New England Nullification Tradition Marches On

Though many living in New England today might be loathe to admit it, there is a long history of nullification being used in the region to defy unconstitutional federal edicts. This week, the town of Sedgwick, Maine voted to carry on that proud tradition by nullifying certain federal agricultural regulations.

They did so through what might be the most legitimate form of democratic expression left in America: the New England town meeting. (Which have been held in the Sedgwick town hall since 1794.)

According to one report, the residents of Sedgwick voted to enact a law that not only permits

“Sedgwick citizens…to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing,”

but declares that

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South Carolina reps see the light on Commerce Clause

Two state representatives in South Carolina are pushing back against a federal ban of incandescent light bulbs set to begin in January of 2012. There is no constitutional authority for Congress to impose such a ban on the citizens of the several states, and it’s nice that South Carolina noticed. From NetRightDaily: “State Representatives Sandifer and Loftis are taking the lead…

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Supreme Court gets the Constitution right, for once

In an overwhelming 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the odious Westboro Baptist Church and the First Amendment. That is, the amendment which protects ALL speech, not just politically-correct, state-approved speech. Bravo. The nine highest-paid federal judges in the land have proved themselves capable of comprehending the plain language of the Constitution. Why then,  we…

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VA Senate Kills Intrastate Commerce Act Without a Vote

Another year, another trip to the Senate Death Star for the Intrastate Commerce Act (HB1438). Without even recording a vote, the elected “representatives” on the Senate Commerce and Labor Sub-Committee #1 left Virginia residents and businesses exposed to the economic and regulatory ravages of every federal agency from the EPA to the FDA to the BATF. When will…

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Thank a Veteran Today by Introducing Them to Oath Keepers!

Oath Keepers simply recognize that there are certain orders we would NOT obey because we will consider them unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral violations of the natural rights of the people. Such orders would be acts of war against the American people by their own government, and thus acts of treason. We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason. We will defend the Republic.

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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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Obama and Infrastructure

The President is continuing his push for the federal government to go deeper into debt in order to fund infrastructure projects. While nobody disputes that the country has infrastructure needs, the precarious nature of federal and state finances indicate that policymakers need to starting thinking outside the box. Specifically, policymakers should be looking to make it easier for the private sector to fund and operate infrastructure projects.

As my colleagues Chris Edwards and Peter Van Doren have explained, the main problem with government infrastructure spending is the lack of efficiency:

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