Pure Lies and Deceptions: Violating the Constitution

Pure Lies and Deceptions: Violating the Constitution

     There is nothing more obvious in the media propaganda advertising Obama’s and the liberal Democrats’ fear tactics to avoid resolving the out-of-control burgeoning Federal debt than the fact that most politicians have no clue as to what the Constitution demands regarding the debt. Sen. Harry Reid’s remark asking “What right do they have to pick and chose what part of government is going to be funded?” is most telling. Under the Constitution the House of Representatives is specifically tasked with the financial oversight of the government.

    In this current attack on America, the unconstitutional debt has focused attention on the myriad failures of members of Congress to uphold their oath of office. Speaking to the partisan focus aligning those who are supposed to represent us, President Thomas Jefferson in his inaugural address referring to the Framers said “ We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans – we are all Federalists.” Conspicuously absent from the debate now limiting the Federal government is the consensus of doing what is right and just for all which motivated those present at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Guided by the truths of science and history, after four months of debate the Framers were in general agreement on the principles of the Constitution except for slavery, proportionate representation, and the regulation of commerce. Educating those in attendance with a reality also expressed in their Christian Biblical worldview gathering as the Committee of the Whole, the most successful and brightest in these former 13 colonies aided by the same “divine Providence” that enabled the miracle of the Revolution accomplished beyond reason brought agreement by the exposition of truth. Principle was not compromised and the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification. In order to secure ratification by the diverse economic and political interests, the states were urged to ratify the Constitution forged not on compromise but on the understanding of truth transcending time and circumstance. In return for ratifying the body of the Constitution, they were promised that the First Congress meeting in New York would address concerns they were invited to attach as suggested amendments. Of the 189 submitted and then distilled directed again by the immutable truths of history, 10 were ratified by the states giving us our Bill of Rights.

    As to our national debt, the debt ceiling, and the groundless threat of what a default would do, truth and facts need to drown out the lies and deceptions. This debate has been about saving one political party’s face smeared with the economic disaster of Obamacare foisted on the American public without any congressional oversight. Congressional economic failure is simply taxation without representation. The House has attempted to use the debt ceiling issue to focus on sincere attempts to cut spending obviating the need for another increase in the debt ceiling adding to our national debt. Seeking common sense solutions that protect the American people from Obamacare, the House has been stone-walled by Obama and the Senate. Abandoning the public pleas and best interests, politicians are ready to again fail to uphold their oath of office. Crying for relief from Obamacare’s injustices and burdens, the voices of workers whose employers have cut hours to avoid economic strangulation have fallen on deaf ears. Forgetting that the buying power of the American worker decreased 30 to 40 percent with the bailout when Obama first took office, tolerating the injustice accompanying the out-of-control national debt completely overshadows the economic devastion of the inflation effects of the too soon forgotten policies instituted by those we have elected. With the taxation of Obamacare added to the diminishing real wages, American workers will soon again experience the consequences of Congressional failure to protect and defend the original intention of the Constitution. Does anyone care that Congress is attempting to exempt itself from Obamacare with Obama’s approval?

     Since Obama came into office, the debt limit has been raised seven times, and with those increases, Congress has added $43,000 in debt for every American household in just the last four years. Now with the debt limit again being raised by those repeatedly violating their oath of office, every American is being sacricifed to the forces attacking us. Increasing the debt limit as is now in process of being tolerated by the House means the national debt would rise to $17.8 trillion. Somehow that does not seem to fulfill the intention of the Constitution to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”.
 
    Understanding that our government collects an average of $206 billion a month, that the average per month interest on our debt over a 12-month period is $35 billion which is what the federal government pays pertaining to our nation’s debt, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there is more than enough to service our national debt and pay for other essential obligations. Additionally, Obama has the ability to prioritize which bills to pay first and a constitutional obligation to pay the debt first. The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4, states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, … shall not be questioned’ … . The federal government must pay its debt obligations, both principal and interest, even if that means prioritizing debt service over other government spending such as funding those able to but unwilling to work and those undeserving of welfare. If Congress does not raise the current debt ceiling, this is the perfect opportunity to cut thepork“, trim the Federal bureaucracy, limit Obama’s $100 million vacations, and reclaim America.

