Category Archives: Taxes

Farewell Chicago

art wilsonDear Chicago,
In case you’re wondering where I am, I’ve left you and Illinois for another city in another state. It took some time but I finally realized that I am who I am and I certainly can’t change you. It’s not that I didn’t try these past six years. I voted in every election. I tried to explain conservative principles to hundreds of your citizens, (apparently printing money is more popular than I thought). But you and your state seem hell-bent on destroying yourselves and I just couldn’t live there and watch it happen. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still hear about you and what’s happening with you all of the time. In fact, just last week I heard Illinois credit rating fell to the worst in the country. Congratulations. You just beat California for being the worst “drunk” in the country. Keep spending. You don’t have a problem. And I hear about you in the news all of the time these days. Apparently the murder rate in January, (42), is the highest since 2002, (77). This is despite the gun ban you’ve had in place all of these years and the statistics that show over and over again that the gun bans haven’t worked. Instead of acknowledging you have a problem, you just blame something else. Seriously, global warming?

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed living next to the lake and being able to walk to Wriggly Field for a Cubs game. Watching a Blackhawks game at the United Center is an experience, not a sporting event. Lincoln Park Zoo, the aquarium, the Field Museum, the restaurants. Oh I could go on and on but that’s what makes you a great place to visit. It does not make you a great place to live. I’ll definitely miss my friends there. The conservatives are few there but they are some of the most solid in the country. (You really know what you believe in after you’ve had to argue explain it to the people around you a million times). I’ll miss my church – one of only a handful that’s not preaching the social gospel downtown. But Chicago, you did everything you could possibly do to push me away.

Let’s talk about values. Mayor Rham Emanuel spelled it out loud and clear last July when he stated Chick-fil-A’s values were not Chicago’s values. It wasn’t the statement as much as the threat by he and Alderman Joe Moreno that unless a private business agrees implicitly with what they believe, they wouldn’t consider allowing zoning rights to a Chick-fil-A in that ward of the city. Since when did elected officials start strong-arming people into believing exactly as we do? I would have just as much of an issue with this if a pro-gay business was treated this way. This is yet another reason why businesses will have to think long and hard before deciding to open up shop in Chicago. You’ve made it quite clear that if a business can’t play ball the Chicago way they can stay the hell out. Good luck with that.

And then there was the Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle budget proposal last year. Chicago you already have some of the highest taxes in the country and you want to do what? Another dollar tax per pack of cigarettes, the highest in the country. A violence tax – a nickel for every bullet and an additional $25 per gun. The idea being that this county tax would offset the county hospital costs due to the extremely high violence in the city. Yes Chicago, you have the audacity to suggest taxing law abiding gun owners for the crimes of the gang bangers that will never see the tax. Oh, and you wanted to tax certain goods bought in other counties with an additional tax. Chicago, you will never ever be satisfied with the amount of money you collect. I just can’t live there and watch you push yourself into bankruptcy and drag me in along with you.

And the political corruption. Number one in the country again last year. 1,531 convictions for public corruption between 1976 and 2010. But that was so long ago. Surely things would be different right? Well….. Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr.      Ald. Sandi Jackson     State Rep. Derrick Smith…..   All investigated, charged or indicted and still voted back into office anyway. Wow. Talk about an enabling constituent.

I could keep going Chicago but what’s the point. It just didn’t work out. I don’t see a future there – not one that I would want to be a part of anyway. So farewell Chicago. And good luck. You’re going to need it.

Art Wilson

Warning: U Turn or Crash

U-Turn to right permitted

U-Turn to right permitted

For a very short time in the history of the world, America was an oasis of liberty in a global desert of humanistic oppression. That era is rapidly coming to an end. Furthermore, it appears more evident each day that we may have passed the point of no return. No matter what decisions our leaders make in the next few months, we cannot defy the laws of economics and math. Eventually, we will end up in financial bankruptcy and social chaos. At that point, based on the lessons of history and the law of cause and effect, order can only be restored to the chaos by draconian government intervention.

When that happens, we will have lost all hope of ever returning to a constitutional republic. America will lose its place as the “leader of the Free World”. We will no longer be the “policeman of the world” helping to maintain world order. The disorder and confusion we now see in the Middle East and Europe will continue to spread until chaos extends throughout the world, requiring the same solution, draconian government intervention. Conditions will then be ripe for establishing the long sought after goal of humanists, socialists, communists and other left wing groups, for a one-world government; the “New World Order” spoken of by George H.W. Bush many years ago.

