About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

2010 - Congressional Candidate Writes About The FairTax

The November-December 2010 edition of the NJ Libertarian News included a piece by NJ District #11's Libertarian Party candidate for Congress Jim Gawron who most of you know Carol & I (& many of you who live in the district) supported in his run for Congress last fall.

For Carol & me it all started with a phone call I made to Jim's home one Saturday morning in July 2010 - he said he had heard of the FairTax but did not know much about it. He then began his own detailed & intensive study of the FairTax, including reading The FairTax Book & many pieces on ReturnToExcellence.net & called me about a month later to join the FairTax effort in NJ.

Jim met with Carol, Sandy Sherman, & me @ my home one day during his lunch hour for a FairTax briefing & it was so obvious that his knowledge of the principles taught by the Austrian school of economics would put any of his establishment Republican or Democrat opponents to shame without even mentioning the FairTax that the briefing was a mere fine tuning & hardly necessary - this is the type of candidate that America needs.

Although starting very late & running a low key campaign Mr. Gawron received 4,163 votes on November 2 - I can guarantee you that @ least 4,163 people in NJ heard about the FairTax from Jim.

Mr. Gawron attended FairTax events - the Morristown Tea Party on Labor Day & the election analysis on November 13 @ Tessa & Sandy Sherman's home re the campaigns of Mike Agosta & Anna Little.

Below is Mr. Gawron's contribution to the aforementioned Libertarian Party newsletter. I just hope he runs again in 2012 - we are running out of people of his quality.

---FairTax Newsletter By Jim Gawron---

I am a Fair Tax supporter. Quite frankly I do not think there is any one single thing that could be done to as drastically improve the economic situation in this country as adoption of HR25, "The Fair Tax."

HR25 does address which taxes it eliminates....income tax, personal withholding, Social Security withholding, & Medicare withholding...all of it...you get your entire paycheck free of federal taxes without deduction. It also eliminates all income taxation of business...we would go from the highest corporate tax rate in the world to the lowest in an eye blink....now THAT will bring businesses back to this country !

For those concerned that elimination of business taxation shifts the tax burden from companies to individuals...that is an economic fallacy, all businesses pass their taxes on to the consumers. Businesses will be suddenly freed from making business decisions due to tax consequences, which is currently one of the major components of their decision making.

Elimination of the income tax and repeal of the 16th amendment is a part of the bill....if the Amendment is not successfully repealed the Fair Tax goes away, the bill will not allow us to be back-doored into a situation where we have BOTH an income tax and a national consumption tax.

The impact it will have on personal privacy and productivity though is perhaps one of the biggest positive elements from a libertarian perspective. After enactment of the FairTax you can work as much as you want, as many jobs as you want, as much overtime as you want, and you have no need to tell the government any of it...most of the personal privacy we have lost in this country is due to the Federal Government's need to track our every productive effort. I would support the bill for that reason alone, but there are many many others.

It also strips Congress of much of its power. Much lobbying and deal making goes on in order to gain businesses and industries favorable tax treatment. Congress grants most of its favors either by doling money out, or doling tax breaks....one half of that equation will be forever broken.

Most of those in power now despise it, and that should tell most of what you need to know. - Jim Gawron

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Responses - AAPS - All For The Patient

Due to technical problems @ Google in sending subscription messages earlier in the week I repeat the message of January 24 below for the benefit of anyone who may not have received it.

----- Original Message Of January 24-----

Below are two responses that add to the original discussion from last night's message. The first message discusses the AMA's money making ability. Although the AMA has operated in the black the past ten years while membership has decreased over the decade the financial results are due to spending restraints that any business would undergo in times of financial stress. We just have to do our part to keep the stress up.

---Response #1---

The AMA was initially against Obamacare. The main source of income for the AMA is the monopoly they hold on coding numbers that we are all forced to use ( I have heard estimates of 75% of the AMA annual income). When Obamacare became aware of the AMA position, discussion was held about using alternative coding sources and the AMA secured their continued income with a change of heart for Obamacare and are now in favor of it. Amazing!! And the AMA claims they stand behind what is good for the people. Interesting little tidbit. Keep up the good work.

---Response #2---

Reading your post and the worry of BO's reelection - out of 2,000 pages of the health bill I hear only four points that are always used. If that is all the Republicans have for negotiation they need someone who can decipher the rest of the bill.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Index Omits Major Point The FairTax Would Correct

Many of you saw the Heritage Foundation's 2011 Index of Economic Freedom's annual rating of the freest countries (economies) in the world & were dismayed to find the USA had slipped again this year barely hanging in the top ten - let alone not being #1. Hong Kong (not a separate country but a part of the People's Republic of China) remains #1 for the 15th straight year & Canada, thanks to the USA's decline, is embarrassingly the freest country in North America. The top four economies are all part of the Asian sphere of influence.

