Saturday, March 27, 2010

RLC Has a Mission

I just submitted the following to the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) blog.

RLC Has a Mission

In his historical tour de force, On Power, Bertrand de Jouvenal traces the process of centralization of power in Europe from the fall of Rome. He paints a picture of an unstoppable centripetal force, power, whose ever tightening grip on humanity was hastened first by the increasing power of monarchs and then by the rise of democracy. Prior to mass rule that began with the French revolution and Napoleon, war was limited by the resources of local feudal rulers. Total war became possible with the rise of democracy and nationalistic centralization. The great wars of the twentieth century which saw unprecedented numbers killed were the product of nationalism, mass rule and socialism, indeed, of national socialism and socialism in one country. These last are the ideologies of both the Democratic and Republican parties today.

For a century the United States showed that in the absence of centralization economic progress would come quicker, the public made better off, and war limited to local expansionism. But the Civil War began a process of Progressive centralization, and elite Americans of the Gilded Age after the Civil War, envious of the status of German universities, sent their sons to graduate school in Germany and were surprised when they returned advocating ideas that would forestall freedom and progress. Not having access to the ideas of von Mises, Hayek and Schumpeter, elite Americans adopted German historicism, according to which they, as an expert elite, deserved power and that power ought to be centralized to that end. They chose to remake America in Germany’s image fifty years before the rise of Hitler.

We live with the heritage of their nationalist and now internationalist Progressivism. Progress has slowed; retirement savings are insufficient to cover the needs of the largest cohort of retirees in the history of the world; the Progressive health care system has faltered and been redesigned to restrict care; and for the past forty years Americans have seen the”promise of American life”, an ever increasing standard of living, betrayed and slowed to a halt as the Federal Reserve Bank and the federal government have transferred ever more resources to banks and speculators.

De Jouvenal saw the rise of Franklin D. Roosevelt as the ultimate success of “power” in the United States. But the process has taken longer and become more intense as the centralizers’ ideas, one after the next, have failed and destroyed sections of America’s freedom and affluence. The nation retains its preeminent role because of the nineteenth century’s gains and because its diminishing sphere of private initiative remains larger than under the rigid socialism that dominates Europe and the rest of the world.

No one can calculate the damage that power has done to the nation. It is probable that, based on the absence of real wage growth since the gold standard was abolished in 1971 and the 2% compounded growth of real wages between 1800 and 1971, the real hourly wage today is but 40% of what it might have been without the depredations of the federal and state governments. But Americans are relatively worse off than that because of increases in taxes at the state and federal levels.

Both parties, Republican and Democratic, have participated in the relentless expansion of power. The Republican is the more likely of the two to be transformed from a socialistic, elitist party, to one that represents freedom and decentralization. Hence, there is no more important task in politics today than that which the Republican Liberty Caucus has set before itself: to reform the GOP and transform it into a party of freedom and decentralization; to overturn the process of centralization of power; and to reestablish America as a land of freedom.

Given the low quality of public debate and the domination of the public media, this is a difficult task. Struggle we must.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rilke on the Transformative Power of Human Achievement

One of the most beautiful modern poems is Rainer Maria Rilke's Ninth Elegy. Rilke, who was Czech and wrote in German, died at age 51 in 1926. There is considerable mystery in the poem, which is the ninth of ten "Duino Elegies", his most famous work. The poem acclaims the transformative nature of the human mind and seems to be related to Kantian Idealism, the idea that the real depends on the construction of the human mind. In this article Jan Wojcik argues that Rilke was influenced by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the most famous American Kantian or "Transcendentalist". Although Kant was not a libertarian (he bases his philosophy of justice -law or right- on Rousseau's social contract), you can read Kant in a libertarian way. For the categorical imperative requires that each individual be treated as an end, and state compulsion treats human beings as means. The welfare state is inconsistent with Kantian ethics. To be fair, Kant held that it is required to obey the law and that revolution is immoral. He was not Lockean. I wonder if that's what got the Germans into trouble.

Notice the reference to laurel in the opening stanza. When a Greek athlete won a contest, an agon, he was awarded a laurel crown. So too, the poet. Thus, the phrase "poet laureate" was a medieval reference to the laurel crown awarded to poets in classical Greece. Note too that the poem refers to words, to "logoi", that are the poet's materials of transformation, as when he asks:

"Are we here perhaps just to say:
house, bridge, well, gate, jug, fruit tree, window--
at most, column, tower... but to say, understand this, to say it
as the Things themselves never fervently thought to be."

If words transform being, or create being as the reality of human experience, then might not human achievement be our ultimate purpose and the world's fulfillment? In my favorite passage Rilke writes of the angel who is more advanced spiritually and emotionally but is not familiar with achievement in the material world:

"Praise the world to the angel, not the unutterable world;
you cannot astonish him with your glorious feelings;
in the universe, where he feels more sensitively,
you're just a beginner. Therefore, show him the simple
thing that is shaped in passing from father to son,
that lives near our hands and eyes as our very own.
Tell him about the Things. He'll stand amazed, as you stood
beside the rope-maker in Rome, or the potter on the Nile.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how blameless and ours;
how even the lamentation of sorrow purely decides
to take form, serves as a thing, or dies
in a thing, and blissfully in the beyond
escapes the violin."