Many of my readers are probably thinking to themselves, “The old man has finally lost it”. In 2008 when I first began to write about the dangers of an Obama Presidency, the most common response from my friends was, “that could never happen here, the American people would never stand for it.” I was also chided by my friends when I labeled Barack Obama as a socialist when he first appeared on the political scene. For some reason, I do not hear those criticisms so much today. Anyway, before you click off this page, let me assure you these thoughts are not original with me. They are gleaned from political philosophers, news accounts of current events, and the writings of commentators on political and religious history. For example, the modern progressive goal of a one world government dates back to the utopian thinkers of the twentieth century as a means for ending war, curing world hunger and furthering the socialist idea of “social justice”.

A number of groups have long sought to bring global trade, finance, transnational businesses and natural resources, under international control. The vehicle through which they hope to exercise control is the United Nations. The most active of these groups are the American Humanist Association and the Unitarian Universalists Association; both recognized United Nations NGOs with consultative status on a number of UN committees. The ultimate goal is a secular federated world government as stated in the 1973 doctrinal statement of the American Humanist Association.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

If we understand this, we are closer to understanding those who work for open borders, amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, not to mention such UN programs as Agenda 21 and the Kyoto Protocol. It also helps to explain the thinking of those who advocate the power to tax for the UN. Our national sovereignty is being attacked and slowly chipped away by the UN, issue by issue, and with the full support of too many in Washington; much in the same manner as the federal government has worked for years to destroy the sovereignty of the states.

America is on the verge of social and economic collapse. Once that happens, it will be a simple thing to surrender our sovereignty to the “democratic” protection of a world government. A large segment of our population — perhaps even a majority — have already been conditioned to accept it, through amoral secular education and the alluring promises of humanistic socialism. Any reform or reversal of our current trend must take place before we reach that point. Once we allow a societal collapse, through apathy or avarice, there will be no hope of returning to the America past generations sacrificed so much to build and preserve. As we prepare for the struggles ahead, it would be well to remember that our battles are not only fiscal and political; they are spiritual as well; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12.

This nation was founded by the Providence of God and it can only be salvaged by the Providence of God. Our government must return to our plainly written founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our churches must return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures if we are to see true reformation. A Biblical passage that has been quoted so frequently lately, that it has almost become a cliché, is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Cliché or not, it is a promise from God that America cannot afford to ignore.

Buckle Up For The Cliff Ahead

cliffAs we rush headlong toward the so-called “fiscal cliff”, Republicans are cowering in a corner fearing they will be blamed for the consequences. Conservatives from the Atlantic to the Pacific are exchanging emails and writing blogs blaming Barack Obama, George W. Bush, the Democratic Senate, or all three, for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Here’s a news flash for the constitutional neophytes in the Republican Party. Neither the President nor the Senate is in control of the nation’s finances.

For the first 169 years of America’s existence, we were a collection of colonies under the rule of the British King. Laws governing the lives of the citizens were made by colonial Legislatures in each Colony. The members of the Legislatures were chosen by the citizens of each Colony. These Legislatures were given complete control over the Colony’s purse strings. If a Governor, reporting to the King, wished to expand his carriage house or build a new bridge across the local creek, the money to do so had to be appropriated by the Legislature. Monies for the Crown came from excise taxes and tariffs imposed on Commerce. The “power of the purse” was so absolute among the colonies that they sometimes refused to appropriate money for the Governor’s salary until the Governor came around to their point of view. (For more discussion of this subject, click here)

The Governor had a simple choice, if he wanted his paycheck; he had to acquiesce to the wishes of the Legislature, even if that meant disregarding the direct orders of his superiors in England. Attempts by the British Parliament after 1763, to wrest control of the purse away from the Colonies led to widespread protest, and eventually to the Revolutionary War and the loss of the Colonies for Great Britain. By 1787 when the Constitution was written, citizen control over how taxpayer money was spent was so ingrained in American thinking that the new Constitution placed the power of the purse in the House of Representatives as the only branch of government elected directly by the people.

Article I, Section 7, Clauses 1, 2, says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” You do not need a JD Degree to understand the clear meaning of this simple decree. Only the House of Representatives can originate tax laws or other means of raising revenue. The Senate can “propose” amendments, but the House does not have to accept them. The House has the final say over how taxpayer money is spent. For the past four years I have listened to conservatives bemoan the fact that neither the President nor the Senate has presented a budget since Obama has been in office.  It is not the job of the President or Senate to present budgets. The only duty of the Senate is to concur with the Budget presented by the House or to offer amendments for the House’s consideration. A legitimate question may be asked at this point, “What happens in case of a stalemate?” Here to, the Founders did not leave us in the dark.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7, says, “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.” Again, a Law Degree is not required to understand the meaning of this Clause. If the money has not been appropriated by the action of the House and concurred with by the Senate, it cannot be spent. The President cannot buy a postage stamp with taxpayer money unless it has first been appropriated by the Congress for that purpose, and don’t forget to get a receipt. “What then”, you may ask, “is the President’s responsibility in drawing up budgets?” Again, our Framers anticipated this important question.

Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1, says, “He [the President] 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;” Here, the key phrase is “recommend to their consideration”. Until President Obama solidifies his position as the dictatorial leader of America, he only has the privilege of “recommending” to Congress how he would like to see us spend our hard earned dollars, but neither he nor his minions in the bureaucratic monstrosity, created by former Presidents and Congresses, has the authority to spend money for things and in ways that Congress does not give its prior approval.

If a CEO in the private sector spent money he was not authorized to spend, it would be called “embezzlement”; he would be issued an eight foot by ten foot cell and a striped suit, and it would be years before he could again view a sunrise from the comfort of his patio. When a President does the same thing, he should face impeachment, be turned out of office, and prosecuted for his misuse of taxpayer funds. Congress members, who conspire with the President to steal from the taxpayers and use the money for political advantage, should be turned out of office and prosecuted if the situation warrants it. It is time the American people said, “Enough is enough” and put an end to the misuse of taxpayer money and the wholesale abuse of taxpayers’ labors.

If the Republican Party does not take a stand against raising the debt limit and/or increasing taxes now, this song and dance and the Ponzi scheme that has become the way our government operates will go on for the foreseeable future. We can only expect these unconstitutional practices to continue ad infinitum until all our money is gone and America becomes just another destitute, third-world power. When we go over the looming “fiscal cliff” it won’t matter who gets the blame, it is the American People who will suffer; and there may be a degree of poetic justice in that, since we are the ones that allowed our elected officials to get out of control, believing that we could somehow benefit personally from their lawlessness.

Soldier On Patriots…..

If you consider yourself a Patriot and you’re not feeling anything now, you might want to check your pulse. The last time I felt like I did yesterday, I was in Bentonville, AK September 11, 2001. It was a sick to my stomach feeling that went well beyond what I was seeing on television that day – I knew something had “fundamentally” changed in the country in which I lived. And change it did. It brought about the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (DHS) and the Transportation Security Agency just to name a few. To this day I have a hard time convincing some “conservatives” of the negative implications this has had and will continue to have on our individual freedoms. Maybe they don’t fly?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin 1775

We have an Executive in the White House that sidesteps Congress through the use of “executive orders” and over and over again he refuses to enforce the laws that Congress does pass. That’s his job. For those of you that do not carry around a pocket constitution, Article II, Section 3, last sentence “He (the President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It is what we hired him to do. So we’ve got a Legislative branch that has ceded their power and refuses “on the whole” to do anything of value, a President who rules by decree and that last bastion of separation of powers, the Judicial Branch, rewriting the government’s defense in order to push through a law that the majority of Americans do not want. And it’s still unconstitutional! The Sixteenth amendment authorized an income tax. All other authorizations for taxation are spelled out in Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

I won’t pretend I didn’t spend more than a couple of hours yesterday wondering what the point to all of this is anymore. All three branches of government are anything but what our founding fathers envisioned as the blueprint for this country. We’re surrounded on all sides by socialist progressives and communists and the rot and decay of progressivism has found its way right to the Constitution of the United States – The very document that the President swore an Oath to protect. And while voting out the President and repealing “Obamacare” are certainly positive steps in the right direction, voting in Mitt Romney and replacing “Obamacare” are not necessarily the answers to our Nation’s problems. I spent much of the day just thinking we’re doomed quite frankly.

And then I remembered a book I read a few years ago by David McCullough, “1776”. I don’t remember the specifics but I remember shaking my head several times through the book thinking, there’s no way we should have become a Nation. We would have a couple of hundred soldiers with rags tied around their feet for shoes surrounded by thousands of the greatest military in the world. The only thing one could hope to expect when they woke up in the morning was a complete and total defeat, death, and yet a storm would come along and save the day or the soldiers would steal away in the middle of the night. Every time it would look like all hope was lost, they would just keep going, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they stood no chance. And that, more than anything our nascent government was doing at the time in Philadelphia, is the reason we’re proud to call ourselves Americans to this day.

And so it’s time to soldier on Patriots. This is not the time to throw our hands in the air and give up. Our emotions cannot get the best of us in either victory or defeat. We’re just getting started. This may be a battle to November but it’s a war for the unforeseeable future. We can’t stop until we’ve forced our government, be they Republican or Democrat, to bring us back to our founding principles. I hope by now you’re fired up and ready for action. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow’s still ahead of us. Let’s show this Administration whose moving forward.

