Control Freak-Why Bureaucracy Bites

Anytime you give a government agency the power to ‘approve’ and confer ‘benefits’ upon the individual members of an otherwise private industry, you’re asking for trouble.  The obvious reason is found in humankind’s disposition to scandal and laziness.  But an additional caveat exists in the inability of bureaucracies to fully anticipate or identify innovation, both within the industry itself, and in the ability on the part of individual members to manipulate and circumvent bureaucratic standards.  Even a bureaucracy comprised of the most intelligent, sincere, and dedicated individuals can’t predict the future.  Such is the argument against Medicare, the Food and Drug Administration, and The Department of Education, among many other federal agencies.  An article written in this morning’s Bloomberg identifies both problems in detailing recent exploitation by for-profit businesses of the tax benefits conferred on non-profit universities.  So, what’s the solution?  It’s simple.  Get rid of the red tape, cut the bureaucracy, and let the market manage itself.

Something More Than Glory-Senator Bunning’s Heroic Stand Against Socialism

In an article published this morning, The Washington Post accuses retiring Senator Jim Bunning of “his fellow Republicans hostage” as “He stood his ground, angry and alone, a one-man blockade against unemployment benefits, Medicare payments to doctors, satellite TV to rural Americans and paychecks to highway workers” thereby imperilling “jobless benefits for millions”.  While advocates of centralized government will continue to condemn Bunning’s actions as unnethical, the heroics displayed in his unwavering loyalty to principle–even in the face of opposition from those within his own party–provide an example for all would be conservative champions.  True leadership requires courageous actions that are, more often than not, unpopular.  As Senator Scott Brown correctly explained, “I don’t think it’s about party, it’s about good government … if it takes one guy to get up and make a stand … I think that speaks for itself.”

Thou Shalt Attend-Obama on Education

In his speech yesterday, President Obama championed the cause of institutionalized education and decried the tragedy inherent in not finishing Highschool.  “we know that we will need a highly educated workforce that is second to none. And we know that the success of every American will be tied more closely than ever before to the level of education that they achieve … Graduating from high school is an economic imperative …”  And, if you don’t complete highschool, you might as well give up on life, “high school dropouts are more likely to be teen parents, more likely to commit crime, more likely to rely on public assistance, more likely to lead shattered lives.  What’s more, they cost our economy hundreds of billions of dollars over the course of a lifetime in lower wages and higher public expenses.”  So, you see, highschool is kind of a big deal.  Because, of course, here in America, we require conformity.  Unless you want to end up a criminal, welfare receiving, teenage parent, you must do your thirteen years of mandatory time in school.  Unless, of course you’re one of the following individuals:

Albert Einstein: Nobel Prize-winning physicist; “Time” magazine’s “Man of the Century” (20th century) (after dropping out of high school, he studied on his own and passed the entrance exam on his second try to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

John D. Rockefeller Sr.: Self-made billionaire American businessman-philanthropist; co-founder of “The Standard Oil Company;” history’s first recorded billionaire (dropped out of high school two months before graduation; took business courses for ten weeks at Folsom Mercantile College [a chain business school])

Henry Ford: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; assembly-line auto manufacturing pioneer;  founder of the “Ford Motor Company”

Walt Disney: Oscar-winning American film/TV producer; animation and theme park pioneer; self-made multimillionaire founder and spokesperson of “The Walt Disney Studios/Company; “Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; French Legion of Honor admittee/Medal recipient (received honorary high-school diploma from hometown high school at age 58)

Abraham Lincoln: 16th President of the United States; (little formal education – Lincoln himself estimated approximately one year; home schooling/life experience; later earned a law degree through self study of books that he borrowed from friends)

Carl Sandburg: Pulitzer Prize-winning American author (little formal education; later passed entrance exam to Lombard College and graduated)

Diana, Princess of Wales

George Burns: Oscar-winning actor/comedian (elementary school dropout)

Dave Thomas: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the “Wendy’s” fast-food restaurant chain (equivalency diploma)

Martin Van Buren: 8th President of the United States (little formal education; began studying law at age 14 while an apprentice at a law firm, later became a lawyer)

Andrew Carnegie: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman and philanthropist (elementary school dropout)