Rainer Maria Rilke (C. F. MacIntyre, translator)

"The Ninth Elegy"

Duino Elegies

Why, if it's possible to spend this span
of existence as laurel, a little darker than all
other greens, with little waves on every
leaf-edge (like the smile of a breeze), why, then,
must we be human and, shunning destiny,
long for it?...

Oh, not because happiness,

that over-hasty profit of loss impending, exists.
Not from curiosity, or to practise the heart,
that would also be in the laurel...
but because to be here is much, and the transient Here
seems to need and concern us strangely. Us, the most transient.
Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more.
And we also once, Never again. But this having been
once, although only once, to have been of the earth,
seems irrevocable.

And so we drive ourselves and want to achieve it,
want to hold it in our simple hands,
in the surfeited gaze and in the speechless heart.
want to become it. give it to whom? Rather
keep all forever...but to the other realm,
alas, what can be taken? Not the power of seeing,
learned here so slowly, and nothing that's happened here.
Nothing. Maybe the suffering? Before all, the heaviness
and long experience of love--unutterable things.
But later, under the stars, what then? They are better untold of.
The wanderer does not bring a handful of earth,
the unutterable, from the mountain slope to the valley,
but a pure word he has learned, the blue
and yellow gentian. Are we here perhaps just to say:
house, bridge, well, gate, jug, fruit tree, window--
at most, column, tower... but to say, understand this, to say it
as the Things themselves never fervently thought to be.
Is it not the hidden cunning of secretive earth
when it urges on the lovers, that everything seems transfigured
in their feelings? Threshold, what is it for two lovers
that they wear away a little of their own older doorstill,
they also, after the many before,
and before those yet coming...lightly?

Here is the time for the unutterable, here, its country.
Speak and acknowledge it. More than ever
the things that we can live by are falling away,
supplanted by an action without symbol.
An action beneath crusts that easily crack, as soon as
the inner working outgrows and otherwise limits itself.
Our heart exists between hammers,
like the tongue between the teeth,
but notwithstanding, the tongue
always remains the praiser.

Praise the world to the angel, not the unutterable world;
you cannot astonish him with your glorious feelings;
in the universe, where he feels more sensitively,
you're just a beginner. Therefore, show him the simple
thing that is shaped in passing from father to son,
that lives near our hands and eyes as our very own.
Tell him about the Things. He'll stand amazed, as you stood
beside the rope-maker in Rome, or the potter on the Nile.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how blameless and ours;
how even the lamentation of sorrow purely decides
to take form, serves as a thing, or dies
in a thing, and blissfully in the beyond
escapes the violin. And these things that live,
slipping away, understand that you praise them;
transitory themselves, they trust us for rescue,
us, the most transient of all. They wish us to transmute them
in our invisible heart--oh, infinitely into us! Whoever we are.

Earth, isn't this what you want: invisibly
to arise in us? Is it not your dream
to be some day invisible? Earth! Invisible!
What, if not transformation, is your insistent commission?
Earth, dear one, I will! Oh, believe it needs
not one more of your springtimes to win me over.
One, just one, is already too much for my blood.
From afar I'm utterly determined to be yours.
You were always right and your sacred revelation is the intimate death.
Behold, I'm alive. On what? Neither childhood nor future
grows less...surplus of existence
is welling up in my heart.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

UN Agenda 21

Sharad Karkhanis just sent me this video about UN Agenda 21. Not only do we need to worry about half witted legislators and politicians in New York, sucking our resources dry; not only do we need to worry about ignorant morons like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama at the federal level; but, as well, the United Nations is engaged in an ongoing attack on human civilization.

The video mentions that dumbing down of students is an intentional goal of UN Agenda 21. The UN argues that educated people consume more resources, so it is better that students be innumerate and illiterate so that they will consume less.

It is time for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations. An international league of states is useful to forestall war, but the bureaucracy of the United Nations has little to do with the avoidance of war. Rather, the United Nations is a agency that fosters totalitarianism.

Obamacare Unconstitutional, the United States Now a Tyranny

A reader makes the claim that Congress has the power to tax, and since the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (Obamacare) is a form of taxation, that it is constitutional. This is mistaken. Obamacare is unconstitutional, as is much of the legislation that the federal government has passed since the New Deal of the 1930s. The Supreme Court has arrogated power to the federal government since then without concern for the Constitution. The separation of powers on which the Constitution is based broke down decades ago, as the Supreme Court is little more than a publicity wing for federal tyrants. The reason is that Franklin D. Roosevelt had threatened the Court that he would increase the number of justices and plant in the Court a large number of socialists who have no regard for freedom and the American way of life unless it declared several bills, including the National Labor Relations Act, constitutional. Before the threat the Supreme Court refused to do so. After Roosevelt's threat, they changed their vote.

Preferring power over legal concerns and decency, the Supreme Court since the 1930s has been willing to justify virtually any and every expansion of federal power, even those that obviously violate the Constitution. Internment of Japanese in concentration camps? No problem. Laws that cripple the American economy? No problem. Laws that allow government to steal citizens' land and give it to private developers? No problem. There has been scarcely an ugly, murderous expansion of government that the Supreme Court has not been willing to declare "constitutional".

The Supreme Court is not really a court in most peoples' understanding of the word. Rather, it is a propaganda agency along the lines of the Soviet state newspaper Izvestia whose aim was to justify tyranny.

