Sunday, July 29, 2012

Forward, but to where?

Barack Obama's campaign slogan is "Forward". The problem is that forward can be a good direction or a bad direction. If your car is headed forward towards a brick wall, that is a bad direction. If your boat is headed forward towards a waterfall, that is a bad direction. If your platoon is moving forward towards an enemy ambush, that is a bad direction. Barack Obama's forward is a bad direction. It is forward towards government policies that keep poor people enslaved in poverty and reliance on government programs, rather than helping to raise them out of poverty. It is forward towards a middle class that sees fewer and fewer opportunities because of higher taxes and increased regulation. It is forward towards a rich and superrich who will remain fat and happy, like they always do. It is forward towards a health care system that will be more expensive and provide less access. It is forward towards ever increasing indebtedness which will eventually crush the country. There are apparently many people in this country that believe in Barack Obama's forward direction. God help us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Chicken or the Egg?

Mr. Obama's recent statement about business people are not that smart, didn't do it themselves, or should not pat themselves on the back, is not accurate. He claims that business owners needed the assistance of the government to build the bridges, build the roads, and create the enviroment for business to suceed. When I heard our president speak these words I had to ask myself which came first the chicken or the egg?

May I suggest it was the egg.

What is government if not for the people that have to first pay the taxes so that government can govern. The kings of feudal days depended on the resources of the serfs working their fields. Roads and bridges were not built by the king until the crops were sold and homage paid so the king could build the roads.

As I recall, starting my business thirty years ago, I had previoulsy been in the work force for fifteen years (less two years for my service in the military) paying my taxes and paying my way through school. When I started my business I did not pay myself for three years to allow me to build my inventory. I can assure you I still paid my taxes.

Yes, I received benifits of the government but isn't the government people, fellow businessmen, fellow tax payers? It was not the adminstration that gave me these benifits but the hard working tax payers/businessmen that paved the way. Without businessmen, taxpayers, there can be no government or the  infrastructure that is needed for the sucess of all.

I feel very comfortable saying I did it myself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pauls Shift Emphasis From Fed to Internet Freedom

Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Rand Paul are developing a new issue:  internet freedom, according to BuzzFeed.

The manifesto lays out five specific battles with government regulation and with liberals who state their goal of online liberty in similar terms, but who view corporate encroachment as a more immediate risk. The Paul manifesto seeks to rein in anti-trust actions against companies in new industries; to stop attempts to impose "Net Neutrality" rules on broadband providers; to prevent government control of online infrastructure; to broaden private control of the wireless spectrum, and shore up "private property rights on the Internet."

The Pauls also take a stand for the growing industry known (and widely criticized) as "big data."

They deride the notion that "private sector data collection practices must be scrutinized and tightly regulated inthe name of 'protecting consumers,' at the same time as government’s warrantless surveillance and collection of private citizens’ Internet data has dramatically increased."

Look for more to follow on this subject after the House's upcoming vote on the Fed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rand is Right; SCOTUS Got it Wrong

When the Courier-Journal attacks a conservative, it employs one of two devices:  it characterizes the conservative as either evil or dumb.  The C-J’s most recent attack on Sen. Paul resorts to the latter method. It’s an odd choice for anyone who has ever heard Sen. Paul speak; agree with him or not, the Senator’s intellect is formidable. 

The Courier-Journal condemned Sen. Rand Paul for his criticism of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, upholding Obamacare as a “tax.” I represented Sen. Paul as amicus curiae in the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act.  Sen. Paul argued in his brief that the Individual Mandate violated the Commerce Clause and that the Medicaid expansion provisions violated the Tenth Amendment.  A majority of the Court agreed with Sen. Paul on these issues.  Where Sen. Paul and a majority of the Justices depart, however, is on the Court’s holding that Obamacare can be upheld as a “tax.”

Sen. Paul had noted that “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional.”  
The C-J  mocked Sen. Paul:  “’Justice’ Paul’s verdict flies in the face of more than ample precedent that reveals this usually is the way these things work, especially with majority opinions.  It’s not called the highest court in the land for nothing.” 

Sen. Paul did not dispute that the Supreme Court is the “highest court in the land.”  He did not dispute the finality of the Obamacare ruling in this particular litigation. That is not to say that he or anyone else must agree with the substance of the ruling. The C-J’s fallacy is to confuse finality with correctness. 
Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that once in a while, it gets it wrong. Consequently, the Court reverses itself with some regularity. The Constitution likewise permits Congress to essentially reverse a judicial opinion when Congress determines that the Court misinterpreted Congressional intent (as Democrats did with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act).  Likewise, the citizenry can jettision a wrongly-decided Supreme Court opinion by amending the Constitution. It’s a cumbersome process, to be sure, but one the Framers included because the authority of the Court comes not from its status as the “highest” or “last” but rather from the just consent of the governed.

President Abraham Lincoln drew criticism from Stephen Douglas similar to what the C-J has heaped upon Sen. Paul. Lincoln condemned the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. In a June 26, 1857 speech on  Dred Scott, Lincoln distinguished between his disagreement with the decision and his respect for the judiciary. “We believe, as much as Judge Douglas (perhaps more) in obedience to, and respect for the judicial department of government.”  Notwithstanding that respect for the Court, Lincoln said “But we think the Dred Scott decision is erroneous. We know the court that made it has often over-ruled its own decisions, and we shall do what we can to have it over-rule this.”

Lincoln went on to note that “Judicial decisions are of greater or less authority as precedents, according to the circumstances.  That this should be so, accords with common sense, and the customary understanding of the legal profession.”  He noted that Dred Scott was a split opinion based on assumptions regarding Black Americans that were factually incorrect.

Lincoln pointed to the example of President Andrew Jackson’s response to the Supreme Court’s opinion on the constitutionality of the national bank.  Lincoln (quoting Jackson):  “If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of the Government.  The Congress, the executive and the court, must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer, who takes an oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others.”

Sen. Paul took an oath to uphold the constitution. He was right to call out the Supreme Court for rewriting Obamacare to save it.  This wasn’t judicial review:  it was a judicial hijacking of the legislative process.  Worse, the Court picked a rationale that the President had specifically disavowed when he assured us that Obamacare is not a tax.  Either the Court is making up constitutional justifications out of whole cloth, or the president has a truthiness problem. 

The C-J’s real problem with Sen. Paul is not that he criticized the Supreme Court but rather the senator’s temerity in taking on Obamacare.  If Sen. Paul had said that the Citizens United decision was wrongly decided, the C-J wouldn’t editorialize against him:  it would send him a free subscription.