Time To Wake Up, America

Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth of depravity and corruption to which the American political system and the American culture have sunk than the practice of deferred taxation. Our national debt today is $15,701,934,801,235. That amount equals a debt load of $50,100 per citizen and $138,300 per taxpayer. (U.S. Debt Clock)

Government does not have the means or the capacity to generate wealth. By its very nature, it can only consume wealth. The only income governments have for paying off debt or purchasing necessary goods or services for its operation is the wealth confiscated from citizens through taxation of one type or another, whether it is through overt taxation, fees, inflation, fines or other means of raising revenue.

Since all debts eventually come due and since this generation insists on living off borrowed money while refusing to pay the taxes necessary to support our leaders’ opulent life styles and prolific spending, or to defray the debt, that debt necessarily falls on future generations. This generational theft, or as Frederic Bastiat would no doubt call it if he were alive today, “generational plunder”, is both our national crime and our national sin. We are plundering the livelihood of our children, grandchildren and future generations in pursuit of the impossible utopian promises of the godless socialists that have infiltrated and now control our governments and our political parties.

Again to quote Bastiat, “…legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism…” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 15.

…With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 21.

There are no innocents in this scenario. Both political parties, progressives, conservatives and even our beloved tea parties must share in the guilt. The Democrat Party has exploited the natural greed, jealousy and envy of its constituents to win votes by promising free food, clothing, medical care, education, loans, money, etc., all at the expense of other citizens. The gullibility, of what seems to be a majority of the American people, has allowed the Democrat Party and its socialist leadership to gain control over our government. They are using that power to destroy our cultural, economic and political institutions in order to replace them with socialist institutions that they believe will ultimately afford them total control over the lives and liberty of the American people.

The Republican Party has not escaped, by any means, the influence of socialism among its leadership. They may not be as taken in by the utopian mythology of socialism as their Democrat counterparts, but they are every bit as motivated by the lust for power as are the Democrats. In some ways, the Republican Party is even more devious than the Democrat Party. Democrats publicly reveal their intentions, depending on the apathy and gullibility of the American people and the ever-increasing financial dependency of their base, to return them to power. The Republican Party campaigns on conservative values promising to return America to its founding principles. However, once in office too many of them succumb to the perks and powers of office and become more intent on protecting and supporting the Party establishment so as not to risk their own coveted position than in their promises to the voters.

As we witnessed in the last several election cycles the Republican Party sometimes even seems willing to sacrifice the Presidency in order to maintain its dwindling power in Congress as well as in State and local government bodies. In primaries, they denigrate true conservative challengers, supporting candidates they believe will be most advantageous to the Party establishment. Once they have succeeded in winning their spot on the party ticket they drop the conservative façade they exhibited while campaigning and “move to the center” in order to hopefully gain the support of progressive republicans and the coveted “independents”. Once in office their sole consideration becomes how to hold onto the power they have won, perceiving that in order to do so they must kowtow to the Party leadership and support the establishment’s agenda. Their loyalty is to the Republican Party not to republican principles.

This lust for power, present in the breast of all professional politicians was the primary theme of debates during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. For 84 hot, humid days during that Philadelphia summer from May 25 to September 17, the framers wrestled with the problem of how to organize a government that would protect the liberty and property of its citizens while preventing it from being overcome by its leaders’ desire for power. They succeeded in creating the most effective and practical plan of government ever devised, the United States Constitution. However, like all plans, it only works when it is followed. Our Constitution is incompatible with socialism. For that reason, the socialists among us have been working for over a hundred years to destroy it. They have almost accomplished their goal. Actions by the Supreme Court this summer and/or the actions of voters this fall could sound the death knell for our Constitutional Republic.

Conservatives generally recognize this truth and have fought valiantly for the past couple of years in an effort to reverse course. The problem is that not enough conservatives recognize or accept the remedies necessary to cure all our national ills. Take, for example, the tea parties. The sole focus of many tea parties is fiscal responsibility. Some add to that focus, political reform, calling for a return to the Constitution. A few even address the cultural decay so rampant in America today; this diversity in purpose results in a splintered effort that in the long run may have little effect on the outcome. Many fiscal conservatives often overlook blatant breaches of the Constitution in order to enjoy their share of the socialist pie. They like the taste of the pie, they just don’t like the price attached to it. At the same time, many fiscal conservatives and constitutional conservatives alike denigrate the values conservatives, believing those values would somehow disturb the enjoyment of their pleasures and harm the chances of realizing their political agenda.

