To Drain the Swamp, Here’s Where To Start

To Drain the Swamp, Here’s Where To Start

Bryan Fischer

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The starting point isn’t muddled at all: taxpayers want smaller, leaner, more efficient government – but federal government bureaucrats want a bigger and more bloated government.

 

    According to an exposé published in The Hill, federal bureaucrats donate to Democrats at a 90%-100% clip. The problem here is these federal bureaucrats are entirely dependent on taxpayers for their salaries, which creates a massive conflict of interest.

    Their donations to Hillary Clinton represented, if nothing else, a vote for their own job security. These employees, every dollar of whose salaries comes out of the wallets of working Americans, have a vested interest in supporting candidates who are actively working against the interests of those same taxpaying Americans.

David Schultz, a Hamline University professor of political science, said “self-preservation” likely motivates their campaign giving. “This means support for their jobs,” because federal employees are likely “more willing to give to somebody who would be more predictable in terms of supporting their livelihood, their jobs, as opposed to somebody who might be less predictable.”

Taxpayers want smaller, leaner, more efficient government. Federal government bureaucrats, on the other hand, want a bigger and more bloated government which already pays them more than the average American worker and makes it virtually impossible for them to get fired, regardless of job performance (you can ask veterans who try to use the VA about that).

According to The Hill (emphasis mine),

Of the roughly $2 million that federal workers from 14 agencies spent on presidential politics by the end of September, about $1.9 million, or 95 percent, went to the Democratic nominee’s campaign, according to an analysis by The Hill.

Employees at all the agencies analyzed, without exception, are sending their campaign contributions overwhelmingly to Clinton over her Republican counterpart. Several agencies, such as the State Department, which Clinton once led, saw more than 99 percent of contributions going to Clinton.

Employees of the Department of Justice, which investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, gave Clinton 97 percent of their donations. Trump received $8,756 from DOJ employees compared with $286,797 for Clinton. From IRS employees, Clinton received 94 percent of donations.

    This is quite obviously a pernicious and unacceptable state of affairs. The bias in what should be the utterly impartial Department of Justice is particularly odious (this is the outfit that let Hillary off the hook completely), as is the bias in the IRS. It is no wonder that the political efforts of ordinary Americans to get tax-exempt status for their Tea Party groups was spiked and frustrated at every turn.

The American people have a quite evident interest in seeing that government functionaries are limited in their ability to game the system against the fundamental interests of the American people.

When I served as chaplain of the Idaho Senate, one of the rules I voluntarily agreed to observe was that employees of the state government, even part-time ones, were not allowed to lobby for legislation. Period. This was something I had been accustomed to doing, and the left was ecstatic that I would be on ice for an entire legislative session (some of them wanted me to get a lifetime appointment for that reason).

The point is, the exercise of my freedom of speech and my freedom to petition the government for the redress of grievances was temporarily suspended during my term of service as a government worker.

Why? Because it was considered unseemly for someone being paid by taxpayers to directly influence legislation that would affect their own employ. The conflict of interest was obvious.

I was fine with that policy. My role changed from lobbyist to pastor for that session of the legislature, and I understood the privileges I would relinquish during that time. When my service as chaplain was completed, I put my lobbyist hat back on and went to work to help get a marriage amendment through that same legislature.

So what should be done at the federal level to curb this unseemly and unwise tilting of the political scales by bureaucrats? I floated the idea on my radio program this week – an idea I immediately shot down the next day – that we ask federal bureaucrats to temporarily yield the franchise as long as they are on the taxpayer dole, just as I yielded my constitutional right to freedom of speech and petition while drawing an income from taxpayers.

The right to vote is not absolute. It is reserved for those who are citizens, meet the age requirements, and aren’t convicted felons. But that possible solution is unworkable and unenforceable and would face legitimate constitutional challenges, which is why I scrapped it.

There are perhaps two other possibilities. The Hatch Act was passed to limit the ability of government employees to put their thumb on the political scale. It prohibits government workers from engaging in political activities, including making campaign contributions, while on the taxpayers’ clock.

Perhaps the Hatch Act could be amended in another way, to limit the size of the contributions federal bureaucrats are permitted make to candidates for federal office.