Analysis

It is perfectly constitutional for the federal government to levy taxes on the states. This is permitted by Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, which states:

"The Congress shall have power To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Article I Section 9 clarifies the last sentence, restricting the power to tax quite specifically:

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

The capitation tax that Obamacare charges is not proportioned. The sixteenth amendment was passed to allow income taxation that is not proportioned. However, the Obamacare tax is not an income tax. It is an unproportioned direct tax. Therefore, it is unconstitutional.

The sixteenth amendment, which eliminates the apportionment requirement with respect to income, does not apply to a health care capitation tax:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Nor can other provisions of the Constitution be used to justify Obamacare.

The necessary and proper clause states:

"The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

Hamilton used the necessary and proper clause to justify the establishment of a national or central bank (the Fed). However, health reform is not relevant to the powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution. Fixing broken arms and knee surgery are not among the duties granted to Congress. Hence, the necessary and proper clause does not apply.

The Tenth Amendment is quite clear. It states:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Virtually all of the legislation that the federal government has passed in its history violates the Tenth Amendment, arguably including the Fed (in other words, many, such as President Andrew Jackson, have held that Hamilton was wrong).

Orwellian Claim of Interstate Commerce Regulation

Much of the federal legislation that has been passed since the 1930s has claimed to regulate interstate commerce, which is generally untrue. In other words, the Supreme Court and Congress have simply lied in order to justify passage of legislation that they deem expedient. Which is to say that the Constitution has been a dead letter for many decades, not that it is a living organism. The purpose of the Constitution is not to pretend that we have a legitimate government, but to separate and limit the powers of government so that the energies of the people can be directed toward progress. The federal government has been a serious impediment to progress since the 19th century, and in recent decades has been increasingly so. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has been eager to extend the powers of the state in every way inconsistent with the Constitution. Hence, the United States is no longer a Republic but a violent tyranny.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Media Lie about Tea Party

Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit (h/t Jim Robbins) had an excellent article yesterday about Hoft's claim that the Democratic Party media and the Huffington Post blog, which Hoft describes as "Jew-hating", have reported factually untrue material (i.e., lies) concerning the Tea Party demonstration against the health bill on Sunday.

Hoft features a series a photos that suggest that Democratic Party demonstrators approached the Tea Party demonstrators and verbally attacked them. The Democratic Party media, including O'Reilly, claimed that the Tea Party had screamed racist insults at the Democratic Party demonstrators, according to Hoft. (Disclaimer: I do not watch television news and am basing this purely on Hoft's account.)

Hoft writes of the Democratic Party media's, including Fox's, claim that the Tea Party demonstrators called members of the "Congressional Black Caucus...n*ggers" and that the Tea Party demonstrators spat on them as they walked from the Longworth office building to the Rayburn office building. "At least one report said that it was 'a chorus' of racist hatred. Reporters from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX News, (including Bill O’Reilly), MSNBC, etc. reported on this horrible story."

Hoft says that the news reports on the networks were pure fantasy, with no basis in fact whatsoever. This is not generally true of television news. In general, little of it is relevant to important facts. It doesn't often lie overtly as Hoft claims here, but it generally omits critical information. Half the truth is worse than none. So why watch it? The facts are inevitably colored and distorted, and the announcers are badly educated. The quality of television news seems to be declining. It seems to me that Wall Street is especially threatened by the Tea Party because of its Lockean impulses. Freedom is the one force the socialists of all parties, including the Wall Street variety, hate and fear. Since television news is largely an agent of Wall Street and its Democratic Party, it is not surprising that it becomes especially eager to lie about the Tea Party.

Hoft then adds, based on video evidence, that the major media has publicized this complete lie:

"Unfortunately, it was a fake. They had no evidence… Nothing. It was totally made up.

"In fact, a video was later released that proved that there was no 'chorus' of racist hatred and no one screamed the n-word. It was all a lie.

"Now here is more proof.

"There were several cameras filming the democratic representatives as they walked to the Rayburn Office Building. And, the representatives had at least two cameras filming the entire event. (It was almost as if they were expecting something to happen?)

Read Hoft's post here.

Stock Market Will Be Flat over Next Ten Years--Boomers Will Work 'til They Drop

The Great Depression lasted nearly ten years. The reason for depressions is that the Federal Reserve Bank creates excessive liquidity. The liquidity is used to stimulate the economy, but the stimulation is in the wrong place. For example, there may be no demand for an additional shoe store at 6% interest, but if interest rates are brought down to 4% then a new shoe store becomes viable. But the new shoe store will be sustainable only at 4% rates. If rates are kept that low, the amount of money created will exceed the value to the economy that the shoe store adds. The result is inflation. The public starts to realize that it is subsidizing businesses that cannot be reasonably justified. Everyone is paying out money through inflation so that the shoe store can stay in business. Better to make the shoemaker welfare payments and not waste so much money. The public starts to protest. The Fed then contracts the money supply, raising interest rates back to 6% or even 7%. The shoe store closes. In 1980 the prime rate was in the twenties. The higher interest rates throw more businesses out of business than were started due to the initial stimulus. A depression occurs.

What has forestalled the inflation is overseas sovereign investors' subsidization. Never before in history have other countries been willing to make themselves poorer by purchasing the additional liquidity that a country creates to keep interest rates low. This phenomenon will not last forever. It could last for 10 years, though.

