This Fall's REAL Choice isn't Democrat or Republican

>> Thursday, February 16, 2012

As you will read below, it's between "Economy and Liberty, or Profusion and Servitude." One is in the spirit of the Constitutional, one is not. That's what American's have to decide this fall. It's not about Obama, per se, but which direction we want to see America headed.

Obama's Budget Blather
Will Republicans reverse Liberty's slide into the socialist abyss?
--by Mark Alexander, Thursday, February 16, 2012

[excerpt]
More likely, the 2012 election will be a referendum on Republican leadership unless they renew their commitment to abide by their constitutional oaths, and, accordingly, make the case that the only path to restore our economy and ensure prosperity for all is to, first and foremost, restore the integrity of our Constitution.

If the federal government collected taxes only for expenditures specifically authorized by our Constitution, our nation would
not be on the verge of economic insolvency and dissolution. The only way to restore Rule of Law is if John Boehner and his fellow Republicans in the House and Senate will comport with their oaths.

As Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, "The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife." Jefferson understood the consequences of unbearable debt, and insisted, "We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."


It's not just a Republican verses Democrat debate this fall. It's the Constitution verses (as Jefferson put it) Servitude... Or insolvency. To my mind, they're both different sides of the same coin.

20 comments:

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 16, 2012 at 5:38 PM  

This is just wrong. Why do you have this almost religious reverence for the Constitution? The Founding Fathers weren't angels, they weren't even in harmonious accord on some of the principles enshrined in their document.

When they wrote the Constitution, shipping tariffs were the primary funding source for the federal government, because the US didn't have a central banking system, no Wall Street, no national banks of any sort.

For the Founding Fathers, interstate commerce was a train of wagons carrying bourbon from Tennessee into Kentucky. Today we have millions of trucks moving goods from China and California across the nation to Atlanta in a week. And whole new lines of business like insurance that weren't even conceived of by Thomas Jefferson.

And the biggest reason of all that the Constitution can no longer be the sole blueprint of the nation is the Civil War. The Civil war changed the relationship between the states and the federal government as envisioned by Jefferson, Franklin, Adams. They saw strong states and a weak consensus federal gov't. The Civil War proved that such a union could not stand as the states threatened to split over the slavery, and economic policies. The Civil War as much as anything was a fight between the power of the US federal government and the States.

Today we have a strong federal system and weaker state governments. It has been that way for almost 150 years. If you ask people what they are today, they say Americans before they say Floridians, or Californians, or even New Yorkers.

So when you advocate "expenditures specifically authorized by our Constitution" you are saying "Let's go back to the days when the federal government was a joke and real power rested in the state Capitals." And down that path really does lie the dissolution of the United States of America.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 16, 2012 at 5:44 PM  

I also want to say secondarily that a country's government must work for the citizens of that nation.

The government of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, has pillars that support our current government, but the specific they advocated would not suit Americans of today.

We have the government we have because citizens demanded each new service and expenditure. We want our food to be safe, we want our skies to be free of junk flying machines, we want old people not starving in their homes, we want children to have health insurance, we want education, and national parks, and clean rivers, etc.

Show me the majority of the country that wants to roll back these services.

Show me why government must stop providing these services against the wishes of the majority of the citizenry.

Marshall Art February 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM  

"Show me why government must stop providing these services against the wishes of the majority of the citizenry."

Have you seen the size of our debt lately?

Jim February 16, 2012 at 10:16 PM  

The prime drivers of the debt over the past decade are Bush era tax cuts, middle eastern wars, and the recession. Apparently the debt didn't matter while Bush-Cheney were in charge. Cheney said "Deficits don't matter."

It will take time to dig out of the debt we have. The worst thing we can do now is to go Greek.

BenT - the Unbeliever,  February 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM  

"Have you seen the size of our debt lately?"

So a short term fiscal imbalance means a radical restructuring of our social landscape? America's debt ration was even higher after WWII yet we didn't have to leave seniors to shiver in homes with no heat and children to starve without free school lunches.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM  

"Show me why government must stop providing these services against the wishes of the majority of the citizenry."

