Friday, May 14, 2010

On Limiting Spending

Mark Tapscott has a column today in the Washington Examiner online edition about the Constitutional Amendment introduced by three members of the US House of Representatives - Mike Pence (R, IN), John Campbell (R, CA) and Jeb Hensarling (R, TX). His money quote is,
Put another way, the SLA would cap Uncle Sam's take from our wallets at one of every five dollars we earn. Is it too much to ask our elected representatives in Washington that they not spend more than one of every five of our dollars?

Yes, is it really too much that Congress restrict themselves to taking only one fifth of our money, instead of trying to seize it all? Is it too much to ask that they live within the same kinds of spending restrictions that we must abide by? I do not think so and to that end have written and sent the following letter to my three members of Congress, with appropriate personalization:
Dear [congressperson],

As you are probably aware, Greece is undergoing some serious financial problems as a result of its out of control deficits. What you may not know is that the United States is currently on course for the same financial problems that currently plague Greece. Greece's problems began occurring as their deficit reached thirteen percent of their GDP. Currently, the United States has a deficit that takes up 10 percent of the GDP.

The problem is not that American taxpayers so not pay enough to the various layers of government. The problem is that the government - like an alcoholic - simply does not know when to stop. Would you spend more than your paycheque every month until you had your home foreclosed and your assets seized? Would you regard your salary as a 'guideline' as opposed to an actual limitation on your personal spending? If not, then why would you do this with American taxpayers' dollars? This is not Monopoly money that is inexhaustible.

I understand that a bill has been introduced by three members of the House (Congressmen Mike Pence, John Campbell and Jed Hensarling) that would amend the US Constitution to restrict Congress from spending more than twenty percent of GDP. The bill is HJ Res 79.

Unless you enjoy the thought of your children and grandchildren facing the same crushing debt that my children face, unless you like the prospect of the kinds of social unrest Greece is seeing and unless you honestly have no qualms about spending money that you did not earn, I would urge you to sign on to this bill as a sponsor or introduce it in the Senate if that has not already been done. Only by forcing Congress to rein in their appetites for spending other people's money can we get this looming financial disaster under control.

Please sign on to HJ Res 79. This is one bill that absolutely must proceed if we are to have any chance of saving our country before we end up like Greece.

I hope that anyone who reads this (and who is a US citizen or legal resident) emails their Congressperson and their Senators, urging them exactly the same thing. The problem, as Ronald Reagan once famously put it, is the government. Only by forcing government to live within the same means that we the people must are we going to climb out way out of this looming pit. And since Congress and the current Administration seem to have neither the will nor the leadership to do it, we must force them to do it against their own wishes. After all, it's our money their wasting and out children they are saddling with this frightful debt.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Term Limits and other suggestions

Over at Michelle Malkin's place on the Net, one of the commenters suggested that three terms in the House of Representatives is more than enough. Writes hawkeye54,

Nah, that’s too drastic. There are some worth keeping. I say, though, after 3 terms in the House, find another job. 6 yeas is enough exposure to DC swamp gas. There are other places and ways good people can be politically effective.

That is a good suggestion to start, but I think that it is not enough. After all, Senators serve six-year terms. Thus a Senator with only two terms' experience has been in the Washington, D.C. cesspool for twelve years. So let's make Representatives have term limits of six terms, Senators have a two-term limit and Supreme Court justices have to retire at or before age 75. But that alone will not clean up the Washington corruption. We need to do more. So here are a few suggestions:

  • Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that Congressional spending cannot exceed twenty percent of GDP. All existing spending promises are counted. Any overspending must be paid back by the elected officials who voted for it, their staffs and federal employees, other than the military.

  • Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that the federal government can under no circumstances compete with or have any financial interest in any private industry or business in any field except those specifically stated in the Constitution (eg. Post Office). Fields aside from those specifically mentioned in the Constitution are forbidden for the federal government to interfere in any way aside to verify that the products offered are accurately being described. No false advertising - it must accurately reflect the product and any attendant risks.

  • Pass a Constitutional amendment stating that the federal government may not mandate the purchase of any product or service under any circumstances.

  • Define the Commerce Clause as referring ONLY to services or businesses that cross State lines - it give the Feds no power whatsoever to interfere in any business or enterprise that is entirely inside one state.

  • Congress must use the same accounting rules applied to corporations.

  • Congress may not mandate the purchase of any product or service.

  • Public servants may not be members of unions. Period.

  • Any public servant must answer any citizen question in full. No government department may ignore any FOIA request. Failure to comply within the specified time will result in a fine, paid directly to the citizen requesting of not less than 1000 dollars per day for each day of delay.

  • Get rid of EPA, Transportation Dept, the Fed, all foreign aid, all tuition support and all government subsidies. And I'd also eliminate any other Federal department not specifically mentioned in the Constitution and move the CIA's duties back to military intelligence - they're doing a far better job than the CIA at present.

