I was reading a USA Today article, North Dakota Voters to Decide on Abolishing Property Tax, on the North Dakota ballot initiative to remove property taxes from the list of possible revenue sources for government operations. It made me think…
Ideally, shouldn’t governments raise the monies for their operations at the level which they are spent? (i.e. Federal government for military and border control, states for highways and national guard, localities for roads, police and schools) This idea is part of the concept of “subsidiarity”, or, writ large, “federalism”.
So, if this measure were to pass, the localities would lose their main mode of tax collection. From what source do they propose to replace these revenues? State monies. This goes against the idea of subsidiarity.
Why is this an issue? Local taxpayers would no longer bear the direct impact of the consequences of local governments’ expenditures. This would exacerbate the already existing problems caused by the federal government’s collection and redistribution of federal income taxes to the states. This form of taxing for the costs of governments results in “nobody” directly paying for “anything”, which leads to “everybody” paying more and more for a growing “everything”.
I know this measure has made it this far due to the increasing state surpluses created by the oil boom currently ongoing. However, there is a much better way of distributing these monies. Instead of letting state governments have first dibs on the proceeds of mineral resources, which they will always find a way to spend, distribute these revenues to the citizens of the state. Then the levels of government can tax the citizens to gather the funds.
After all, it is the citizens’ money, not the government’s.
I was watching a video, “Obama & Dems in ’05: 51 Vote ‘Nuclear Option’ is ‘Arrogant’ Power Grab Against the Founder’s Intent,” http://bit.ly/cgTbfi produced by Naked Emperor News showing snippets of the ’05 debate over the “Nuclear Option.” It shows Democrat Senators emotionally arguing against Republicans changing the filibuster rules to not pertain to judicial appointments. It’s jolly fun watching these Senators cry about the sanctity of the filibuster knowing that they are presently considering ignoring Senate rules to pass so-called “Health Care Reform” or “Health Insurance Reform” or whatever the hell they’re calling it today. However, we know statists are immune to shame, especially when it comes to hypocrisy, unless (of course) it’s practiced by their opponents.
Watching this, what really struck me was the absolute ignorance of these Senators. (Or to be fair, the ignorance of their staffs. I mean, do we really think these empty suits wrote those speeches themselves?) They kept going on and on about the Framers’ intent when it came to the purpose of the Senate, and the history and importance of the filibuster.
Before I go any farther, let me admit something. I like the filibuster. Yeah, it bites us on the ass sometimes, but that’s the point. Anything that slows down government action has my approval. However, the rules of the legislative bodies must be constitutional, and the filibuster has been misapplied to judicial nominations. There I said it. I’ll go into it more if necessary, just not now.
First, the Framers’ intent concerning the purpose of the Senate went the way of the Dodo bird with the passing of the 17th Amendment. The Senate was meant to be a body representing the individual States, as separate legal entities possessing both innate and Constitutional authorities. The House (of Representatives) was to be the only form of direct democracy in the Constitution, the “People’s House.” The 17th Amendment turned the “States’ House” into the “People (from a State)’s House. The result is a swing in the delicately constructed balance of power away from the States to the Central Government. Can you imagine any of the myriad of State mandates coming out of a Senate whose members were appointed by State governments?
Second, the filibuster, preventing a vote to come to the floor, is not a Senate rule grounded in the Constitution. Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution states, “Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings.” That is the extent of it. As a matter of fact, no filibuster was possible according to Senate rules during the first two Congresses, and the first filibuster didn’t occur until 1837. These filibusters could only delay the inevitable vote, and not permanently kill a measure, because the rules could be changed at any time with a simple majority. Finally, the current filibuster, requiring 60 votes to bring a motion to the floor, wasn’t adopted until 1975 by a Democrat-controlled Senate. So, it’s not like we’re talking about rewriting the Talmud or changing the Catechism.
