I know some of you look at me and say, "Judging by the set of his eyes and the slope of his brow, he's probably a domino player from Tara, Texas." Well, a lot of thinking goes on behind these ominous eyes. I have spent hours trying to explain things to people who don't want things explained. The process has furrowed my brow and made me doubt the wisdom of continuing to pursue the exercise, however, I'm not giving up yet.
The current debate over taxing and spending has me grinding what few teeth I have left down to minimal nubs. Every pundit and political prognosticator can site the cause and effect of the sorry state of affairs we are in financially in this country, and all use the same or similar facts and arguments to support their assessment of who's to blame. The truth is, we are all to blame. Ranking members of both political parties have used and abused the system to the point of failure, and the rest of us have let them do it because it was easier than keeping an eye on them.
I think the recent election showed some that thinking Americans are waking up and taking a stand. Politicians should not ignore the resolve of the American people in their efforts to right wrongs. The House of Lords (The U. S. Senate) seems to be the legislative body most unmoved by the stirrings around the nation. These robber barons feel insulated by longevity and longer terms between elections, but nothing is sacred in this climate. Mitch McConnell, (R) Senate minority leader did not get the message on stopping "earmark" legislation. Why? Because in 2009 McConnell bilked the American taxpayer out of 113 million for his own earmarks. He has now capitulated, under pressure, and supports the legislation.
In a recent article by Mark Alexander, publisher of the Patriot Post, he gives the following assessment of what has to be done. He says we must start by identifying programs and expenditures which are not permitted by the U. S. Constitution and schedule them for termination.
Where did we go wrong? At some point we forgot the limited roll of the Federal Government as it was crafted by our founders. These men understood what would happen if we forgot that government was meant to provide a safe haven for freedom. It was intended to be closely monitored and regulated by the governed. We also forgot that we have responsibilities to care for those who are not able to care for themselves. The order of responsibility is family first, then friends, and lastly the community. James Madison said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
Some things just don't work. Pouring money into programs to solve social issues is one of those things. The eloquent economist, author, and educator, Thomas Sowell puts it this way, "Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."
We must exercise a tough love approach and rid ourselves of the cumbersome and wasteful sink holes of social welfare and replace them with local programs that can be more easily monitored and administered. The help should not be without limits and should be attached to work and responsible action by the recipients.
Later in the article by Mark Alexander we find the following: Roger Pilon, director of Cato's Center for Constitutional Studies, aptly sums up the problem: "Over the 20th century, the federal government has assumed a vast and unprecedented set of powers. Not only has the exercise of those powers upset the balance between federal and state governments; run roughshod over individuals, families, and firms; and reduced economic opportunity for all; but most of what the federal government does today -- to put the point as plainly and candidly as possible -- is illegitimate because it is done without explicit constitutional authority. The time has come to start returning power to the states and the people, to re-limit federal power in our fundamental law, to restore constitutional government."
We must all undertake to regain control of our rogue government without regard to political party. Our mission must be to restore the limited role of government in our lives. In doing so we must take a more active role in the process and administration of programs to help our fellow citizens. Our elected representatives must remember their oath and be thrown out of office if they fail to uphold it.
Article VI of our Constitution reads, in part, "This constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land." It continues, "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution."
We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin