Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
From a few years ago, me mugging with the bronze buffalo sculpture at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blame It on John Marshall

As I write this, we still don't know if the federal government will shut down or not. If it does, it won't be a total shutdown, but rather a shutdown of "nonessential" services. The term nonessential begs the question: If they are nonessential, why does the federal government use our tax dollars to pay for them in the first place?

Anyone remembering their 9th-grade Civics class realizes the federal government is bloated well beyond its Constitutional mandate. It controls, dictates and regulates way outside of the totally unambiguous boundaries set down by the 10th Amendment that simply says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Of course over the years the activist judiciary has bastardized nearly every line of the Constitution, bringing virtually every aspect of our lives under the thumb of the federal government. Obamacare is just the latest power grab by the federal government; and its future, too, will eventually be decided in the courts.

Some people don't realize that nowhere in the Constitution is the U.S. Supreme Court identified as the arbiter of what is and what isn't Constitutional. This is a power it claimed for itself.

Most of the damage was done and the stage set for activist jurists to begin chipping away at state and individual rights by the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall.

He is the poster child for term limits for U.S. Supreme Court justices. He served as Chief Justice for 34 years beginning in 1801, and much of the federal government's abuse of power can be traced to him and his decisions.

A couple of his anti-Constitutional ideas that are now commonly used to justify the continued suppressing of individual freedoms:
  • Redefining the body ratifying the Constitution as the "one American people" rather than the 13 individual states; thus minimizing the power of the states and trivializing the Republican form of central government. It was a decision based on ideology and not fact.
  • Putting the elasticity into the Commerce clause that redefined "regulating interstate commerce," originally intended as the federal government facilitating trade among the states, as the power to regulate anything that crossed state borders. Over the years this definition has been expanded to basically include anything that in any way impacts commerce and the general population. In essence, giving the federal government power over everything. The most blatant unconstitutional aspect of Obamacare, the universal mandate that forces every citizen to purchase health insurance, will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Constitutionalists argue that the federal government doesn't have to power to force its citizens to purchase anything; the Progressives argue that because healthcare and its costs affect all of us, the Commerce clause gives it the right to enforce the universal mandate. Thank-you, John Marshall.

As we face a possible partial shutdown of the federal government, I am struck by a few obvious questions:
  1. Didn't the Democrat-controlled congress have six months to pass a 2011 budget? They managed to pass Obamacare without one Republican vote in the House or Senate. They passed the $1 trillion Stimulus Package without one Republican vote. Why didn't they pass a budget? Why is it suddenly the Republicans fault there isn't a budget and a possible partial shutdown looms?
  2. Are we being duped? Here we are all lathered up over whether the cuts should be $6 billion, $30 billion or $60 billion. Isn't the 2011 budget deficit in excess of $1 trillion? How does even $60 billion in cuts really help? Is this administration and congress really interested in reining in spending and reducing the debt? The Paul Ryan-proposed budget notwithstanding, most indications point to, NO. Remember those cowboy poets need our money.
  3. Are "we the people" on our own? With a federal government greedy for power and unwilling to limit its spending, are we deluding ourselves that our government has our collective back? This is like watching a train wreck: We see it coming, but are really helpless to do anything about it.

The most unfortunate thing about a partial federal government shutdown is that the congress and the administration aren't among the nonessential workers who will be furloughed. They will get to show up for their 3.5 days of work per week, collect their full salaries and benefits, and continue gumming up the works.

It seems their job of screwing the American people is never finished and too important to be interrupted.

1 comment:

  1. Great column!

    As I noted in a Facebook posting somewhere, the stuff about "essential" and "non-essential" services reminds me of how newspaper editors say the "quality of the product" will not be affected after they lay off about 300 people from their newsroom. It's a lie, of course, and if the quality of the product isn't going to be affected, what the hell are those people doing there working in the first place?

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