By Harold Pease, Ph. D
The national debt now exceeds 18 trillion dollars, almost half added during the Barack Obama administration alone, and is increased by three to four billion every day and neither major political party nor network is talking about it as a national emergency. Who is slated to repay this crippling, gigantic burden—our children—the unborn or those too young to have objected? The ones who laid it on their backs, by spending what they did not have, are now dead, dying, or retiring.
Well, reportedly one of those “new debt slaves,” the so-called millennials, voiced her complaint five years ago, November 18, 2010 with a solution to the problem. When she was born 21 years prior, in 1989, the national debt was only around 2.7 trillion dollars, said then to be crippling and gigantic. In an article entitled “Put me in Charge,” first appearing in the Waco Tribune Herald (author unnamed), she outlined four controversial solutions. They follow:
“Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
“Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, then get a job.
“Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your “home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.
“In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22-inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good.”
“Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
“If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
“And while you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes, that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.”
Although some of the ideas offered by this angry 21-year-old “debt slave” were scoffed at on some websites at the time as being excessive, public reaction was generally favorable. Still, the millennial generation is the most “abused” generation in American history and they have a right to be angry. Very angry!! Their birthright has been stolen. Unfortunately this message of abuse was only accelerated and the 14 trillion dollars national debt, when the article was first written, is now over four trillion dollars larger. Moreover, 14 million more Americans have become dependent on food stamps since she wrote the above. For the “debt slave” class there seems no hope.
We have the normal three solutions: tax more, inflate more, or cut more. We could double our taxes but that would destroy incentive and resources to create jobs. We could inflate the dollar making every dollar already earned worth less. But that would rob those on fixed incomes and seriously damage the lower classes that don’t have the money to purchase gold or silver to ensure the value of what they have saved. Or finally, we could cut half the free or subsidized “non-essential” programs and live within our means, which everyone supports so long as it is not their program that is cut.
We have got to do something. Soon those receiving welfare will exceed those not on welfare and they will never vote to end a system wherein they are benefited. Perhaps these solutions, offered by the most impacted age group, represented by this young author, will become even more popular as time goes on. Certainly we cannot simply dismiss them because they seem insensitive. The alternative may be national bankruptcy.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution.
By Harold Pease, Ph. D
Presidents’ Day, combining birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln for a national holiday, was designed to honor the contributions of both but, though we heap praise upon each, we ignore their messages. Washington’s primary message for posterity can be found in his famous Farewell Address just prior to his leaving office.
In strong terms he asked that we avoid debt. He said: “As a very important source of strength and security cherish public credit… use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasion of expense… [Use the] time of peace, to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.” Today our national debt sits at over $18 trillion—the highest in our history—eight trillion of which coming under President Barack Obama alone. We are spending our way into slavery for our children and/or financial collapse (See USDebtClock.org).
Washington pleaded with the nation to keep religion and morality strong. He said: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…. Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” The founding Fathers never supported the notion of separation of religion and government—only the separation of an organization of religion from government. What would Washington say of the immorality that prevails today?
But the warning about foreign aid was especially good. He basically told us gift giving in foreign affairs is a good way to be universally hated. He said it placed us “in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more.” Today there is hardly a nation in the world that does not have its hand out and when, after once giving, the amount is reduce or terminated we are hated all the more for it.
Washington worried about posterity not holding their elected officials strictly to the limits imposed by the Constitution. He knew many would seek to undermine that document by twisting it to give power they could not acquire without the distortion. Sound familiar? He said: “But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” Today much of what the federal government does is not even mentioned in the Constitution.
But freedom fighters are not likely to be popular, he said: “Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” One need not look far for the tools and dupes; they seem to be everywhere in high office and in both parties.
Lincoln was for the free market and decidedly against socialism—just opposite of President Obama. On the ownership of property Abraham Lincoln’s feelings were especially strong, he said, “Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprises” (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, pp. 259-260). To him there was no need to take by force the wealth of those who produce and give it to those less productive. The “share the wealth” philosophy and “envy politics” so articulated by Obama would have been foreign ideology to the Civil War president.