  • Get rid of the income tax and either make it a flat tax or replace it with a sales tax. the income tax is repressive and inherently unfair as most taxes are paid by a minority.

Anyway, that's where I would start. I'm sure my readers can come up with a few others.

More TSA Follies

I have long maintained that the TSA is a massive scam to get unqualified people jobs in the federal government. And the fact is that TSA has managed a complete and epic FAIL at it's core mission. Consider the following:

This is pretty good evidence that TSA, at least as currently constituted, is a useless waste of everyone's time and money. The so-called screeners are inefficient, ignorant (they cannot seem to differentiate musical instruments from bombs), arrogant when questioned, arbitrary, fond of cruel jokes that would get a passenger arrested and completely inconsistent in their methodology not only between different airports but even between different screeners AT THE SAME AIRPORT!!!

However, it seems that TSA screeners also are busy engaging in pre-adolescent humor as to their colleagues private parts. Humor that resulted in violence. For our far-left Obama propagandists at MSNBC, the New York Times, CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC, that would be real, physical violence - the kind caused by leftist protests like those against Arizona's attempt to actually enforce existing immigration law - as opposed to the entirely nonexistent violence the media keeps breathlessly claiming the Tea Partiers MIGHT cause. some day. As (unexpectedly) reported by the website,
A TSA worker in Miami was arrested for aggravated battery after police say he attacked a colleague who'd made fun of his small genitalia after he walked through one of the new high-tech security scanners during a recent training session.

So, to recap. TSA employees are perfectly fine mocking, insulting and thoroughly inconveniencing travelers while managing to miss ever serious threat to this country's security. Oh, and they also apparently enjoy child porn - the TSA is pushing to electronically strip search your child (and your spouse, of course). But when their own personal body parts are mocked (with admittedly juvenile and exceedingly crude humor), they immediately think it is OK to resort to violence.

Hmmm. So, what does this tell us about the TSA? Well, for this writer it confirms that this is an agency that never should have existed in the first place and ought to be disbanded as soon as possible. Return all these incompetents to the depths from which they came (probably welfare for most of them based on their demonstrated lack of intelligence). And the bloviating members of Congress who thought this was an excellent idea should be forced to fly coach class (especially including Speaker Pelosi) without access to any VIP treatment at all domestic airports. Perhaps a dose of what the little people have to endure might cause an outbreak of common sense. Oh, wait. These are politicians we're talking about. With very rare exceptions they don't HAVE any common sense. Or much intelligence, seemingly, if their comments on CSPAN are any indication!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Those 'Tolerant' Muslims

There is much angst and whining in these United States over the recent Arizona law that (gasp!) actually required state officials to enforce already-existing national immigration law. The open-borders lobby is insistent that enforcing existing law is intolerant and racist.

So I'm sure that the same grievance-mongers who are so upset about Arizona's law will be quick to take offense at the restrictions Dubai (and most other Muslim countries) place on visitors. According to a story in the United Kingdom's Daily Mail website, these restrictions include the following:

  • Alcohol is only allowed in licensed restaurants, pubs, clubs, private venues. And to drink at home, you must have a special alcohol licence. Alcohol can only be consumed by over 21s.

  • Drugs are strictly forbidden, and even having a residual amount in your bag or on clothing could result in a four-year jail sentence. Even if you are importing prescription drugs you may need to get permission from the UAE authorities first.

  • Sex outside of marriage is illegal and sharing a hotel room could land you in a police cell.

  • Holding hands is tolerated if you are married, but kissing and hugging is considered an offence against public decency.

  • Dancing is only allowed in the privacy of your home or at licensed clubs. Dancing in public is classed as indecent and provocative.

  • Offensive language, spitting and aggressive behaviour (including hand gestures) is though to be unacceptable. British offenders have been known to receive a six-month jail sentence for such an act and some have been deported.

  • Drink-driving is illegal and the UAE has a ZERO-tolerance policy. Even having the smallest amount of alcohol in your system is banned. Tailgating, speeding, racing, lane jumping, or using a mobile phone while driving are also against the law.

  • Addressing women in public, or taking their photo without permission is strictly frowned upon and it is forbidden to take pictures of government buildings.

So to recap. Enforcing existing immigration law in the United States is racist. But it is perfectly OK for foreign countries to place far more restrictive limits on visitors. As an aside, how does Mexico treat visitors? I think we all know the answer to that - they are famous for their shakedown tactics and the corruption and arrogance toward foreigners are well-documented. I'll take all this outrage over the Arizona law with more than a grain of salt when and if they adopt open-borders policies in their own country. And when the professional open-borders lobby targets countries other than the United States.