Monthly Archives: March 2010

Update: The Tipping Point

In an effort to prove they are part of the mainstream media and are totally clueless about the national situation, Parade Magazine published the following story last Sunday (3/28/10). They also ran an online poll for Americans to respond to. Both were on the subject of our out of control spending and associated national debt. 

Just Sunday I wrote a post on the subject in an attempt to bring focus on the potential disastrous effects the debt could have on our struggling economy. Later I found this article and was blown away by the nonchalant attitude of the writer with regard to the magnitude of the problem. See Parade article below: 

Parade Magazine 3/28/10 – Rebecca Webber 

Does America Owe Too Much?

Critics of government spending are voicing alarm about the growing national debt. In January, the U.S. public debt was $7.5 trillion—about 53% of the country’s total economic output, also known as gross domestic product (GDP). By comparison, Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 192% and Saudi Arabia’s was 20% in 2009, according to the latest figures available. Economists use the ratio of public debt to GDP as an indicator of a country’s economic health. So what do these numbers mean? Is America’s debt level dangerous?

The short answer is, “No, but it might be soon.” A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that public-debt levels become perilous when they reach 90% of GDP. By that point, interest rates may be higher as investors demand greater returns on federal bonds, while massive interest payments detract from key government functions. “The interest can get so burdensome that the country can’t afford to repair its highways or educate its children or provide other essential services,” says Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. “You become a much weaker nation.” According to the Congressional Budget Office, U.S. public debt could approach 100% of GDP by 2020, given current spending levels and obligations for entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Debt Around the World
America‘s public debt is now 53% of GDP. Here’s how other countries stack up.

France 80% of GDP
Canada 72%
U.K. 69%
India 60%
China 18%

So seriously, the debt level is not dangerous yet – but will be soon? How bad is bad? America – it is time to do something besides worry… like STOP spending money we don’t have! Maybe if there were some still serious journalists working somewhere they would use the space to give this issue appropriate coverage. It really doesn’t make me feel better to see that we are in the same boat with France or India. 

They also included a link to a poll you could vote on. Here are the results of their on line poll: 

Parade Magazine Poll Results

Do you fear that our national debt will hurt our economy? 

Yes 93%

No 7%  

Thank God, Americans are smarter than the writer! 

To read my original post which includes several interesting charts and analysis of the national debt, go to:  The Tipping Point http://wp.me/pv8jP-jO 

If you would like to see the real time debt clock, go to:  US Debt & Population Clocks http://wp.me/Pv8jP-6z

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!

Howard Dean: “This is a form of Redistribution”

At last they are starting to admit what their real agenda is… if you haven’t figured it out yet the goals are socialism and redistribution of wealth! The rats are no longer afraid to come out of the dark.    

Shortly after taking office Obama told us what he was going to do, but most people refused to believe or failed to listen: 

If  you still have any doubts that the Democrat/Progressive Party equals Marxist/Socialism, let former DNC Chair Howard Dean explain it to you:

Communitarianism is the philosophy of community organizers. Ultimately this leads to Communism. The President, many in his administration and Congress clearly subscribe to the Cloward/Piven school of thought. They are a threat to the original Constitutional Republic put in place by the founding fathers. 

So what debate is Howard Dean referring to… we never had a debate of capitalism versus socialism. During the campaign, when Joe the plumber asked the President about his plan, Obama offered the “spread the wealth around” comment. When those opposed to the concept tried to make it an issue, it was shut down and ridiculed by the media. Conservatives across the country would welcome a debate on the Constitution, capitalism and freedom versus Socialism, centralized government and “nanny state” control. 

In a recent appearance on Squawk Box, Dean explained how the Healthcare Reform Bill is a form of redistribution of wealth.

Or Max Baucus who says this is an income shift…

Notice that the idea of redistribution some how never quite reaches the political class who so desperately believe it is the “right medicine” for the rest of us. Congress has balked at giving up their “Cadillac health coverage”. They are not at all interested in joining the rest of us in the public pool. Maybe the Congress, the President and his staff, all of whom feel that they should decide what appropriate compensation for executives should be, would rethink their salaries. After all, since it is a privilege to serve, maybe they should earn a salary more in line with the national median income of $50,000 per year.  