Lincoln’s answer to the poor, from which he sprang himself, “Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence….” Unfortunately, many in our society have forgotten the “labor diligently” part of his phrase and have come to expect the government to provide, from the industry of others, their every need. On that score Lincoln also had words. “You toil and work and earn bread, and I will eat it.” He viewed this principle as a form of tyranny to those who work. Today 47.5 % of the adult population pays no federal income tax; many actually receive benefits for which they have paid nothing.
Watching others acquire wealth was, in fact, a sign of a healthy economy for Lincoln. “I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.” Nor would he have supported the hundreds of laws that we have today that disincentivise a man trying to acquire wealth.
Perhaps teachers and parents would be wise to remind those under their charge of the wisdom of the ages as expressed by these two favorite presidents. There is a reason that we have the day off and that these birthdays were made a holiday. But with all the fun that follows we must not forget their messages.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution.
By Harold W. Pease
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the United States I came across an article that claimed that our intelligence community had found a document from AL-Qaeda arguing that Islamic war with the United States could be successful only by bringing us to them. The largely camel driven society could never win otherwise. As I recall it was called the “fly paper trap.” Once in their land they could bleed us gradually for many years in expensive, “no win” to us, wars. Destruction and death to them would feed recruitment needs as long as we were there. They would be fighting to keep their homeland free from us, everyone killed has brothers seeking vengeance who would join the team against us—doubling and tripling our enemies.
Whether this was intentionally the strategy initiated from the top or not, such has been precisely what happened. It is hard to argue that we won in Iraq when a third of the country is now under the control of ISIS and al-Qaeda is poised to return to Afghanistan after our 14-year presence there. We also left behind much weaponry to their benefit. We have been greatly diminished in “blood and treasure.”
Now it seems that we are invited—even enticed—to return. Even the most pacifists of us are enraged by two blood-splattered video portrayals of beheadings of U.S. journalist, tauntingly placed on the Internet to invite our return. First James Foley on August 19, then Steven Joel Sotoff in early September, presumably killed by the same guy with the British accent. After the second beheading the killer then knelt by his next potential victim, David Cawthorne Haines a British citizen, and indicated that other coalition countries with the United States would also be victims if the bombing of ISIS does not stop.
President Barack Obama, with the most intelligence available to him of any person on earth, appears caught off guard, indecisive, even unconcerned with respect to the Caliphate formed during his watch and under his nose by ISIS the last few months. He should have seen it coming. Vice President Joe Biden, minced no words. He said what the President should have said, and what the people needed to hear, after the second beheading, “They should know we will follow them to the Gates of Hell until they are brought to justice.” Still, the Democrats are not together on this one and rightfully so. This means reentering the Middle East in yet another no win war.
What is more horrifying is that only a year ago Republicans Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain advocated teaming up with ISIS (what they then called the rebels) to defeat Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. We were secretly providing them with arms. They were the good guys. Now al-Assad, the guy who gassed his own people, has invited the United States to assist him in getting rid of ISIS in Syria and we may become allies. Even now Presently Obama is considering bombing ISIS in Syria. Nothing could be more upside down. The Middle East is a crag mire, a trap full of quicksand, one giant Islamic family feud of which we can never benefit. Outside of supporting Israel we should not again be caught in the flytrap.
Here is what we should do. We must stop the national insulting beheading of our journalists but without a new war. By now our intelligence knows, or soon will, the name of the Islamic murderer. Let us very publicly offer a million dollars for proof of his demise. Raise this amount periodically, if need be, until even his friends will be tempted to remove him. In the meantime he becomes suspicious of even his closest comrades leading to contention from within. Nothing destroys the effectiveness of a group more than distrust. This also should discourage other would be heinous murders as we would do the same thing to them. If more is needed after this first step we can consider it then.
