Friday, January 10, 2014

Carthage Must Be Destroyed!

By Rich Kozlovich

In 2013 the United States Congress was criticized for not getting things done. The Congress “only” passed 65 new laws. Of course we have to understand that one year they passed over three hundred new laws.

What is really important to understand is when new laws are passed the baton of power is passed to the permanent bureaucracies, whose function is to make even more laws called – “rules”! In 2013 there was an average of 56 new regulations resulting from each law passed totaling 3659 new laws called – “rules”! That multiplier has been as low as 12 per new law, but that was in 2006 when Congress passed 321 new laws. If you average out the multipliers over the last ten years the average multiplier is 25.36.

So what’s the rest of the story? Last year the states passed over 40,000 new laws. If we make a broad assumption that the average multiplier applies to the states we now have a potential of 1,014,400 new laws called – “rules!” Rules created by unaccountable bureaucrats, with their own agendas and views of reality, and who, generally speaking, went to college and then into government.

During the first five years of the Obama administration regulatory costs increased by $500 billion dollars, “with $112 billion in regulatory compliance costs in 2013 alone, and predicted that the burden would continue to increase this year to as much as $143 billion”.  The federal registry, where all the regulations are listed, contain 80,224 pages this year alone.  It’s estimated that in ten years at the current rate of regulatory growth there will generate approximately 900,000 new pages of regulations, which will be on top of the approximately 800,000 pages of regulations passed in the previous ten years.

All of these regulations do one thing for sure - create jobs – for non-productive bureaucrats.  It took government employees 10.38 billion hours to do “the paperwork for the federal government in 2013, and will take 78,000 full-time employees to complete the additional paperwork.”

We also have to look at who benefits from laws and the regulations they generate.  In this kind of hyper-regulatory, high tax economy many of these laws and regulations are promoted by businesses that want to make it harder for companies that will be, or are, competitors.  As a result “all aspects of business, entrepreneurship degenerates into “bribery and diplomacy.” Instead of focusing on creating value for customers, entrepreneurs spend their time lobbying for favors or to avoid penalties, trying to discern the government’s next move, anticipating or adapting to the newest regulations.”

But this was to be expected from a party that loves big government and “more” laws and regulations - all the better to control our lives.  What about the administrations that have been considered conservative, anti-big government and opposed to all these regulations?  There were more regulations passed during George W. Bush’s administration than any president since Richard Nixon.  Furthermore this idea there is some invisible divide between the left and the so-called right regarding regulations and the promotion of the all powerful state is an illusion:

“The modern regulatory state is a bipartisan enterprise: During the half-century before President Obama's election, the greatest growth in regulation came under Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.  And the Bush administration set the stage for many of the Obama initiatives that Republicans are now attacking. Dodd-Frank's policy of designating some financial firms as "too big to fail" is a codification of the Paulson-Bernanke bailout approach of 2008. It was the Bush Treasury Department that first proposed a financial consumer-protection agency, and the Bush Environmental Protection Agency that first proposed regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Obama energy rules were authorized — and in some cases, such as the light-bulb ban, required — by a 2007 statute that President Bush vigorously championed.”

What about Richard M. Nixon?  Nixon was a strange man and still an enigma to many, and understandably so, because Nixon was the first to advocate what was called a New Federalism, which would ‘devolve’ power to state and local governments.  But he was the first one to jump on the environmental band wagon promoted by the first Earth Day in 1970.  He believed this was a precursor of public concern and he wanted to benefit from it politically.

Eventually he signed the Clear Air Act, the Clear Water Act the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, requiring environmental impact statements for federal projects.

He created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  All of which create virtual lava flows of scientifically dubious regulations, creating outrageous burdens on the American people, and the American economy.

Furthermore, all these laws and agencies give rise to lawsuits by activists that plague economic development with lawsuits, legal costs, studies and delays.

What is the cost of all these federal regulations to the nation’s people?  One point eight trillion dollars a year!  And I have no idea what kind of costs of all these state laws impose on society.  So what is the solution - at least at the federal level?

No one can fix this piecemeal because it is a foundational issue and until that foundational problem is recognized it will never be solved. So what is that foundational issue? Passage of the 16th and 17th amendments in 1913, which laid the foundation for our doom.

The 16th amendment gave the federal government the right to tax income.  This gave them the right to confiscate an unending amount of society’s money, [called their fair share] and spend it like drunken sailors. That turned the federal government into an insatiable beast that can never be fed to satisfaction, creating debt that is threatening the stability of not only the nation, but the world.

The 17th amendment changed how Senators are chosen. The Founding Fathers were determined to prevent the federal government from becoming an all too powerful entity that was centralized and out of control. In order to do this they created a government that wasn’t supposed to do very much creating a true balance of power between the central government and the state governments. In those days the word ‘state’ didn’t mean province, it meant an independent nation. So the Senators were chosen by the state governments to be ambassadors to the federal government in order to stop power grabbing by the central government.

After passage of the 17th amendment they would be elected by popular vote, exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid, because that was already what the House of Representatives was for. That amendment destroyed the balance of power, the 10th amendment notwithstanding. As long as the 17th exists the 10th is meaningless, and by misusing the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution the federal government can overturn any and all local authority, and individual rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

“The deterioration of the Constitution’s separation of, and balance of, powers means that regulators and bureaucrats now make most laws……The executive branch increasingly imposes its will: President Obama and his administration repeatedly say they are not going to wait for Congress…...”

