Tag Archives: health care

If We Only Had a Constitution

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Full text of speech
Delivered August 29, 2012

“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty. My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.

But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless you all”

2012 Election Is Only the First Step

As a Constitution Conservative, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending the Constitution. In fact, I go much further than most conservatives do. I believe the Philadelphia Convention, and the thirteen state ratifying conventions were all done under the superintending providence of God. Therefore, I also believe that our founding documents contain God’s plan for the governing of America. Even a casual survey of American history clearly shows that whenever we deviate from that plan we pay a dear price in political turmoil and economic hardships.

It is imperative for the survival of the Republic that Mitt Romney be elected in November. Obama has to be turned out of office before he completes his mission to “fundamentally transform America” — if it is not too late already. Romney is the only alternative available at this time. However, we must not be misled into believing that electing Romney is going to turn things around overnight. Throughout his political life, Romney has been a follower, not a leader. That is not going to change automatically when he gets in the White House.

Furthermore, Romney has not exhibited a firm grasp of the Constitution during his campaign for the Presidency. For example, he has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Millions of voters will cast their ballot for him based on that promise. However, when he makes it, he is being disingenuous. The President does not repeal legislation, only Congress can do that. Even Romney knows that much about the working of our government, therefore, he is being disingenuous with the American people when he makes the promise. What he should say is, “on my first day in office I will urge Congress to repeal Obamacare as its first order of business.”  That he can do.

He also says frequently, “On my first day in office I will, by executive order, issue waivers to the states exempting them from having to enforce the provisions of Obamacare.” (Paraphrased) Here he is violating at least two clear provisions of the Constitution. Executive Orders, in the sense he is using the term, carries the weight of law. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution, First Article, First Clause, clearly states, “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.” Executive Orders, other than administrative orders directed to employees of the Executive Branch directly in the President’s chain-of-command, are unconstitutional.

When he indicates that he will not enforce Obamacare as President, he is in effect, saying that he and he alone will decide what the law is. Unfortunately, the same conservatives who condemn Chief Justice Roberts and the Obama Justice Department for making one-man decisions concerning which laws to enforce or what the law is in the first place, are the same conservatives that are cheering Romney on in his promises. Far too many critical decisions are made in our government by one person, whether it is the President, a bureaucratic Czar, or the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. This has to stop, and should never be encouraged by a Constitution Conservative, whether or not we agree with the intended outcome.

One of the most overlooked sentences in the Constitution is found in the last sentence of Article II, Section 3, “He (the President) shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”  This is one of the few specific duties of the President spelled out in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, Obamacare was passed by Congress and signed by the President, therefore, it is the law and the President is responsible for its execution.

However, it is not the law of the land. Article VI, paragraph two says, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,” Notice, it is the Constitution itself that is the Supreme Law of the Land, not the opinions of the Supreme Court or the acts of Congress when they conflict with the Constitution. One of the first landmark cases of the Supreme Court was Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Court, said in his opinion, “a law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.” Obamacare is not only repugnant to all thinking Americans, it is also repugnant to the Constitution; therefore, it is really no law at all. Nevertheless, until it is repealed by Congress, it is the duty of the President to enforce it. What then, can we do?

To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In America, the supreme power resides with the people by natural law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to maintain a civil society, the people delegate certain powers to representatives elected by them to serve in the state legislatures that, in turn, are restricted by State Constitutions. In 1774, the people of the original thirteen states formed state governments made up of their elected representatives. Those state legislatures delegated certain powers to the First Continental Congress to form a confederation, primarily for the purpose of conducting the Revolutionary War. In 1786, Congress authorized a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation to make them more effective in dealing with issues common to all the states that could not be adequately handled by the states individually. In that Convention, the Constitution was written creating a federal government with limited powers for carrying out a finite number of enumerated responsibilities dealing mostly with national defense and commerce.

In the hierarchy of powers, the federal government as a creation of the Constitution has the least amount of legitimate power, carefully limited to those matters delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In all matters not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, State Law is supreme over federal law. This power structure is not contradicted by the “Supremacy Clause” quoted above in Article VI. Since legislating health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, the state legislatures can forbid the enforcement of Obamacare within its jurisdiction. Until it is repealed by Congress– hopefully in January 2013–, it is up to the state governments to prevent its implementation on a state-by-state basis.

