the Constitution. When we cast our votes in a primary election, we are actually voting for an Elector, and only indirectly for the candidate that Elector is pledged to support in the Electoral College. By manipulating the dates on which primaries are held, party leaders are able to influence the outcome through the power of suggestion, with support building for candidates who appear to have the most popular appeal. Article II, Section 1, clause 16, was included in the Constitution specifically to prevent prior voting by one state from influencing the votes in other states.

Article 2.1.16:  “The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”

This clause is a single compound sentence broken only by a semicolon. The rules of English indicates that the Framers intended for the “time of choosing the Electors” and the “day on which they shall give their votes” to be on the same day respectively. The primary system and the primary dates are the creation of Political Parties and not the Constitution. The current primary system often results in candidates being chosen that do not represent the real choice of the voters.

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Article3.2.9:  In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.

This clause gives the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over cases in which a state is one of the parties involved. However, due to the number of cases involving states because of the federal government’s overstepping of its Constitution role, for efficiency, cases involving states are handled in the same way any other federal lawsuit is handled; they are first heard in district courts, then appealed to the appellate courts, and eventually to the Supreme Court. We currently have several cases involving states winding their way through the court system; involving immigration, Obama care, and several other matters. Meanwhile the Constitutional issues these cases relate to continue unabated. The Constitution does not give either Congress or the Supreme Court the authority delegate these cases to a lower court.

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One of the functions of the Executive Branch is to enforce the federal laws through the Justice Department.

Article 2.3.4:  [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

The Obama Justice Department picks and chooses the laws it will enforce and ignores those the President disagrees with.  The most obvious laws that Obama refuses to enforce are immigration laws.

4.4.1 The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,

4.4.2 And shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

By any definition, the yearly influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S. amounts to an invasion. Although “invasion” does not necessarily need to involve a foreign military, there have been several instances where foreign military have invaded U.S. territory while the Justice Department does nothing. There have been many instances where armed criminals have invaded our territory and committed murder and kidnapping, again with only a cursory response from the federal government. Example, instead of supplying protection to the State of Arizona when requested, and as the Constitution Demands, the Justice Department brought suit against the state for attempting to enforce the law themselves.

These are just some of the illegal acts committed by the federal government against the original Constitution. When we add violations of the Bill of Rights and other Amendments, the list becomes too long to discuss in detail in a blog post. They would include violation of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion, expression and assembly; the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right of self-defense; Amendment Four protecting against illegal searches and seizures; and Amendment Five, the double-jeopardy Amendment. Last and most important is the constant and continuing violation of Amendment Ten.

Amendment 10-0:  “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.”

Obama’s Four Year Plan

minute-man-2-lithoThe actions of President Obama during his first two months in office do not to make any sense politically.  Now, as incompetent as Obama appears to be, no one has ever said that he has no sense, so, he must have a plan.   I know, he tells us his plans several times every day even if it means he has to spread the carbon footprints of Air Force One all over the continent in order to do so.  The problem is he tells us his “plans” but never his “plan.”  It always helps in understanding what’s going on if we take a look at the big picture.

We can start by looking at his worldview.  We know from his biography and life experiences that his worldview is socialistic.  Throughout his life, his mentors and close associates have always been adherents of radical socialism.  His childhood mentor and family friend, communist poet Frank Davis, his political patrons, William Ayers and Bernadette Dorn, and his pastor and mentor for twenty years, Jeremiah Wright all contributed to his worldview.

Throughout his lifetime, he was trained and groomed to someday lead the socialist movement in America.  With the help of that movement, he became the President of the United States.  Unlike his icon, Franklin Roosevelt who had twelve years to carry out his socialist plans, and would have had sixteen had not death intervened, Obama has at most, eight.  In fact, it is highly likely that he will be limited to only four years in office.  That explains his frantic efforts to get everything done “yesterday.”

It has become obvious, even to his moderate and independent supporters that his long-term goal is to transform the U.S. into an Americanized version of the socialist nations of Western Europe.  He has only four years to accomplish that goal or, at least, to push it beyond the point of no return.  The critical parts of his plan has to be accomplished within the first two years of his administration while he still has a socialist/Democrat Congress to push his plan through. That is the reason he has been forced to abandon the socialist tactic of “incrementalism” that has served the socialist movement so well in the past.