Each day more and more of the radical left show their true colors. When will the country wake up? Yes, there is growing awareness but the clock is ticking and time is running out. With each bill they pass and each regulation they change the Progressives are pushing us down a path from which recovery will become increasingly more difficult. 

Make your voice heard. Demand the return to a Constitutional Republic, fee market capitalism and American liberty. 

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left! 

“If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what’s at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.” – Ronald Reagan 

“Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom. What brought America back? The American people brought us back — with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.”  – Ronald Reagan

Hey, Stupak! Remember this?

“In the present form, the Senate health care bill is going nowhere in the House of Representatives,” Mr. Stupak said. “Not only do the members of the House of Representatives do not agree with the Senate bill — the process by which the Senate bill was passed, the special deals, there is no member that wants to vote for that.”

On March 20th, in a last minute deal negotiated with the White House, as the House was entering the final stages of debate on the health care bill, Rep. Bart Stupak (D) MI, convinced President Obama to sign an executive order — reaffirming the health bill’s “consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion”. The order supposedly bans the government from spending federal money to pay for abortions through plans offered on the insurance exchanges created under the measure.

The deal was the key to gaining the votes of about a half-dozen anti-abortion Democrats needed to secure passage of the Healthcare Reform bill.

So here is the kicker, only 14 months ago President Obama signed another executive order to deal with abortion funding…

On Jan. 23, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order reversing the ban that prohibits funding to international family planning groups that provide abortions

Under the “Mexico City Policy,” established by Ronald Reagan in 1984, the U.S. government could not provide funding for family planning services to clinics or groups that offered abortion-related services overseas. The policy banned recipients of U.S. foreign aid from using abortion as a family planning tool.

Organizations which received government funding, were required to “agree as a condition of their receipt of federal funds that such organizations would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

This is not the first time the policy has been overturned. The widely debated policy was also overturned by President Clinton in 1993, but was reinstated by President Bush at the beginning of his term in 2001.

In a memo to USAID Bush said, “It is my conviction that taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions or advocate or actively promote abortion, either here or abroad.”

The Executive Order set off a furor among anti-abortion groups. Over two dozen members of Congress opposed to abortion joined the annual March for Life at the National Mall to warn that the President’s pro-choice position on abortion could lead to policies changes that would be unacceptable to the group.

Fast forward back to the present… can we really trust President Obama and his Progressive cronies? If Stupak believes he has made a deal that has terminated the threat of federally funded abortion, he’s nuts!

This President and his administration can not be trusted. They have repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to listen to the citizens of this country. They have an agenda to “fundamentally transform America” and that is what they are going to try to do. Consider these two arrogant quotes:

Nancy Pelosi: “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Valerie Jarrett, Sr. Obama Advisor: “Americans will learn to like the healthcare bill.”

We were promised “Hope and Change” and unprecedented transparency. We have gotten neither. We are a few pieces of legislation or regulation away from becoming a Socialist country. Our freedom is being taken away at every turn.

We need to decide if we are going to stand by and passively watch a radical far left administration put us on a path to socialism. Or will you fight back to stop it?

If you love our country; our freedom, our liberty and the American way of life – this is your wake up call! We are running out of time. Our freedom and sovereignty are at risk of being lost. It is happening, here and now in America because we take too much for granted. It is time for every citizen to defend America by engaging in their civic responsibility to participate in the democratic process and make their voice heard.

Restore the Republic, Reject Socialism and the Agenda of the Progressive Left!

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”. – Ronald Reagan

The Tipping Point

The passage of the Healthcare Reform bill has accelerated the country down the road to financial disaster. By 2018 (if we don’t get there sooner) we will arrive at the tipping point. Here are the facts:

