When the federal government violates your rights, you’re not supposed to wait four years for new politicians in the hope that they’ll fix it. You’re not supposed to wait two, or four, or more years for some black-robed judge to pronounce that they’ve violated your rights. You are supposed to resist those violations of your liberty as they happen – and it is your state’s solemn duty to do the same...Michael Boldin
Michael Boldin's post We Refuse over at the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC) defines the core beliefs he holds as founder of the TAC:
The Tenth Amendment codifies in law this principle of popular sovereignty – that “We the People” of the several states created the federal government to be our agent for certain, enumerated purposes – and nothing more. But unfortunately, that’s not how things have been working, and very little that the government does is actually authorized by the constitution. And, this is a problem that didn’t just start in January 2009 – it’s been going on a long, long time.
He then asks the question, "What to do about it?" (emphasis mine):
Question – What do we do about it?
Do we call and email our representatives in Congress and ask them to limit their own power?
Do we march on D.C. and demand that the government limit its own power?
Do we sue them in their own courts and ask their judges to limit their power?
Do we vote the bums out in 2010, or 2012 – and ask new politicians to limit their own power?
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both warned us that if the federal government ever became the sole and exclusive arbiter of the extent of its own powers – that power would endlessly grow…regardless of elections, separation of powers, courts, or other vaunted parts of our system.
Guess what – they were right. For a hundred years, we the people have been suing, and marching, and lobbying, and voting the bums out – but yet…year in and year out, government continues to grow and your liberty continues to diminish – and it doesn’t matter who is the president, or what political party controls congress – the growth of power in the federal government never stops.
The problem we face today is not about personalities or political parties – it’s about power. Until we address the absolute fact that the federal government has too much power, things will never change.
The emphasized text defines the very crux of the issue that surfaces when we begin to take it upon ourselves to change a party from within. To believe this actually makes a difference in the current environment of continuous growth in federal power is dangerous. The real issue that must be tackled is the growth of the federal government, how and why this growth occurred, why it is anathema to the very principles held by our founders, and what to do about it. Dr. Larry Hunter writes in The Soft Despotism of Democratic Fascism:
By all means my fellow Americans, go to the polls in November and vote out the bums who are most aggressively subverting our free-market republic and transforming it into Democratic Fascism, i.e., Democrats. But just know when you do, the people you replace them with, Republicans, are themselves subverting the American free-market republic by offering nothing but Socialism Lite as an alternative.
So many scoundrels; so few alternatives.
Had John McCain been elected president in 2008, we almost certainly by this time would have seen a version of RomneyCare enacted into law, which is a lite version of ObamaCare, an idea hatched inside conservative think tanks as a Socialist Lite alternative to HillaryCare all those years ago—can’t stand to be the Movement of No don’t you know.
A trial run of a scaled-down model of the democratic fascist healthcare reform machine was enacted into law with the Medicare Prescription Drugs (Part D) program in 2003 by a Republican president and Republican Congress: a Rube Goldberg device that conscripts the private sector to run the democratic fascist drug machinery, complete with a lite version of an individual mandate—call it contracting out tyranny. Indeed, RomneyCare and its prescription-drug prototype is precisely the template the Democrats used to forge public-private insurance and drug cartels beneath a private patina. No wonder the stock prices of the pharmaceutical companies and the biggest health insurance companies rose markedly during the run up to ObamaCare and right after it was signed into law...
...With only a few exceptions, Republicans are not demanding a roll-back of the welfare state, not talking about scaling back the size of government from its current almost 38 percent of GDP to 15 percent or less. Not more than a fraction of them talk seriously about a total repeal of the income tax (which only half the American people pay) or repeal of the Federal Reserve System, which subverts sound money and undermines economic growth, and no more than couple of them have any clue about how to restore sound money. Beyond a handful, there are no courageous Republicans calling for an end to empire and a return from our counterproductive search abroad for monsters to destroy. Fearful of their own shadows, there are not significant numbers of Republicans urging a dismantling of the domestic police state with its creeping total-information awareness system that is gradually smothering individual freedom and privacy; indeed South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is actually pushing hard for a biometric national ID card. No Republican is calling for constitutional amendments to put the federal Leviathan back in chains, the kind of chains we all can believe in.