Have you read the Constitution lately?

What is the point in having a constitution; a codified list of rights and regulations by which a nation must operate, if it's governing bodies; the house of representatives and the senate-- and let's not forget the presidency --routinely ignore it?


"A country's government must work for the citizens of that nation"

Yes! But they must be bound by their oaths to the Constitution, and must abide by its strictures. Chaos ensues otherwise; which is why Washington is such a craptastically out-of-touch, Never Never Land, town.

How can you look at Greece and not be the slightest bit nervous about our financial trajectory?


"Citizens demanded each new service and expenditure"

No, they did not. The citizenry did not, en masse, rise up and demand anything of the sort. Politicians saw a "need" and gave citizens that to which they were not constitutionally entitled give, let alone the citizenry to receive-- now the "citizens" are dependent upon government, rather than self-reliant and entrepreneurial. They are, as Rep. Allen West said, beneficiaries of a new, government-sponsored form of "soft" slavery. I don't believe many politicians care one whit about the needs of the citizenry, so much as I believe they care more about their own careers, and amassing personal wealth. Nor do I see that statement as the slightest bit cynical, or in saying politicians use the boons they've given us... these "entitlements"... to keep power in their hands, and the "citizens" on the plantation.


"Show me the majority of the country that wants to roll back these services."

Why would slaves ever wish to leave a plantation when they are so richly provided for, without even the threat of hard, demeaning labor?


"Show [you] why government must stop providing these services against the wishes of the majority of the citizenry."

ANY government that wishes to call itself constitutional, and uniquely American... namely, OUR government. That's why.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM  

And this here is perhaps the most disturbing comment in this exchange...

"The Constitution can no longer be the sole blueprint of the nation."

What other blueprint would you suggest? Perhaps the oft enshrined in liberal "politi-speak": From each according to his ability, to each according to his need? Because democrats are already there.

Do you really want to go there? A Marx-styled government? Push our nation in a direction that has already shown itself to be an abject failure? Everywhere it's been tried? Including Europe?

I found this: [lot's of interesting facts here as well]

"It really is hard to find the words to describe the true horror of the national debt. The U.S. government has been on the greatest debt binge in all of human history, and a day of reckoning is coming that is going to be so painful that it is going to shock America to the core. We have lived so far above our means for so long that none of us really has any concept of what "normal" is like anymore. The United States has enjoyed the greatest party in the history of the world, but now this decades-old party is ending and the bills are coming due. It was Dick Cheney who famously said that "deficits don't matter". Well, try telling that to the nation of Greece right about now. The horror that Greece is just beginning to experience is a preview of what is going to happen to us as well. Only when it happens to us it is going to be so much worse, because when we go down we are going to bring the entire global financial system down with us."

Yes, I liked Cheney as VP, but even people I like say stupid things. And anyone now saying this debt problem the U.S. has can be managed by spending more and more is, like Dick Cheney, speaking sheer stupidity.

Then there's this from The American Spectator

"by Election Day 2012, Obama will have doubled the national debt, in just one term of office. In that one term, he added as much to the national debt as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined!

But that is just the warm up if the voters are stupid enough to extend the lease on the White House for the Marxist infiltrator on Election Day. By 2022, Obama's own budget projects that national debt held by the public to total nearly $20 trillion! That would be the highest national debt in world history. The gross federal debt, which includes the money the taxpayers owe in the Social Security trust fund and similar federal debts, is projected in Obama's own budget to total nearly $26 trillion by 2022! That is projected to be just over 100 percent of GDP that year."


Were we to return to operating under the strictures of our Constitution-- the law of the land, by the way --we could save ourselves the pain to come. And it is coming, thanks in no small part to politicians who care more about their retaining power than fulfilling their oaths.

But seriously, what other documents would you suggest the U.S. adopt, since the constitution is clearly, in your mind, inadequate to the times?

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM  

"It will take time to dig out of the debt we have. The worst thing we can do now is to go Greek."

Two things. First, Obama has failed in his promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. He has, in fact, doubled it. Furthermore, no sane thinker can possibly believe we will ever "dig out" of this debt, especially seeing as how our national debt will increase to 20-22 trillion by 2020-- in just another seven years.

Second. We're on our way there, Jim. We're Greece in just a few short years if Obama is allowed to continue his reign of terror on the U.S. economy.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM  

I wonder how many seniors shivered in their homes, or how many children starved because they couldn't eat at school..... in 1850? It wasn't government's job to provide heating and lunches then, and it's not government's job to provide these things today.

What you want is government to provide everything, for free, that you cannot provide for yourself. That's not how it's supposed be. There is no freedom in that direction, my friend.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM  

"A short term fiscal imbalance"

Short term? I promise you, if Obama wins reelection, the debt will increase... dramatically. It will not be short term, it will be Greece. Believe me, or not-- as you wish, but this debt problem will not be 'short term' no matter who wins the White House. This debt is not going away anytime soon, and certainly not as long as any president or congress continues to pass budgets with built in deficits.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM  

And this here is perhaps the most disturbing comment in this exchange...
"The Constitution can no longer be the sole blueprint of the nation."
What other blueprint would you suggest?"


WOW! Congratulations! You win the golden medal for out of context quote!

You took a phrase of mine, turned it into a stand alone sentence and divorced it from the entire paragraph and argument I was making to go off on you own imaginary stawman rant.

In fact unlike you, I don't think our government needs violently restructuring. When you talk of your utopian visions where government concerns itself with only national security and sexual intercourse, I feel compelled to point out that the Constitution as written is not compatible with the continuation of a United States.

Even the framers of the Constitution recognized that the Nation would need more laws than what were enumerated in the original document, otherwise why would we even need a Legislature? To make more laws.

And of course don't forget the Bill of Rights. Do you think Jefferson, Washington, Franklin and Adams were livid when they had just finished writing this semi-divine perfect document for the ordering of a God-ordained nation when the citizens demanded such frippery and Freedom of Speech and Arms and Trial by Jury, only two years later?

Pining for a return to the "original constitution" is a crutch for those not wanting to engage with the laws, regulations and policies of running a modern, diverse, complex nation like today's USA.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM  

"We're Greece in just a few short years if Obama is allowed to continue his reign of terror on the U.S. economy."

Here's a few simple paragraphs from TIME
Greece faces three problems. First, it has an uncompetitive economy that cannot generate growth. Its labor is too expensive, it exports few products, and its people are not rich enough to power an expansion. This is not a recent problem. Greece has never been an economic dynamo.

Greece also has a long history of borrowing too much and being unable to pay its debts. Over the past 179 years, it has been in default about 50% of the time. Its debts are huge and could not be paid under any plausible scenario. Finally, because it is part of the euro zone, Greece does not have control over its currency, which means it cannot make its goods cheaper on world markets. (See how the U.S. can avoid its own Greek tragedy.)

The U.S., by contrast, remains one of the world's most competitive economies. It is home to the leading companies in the most advanced industries, houses the largest capital markets and continues to spawn new companies and, indeed, whole new industries. It exports everything from aircraft to entertainment to health care products around the world. Its demographics are strikingly healthy: it will be the only rich country in the world to actually increase its population over the next 30 years — which means more young workers, producers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers. It also has control over its currency. Finally, America's credit history is impeccable. The U.S. has never defaulted on its debt.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2080624,00.html#ixzz1mfpskSkF


Why is it conservatives for the last 15 years have been the party of "America is Doomed!" What happened to optimism and Ronald Reagan's Morning in America. I may have strongly opposed the policies of George W. Bush, but I never gave in to despair about the future of the country like EL and Marshall.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM  

"I feel compelled to point out that the Constitution as written is not compatible with the continuation of a United States."

This is pure conjecture on your part. Our constitution, as it stands today, is quite compatible with the continuation of a United States... as described by the aforementioned document. Nowhere in the constitution, as it stands today, is there a right to a social security check, EBT card, Unemployment check or, for that matter, a welfare check. That we have these programs today, to my mind is, by and large, a good thing; some folk genuinely need help. Yet just because these entitlements serve a 'good' purpose (or could, if properly managed and judiciously doled) doesn't make them constitutional, or morally right.