I could go on and on about this, especially the 17th Amendment, and I have. I just haven’t posted it… because it’s too long, I (still) can’t finish it, and (most importantly) I don’t want to sound like the Uni-bomber or your cousin going on about the Kennedy Assassination or … Algore (God forbid!).
It’s just a damned shame we (not me, or you, probably, but you know) have elected such numb skulls to such high office. And they think they can run everything better than we can. Pity…
The Miami Herald is reporting a story, “Rubio Charged Personal Expenses on GOP Card.” The dust up is about personal expenses “improperly charged” to the Florida GOP when Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Included in the story is a list of items charged to an American Express Corporate Card that was issued by the Florida Republican Party to Marco Rubio, a Republican primary candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida.
The only important question: “Were the items only charged to the card, or were they paid for by the Party?” Is there a difference? Yes. Personal expenses intentionally paid for with campaign money is a violation of federal law. If on the other hand, personal expenses were charged to American Express but paid for by Rubio (or the Party was reimbursed during the same reporting period), then campaign funds were not misappropriated.
Now, not everyone knows how American Express (Amex) Corporate Cards operate. A primer: You charge stuff as you go (business or personal). You go online to their site and categorize your charges as personal or business. If it’s business you provide all the pertinent information for your accounting department. Before you log off you can see the business total and the personal total. You can do this as often as you like before the end of the billing cycle. At the end of the cycle, Amex sends a bill for the business expenses to the corporate entity (in this case the FL GOP) and sends a separate bill to the card holder for the personal expenses (they run a credit check before issuing the card). That’s it.
Even if the expenses were reconciled after the bill was paid by the Party, as long as Rubio repaid them, no harm no foul. If the FL GOP has a policy against personal use of the card, well then some one should have said something at the time. To go back now, when it seems there was no actual violation of campaign law, and make a big deal is obviously for intra-party political purposes.
The culprit for this would have to be the Crist campaign, hoping to save its candidate from losing. So, a message to Gov. Crist, his campaign and supporters: Don’t win the battle to lose the war. Obviously, the people are skeptical of you. If you use these tactics to win the GOP primary, there will be a third-party candidate. You and that person will both lose, as will Florida and the American people. Fight a clean fight. If you win… great. We’ll support you, grudgingly maybe, but support you we will. However, things like this just undermine people’s belief in the system and the Party as a vehicle for reform. Something to think about.
As a follow up to my now famous (Hey! Over 40 views, and a comment!) premier blog posting, “Not Sure About That ‘Deep Bench’ Idea,” I’m unleashing the CGSS Hashtag (#CGSS).
What’s CGSS? What’s a ‘hashtag?’ What SOB forwarded this too me? I can’t help you with that last one (but I’m guessing he’s the friendly, intelligent sort).
CGSS, Chronic Government Service Syndrome, is the modus operandi of modern American politicians at all levels of government. When a politician believes it’s just fine and dandy for the Feds to tax the hell out of everyone, as long as he gets a portion to spread around, we’ve got a CGSSer. Federalism has been stood on its head since the introduction of the federal income tax, resulting in a tax system bass-ackwards from the Framers’ original intent. Paying excessive federal taxes, used to purchase (extort) our liberty for its return has, sadly, become the norm. It must end. How’s that?
Now, if you’ve been on Mars (or MySpace), you may not recognize this little gem, the hashtag. It’s a way of marking a post (or ‘Tweet’) on Twitter so it’s part of an open conversation strand pertaining to an area of interest. When a hashtag (eg. #CGSS) is added to a post, it becomes viewable to those following that hashtag on Twitter.
Why would one add such a hashtag? It’s a way of disseminating opinion and information beyond one’s followers, those who see all of your posts, to a larger community (not to mention those friendly ‘trolls’).
So, feel free… Nay, I urge you to make use of #CGSS when tweeting about those that too long have embraced the ‘loving’ arms of government.
P.S. If this turns into a ‘clusterfu–‘, I blame it all on Howe (@calebhowe). It was his idea… unless, of course, it works.