John Chancellor: American television journalist; evening news anchorman

“Colonel” Harlan Sanders: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the “Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC” fast-food restaurant chain (elementary school dropout; later earned a correspondence course law degree)

Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”): Best-selling American author and humorist (elementary school dropout)

Christopher Columbus: Italian explor er (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

Davy Crockett: Early American frontiersman; U.S. Congressman (Tennessee Representative); died at the battle of the Alamo (little formal education – less than six months; home schooling/life experience)

Charles Dickens: Best-selling British author (elementary school dropout)

Joe DiMaggio: National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Sir Francis Drake: British explorer; knighted in the United Kingdom (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

George Eastman: Self-made multimillionaire American inventor; founder of the “Kodak” roll film camera, corporation, and chemical company

Thomas Edison: Self-made multimillionaire, most famous and productive inventor of all time; invented the filament electric light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera; electrical power usage pioneer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; knighted (France: bestowed the rank of Chevalier, (had no formal education – home schooled)

Benjamin Franklin: American politician – diplomat – author – printer – publisher-scientist -inventor; co-author and co-signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; one of the founders of The United States of America; face is pictured on the U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (little formal education [less than two years]; home schooling/life experience)

Clark Gable: Oscar-winning actor

George Gershwin: Oscar-nominated and most celebrated American songwriter-and classical composer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

Amadeo Peter Giannini: American-born founder of “Bank of America”

Cary Grant: Oscar-winning actor

W.T.Grant: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the “W.T. Grant Company” department store chain

H.L. Hunt: Self-made billionaire American oil industrialist (elementary school dropout)

John Huston: Oscar-winning American film director-actor (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, etc.)

Elton John: Oscar-winning songwriter-singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; knighted by the United Kingdom

Andrew Jackson: 7th President of the United States (no formal education; home schooling/life experience)

John Paul Jones: Scottish-born American Revolutionary War U.S. navy commander; famous quote: “I have not yet begun to fight.” (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

Henry J. Kaiser: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of “Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation,” “Kaiser Steel,” etc.

Kirk Kerkorian: Self-made billionaire American businessman

Ray Kroc: Self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of the “McDonald’s” fast-food restaurant chain

Jerry Lewis: Actor-comedian-singer-entertainer-humanitarian; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Jerry Lewis)

John Major: British Prime Minister 1990-1997

William Shakespeare: British playwright; best-selling British author

George Bernard Shaw: Nobel Prize-winning Irish-born British playwright; best-selling author

Frank Sinatra: Oscar-winning actor-singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

John Philip Sousa: American composer-conductor (elementary school dropout)

Zachary Taylor: 12th President of the United States (little formal education; home schooling/life experience)

George Washington: 1st President of the United States; former general; Chairman of the Constitutional Convention; U.S. nickname: “The Father of Our Country”; face is pictured on the U.S. one dollar bill and twenty-five cent coin (quarter) (no formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

William Faulkner: Nobel Prize-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author; screenwriter (dropped out of high school in second year; later attended University of Mississippi but did not graduate)

Herman Melville: Best-selling American author and writer of Moby Dick, arguably the greatest novel of all time.

Liza Minnelli: Oscar-winning actress-singer

Robert Mitchum: Oscar-nominated actor

Claude Monet: French painter (elementary school dropout)

Florence Nightingale: History’s most notable nurse; best-selling Italian-born British nursing book author (no formal education; home schooling/life experience)

Thomas Paine: American Revolutionary War era political theorist; best-selling British-born American author; famous quote: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” (little formal education; home schooling/life experience)

Millard Fillmore: 13th President of the United States (little formal education – six months; home schooling/life experience; studied law while serving as a legal clerk with a judge and law firm; later became a lawyer)

Will Rogers: American author-humorist-lecturer-actor-entertainer; famous quote: “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

Frederick Henry Royce: Self-made multimillionaire British businessman; co-founder-designer of the “Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Company”; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick Henry Royce) (elementary school dropout)

Edmond Safra: Lebanese-born billionaire banker-philanthropist

David Sarnoff: Russian-born American radio and television pioneer; given the title “Father of American Television” by the Television Broadcasters Association

William Saroyan: Oscar-winning screenwriter; Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright

Vidal Sassoon: Self-made multimillionaire British businessman; founder of “Vidal Sassoon” hairstyling salons, academies, and hair-care products

Walt Whitman: Best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout)

Orville & Wilbur Wright: Aviation pioneers; Congressional Gold Medal recipients

Grover Cleveland: 22nd and 24th President of the United States; face is pictured on the one-thousand dollar bill, which is no longer printed; (dropped out of school to help family earn income; studied law while serving as a clerk at a law firm, later became a lawyer)

Irving Berlin: Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer; film story writer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

H.G. Wells…….best-selling British author (dropped out to help family earn income; later returned and went on to college)

Jim Clark……..self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of “Netscape”; first Internet billionaire (17, U.S. Navy)

Jimmy Dean……….singer-songwriter-actor; self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the “Jimmy Dean Foods” brand sausage business (16, U.S. Merchant Marines; 18, U.S. Air Force)

Andrew Jackson……7th U.S. President; face is pictured on the U.S. twenty dollar bill (13, U.S. Continental Army; orphaned at 14; little formal education; home schooling/life experience; studied law in his late teens and became a lawyer)

Leon Uris……….best-selling American author (Exodus, etc.) (17, U.S. Marines)

Walter L. Smith…..former president of Florida A&M University (equivalency diploma, at age 23)

W. Clement Stone….self-made multimillionaire (some sources indicate billionaire) American businessman-author; founder of “Success” magazine (elementary school dropout; later attended high-school night courses and then some college)

Jack London…….best-selling American author (dropped out at 14 to work; later gained admission to the University of California; left after one semester)

Arthur Ernest Morgan….American flood-control engineer; college president-author; appointed by President Roosevelt to be director of the Tennessee Valley Authority public works project (left high school after three years; later attended the University of Colorado for six weeks)

Ray Charles………singer-pianist; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Cher……Oscar-winning actress-singer

Maurice Chevalier…. Oscar-winning actor-singer; French Legion of Honor inductee/Medal recipient (note: rank bestowed in 1938

Pierce Brosnan……actor

Ellen Burnstyn……Oscar-winning actress

Raymond Burr…….actor

Sammy Cahn………. Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer

Michael Caine…….Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Michael Caine)

Glen Campbell…….country music star

Daniel Gilbert……Harvard University psychology professor (equivalency diploma)

Dizzy Gillespie…..musician-composer (received honorary diploma from high school he attended)

Patrick Henry…….American Revolutionary War era politician; Virginia’s first governor; famous quote: “Give me liberty, or give me death!” (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; later studied on his own and earned a law degree)

Julie Andrews…….Oscar-winning actress-singer

Louis Armstrong…..singer-musician

Brooke Astor……..wealthy American socialite-philanthropist-author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Pearl Bailey……..singer-actress; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Lucille Ball……..actress-comedienne-producer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Bill Bartman……..self-made billionaire American businessman

Count Basie………bandleader-pianist

Jack Benny………. comedian-actor-violinist

Humphrey Bogart…..Oscar-winning actor

Philip Emeagwali….supercomputer scientist; one of the pioneers of the Internet (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school in native Nigeria due to war conditions and lack of tuition money; continued to study on his own and earned an equivalency diploma; later won a scholarship to Oregon College of Education in the United States; transferred after one year to Oregon State University)

Danny Thomas……..actor-producer-humanitarian (actor: Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show; co-producer: The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, etc.); Congressional Gold Medal recipient

Kemmons Wilson…….self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the “Holiday Inn” hotel chain

Kjell Inge Rokke…..self-made billionaire Norwegian businessman

Anthony Quinn…….Oscar-winning actor

Roy Rogers……….actor-singer-guitarist

Mary Pickford……Oscar-winning actress; early Hollywood pioneer; co-founder of “United Artists Corporation” (little formal education [six months]; home schooling/life experience)

Sydney Poitier…..Oscar-winning actor (elementary school dropout)

Frederick “Freddy” Laker…. self-made multimillionaire British businessman; airline entrepreneur; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick [or Freddy] Laker)

Tommy Lasorda…… baseball team manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

David Lean………Oscar-winning British film director (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr .Zhivago, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir David Lean)