I'm not advocating that this nation wholly revert to a circa 1890's constitutional stance-- I know this to be an impossibility for reasons to which you've already alluded, and more. My concern, and the concern of many more like me, is government's-- primarily liberalism-driven government's --penchant for expanding the scope and rolls of programs and recipients when, constitutionally speaking, government is not given a mandate to do so.

This whole idea of 'cradle to the grave' governmental supplementation of/intervention in damn near every aspect of American's lives is not only unconstitutional, but it's unsustainable, and dangerous. Unsustainable because government, in the end, will end up spending more on entitlements than those duties it DOES have a mandate to spend upon; and dangerous because when the money runs out so does the patience of the masses-- can't anyone see what's happening in Greece!? Are people in this country so deluded as to think what's happening there can never happen here!?

Furthermore, and to reiterate, this desire to give something to everyone is at its core, in the liberal mindset, an attempt to buy the electorate. It's bread and circuses. I've asked it before, but I'll ask again... What happens the day after more than 50% of the electorate receives some form of government assistance? An irrevocable majority of one party over another. That is the beginning of dictatorship, my friend. That is what I want to see this nation avoid.

Entitlements need to be reformed if entitlements are to be secured for another generation. One party seeks to do just that, while another uses fear to sustain and build momentum toward the inevitable disastrous end.

In the ideal America, entitlements, as described by the current spate of government sponsored giveaways, would be offered and controlled by individual states. My biggest hope for the future of this nation is a return to the days when the states held more power that the federal government in determining their course, a state of individual existence described by the tenth amendment. As a result of the federal usurpation of states rights we now live in an America where, as you said, "people... today... say [they are] Americans before they say Floridians, or Californians, or even New Yorkers." On the surface I see nothing wrong with calling myself an American before a citizen of any given state. But your implication is one that denies state's rights in favor of federal control over every aspect of American lives.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM  

Not despair, Ben. Concern.

I can see the house down the street is burning to the ground. I can see that the wind is blowing sparks in my direction. I see the fire catching to next nearest house. I'm asking someone to call the fire department. But all my neighbors are laughing, saying... "You're over-reacting! It'll never get this far. Someone has called the fire department by now, and they'll get here soon enough. There's nothing to worry about; no need to grab the valuables and begin moving out of destruction's path."

Hey, I didn't like Clinton all that much either, but this Obama character? I can't imaging Clinton EVER being this stupid.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM  

"This is pure conjecture on your part. Our constitution, as it stands today, is quite compatible with the continuation of a United States... as described by the aforementioned document."

Um...No. The weak federal powers enumerated in the Constitution is considered one of the reasons why the Southern states felt they could secede from the Union.

A return to strong States Rights would lead to such a situation again. California and New York would see their money leaving their states to be redistributed to poorer, less populated rural states like Alabama & Mississippi. Or deeply conservative states like Texas would feel they could ignore federal laws (like Gov. Perry recently suggested).

The interpretation of the Constitution that you support would lead to the dissolution of the fifty United States.

BenT - the unbeliever,  February 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM  

"What happens the day after more than 50% of the electorate receives some form of government assistance? An irrevocable majority of one party over another."

This seems to be linchpin argument, so lets dismantle it to it's bones.

If you got married and had a child you, EL, would be one of the "Lucky Duckies". The Earned Income Tax Credit would mean that every year when you filed your federal income taxes your refund would be larger than what you'd paid and you'd get money back from Uncle Sam.

Can you imagine such a situation happening? Would you suddenly become a liberal democrats if it did? Of course you'd still have to work and pay income taxes all year to get that "lucky ducky" refund in January. And you'd still have to pay state taxes, and sales taxes, and social security taxes, and medicare taxes, and tag fees...none of which you'd get refunded. But hey all you need is a wife and child to become one of those shiftless lay-about suckling at the governments teat.

Can you read the sarcasm? Just because someone gets a refund doesn't exempt them from working, doesn't make them a liberal, doesn't make the politicians work for them, it doesn't even make them a voter.