The ratings are based on countries' commitment to capitalistic systems by measuring the following categories of economic freedom: fiscal soundness & openness to trade & investment, government size, business & labor regulations, property rights, corruption, monetary stability, & financial competition. Per capita GDP is measured in another survey.

James Jameson presents a major point omitted from the Heritage Foundation's ratings when he writes:

"For all of its methodological strength, the Index of Economic Freedom entirely leaves out one of the most treasured individual freedoms—the freedom to migrate out of one's own country without undue interference from government. As long as a person has remained current on tax payments, the ability to leave a nation to establish citizenship elsewhere should be a sacrosanct human right. As Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: 'Everyone has the right to leave any country, even his own.'

In the U.S., the economic penalty for permanent expatriation is so severe that it is unduly burdensome to exercise the 'right to emigrate.' If the Index were to account for this freedom (or lack thereof), there is no doubt that our country would finish even further down the list.

Under U.S. tax law, a citizen who wishes to renounce his citizenship must pay a mark-to-market exit tax. This tax treats all assets in excess of $600,000 as if they had been sold, and thus liable for immediate payment of capital gains taxes. There is also a 10-year reporting requirement to the IRS, post expatriation.

Adding this metric would enhance an otherwise interesting set of measurements on economic freedom. It would also further demonstrate our eroding economic freedom."

Below is an excellent letter from a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net that shows how the FairTax would eliminate this further erosion of our freedoms. The letter ends with what I call "the principle of the opposite," namely always look @ the exact opposite of what you plan or expect because @ least half the time that will happen.

---Letter Addressing James Jameson Economic Freedom Concern---

Mr. Jameson's letter describing how the code shackles our citizens who seek to leave the country exemplifies the plenary and overreaching nature of income and estate taxes - and it buffs the FairTax.

Mr. Jameson describes the "Liz Taylor" amendment. When Liz returned to the United Kingdom and renounced her U.S. Citizenship, the IRS said "not so fast!" The IRS then created a presumption that, anyone exercising his or her Article-13 Universal Human Right to leave his or her country does so for the purpose of avoiding taxes. The presumption pursues the refugee for ten years.

This presumption is, candidly, presumptuous. It is not shared by civilized countries. Germany, for example, ascribes unlimited income tax liability only to natural persons who have their residences or usual places of abode in country. EStG, Sec. 1. Others are ascribed an income tax liability that is limited to income from German sources. Citizenship plays no role.

Under the American income and estate tax regime, citizenship plays a significant role. The tax tentacles extend to American expats who maintain no residence in the United States. In a generous whim, Congress allows expats to exclude $91,500 in foreign "earned income," as long as that income pushes remaining income into the higher tax brackets. There is also a credit for taxes paid to a foreign country, but only to the extent of U.S. tax on the same income.

The expat gets the worst of both tax worlds. The U.S. citizen living in Germany, for example, who owns tax-free U.S. munis pays tax on the income in Germany. That same person who wins 1 million Euros in the South German Lottery pays no tax on those winnings to Germany but must pay them to the U.S.

The citizenship-conscious American tax spotlight that shines outward also shines inward. U.S. citizen spouses may make tax-free gifts to each other, both in life and post-mortem. But a U.S. citizen wanting to make a gift to his or her non-citizen spouse must be careful and set up a "QDOT" - a qualified domestic trust. The IRS is petrified that the non-citizen spouse will return to his or her native country, and the gift will escape taxation.

The octopus nature of our tax code is shared by only two other countries: North Korea and the Philippines. We should view the Philippines more indulgently because they had our tax code when they became independent from the United States in 1946.

Our current tax laws can represent the most fundamental abridgment of freedom and privacy. Under the FairTax, these extraterritorial laws would disappear. Perhaps the greatest irony would be that, when the American state makes it easier for its citizens to leave, more will choose to voluntarily remain.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Responses - AAPS - All For The Patient

Below are two responses that add to the original discussion from last night's message.  The first message discusses the AMA's money making ability.  Although the AMA has operated in the black the past ten years while membership has decreased over the decade the financial results are due to spending restraints that any business would undergo in times of financial stress.  We just have to do our part to keep the stress up. 
---Response #1---
The AMA was initially against Obamacare.  The main source of income for the AMA is the monopoly they hold on coding numbers that we are all forced to use ( I have heard estimates of 75% of the AMA annual income).  When Obamacare became aware of the AMA position, discussion was held about using alternative coding sources and the AMA secured their continued income with a change of heart for Obamacare and are now in favor of it.  Amazing!!  And the AMA claims they stand behind what is good for the people.  Interesting little tidbit.  Keep up the good work.
---Response #2---
Reading your post and the worry of BO's reelection - out of 2,000 pages of the health bill I hear only four points that are always used.  If that is all the Republicans have for negotiation they need someone who can decipher the rest of the bill.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