Give American Islamic groups, who have largely been strangely silent on this issue, an opportunity to show themselves equally horrified by this groups’ “convert or die” philosophy by encouraging them to speak out against and significantly help fund the amounts needed to remove those practicing violence in the name of their religion. This plan saves our “blood and treasure,” creates no new enemies and helps American Islamists show their support for freedom of all religions in this land.
Criminalize, then punish, any U.S. citizen funding or fighting for ISIS. Deny any foreign aid and/or trade preferences to countries supporting ISIS. Encourage free world countries to do the same with respect to their people. Isolate ISIS as we have North Korea. We have allowed ourselves to become the common enemy of the Islamic world. Without our physical presence there, they will return to fighting each other as they have for hundreds of years dissipating their own strength rather than ours.
Harold Pease, Ph. D
Clearly our borders are not protected when children can cross, reportedly unaided: if children, then anyone. If anyone then we cease to be a country. Historically borders define a country, when they cease to exist, or to have meaning or respect, the country soon also ceases to exist.
The first sentence of the Constitution, the Preamble, charges the federal government with the responsibility of providing for the common defense. All common defense powers (except the Commander and Chief component) are then listed as powers of Congress in Article I, Section 8. Protecting the border is clearly the responsibility of the Congress—who makes all the law. The executive branch enforces the law as written and understood by the Congress.
Clearly there exist laws forbidding illegal entry and clearly the executive branch has not, and is not, protecting the border. But such can be said of all presidents since before Ronald Reagan, although failure is more blatant now. I have told my students for 25 years that there would never be an effective southern border because neither political party really wanted one. I repeat this prediction today. The argument that our borders are too long to protect is easily dismissed when we reflect that the Chinese successfully kept barbarians out of China for hundreds of years by building the Great Wall without the aid of cranes, giant earth-moving trucks or any other technological marvels. Today, if we really wished to restrict entry, motion detectors, electric fences and drones could stop most, if not all the traffic.
I have consistently argued that The Council on Foreign Relations—-the most powerful special interest group in the United States– with vast influence in both parties and also in the establishment media, would not endorse any candidate for president pushing for a real border. A border where both countries had real security aimed at preventing passage. They have another plan called the North American Union patterned after the European Union.
This plan calls for the amalgamation of Mexico, the United States and Canada into first an economic union through NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, ushered in during the Clinton Administration, followed eventually by a political union. Canada and the United States are already near economic equals but Mexico, and Central America, added later under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, is not.
The North American Union plan, which has never been denied by the CFR, the powerful wall-street special interest group, is to give Mexico and south to Panama, thirty to forty years of near open border status to gain what they call “economic commonality” with their northern neighbors before political assimilation. (For those who may not understand, political assimilation is the end of the United States, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights, as we know them). Southern foreigners would invade the United States taking the jobs Americans did not want and send some of their new wealth back home to elevate their families and the economies of their homelands. Many would retire to their place of origin with pensions and other amenities acquired from the United States—perhaps even Social Security and Medicare. Their children would seek the middle and higher-level jobs and being bilingual would have advantage over their American peers.
Although most of us are not ready to talk of the late, great America and believe that just getting back to the Constitution will always keep America great, the present foreign child invasion of the United States does demonstrate a non-existent border and such is a serious threat to independence and sovereignty. Apparently, the signal has been sent to prepare us for an open dialogue on actually combining the three large countries into a single, North American Union. Two notables proponents of assimilating the countries, who “have woven” this theme into their recent public speeches, are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former U.S. military commander and former head of the CIA, David Petraeus.
In The Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty, June 18, of this year in a panel discussion entitled “After America, What?” General Petraeus answered, “There is North America.” He went on to proclaim “the coming of the ‘North American decade,’ a vision he explained was founded on the idea of putting together the economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico, some 20 years after the creation of North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA” (Jerome Corsi, “What Comes ‘After America’?,” July 7, 2014).