ELAshley February 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM  

"The interpretation of the Constitution that you support would lead to the dissolution of the fifty United States."

That is simply nuts. Especially the part earlier in about California having its monies 'redistributed' to poorer states. Isn't that what the government is already doing? Taking from the rich and 'redistributing' to the poor?

Of course it is.

Jim February 17, 2012 at 7:29 PM  

by Election Day 2012, Obama will have doubled the national debt, in just one term of office. In that one term, he added as much to the national debt as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined!

The big LIE. Hear it enough and you believe it or else you are a LIAR.

Unless my math is bad $11T to $16T is neither doubling the debt nor more than the debt of all previous presidents.

It's a LIE.

Obama's own budget projects that national debt held by the public to total nearly $20 trillion!

Not very helpful without the context of GDP.

First, Obama has failed in his promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. He has, in fact, doubled it.

Ah, you got the talking points, I see. When Obama made that promise, nobody knew the depths of the recession.

But "doubled it"? That is ANOTHER LIE.

Bush's last deficit was $1.7T. Obama's 2012 deficit is projected to be $1.6T which if I'm not mistaken is actually lower.

I can't imaging Clinton EVER being this stupid.

Unless there are any interns around.

This whole idea of 'cradle to the grave' governmental supplementation of/intervention in damn near every aspect of American's lives is not only unconstitutional, but it's unsustainable, and dangerous.

Oh and it's also a myth. Nobody advocates or expects that.

Furthermore, and to reiterate, this desire to give something to everyone is at its core, in the liberal mindset, an attempt to buy the electorate.

More right-wing myth.

ELAshley February 20, 2012 at 8:31 AM  

It's a LIE! ...that Jim has any ability to read, let alone understand what he's read, OR believe anything that doesn't come from the lips of a liberal democrat.

Had he read-- and understood --he'd have his vaunted context for the statement that Obama will have (note the future tense in 'will have') doubled the national debt by the end of 2012.

The relevant passage: "President Obama promised when he was running for office in 2008 that he would cut the budget deficit in half by the end of his first term. But the budget deficit projected for 2012 in the budget he just released is $1.327 trillion. The deficit in 2008 was $458.6 billion, less than half one trillion, the former all time record. As the Wall Street Journal explained yesterday, Obama's new budget includes: "Another deficit of $1.327 trillion in 2012, also an increase from 2011, and making four years in a row above $1.29 trillion. The last time that happened? Never.

"Those four consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits under President Obama, the only trillion dollar deficits in world history, added a total of $5.33 trillion to the national debt held by the public in President Obama's one term in office alone. Obama's own budget projects the national debt held by the public to total $11.6 trillion for 2012, double the national debt of $5.8 trillion in 2008! Consequently, by Election Day 2012, Obama will have doubled the national debt, in just one term of office. In that one term, he added as much to the national debt as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined!"


If you're not even going to bother reading the articles to which I link then keep your bleeding mouth shut. If you do read them, I suggest you sue the school district that claims responsibility for your education. It did you a grave disservice.

Jim February 20, 2012 at 2:26 PM  

It's a LIE! ...that Jim has any ability to read, let alone understand what he's read, OR believe anything that doesn't come from the lips of a liberal democrat.

Yada yada yada.

I can read and understand quite well what I read. What I read comes from the US Treasury and the CBO, not the lips of any liberal Democrat.

Where you and your sources go WRONG is that you calculate the "deficit" based on the budget whereas I calculate the budget based on the difference in the national debt year to year.

Prior to the Obama administration, Bush funded the wars in the middle east with off-budget "emergency spending" measures. This was a nice trick and made the deficit seem smaller than it was.

The difference in the debt between 2007 and 2008 was $1T, not $459B. The difference between 2008 and 2009 was $1.9T

I can read and I can add, too!

And I read that the national debt in 2008 was NOT $5.8T; it was $10T.

Obama will have doubled the national debt

While this is demonstrably untrue, it is also untrue that Obama has been the prime driver of the deficit and debt. Credit much of that to the recession, the middle east wars, the tax cuts and Medicare Part D.

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