Why We Need the Electoral College

This seems to be the most misunderstood piece of our government that the creators of the constitution could have ever put in place. The story we hear is that the creators of the constitution did not think the American people were smart enough to decide how government should operate but if this was true why would they establish any kind of democratic process to begin with? It seems at odds with the trend in American history up until that point because every state, town, and government used the democratic process to decide what laws are to be passed. Even the mayflower compact was a democratic agreement between the people so it seems that unusual that the creators of the constitution would defy the ongoing political trend by installing that into the United States constitution.

The Electoral College was not seen as a way to inhibit the people’s constitutional right to participate in the government but to prevent the democratic process from consuming the natural rights and freedom of the people. This was seen as an essential institution that acted as a safeguard for the people that does not exist today.

Examine one the word written by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #1 “the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants”.

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Another Genius Attacks Nullification

This time it’s former state legislator Kevin Rennie, writing in the Hartford Courant.  I insist you read this for yourself.  It’s the usual enforcer/commissar routine, peppered with three facts he remembers from sixth grade.  His knowledge of American history may rise to the level of Schoolhouse Rock.  Forget about all the northern states that appealed to the Principles of ‘98; this is a crazy southern doctrine and nothing else.  Rennie doesn’t even know (1) that northern states nullified the fugitive-slave laws, and (2) they even cited the wicked Calhoun in doing so.  Were they wrong to do so, Rennie?

Like any commissar, he greets an idea not vetted by the Washington Post or the New York Times with smears and denunciations.  No attempt to understand why Thomas Jefferson would have promoted it, or to reply to (or even mention) any of the arguments he employed in its favor.  It is enough that it doesn’t belong to the Mitch McConnell/Hillary Clinton “mainstream,” which has done so much for the country.  Rennie would have us limit the federal government…how?  By voting for people who give good speeches?  How’s that strategy working?  Onward to more failure, comrade!

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Good Time to End Farm Subsidies

The Wall Street Journal reports that the agricultural sector is recovering nicely from the recent recession while the rest of the private sector continues to struggle. The counter-cyclical nature of some farm subsidy programs means that the taxpayer bill for the year could be cut in half to only about $12 billion.

From the article:

For many crops, prices are climbing even as big harvests pile up, a rare combination. Farmland values are up while those for some other kinds of real estate languish. Debt on the farm is manageable. Incomes are rising.

And trade, of which many Americans are growing wary, is for agriculture a boon. Asia’s economic vigor and appetites make the farm sector’s reliance on exports—once thought a vulnerability in some quarters—a plus today.

“The farm economy is coming out of the recession far faster than the general economy,” said Don Carson, a senior analyst.

The WSJ article also notes that farmers will still receive direct payments of about $5 billion for basically just being farmers. This subsidy is particularly insulting to taxpayers as the program was created in 1996 to help wean farmers off of subsidies. Instead, these “temporary” payments were turned into a permanent hand-out in 2002.

Better news for taxpayers would be the abolition of farm subsidies. While they obviously remain popular with the beneficiaries and their patrons in Washington, the general public seems to be increasingly aware that the subsidies amount to little more than legalized theft.

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We Will Lock You Up Anyway

Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t leaving us in suspense regarding what the federal government will do if California’s marijuana decriminalization initiative passes: “We will vigorously enforce the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law.” Will…

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Why Tenthers are Projected as Extreme and What We can do about It

If our Movement revels in its maverick persona, then, we will remain divisive.  In sports, divisive is fun.   In politics, divisive is fun, but if we are sincere in our desire to win over the population, then, we need to take the sport out of it.

There are certain pitches in our message which water down our cause.  In fact, we know this to be true because we admit our cause is all but lost.   We cannot convince enough people to respect our cause, and so we have concluded that nullification is the appropriate strategy.   Perhaps it is, but we should still continue to bring about a mainstream movement, rather than a marginalized, disobedient one.

Why are we marginalized?   It is fairly easy to see why.  Despite the many reasons to complain about the state of our nation, most of us would have to admit that life here is far more preferable than most any other nation in the world.   We are so lucky to be here, and we should not take our system entirely for granted.  Most moderates and independents would probably tend to agree with this.

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Higher Education Subsidies Wasted

study from the American Institutes of Research finds that federal and state governments have wasted billions of dollars on subsidies for students who didn’t make it past their first year in college. The federal total for first-year college drop outs was $1.5 billion from 2003 to 2008.

Due to data limitations, the figures are only for first year, full-time students at four-year colleges and universities. Community colleges have even higher drop-out rates, and part-time students or students returning to college are more likely to drop out. Therefore, the numbers in the report are “only a fraction of the total costs of first-year attrition the nation and the states face.” Moreover, it doesn’t include the cost for students who drop out some time after their sophomore year.

Federal policymakers from both parties are fond of lavishing subsidies on college students. Proponents argue that without federal subsidies, an insufficient number of future workers will possess the skills necessary to compete in a global economy.

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