CftC

The cheap tricks of the game

Wesley Pruden

Thursday, October 3, 2013

    The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It’s a variation on the grade-school ritual of “you show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”
 
     President Obama is not a bad poker player, but the man with all the chips always starts with the advantage (and he gets all the aces). He has closed Washington down as tight as he dares, emphasizing the trivial and the petty in making life as inconvenient as he can for the greatest number. It’s all in a noble cause, of course. Access to most of the memorials is limited, and often in curious ways. The Lincoln Memorial is easy to reach, with the streets around it remaining open. But the Martin Luther King Memorial is made difficult to reach, relegating it, you might say, to the back of the bus. Not very nice.
 
    The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.
 
It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
 
    The Republicans, fighting with smaller-bore weaponry, keep trying to get some things reopened with carefully targeted legislation. The Senate, under the thumbs of Sen. Harry Reid and the White House, refuses to budge from the trivial and the petty. It says here that Harry Reid’s critics, and they are legion, should give the guy a break. No man in Washington is under the pressure he is, and it doesn’t seem quite cricket to do that to an old man, even one who deserves it.
 
    Harry is at the breaking point, weary from exhausting his thesaurus for synonyms for “arsonist” and “terrorist” and “pillager.” Everyone could see the cracks in his exchange with Dana Bash, a reporter for CNN, who asked why, if he is concerned about children with cancer who are unable to enter clinical trials for new drugs because Mr. Obama shut down the National Institutes of Health, why stifle Republican attempts to grant a little relief?
 
“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” the reporter asked.
 
     “Why would we want to do that?” Mr. Reid snapped back. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.”
 
     Over the next two days, Mr. Reid tried to take back, change, adjust and recalibrate his remarks. It’s all John Boehner’s fault. The senator cares not just about the National Institutes of Health, but the Centers for Disease Control, too. The senator likes babies. In fact, he’s quite a stud. And he thinks Dana Bash is “a fine reporter.”
 
     “Listen, I gave a speech on the [Senate] floor, talking about babies, 30 babies. I have 16 of my own grandchildren, and five children.” So suffer the little children, and they will inherit the kingdom of heaven; they just can’t come unto the Senate while Harry stands in the door. (If what happens in Las Vegas is supposed to stay in Las Vegas, how did Harry get out?)
 
     Frustration turned violent Thursday, when a woman rammed her car into a barricade at the White House and then led 20 police cruisers up Pennsylvania Avenue to take a run at the Capitol. Shots were fired. It was not quite clear what she was mad about, but there’s no shortage of prospects. No targets of her rage were hurt, though the cops killed her. It was an unhappy third day of Obamacare.
 
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
 
 
 

 
 

October 03, 2013

 
 

 

 

     President Obama’s efforts to make the partial federal shutdown as painful as possible for the American people extends to closing down memorials and sporting events that don’t receive any federal money. In fact, extra money is being spent during the “shutdown” to pay the personnel necessary to frustrate Americans and seal off these attractions. And in the case of the effort to scuttle military athletics, it would cost additional millions in lost revenue from tickets and concessions.That’s the topsy-turvy world of Shutdown Theater – an elaborate production designed to make Americans hurt, conducted by Democrats convinced the media would blame it all on their opponents. It’s not working out that way. It doesn’t help that his pals in the pressforgot to switch off the cameras when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid started talking.The American people might well ask themselves why they’ve ceded so much liberty and money to a titanic government that can’t do anything right… except make them suffer when its demands are not met. Just think how much worse next season’s Shutdown Theater will be, once ObamaCare allows Democrats to take your doctor hostage. Of course, to reach that day of total submission by the American people, they’re going to have to engineer a flytrap that does something other than crash when victims wander in.
 
John Hayward
Senior Writer
 
House Efforts To Avoid Government Shutdown
 

     Here’s a running tally of recent measures passed by the House of Representatives through 5 October, almost all of which are being blocked by Senate Democrats and President Obama who refuse to negotiate with Republicans to fund our government.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by defunding the president’ health care law. (Passed in the House 230-189)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

SEPTEMBER 28, 2013

Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels and strengthens our economy by delaying the president’s health care law by one year, and permanently repealing ObamaCare’s tax on pacemakers and children’s hearing aids. (Amendment #1 Passed 248-174 | Amendment #2 Passed 231-192)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Pay Our Military Act (H.R. 3210): ensures our troops would be paid in the event of a government shutdown. (Passed in the House 423-0)

 votes_house-pass_senate-pass_potus-sign

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 59): keeps the government running at current spending levels; ensures there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; and delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses. (Passed in the House 228-201)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Continuing resolution (H. Res. 368): insists on plan to fund the government running at current spending levels; ensure there’s no special treatment for Congress under the president’s health care law; delays ObamaCare’s individual mandate, providing all Americans with the same relief the president has given big businesses; and requests a formal House-Senate conference to resolve differences. (Passed in the House 228-199)

 votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no

OCTOBER 1, 2013

Speaker Boehner appoints negotiators to a formal House-Senate conference. See the full list here.

votes_negotiations 

OCTOBER 2, 2013

Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act (H.J. Res. 71): allows our nation’s capital to continue operating using its own funding. (Passed in the House by voice vote).

