Those Phantom Spending ‘Cuts’ from 2011

The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold recently took a look at the $38 billion in spending cuts that Republicans and Democrats agreed to in 2011 in order to avoid a government shutdown. Fahrenthold estimates that $17 billion of those “cuts” were little more than budgetary gimmicks. For instance, $6 billion in authorized spending for the previous year’s decennial census were merely wiped off the books and counted as a “cut.”

Fahrenthold’s piece is a good reminder of how unserious politicians from both parties are about cutting spending. But I want to make two additional points.

First, real or not, let’s not forget that the $38 billion in “cuts” were a drop in the bucket that year compared to total spending, the deficit, and even interest on the debt: 

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Moving Back Toward Level

Indefinite detention. Loss of due process. Unwarranted surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles. Regulation of fire arms. Registration of fire arms. Full out banning of certain kinds of fire arms. State sanctioned molestation/unwarranted search and seizure by the TSA. Forced participation in a government run health care scheme. Federal regulation of raw milk and plants produced and sold in state.

The above are just a few of the issues making headlines across the country. Those with even an inkling of what the Bill of Rights is actually meant to protect, have to be shaking their heads every time they turn on the t.v. or browse the Internet. It does indeed seem that more than ever before, our constitutionally protected rights are under attack. Is this a conspiracy by the federal government? Or perhaps they have fallen victim to the same old story; motivation by greed. And, for some of them, doing things they naively think will keep people safe, though history has proven otherwise. Whichever way you look at it, our government has some serious problems, and all of those problems lead to the inevitable destruction of our rule of law.

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TSA bill favorably received by Kansas House committee

As previously reported by Kelli Sladick, HB 2175 was introduced to the Kansas Legislature to limit TSA searches. Probable cause would be the new standard before public officials or employees could legally touch “the genitals, buttocks, anus or female breasts of suchperson, including touching through clothing.” There are also protections for children, prohibiting agents of the state from removing a child from the physical custody or control of the parent or guardian.

On Tuesday, February 12, after the Federal and State Affairs Committee heard HB 2175, author State Representative Brett Hildabrand tweeted:

Following hashtag “ksleg” on Twitter, @bradc25 reported Committee Chairman Arleen Siegfreid sensed support for the newly proposed TSA regulations. Committee member State Rep. J.R. Claeys seems at least open to such ideas as he tweeted:

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Missouri Legislation Would Nullify Federal Gun “Laws”

Representative Funderburk introduced a Second Amendment Preservation Act, House Bill 436. This bill is cosponsored by many representatives including Representatives: Jones, Burlinson, Hicks, Rhoads, Ross, Miller, Parkinson, Remole, Anderson, Hurst, Bahr, Brown, Smith, Koenig, Curtman, Dugger, Morris, Sommer, Leara, Gatschenberger, Brattin, Schieffer, and Korman. Missouri is serious by upholding the federal government to its Constitutional responsibility to not infringe on the people’s right to bear arms. Previously, Representative Sommer had introduced HB 162, A Firearms Freedom Act and HB 181 and Interstate Commerce Act.

HB 436 states, “All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations, whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state. Such federal acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations include, but are not limited to: (a) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1934; (b) The provisions of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968; (c) Any tax, levy, fee, or stamp imposed on firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition not common to all other goods and services which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens; (d) Any registering or tracking of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens; (e) Any registering or tracking of the owners of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition which could have a chilling effect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens; (f) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, or use or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; (g) Any act ordering the confiscation of firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition from law-abiding citizens.”

This bill acknowledges that federal gun regulations have been around for decades. The Gun Control Act of 1934 set up the battle between the right to bear arms and state sovereignty. In Franklin E. Zimring article, Firearms and Federal Laws: The Gun Control Act of 1968 describes how this battle started. “The National Firearms Act of 1934, after the handgun registration provisions were deleted, was a concentrated attack on civilian ownership of machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and other relatively rare firearms that had acquired reputations as gangster weapons during the years preceding its passage. Modeled on the Harrison Narcotics Act, the N.F.A. based its regulatory powers on a tax imposed on traffic in the weapons, thus generating federal jurisdiction for intrastate as well as interstate transactions. The tax rate, $200 per transfer, did not seem calculated to encourage extensive commerce in these weapon. The Act also provided for the immediate registration of all covered weapons, even if illegally owned a provision altered in 1968, after the United States Supreme Court held the 1934 provision to be an infringement on the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.”

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Iowa Senate Considering Medical Marijuana Legalization

The Iowa Senate will consider a bill legalizing medical marijuana during the 2013 legislative session.

Democratic Senators Joe Bolkcom, William Dotzler, Thomas Courtney and Jack Hatch filed (SF79) on Jan. 29.

The complex bill would set up a framework legalizing and regulating the medical use of cannabis for pain management. Under the law, doctors could prescribe marijuana for  patients diagnosed with  cancer, AIDS, ALS , Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s and other illness. The bill would allow for the creation of non-profit dispensaries to grow and sell medicinal marijuana.

State Rep. Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines) introduced a House bill earlier last month, but HF22 died in a Public Safety Committee subcommittee made up  Rep. Baudler,  Rep. Berry, and Rep. Fry.

“Iowans clearly want our state policy to be sensible and rooted in evidence; that’s why I’m introducing this medical marijuana legislation,” Hunter said in a statement. “At this point, there’s no denying that marijuana helps alleviate the symptoms of a host of terrible diseases, many of which are notoriously difficult to treat.”

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