Because there has been inflation in line with the past 20 years (eg., in the 3-4% range, and recently none due to credit contraction) there has been little impetus to raise interest rates. In fact they have been reduced in order to limit the effects of the bank credit contraction, which occurred for the very same reason as inflation. The Fed created excessive reserves, and mismanaged banks lent money via credit cards and mortgages that were unlikely to be repaid. When this pattern of lending had to change, there was a market collapse.

Because of these policies the country has been becoming poorer but not through inflation. Rather, the credit collapse caused people to lose jobs even though interest rates have not been raised.

Interest rates are now almost as low as they can be. If rates are raised significantly, additional businesses will be closed. If rates continue this low for long, the foreign subsidies to our economy will eventually end. The Fed has created an unsustainable system.

The period of time that this will take to clear up will be longer than the Great Depression. If you count the market decline of 2001 as part of this cycle, it already has been as long as the Great Depression. It may not be cleared up in the Boomers' lifetime.

That leads to the question of what Boomers are to do about retirement. The savings rate has been low, and few boomers have the assets to retire. A rising stock market such as existed up until 2000, ten years ago, would have subsidized the Boomers and allowed them to retire. As well, Social Security has been curtailed since their parents' day (the retirement age will be 67 or likely older), and anyway, Social Security is insufficient for retirement for all except the poor.

But the Boomers may be forced into retirement because of job losses due to the Federal Reserve Bank's being forced to raise rates. If the economy had been allowed to progress naturally there would have been better businesses, more innovation, less overseas plant transfers and a more dynamic economy. The misallocations due to the Fed would have been smaller.

If there were no Fed there would have been no problem.

In inflation-adjusted terms the stock market will not be able to advance until the misallocation of credit has been cleared up; the real estate market is stable and advancing; firms can be subsidized with additional Federal Reserve monetary creation; and inflation is stable. That is, for the stock market to begin advancing the basis for a new bubble will need to be created. This is what Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan did in 1979-1982 by allowing Paul Volcker to contract the amount of money and raise interest rates to very high real levels.

True reform of the American economy so that innovation is spurred in the way it was in the late 19th century will require major economic upheaval and abolition of the Federal Reserve Bank.

I doubt that either party has the courage to do this now. Hence, the stock market will not in the long term advance in real terms, although it might advance in nominal (not inflation adjusted) terms if the Fed continues to subsidize it through monetary expansion. In that case hyper-inflation with non-asset holders getting squeezed as real wages are further diminished is a real possibility.

14 AGs File Suit Against Obamacare

Net Right Daily (NRD) (h/t Adam Bitely) reports that 14 attorneys general have filed suit against Obamacare or are considering doing so. The list as per NRD is below.

I am skeptical of the courts' willingness to rescind this unconstitutional law. The Constitution died in the mid 1930s when Franklin Roosevelt strong armed the Supreme Court into recognizing the National Labor Relations Act as constitutional. Since then, the phrase "interstate commerce" has been mutilated to permit the federal government to do thousands of things that the Constitution prohibits. In fact, the Supreme Court has turned into a rubber stamp board for a gang of racketeers, the US Congress. There is no social contract in America. There is only the imposition of violence by socialist thugs.

Ken Cuccinelli – Attorney General – Virginia

http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Cuccinelli/32210_Health_Care_Bill.html

Troy King – Attorney General – Alabama

http://www.ago.state.al.us/news/12312009.pdf


Bill McCollum –Attorney General - Florida

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2215987420100322



http://www.examiner.com/x-37583-Hillsborough-County-Elections-2010-Examiner~y2010m3d22-Florida-Attorney-General-Bill-McCollum-says-health-care-bill-is-unconstitutional--will-sue-video

Jon Bruning – Attorney General – Nebraska

http://www.ago.state.ne.us/news/pressreleases/032210_Health_Care_statement_MR_2.pdf

Tom Corbett – Attorney General – Pennsylvania

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspx?id=5151


Greg Abbot – Attorney General – Texas

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagNews/release.php?id=3269

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagNews/release.php?id=3271

Henry McMaster – Attorney General – South Carolina

Robert McKenna – Attorney General – Washington

http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=25402

Mark L. Shurtleff – Attorney General – Utah

http://www.attorneygeneral.utah.gov/PR_032210.html

Wayne Stenehjem – Attorney General – North Dakota

http://www.ag.state.nd.us/NewsReleases/2010/03-22-10.pdf

Marty J. Jackley – Attorney General – South Dakota

Michael Cox – Attorney General -- Michigan

http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1607,7-164--233880--,00.html

Lawrence Wasden – Attorney General – Idaho

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/17/idaho-state-sign-law-health-care-reform/

John W. Suthers – Attorney General – Colorado

http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/press/news/2010/03/22/attorney_general_joins_federal_lawsuit_challenging_health_care_mandate_0


James D. “Buddy” Caldwell – Attorney General – Louisiana

http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2010/03/13_states_sue_federal_governme.html

Repeal Obamacare (and Lots More Too)

A flurry of e-mails are in my inbox calling for a repeal of Obamacare, law suits against it and efforts to unseat Blue Dog Democrats and other vulnerable Congressional flunkies who voted for it. I certainly hope these efforts, one and all, come to fruition. But if repeal is in the air, perhaps a few additional things can be repealed. Such as the Bush prescription drug plan; the bailout; the Department of Energy; the Department of Labor; and the Department of Education. As well, how about a 15% across the board cut in government payroll and a rescinding of 15 laws? Which laws? Heck, there are thousands to choose from. It shouldn't be hard. Pick the 15 most expensive.