AAPS - All For The Patient

Tons of poll numbers came in this past week. The three most discouraging ones I saw indicate 1) 46% of those polled oppose repeal of ObamaCare & 45% favor repeal, 2) it is about equal @ 39% apiece thinking ObamaCare is a good idea & a bad idea - down from 48% (bad idea) to 30% (good idea) in early 2010, & 3) only 45% think BO is a liberal - the lowest % ever since he became a national figure. Now the first two are hard to believe but the third one is preposterous or we are further gone than I think we are.

On one side House committees are starting new healthcare legislation to replace ObamaCare or @ least defund it through the appropriations process & pass legislation to remove the law's least popular components. On the other side the law is moving forward little by little every day creating over 150 new boards, bureaus, committees, commissions, offices, pilot programs, working groups and agencies which will issue tens of thousands of pages of onerous regulations that will change healthcare forever - source Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Thanks to one of the doctors in our group who mailed me the December newsletter of AAPS (Association of American Physicians & Surgeons) as well as two e-mail updates. Both she & I welcome any comments from other doctors or others in authority in our group pertaining to this message.

Although self-described as a non-partisan group the hostile anti-American media refers to AAPS as conservative. I have never seen them refer to the AMA or AARP (sponsor of United HealthGroup) as liberal so you start to get the picture right away - AAPS must be good for America.

AAPS was founded in 1943 & has between 3,000 & 4,000 members. AMA was founded in 1847, incorporated in 1897, & had 228,000 members as of 2009 - such number includes retired & practicing physicians along with medical students, residents, & fellows. Physician membership in AMA is thought to have decreased to less than 20% of practicing physicians. AMA membership was 244,569 in 2004 so it is declining. Most recently AMA has endorsed ObamaCare. AAPS is for repealing ObamaCare - in fact they have filed a lawsuit calling it unconstitutional.

Please click on this link to hear Senator Rand Paul - an ophthalmologist - discuss the AAPS lawsuit with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Both ReturnToExcellence.net & these messages are dedicated to stopping the Death Of Democracy of the American Republic which means rooting out all enemies of our country - like opponents of the FairTax - & putting them out of business or otherwise tar & feathering & running them out of the country on a rail.

In this regard please do your own study of AAPS & AMA & if & when you are satisfied with both their credentials ask your own doctor if they are a member of AAPS or AMA. Let the conversation flow from there & please let the rest of us know.

AAPS says they dedicate themselves to the highest ethical standards of the Oath of Hippocrates & to preserving the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship & the practice of private medicine. The AAPS motto, "omnia pro aegroto" means "all for the patient."

Friday, January 21, 2011

More Responses - A Speech Vs. Four Years Experience

Can't move on to some other upcoming great messages I have received until I post the following two additional responses re the original responses to the subject message & in particular to my comment re the polls showing BO's approval numbers picking up after his speech following the Arizona Memorial Service.  I provide my comments below in red to each.
---Response #1---
Would you have rather had the Dems still control the House?  We CAN win the Presidency IF we get a good candidate.  I haven't seen anyone really stepping up to the plate with a big bat yet...
Too soon to say.  If not for Libertarian candidate Jim Gawron throwing his hat in the ring Carol & I were going to vote for Democrat Douglas Herbert over Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen.  Something like you voting for Conley over Graham.  If Boehner & Co. louse this up I would rather have had the Democrats in continued control - when we get bad enough it will turn around in a heartbeat but only when it is that bad, or else we are finished quickly instead of this tortuous slow burn.  I voted following the principles of "How To Vote The Bums Out" - see blog posting of December 8, 2009 if you don't remember it.
---Response #2---
Your comment at the end of response #4 may very well be true. On the other hand, I think  this is a calculated shift on BO's part to make it look like he is moving to the center. I don't envision him keeping up this charade. He is too invested in his original ideology and will soon be back to his old leftist agenda. He knows that if he doesn't, he will lose his far left base and he hasn't a prayer of gaining support from the tea party groups nor real conservatives.  With the right candidate to oppose him in 2012, we can send him packing back to Chicago.       
It is precisely because BO is totally invested in his Marxist ideology that he is following the Alinsky method of organization of pretending to be one of us.  BO doesn't have to worry about losing the far left - he is the far left.  If he survives a Primary challenge, if any, he will never lose the far left base, the blacks, Latinos, or the youth vote including single women especially those with children in the general election.  What BO is doing will unfold before your eyes when you read Alinsky's Rules For Radicals .  In the meantime I refer you to a crash course - click on ReturnToExcellence.net & check out the May 17, 2010 posting entitled Jon Voight's Open Letter To America.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Responses - A Speech Vs. Four Years Experience

Thanks for the tons of messages I received in response to the original subject message both private & suitable for publication to the e-mail club &/or the blog. Below are four that add to the discussion. Please note I add a comment in red to #4 below.