While it is the responsibility of every Patriot to vote for Mitt Romney for President in the upcoming election, do not be misled into expecting President Romney to reverse the downward slide of American society without constant prodding from our side. Those patriots who expect to return to their slumber after the November election had better stock up on NoDoze. The real work begins in January of 2013 and we can expect it to continue for at least the next generation if we are to return America to the Constitutional Republic designed by our Founders. While we are attempting to regain control of our federal government, we also have to give serious attention to reforming our state governments. More on that later.

Happy IN-Dependence Day

Courtesy of NetRight Daily

Mitt Romney’s Super Awesome Awe-Inspiring Post Health Care Ruling Speech

I will not challenge Mitt Romney’s business acumen. He has a proven track record of success. However, success in business does not necessarily translate into success in the political arena and Romney’s inability to capture the highly charged emotions rampant across the nation last week was absolutely stunning. I don’t think any of us were expecting the fiery colloquy of Ronald Reagan but Reagan’s number one asset when speaking was the conviction of his words. He believed in what he said because he wasn’t trying to play all sides. That may be good for business, not so much for restoring our government to its’ founding principles.

If you missed it last week and can stay awake through it, I’ve attached a link to Mitt Romney’s super awesome awe-inspiring post health care ruling speech and posted the transcript as well. If you want to understand why every Constitutional conservative and libertarian are in a foul mood between now and November 6, it’s worth know what we hear and do not hear when Mitt Romney speaks.

 “Repeal and replace.”   Repeal sounds great until you realize the President, on his own, has no authority to repeal a law he does not agree with, (Current President aside). He needs a majority in the house and a filibuster proof (60 vote) majority in the Senate to repeal the health care act. It will take all of 2013 and probably a good part of 2014 to pick apart this health care bill piece by piece and he knows it. Hence the lack of conviction. Replace? Replace with what? Classic progressive RINO tactic. “We’re going to get rid of that horrible bill – except for the stuff that makes us look good.” There’s very little conviction in taking a stand against a bill while simultaneously defending parts of it.

“You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life…”   Or you can choose to have just a larger government, that’s just more intrusive in your life. Slow it down a little. The current President is moving too fast.

What we did not hear in the speech outside of, “I agree with the dissent”, was an absolute admonition of the Supreme Court’s decision. The failure of the court to decide based on the Constitution. How a President Romney would choose a Supreme Court Justice.

Back in April, when Mitt Romney was feeling threatened by Rick Santorum’s improbable run for the nomination, he actually gave a couple of truly inspiring speeches. They were clear, concise and took a hard line on everything from religious freedom to the effect the current administration is having on small businesses and the economy. And then he became the “presumptive nominee”. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch. You can kinda shake it up and start all over again. Right Mitt?

http://youtu.be/sp6d3JBLiAE

 “As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I agree with the dissent.

What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.

Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do.

What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.

Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.

Let me tell you why I say that.

Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.

Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.

Obamacare is a job-killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of Obamacare. Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people.

And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

For all those reasons, it’s important for us to repeal and replace Obamacare.

What are some of the things that we’ll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system?

One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people – up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.

Number two, got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.

We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care.

And something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.

And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor, whether you’re comfortable with more deficits, higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations, whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like, or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.

This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that: that we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.

If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare.

That is my mission, that is our work, and I’m asking the people of America to join me. If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want, instead, a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and that’s killing jobs across this great country.

Thank you so much.”

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.

Impeachment May Be Our Only Hope!

After three days of testimony before the Supreme Court on Obama’s health care law, the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act”, some things are becoming evident, although no one can predict how the Court will rule. In a “best case scenario”, it will rule the entire law unconstitutional, killing it completely. In a “worst case scenario”, they could rule the law constitutional as it stands, which would be catastrophic for the country. While either is possible, neither is probable. More than likely, the final ruling will fall somewhere in-between.

There seems to be a widespread belief that the individual mandate will be struck down by the court, although that is in no way certain. Even if it is, there is a strong possibility that parts of the law will be left intact. Based on the history of Supreme Court decisions, it is likely that if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, all or in part, the majority opinion of the Court will contain language that can be used by the left to further expand the meaning of the commerce clause of the Constitution.