David Horowitz

David Horowitz writes:

"You know the problem - the arrogant assault on our constitution by Barack Obama and his minions in the House and Senate. The way they forced the national takeover of our health care system is the greatest threat to our democracy since Russia placed nuclear missiles on Cuba.

"Yes! It's that serious. But as a longtime supporter of the Freedom Center, I'm certain you understand this.

"What I need today is for you to help me print more of the two most powerful and popular booklets the Center has ever published. I'm talking about Obama's Rules for Revolution and The Art of Political War for Tea Parties.

If you want to help David H. go to this link: https://secure.donationreport.com/donation.html?key=OMG7PRA9EQQA

American Center for Law and Justice

The ACLJ is a Christian rights organization. Jay Sekulow writes:

"I'm sorry to say, Congress and the President have let you down.

"The worst part is that this law includes a mandate that FORCES Americans to participate - meaning you could be forced to buy a health care policy that funds abortions!

"But let me assure you: THIS IS NOT OVER.

"If you want to join their efforts to fight the abortion provisions in the law click here.

Mitt Romney writes:

"President Obama's healthcare bill is unhealthy for America. Without a single Republican vote in the House or the Senate, he pushed through a bill that millions of Americans do not want, and for which we cannot conceivably pay.

"Health care reform shouldn't mean higher taxes, cuts to our seniors on Medicare, insurance price controls or greater federal involvement in our lives. But unfortunately that's just what we're getting.

"America has been taken down the wrong path by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress, which is why it's critical we elect fiscally-responsible conservative leaders in November who will repeal this bill and restore commonsense principles to healthcare.

"That is why I am writing to you today to announce a new initiative at my Free and Strong America PAC called "Prescription for Repeal." Over the coming weeks and months, my PAC will be providing GOP candidates with the support and funding they need to defeat Democrats who supported ObamaCare."

If you want to contribute to Mr. Romney's Prescription for Repeal PAC click here.

Americans for Limited Government

Robert Romano of Americans for Limited Government sent out a press release supporting Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (remember from last fall?) who is filing a law suit against the law's individual mandates. Romano writes:

"March 22nd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today condemned the House of Representatives for enacting what he termed "the government takeover of health care that will ration treatment, increase the cost of premiums, and force Americans onto government-run insurance.

"Last night, the House passed the Senate version of "ObamaCare" 219 to 212. Wilson encouraged states, like Virginia, to pursue their plans to sue against the constitutionality of the federal mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.

"Wilson said that the "Constitution does not permit Congress to enact any mandate for individuals to purchase anything, let alone health insurance.

"Wilson said that the "Constitution does not permit Congress to enact any mandate for individuals to purchase anything, let alone health insurance."

Amazingly Romano does not have a link asking for a donation.

Campaign For Liberty

John Tate of C4L writes:

"Late Sunday night, the U.S. House of Representatives abandoned the Constitution, made a mockery of the words of the Founders, and drew a line in the sand as it passed the Senate’s health care bill 219-212.

"The morning after the federal government acted yet again to increase its control over our lives, the freedom movement has two clear options.

"Option #1 is to give President Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid exactly what they want by throwing in the towel, surrendering any hopes of free market health care reform, and taking the pressure off an exhausted Congress.

"Option #2 is to rededicate our efforts, work harder than ever to spread the message, turn up the heat, and give them the fight of their political careers.

"You see, our elected officials are used to enduring knockdown, drag-out battles over controversial issues, and the one thing they always count on after a contentious vote is that the phone lines will go silent and their inboxes will slowly be whittled down. After all, they know our side lost, and the bill will soon be signed into law.

"That may have been true about the legislative fights of old, but our Revolution must not allow this dangerous relic of past political thinking to continue.

"Read the roll call of the House vote here. Get contact information for your representative here.

"If your congressman voted for Nancy Pelosi’s power grab, contact him right away today by phone and email and let him know what you think of his failure to uphold his oath to the Constitution.

"Remind him that you’re watching and will do everything in your power to hold him accountable for his vote and to make sure his constituents know he believes they should either carry government-approved insurance or answer to the IRS.

"Tell him his actions have made you more committed than ever to fighting for free market health care reforms like those contained in C4L’s Operation Health Freedom.

"And make sure he knows this will be the first of many calls, emails, and faxes he can expect in the coming days and months.

"If you are able, please help Campaign for Liberty spread the word, hold our elected officials accountable, and carry on the battle for health freedom by donating today.

"Only your continued support will keep us at the forefront of the fight to push back against the statists’ advances and reclaim our liberties.

"I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of being lectured on responsibility and fairness by reckless politicians who think money can be generated out of thin air forever and who believe the Declaration’s statement concerning “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” means we have to bow the knee to their every whim.

"They’ve staked their claim and left no doubt about where they stand.

"Now it’s our turn to prove we will never give up on our principles.

Principles that don’t include forcing your neighbor to buy whatever good or service you think they should have under penalty of IRS action. Principles that reaffirm the fundamental right of each American to live their life and pursue their dreams without constant government interference.

Please, contact your representative today and clearly state your independence from politics as usual.