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act (H.J. Res. 70): opens all of our national parks and museums, including the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC that was initially closed to veterans by the administration. (Passed in the House 252-173)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Research for Lifesaving Cures Act (H.J. Res. 73): provides funding for the National Institute of Health, which is responsible for lifesaving medical innovations and cancer research. Click here to see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) comments about this effort. (Passed in the House 254-171)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

OCTOBER 3, 2013

Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act (H.R. 3230): ensures the government shutdown doesn’t affect pay for our National Guard and Reserve. (Passed in the House 265-160)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Honoring Our Promise to America’s Veterans Act (H.J. Res. 72): provides immediate funding for critical veterans benefits and services, including disability claims, education and training, and more. (Passed in the House 259-157)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

OCTOBER 4, 2013

National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (H.J. Res 85): provides immediate funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (Passed in the House 247-164)

votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no 

Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (H.J. Res. 75): provides immediate funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, which “serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children,” and provides “vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.” (Passed in the House 244-164)

 votes_house-pass_senate-no_potus-no

OCTOBER 5, 2013

Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223): provides for compensation of federal employees furloughed due to Senate Democrats’ government shutdown. This is similar to bipartisan legislation enacted during previous shutdowns. (Passed in the House 407-0)

votes_house-passed 

What the Founders Thought about Debt – Rich Tucker

What the Founders Thought about Debt

October 10, 2013

 

Thomas Jefferson on Debt

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” wrote William Shakespeare in Hamlet. As the Founders were exceptionally well read men, they surely knew the reference. And it’s clear that, when it comes to governing a nation, the Founders were nervous about allowing it to run up too much debt.

As James Madison said in a 1790 speech to the House of Representatives:

There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable.

It is worth noting Madison’s concern here for future generations. That’s us, and we have him and his fellow Founders to thank, because they bequeathed us a successful and prosperous nation. We should also ask whether we’re living up to our end of the bargain.

The simple answer is no. Consider the $25 million Madison mentioned borrowing. Well, on a given day in August, the federal government spent almost $6 billion more than it took in. We borrowed $250 million each hour of that day, more than $4 million each minute. And that’s not the total amount we spent—just what we borrowed. The bill, with interest, will be passed along to future generations.

Madison wasn’t alone in his concern about excessive borrowing.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote:

It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its faculties, never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term.

Of course, in his personal life, Jefferson wasn’t renowned for being a wise steward of money. But here he recognized that as a nation it’s important to protect our ability to borrow by making it clear to lenders that we have a plan to eventually pay them back. This year alone, our government has shelled out almost $400 billion just to repay interest on borrowed money. That’s more than the entire budget of the Canadian government. No nation has ever spent money on the scale that the United States does.

It’s important to change course. And quickly.

“No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable,” George Washington warned lawmakers in 1793.

As the country approaches—and smashes through—the debt ceiling once again, it would be wise to take the father of our country’s words to heart. Rather than borrowing trillions more, we need to begin paying down some debt before it crushes us.

America’s Debt, Through the Eyes of the Founders – Rich Tucker

Issue Brief #4065 on Political Thought

October 8, 2013

America’s Debt, Through the Eyes of the Founders

By

    The Founders of the United States wanted to establish a country that could endure for generations, and they understood that massive debt would endanger their project. They knew that managing public finances to force government to live within its means was the prudent thing to do.

    They understood that it would sometimes be necessary for the country to run a deficit—for example, during times of war—and that this would lead to debt. They had recently come through their own revolution successfully in large part because they were willing to borrow heavily to pay their bills.

    Still, the Founders generally disapproved of debt and believed that the amount the country owed should be limited.

