Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page
Randy Barnett’s Federalism Bill has been making the rounds on the web. Rather than try to summarize, I’ll let the loyal reader (yeah, that’s pretty close to singular) go look for themselves. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
I have to agree with his proposal for Constitutional amendments to reform a federal government that has lost its bloom’n mind because of course, I was there months ago. The difference of course being 1) he’s a lawyer and wrote better amendments and, 2) people actually read his articles. <sigh>
So being reduced pretty much to the status of gawker on the sidelines, I thought I would do what any good gawker does and decide how much better his amendments would be if I had come up with them.
Here’s my great, learned analysis of the Federalism Act. Keep in mind that my reviewing anything legalese is kind of like the cargo cultists of New Guinea analyzing aeronautical engineering. Here goes.
Article of Amendment 1) Let’s start with just repealing the 16th Amendment. Income taxes are hugely corrupting because of the money it provided to the government. Eliminating the income tax will greatly pair back the corruption of the federal government caused by the power to tax and the ability to spend almost without limit. Other clauses within this act will provide addition limitations on the power of the government. This may be sufficient. Let’s give it a try because it’s simple.
The supermajority requirement to pass taxes does not work. It gives a minority veto power over necessary legisltation. This has been seen in the senatorial fillibuster and the California legislature.
Article of Amendment 2) I understand the intent, but the execution seems clunky and excessively specific. The goal of this amendment may in fact be superceded by ratification of the 10th article of amendment. If the Commerce Clause is enforced according to its original intent, is this amendment necessary?
Article of Amendment 3) What about unfunded mandates on private entities? What good it getting rid of income taxes if the government can force people to spend their money according to government mandates?
Article of Amendment 4) No abuse of the Treaty Clause. I like. Keep it.
Article of Amendment 5) This amendment is redundant. It satisfies some deep felt need in people to respond to a law being violated with passing another law so that two laws can be violated next time. But there is already a clause in the constitution protecting free speech, and it was not intended to protect pornography. If Amendment 10 of the Act is ratified and enforced, the First Amendment will cover everything duplicated in the Article of Amendment 5 of the Act.
Article of Amendment 6) Too complicated, and never tried before. A simpler approach would be to repeal the 17th Amendment and have the senators answerable to the state legislators again. The 17th Amendment was enacted to address rampant corruption in the senatorial selection process. The process was described as the senatorial candidates showing up at the state house with bags of money and the senate seat going to the highest bidder. If the purpose of the 17th Amendment was to prevent corruption, it failed. An since it failed, repeal it and go back to the original intent of the Senate representing the states rather than enacting a new, untried form of governance. There are other ways to deal with corruption. Just ask Rod Blagojovich.
Article of Amendment 7) He got the term limits exactly right. That is, he used the same numbers I did but by a different approach.
We should term limit Supreme Court justices, too. I suggested 18 years. A new justice every two years. That way, even a two term president can’t plan on being able to stuff the court.
Article of Amendment 8) The balanced budget amendment must have accounting standards to keep Congress from shuffling $Trillions “off budget”. In any private entity, that’s called cooking the books…and it’s a crime. Congress should be held to the same accounting standards it imposes on private entities.
Article of Amendment 9) If I read this right, Section 1 will repeal all the apartheid laws that segregate the population into mutual hate groups. So called ‘Affirmative Action’, preferential treatment, quotas, hate laws, would all go away. Cool. The country can actually try working towards equality under the law.
Article of Amendment 10) Would eliminate any ambiguity about how the Constitution is supposed to be interpreted. Keep it.
So I end up with 1) and 6) repealing the 16th and 17th Amendments. Proposed Amendments 2 and 5 go away as redundant. That leave 6 amendments, some slightly altered.
The government is seriously broken. Both major parties to greater or lessor degrees are drunk with power when in power, drowning in their sense of entitlement and privilege and almost oblivious to the harm they do trying to live up to their own sense of self-righteousness. Throwing the rascals out will only temporarily delay the March of the Statists. Major reforms are called for and they are going to have to fundamentally change the organization of government if they are going to have a lasting effect. It will require amending the Constitution and this Federalism Bill is as good a place to start as any.
Things to make you go, “Hmmmmm.”
For thirty years, the Democrats have followed a policy of National Energy Suicide. I believe the first round of Carter shutting down the Clinch River Fast Breeder Reactor. Since then the Democrats have consistently whined about how much oil the US imports while blocking virtually any new exploration or development of oil shale or oil sands. All the gum flapping about “renewable energy” and they shut out the most renewable…hydroelectric. Energy that literally falls from the sky. The only programs they support are the ones guaranteed to not be able to feed the nation.
Policy of National Economic Suicide. Underway as we speak. Destroying the US currency, destroying the free enterprise system, destroying anybody who produces or invests in anything. A man who has never run anything now takes the reigns of power of everything. The finance industry reduced to zombies. The US auto industry well on its way to being the American version of British Leland. The energy industry to be shut down altogether. And then there’s the…
Policy of National Hellthcare Suicide. Government takes over entire healthcare system. Turns it into post office. Brain surgery, when it’s available, performed by the schmuck who keeps putting your neighbor’s mail in your box. Nationalized Healthcare is always a success because the purpose of it is not to save lives, it’s to save money. Easiest way to save money? Let them all die. Except of course the politicians and their aparachiks. The healthcare rationing is for the little people.
Hot Air uses its running Obamateur series to discuss ObamaGod’s complaining about people borrowing too much while he is running deficits to levels never before even contemplated. This is not a sign of being an amateur. Calling it a sign of being an amateur implies that he does not know what he is doing. That he is basically just a kind of a hapless boob from down the street in a job too big for him.
There is a saying that you shouldn’t attribute to avaricemalice what can be explained by incompetence, or something along that line. This line is not incompetence. He is trying to distance himself publicly from what he is doing officially knowing full well the power and prestige of the Democratic mouthpieces in the press with take the line and run with it, to convince the public that “See! It’s not really his fault. He doesn’t really believe in these nation destroying deficits. They’re being created by Bush and Congress and he’s just a well meaning public servant who has to sign them to help the poor.”
And I know people on who it will work. It’s not amateurism. It’s pure political posturing.
The Obamateur series may have run its course. At some point, it ceases to be incompetence.
(Yeah…I used avarice instead of malice. That’s what I get for writing early in the morning.)
They also have lefts. Both go better well with barbecue sauce.
My response to PETA activists.
My daughter tells me that the cuter they are, the better they taste. That’s what I sent her to school to learn.
OK, maybe a day late and certainly more than a dollar short.