Get Liberty.org

Get Liberty.org
writes:

"The die has been cast. Last night, despite overwhelming opposition by the American people to the government taking over the nation’s entire health care system, the House of Representatives voted 219 to 212 to do just that, adopting the Senate version of ObamaCare.

"Despite the victory lap House Democrats took on Capitol Hill last night, and Barack Obama at the White House, the American people should not be disheartened. It was for their efforts alone that this process divided the Congressional majority for a year, making it long, bloody, and costly.

"34 Democrats joined with 178 Republicans to cast bipartisan opposition to the measure. That is no mistake. Without the tenacity of the American people, expressed in the tea parties, at the town halls, and in hundreds of thousands of phone calls, emails, letters, and faxes sent to Washington and district-level offices, this bill would have surely passed a year ago.


George Phillips (Congressional Candidate NY 22nd CD)


"Despite widespread opposition from the American people and being brokered through a series of back room deals, Congress passed the Democrats' health care legislation yesterday.

"My opponent Maurice Hinchey came down in favor of the bill, and in a close vote, was one of the deciding voices.

"Hinchey refused to hold Health Care Town Hall meetings last summer, and in doing so I believe he refused to listen to the concerns of his constituents.

"I've signed a pledge stating I'll vote to repeal this bill when elected and fight for solutions that truly lower health care costs without a massive government take over.

"We're approaching an important March 31st fundraising deadline where a public report will be filed with the FEC.

"Send a message to Maurice Hinchey about your opposition to the bill by donating to our campaign today.

"Donate through clicking on our website or sending donations to our PO Box below.

"Thank you for your support.

"Sincerely,

"George Phillips"

Let us repeal health reform and file law suits. Let us go further and aim to repeal all of the legislation passed since 1970.

Retraction of Accusations About Hinchey

Dear Mitch,

LAST WEEK KTP RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM A MEMBER OF OUR ORGANIZATION CONCERNING MAURICE HINCHEY'S PROPERTIES.
THIS EMAIL WAS THEN SUBMITTED TO OTHERS WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE AND I AM DEEPLY AGITATED THAT IT WAS. THIS INFORMATION IS NOTHING MORE THAN GOSSIP AND I PERSONALLY DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS FORM OF COMMUNICATION.

THEREFORE I AM RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY REMOVE ANY MENTION OF THIS MATTER FROM YOUR EMAILS AND BLOGS ESPECIALLY WITH MY NAME APPEARING WITHIN.

I WILL EXPLAIN FURTHER WHEN WE MEET.

THANK YOU.

Tom Santopietro

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Scott Brown Was a Hill of Boston Baked Beans

I just received this e-mail from Chris Eddes on the Republican Liberty Caucus group on Yahoo! Wes Benedict, head of the Libertarian Party, is right that the focus on Scott Brown last fall was a dumb mistake. It will not be the last boner (in the bonehead meaning) that the Tea Party pulls. One, incidentally, that I saw through at the time. Benedict's letter is followed by my response.

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Like you, I am upset that the health care bill passed last night. Another huge expansion of government spending and government control is not good for our freedom or our health.

When I heard about the passage, I was reminded of the many hateful emails I received earlier this year demanding that the Libertarian Party make Libertarian Independent candidate Joe Kennedy drop out of the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race and endorse Republican Scott Brown. Doing so, "at this time, for this election, was more important than ever in order to save America from socialism," or so they said. Even though Scott Brown supported Mitt Romney's mandatory universal health insurance for Massachusetts residents, somehow electing a Republican, any Republican, instead of a Democrat was supposed to save America.

Even 30% of poll respondents on our website supported such a move.


I am proud that Libertarian Joe Kennedy stood firm and stayed in that race, despite the nasty messages and threats he received.

However, a lot of people gave in to that argument and voted for Scott Brown. What happened? The health care plan passed anyway. And on top of it, there's now another big-government senator voting for things like "jobs packages."

But if just 20% of Massachusetts residents had voted for Libertarian Joe Kennedy, I bet that would have sent such a loud message that it would have stopped this health care plan in its tracks. I think this is a clear reminder why we should all stand firm and vote for Libertarians, whether or not they're in close races.

I watched just a few minutes of the debate last night on C-SPAN. I could not stand hearing Republicans proclaim in the same sentence that we need to oppose government takeover of health care, and also to protect Medicare! What hypocrites. Medicare is government health care too. It was the 2003 Republican Congress and President George Bush that passed the $400 billion Medicare prescription coverage expansion (that later turned out to cost over $1 trillion).

I was on a radio show this morning and a caller asked me, "Is there even any hope for America?" I want to thank him for asking me that, because I am reminded that America is still one of the freest and most prosperous nations on earth, even though that freedom and prosperity are at great risk. Things are getting tougher, but
America is still a great place and our freedom is still worth fighting for even if we lose some battles along the way.

Somewhat related to this topic, we've had a poll on our website for a couple of weeks, which asks, "Which expensive government project do you support the most?"

Former Libertarian Presidential nominee Harry Browne used to say, "Would you give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you'd never have to pay income tax again?"

I hope you'll go to the poll
http://www.lp.org/poll/which-expensive-government-project-do-you-support-the-most and pick the Libertarian option: "None of the above. Cut spending on all of them." At the time of sending this message, that option has just 45% of the votes.