At this point in the deliberations, it seems obvious that the final outcome and thus, the future of the Republic will hinge on the decision of a single Supreme Court Justice. It is certain that the four progressive/socialist Justices will come down on the side of government, while the four constitutionalists will elect to strike down, at least several parts of the law. The deciding vote on most of the major issues will certainly be Justice Anthony Kennedy. That means that the future of the Republic for generations to come depends on the decision made by one man. This cannot be allowed to stand. A free Republic must be governed by the rule of law. We cannot afford to continue to allow one individual to decide what that law shall be.

In order to maintain the independence of the Judiciary, federal judges, including Supreme Court Justices, are appointed for life, or “during good behavior”. This lifetime tenure was granted to the judiciary with the understanding that they could be turned out of office by impeachment, should they prove to be unworthy of the position. In the history of America, thirteen federal judges have been impeached. However, only one Supreme Court Justice. That was Associate Justice Samuel Chase in 1804. He was impeached by the House of Representatives, charged with allowing his partisanship to influence his Court decisions. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote, however.

Congress, after the elections of 1800, was dominated by the Democratic-Republican Party. However, because of the slow turnover of the Senate due to the three-election-cycle term of Senators, the Federalist Party was still strong enough in the Senate four years later to prevent Chase’s conviction. Since that time, no Supreme Court Justice has ever been impeached by the House. Short of impeachment, there is no way Supreme Court Justices can be held accountable for violating their oath of office. This fact became a major subject of debate during the Constitution’s ratification process.

The anti-federalists feared that the Supreme Court would become too powerful, usurping the powers granted to the Legislature by the Constitution. Justices would hold their office for life and there were no provisions in the Constitution for correcting their errors. The Framers believed the threat of impeachment would by sufficient to prevent the Court from overstepping its authority. One of the Anti-federalists, writing under the pseudonym “Brutus”, succinctly stated the objection in an article dated March 20, 1788.

 “1st. There is no power above them that can correct their errors or control their decisions — the adjudications of this court are final and irreversible, for there is no court above them to which appeals can lie, either in error or on the merits. — In this respect it differs from the courts in England, for there the house of lords is the highest court, to whom appeals, in error, are carried from the highest of the courts of law.
2d. They cannot be removed from office or suffer a diminution of their salaries, for any error in judgment or want of capacity.”

Alexander Hamilton attempted to answer the objections of the Anti-federalists in Federalist numbers 78 – 81. In Federalist 81, Hamilton summed up the objections of the Anti-federalists.

“The arguments, or rather suggestions, upon which this charge is founded, are to this effect: ‘The authority of the proposed Supreme Court of the United States, which is to be a separate and independent body, will be superior to that of the legislature. The power of construing the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution will enable that court to mould them into whatever shape it may think proper; especially as its decisions will not be in any manner subject to the revision or correction of the legislative body. This is as unprecedented as it is dangerous. In Britain, the judicial power, in the last resort, resides in the House of Lords, which is a branch of the legislature; and this part of the British government has been imitated in the State constitutions in general. The Parliament of Great Britain, and the legislatures of the several States, can at any time rectify, by law, the exceptionable decisions of their respective courts. But the errors and usurpations of the Supreme Court of the United States will be uncontrollable and remediless’.”

Later in the same paper, Hamilton attempts to put this objection to rest by pointing out the power of impeachment given to the two houses of Congress.

“It may in the last place be observed that the supposed danger of judiciary encroachments on the legislative authority, which has been upon many occasions reiterated, is in reality a phantom. Particular misconstructions and contraventions of the will of the legislature may now and then happen; but they can never be so extensive as to amount to an inconvenience, or in any sensible degree to affect the order of the political system. This may be inferred with certainty, from the general nature of the judicial power, from the objects to which it relates, from the manner in which it is exercised, from its comparative weakness, and from its total incapacity to support its usurpations by force. And the inference is greatly fortified by the consideration of the important constitutional check which the power of instituting impeachments in one part of the legislative body, and of determining upon them in the other, would give to that body upon the members of the judicial department. This is alone a complete security. There never can be danger that the judges, by a series of deliberate usurpations on the authority of the legislature, would hazard the united resentment of the body entrusted with it, while this body was possessed of the means of punishing their presumption, by degrading them from their stations. While this ought to remove all apprehensions on the subject, it affords, at the same time, a cogent argument for constituting the Senate a court for the trial of impeachments.” (Emphasis added)

Conviction in impeachment cases requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the Senate. This makes conviction almost impossible with the highly partisan nature of the professional politicians who populate both houses of Congress, a majority of whom will always side with their party over the welfare of the nation as a whole. We saw this in the planned impeachment of Richard Nixon and in full display during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. The Act of impeachment will always be a partisan issue so long as the two major political parties are allowed to hold the power over government they have exercised from the beginning of the Republic. This fact of political life prevails in all political parties. The prosecuting party will ignore facts and mitigating circumstances in order to gain a victory over its opponent, and the defending party will do the same in defense of the accused in its party.