  • The President’s 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years
  • This is $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) originally projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion.
  • The federal public debt was $6.3 trillion ($56,000 per household) when Obama took office. Today it stands at $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household). Based on the new projections it will reach $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) by 2020, according to the CBO.
  • This will raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation’s economic output by 2020 according to the Congressional Budget Office. This is up from 40 percent at the end of fiscal 2008.
  • This means we are following in the foot prints of Greece. Their socialist and labor dominated government is on the verge of economic collapse with a debt to GDP ratio of 115%.
  • Typically in countries with debt-to-GDP ratios “above 90 percent, median growth rates fall by 1% and average growth falls considerably more,” according economists Kenneth S. Rogoff of Harvard and Carmen M. Reinhart of the University of Maryland.
  • The slower the job growth, the more the administration wants to spend “to stimulate the economy”. Yet spending is exactly what we must avoid according to Moody’s who says continued government spending could cause the U.S. to lose our AAA credit rating.
  • The loss of our AAA credit rating would result in higher interest rates on government borrowing that funds our spending deficits. This of course increases the deficit, creating the proverbial ‘vicious circle”.

 So what is the “tipping point” that could happen in 2018? The term “tipping point” can be applied to any process in which, beyond a certain point, the rate at which the process evolves (for better or worse) increases dramatically. United States is on the verge of reaching its’ tipping point (and not for the better) as it applies to the federal budget.

The event that may have marked the approaching tipping point may have recently occurred. The first Baby Boomer—born January 1, 1946—has applied for early retirement at age 62 and received her first Social Security check. An upturn in the Medicare growth rate is expected to begin in 2011 when the first Baby Boomers begin turning 65. From that point on, the number of retirees will continue to increase while at the same time, the number of workers per retiree will more rapidly start to decrease. This will result in the inevitable collapse of the Medicare & Social Security pyramid scheme.

Look at the chart below which shows the current distribution of funds taken in by the government.

Three Categories of Spending: Mandatory Spending, Interest on the National Debt and Discretionary Spending

Categories of Federal Spending for Selected=

Note: The percentage of the budget devoted to interest on the national debt was abnormally high in 1985 (14%) due to higher interest rates that were prevalent during the 1980s. Also in 2008, the  ratio of workers to retirees declined to 3.3 to 1. In 1945 it was 41.9 to 1. Simply put we have been burning up the reserves for years and judgment day is coming.

The other big factor affecting the federal budget is tax revenues which decline in a down economy. We have lost millions of jobs which will come back very slowly, if at all. So far this has been a jobless recovery. Yet the government must find ways to generate revenue to keep up with its’ obligations – not the least of which is all the entitlements owed to citizens who were forced to fund Social Security and Medicare throughout their work lives. Couple this with interest on the debt, the new healthcare reform and the results will be disastrous.

Indicative of the economy’s ongoing labor problems, is the fact that first-time claims for unemployment benefits remain relatively high at 442,000 last week. The number was a decline of only 14,000 over the previous week’s seasonally adjusted number.

“That level of debt (the deficit in the 2011 federal budget) is extremely problematic, particularly given the upward debt path beyond the 10-year budget window,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

According to James R. Horney, a federal-budget analyst at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “The biggest part of the deficit difference (between the CBO and the OMB projections) is lower tax revenue due to the different economic assumptions. The administration assumes GDP and incomes will be higher, and that translates into higher revenues than CBO expects. Relatively small differences in economic assumptions can add up to big differences over 10 years.”

Ms. MacGuineas also added, “The proposed budget is woefully insufficient to achieve the president’s goal or the important fiscal goal of stabilizing the debt at a reasonable level in the medium and long term.” 

So here is the problem in a nutshell; many economists agree that the economy might get a short term bounce from all the corrective actions/interventions that the government has enacted. They project that it should result in a short downturn in the acceleration of the budget deficit but… they continue to fear the prospect of rising deficits later this decade, even after steady economic growth has returned and unemployment has declined. The CBO estimates that deficits will average more than 5% of GDP between 2016 -2020, even though they also project that the economy will be return to an average jobless rate of 5% during the same period.

Even Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, told reporters in March 2009, “Deficits in the, let’s say, 5 percent of GDP range would lead to rising debt-to-GDP ratios in a manner that would ultimately not be sustainable.”

The Spending Trend is not Sustainable

So who is going to pay for all this spending… if the administration has its’ way the “wealthy” and corporations are going to foot the bill. The question is how much more of the load can this group carry? Below is a table showing the current distribution of taxpayer burden. As you can see it is already disproportionate. 