What about the Supreme Court?  Don’t they understand how the Commerce Clause is being misused?  Until the Rehnquist court in 1995 SCOTUS never saw a law that exceeded Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause.  In fact, they held the view that no matter how slight the impact might be on commerce it would now be subject to federal control.  If there ever was a system for abuse and tyranny this was it, and now the states were powerless to do anything about it.

Roman Senator Cato the Elder was born in 234 BC and believed that Carthage was too dangerous to be allowed to exist. Therefore he gave speeches ending in the phrase [no matter the topic of the speech] “Carthago delenda est”, “Carthage Must be Destroyed". The 16th and 17th amendments are our modern Carthage – too dangerous to exist.   This is foundational. The only fix is the repeal of the 16th and 17th amendments.   After that - everything else will fall into place.   But first we must be willing to recognize the 16th and 17th amendments really are the enemy - our modern Carthage!



Limbaugh: Obama 'Is an Absolute Economic Idiot'

I think Obama is an empty suit generally  -- but with a nice voice and clever speechwriters.  When he is off the leash he disgraces himself.  I can perhaps forgive him for bowing to the Emperor of Japan.  It could show proper respect for an ancient civilization and a brilliant people.  But bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia was just gross.  The Saudis are just brigands.  And his handshake with Raul Castro at the Mandela funeral was also an embarrassment  -- JR

Rush Limbaugh Tuesday called President Obama an "Absolute Economic Idiot" at the top of his syndicated radio program.

Limbaugh was referring to remarks made by the president earlier in the day at the White House in an effort to extend unemployment insurance.  President Obama said that, "Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs and voting against it does not."

"This guy is an absolute economic idiot.  He's sitting here.  He's touting the benefits of unemployment insurance for the last twenty minutes.  And, the first thing that comes to my mind is, 'Wait a minute, I thought we had this great economic recovery going because of him.'  And because of his astute, brilliant policies.  I thought the president had given us an economic recovery, and we're starting to come back here.

"They're reporting fourth quarter growth at four percent, did you hear that?  By the way, they're using new metrics to measure; it's nowhere near growing at four percent.  But that's what they're saying.  And in the midst of all of this economic growth, and all of this economic rebound, the most important thing is avoiding another government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits.

"The president just said that unemployment benefits actually create new jobs.  Now stop and think about that for a second.  Unemployment benefits create new jobs.  What is unemployment insurance?  It is paying people not to work.  Let's change the term.  Let's get rid of 'unemployment insurance' and let's call it 'paying people not to work.'

"The President of the United States just said to resounding applause, well I'm not sure that got applause, the only thing that's really gotten any applause in the White House, he's got all kinds of people standing behind him, is when he said 'we can't dare have another government shutdown.'  That got a standing ovation.  So, it tells you that kind of people in the room.  Anyway, paying people not to work can grow the economy.  Paying people not to work can create jobs."



Senate should reject race-baiter Adegbile from Civil Rights post

Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging Senate rejection of Debo Adegbile as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division:

“The Senate should reject Debo Adegbile from being confirmed as the next Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

“Adegbile is best known as the man who headed the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s voluntary racial assault on the integrity of a dead Philadelphia police office in a quest to get his murderer off of death row.

“The attack on the character of the dead, defenseless officer was so egregious that the Fraternal Order of Police has come out against the nomination writing:

‘We are aware of the tried and true shield behind which activists of Adegbile’s ilk are wont to hide – that everyone is entitled to a defense; but surely you would agree that a defense should not be based upon falsely disparaging and savaging the good name and reputation of a lifeless police officer.  Certainly any legal scholar can see the injustice and absence of ethics in this cynical race-baiting approach to our legal system.’

“Adegbile has also supported Equal Employment Opportunity Commission efforts to prevent the usage of criminal background checks to screen potential new hires.  As the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Office, Adegbile would be in a position to bring legal action against employers who engaged in the commonsense practice of ensuring that convicted thieves weren’t hired to oversee inventory or rapists weren’t serving as parking attendants.

“The nomination of Adegbile is an affront to the concept of moving toward a non-racial society, and he should be rejected on a bi-partisan basis by the United States Senate.”



Owning Up to the Obamacare Lies:  Liberals are finally admitting, quietly, that conservative critiques were right all along.

Those who have elected to keep close tabs on the reactions to Obamacare’s blotchy rollout will presumably have noticed that it has been marked by admissions of guilt. The latest such confession comes from The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber, who bluntly conceded yesterday that “Obamacare actually paves the way toward single payer.” Pushing back against Michael Moore’s unsettling criticisms of the law, Schreiber tweeted:

"Dear liberals bummed about Obamacare: Don't sweat it. It's going to get us to a single-payer system before long."

This, Scheiber made sure to explain, was not an accident, and nor was it merely a dose of post hoc optimism. Obamacare, he claimed, is in fact “a deceptively sneaky way to get the health care system both of us really want” — that is, single payer. And “Republicans are in some sense playing into the trap Obamacare laid for them.”

I honestly do not know whether Scheiber’s prediction is correct. When government wishes to expand itself, it is tough for people to resist, and the instances are legion of people who wanted a little change but were subjected instead to a lot. Still, I suspect that this will not be the case with Obamacare. For a start, the rollicking disaster that has been the law’s launch will now be projected into every home each and every time an expansion of government is suggested. And, disappointingly for the movement that spawned the change, Americans appear to be reacting to it by concluding that government should henceforth have less — not more — to do with health care. Either way, whatever happens in the future, I do know this: When Republicans have written their own version of Scheiber’s column, complaining that Obamacare is but a “deceptively sneaky way to get” to single payer, they have been immediately denounced for hysteria and mendacity and invited to remove the tin foil.



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