The next four to twelve years will be an all-out battle between the forces of despotism and the forces of liberty. There have been only two periods in the past when the nation has been as divided as it is today; during and after the Revolutionary War and the period surrounding the Civil War and its aftermath. We cannot allow the outcome of the coming conflict to depend on the decisions of one Supreme Court Justice.

The Constitution is our only real defense against outright tyranny. By now, this should be apparent to anyone who honestly looks at the facts. Since the tenure of Chief Justice John Marshall in 1803, the Supreme Court has taken it upon itself to decide what the language penned by the Framers actually means. Our current Court is almost evenly divided between the enemies of the Constitution and its defenders. The four progressive/socialist Justices barley mount a pretense of honoring the Constitution they took an oath to defend. As difficult and distasteful as it is, impeachment seems to be the only means of changing the politically corrupted nature of the Supreme Court. We simply cannot wait for time and chance to do it for us, and the immediate future is likely to be the only time for generations when impeachment is possible.

Thanks to the heavy-handed and tyrannical way in which Obama wields the powers of his office, millions of Americans are waking up to the realization that our nation is on the verge of total economic, political and cultural collapse. Every day hundreds if not thousands of citizens are gaining more knowledge of how our system works and why. Humanly speaking, the system established by the Founders, has alone been responsible for the success and prosperity we have enjoyed in the past. Before the nation goes back to sleep, either from the stupor brought about by socialist despotism or the indolent slumber fostered by the blessings of liberty, we must begin to take the steps correct the problems in our court system, from the federal trial courts to the Supreme Court.

More information on the Supreme Court and Impeachment. 

Romney’s Repeal and Replace Pledge Will Not Solve our Problem

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. That being the case, this picture is worth volumes in explaining what is wrong with America’s political system and why we find ourselves on the very brink of economic collapse and facing the prospect of losing the individual liberty we have enjoyed since the founding of our Republic.

America did not become the most successful and  prosperous nation in the history of the world because of the wisdom and skills of our political leaders. Instead, it was because our Founders, knowledgeable in both political philosophy and history, understood that democracies always lead inevitably to some form of socialism and ultimately to despotic tyranny. To guard against this political probability and still allow the people to remain sovereign over their government, the Founders established a Constitutional Republic consisting of four co-equal parts designed to protect our liberty and our God-given inalienable rights. The four parts are the national Legislature, the national Executive branch, the national Judiciary, and the state governments, all operating within their sphere of authority with carefully limited powers under the watchful eye of the citizenry.

The bedrock on which this system was based is the Constitution. It worked well until the beginning of the Progressive era at the end of the nineteenth century. The progressive movement used deception, misdirection, and man’s weaknesses to appeal to the basest of human passions, greed, envy and jealousy to gain a prominent foothold in American politics. Progressives in both the Democrat and Republican Parties set the political agenda for the twentieth century. Although most republicans were opposed to the ideas of progressives (American socialists) as a basic principle, in the spirit of political expediency, they accepted many of the progressive’s policies, appealing to their constituencies with the implied motto, “we can do it better”.

On virtually every important issue during the twentieth century, the Republican Party accepted the premises put forth by progressive democrats, even though they may not agree with the policy based on the premise. It became a habitual strategy for the Republican Party to propose policies in opposition to the democrats that accepted the progressive premise but altered the pursuant policy just enough to make it palatable to their constituents. This practice gave rise to the “moderate” republicans so valued by both parties and the national progressive media of today.

The core principles on which the progressive movement is based are the polar opposites of the core principles on which the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are based. A hundred years of compromise and accommodation of these principles by the Republican party and its elected officials has led to a steady erosion of the Constitution, leading to the lawless state of our national government, as well as a growing part of American society that we have today. (The Constitution is the Supreme Law of government.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on whether or not parts of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional. Already the trial is being played in the press as a sporting event between the four progressives on the court and the four constitutional conservatives, with Justice Stevens, the “moderate”, being the unknown factor. The outcome is far from certain and the results will probably not be known until June, more than likely after the Republican candidate for President has already been decided on.