Sincerely,

Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

My response:

Wes Benedict is right that people overrated Brown's election and he is right that a 20% vote for the LP would have sent a loud message. At the same time, the Democrat would have been elected and she was just as big an advocate of big government as Brown. So the message was sent in either case and we would have gotten big government in either case. In other words, the Democrats didn't care about the message. They care for power, not popular opinion, which they view as misguided and inarticulate. Only they can articulate what the people think in their view.

Also, America is still one of the freest countries, but not the freest according to several groups that rate overall freedom and economic freedom. Most rate Hong Kong and Singapore higher overall and with respect to overall but not economic freedom also rate New Zealand, Australia and sometimes the Bahamas higher. The passage of the health care act brings the US down several notches, and it is getting close to the point where some might consider emigration to a freer country if they have the resources and value freedom highly. The US is not the beacon of freedom it once was. But it is still relatively free compared to the tyrannies and socialist states that characterize the entire world. It is ironic indeed that Hong Kong, a nation ruled by the second most murderous nation in history, is freer than the United States.

Our freedom is still worth fighting for but the union is not, in my opinion. Before the Civil War the question continued to be debated as to whether the states had ceded to the federal government the right to force them to remain in the union. Although the North won the war, the issue need not be viewed as settled. The Tenth Amendment is quite clear and it says that rights not given to the federal government are retained by the states and the people. The federal government has betrayed that principle, and has violated its moral and contractual obligation to the states and the people. The majority of Americans have been willing to sacrifice their freedom in favor of security and the belief that by taxing others they can benefit economically. Hence, the nation's claim to morality based on the rule of non-violence no longer stands. I do not think that the federal government, the United States government, deserves my commitment or my respect, nor is it something that is worth fighting for. Nor is it something that if someone attempts to rescind it or gain freedom from it that I would defend.

Rather, I am on Jefferson Davis's and Robert E. Lee's side now. The federal government in its present form is illegitimate and does not deserve respect or honor.

John McCain's Bronx Cheer--Too Little Too Late

I just received an e-mail from John McCain who is calling for the repeal of the health act. Rightly so, but his well taken Bronx cheer is too little too late. It was McCain's support for the Paulson-Bush bailout of Wall Street, an expansion of government that exceeds Obamacare in stupidity, that led to the Democratic majority that in turn led to this botched health care law. McCain says that when a politician goes against the will of the public he will not be reelected. McCain might have paid attention to his own advice in September 2008. His corrupt support for big government subsidies to incompetently run Wall Street firms that in the first place only exist because of big government was just as bad as the current Democratic rush to national bankruptcy and inflation.

John McCain writes:

>I believe the will of the people will be reflected sooner or later. The Democrats will learn in November, that when you go against the wishes of the American people, you pay a steep and heavy price. Americans will not be silenced on this matter and I will continue to lead this fight each and every day.

>I assure you I am not quitting our fight. I believe we must repeal this bill immediately.

Stupak Lied to the Anti-Abortion Movement

Jim Crum forwarded this link to Lonely Conservative.com and Gateway Pundit. Last year, Stupak told a town meeting that he planned to vote for Obamacare even if abortion funding was included, as per the video below. Stupak's nonsensical claim that Obama's executive order was the motivation for him to change his vote was just a way to save face with the anti-abortion groups whom he's been misleading in order to win their support.

Book Citation

My column "Keep Psychopaths Out of Your Accounting firm" that appeared in the AICPA Career Insider is reprinted in Martha Maeda's Accounting Fraud and Cover Ups (Ocala, Fl.: Atlantic Publishing, 2010).

Stock Market Rises in Response to Obamacare

The stock market continues to move up the day after Obamacare passed. However, gold went down. This is revealing. Stocks might go up if the market expects more monetary stimulus in response to additional deficit spending. But in that case gold would also go up. Gold's going down (as of 1:00 pm about .75% as per Kitco) suggests that the stock market is responding to cost shifting in Obamacare. In particular, the law shifts costs from corporate benefit plans to poor people. The poor are now compelled to purchase health care rather than rely on emergency care for which they do not pay and whose costs then fall on the corporate plans. In addition, doctors are now constrained from performing a range of procedures. This will make life worse for Americans but will save corporate plans money. Although Obamacare is presented as a way to assist the poor, this is at most partially true. It is a way to help the very poor who are added to Medicaid and for which the public will pay. But it is also a way to help corporate plans, which will benefit so long as corporate income taxes are not raised.

I Am a Confederate Now

I am a Confederate now. I no longer believe in the union. I believe in the Tenth Amendment and the Articles of Confederation. My heroes now are not Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, but rather Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun.

You Are Living on 41% of an American Wage--the USSA* Steals 59%

There are several ways that Washington taxes and expropriates the majority of your earnings. Before 1970 the real hourly wage increased by approximately 2% per year. Some years it increased more and others less, but between 1800 and 1970 there were roughly 2% annual increases. The reasons for these increases were productivity growth and monetary stability. In turn, productivity growth depends on innovation while monetary stability depends on a stable money supply over the long term (in the 19th century there were fluctuations in prices due to fractional reserve banking among state banks, but in the long run prices were stable). Entrepreneurs will be loath to take risks if there is monetary instability that threatens potential returns.