So, once you throw out the Democratic rascals and replace them with Republican scalawags, don’t expect things to change much. While every republican in Congress voted against ObamaCare, the Grand Old Party cannot now even muster the courage to run on a platform of repealing it.
Perhaps not in this election nor even in the presidential election to follow but soon the American people will come to understand a very sad and frightening fact about the United States today: Elections no longer work to divert the nation’s decent into the soft despotism of democratic fascism; they simply perpetuate the fraud of two parties, one Establishment, democratic in appearance, increasingly fascist in operation.
I urge the reader to survey the material presented here, particularly Dr. Hunter's expose of the scurrilous truths about current Beltway politics practiced between the two parties titled Who Lost Healthcare.
The need we all feel for action is pressing. The current target of the symptom of unconstitutional governance by a strong central power is ObamaCare. Talk of repeal is thick in the air - lawsuits and rumors of lawsuits even thicker. Talk of taking back the party from the ground up is the strategy of the day for many.
Repeal will never happen for obvious reasons. It sounds good, looks good on paper, but is impossible until 2013 due to the power of the veto pen and the realities on the ground. To over-ride a veto takes more votes in the Senate than the Republicans could hope to have under the best of circumstances in the upcoming 2010 midterms. Therefore, 2013 is the best chance for repeal and only if Obama loses the election in 2012 and the Republicans control both chambers of the legislature. Even then, we must assume and count on Republicans having the nerve to take on such an undertaking, something recent history quite clearly demonstrates as contra-indicative of GOP tendencies. Not to mention the fact that most if not all of the bureaucracy for ObamaCare will already be in place, making the repeal of the entire bill a dangerous undertaking as insurance companies and doctors - those who are still around - position themselves to work within the new framework. The damage to the existing system, already done, could be exacerbated as the entire structure is torn down. So much inertia will exist within the scaffolding and foundation of ObamaCare the momentum of this monstrosity of a bill would require great courage to take on, repeal, tear down, and replace. I don't believe for a second ObamaCare will be repealed and putting our eggs in that basket is dangerous and negligent.
Then there is the lawsuits challenging the individual mandate. Forget for a moment the absence of any real enforcement mechanism for the insurance mandate. Many scholars believe the mandate will not be struck down by the Supreme Court. As the entire history of the Supreme Court since the days of the Marshall Court is a history lesson in how the federal powers absconded with the rights of the states and the people through judicial activism and negligence, I would not be surprised. But I will cede ground and assume that it will be struck down. What occurs then? What are we left with? ObamaCare absent the mandate is a recipe for either single-payer socialized medicine of government backed insurance cartels (fascist medicine). If the mandate cannot be collected, then by default taxes will need to be raised. As it will take years for this case to make it to the Supreme Court, the arguments in the previous paragraph still hold. Strike the mandate with Republicans in control and watch the GOP bailout a few large insurance companies creating a cartel-like environment where insurance companies now make your medical decisions for you with the backing of the government. Great system.
As for those who think taking back the party and changing it from within is the panacea to our problems, I can only point to the above information from Mr. Boldin and Dr. Larry Hunter. There is not point of reference to indicate this approach possesses any efficacy whatsoever. As indicated above, the evidence is quite to the contrary. There is also this to consider:
Further evidence of Federal lucre and its consequences can be found in many aspects of welfare programs enacted in past century and the beginning of this century:
As of 2003, Medicare we underfunded to the tune of $27 trillion, four times the national debt at that time. This funding crisis was in terms of future obligations versus projected tax receipts. No wonder a Value Added Tax is now being discussed. Chris Edwards and Tad DeHaven found in 2003 that an average male that reached age 65 will receive $71,000 more in benefits from Social Security and Medicare that he had put in. Contrast that with the average twenty-five year old male expected to pay $322,000 more in taxes that he would ever receive.