There is a slim chance that the Court will put aside its law books, consideration of prior Court decisions, and International law and focus their deliberations on the Constitution itself using the debates in the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and the Federalist Papers, to determine the intent of the Framers. In which case, they will rule the Affordable Health Care Act as unconstitutional in its entirety. A more likely scenario, however, is that they will strike down parts of the law, leaving the basic premise intact; that the “commerce clause” gives the Congress, and through it, the bureaucracies in the Legislative Branch, authority to legislate in this, and other matters that are not among the enumerated powers of Congress. If that happens we will have made very little progress in returning America to its Constitutional foundation.

Romney’s “Repeal and Replace” plan simply carries on the Republican tradition of compromise and accommodation, accepting the premise that Congress has the power under the commerce clause to regulate health care in America. Regardless of how many remnants of Obamacare the Supreme Court leaves in place, the entire law must be repealed and eradicated from any possibility of being revived, if we are to salvage what is left of our Republic and the liberties it provides. A concise outline of Romney’s Repeal and Replace plan is found on Romney’s website. Following are the highlights and why they should be unacceptable to the American People.

“On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible.”  ~mittromney.com

Article I, Section 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.” The President does not have the Constitutional power to, in effect, make law or alter laws passed by Congress. Neither does he have the power to waive by Executive Order, laws passed and signed into law under prior Presidents. One of the few direct responsibilities given to the President by the Constitution is the enforcement of laws passed by Congress.

Article II, Section 3, at the end of the last paragraph we read: “he [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. The President does not have the prerogative of deciding which laws his Justice Department will or will not enforce. Once a law has passed Congress and been signed into law it becomes a part of the Constitution until it is determined to be unconstitutional by the appropriate courts; (Article VI, paragraph two.) If a new law is passed by Congress that the President considers unconstitutional, it is his duty to veto it and return it to Congress along with an explanation for his veto. (Article I, Section 7)

Romney also promises to:

  • Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
  • Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
  • Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
  • Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
  • Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution ~mittromney.com

Here again, Romney is playing fast and loose with the Constitution. Block grants should be considered as what they are; bribes to the states in an effort to bend them to the will of the federal government. Withholding them from states that refuse or neglect to comply with federal requirements is primarily a pecuniary method for enforcing compliance with the bureaucratic rules of the Executive branch. At best, they represent an application of the socialist principle of redistribution of wealth, as tax money is taken from wealthier states and redistributed to those less wealthy.

His promise to “limit federal standards and requirements on …private insurance” is clearly a violation of Article I, Section 10: “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…”. Contract law provides the underpinning of market capitalism. The founders assumed the federal government would not have the power to impair contract law because it was not given as one of the enumerated powers. At the same time, they considered the matter of protecting the integrity of private contracts so important that they also prohibited the states from passing laws that would impair them. Insurance policies are private contracts between the insurer and the policy holder. Neither the President, Congress or the state legislatures have the power to interfere with that relationship. These same arguments apply to the last three promises in Romney’s list as well.

In fact, the same argument is valid against all fifteen points of Romney’s plan listed on his website. They all impair, to a greater or lesser degree, private contracts between private insurance companies and policyholders or between health care providers and their patients. However there is one ironic exception: “Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines”. Here, Romney inadvertently discloses the original purpose of the interstate commerce clause, which he evidently does not adequately understand himself. Its original purpose was to insure free and fair trade between the states, breaking down the protective barriers put in place by various states during the former government’s existence under the  Articles of Confederation.

It is important for voters in states that have not yet held their primaries to keep this in mind when they vote. Substituting a revised version of Romneycare for Obamacare does not solve the problem of Washington’s failure to follow the dictates of the Constitution every member of government is sworn to uphold and defend.

Romney Continues to Win in Blue States and Democratic Strongholds.

Mitt Romney continues to display his ability to win in Democratic States while Conservatives in those states, desperate to rid themselves of Barack Obama, fall for the Republican Establishment propaganda that only Mitt Romney can win in the General Election against Obama. History tells us otherwise. Obama is beatable, and short of massive voter fraud, I believe he can and will be beaten. In fact, if John McCain and Sarah Palin were running against Obama in this election they would beat him handily. If not, then the nation is too far gone for any conservative to make any difference.