There are additional sources of innovation, and government has assaulted all of them. For example, education in the sciences and technology might contribute to innovation. But the education system in the United States is poor and does not produce graduates who on the whole are capable of learning science and math. Moreover, education creates an entitlement mentality that deters risk taking and entrepreneurship.

Innovation depends on capital formation. But the income tax inhibits saving. This is reinforced by other forms of taxation such as Social Security, gasoline tax, sales tax, property tax and inheritance tax. Each of these taxes subtracts from income and therefore reduces the capacity of entrepreneurs to save. Banks are unlikely to lend to entrepreneurs who invent radically new technology. Private investors or "angels" may, but the solicitation of investment angels is difficult and not every inventor will be talented at doing so. Moreover, there has been a bias among private capital investors for computer and other electronic technology, and while there has been innovation in that very limited arena, there are wide areas in manufacturing, services and products outside of the "high tech" space where there has been an innovation drought. In these fields existing firms have been able to obtain financing to facilitate overseas plant investment to procure lower wage foreign labor but not radically new ideas. Pharmaceuticals seemed to have reached a dead end even before the health care act, and in the health care act the Democrats have taken a sledge hammer to pharmaceutical companies and to the economy at large, ensuring ever worsening stagnation in real hourly wage growth.

Most importantly, the freeing of the Federal Reserve Bank from constraints on monetary expansion and its freedom to subsidize Wall Street firms, real estate developers, hedge funds and commercial banks, has accelerated the transfer of wealth from wage earners to stock and other asset investors. The freeing occurred in 1971.

As a result of these government policies, the real hourly wage stopped increasing around 1971 and since then has not increased. The difference between the future value of one dollar that does not increase and the future value of one dollar that increases by 2% over 40 years is 220%. That means that without the Fed and without the dislocation to innovation and productivity increases due to it and to tax policies, your income would be approximately 220% higher than it currently is. For example, if you are earning $40,000 per year now, without the US government tax and Federal Reserve Bank system you would be earning $88,000. In other words, your income is 45% of what it would be without the Federal Reserve Bank.

That is on a before tax basis. If you pay 10% of your total income in federal income tax, 4% in state income tax, 5% in property tax, 7.65% in Medicare and Social Security tax (I'll exclude the 7.65% that the employer pays for you and then deducts from your wages) and say 2% in other taxes such as sales tax, premium tax, gasoline tax, inheritance tax and the like then the total is 23.65%. For many people that is an understatement. Rounding down to 23% gives you a reduction to your measly $40,000 of $9,200. Therefore, you aren't even earning what you would have earned in 1970, when taxes were lower. Instead of $40,000 you earn $30,800. Compared to what you would be earning in a free America where you might pay in state and federal tax what you would have paid in 1950, 15%, you are earning $30,800 / (.85 x $88,000) = 41.2%.

Aren't you grateful about all the government "services" that you receive, in exchange for which you pay 58.8% of your livelihood?

*United Socialist States of America

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Obamacare a Citizen/Boomer Tax

Fox is reporting that Obamacare will pass in part due to the Blue Dog Democrats, all of whom need to be voted out of office, specifically including conservative Democrat Bart Stupak, who is willing to take President Obama's executive order as final proof that the law will not fund abortion. It seems likely that Congressman Stupak was strong armed because no one makes a deal where one side can rescind the deal at any time and the other makes a final commitment. Stupak is willing to trust Obama, and despite the naive arguments of ethics professsors, trust is inappropriate to deal making in politics and business. Certain elements of trust are necessary for a successful society. For instance, we trust that Congress will not violate the Constitution and that the Supreme Court will reverse it if it does. But our trust in that case is misguided, and American society is not successful. But that is a discussion for another day.

Former Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey said at the recent Queens Village Republican Club Lincoln Day dinner that the bill would eliminate hip replacements, knee surgery and bypass surgery for senior citizens and that these operations have added significantly to the quality of life of the elderly. In other words, elective surgery is going to be curtailed. Boomers have been subsidizing the preceding generation through Medicare, Medicaid and insurance premiums, and now they will not receive the same level of care. On the other hand, it will inevitably be true that illegal aliens will receive benefits under Obamacare regardless of the provisions of the act as presently constituted. In other words, the Baby Boomer generation is a generation of suckers. It watched passively as the "greatest generation" sucked Social Security dry and enjoyed ever increasing Social Security and Medicare benefits. Then it watched Social Security curtailed in 1982 (for now the curtailment is merely an increase in the retirement age, but that will be increased further, mark my words). Now it sucks its collective thumb while Il Duce Pelosi subjects them to rationing of the operations to which their parents had open access. I have no doubt that planned suicide will be an important dimension of Obamacare, and progressives at the Washington Post have recently been singing the praises of planned suicide.

Boomers who want knee surgery will need to go to India or Arabia to have the operation done. The rates overseas are roughly five to 20 percent of the rates here in the US. However, they also will be forced to provide care to younger Americans and illegal immigrants with large families, whom Obama and Pelosi view as more worthy of care than middle class Americans. Nancy and Paul Pelosi, of course, are worth tens of millions of dollars and they will be able to pay for their knee surgery out of pocket, as will Barack Obama.

This is not a legitimate law. Congress as an elected body is traitorous, as is Obama. The American system of government has failed. It is time to begin considering a new approach to government, one that resurrects the Tenth Amendment and separates the nation into fifty quasi-independent states. I would like the freedom to move from New York to a free state.