Comparison of Share of Income to Income Taxes Paid in 2007

As this table clearly shows the top 10% of wage earners are now shouldering 61% of the total income tax load. Under a variety of ideas being discussed by the administration this imbalance will only get worse. To crack the top 10% you must have taxable income of just over $100K per year.

Wake up America! Many economists now say that the tipping point is in sight, with some saying that it could be as early as 2018. This means that there is still a small chance we can avert disaster… but time is running out. We must stop the spending and reduce taxes to stimulate the economy. A stimulated economy will result in government income growth but that alone will not fix the problem. Government can not be the sole guardian of the public. We must return to the model of government established by our founders. The federal government must let states and individuals become responsible for themselves. The federal government must focus on its’ enumerated constitutional powers. The states and local communities must take responsibility for everything else.

Healthcare Reform, rescue bills and all the entitlements are the straws that will break the camel’s back! The only way out of the mess we are in is to cut – spending and taxes – a lot! We have built a model that is unsustainable. We have to come to grips with the idea that big government is not the answer – it is the problem. The federal government must reduce its’ services to only those which are essential – national defense, infra structure and basic services. Social programs and luxury pork barrel spending must be eliminated. We ALL must sacrifice to fix this problem. Each citizen must be allowed to keep as much as possible so they can reinvest in their savings, in their communities or build businesses that will jump start the economy. If we don’t stop the wasteful spending now, we are headed for some form of socialistic government where we can all live together as peasants. 

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left, Stop Federal Spending! There is no other answer – Keynesian Economics do not work! We can not SPEND our way to prosperity! 

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan  

“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.” – Ronald Reagan

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill

 

Connect the Dots – Your Freedom has been Hijacked!

So here we are; today we are on the verge of the “fundamental transformation of America”. America is being stolen from its’ citizens and most remain unaware of the magnitude of what is happening. While many worry about how they are doing in their NCAA basketball pool or how they will spend their Sunday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a healthcare reform bill which will alter the course of life in America.

If you still do not believe that the scope of this bill has this much impact on our country let me connect the dots for you. Since the election of President Obama the following things have happened:

  • We allowed the passage of a $787B economic stimulus bill. This bill according to the administration would ensure that unemployment would stay below 8%. Since the bill passed unemployment has been well north of 9% and above 10% at times. Worse yet most of the money has been wasted on meaningless projects.
  • The federal government has taken over two-thirds of the domestic auto industry and then wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on the phony “Cash for Clunkers” auto stimulus plan that had more benefit for foreign automakers than the domestic ones.
  • The T.A.R.P. program passed at the end of the Bush administration was the first step in nationalizing the domestic banking system. Now the government is regulating all manner of financial transactions under the guise of protecting consumers. A big part of the original meltdown was the government’s excessive involvement in the housing market through Fannie and Freddie. Have they learned their lessons after that train wreck? No! Instead they are busy trying to reinflate the housing market.
  • Using the EPA the government has declared cabon dioxide a harmful gas and is on the path of regulating energy and the environment without regulation to further its’ agenda – bigger, more controlling government.
  • The FCC is working on a bailout plan for the mainstream media as well as regulations to destroy free speech. Clearly in their sights – the internet and conservative talk radio.
  • Recently the President signed a land grab order.  Using the “1906 Antiquities Act” he ordered the federalization of 10 million acres of land in the west. This land grab will inhibit our ability to gain energy independence by cutting off access to needed resources.
  • The President continues his focus on “climate change” and “Cap & Trade” rather than job creation and economic growth. Instead the Congress keeps upping the ante on entitlements such as free healthcare, education and extending of unemployment benefits. Today the the national debt stands at $12.6 trillion. The ratio of debt to GDP  is now 88.1%. Our interest on the debt is accumulating at rate of $191 billion per year against revenue of $2.2 trillion per year. Revenue won’t grow unless employment increases. There are officially 14.9 million people unemployed. The actual number of unemployed is 26.1 million. Over 39 million of our citizens are now on food stamps.
  • Moody’s has repeatedly warned the government for the past 18 months that if we don’t reduce the debt and curtail government spending we will lose our national AAA credit rating. This will cause our interest rates to sky rocket and eventually our interst srevice of the debt will bankrupt the country. Yet the spending continues to increase. Our current entitlements (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Federal Pensions) plus the interest on the debt now exceeds $1.9 trillion per year. This is unsustainable and will destroy our economy sooner than later.
  • Today, the House will vote on Healthcare Reform and higher education funding. In effect this bill will broaden the federal government’s control over both. More unfunded spending liabilities and government mandates will be the result. Education and Healthcare are not rights! Rights come from God not governments.  This bill also includes the funding to hire 16,000 new IRS agents to aid in the enforcement of the new laws. (Jobs by the way that are funded by taxes and do not create new revenue)