There have been few times in history when the American people were given the opportunity to vote for a tri-partite conservative. When they are, they elect them by a landslide. “Tri-partite conservative” is the term I use to designate a conservative who embraces all three aspects of Conservatism; constitution conservatism, fiscal conservatism and social conservatism”. Those that stand out in history are: Thomas Jefferson (1800), James Madison (1808), James Monroe (1816), Calvin Coolidge (1924) and Ronald Reagan (1980). In between, we have tried “moderate conservatives”, “compassionate conservatives”, and republicans masquerading as conservatives. In each case the socialist juggernaut continues to move forward.

We have to face the fact that the Republican establishment is only concerned with who wields the power of government, not with how they use that power. This election is the most critical election since 1860. While we cannot afford another term of Barack Obama’s style of socialism, we also cannot afford to elect a Republican who is likely to play “footsie” with the Democrat socialists, RINOs, and other big government Republicans in Congress. What we must have this go-round is a tri-partite conservative who has the character and the willingness to attack the socialism in our society on all three fronts.

Of the four remaining candidates in the race, only Rick Santorum is a tri-partite conservative.  Ron Paul is pretty good on the Constitution except for the clause, “provide for the common defense”. He is also a libertarian who believes that  social conservatism is fatal to the  future of the Republican Party. —So much for “insuring domestic tranquility”.

Newt Gingrich is the most knowledgeable of the field when it comes to the Constitution and history. However, in several of the debates he has shown himself to be a “big government” conservative who still believes the federal government can solve our problems —If only he were in charge. He seems to be not so concerned with getting rid of Obamacare and the Department of Education, as he is “making them work better for the American people”.

In many ways Mitt Romney expresses the same attitude. There are four reasons given for the support of Romney during the primaries. According to USA Today, 60% of the Romney voters interviewed in yesterday’s primary election in Illinois, gave as one of their main reasons in voting for him was that they believed he was the only Republican who could beat Obama in November. This seems to be more of a tribute to the national media and the Republican establishment’s campaign to once again pick the Republican candidate than to their confidence in Romney. It also shows the gullibility and desperation of too many Illinois voters.

The second reason given for supporting Romney is that he has been a successful business man and investor. But then, so has Warren Buffet and George Soros. That does not qualify them to be President of the United States; neither does it qualify or disqualify Romney from being President. Another reason given for Romney’s appeal, is his success in turning around the Salt Lake City Olympics. These supporters never mention how much of his success was dependent on the financial support of the federal government. The fourth reason given for Romney’s appeal is his “successful” term as Governor of Massachusetts. This is perhaps, the weakest part of his resume.

While Governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted same-sex marriage when the Massachusetts Legislature refused to do so. It is a mistake to claim that the Mass. Supreme Court mandated gay marriage. It did not. The Court only recommended that the Legislature change its then existing laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. In fact the Court acknowledged that it did not have the power to change the law itself. —So much for social conservatism. While Governor, Romney also signed into law “Romneycare” which has been a total failure.

He gives two excuses for doing so. First, he blames the Legislature and the people of Massachusetts, claiming that as Governor of a progressive state he had to follow “the will of the people” — so much for standing on principle. He also argues that Romneycare is constitutional because it was instituted at the state level and the state’s power to do so is protected by the Tenth Amendment. In this he is correct. However, although it may be Constitutional, experience has shown it to be extremely bad public policy, and will be a major stumbling block when running against Obama. In addition, it will greatly increase the difficulty of getting Obamacare repealed should Romney become President.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of Romney’s Massachusetts experience is his willingness to follow, rather than lead in critical situations. He followed the Court’s lead in the matter of same-sex marriage and set the precedent for other states to do the same. He followed the lead of the people and the Legislature with Romneycare, and supplied Obama’s advisers with the model for Obamacare. If elected President without a veto proof Senate and a large majority of conservative Republicans in the House, we stand little chance of substantially reversing the hundred-year-old trend toward socialism. The best we can hope for is to slow it down slightly.

On the other hand, if Rick Santorum becomes president he may prove to be a disappointment, as have so many other Republican Presidents before him. However, at this point in history we cannot take a chance with the future of our Republic and elect anything less than a tri-partite conservative who will fight for conservative principles on all fronts; social, political and economic. At this point in the campaign, it appears that Santorum is the only one likely to do that.

