Bang The Drum

Banging the Drum for Default

Originally published at American Thinker

There’s been so much malarkey meted out by the media about the budget C.R., the government shutdown, and the debt ceiling that the average American can easily lose sight of the real issue, which is the federal debt. Even certain honest, trusted members of the media trot out “default” as though it were synonymous with not raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17.

Actually, default is not paying the interest/principle on what one has borrowed. Current federal revenue is way more than enough to easily pay what we owe on federal notes, bills and bonds.

If the feds do indeed have enough revenue pouring in to meet their obligations, then actual default would be an act of volition, a decision by the president. The president would have decided to squander the full faith and credit of the nation. Such an action would be an impeachable offense.

The president tells us that the deficit has been cut in half. He’s right, but that’s only because it’s come down from astronomical levels. Despite having fallen, the deficit for fiscal 2013 is still far higher than any pre-Obama deficit. Indeed, the six deficits since the Democrats took over Congress in Jan. 2007 are by far the largest in history.

Two big reasons for the smaller deficit for the fiscal year that just ended are tax hikes and spending cuts; specifically, the income tax rate hikes on the wealthy, the end of the payroll tax holiday, and sequestration. But the Democrats want to end sequestration. If that were to happen with no off-setting cuts elsewhere, the deficit would be that much worse next year. (It may be worse anyway, due to the rollout of ObamaCare.) 

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What Government Shutdown? Stop the hysteria!

The fear with respect to our latest “government shutdown” is amazing. The hysteria peddlers using this terminology, and the media that purposely play to it, must know these two words emit such an extreme emotional response. It appears designed to frighten the least informed either for or against the other political party, thus the terminology and subsequent blame game.

So what does a government shut down look like? Do the president and vice president resign now that the government ends? No, they stay on the job and receive full pay as before. Does Congress fly out of Washington D. C. the following day and cease to draw their pay, and the Supreme Court cease to deliberate on constitutional questions? Does the army come home and cease to protect us? NO! No, No! Do states, counties, and cities no longer function? No again, they have their own tax base and cops, prisons, and teachers remain in place. Will I still get my mail? Yes. The U.S. Postal Service functions as an independent business unit. Will I still get Social Security benefits? Yes! And food stamps? Yes. And unemployment compensation? Yes. And veterans’ benefits? Yes, at least until late October. And will there still be a functioning federal school lunch program? Yes, at least through October. (66 questions and answers about the government shutdown, by Gregory Korte, USA Today Oct. 1, 2013)

If this is so then why the hysteria? My point exactly!! Because these two words, “government shutdown,” and the possibility of missed food stamps send the largely uninformed into frenzy, they finally awake from their stupor. They largely know nothing, although they should, of the wrangling of government to protect them from themselves and oppose any proposed government diet that might reduce their daily feed. They worshipfully listen to the party and political leaders that are least likely to disturb this base, like defunding Obamacare.

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In a Constitutional System, the Shutdown Wouldn’t Matter

usdaA few thoughts on the so-called government shutdown.

First, let’s just call it what it is. Political theater with bad actors!

What we have does not constitute a shutdown. If you go to the airport, TSA agents will still grope you. The IRS will collect taxes from American paychecks during the duration of the shutdown. The NSA will continue spying on Americans. Yemeni’s remain under the threat of droning. Heck, Obamacare even went live on the first day of the shutdown. Well, sort of.

This shutdown sucks.

Instead of a real suspension of government activities, a huge number of which violate the Constitution, we have barricades at national parks and shuttered websites like www.usda.gov.

Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.

As if it costs money or takes manpower for a website to continue floating in cyberspace.flotus

Apparently the furlough took out Michelle Obama’s social media person. Her last tweet declares updates will be limited during the shutdown.

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A Grand Bargain for Liberty?

by Ron Paul

As I write this, it appears that the federal government is about to shut down because the House and Senate cannot agree on whether to add language defunding or delaying Obamacare to the “Continuing Resolution”. Despite all the hand-wringing heard in DC, a short-term government shut down (which doesn’t actually shut down the government) will not cause the country to collapse.