The idea that voters “always vote their pocketbooks” when they go to the polls is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all. It is not their pocketbooks they are voting, it is the pocketbooks of future generations. As for themselves, they will never agree to the increase in taxes necessary to pay for their leaders’ prolific spending. For generations we have been returning the same professional politicians to office in election after election. Obviously this practice is not working. Our debt keeps growing, our tax bills keep going up and our standard of living continues to decline. Our social programs are bankrupt, our unemployment rate is higher than it has been in eighty years, and few can say they are better off, spiritually, financially, or physically today, than were past generations. We can attend protest meeting and march with our cleverly worded signs all we want, but the only protest that counts is that expressed at the ballot box.

To solve our problem we have to change our system. We have to change the way our government is run and the people who run it. Thankfully, the Founders gave us a way to do that at the ballot box and not on the battlefield. In November, we need to vote out as many of the professional politicians as possible, replacing them with patriots who have the courage, knowledge and understanding to bring about true reform. As we have pointed out before, the American system has three components, its political system, its economic system and it culture. It is useless to believe that we can reform any one or two parts of this system and leave the other as it is, and hope that we can secure a lasting cure for our ills.

We must have political reform that restores the rightful authority to our Constitution, replacing our corrupt and self-serving political parties with ones made up of true patriots who take their oath of office seriously and abide by it. We must have economic reform that rejects crony capitalism and replaces it with the true market capitalism that made America the most prosperous nation on earth for generations. Last, but by no means least, we must revive the American culture that made us the beacon of liberty and opportunity the world over. In short, we need a political, economic and spiritual revival if we are to survive as a free nation.

To realize this revival we must learn all over again to cherish and abide by our founding principles as set forth in our founding documents, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I have heard mothers threaten their errant offspring with the threat, — insincerely, of course — “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” America was brought into this world by the benevolent providence of God and therefore, it can be taken out by His judgment…. Think about it.

One-Dimensional Conservatism Not Enough

America, like all nations of the world is tripartite in its makeup. Socialists seem to recognize this as a natural fact. Most conservatives do not. That could prove to be our undoing in the struggle to take our nation back from the Democrat-RINO (DR) coalition that runs the federal government. As Obama and his socialist backers continue to dismantle the institutions of government, conservatives grow increasingly disgusted with the Republican leadership in Congress. The danger for 2012 is that the DR coalition will succeed in alienating the patriot movement from the Republican Party to the point that conservatives vote for someone other than the Republican Party candidate in next year’s election.

A more immediate danger, however, is that patriots fail to unite behind a single candidate in the primaries resulting in the establishment candidate winning the Republican nomination. If that happens, enough conservatives could cast votes for a third party candidate or simply sit out the election, to return Obama and the DR coalition to Washington in 2013.  November of 2012 marks the outer limits of the “point of no return” for America, as we know it, if we have not already reached that point before then. That is why it is imperative that we nominate three-dimensional conservatives for national, state and local offices whenever possible.

All civil societies are tripartite or three-dimensional by nature. The three parts comprising the essence of civil societies are its culture, its government, and its economy, all arrived at by the subliminal consensus of the people making up that society. In the sequence of development, the culture is first to be formed. From that, the economic and government systems develop. Throughout history, cultures have always been strongly influenced by man’s innate awareness of a supreme being. The predominant element in a society’s culture is the dominant religion practiced by the majority of its members. The economic structure and the organization of government always reflect the religious principles of its culture.

The old America that worked, with a culture based on Judeo-Christian principles, an economy based on the Lockean concept of private property, and a government based on a written constitution, has been deliberately and methodically dismantled over the past several generations and is in the process of being replaced with an American version of Marxist socialism that has failed in every place it has been tried the world over. In spite of this fact, a sizable number of conservatives continue to view our problems from a one-dimensional perspective. Libertarians for example, place their emphasis on the Constitution to the exclusion of cultural considerations. Many fiscal conservatives focus on taxes and spending while criticizing social conservatives for their insistence on preserving the moral basis of our culture.

We have watched for many years as progressives (American socialists) have used a dubious reading of the Constitution and the Chinese Communist concept of “political correctness” to undermine the most important of our cultural institutions: schools, families, churches and charitable institutions. These attacks on the American culture take the form of abortion on demand, the elimination of God from our public forums, the welfare state replacing the role of fathers in many households of the poor, and traditional gender relationships in marriage being looked on as “narrow minded” and bigoted. We have seen the complete breakdown of the traditional cultural values in our sports and entertainment, in our business relationships, and in our political institutions. And for those with “eyes to see” the results are only too evident.

When the culture breaks down, government effectiveness and fiscal stability also breaks down. On the final day of the Philadelphia Convention, Benjamin Franklin expressed his support for the Constitution with the warning that it “can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” While we may not be at that point yet, if we continue to ignore cultural issues, it is only a matter of time until private and public corruption reaches the stage that it can only be controlled by despotic means. That is one of the major lessons we learn from history. Once a society loses its cultural foundation, anarchy emerges, and eventually reaches the level where the populace will accept, and even welcome tyranny as the only means of personal security.