---Response #1---

Doug - My Comment: "Next time we rewrite the Constitution, we should provide for a separate head of state to handle occasions such as memorial services. This provision would free the head of government to focus on governing and avoid the public confusion that occurred here.

"Other countries have separate heads of state and heads of government. The United Kingdom has the Queen and her Prime Minister. France has the Premier and the President. Germany has the Bundespraesident and the Bundeskanzler. Other European countries share this structure.

"With a separate head of state to speak at memorial services, the American President would find it more difficult to make such a public relations feint."

---Response #2---

Doug, I echo Laura Ingraham's sentiment about the tone of the Memorial Service. It was disgraceful. I watched the whole thing and each time the shouting and clapping erupted, I was so disturbed by it. What should have been a solemn and respectful occasion to remember the dead and wounded, turned into a rowdy pep rally, making what was supposed to have been an 18 minute speech into a 30 minute tribute to BO. He should have put a stop to it right from the beginning.

---Response #3---


---Response #4---

Doug - Why would you take a poll like that seriously? The way polls are used today is not to measure real long term, but 30 second throwaway sound bites designed to get the response the pollster (i.e. his customer) desires.

Also you have to take into account that there is now a Republican controlled HR. This is viewed as a moderating effect on Obama which can only help to move up his ratings. Keep in mind that historically when we have a split government the President's numbers go up. That simply is the nature of the beast. The writer just proved what bothers me - the Republicans win the House in 2010 & BO wins reelection in 2012.

A Speech Vs. Four Years Experience

Following his speech @ the Memorial Service on January 12 @ the University of Arizona for the people murdered in Tuscan the previous Saturday @ Congresswoman Giffords's Congress On The Corner public meeting BO's approval rating shot up from the low 40s to 54% - how absolutely pitiful for America & our future. How can so many mindless Independents & Conservatives counterbalance one speech with two years of governing against every principle this nation was founded upon - not to mention two years of campaigning before that where BO told anyone who really listened just what he intended to do - & then did? This shows how easily tricked & brainwashed the government schooled populace is.

Discounting that the Memorial Service had not one religious figure participating & was held in an atmosphere as if it were a pre-game college pep rally the hard core Statists in America most notably @ the Washington Post & MSNBC have ignored BO's call for civility as if it did not apply to them as they continue their attacks on Sarah Palin (the most dangerous person in the world to them for obvious reasons), Michele Bachman, talk radio, & FNC.

Readers of the Alinsky method text Rules For Radicals know that BO is merely calling on all of his Community Organizer skills from this book for "working in the system" - doing what he doesn't like to do to gain his advantage. In the case of the tragic Tuscan shootings BO is organizing people around something they agree upon - namely the horror of the murders. As the organizer BO must get inside their experience & become one of them & then push the enemy (middle class American people) to live up to our own book on morality & regulations. The approval rating spike shows he is far on his way to succeeding.

Laura Ingraham summed this matter up perfectly when Bill O'Reilly wrote on his blog that Laura contended columnists are spending far too much time critiquing Obama's performance. "I'm really uncomfortable with grading the President's speech when we have six people dead," Laura said. "What I think is most relevant is what is happening to our country. We have had an attempt by many who are friends & boosters of the President to vilify & denigrate patriotic Americans & connect them to the acts of a deranged man. I found that appalling & outrageous, & I believe the President could have done a lot more from the beginning to push back against those people." Laura also criticized the pep rally-like atmosphere @ the Memorial Service. "Solemnity was required, but there were t-shirts printed up & you had the president of the university introducing Obama like it's the kickoff of the 2012 campaign. It was a campaign rally!"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Healthcare - An Open Letter To Congressman Lance

Congress returns this week & on Tuesday plans to pursue repealing ObamaCare - with a House vote on Wednesday plus instruction to House committees to start new healthcare legislation to replace ObamaCare. The GOP goal is to @ least defund ObamaCare through the appropriations process & pass legislation to remove the law's least popular components.

I can't imagine any healthcare insurance company CEO who has not started the process of going out of the business on their own terms as opposed to waiting for the government to put them out of business on their terms. Even the current cozy relationship between BO & AARP-United HealthGroup will see the insurer get stung when they are no longer needed - which will only be a few short years.