Greece – The Canary in the Coal Mine

By now, just about everyone is aware that Greece has issues. But what’s a bit appalling is how little we know about what is really happening with that country. The knowledge most people have boiled down to two points; Greece has run out of money and the people there are rioting in the streets. However if one digs a little deeper, you’ll realize that Greece is essentially no longer a sovereign country – it is a country led by a technocrat and more or less owned by the EU and ECB. Before I get into the implications of what that means, let’s first go through the brief history of how Greece got to where it is today.

Between 1999 and 2008, Greece’s real GDP was hovering between 3-4% while their debt percentage hovered in and around 100% until 2008 where it stood at 113% during the global recession. In 2009, the newly elected Prime Minister George Papandreou came into office and soon after revises the country’s budget projections, indicating the government had been understating its deficit for years. That year Greece’s debt percentage shot to 129% and is currently standing at 173% projected. After several credit downgrades in 2009 and 2010, Papandreou agrees to implement harsh austerity measures in exchange for $152 billion in loans from the European Union and the IMF. Riots ensue as the Greek population does not want to give up anything. Despite Greece meeting the austerity requirements of 2010, credit ratings continue to be downgraded so Greece pushes through another set of highly unpopular austerity measures June 2011 to qualify for a second bailout package for $157 billion in loans. Shortly after this, the Greek parliament agrees to new highly unpopular taxes, cutting public sector jobs, decreasing public sector wages, decreasing pensions for high-income workers and scaling back collective bargaining rights.

In addition to this very brief recent history, it is also important to note how Greece got to this point in the first place. Ironically, it began 30 years ago Papandreou’s father Andreas began building an unsustainable civil service in order to continue winning elections. Additionally, Greece had spent the last few decades erecting social safety nets producing cradle to grave benefits such as government healthcare, a generous welfare system and a retirement age of 61, (social security). In fact, the entitlement mentality is so firmly entrenched in Greek society, the population there does not understand anything else and seems perfectly willing to give up its’ national sovereignty while devolving into a cesspool of pain and misery grasping at the last reed it can find while drowning. And because they have no basis for understanding true freedom and liberty, they are willing to live through the degradation of their country in the hopes that things might magically get better. Here are a few of the things that are going on in Greece that are getting very little press in the US.

  • After the collapse of the socialist party in November 2011, an interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos was sworn in to lead Greece through the economic crisis. Papademos is a technocrat and was previously vice president of the European Central Bank. (Could you imagine Ben Bernanke being sworn in as interim President?)
  • Having lost its fiscal independence, Greece is now required have the permanent presence of a Eurogroup Task Force with strong onsite monitoring capabilities. (In other words, it’s their money and they have the right to manage their money. Who owns the bulk of the US debt?)
  • This EU presence will ensure that state revenues will flow into a segregated escrow account for state revenues.
  • The Greek constitution will be amended to ensure that priority will be given to serving debt payments. This includes the right for European banks to seize Greece’s gold reserves, 111.6 tons.
  • Public sector salary cuts are so deep and because they are retroactive to November 2011, up to 64,000 workers will have to work without salary for a month and some may even be asked to return money.

There is far more to the Grecian condition than what I can post in this blog but the point is obvious. Greece’s socialistic experiment has been a complete and utter failure and from a practical perspective, they are no longer a sovereign country. And despite all of this, Greece is virtually assured to default anyway, only now with zero gold reserves.

Socially, the Greeks are feeling completely hopeless and are turning bitter towards the EU and specifically Germany. There are riots and lootings in the streets. Well dressed Greeks have been reported rummaging through the garbage for food. Clinics that were set up to service the immigration population in Greece have seen a 22% jump in the domestic population. And still, they’re clinging on to an idea that didn’t work – hoping against hope that it will all just go away

Understanding what is happening in Greece is essential when looking at our current economic situation. From a GDP perspective, the US is in a worse economic condition than Greece but we have the ability to print money. However, eventually every country will have to pay back the debt that they owe and Greece gives us a better understanding of what can happen when we fail to make the tough choices today. We cannot afford our current social programs and Obamacare begins to hit its stride in full in 2013. That means higher taxes and still more debt. Despite what’s lacking in our current healthcare system, Obamacare literally means the destruction of economy.

We have an opportunity this year to elect real leaders that will face our issues head-on. We need to repeal the healthcare bill and we need to seriously manage the scaling back of all of our social programs – social security, Medicare, food stamps, etc. We either face up to our issues with honesty and determination, or we will wake up one day and realize our country isn’t even ours anymore.