Anton van Leeuwenhoek….Dutch microscope maker; world’s first microbiologist; discoverer of bacteria, blood cells, and sperm cells)

Richard Branson…..self-made billionaire British businessman; founder of “Virgin Atlantic Airways,” “Virgin Records,” etc.; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Richard Branson)

Isaac Merrit Singer….American sewing machine inventor; self-made multimillionaire founder of “Singer Industries,” “I.M. Singer and Company,” etc. (elementary school dropout)

Alfred E. Smith…..New York Governor; 1928 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate (elementary school dropout)

Charles Chaplin…..Oscar-winning actor-writer-director-producer; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Charles [or Charlie] Chaplin) (elementary school dropout)

Sean Connery……..Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Sean Connery)

Jack Kent Cooke…..self-made billionaire Canadian-born American media businessman

Noel Coward………Oscar-winning actor-director-producer-playwright-composer; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Noel Coward) (elementary school dropout)

Joan Crawford……. Oscar-winning actress; former dancer

Charles E. Culpeper….self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early 1900s’ owner and head of “The Coca Cola Bottling Company”

Robert De Niro……Oscar-winning actor-producer; knighted (France: Chevalier [Knight] of the Legion of Honor; Chevalier [or Chev.] Robert De Niro)

Gerard Depardieu….Oscar-nominated actor; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Gerard  Depardieu) (elementary school dropout)

Richard Desmond…..self-made billionaire British publisher

Thomas Dolby…….. musician-composer; music producer

Joe Lewis……..self-made billionaire British businessman

Carl Lindner…….self-made billionaire American businessman

John Llewellyn…..U.S. Labor leader pioneer; for 40 years until his retirement, president of the United Mine Workers’ Union

Marcus Loew……..self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early Hollywood pioneer; founder of the “Loews” movie-theater chain; co-founder of “MGM” studios (elementary school dropout)

Mary Lyon………American women’s education pioneer; early American teacher; founder of Mount Holyoke College (America’s first women’s college)

Sonny Bono………..singer-songwriter-actor; U.S. Congressman (California U.S. Representative)

Duke Ellington……Oscar-nominated American composer-bandleader; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Ella Fitzgerald…..singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

Aretha Franklin….singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Horace Greeley…. American newspaper publisher-editor; U.S. Congressman; 1872 U.S. Presidential candidate; co-founder of the Republican party in the United States

Thomas Haffa……self-made double-digit billionaire German media businessman

J.R. Simplot…….self-made billionaire American agricultural businessman

Robert Maxwell…..self-made billionaire British publisher

Rod McKuen………best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout)

all of whom committed the unpardonable offense of abandoning, or never starting their highschool education.

*Source: www.education-reform.net

Race-ing Against Social Justice–Farrakhan’s Racist Words

On Sunday afternoon, “An estimated 20,000 people” gathered to hear religious leader Louis Farrakhan speak.  Salon reports that Farrakhan “predicted trouble ahead for President Barack Obama and urged him to do more to improve the lives of blacks and downtrodden.”  In elaborating on what those troubles would be, Farrakhan said “the ‘white right’ was conspiring to make Obama a one-term president.”  The association of ‘blacks’ with ‘the downtrodden’, and the assertion that political lines are divided by race only perpetuate the fear and hate that advocates for social justice and racial equality seek to eliminate.  If our nation is ever to overcome racial prejudices and discrimination, we cannot overlook such language nor allow it to be disguised as anything other than what it is–blatant racism.

The Principled Pragmatist-Palin’s Advice to The Tea Party

In an interview with Fox News, Sarah Palin suggested that the Tea Party “take over the Republican Party … Get them to see the light.”  While such a statement carries a certain air of hypocrisy considering Palin’s endorsement of Senator John Mc’Cain over his far more conservative rivals, its inherent wisdom should not be overlooked.