On a more positive note below is an open letter to Congressman Leonard Lance from one of his constituents who also is a subscriber to ReturnToExcellence.net that offers a specific proposal for solving our healthcare problems. For additional ideas - if you haven't read it already - but of a more libertarian view please go to ReturnToExcellence.net & click on The Solution To America's Healthcare Problems. If you agree with either of the positions described in these two documents you would be wise to let your voice be heard by your elected representatives & anyone else who will listen who can help.

Dear Congressman Lance,

As Congress deliberates the repeal of Obamacare, there will be calls to replace it with structural changes to our healthcare system that will bring about genuine reform. I would like to make a specific proposal.

First, the principal reason that healthcare in America is out of reach for most of the uninsured is the distorted market created by third-party payers. To illustrate the point, let us ask ourselves: which two fields of medicine have seen costs actually decline? The answer is cosmetic surgery and lasik surgery. It is no coincidence that these procedures are not normally covered by insurance.

I am not suggesting that healthcare insurance disappear, but patients do need to participate more meaningfully in their healthcare decisions and become better consumers.

What is stopping that? The answer, in part, is our tax code - especially for those who are not yet on Medicare. Yes, since the end of the Second World War, employers have been able to deduct the cost of healthcare insurance without making employees declare additional income. As a result, the healthcare industry in this country has blossomed. But the unintended result of this loophole has been that employers waste a tax shelter when they ask their employees to participate in their own healthcare costs. Over-utilization by insured people at the expense of uninsured people follows.

What two specific steps can you as a member of Congress take to fix the problem? First, co-sponsor HR25, The FairTax Act Of 2011. The FairTax treats employer-purchased healthcare insurance as "proxy buying." See Section 901(c) of the bill. In doing so, the FairTax eliminates the tax disparity between employer-purchased and individually-purchased healthcare insurance and removes the tax bias against individually-purchased plans.

Second, support a bill to make national excess-of-loss and stop-loss reinsurance available for all citizens and legal residents. Such a plan would be far less expensive than Obamacare, costing no more than Medicare alone costs today. Such a plan would assure that no citizen, or lawful resident, would face bankruptcy due to a healthcare catastrophe. Such a plan would give individuals responsibility for their own healthcare short of catastrophe.

The plan could offer preventative care on a first-dollar basis.

The plan could be loss-rated for the entire portfolio in order to protect individual privacy.

Those with valid Social Security numbers would receive vouchers to take to a licensed insurance agent or employer. If the proposed insured wants more comprehensive coverage, then he or she, or the employer, can purchase it. If the insured wants only government-provided excess-of-loss or stop-loss catastrophic protection, he or she would pay an administrative fee to a licensed insurance agent, who obtains a government-reinsured policy from a private carrier.

By eliminating tax bias and touching the private sector gently, Uncle Sam preserves the best of our world-leading healthcare system, including medical innovation, while making healthcare more affordable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Responses - Anna Little To Interview Doug On The FairTax

My sincere thanks to everyone who listened in support of my FairTax presentation this afternoon on WIFI radio. Special thanks to all of you who phoned or e-mailed messages like "Good job Doug...!!!!" after the show.

I think the program was a success in that the staff on the station seemed to know something about the FairTax - probably due to the influence of Anna Little whose knowledge is very complete having run for Congress in 2010 as a FairTax supporter. My hope is that the several co-hosts regularly discuss the FairTax among themselves on the air & in response to callers who ask economic questions. Please take advantage of every chance you get to speak on the FairTax yourself - it all adds up - the steady consistent beating of the drum.

Below are two responses that I particularly enjoyed. With regard to the comment about having such a good "radio voice" - I responded "I don't know about the voice but I have been told I have a face made for radio."

---Response #1---

I got a chance to listen to you on the radio giving the overview of the FairTax. I wish they gave you more time to explain its many benefits but it was good to see the support on the station for it. Do you know of any legislator in CT (the bluest state in the U.S.) who supports it??

---Response #2---

Hi Doug,

You did a great job just now talking to Anna Little. You have such a good "radio voice" - I think that they should hire you to be National Spokesman for the FairTax! You have a nice friendly tone to your voice, you articulate well and you don't come across like a snobby "know-it-all". You were really good!

PS: Tell Carol I like her too!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Anna Little To Interview Doug On The FairTax

Please tune in to WIFI 1460 AM radio on Thursday afternoon, January 13, @ 4:05 PM to hear Anna Little interview me on the FairTax on the show she co-hosts every week.  You can also hear the show over the internet @ www.wifiam1460.com.  The call in number is 609-447-0236.  This should be a lot of fun.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Following The Oath To Support The Constitution Gives Us A New Start

Because of the murders in Tuscan on Saturday the House has cancelled all scheduled floor activities this week except for a resolution honoring Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords & those slain in the shooting incident.