So America, can you connect the dots? In just 18 months we have watched the tightening of federal controls on states and citizens that is unprecedented in American history. Our freedom and our liberty is being usurped by an over reaching federal bureauracy that has put us on a fast track to socialism or maybe even communism.

The federal government has taken almost complete control of: our banks, Wall Street, the media, transportation (the car companies), the environment/energy (via the EPA), housing, higher education and now maybe healthcare. You should be livid or at the very least scared to death.  We are a few short steps away from a European socialist government. But this government will be unsustainable because it will result in bankruptcy.

However, before that happens we will slip into a nasty decline that will destroy the fabric of the greatest country in the history of the world. At the end of this ride will be the need for a “global solution” because most of Europe will join us in bankruptcy. The answer will be what the global elites have wanted all along… A global government that decides how much freedom and what liberties we can enjoy. Conspiracy theory, you say? That could never happen, you say?

Really? If anyone had told you in January of 2008 that we would be where we are today, would you have believed them? We are running out of time! Connect the dots… the federal government and the Progressives who are running it are hijacking your freedom! Wake up, Act Now! We are at the edge of the cliff but there is still time to save the Republic if we organize to take the country back. This can not be done without pain or sacrifice.

It is time to face the truth. The only way out of the mess we are in is to cut – spending and taxes – a lot! We have built a model that is unsustainable. We have to come to grips with the idea that big government is not the answer – it is the problem. I am not just talking about the federal government either.

  • The federal government will have to reduce its’ services to only those which are essential – national defense, infra structure and basic services. Social programs and luxury pork barrel spending must be eliminated.
  •  State governments must get smaller too. States need to narrow their focus to the basic services they should provide.
  • We are going to have to rely on communities to pull together and help their own. People are going to have to learn to fend for themselves. Everyone is going to have to sacrifice to fix this problem.
  • Each citizen must be allowed to keep as much as possible so they can reinvest in their savings, communities and build business that will restart the economy.

This is the only sane road back to prosperity. The alternatives involve deals with the devil which will lead us to a loss of sovereignty, a world government or some form of socialistic government where we can all live together as peasants.

Again I will include the famous speech by Ronald Reagan warning about the situation we find ourselves in:

A Time for Choosing

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”. – Ronald Reagan

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!

Obama set to “Slaughter” Healthcare to pass reform bill

As reported in this blog on many occasions in the past year the “progressive left” has treated the United States Constitution with both disregard and disdain.

The President himself has said,But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.”

In so many words, the President, who is the leader of the Progressive Movement in America explains that the Constitution is a shackle that restrains the government from taking over our lives. NEWSFLASH, Mr. President that is what it is supposed to do.

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” — Patrick Henry

Back when they still taught U.S. history and Civics in high school, we learned about how the Constitution is the foundation of our republic. We also learned how the power of the government was balanced through the Executive, Legislative and Executive branches. These checks and balance were designed to “protect the citizens” from an out of control federal government.  

Fast forward to the present and the healthcare reform debacle, fearing that the Democrats can not muster enough votes to pass the wildly unpopular bill they may have to resort to parliamentary tricks to pass the legislation.

Enter House Rules Committee Chair N.Y. Democrat Louise Slaughter, who has raised the idea that the Democrats use what is known as a “self-executing rule,” or a “hereby rule.” Using this technique the House would only vote on the corrections that they are proposing for the reconciliation phase. The normal process would be that the differences would be resolved in a conference committee after both houses had passed the identical bill. The “Slaughter Solution” as it has been dubbed would allow the House to pass the Senate bill and amend it at the same time.

