Friday, July 29, 2011

Debt and Constitutional Disregard

Ron Natelson has a fantastic article over at the Tenth Amendment Center, regarding the debt ceiling ridiculousness going on at the moment. As someone who emailed one of my former Constitutional Law professors at 2:30am last night/morning to vent about this latest bastardization of the 14th Amendment, I appreciate Natelson's sound understanding of the issues.

Some people are claiming that if Congress fails to raise the debt limit, the President can raise it himself unilaterally.  The claim is not only wrong, but far scarier for America’s future than a default would be.
Typical of those arguing this way is Bruce Bartlett, the formerly conservative economist who in recent years has been dashing to the left.
Barlett argues that “In the event that congressional irresponsibility makes default impossible to avoid, [the President] should order the secretary of the Treasury to simply disregard the debt limit and sell whatever securities are necessary to raise cash to pay the nation’s debts.”
Initially, you should understand that Barlett’s “Chicken Little” concerns are based on a false premise: That failure to raise the debt limit equals non-payment of national debt. The truth, however, is that there is plenty of revenue to pay the national debt (and the military, too). Doing so requires merely that the government take care of those expenses before continuing to fund other programs, many of them of dubious constitutionality.
But even if Bartlett’s premise were correct, his legal arguments remind us that he is an economist, and not a lawyer.  Here are his three principal arguments, and the response to each: (continue reading here.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cut, Cap and Balance Act Supports the Status Quo

Congressman Ron Paul's statement on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act is an absolute must read for anyone serious about addressing the debt and spending insanity being carried out by our federal government. Dr. Paul points to the true nature of the Act--a support of the status quo--and defines what must be done to solve our woes--cut spending.

Dr. Paul notes of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act's problems:

First, it purports to eventually balance the budget without cutting military spending, Social Security, or Medicare.  This is impossible.  These three budget items already cost nearly $1 trillion apiece annually.  This means we can cut every other area of federal spending to zero and still have a $3 trillion budget.  Since annual federal tax revenues almost certainly will not exceed $2.5 trillion for several years, this Act cannot balance the budget under any plausible scenario.
Second, it further entrenches the ludicrous beltway concept of discretionary vs. nondiscretionary spending.  America faces a fiscal crisis, and we must seize the opportunity once and for all to slay Washington's sacred cows-- including defense contractors and entitlements.  All spending must be deemed discretionary and reexamined by Congress each year.  To allow otherwise is pure cowardice.
Third, the Act applies the nonsensical narrative about a "Global War on Terror" to justify exceptions to its spending caps.  Since this war is undeclared, has no definite enemies, no clear objectives, and no metric to determine victory, it is by definition endless.  Congress will never balance the budget until we reject the concept of endless wars.
Finally, and most egregiously, this Act ignores the real issue: total spending by government.  As Milton Friedman famously argued, what we really need is a constitutional amendment to limit taxes and spending, not simply to balance the budget.  What we need is a dramatically smaller federal government; if we achieve this a balanced budget will take care of itself.
 Do yourself a service and read the whole statement

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Full of Malarkey

In the video below, ReasonTV's Nick Gillespie points to three reasons why the current debt-ceiling debate is ridiculous and full of falsehood.
1. August 2nd is a Phoney Deadline
2.Reaching the Debt Ceiling is NOT Defaulting
3. Legislating-by-Panic is No Way to Run a Country
For weeks I have talked to both conservative and liberals about this issue and one thing has been crystal clear: no one seems to know what they are talking about. When I correctly stress the points below (especially the second point) I am stared downed as some kind of idiot by folks from all political backgrounds. Sadly, many seem to have a deep commitment to a certain course of action without a lick of understanding regarding the issue.

What is clear is that we need to stop this unconstitutional and unsustainable spending. We need to do it in a timely manner, and we need to cut spending without raising taxes. What we don't need to do is allow fear and misunderstanding to give us more of the same policies that got us into this mess.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ron Paul Releases First TV Ad of 2012

Congressman Ron Paul has launched his first television ad of the 2012 primary season, and boy, it is a darn good one. Playing out like a movie trailer, it has enough entertainment value to draw the viewer in and keep his or her attention. Moreover, it does a splendid job of positioning the congressman within the historical and present debate over economic policy and outlining his own economic convictions. 

Take a look for yourself below. Paul fan or not, what do you think of this first ad to come out of his 2012 primary bid?

Monday, July 4, 2011

On Independence Day...

On this Independence Day don't lose site of the meaning of this holiday--a struggle for secession, freedom, and self-determination. Please take the time to read or listen to the Declaration of Independence (below). Pay attention to its words. See how far we have come as a nation, or rather, how far we have reverted  back to the ways of those we once rebelled against.

Let us remember that we are "endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights" for which we must continue to fight. May we continue our struggle and strive to make each July 4th more free and more happy than the last.