The Birth of a National Debt

    The U.S. was in debt even as it was being born. In 1776, the most important task facing the Founders was to win the Revolutionary War. If the colonists had been defeated, the leaders would have been executed (“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately,” in Ben Franklin’s memorable phrase[1]), and they would never have been able to secure the nation’s independence. So they borrowed heavily to pay for the war.

    After the failures of the Articles of Confederation, the Founding Fathers gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 and drafted the Constitution. It created a federated republic with powers allocated between the state governments and the national government. But it did not solve the problem of individual state debt. In 1789, the U.S. Treasury Department was formed, with Alexander Hamilton as the first Treasury Secretary.

    Hamilton convinced Congress to assume all state debt that remained from the Revolution. That would require the new national government to run in the red, but Hamilton was not worried. “A national debt, if it is not excessive,” he argued, “will be to us a national blessing.”[2] By this he meant that, if interest on the debt were paid regularly, the country would begin to build a positive reputation. Stanford law professor Michael McConnell writes that such a debt “would become a kind of liquid capital—a ‘blessing’ in a world where gold and silver was costly to transport and use for transactions.”[3] As investment flowed to the new U.S., capital would be created.

    But Hamilton favored a limited, controllable debt. It should “be remoulded into such a shape as will bring the expenditure of the nation to a level with its income,” he argued in 1790. “Till this shall be accomplished, the finances of the United States will never wear proper countenance.”[4] Hamilton was especially worried about the crippling danger of interest payments. “Arrears of interest, continually accruing, will be as continual a monument, either of inability, or of ill faith and will not cease to have an evil influence on public credit.”

Hamilton vs. Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson, then serving as Secretary of State, vigorously opposed Hamilton’s plan. He wanted strict limits on how much the government could borrow and for how long. The Secretary of the Treasury won that argument, and his plan proved effective.

    Hamilton was able to issue federal bonds to cover the national debt, which he estimated at about $77 million. Because federal borrowing was limited, his system helped consolidate the debt and allowed the federal government to make its interest payments on time, thus building credit.

    The value of the new federal bonds quickly increased. This helped move the country away from Jefferson’s agrarian dream and toward the commercial republic Hamilton hoped it would become. Of course, it was also crucial to cut spending. That happened quickly, and by 1793, the government showed its first budget surplus.

Warnings About Excessive Debt

    “There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation,” James Madison said in a 1790 speech, “than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises.”[5]

    Madison was concerned for future generations, because the Founders aimed to pass along a thriving country. As the Preamble to the Constitution puts it: “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

Jefferson’s Chance to Pay Down Debt

    During Jefferson’s presidency, the Treasury attempted to pay down some of its debt. Under Secretary Albert Gallatin, the amount the U.S. owed went as low as $45 million. This seemed in keeping with Jefferson’s idea: “It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its faculties, never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term.”[6]

    But the Louisiana Purchase and the War of 1812 combined to increase the federal debt once again. Public debt soared from $45.2 million on January 1, 1812, to $119.2 million in 1815.

Old Hickory Rides In

    Andrew Jackson was born in the generation that followed the Founding. He hated debt and vowed to pay off the entire national debt. By selling off land holdings and slashing spending, Jackson succeeded in 1835.[7]

    His accomplishment did not last. First there was a massive national depression, then a series of wars that forced Washington lawmakers to borrow over the years. Still, defending the country is one of the national government’s core responsibilities. It should run deficits when necessary to protect the homeland. In fact, the idea of a statutory debt limit arose during war.

    In 1917, during World War I, Congress passed the Second Liberty Bond Act to allow the Treasury to sell long-term bonds. To make certain the debt did not grow out of control, lawmakers included a limit on how much the government could borrow. That limit would be raised a few years later, again during a war, when Congress voted to allow the debt to reach some $300 billion at the height of World War II.

    Yet when the fighting stopped, the government always took steps to pay down debt. Large deficits in peacetime were frowned upon until relatively recently. For example, excepting the World War II years, the U.S. ratio of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) was almost always below 50 percent until the end of the George W. Bush Administration. In just the past five years it soared to almost 75 percent of GDP and is expected to top 100 percent around the year 2028.[8]

Getting the History Right

    As George Washington warned lawmakers in 1793, “No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.”[9]

    As the country approaches, and smashes through, the debt ceiling once again, it would be wise to take Washington’s words to heart. Rather than borrowing trillions more, the United States needs to begin paying down some debt before the burden becomes crushing.

—Rich Tucker is senior writer in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation.