federalexpression

This is a Republic, not a Democracy. Let's keep it that way!

Posts Tagged ‘Deficit

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane… No, It’s “Super Congress”

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This debt deal has given birth to a new “Super Congress”. A so-called committee of 12 that will formulate a plan to handle the deficit crises. This is a sham. The Congress has literally crumbled the Constitution into a huge paper ball and tossed it in the waste paper basket. 12 members are going to represent 435 Congressional districts and there will be no debate, no amendment and no filibusters allowed when the committee comes forward with its “recommendation”.

If, by some miracle, the Congress as a whole votes down the recommendation; then the OMB will slash the deficit on its own. Now, remember there is more than one way to reduce the deficit. If I were a betting man I would wager that tax increases rather than spending cuts will be the avenue of choice. Let’s talk about the constitutional problems with this legislation.

United States Constitution Article I Section 1
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

#1. The constitution tells us that all legislative power rests in a Congress. This “Super Congress” establishes the President (an executive branch official) as a legislator with veto power. This is different then the normal veto power of the president. It is different because under this committee he exercises the veto in the course of formulating the legislation. He becomes a co-author. As such, he is not exercising a simple assent or denial, he is engineering bills. Does he sit in on the discussions, I’m not really sure. I do know , however, that any proposal that would be rejected by the whole congress would result in the OMB cuts to go into affect. The OMB is an executive office.

United States Constitution Article I Section 7
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

#2. According to the Constitution, all revenue generating bills are to originate in the house and it explicitly states that the Senate may offer amendments. These revenue generating bills will be originating in something akin to a joint-committee of the two houses, but it is really a revolutionary body never before assembled.

United States Constitution Article 4 Section 4
The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union, a republican form of government…

#3. And finally, I submit that this arrangement, because it blurs the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches of government violates the very definition or a Republic.

Making matters worse, this deal never even pretended to address our real economic crises, THE DEBT. Listen to what they talk about. They talk about reducing rising budget deficits. The never speak of eliminating the budget deficit and they never talk about paying off the National Debt.

It’s as if Americans do not even understand terms. A deficit is when you spend more money than you take in. The debt is the total of all deficits plus the interest owed. Reducing the deficit means you are going to continue to have budget deficits and you are going to continue to grow the national debt. Whether the committee proposal is approved or denied, the debt ceiling will be raised. An approval will grant an increase of 1.5 Trillion and a rejection would result in an increase of 1.2 Trillion. Now, if you are going to raise the debt by 1.2 to 1.5 Trillion what is the point of the budget cuts?

Are we as a people too dumb to remain free? This appears to be the beginning of an oligarchical dictatorship. I would expect increased taxes, increased spending, increased debt and a decrease in benefits and services. The bankers will love this arrangement because it will increase the interest payments on an ever-increasing national debt.

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Written by federalexpression

August 4, 2011 at 3:38 am

Balanced Budget Amendment: Be Careful What You Wish For

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This is part 2 of a series of discussions designed to point out the fallacies behind some modern Amendment ideas. As the drive towards a Constitutional Convention heats up, it is a good idea to examine the many Amendment proposals that are being discussed. No one wants to see balanced budgets more than I. Just be careful what you wish for.

Without exception, every balanced budget amendment proposal I have seen has included built-in loop-holes to allow our legislature to circumvent the requirement. I suppose that’s to be expected in today’s short-sighted world. Every year a new budget is proposed and passed and in every instance the Congress can balance the budget with a simple majority vote. It never happens. I don’t believe an amendment will change that.

I have two great reservations about a balanced budget amendment.

Reservation #1:
There are two ways to balance a budget. First, cut spending. I assume that this is what most Americans would like to see. Second, raise taxes.  Let me ask you a simple question. If Congress were under mandate to balance the budget today, which method do you think would be most likely to be used?

Reservation #2:
The frustration of the American people over the budget issue is being used to fuel a call for an Article V Constitutional Convention. The risk of doing so is hardly worth it. Especially since the outcome of a balanced budget amendment is likely to result in higher taxes and a still unbalanced budget. As soon as taxes are raised sufficiently to bring the budget in line, a war or similar crisis will result in the exercise of whatever loop-hole is included and the debt will continue to rise.

Conclusion:
We need to be very specific about how the budget is to be balanced. We cannot expect to make real progress on this issue unless we examine the true role of Government. If we want a welfare/warfare state we will have huge debts. Let us work to reduce the size of government. Let us enforce the Constitution, our contract of government, as it is written. Let us bind men down from mischief with the chains of our Constitution.

Reference My Previous Posts on the dangers associated with a Con-Con:
https://federalexpression.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/beware-of-con-cons-state-legislators-warn-against-a-constitutional-convention/
https://federalexpression.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/danger-rand-paul-to-push-for-a-constitutional-convention-to-force-balancing-the-federal-budget/

Written by federalexpression

January 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

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