No society can prosper without objective standards of conduct for its government, culture and economy. The objective standard of conduct for the government of America is the Constitution, which is no longer given even “lip service” by our national leaders. The President and Congress routinely violate the restrictions of the Constitution with impunity; the courts apply its requirements based on populist’s trends rather than impartial law. The foundation of the American culture is rooted in the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Holy Bible. An increasingly oppressive attitude toward Christian principles has existed in America since about 1960 and the Bible, prayer, and Christian symbols have been all but eliminated from the public institutions of our culture. Our capitalist economic system based on private ownership and management of property has been undermined by “crony capitalism” and central planning through the government regulatory system as we transition from a free market economy to a centrally planned socialist one.

The Ron Paul type of libertarianism and a fiscal conservatism that ignores the corruption of our culture is simply not adequate to meet the problems facing us as a nation today. We only need look at the state of California, the “hooligan” riots last week in England, or the “flash mobs” that have sprung up in American cities the past few weeks to see our future if we continue to ignore the cultural corruption that has become rampant in recent years. While the federal government has no constitutional authority over the nation’s culture, we cannot afford to support candidates for national office who refuse to champion publicly the traditional American moral values or who, in some cases, openly undermine them.

Many well meaning constitutional conservatives rightly point out that social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and a host of others are reserved by the Tenth Amendment to the states and to the people; if you listen closely to their arguments for “states rights”, it is easy to conclude that they confuse morality with legality. Immorality sanctioned by state law is no less immoral than that sanctioned by federal law. That is why in deciding on candidates in the 2012 elections we cannot settle for one-dimensional or two-dimensional conservatives. We must insist they be constitution conservatives, fiscal conservatives, AND cultural conservatives. Anything less and we are wasting our time and only postponing the certain end to America “as we know it”.

A Fair Look at the “Fair” Tax

 


There are few things in the political discourse of today that infuriates me more than the sanctimonious, self-serving and misleading propaganda of the proponents of the “fair” tax. Consider, for example, the two following statements.

Statement No. 1: “Everybody should pay their fair share.”
Statement No. 2: “Everybody should pay their fair share.”

The first statement is made by a socialist advocating for more taxes. The second is made by a conservative advocating for the “fair” tax.  Can you tell which was made by the socialist and which by the conservative?  It really doesn’t matter because both are motivated by the same feelings of envy and jealousy. With one the jealousy is directed toward the more productive people who use their time and intellect to raise their income level and increase their wealth. The other directs his jealousy toward those who do not earn enough income to make it more advantageous for politicians to take part of it than to let them keep it, hopefully, in exchange for his or her vote.

Anyway, just what is our fair share? Don’t worry about that. That will be decided by those more knowledgeable about such things. You know, socialists like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid or conservatives like Neil Bortz. Whoever decides, it seems to amount to a large chunk of the money you earn above what is needed for the “necessities” of life. For the socialists, necessity is figured on a sliding scale. Those on the bottom of the income ladder pay no taxes, while those above pay at an increasing percentage rate depending on how far up the ladder they have progressed.

Those touting the “fair” tax are more “fair” in their assessment. Fat Cats like Warren Buffet would pay the same as the single mom with two small children, whose husband abandoned her for a less demanding life with his new “honey”. Oh, but not to worry, the mom is going to get a “pre-bate” check on the first of every month to pay the taxes on her “necessities”. In fact, the “fair” tax is so fair that they are going to send Mr. Buffet the same amount in his pre-bate check. The pre-bate is based on the poverty level. Each family would receive a pre-bate check adequate to pay the taxes on an amount of purchases equal to the government determined poverty level.

Mr. Buffet can entertain a friend at a five-star restaurant with his pre-bate check, meanwhile, the single mom has to figure out how to stretch hers to cover her loss of buying power since suddenly, the cost of her “necessities” has increased 30%. The one bedroom apartment she has been paying $800 for, now costs $1,040 per month. The baby sitter she has been paying $600 per month, now costs $780, the $3 gallon of milk now costs $3.93 and the gallon of gas for her car to get back and forth to work, now costs $5.20 instead of the $4 she has been paying. I forgot to mention, the mom works as a cashier at the local convenience store at minimum wage. And then there is the homeless man who lost his job and his home and who can’t get a re-bate check because he has no address to send it to.  Before he could always panhandle $1 for the $.99 special at McDonalds or Burger King; now he has to beg for an extra 30 cents to pay the tax.