Although details of his plan puts him at odds with two of the three major socialist parties, the Democratic Socialist of America and the Socialist Party USA, his four-year plan supports the basic principles of both parties and is in lockstep with the Democratic Party, the largest and most powerful socialist party in America, .  Even though not all the socialist parties agree with Obama on every point a look at their platforms shows they are not widely separated in principle.

The four pillars of DSA’s Economic Justice Agenda:

1.  Restoring progressive taxation to the levels in effect before the Reagan administration, and enacting massive cuts in wasteful defense spending;

2.  Ensuring government resumes its appropriate roles through:

  • Providing single-payer universal health insurance, and expanding public initiatives in childcare, elder care, pension security, as well as primary, secondary and higher education;
  • Regulating finance and investment (as was done with the Glass-Steagall Act), controlling interest rates (forbidding usury), providing election protection, ending pollution, strengthening oversight of workplace health and safety, guaranteeing net neutrality, breaking up the concentration of media ownership;
  • Investment in green jobs, clean and sustainable energy, clean water, public transportation infrastructure, publicly financed election campaigns;

3.  Enacting the Employee Free Choice Act – which would restore the right of workers to organize unions and to bargain collectively –as part of a broader effort to rebuild a powerful labor movement capable of achieving equity in the labor market

4.  Implementing a U.S. foreign and trade policy that promotes global institutions that advance labor, environmental, and human rights, regulate transnational corporations, and allow small farmers worldwide to earn a living in their own homelands.

By coincidence, these also happen to be four of the main elements in the Obama Agenda.  That is, if you believe in coincidences.  In order to accomplish these goals it will be necessary to Destroy free-market capitalism and replace it with a planned economy and establish tighter controls over the American population. The basic principle of socialism, redistribution of wealth, is not specifically mentioned in the above list, but is the principle underlying all four.

For a closer look at this part of the plan, we go to the Economic Platform of the Socialist Party USA.

“…2. We call for worker and community ownership and control of corporations within the framework of a decentralized and democratically determined economic plan.

3. We call for a minimum wage of $15 per hour, indexed to the cost of living.

4. We call for a full employment policy. We support the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.

5. We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks.  In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries.

6. We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.

7. We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale…” (CPUSA economic platform)

Notice the income spread between plank 3 and plank 6; an annual minimum income of $31,200 for everyone and a maximum of $312,000 for CEOs and other high-earners.  The current tactics of the Democratic Party to demonize corporations and their high-paid executives and the attempt to cap executive pay and bonuses for segments of the economy receiving money from the government, in particularly the automotive and financial industries, may act as a model for future attempts to widen the effort to other parts of the economy.

The same rationale can easily be used for spreading government control of wages from companies receiving bailout money, to companies doing business with the government, to businesses engaged in international commerce and eventually to business in general.

Other parts of the socialist’s platforms that tie neatly into Obama’s plan for a new America include:

“1. We call for public ownership and democratic control of all our natural resources in order to conserve resources, preserve our wilderness areas, and restore environmental quality.

2. “The U.S. must immediately return to participation in international agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol, limiting carbon emissions, and accept a major role in worldwide efforts to control global warming…” (CPUSA platform on the environment)

1. “We call for the development of alternative energy sources including solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass to end dependence on fossil fuels.” (ibid. energy)

3. “We call for an end to the U.S. occupation of the province of Guantanamo, Cuba.

4. We call for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank-East Jerusalem and Gaza, and an end to all U.S. aid to Israel, as a precondition for peace.

5. We support an immediate cutoff of all U.S. military aid to Colombia, and all other recipients.

6. We call for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and all other institutions of covert warfare.

7. We stand for unconditional disarmament by the United States…” (ibid. international affairs)

It is clear that unless the American people intervene, Obama will implement the most important parts of the socialist agenda, and that he has only four years to accomplish it.  We have less time than that to stop it.  So, put down the mouse and pick up the phone.  Call your Congressman and Senators and tell them you have had enough.