Limiting the size of donations to candidates is an already well-established principle, to keep the uber-wealthy from buying elections. Individuals are limited to contributing no more than $2,700 to one candidate in any election cycle, and even political action committees (PACs) are not allowed to directly donate more than $5,000 to any one candidate. There is no logical reason why that number cannot be reduced for federal bureaucrats, even to zero.

And it would have the advantage of being enforceable. You can ask conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza all about that. He pled guilty to violating federal campaign limits by using a straw donor, and was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house, five years’ probation, and a hefty $30,000 fine.

The other long-term alternative is to reduce the size of the federal behemoth by putting it in the hands of elected officials who truly believe in smaller government. They will be inclined to hire public servants who, if they donate to political campaigns at all, will be inclined to donate to candidates who will work on behalf of ordinary taxpayers rather than against them.

It’s worth noting again that the workers in 14 federal agencies gave 95% of their donations to a candidate committed to an ever larger and more bloated federal government. Donald Trump was elected to drain the swamp. It looks like the federal bureaucracy is the place to start.

Bryan Fischer hosts “Focal Point with Bryan Fischer” every weekday on AFR Talk (American Family Radio) from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Central).

The Electoral College

Take a Seat — History Class Is In Session

Darrell Huckaby    dhuck008@gmail.com

Nov 15, 2016

 

    Never in the past four years have I wanted so badly to have a class of people to teach. Teenagers or adults or senior citizens — it wouldn’t have mattered. I have seen so much appalling ignorance about our country, its history and its Constitution that I have just wanted to grab the populace and shake them until they understood.

    For starters, I am tired of hearing about our democracy and the popular vote. We are not a democracy, and a whole lot of people should be really glad about that, too, because in a democracy, mob rule applies. The majority is the boss of everybody, and if we had been a democracy in 1865 slavery would have never been abolished. If we had been a democracy in 1920, the women would have never gotten the vote. If we had been a democracy in 1964 and 1965, those historic pieces of civil rights legislation would never have been approved. In fact, if we had been a democracy in 1776, the Declaration of Independence would never have been adopted because the majority of the colonists were afraid to pursue independence, just like a majority of Americans opposed women’s suffrage and abolition and sweeping civil rights reform.

For the record, Abraham Lincoln did not get a majority of the popular vote in 1860, and Bill Clinton did not get a majority of the popular vote in 1992 or 1996.

Most means plurality, y’all. A majority is 50 percent plus one. And while we are on the subject, we are not a democratic republic, either, no matter what the revisionist history books might claim. That’s just a term Andrew Jackson coined for political purposes in the 1820s and it stuck with some people. We are a republic. We have a federalist form of government where the power is supposed to be divided between the states and the central government and neither is subservient to the other. Both are supposed to get their powers directly from the people.

And by the way, the U.S. Constitution does not give any of us the right to have a say so in who becomes president of the United States. Oh, no, it doesn’t. That power is vested entirely in the Electoral College, and under the Constitution states still have the authority to decided how those electors are chosen. It wasn’t until 1842 that the last state started allowing the people to vote for those electors.

If we eliminated the Electoral College people in two-thirds of the states would be virtually disenfranchised when it came to presidential elections. All the time, money and effort would be spent wooing voters in California, New York and Florida.

Now about the transition of power. Political parties are not mentioned in the Constitution and were thought to be a dangerous thing by our founders. But parties arose almost immediately because people have always had differences of opinions about political issues. The first 12 years under the Constitution found the government in the hands of the Federalist Party. But in the election of 1800 — also called the Revolution of 1800 — Thomas Jefferson, leader of the Republican Party, was chosen to be president. When John Adams, his Federalist opponent, stepped down on inauguration day in 1801, it marked the first time in the history of the world that a group in power had relinquished power without violence or threat of violence, simply because the people said that’s what they wanted. It has worked that way ever since.

And now the people have spoken and the message is loud and clear, under the Constitution, that the people want this country to go in a new direction. And no matter how much they hated to do so, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and President Obama did and said all the right things this week to propel us toward that smooth transition.

And yet in many of our nation’s cities, ignorant young people who have no knowledge of how this Republic is supposed to work, paid for by traitors, are dying to get attention by marching in the streets and generally acting the fool — and, no, these are not the peaceful protests guaranteed by the First Amendment. You must have a grievance to protest. These are spoiled brats and attention-seekers and they should be ashamed.