Simply put, this would allow the original Senate bill to move through the House without the House actually voting on it. This creates a scenario where the Senate bill is deemed as passed by the House and they can move on to voting only on the “fixes”. This will allow them to send a bill to the President to sign. The bill that would be signed into law would be the original Senate bill and then the reconciliation process would begin. With a single vote the House would in effect vote for and against the same bill but even more importantly the recorded vote would only reflect a vote for or against the reconciliation language and not the original bill. Considering the embarrassing content of this bill, such as the Cornhusker kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, federal funding for abortion and other special-interest bribes that were added to get it through the Senate, it is no wonder that most House members don’t want their names on it. Is that the kind of courage that Obama was talking about when he called for the up or down vote?

As many of us learned in high school, the Constitution clearly defines how a law must be passed. According to Michael McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, “Article I, Section 7, states in order for a “Bill” to “become a Law,” it “shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate” and be “presented to the President of the United States” for signature or veto. Unless a bill actually has “passed” both Houses, it cannot be presented to the president and cannot become a law”. This would indicate that the proposed “Slaughter Solution” is unconstitutional.

Remember that we are at this point for two reasons: 1) The Senate no longer has the votes to get a bill through the normal process, 2) The Senate parliamentarian has said, reconciliation is permitted only for bills that amend existing law, not for amendments to bills that have yet to be enacted.  If Congress gets away with this they have in effect decided that the House can vote for one bill and the Senate can vote for another, and the final result can be a hybrid developed outside the parliamentary guidelines of Congress. At that point we have abandon one of the core checks and balances provided for in the Constitution.

As a point of clarification self-executing rules have been used before. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Originally, this type of rule was used to expedite House action in disposing of Senate amendments to House-passed bills”. However, never before have self-executing rules been used to elide a vote on an entire piece of legislation.

Here is a refresher for members of Congress on how a bill becomes a law:

We have finally entered a time in our history that our founders feared the most. The rules are being made up as we go. We now are faced with an ugly situation. The governed have spoke out against the proposed healthcare reform bill, the Democrats do not have the votes to pass it without tricks or bribes and worse yet we have a President who is unwilling to listen or start over. The bill is so indefensible that Mrs. Pelosi is no longer even trying to defend its’ merits, instead saying that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” WOW, they didn’t teach us that in Civics!

Remember, the Constitution says; No bill can become law unless the exact same text is approved by a majority of both houses of Congress.

Again according to Michael McConnell, “Senate rules protect against majoritarian overreach by allowing a determined minority to filibuster most types of legislation. The majority needs 60 votes to override a filibuster. One exception, adopted in 1974, is legislation that makes adjustments to spending or revenues to reconcile current law to a budget resolution that has passed Congress. These are called reconciliation bills, and they require only a majority vote”. The Healthcare Reform bill does not meet this standard.

Again quoting Michael McConnell, “To be sure, each House of Congress has power to “determine the Rules of its Proceedings.” Each house can thus determine how much debate to permit, whether to allow amendments from the floor, and even to require supermajority votes for some types of proceeding. But House and Senate rules cannot dispense with the bare-bones requirements of the Constitution. Under Article I, Section 7, passage of one bill cannot be deemed to be enactment of another… The constitutional rules in Article I are not just formalities. They ensure the democratic accountability of our representatives. Under Section 7, no bill can become law unless it is put up for public vote by both houses of Congress, and under Section 5 “the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question . . . shall be entered on the Journal.” The intent of this language is to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions by documenting it through the legislative process.

America, this has become the poster child for a government run amok. The consent of the governed no longer seems to matter. The dirty tricks, bribery and arrogance of some members of Congress is astonishing. Unfortunately, this bill so bad that the Democrats have sunk to a new low in their attempt to ram this through. The only way for Congress and our country to save face is to start over and break the bill into manageable pieces.

This the most significant piece of legislation in a generation. It must be treated as such. If this passes in its’ current form it will “fundamentally transform America” forever – and not for the better. It will push us to the brink of financial ruin, destroy the best healthcare system in the world and result in more job losses. We must “Kill the Bill”! We can not lose through tricks! 

Wake up America! It is time to stop this bill once and for all. 

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left! 

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government”. – James Madison.

Progressives want a Coffee Party

There is a new “grassroots movement” joining the political mix – meet the Coffee Party. What is the Coffee Party? Do you really need to ask? They are the Progressives’ anser to the Tea Party, of course! Their slogan – “Wake Up and Stand Up.” Their mission statement states that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

Let the brainwashing continue…

The NY Times recently wrote an article on the new movement. Read NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/02/us/politics/02coffee.html )

This article sparked an editorial in the Tyler (TX) Morning Telegraph based on the NY Times article. See the Op/Ed below:

New Hand Being Dealt At Political Roundtable

Welcome to the table. There’s plenty of room.

Conservatives and Tea Party activists should warmly greet the newest movement — the “Coffee Party” folks, for the very traits that make them different.

“Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party,” the NY Times reported last week. “Growing through a Facebook page, the party pledges to ‘support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.'”

The group’s motto is “Wake Up and Stand Up,” and the slogan for its upcoming convention is “Meet Me in the Middle.”

“The mission statement declares that the federal government is ‘not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans,'” the times explains.

“We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party,” says organizer Annabel Park. “The way I see it, our government is diseased, but you don’t abandon it because it’s ill. It’s the only body we have to address collective problems. You can’t bound government according to state borders when companies don’t do that, air doesn’t. It just doesn’t fit with the world.”

How refreshing!

The real value of the fledgling Coffee Party movement is in such invigorating honesty — in its open acknowledgement of a different philosophy.

Let the discussions begin.

Those talks — really, the testing of ideas — have been stalled for years, since the days when President Bill Clinton declared the era of big government over and Democrats began adopting Republican rhetoric. That continues through this day, as the Senate adopts “pay-as-you-go” rules (which are immediately ignored) and President Barack Obama warns lawmakers about the rising deficit.

Because truly there are two different philosophies here — two very different views on the proper role of government.

Tea Party activists have made it very clear where they stand: Government must be restrained, they say. The free market should be allowed to function unshackled by excessive regulation. And individualism is an American trait of which to be proud.

Coffee Party supporters are expressing the other view: Government is good — and is the proper means for effecting positive change in our lives. Free markets are fine in theory, but in the real world restraints and regulations must be put in place to protect the public. And the collective good trumps individualism.

Both sides should welcome dialogue, trusting their ideas can withstand scrutiny and trial.

The Coffee Party seems ready. It even has a civility pledge: “As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.”

So coffee drinkers and tea drinkers alike, pull up a chair. Fill your cups, and let’s talk.

One real smart guy (my Dad) responded to this article and put it in its’ proper perspective. See his letter to the editor below:

To: The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Tyler TX <opinion@tylerpaper.com>

Date: Thursday, March 11, 2010, 1:38 PM

To whom it may concern,

Your editorial introduced us to the alternative “Coffee Party”, via the spin of the ultra-liberal New York Times. Your editorial seems unduly impressed by the Coffee Party’s blatantly Marxist credentials.

Why in the world would you say that “conservatives and tea party activists should warmly greet the Coffee Party folks for the very traits that make them different”? This would be political correctness run amok! Their stated philosophy is that government must restrain, and regulate the Free Market System, and that the collective good trumps individualism, ie; personal liberty and freedom.

The Coffee Party seeks to engage conservatives and tea parties in debates, in order to gain credibility for their organization. They should be IGNORED. We know their ilk, and we are surprised that you, apparently, do not.

Q. W. Johannes

So I guess the message for all conservatives should be – let’s not validate a progressive “astro turf” movement designed to create a new way for the left to confuse the issues and the electorate.

This is just another attempt to move the progressive agenda forward with a new propaganda machine. Listen to their message – “Government is good — and is the proper means for effecting positive change in our lives. Free markets are fine in theory, but in the real world restraints and regulations must be put in place to protect the public. And the collective good trumps individualism”.

Wake up America! We don’t need coffee – we need strong conservative leaders and a conservative alliance that helps return our country to its’ Constitutional form of government – A Republic which favors limited federal government, a free market economy, states’ rights and values individual freedom.

Restore the Republic, Reject the Agenda of the Progressive Left!

“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand” – Milton Friedman