The Brown Shirts Are Coming!

minute-man-2-lithoFor the past two weeks we have witnessed the greatest political sleight-of-hand display in modern history, or as magicians call it, “misdirection”.  While the media has kept our attention on the super-hyped bonuses of AIG and other financial executives, other events have been taking place virtually unnoticed by the MSM.

Before I get to those, however, there is something else I noticed as I searched for information.  While surfing the web for details of some of Obama’s new initiatives I noticed a pattern that is somewhat disturbing.  “Official” Obama propaganda is everywhere on the web, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flicker, numerous websites and blogs—some hold-overs from the campaign, others new.  The thing that struck me is the emphasis on Obama as a personality, not as the President of the United States.

For example, most Presidents have been content to use the “Seal of the Office of President of the United States” as their “logo.”  Obama, on the other hand, has his own personal seal, the all too familiar red and blue “O” with the stylized flag across the bottom, and it is everywhere.  Another thing I noticed is that on many of the official sites the references are to “Obama”, not to President Obama.  As I browsed around, I kept getting a mental image of the smiling face of Obama staring down from huge posters on the side of buildings in the fashion of Mao, Stalin, Hussein, et al.

Yeah, Okay…so I am becoming paranoid. Sue me.  Anyway, back to what’s been happening while AIG is monopolizing our attention.  First, last week the House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 1388, the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act” (G.I.V.E.).   Yesterday the Senate voted to move their version of the same bill to the floor on a vote of 74-14.  A vote is expected on the Senate Bill sometime this week.

Since these bills enjoy bi-partisan congressional support, they are likely to pass with little opposition.  When passed into law they will consolidate the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 and the National Community Service Act of 1990 bringing the Peace Corps of President Kennedy and AmeriCorps of President Clinton into the twenty first century and putting them on steroids as the National Civilian Security Corps promised by Obama during the campaign.

Starting with a mere $6 billion in “seed” money the programs are expected to reach their full size by 2014.  All total, the combined programs will employ up to 250,000 paid “volunteers” nationwide. Up to 2,500 uniformed security corps personnel (troops) will be deployed in each state.  From what I can gather by sifting through the sparse information available, most of the “grunt” work will be carried on by Community Organizers, elevating that occupation to the top of the heap.

Billions of dollars in grants and “partnership” arrangements will be made available to faith based  community organizing groups and ACORN affiliates to carry out “approved” programs in local communities.  Meanwhile, steps are being taken to establish a year round, ongoing political campaign to insure Democrat control of Congress and the White House.

David Plouffe, former head of Obama’s campaign for President now heads a group called “Organizing For America”  working out of the Democratic National Committee.  The purpose of this group is to carry out “grassroots” efforts to promote Obama’s agenda, utilizing the millions strong e-mail network and volunteer canvassers  used during the campaign.

On this past Saturday, thousands of volunteers spread out across the county “button-holing” citizens and getting them to sign pledge cards promising to support Obama’s agenda and lobby their representatives for passage of his $3.5 billion budget. Thus far, however, Congress has not felt the effects, according to McClatchy newspapers.

These, and similar initiatives by Obama are much more dangerous to the future welfare of America than the bonuses earned by financial executives or the use of corporate jets a fraction of the size of “Pelosi One” or Air Force One.  They undermine the federalist nature of our Constitution by nationalizing major portions of our private charities and strengthening control of our state run social services by the federal government.  Many of the goals proposed by these bills are certainly worthwhile, but THEY ARE NOT THE PROPER FUNCTION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Take a Breather America

minute-man-2-lithoAmerica is caught up in a self-perpetuating hysteria over the retention bonuses paid out to executives at AIG after it received some $170 billion in bailout money.  Politicians eager to distract us from government’s involvement in our economic woes point to corporate greed as the culprit, using the bonuses as exhibit “A”.  The story is dutifully hyped by the mass media and the lemming like followers of the media becomes incensed, demanding that something be done.  In turn, Washington politicians elbow their way to the cameras, each trying to outdo the other in assuring the voters that they are going to get even with those greedy capitalists on their behalf.