Even with this postponement of regular business out of respect for the fallen, including the vote on the bill to repeal ObamaCare, the new House leadership has already set the stage for tremendous meaningful change for our Republic with the reading of the U.S. Constitution as the first order of business last week. It is of paramount importance that each & every Member of Congress live up to & follow the Oath they take to support the Constitution - starting with this reading we have a chance they may return to this principle of our first Congresses.

In this regard the WSJ ran the best op-ed I have ever read on the subject today entitled The Constitution: Not Just for Courts (see below). This op-ed expands on the idea that it is the responsibility of everyone who takes the Oath to support the Constitution - not just the 9 regular human beings on the Supreme Court. Please don't fall for the propaganda that it is only the Supreme Court who can determine if something is constitutional or not. I repeat below my letter to the WSJ that was published last July in this regard.

BTW - combining the above mentioned killing incident in Arizona with the Constitution - in accordance with the 6th Amendment "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy & public trial." To Carol & me this trial cannot be speedy enough. Neither can the dispensation of the verdict.

---Letter Published In WSJ July 16, 2010---

Timothy Dreisbach is only partially correct when he writes on July 6 that "it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to decide if they (laws) are constitutional." Every Member of Congress & the President & Vice President also take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Up until the Civil War virtually every President regularly vetoed legislation because they thought some bills were unconstitutional - mostly for violating the Spending Claus of Article I, Section 8. What a better Republic we would have today if our modern presidents followed this practice.

The Constitution: Not Just for Courts

'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.'—Andrew Jackson


The recent attempt by House Republicans to bring constitutional deliberation to Congress has been roundly mocked—by Democrats, law professors and pundits. "When I went to law school they said the law's what a judge says it is," California Rep. Henry Waxman recently explained. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts termed it an "air kiss" to the tea party. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne labeled the Constitution an "abstraction" preoccupying the GOP.

Leave the Constitution to the courts, their argument goes. Yet many liberals don't want the courts involved in constitutional issues either—at least not in any robust way. As challenges to ObamaCare work their way through the courts, we hear lamentations that such attempts represent judicial activism and are undemocratic. This leaves the president to protect the Constitution. But when George W. Bush asserted his own interpretation of the Constitution, liberals raised the specter of an "imperial presidency."

So who, precisely, is supposed to protect the Constitution? Article VI provides that all of our elected and appointed officials in both federal and state government "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution." The president takes a special oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. These oaths reaffirm the constitutional language and structure that require each branch to take seriously the constraints of the Constitution.

Contrary to popular belief, and the beliefs of some lawyer-congressmen, the Supreme Court does not maintain a monopoly on constitutional interpretation. The court has an important role to play in reviewing the constitutionality of legislation and executive branch action, of course. But it cannot and should not exercise this power alone.

The political branches also have an obligation to support the Constitution by ensuring that their actions are within their constitutional authority. In my experience in the White House counsel's office, lawyers within the executive branch regularly analyzed the constitutionality of the president's actions. Moreover, agency lawyers analyze proposed legislation with an eye toward possible constitutional problems and report these to Congress.

Congress, however, has largely yielded the field of constitutional interpretation. Although it may make findings demonstrating that a law is within the Commerce power or the Spending power, it rarely engages in sustained debates about the constitutionality of particular legislation.

Scholars and experts have offered many explanations for Congress' lassitude. One is that the court has asserted a robust view of its own powers over constitutional interpretation, which has caused Congress to back down on certain key issues.

In addition, in modern times constitutional deliberation has rarely enjoyed a political constituency (although perhaps it does now with the tea party-backed members). It simply has not been worth the time and effort for most congressmen to thwart legislation on constitutional grounds. Mr. Waxman's comments are emblematic of a widespread sentiment that if a law is unconstitutional the Supreme Court will say so. Until it does, full steam ahead.

It wasn't always this way. In the early years of the republic, most constitutional decision-making occurred in Congress and the White House. Members debated the constitutionality of great issues such as the National Bank. Indeed, even after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the National Bank, President Andrew Jackson vetoed a bill to renew the bank on constitutional grounds. His veto message eloquently explained the rationale:

"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. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision."

It may be that when all of the departments of government carefully consider the meaning of the Constitution they will disagree. The president may veto bills on constitutional grounds, or determine that a statute cannot be enforced constitutionally. Congressmen may have different views of their powers—such as what they consider necessary and proper for a regulation of interstate commerce. This is no different from the Supreme Court, where narrow majorities decide many controversial issues and constitutional doctrine evolves, for better or worse, over time.