The two-party division that dominates our political world was born only years after the ratification of The Constitution.  The Federalist Party, led by Alexander Hamilton, propounded a larger Federal Government that took a more expansive role in the lives of its citizens.  Ironically, it was the Democratic Party, led by Thomas Jefferson, that opposed the expansion of the Federal Government, and insisted, rather, that social programs and regulations be left to the control of state governments.  While the modern political parties have swapped ideologies, the classical alignment still exists, though, perhaps, somewhat muddled in the minds of individual americans.  It is that confusion–the ignorance of fundamental principles–that is to blame for today’s bloated expansion of the Federal Government.  Unable to articulate what they believe, modern conservatives, or those who would have allied themselves with the Democrats (or classical liberals) of Jefferson’s day, have, for over eighty years, found themselves voting into office leaders who have actually succeeded in increasing, rather than decreasing the size of the Federal Government.  The claim that there exists little difference between Democrats and Republicans is far more axiomatic than many realize.  The ideology of Jefferson’s Democratic party–the belief that the Federal Government should be limited to the express powers dictated by the Constitution and that social programs and regulations should be left to state governments–has all but disappeared from the political arena.  However, in an age were information is readily accessible, where the average american, by and through the aid of libraries and the internet, can obtain an education far superior to that offered by the university, Jefferson’s voice is heard once more in the mouth of the Tea Party.

As the Tea Party seeks to restore the principles of limited government, it has found its closest allies within the Republican Party.  And while many Republicans still believe in the expansion of the Federal Government, the movement would be wise to stay the course, and focus on reforming the party from within, rather than rejecting it from without.  Of course, when forced to decide between loyalty to party or loyalty to principle, the movement must remain true, even if it requires voting Democrat or Independent over Republican.

Standing For Something-Why Bipartisan Politics Are Bad For America

Bloomberg reports that “President Barack Obama began yesterday’s health-care summit saying he wanted to find bipartisan ways to fix the health-care system.”  But, “By the end, he said he might be left with a partisan path forward.”  In other words, President Obama and the Democratic Party may be ready to concede bipartisan defeat, as increasing pressure from Conservatives forces Republican leaders to, once and for all, declare their ideological allegiance.  It seems that it is no longer enough to simply smile and kiss babies.  The modern politician must believe in something, and vote accordingly.  As Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon explains, “[o]ne of the strangest prongs of conventional Beltway wisdom is the lament that there is not enough bipartisanship.  The opposite is true:  many of the most damaging acts inflicted on the country by Washington are enacted on a fully bipartisan basis.”  Politicians must accept that they will disagree with their colleagues.  Oftentimes, such disagreements will be irreconcilable, as differences in principle are bound to produce differences in opinion.  However, disagreement is not destructive.  Rather, it encourages intellectual discussion and debate, and, by forcing politicians to stand firm in their convictions, provides an opportunity for true leaders to prove themselves worthy of their elected office.

Misguided Minstrels–Keillor and Schwartzenegger Criticize Conservatives

On Tuesday, writer and talk show host Garrison Keillor criticized the hypocrisy inherit in the idolization of leaders who talk the small government talk, while simultaneously increasing the size of the federal government.  “Look at the recent powwow of the conservative choir in Washington. Their goal is to reduce government to where it was in Coolidge’s time. They are sticking to this, though their presidents, Reagan and Bush II, only succeeded in enlarging government.”  Later that night, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Governator of California, added insult to empirical injury, criticizing conservatives for “not going anywhere …” and concluding that, “in the end, when the economy comes back … the tea party will disappear …”  As wonderful as Gary’s writing and Arnie’s acting truly are, their analytical reasoning leaves much to be desired.  Conservatism is the most coherent and orderly political ideology ever conceived.  At its heart, it is purely pragmatic, seeking the highest quality of life for the greatest number of individuals possible while, at the same time, cultivating ingenuity and creativity by allowing for the greatest degree of personal liberty.  To accomplish that end, it requires fealty to the republican tenets of the Constitution, namely, a Federal Government limited, almost entirely, to national defense, and deference to state and local government for the administration of social programs and corporate oversight.  And, while many modern politicians, including Reagan and Bush, have ultimately failed to implement conservative policies, that does nothing to undermine or defeat the cause.  Rather, such failure is responsible for the the large influx of converts to the conservative movement.  Contrary to Governor Schwartzenegger’s prediction, this tea party has just begun.

Dividing Lines-The Aftermath of Brown’s Stimulus Vote, Jeb Bush on Charlie Crist’s Socialist Policies

In an article published this morning, The Washington Post details the political backlash against Senator Scott Brown’s (R-MA) decision to vote for increased stimulus spending in the form of the ‘jobs bill’.