It’s time we all take a deep breath and a closer look at what is really going on.  Keep in mind; these were retention bonuses, not performance bonuses.  Companies finding themselves in serious financial circumstances will often offer key executives retention bonuses to discourage them from abandoning the company prematurely, assuring its ultimate demise.  It’s kind of like a NFL team quarterback, after a thirteen and three season, announcing plans for retirement.  The team may offer him a huge bonus in order to keep him on for another season.  If the next year turns out to be a three and thirteen season, no one then demands he return the bonus.

That’s partly because we do not consider it our money although it is paid with money the team ultimately got from the fans.  Our fearless leaders in Washington remind us daily that the bonus money paid to AIG executives is taxpayer money.  That is not entirely correct.  At one time, it was the taxpayer’s money, before it was confiscated by the IRS.  Once you send your check to Washington, it becomes the government’s money.  Proof of that is the fact that after the government has possession of it, the taxpayers have little or nothing to say about how it is spent.  Should the government be successful in getting the entire $165 million dollars back, do you really think they are going to send you a check for $110?  That is approximately the share that would be due each taxpayer, if each made an equal payment toward payment of the bonuses.

As a part of the pols pitch to the voters, we are told the executives who got the bonuses are the same ones that wrecked the company to begin with.  However, ask the same politician what the names of the executives are, or exactly what job they performed and they cannot tell you.  The reason is that they have not been publicly identified, and after the furor stirred up by our politicians, their names should not be made public for security and safety reasons.  The truth is that neither you, I, nor anyone in Washington knows who received a bonus or whether the decision to pay them was a good or bad business decision.  After the fact, it seems not to have been a good one, but the fact is that the only ones who know for sure are the people who made the decision in the first place.

Undaunted by the facts or the Constitution, The house passed a bill on Thursday levying a 90% tax on bonuses paid by companies receiving more than $5 billion in bailout money to executives earning more than $250,000 before the bonus payment.  Charlie Rangel assured us that state and local taxes will get the remaining ten percent. (In California the tax will be 101%)  Before we start cheering, we should consider that if Congress can reach back and confiscate the prior earning of one group, they could do the same thing with any group, including us.

Those who oppose the “Bonus Confiscation Bill” use the Constitution as their argument against it.  Article I, Section 9 says, “No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed”.  Many Constitutional scholars however point out that this section of the Constitution applies only to criminal laws passed after the fact that would hold someone criminally liable for acts committed before they were declared illegal.  Courts historically have taken this view.  Regardless of whether the new tax is unconstitutional, it is certainly un-American.  It violates the sense of fairness by changing the rules after the play has been made.

The “bill of attainder” and “ex post facto” section of the Constitution was debated at the Philadelphia Convention on August 22, 1787.  The notes taken by James Madison provide us with some interesting insights as to the thinking of the Framers.

“Mr. Gerry & Mr. McHenry moved to insert after the 2d. sect.  Art: 7, the Clause following, to wit, “The Legislature shall pass no bill of attainder nor any ex post facto law…”

“Mr. Elseworth contended that there was no lawyer, no civilian who would not say that ex post facto laws were void of themselves. It can not then be necessary to prohibit them…”

“Mr. Wilson was against inserting any thing in the Constitution as to ex post facto laws. It will bring reflexions on the Constitution — and proclaim that we are ignorant of the first principles of Legislation, or are constituting a Government which will be so…”

“Doc. Johnson thought the clause unnecessary, and implying an improper suspicion of the National Legislature…”

The clause carried, seven ayes to three nays.  To me, the most interesting comments were those made by Mr. Elseworth, Mr. Wilson, and Dr. Johnson.  The language here implies that Elseworth, Wilson and Johnson considered it almost an insult to suggest such a clause because it implied an “ignorance of the first principles of legislation, or are constituting a government which will be so.”  Dr. Johnson also felt it would imply a suspicion of the National Legislature.

We can assume that the three Nay votes, although not recorded by name, were from these three gentlemen. Their objection was not to the idea itself but to the absurdity of thinking any legislator would even consider passing an ex post facto law.

A more cogent argument against the bill is found in Article I, Section 10 which forbids the states to, …“pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…”  The inviolability of our contract laws provides the underpinning for our entire economic system.  If we allow Congress to pass a law “impairing the obligation of contracts”, there is no limit to the ability of Congress to intervene in our business affairs.

It may not be time yet to break out the pitchforks and march on Washington, but the time is certainly drawing closer.