The Constitution is not an abstraction to be consulted by lawyers and judges alone. House Republican efforts to reintroduce it to congressional deliberation will only make the document stronger and more relevant to a government of the people.

Ms. Rao, who worked in the White House Counsel's office from 2005 to 2006, is an assistant professor at George Mason Law School.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Congressman King Introduces Bill To Repeal ObamaCare

Earlier today Carol & I were honored to see Iowa Congressman Steve King appear on the House floor to make a rousing much-needed politically incorrect speech for the purpose of presenting a bill for repealing the job-killing healthcare law and healthcare-related provisions in the HealthCare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 better known as ObamaCare. Congressman King ended his remarks by taking a minute to read the bill that appears in its entirety below that will repeal the 2500 page ObamaCare bill.


H. R. 2


To repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act'.


    (a) Job-Killing Health Care Law- Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111-148, such Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.

    (b) Health Care-Related Provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010- Effective as of the enactment of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), title I and subtitle B of title II of such Act are repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such title or subtitle, respectively, are restored or revived as if such title and subtitle had not been enacted.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

FairTax Bill Introduced In New Congress With Record Number Of Original Co-sponsors

Below is a press release from FairTax lead House sponsor Congressman Rob Woodall who introduced HR 25, The FairTax Act of 2011, on the first day of the new Congress with a record number of original co-sponsors all of whom are listed @ the end of the press release.



Washington, DC—On Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-07) introduced H.R. 25, the FairTax. The FairTax legislation eliminates the current income tax paradigm and replaces it with a system of taxation based on consumption. The bill was introduced on Wednesday with 47 original co-sponsors—the most original co-sponsors the bill has ever had for its initial introduction.

"I committed to the Seventh District of Georgia that my efforts in Congress would focus on reclaiming freedom for the American people. It is for that reason that I am proud to make the FairTax—the only bill that restores transparency and simplicity to our tax code—my very first action in Congress. I have said since its inception that the FairTax is not a tax bill; it is a freedom bill," Woodall said.

Woodall, who was sworn-in to Congress earlier in the day, played an integral role in crafting the original text of the FairTax as former Congressman John Linder's Chief of Staff when the bill was originally introduced in 1999.

"Our current tax system is a bloated, convoluted mess that gives government power over Americans' pockets. With 47 Members of Congress and counting signing their names to the FairTax, we are closer than ever before to voting on legislation that eliminates the frustrating mess that is the IRS."

Although the FairTax was introduced with 47 original co-sponsors, Woodall anticipates adding many more Members of Congress to the bill. Once the FairTax is introduced with the original co-sponsors, Members are able to sign on to the bill as co-sponsors throughout the 112th Congress.

"The number of signatures on the FairTax this time around is a testament to the will of the people. It is clear that Americans do not want to have their hard-earned money taken away and they want to reclaim the freedom to spend their money how they choose and when they choose."

The list of original co-sponsors is as follows:

1) Tom Price (GA)

2) Brian Bilbray (CA)

3 ) John Carter (TX)

4 ) Michael Conaway (TX)

5 ) John Duncan (TN)

6) Virginia Foxx (NC)

7) Steve King (IA)

8) Michael McCaul (TX)

9) Pete Olson (TX)

10 ) John Sullivan (OK)

11 ) Mac Thornberry (TX)

12) Phil Gingrey (GA)

13) Roscoe Bartlett (MD)

14) Don Young (AK)

15) Ander Crenshaw (FL)

16) Todd Akin (MO)

17) Lynn Westmoreland (GA)

18) Tom Graves (GA)

19) Gus Bilirakis (FL)

20) Ted Poe (TX)

21) Randy Neugebauer (TX)

22) Jeff Miller (FL)

23) Robert Wittman (VA)

24) Jack Kingston (GA)

25) Marlin Stutzman (IN)

26) Jeff Flake (AZ)

27) Billy Long (MO)

28) Cliff Stearns (FL)

29) Tim Walberg (MI)

30) Dennis Ross (FL)

31) Dan Boren (OK)

32) Mo Brooks (AL)

33) Darrell Issa (CA)

34) Richard Nugent (FL)

35) Tim Scott (SC)

36) Blake Farenthold (TX)

37) Jeff Duncan (SC)

38) Rob Bishop (UT)

39) Mike Pence (IN)

40) Sandy Adams (FL)

41) John Mica (FL)

42) Sue Wilkins Myrick (NC)

43) Dan Burton (IN)

44) John Culberson (TX)

45) James Lankford (OK)

46) Mike Pompeo (KS)

47) Gary Miller (CA)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Boortz Excerpt - The Moocher Class