I suppose we should be grateful for all the advantages of the fair tax. For instance, the IRS will no longer be bugging ordinary hard working citizens, instead they will be policing the local doctor’s offices and landlords to make sure they are passing through all the “fair” taxes they collected to the federal government. Best of all, we will finally be taxing all those deadbeats who work in the “underground economy” and have been getting away without paying “their fair share” in income tax for years. There are a few people, no doubt, who make a good buck off the underground economy. However, the overwhelming majority of people working in it are the working poor, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, who work “off the books” for pay that is far below the prevailing wage at a job that would not exist if his employer was forced to pay the prevailing wage in his area.

Best of all, the “fair” tax will not take away any money from the cash strapped government and it will do away with that pesky tax Mr. Buffet and others in his income range have to pay on the interest earned from their saving or dividends on their investments. The “fair” tax is “revenue neutral”, meaning the federal government will still get its same amount of income, it will just be collected in a different way from different sources. For example, all government agencies, religious institutions, and charitable organization will have to pay taxes on every purchase they make. Imagine that; government paying taxes to itself. And, where will it get the money to pay its taxes? Why, from the taxpaying citizens, of course.

Please Mr. Bortz, we don’t want a revenue neutral “fair tax“, we want NO tax. Of course, we know that a certain amount of taxation is necessary to support the essential functions of government. But, how much is a fair amount to pay? Under Old Testament law in the nation of Israel, God required ten percent. That seems fair. In fact, if the federal government followed the Constitution and only levied taxes necessary to carry out the functions delegated to it by the states in 1787, it could probably get by quite well on a lot less than ten percent.

A tax on income is probably the most equitable tax possible, and a tax of five to ten percent on every dollar earned, from the poorest to the richest, would not be a burden on anyone. That amount would also provide enough money to the federal government for it to perform all the legitimate duties assigned to it by the Constitution and everyone would have “skin in the game”, therefore the average citizen would be much more sensitive to proposed tax increases. Now that I think about it, I guess I am in favor of a “real” fair tax after all.

For a more objective treatment of the fair tax see my article of a couple of years ago, “Beware of the Fair Tax”. Be sure to read the comments, they offer even more insights into the issue. If you have read this far you have surely concluded that I could be nothing but objective concerning the “fair” tax.

Debt Crisis Highlights Buck-Passing Culture of Washington

The Constitution is very specific as to which office, department or branch of government is responsible for each of the many functions of government. The decisions that have to be made in order to carry out the necessary tasks required for the good of the country is often politically unpopular. Over the years, Washington has become skilled at passing the buck and blaming others. For example, the first line in the body of the Constitution gives Congress the responsibility for “All legislative power”. (Article 1.1.1) In its eagerness to meddle in the affairs of citizens and states, Congress delegates many of its legislative powers to the various Secretaries of departments in the Executive Branch crating the giant bureaucracies that plague our lives today.

This allows Congress to further its agenda of expanding government and controlling the lives of citizens with impunity. If the “rules” (laws) prove unpopular with their constituents, they blame the Executive Branch and the Secretary or Department Head of that particular bureaucracy. Congress Members can even campaign for reelection — and often do — by opposing certain unpopular bureaucratic “rules” or Executive Departments, even though they personally may have voted for the bill that created the bureaucracy and gave it its power in the first place. When you think about it, this is an ingenious tactic for escaping blame, confusing constituents, and holding on to power.

This political ploy shows up “in spades” in the present budget and debt crisis. How often have we heard the complaint about the profligate spending by Obama; or the fact that Obama has not yet presented a budget; or, we are reminded that the Senate has not presented a budget since 2008? Here’s the shocker for many people; The Executive Branch can only spend money that has first been appropriated by Congress. (Article 1.9.7) Here is the second shocker; Neither the President nor the Senate is required by the Constitution to present a budget. Budget making is the Constitutional Responsibility of the House of Representatives. While I strongly disapprove of the actions of both the White House and the Senate, we are not going to solve our problems until we place the responsibility where it belongs.

Any Senate Budget is only a suggestion to the House of Representatives who must appropriate the funds and decide how to raise the revenue to pay for it. (Art. 1.7.1) The same is true with any presidential budget. (Art. 2.3.1) It is merely a suggestion to the House of Representatives. The Senate can offer amendments to the House’s budget but they must be approved by the House (Art. 1.7.1). The Senate can refuse to approve the House budget or the President can veto it, but neither can spend money that has not been appropriated by the House of Representatives. Some might argue that the House is only charged with the task of raising revenue, and that appropriations and the borrowing of money is not exclusively that of the House of Representatives.