A month after being crowned the darling of national conservatives, Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is being branded “Benedict Brown” for siding with Democrats in favor of a jobs bill endorsed by the Obama administration.

However, according to the Post,

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wasn’t particularly perturbed about Brown’s vote, saying his election last month has “made a huge, positive difference for us and for the whole legislative agenda.

In other news, Politico reports that Jeb Bush has openly condemned his successor, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and his decision to support last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  A bold move, considering that Bush’s own brother was responsible for signing The Economic Stimulus Act of the previous year into law.  “”I know I’m supposed to be politically correct and I said I was neutral and all that,” Bush said, but added of Crist’s move: “I got a problem with that.” While the former governor called Crist “about the nicest guy I’ve ever met in politics,” Bush called Crist’s support for the stimulus bill a critical “mistake.””  Bush’s words provide a superb example of both diplomacy and leadership, and a sharp contrast to McConnell’s slippery appeal to party politics.

While some may question the significance of drawing fine lines in the political sand, it is nevertheless of the utmost importance that we stand firm on those principles necessary to our country’s success and survival.  Any and all votes for federal stimulus and subsidies, the expansion of federal social programs, and increases in federal regulation of private enterprises must be strongly opposed regardless of their source.

However, it is also important that we distinguish between sin and sinner.  Although All proponents of socialist legislation, whether Republican or Democrat–Scott Brown or Barack Obama–inhibit progress through their acts, there is no reason why we must question their intentions.  Nevertheless, playing nice does not require that we cease to play, but rather, that we play with grace and style.  Kindness is not Compromise.

Sins of The Children-Brown Backs New Government Bailout While Romney and Palin Endorse McCain

Reuters reports that, in a statement defending his vote for a new government stimulus package that creates more government stimulus–cloaked under the benevolent title of the ‘jobs bill’–in the form of “subsidies for state and local construction bonds and $19.5 billion to shore up a highway-construction fund”, Senator Scott Brown explained “I hope my vote today is a strong step toward restoring bipartisanship in Washington”.  Adding insult to injury, The Associated Press reports that Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin have both thrown their support behind Senator John McCain–seen by many as the quintessential socialist republican–in his quest for re-election.  Such actions demonstrate a preference for people over principles.  If we are ever to overcome our socialist past and present, and truly evolve into a free-thinking, industrious future, we must refuse to accept programs or candidates that contravene our ideals.  A vote against the ‘jobs bill’ or McCain’s candidacy is not, contrary to popular belief, a show of closed-minded partisanship, rather, it is a demonstration of true political mettle.

The Solution For America

“The American people get it.”  He said smiling, “high taxes only hurt the economy.”  I stood in the lounge of Murphy’s Pub at the conclusion of CPAC, my mormon mock-tail in hand, discussing the future of our nation with Les Phillip, a friendly but confident candidate for Alabama’s fifth district.  As we talked, I began to realize that this man was not the average political candidate.  “What about the income tax?”  I asked.  Mr. Phillip smiled, and leaned in close.  “What we need to do,” he said, a hint of excitement in his voice, “is repeal both the 16th and 17th amendments.  By so doing, we will resurrect one of the most important check’s on the federal government’s power, and help to de-regulate the failed social programs of the last 100 years.”  Les’s proposal is not only sound, but it is also, perhaps, the solution to the economic crisis now facing America.

There exists a disconnect between congress and the states that they purport to represent.  As originally provided for by the Constitution, senators were appointed by their respective state legislatures, rather than the population at large.  Federal taxes were collected not from individual citizens, but from the state governments in accordance with their respective population.  As can be imagined, the state governments, having a vested interest in keeping as much of their tax revenue as possible, did all they could to restrain and check the federal government’s ability to spend.  All that changed with the passage of the 16th and 17th amendment, and it wasn’t long before the federal government began to increase its power in ways never before dreamed of.

As suggested by Mr. Phillip, a repeal of the 16th and 17th amendment would resurrect one of the most important checks on the federal government’s ability to spend.  It would restore the lost connection between the state governments and congress, thereby assuring a more transparent, efficient, and respectable federal government, and above all, provide the solution for America.


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