Electoral College and other links added by the CftC

The Rule and Order of Law

The Rule and Order of Law

 

In the Preamble, the Framers spelled out their intentions for or purposes of the Constitution. Two of the several purposes are to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility. Justice is requisite for all successful human relationships of any size and composition. It is defined by immutable Law and applicable to every society and circumstance. Superimposed on, but subservient to, immutable Law are those laws instituted by mankind. Seeking security, humanity relies on the order of law for domestic tranquility.

 

After the presidential election, protesters or rioters, if you will, violated the order of law. Robbing law abiding citizens of the fundamental civil rights associated with freedom in “pursuit of happiness”, they blocked streets and damaged property. Tolerated by failed government, those violating the rule and order of law illegally stole domestic tranquility. Just as occurred in Ferguson, Baltimore, and across our nation beginning over two years ago, the civil rights of law abiding citizens were relegated to the trash heap of unlawful political activism. Ignoring the Constitutional demand to assemble peaceably, the enemies of justice for all repeat the long train of abuses that many patriots’ sacrifices paid the price to remove. This immediately past presidential election authorized and requires that those we elected to represent us restore the rule and order of law.

 

CftC

Term Limits

Washington Should Be More Concerned About the Next Generation Than the Next Election

Sen. David Perdue

October 26, 2016

The Framers never meant elected office to be a career, nor was it meant to be a vessel for the centralization and maintenance of federal power.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who has vowed to serve only two terms, says career politicians have focused more on advancing their own careers than helping the people they were elected to serve. (Photo: Gage Skidmore /Zuma Press/Newscom)

    It’s no secret that Americans are fed up with Washington’s lack of results. Less than 20 percent of respondents in a recent Gallup survey said they trust the federal government to do its job.

You know what, they’re right.

Somebody has to be responsible for the mess in Washington. For too long, career politicians have focused more on advancing their own careers than helping the people they were elected to serve. The Washington bubble and an unending cycle of gridlock stand in the way of real results at a time when our country is facing both a national debt crisis and a global security crisis.

Now, more than ever, we should usher in the return of the citizen legislator. It is finally time that we impose term limits on members of Congress.

Politicians should go to Washington, do their best, and then come home to live under the laws they’ve passed. It’s just that simple. Our Founding Fathers never imagined the rise of the career politician. They envisioned citizen legislators. Elected office was never meant to be a career, nor was it meant to be a vessel for the centralization and maintenance of federal power.

Yet right now, 60 members of the U.S. Senate have held elected office for more than 20 years and 36 have held office for more than 30 years.

The broken seniority system in Congress rewards years in power, not results produced. Because of that, Washington has no sense of urgency or focus on results. Too little is being done to deal with our national debt, restore our standing in the world, and roll back the regulations crippling our free enterprise system.

    When I ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014, I promised Georgians I would fight to pass term limits for members of Congress. Immediately after being sworn in last year, I co-sponsored a constitutional amendment doing just that: two six-year terms in the Senate and six two-year terms in the House. I personally have pledged to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate.

For too long, career politicians have focused more on advancing their own careers than helping the people they were elected to serve.

    Imagine citizen legislators coming to Washington — from all walks of life — fighting for the priorities that truly represent the interests of folks back home. They would bring fresh ideas and a new sense of urgency to finally begin to deal with the crises jeopardizing our country’s future.

    Citizen legislators could work outside the political establishment to bring a fresh perspective to how burdensome government policies negatively affect people’s everyday lives.

They could apply their practical experience to solving our nation’s toughest problems, and because they would only serve a short time, citizen legislators could approach solving problems with a sense of urgency instead of kicking the can down the road for the sake of political security.

Support for term limits is bipartisan. Another Gallup survey showed that 75 percent of voters — Republicans and Democrats alike — back legislation limiting the time people can serve at the highest levels of government. Given the polarizing climate crippling Washington today, there is something to be said about an idea that overwhelmingly unites both parties.

Enacting term limits will be an uphill battle because those currently in power thrive on the status quo. There is growing support in Congress, however, for term limits and many members on both sides are committed to going forward, no matter how long it takes.

Career politicians created this moment of crisis America faces today. They aren’t the ones who are going to solve it.

Term limits will help break this vicious cycle of gridlock that is stopping Congress from getting things done. It’s time to finally make sure Washington is more concerned about the next generation than the next election.