If the children of foreign lands can cross our borders unaided, as contended, it is difficult to argue that we have a border. Look for the internationalist, who do not understand or value our sovereignty, to come out of the closet arguing that it is now time to open the borders to all who wish to come. Such are enemies of the republic and will destroy the United States, as we know it.
Harold Pease, Ph. D
Let me be one of the first to put it in print. The nation’s biggest threat is not Al Qaida! It is not Edward Snowden or NSA spying on every citizen in the nation! It is not the IRS targeting of Tea Party and religion groups for extra scrutiny, or even a president replacing Congress as the leading lawmaking branch of government. It is the impending financial collapse if we do not curb our addiction to debt and do it quickly. It grows by an estimated $3 billion a day and is now $17,355,598,800 trillion as I write this column. By the time many of you read it, one week from today, it will have increased by $21 billion.
Two laws passed this year have made this observation more blatantly obvious. The Republican Party’s total collapse on the debt ceiling increase and the recently passed $1 trillion dollar Farm Bill financing corporate and class welfare.
First the debt ceiling surrender wherein the Republican Party leadership, in opposition to there own party, totally capitulated without asking any concessions from the White House and Democrats in return for the borrowing authority. Please note that a debt ceiling raise eventually means higher taxes or debt. Twenty-eight Republicans joined the Democratic Party majority for a yes vote thus passing the raise in the House of Representatives 221-201. Conservatives and constitutionalists felt betrayed. House Speaker John Boehner in his “Boehner Rule,” had promised that increase in the debt ceiling must reflect spending cuts also.
Amazingly the top three Republican Party leaders: Boehner (Speaker), Eric Canter (Majority Leader), and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) voted to raise the debt ceiling to March 15, 2015, as did all but two Democrats, virtually abandoning their 206 remaining Republican colleagues voting no to the debt raise. So much for fiscal restraint and holding to often repeated principles. These three voted against their own party. To his credit Paul D. Ryan, former Vice Presidential candidate, voted against. The Democratically controlled Senate easily passed the debt raise legislation along party lines 55-43.
Why is this a sign of an impending fiscal collapse? The debt ceiling has been raised 76 times since March 1962, including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W Bush, and seven times under Barack Obama. This is our 14th debt raise in 13 years. We raise it every year to accommodate our need for a “fix.” My point! Congress sadly never says no! Does anyone really believe that our debt-addicted government will ever stop the addiction on its own?
Second, the recently passed five-year Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, popularly called the Farm Bill, costing nearly one trillion dollars, over ten years—a 50% increase over the last one—certainly leaves no room for faith that they will curb their appetite for debt. The 959-page document included the following items considered pork by critics: “$2 million for sheep production and marketing, $10 million for Christmas tree promotion, $170 million for catfish oversight, $119 million for peanut crop insurance, $100 million for organic food research, $150 million to promote farmers markets, $3.3 billion for a cotton income protection plan, $12 million for a “wool research and promotion” program, and $100 million to promote the maple syrup industry. Ironically the 949-page bill spends about $1 billion dollars per page ($956 Billion Farm Bill Loaded with Pork, Your World Cavuto). The Department of Agriculture will also be establishing new federal standards for “the identity of honey.”
The final vote in the Senate was 68-32, with 44 Democrats, 22 Republicans and both independents supporting the measure. The Farm Bill passed in the House of Representatives 234 to 195. Voting yes were 24 Democrats and 171 Republicans. Again, House of Representative leaders Boehner (Speaker), Eric Canter (Majority Leader), and Kevin McCarthy (Majority Whip) voted for the pork filled bill and the 50% increase over the last Farm Bill.
So my friends, how does this pork bestowal to a favored few stop the three billion dollar a day bleed to the national debt, now exceeding $17 trillion? It doesn’t even pretend to try and that is my point, nor does raising the debt ceiling without accompanying cuts. When the bleeding was resisted by at least one political party there was hope. We absolutely must replace our existing House and Senate with those fiscally responsible or there will be a financial collapse. If you are not personally involved in doing so you must begin now. The Tea Party is the only party that gives more than lip service to fiscal responsibility. You may wish be become a part of it.