Prior to Medicaid, doctors provided services to the poor for free or at reduced rates. Prior to Medicaid poor families had higher hospital admission rates than those in wealthier brackets and both were almost on par with each other concerning the number of doctor visits per year. Medicaid ended that and resulted in a massive decline in reduced-cost and free services to the poor as the government's payments for medical care for the poor now compensated doctors and hospitals for services once rendered at reduced rates or pro bono. Medicare and Medicaid basically transferred income from the middle-class taxpayer to middle-class health-care workers and the sudden stimulation of demand played a large role in raising the cost of healthcare. The free-market, effectively chocked off by government regulation and welfare services, was unable to work to lower cost and increase consumption by allowing for natural market competition mechanisms.
A study in 1960 by Charles Murray concluded the Great Society lead to stagnation for the poor.
Budget cuts are a myth. Even during President Ronald Reagan's tenure the rate of increase in government spending slowed but continued its upward trend. While defense spending played a large role, non-defense spending was 17.5% of GDP in 1985 compared to 10.1% in 1965. In the aggregate there was neither tax nor budget cuts during the Reagan era. Spending grew faster than taxing, but both lines continued to grow. While some welfare spending was cut slightly, some spending increased by as much as 18% from 1981 to 1989.
Of even greater surprise is that even though Reagan reduced the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 28%, taxes overall actually increased in the decade of the 80s, with some increases negating and then offsetting the reductions of 1981. Social Security taxes in the early 80s were among the largest in U.S. history.
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 increased taxes by closing loopholes and eliminating some tax credits. Federal taxes averaged 18.9% of GNP during the 80s, compared with 18.3 for the 70s and 18.2 for the 60s. Even under Reagan, federal government grew.
One of the greatest twists on logic in DC is the idea of cuts. Under President Clinton's seven year budget proposal the President called for a $500 billion dollar increase in federal spending while Republicans called for a $350 billion dollar increase. I can look at that sentence all day and I still do not see the work cut. There is no reduction in federal spending by either Clinton or the Republicans. Yet the liberal press was able to tout the tired old line of Republican cuts and tie them to popular federal programs, leading 47% of Americans to believe Republican cuts too deep. Again, what cuts? When Speaker Newt Gingrich proposed a 6% annual growth in Medicare spending and Clinton a 7.5% growth, the liberal press and political commentators went apoplectic over the proposed cuts to the Medicare program proposed by Speaker Gingrich.
Both parties are guilty of this political double speak, redefining the meaning of the word cut to mean a reduction in how fast the government grows.
All of our current solutions are nothing less than men gathered around a campfire screaming into the night to scare away the predators. Lawsuits, repeal, changing the party from within - all take time, none are guaranteed or even likely to make a difference either to ObamaCare or the issue of federal lucre symptomatic of a practically supreme centralized government that should not even possess these powers to begin with. The real change needed is the use of education and information. For example, did you know the final arbiter of the constitution is not the Supreme Court, cut the states? Did you know that nullification has been successfully used by the states to stop a federal law at the boundaries of that state? Do you know what nullification is?
Back to Mr. Boldin from the TAC, who continues (emphasis mine):
Question – What do we do about it?
Jefferson and Madison gave us the answer. In response to the unconstitutional attacks on liberty that were the Alien and Sedition Acts, they secretly authored the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798. Here are a few excerpts that really define exactly how things are supposed to work when two or more branches of the federal government conspire against the constitution and your liberty.
the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government
whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.
where powers are assumed [by the federal government] which have not been delegated [by the Constitution], a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy
So while it might be important to call, petition, demand, march, sue and vote bums out, because they’re all bums, there’s much more we’re supposed to do. When the federal government violates your rights, you’re not supposed to wait four years for new politicians in the hope that they’ll fix it. You’re not supposed to wait two, or four, or more years for some black-robed judge to pronounce that they’ve violated your rights. You are supposed to resist those violations of your liberty as they happen – and it is your state’s solemn duty to do the same.
Mr. Boldin then provides information on nullification resolutions and laws within the states:
Already a dozen states have passed 10th amendment resolutions reaffirming the Constitution as the founders and ratifiers gave us.
25 states have passed laws and resolutions nullifying the Real ID act – stopping it dead in its tracks in most of the country.
7 states have passed Firearms Freedom Acts – nullifying some federal gun laws and regulations in their states.
14 states have now passed laws nullifying unconstitutional federal laws on marijuana
3 states have already passed Health Care Freedom Acts to ban federal health care mandates in their states.
Other states are considering nullification laws on cap and trade, the misuse of state national guard troops, monetary policy and much more.
However, even nullification has its own issues as it also relies on state politicians to rescue us from the federal government and re-instate our rightful position as the real power brokers within our states. Probably one of the most accurate truisms concerning politicians was made by President Reagan:
It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
From Shane Musgrove writing at the TAC:
Are the States and their representatives any better? My assumption is that some, if not many, fall into the same political traps, yet not so deeply nor to the same extremity. I believe with great hope along with many others that there are representatives at the State level who do take these matters as genuinely concerning and view it as their responsibility to protect their citizens from what we can now define as “federal lawlessness.” I commend you on your courage, will, integrity, and your strength.
Now, as Linscott said, “You cannot expect the problem to fix the problem,” referring to the federal government, so we emphatically hope that these problems will be answered at the State level. So, the answer to the perplexing philosophical statement is none other than the States, their representatives, and the people that vote them into office.
Therefore, what follows is in essence, “A Call from ‘We the People’ to All State Representatives.”
As a preface, it is a responsibility of the States to assert their rights, specifically in times such as these. It is absolutely necessary to recognize that responsibility and accountability exists among State representatives rather than open-ended, unmoving opinions based on political philosophy and liberal views of the Constitution. To the best of my knowledge, an oath is taken in all States in some form of an edict to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State.” In addition, it should be noted that this call for responsibility is void of any form of violence or sedition, lest the leftist accusations of “inciting violence” and “hate” come forth with great force.
Therefore, let it be said: For legislators who are weakly or mildly concerned with these problems and see your duty as a representative half heartedly, resign.
For governors who do not have the courage to stand and fight for State rights in accordance with the following words from James Madison, resign.
Strong words, but are they enough? Looking at the list of states with non-binding resolutions vs. the list of states we need to actually nullify via law not only ObamaCare but any other attempt at federal over-reach before this country falls off the financial cliff, I am not convinced. That is why it is incumbent upon us to initiate a program of massive non-violent passive-aggressive resistance in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. As Gandhi once said:
40,000 British troops cannot force 300 million Indians to do what they will not do.
This is true of our situation as well – a few elites in Washington can not make a majority of American’s accept something they are unwilling to endure. Shortly after the War of Independence, our founders looked for the source of the problem that allowed tyranny to fester and thrive, a tyranny so abusive the only way to abolish it was to remove it by force. Wisely, they recognized the sovereignty of Britain lay in the hands of a few, concentrated in the Parliament itself. As they set about creating a new form of governance, our forefathers rejected the very idea of a strong central sovereignty, the United States of America was to be a Union of sovereign states, and the role of the federal government limited by definition. Despite liberal revisionism, the fact remains the Constitution was not ratified by national referendum, but by individual conventions in each state. This fact is indisputable and definitively makes the case that the Uniting of the States was not intended to be a under a strong federal power, but rather that of thirteen sovereign states under a limited federal government.
Since its ratification, our Constitution, under constant assault by activist judges, corrupted legislators and Presidents, is now turned on its head. Thomas Jefferson noted that:
The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
The very nature of man is corrupt and today, after more than two centuries of the corruption of power we find a small island off the coast of France replaced by a city called Washington DC.
This state of affairs cannot be allowed to stand. At risk is the future of this country and its people. Our goal is to educate and the taking back of this country through non-violent civil disobedience and the constitutionally sound tool of nullification. Over time I will outline the tactics and continue to define the philosophy of this approach. Never will we rely on the assistance of those whose stake in this fight is the loss of the addictive and corruptive power gained at our expense. One may as well attempt to force a crack addict to part with their beloved drug. Until the Statists are utterly destroyed under the weight of truth and knowledge this Republic is in danger of utter ruin. If is only through self-power that we can win this fight.
This is the hill we live or die on.
Cross-posted at the Wolves of Liberty