And the American people would benefit if Obamacare was defeated or even delayed.

Obamacare saddles the American health care system with new spending and mandates which will raise the price and lower the quality of health care. Denying funds to this program may give Congress time to replace this bill with free-market reforms that put patients and physicians back in charge of health care. Defunding the bill before it becomes implemented can spare the American people from falling under the worst effects of this law.

As heartened as we should be by the fight against Obamacare, we should be equally disheartened by the fact that so few in DC are talking about making real cuts in federal spending. Even fewer are talking about reductions in the most logical place to reduce spending: the military-industrial complex.  The US military budget constitutes almost 50 percent of the total worldwide military spending.  Yet to listen to some in Congress, one would think that America was one canceled multi-million dollar helicopter contract away from being left totally defenseless.

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Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA Spying, We Push Back

Dianne Feinsten Defends NSA SpyingLast week, during a hearing in the Imperial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinsten went to bat for the NSA – defending their wildly unconstitutional spying program as “lawful, effective and constitutional”

This is in light of the fact that the NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable “lock box” in the interest of “national security.” That’s how PCWorld reported on what General Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, told U.S. senators.

There is no upper limit” on NSA telephone-records collection, Alexander said. “I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lock box that we can search when the nation needs to do it.”

Fact: The 4th Amendment doesn’t authorize this kind of mass intrusion into your privacy, no matter what these people happen to say.

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Great Stand By Cruz Won’t Stop Obamacare. Nullify It.

I rarely get to report something “good” coming out of Congress.

But the Senate filibuster on Obamacare by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)  certainly falls into that category.

Cruz stood on his principles. He stood for 21 hours and 19 minutes. He stood, and he talked.  He stood despite a lack of support from Republican leadership (ie. Mitch McConnell). He stood up for the American people in the face of a draconian and unconstitutional law that will do unimaginable damage to the economy, and more importantly to freedom and liberty.

“I rise today in opposition to Obamacare,” Cruz said at 2:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Technically, the speech wasn’t really a filibuster. He did not delay a procedural vote scheduled for Wednesday and gave up the floor at noon per to Senate rules. Essentially Cruz gave voice to a whole lot of Americans who rarely get heard. Kudos to him.

The speech featured some great lines, including a reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, and some amusing senatorial self-deprecation.

“This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who cares? … You know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?” Cruz said.

Rand Paul quoted Bastiat.

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Unconstitutional Protection for Federally Defined ‘Journalists’

When the feds tell you they want to protect your rights, watch out! In all likelihood, that means they plan to strip some of your rights away and expand their own power.

Case in point, a “shield law” for journalists currently the subject of congressional debate.  The political class wants to protect journalists from requirements to reveal sources or documents. S.987 would “maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.”

Sound good, right?

But consider this: in the process, Congress gets to define a “journalist.”

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Has Eric Cantor Read the Constitution?

Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor met with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Syria.  Shortly after his conference with the president, Cantor released a statement saying, “I intend to vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria.”

Just in case you didn’t get that, allow me to interpret Cantor’s statement.

“I intend to abdicate my constitutional duty and give the President of the United States monarchical powers that the Constitution clearly prohibits him from possessing.”

Seriously, has Eric Cantor read the Constitution?  Did Cantor’s copy not include Article 1, Section 8 that outlines which branch of the federal government has war powers?

This section reads, “Congress shall have power to declare war….”  Or, stated differently, “Congress, and Congress alone, shall have the power to determine who the United States can fight, where and for what length of time.”  It doesn’t say, “Congress shall have the power to declare war or to defer to the president whenever it doesn’t feel like doing its job.”

The Constitution is clear: the president has no power to declare war.  Period.  Congress makes that call. And that doesn’t mean signing off on allowing the president to go to war if he wants to. The Congress debates and makes the decision. The president carries it out – whatever it may be. Cantor wants to let the president decide with his blessing. No! That’s YOUR job congressman!

Why is it that the people who have the hardest time understanding this are the people whose job description is literally “to uphold the Constitution of the United States”?

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