By Harold Pease PH. D
By now everyone should have heard of the recently passed five-year Farm Bill costing nearly one trillion dollars, over ten years—a 50% increase over the last one. The 959-page document included the following items considered pork by critics: “$2 million for sheep production and marketing, $10 million for Christmas tree promotion, $170 million for catfish oversight, $119 million for peanut crop insurance, $100 million for organic food research, $150 million to promote farmers markets, $3.3 billion for a cotton income protection plan, $12 million for a “wool research and promotion” program, and $100 million to promote the maple syrup industry. Ironically the 949-page bill spends about $1 billion dollars per page ($956 Billion Farm Bill Loaded with Pork, Your World Cavuto). The Department of Agriculture will also be establishing new federal standards for “the identity of honey.”
Two serious problems from this action exist. First, how does this pork bestowal to a favored few stop the three billion dollar a day bleed to the national debt, now exceeding $17 trillion? It doesn’t even pretend to try. Yes, we over-spend by three billion dollars a day. This growth is our biggest national threat.
Second, where in the Constitution is the trillion-dollar Farm Bill? How did something specifically prohibited on the federal level become constitutional? The Founders clearly saw agriculture as a state or local jurisdiction not a federal one. Alexander Hamilton, credited with having made the strongest statement with respect to agriculture’s exclusion from federal jurisdiction, wrote in The Federalist #17: “the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature, all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by local legislation can never be desirable cases of a general jurisdiction.” Any “lust of dominion” in this area by the federal government, he reasoned, the states “would control the indulgence of so extravagant an appetite”(See Clinton Rossiter, p.118-119). They didn’t.
Ironically some $756 billion of this $950 billion mega spending bill through 2023 is not for farm programs, as inferred by the name, but for food stamps for a third of the population. It emerges as a perfect blend of corporate welfare, largely for the rich giant agri-businesses’ farmers, insuring them from all risks, and welfare for the poor —both portions of the population feeding off the middle class. Boiled down it consists of an enlarged crop insurance program where the federal government subsidizes losses from poor yields or low commodity prices.
But does the Constitution allow either type of welfare, for the rich or for the poor, on the federal level? No!! The Founders gave the federal government only four areas of power: taxes, paying the debts, providing for the general welfare (that’s not the same as providing the general welfare), and providing for the common defense. That is it. All four powers are identified before the first semi colon. The clauses, which follow, are simply qualifiers of these four.
The Founders did not dare leave the phrase “general welfare” for future power grabbers, as they could be counted on to enlarge there authority by defining everything as general welfare. They understood that it is the nature of all governments to grow. As a result, clauses 2-9 list 14 powers that comprise “general welfare.” Five deal with borrowing money, regulating its value, and dealing with counterfeiting. The other nine powers include naturalization, bankruptcies, establishing post offices, protecting inventors and authors, establishing “tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court” and “regulating commerce with foreign nations and among the several states.”
One, not well informed, might argue, what about the last part of the sentence giving Congress authority to do whatever is “necessary and proper?” They must read the wording that next follows: “for carrying into execution the forgoing powers.” Article I, Section 8 defines general welfare as 14 specific types of authority so that the federal government could not grow their power at the expense of state, local, and individual authority. If they had meant for Congress to legislate anything that they felt necessary they would have said so in one sentence. Neither handouts to the poor, or to the rich, are on this list and not thereafter added by way of amendment and thus both are unconstitutional. More especially is that so for agriculture specifically discussed as having been omitted.
The trillion dollar Farm Bill is no where in the Constitution yet the leadership of both parties voted for it demonstrating once again that the leadership of neither party protects the Constitution as first priority. Until that happens we will continue our blood letting national debt and accompanying loss of liberty.