Unless American businesses and foreign nations are willing to donate goods and services to the federal government, spending bills must also include appropriations to pay for the goods or services for which the money is to be spent. Hence, the raising of revenue to cover the purchase is always understood to be a part of the appropriation. That means the House of Representatives is the Constitutional originator of  the nation’s Budget.

There are only two ways of raising revenue, taxing and borrowing. Since we are told that the present necessity for raising the debt ceiling is to pay for expenditures already appropriated by Congress, that means that the deficit and the debt are both the result of the House of Representatives’ poor stewardship of the taxpayer’s money. It is just as disingenuous of the House to try and blame the Senate or the President for its lack of backbone as it is for President Obama to blame George W. Bush for his own poor leadership.

In his speech today on Congress’ raising of the debt limit, Obama also gave a litany of things on which he would like to spend more money. If any of them come to pass it will only be because the House of Representatives has abdicated its responsibility as “keeper of the purse”.  We need to watch carefully what our Representatives in the House vote for over the next sixteen months and make sure that the “business as usual” crowd is primaried and replaced.

Balanced Budget Amendment May Be Only Way Out

I have been opposed to the Balanced Budget Amendment proposed in the Republican Cut Cap and Balance Bill for a number of reasons. The two most important ones are the probability of unintended consequences and the ongoing lawlessness of the federal government.

1. Unintended Consequences: We do not have a very good track record with attempts to improve on the Constitution left us by the Founders. The seventeen Amendments added to the Constitution since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 have consistently been used by progressive legislatures and courts to circumvent the intent of the Framers and assault the liberties of the people. The most onerous of these unintended consequences have been found in the Fourteenth Amendment.

Congress and the courts are peopled with lawyers whose stock in trade is their ability to find loopholes in legal documents. Even as I write this a number of Congressional Democrats are suggesting to the President that he “invoke” the Fourteenth Amendment and raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress. Even such concise language as that found in the First and Second Amendments have been twisted by progressives to infringe on the very liberties they were intended to protect.

Every unnecessary word in an amendment becomes fodder for progressives in their efforts to twist the Constitution to fit their socialist agenda. Based on our two hundred and twenty year history of Amendments, it is easy to predict that future Presidents and Congresses would claim the power of the purse for the Executive Branch rather than the people’s assembly where it has been throughout our history. They will also claim that the federal government is “entitled” and even “guaranteed” 18% of the money earned by citizens from their intellectual and physical labors for its use for any purpose it desires. These are only two of several possible unintended Consequences of the Proposed Amendment.

2. Wanton Lawlessness: The Constitution proclaims itself to be the “Supreme Law of the Land” governing the operations of the federal government. Every official in the federal, state, and local governments have taken an oath to preserve and defend it; many have done so multiple times as they move from office to office. However, until the rise of the patriot movements in the past few years and the constitution conservatives among its members, government officials have routinely ignored the constraints imposed by the Constitution whenever they were unable to find any previously undetected meanings to justify their progressive agenda. Constitutional lawlessness has been steadily growing for generations and has reached epidemic proportions in our own time. Our first and most important job in restoring the liberties we have lost is to return the federal government to its lawful place under the Constitution.

We now find ourselves on the abyss of extinction as a nation of peace, liberty, freedom and prosperity. Based on recent developments in the progressive’s attempts to bankrupt the treasury and impose a servitude of debt on future generations, a well-crafted Balanced Budget Amendment may be the only hope for saving “America as we know it.” It is likely that in the near term such an amendment would be adhered to until the ardor for constitutional government that is now strong among our citizens, cooled and lost its attraction.

However, any Balanced Budget Amendment passed and sent to the states, must be concise with no “wiggle-room” for politicians and lawyers to exploit. Section one of the proposed amendment seems to meet that criteria.

“Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless two-thirds of the duly chosen and sworn Members of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.”

Everything else in the proposed amendment should be by statutory law — if necessary —  under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Anything more is only inviting unintended consequences that will do more harm than good.

The value of such an Amendment will only be realized in the present crisis if it is used to force Congress and the President to curtail their unsustainable appetite for spending. Conservatives should hold fast to the demand that no increase in the government’s spending limit will be approved until a satisfactory Balanced Budget Amendment has been passed and submitted to the States for ratification. If the progressive Democrats maintain their “no compromise” position, they will be forced to downsize the federal government substantially when they run out of money to spend. That will cause major hardships for many, however, we are in a position much like the passengers on United Flight 93 over the hills of Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001. If we do nothing, we are going down as a nation. If we take a stand we may go down anyway, but if we succeed we can save the future for ourselves and our children and grandchildren.

Call or e-mail your Congressman today and urge them to hold out for a Balanced Budget Amendment as an uncompromising condition for raising the debt ceiling.

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.”