Of the five million people who listen to the Neal Boortz radio program every day Carol & I were two of the fortunate ones to hear Monday's program live in which Neal gave the three biggest dangers he sees the American Republic facing today.  I present below a portion of one of them, which Neal calls the Moocher Class.  If you would like to see the entire program notes including the other two dangers (#2 - Politicians Hooked On Power, & #3 - Public Sector Unions) just let me know & I will send it to you. 
---Excerpt From Neal Boortz January 3 Program Notes - The Moocher Class---
Let's take a look at a one-parent household of three.  Do I have to translate here?  We're talking about one unmarried female with two children.  Children which she, in all likelihood, couldn't afford and knew full well that she wouldn't be able to afford to raise when she conceived them.  If this woman works full time at a minimum-wage job she will earn $14,500 a year and she will pay not one penny of income tax to the federal government.  Fact is about 47% of all wage earners in this country pay no federal income taxes whatsoever.  But back to our single mother:  The $14,500 isn't the end of it.   She will have to pay for child care.  There will be payroll taxes and state income taxes (we're using Mississippi for this example.)  That leaves her with just a few thousand dollars.  Then you start adding all of her entitlements.  There's the Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps, the school lunch program, Medicaid and CHIP, her Section 8 rent subsidy; and, of course, her utility bill assistance.  When you add it all up our minimum wage single mother of two has nearly $38,000 of disposable income.

Now ... let's look at a single mother of two earning $60,000.  She, too, is going to have to pay payroll taxes, child care and the state income tax, though she will still be in the 47% that don't pay federal income taxes.  But ... she gets no EITC, no food stamps, no Section 8, no CHIP and Medicaid, and no help with her utility bills.  In the end her disposable income (after taxes and child care) is about $34,400.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Time To Make Your Voice Heard Loudly

John Adams must have had the last Congress in mind when he said "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."

The above graph shows that 83% of Americans disapprove of the way the last Congress did its job & it is safe to say we know who this 83% is but the larger question for me is who are the 13% that still think this Congress did a good job? The 83% disapproval rating is the worst Gallup has measured in 36 years of tracking congressional job performance.

The only group conceivable that could make up the 13% are people who actually work for Congress or the government & their relatives & some lobbyists who did just fine in 2010. Due to the tax deal that BO negotiated with establishment Republicans many Democrats are now included in the 83% disapproval column even though they still approve of BO's job in the 80% range - a problem for 2012.

But Democrat politicians themselves certainly are satisfied with their destructive work like enacting healthcare reform. Although Pelosi will no longer be Speaker she was voted back by her peers as the Democrat House Leader & Ringside Reid was so pleased with his work that he issued a press release that highlighted congressional accomplishments most of which took place in the Lame Duck session after the November election. The U.S. Constitution requires Congress to "assemble @ least once every year" & Carol pointed out to me that the Lame Duck Congress shows that they really don't have to meet any more often than this.

With the 112th Congress ready to convene on Wednesday I know they are not looking @ the ratings of the last Congress as a standard to be judged by. With new senators like Marco Rubio (Mike Huckabee's Co-Chairman in Florida in 2008), Mike Lee - UT, Ron Johnson - WI, Rand Paul - KY, & Pat Toomey - PA we have a fine nucleus to join Jim DeMint & Tom Coburn in a new caucus. New Congressmen like Allen West of FL - a frequent subject of this blog - add to our encouragement.

We will know very shortly if the newly elected Republicans plan to tinker around the edges pretending to do something or whether they are for real. Key issues to watch are how they approach the repeal of Obamacare in the House or if they @ least don't fund it thereby undermining its implementation, how the Continuing Resolution passed just over two weeks ago that allows continued government operations until March 4 is approached, & whether or not they honor their pledge & vote against any increase to the debt ceiling that is projected to be reached again very shortly. All of these are spending issues that the Tea Party will watch very closely.

A stalling on any one of these issues means our nation is heading for trouble & unfortunately we are running out of time & high quality candidates who will make the difference for America like former Senate candidate Joe Miller in Alaska. The biggest disappointment in the last election was Mr. Miller losing to incumbent Lisa Murkowski when Alaskans decided that the pork-barrel money Murkowski had consistently brought home to Alaska over the years was more important to them than Miller representing them following the U.S. Constitution, limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.

Douglas Johnson writes "that the liberal label has an appeal to only 20% of the electorate is nothing to celebrate because ...even with it dwindling numbers liberalism will nearly always win on policy." Senate candidate Miller is the best (worse) example of this in supposedly conservative Alaska.

Any real effort by the new Congress to return America to the principles of her founding excellence should be applauded by all concerned citizens. This would be a time to make your voice heard loudly encouraging the Members who are making the difference.