Is America a Republic or an Empire? March 22, 2013Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: Afghanistan, American debt, American empire, Dr. Robert Owens, Iraq, Libya, limited government, war for peace, world’s sole superpower
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Over the years in this column I have written about the American Empire. I have advocated jettisoning the Empire to save the Republic. This topic has sparked debate and controversy even among the most dedicated readers. Usually the argument runs like this, “America is not an Empire, never has been and never will be,” or “America’s far-flung military deployments are not the garrisoning of an empire it is instead a forward defense of the homeland.”
In my most recent column along these lines, aptly entitled, “Republic or Empire?” in several publications there was spirited debate about whether or not America could be called an empire. Some people seemed to take offense at the very idea. Others who usually agree with my political stands find this and my other foreign policy positions such as bringing our troops home, concentrating on defending America, and equitable trade with all unacceptable. I present and promote these foreign policy positions as requirements for restoring limited government. It is my belief that as long as we are involved in endless war there is no real possibility to re-gain control of our government, our budget, or our future.
What I propose to do in this column is examine the hallmarks of empire and ask my readers to honestly ask themselves, “Is America a republic or an empire?”
First, it makes no difference whether it is the President, the Paramount Chief, an Augustus, the First Citizen, the Dear Leader, the Great Helmsman or der Fuehrer. It doesn’t matter if it is an executive branch, a Politburo, a Central Committee, the Cabinet, or the collective leadership. Whatever form it takes, an empire is always dominated by a highly centralized executive power.
America was designed not to be an empire but instead to be a federal republic made up of a central government and state governments which were the precursors and creators of the central government. This central government founded upon and constrained by a written constitution originally presented the world with something new, a national government made up of divided co-equal powers. The Congress to make the laws, the executive to enforce the laws, and the judicial to judge if the laws conformed to the Constitution: the guiding light and touch-stone of American limited government. This worked well to establish and maintain a republic but it would not foster nor perpetuate an empire.
Thus the Constitution established the framework of what became known as the system of checks and balances. Only congress could make laws, but the President could veto them. Congress could over-ride a president’s veto, but the Supreme Court could declare laws unconstitutional making them null and void. The president is in charge of foreign policy and is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but the Congress controlled the purse and could cut off funding. Upon petition the Supreme Court could declare the actions of the president unconstitutional yet the president could appoint justices to the Supreme Court.
Did this work perfect? No, there were always swings one way or another. There have been powerful Supreme Courts such as under Chief Justices Marshall or Warren that changed the complexion of the country. There have been powerful Congresses such as the one from 1865 to the mid 1870’s that virtually ignored presidents and set policy. There were powerful presidents such as Jackson or Lincoln. However the pendulum always swung back and forth. If you examined all three institutions there was one thing missing. Where was the sovereignty? Who was the nation?
In the highly centralized state, which is an empire whether personal or national, the leader or leadership operates according to the sentiments of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France who said, “I am the State.” During the birth of the American system, our Founders had spent more time debating this than any other aspect of the government, who would be the sovereign power. They had just fought and defeated one tyrant and they did not want to exchange one for another. They didn’t trust the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of an executive because of the long and bloody history of Europeans with absolutism and divine right. They didn’t trust an assembly after their recent history with the tyranny of the British Parliament and their Stamp Act, Quartering Act and other attempts to bring the colonies to their knees. They couldn’t place it in the hands of the Supreme Court for that body would be merely judicial.
Instead they came up with a new idea in the world. They placed the sovereignty of the nation in the hands of We the People.
The Constitution is designed to empower the people not the government. Though today it is stretched and interpreted to give the government the power to do whatever it wants whenever it wants originally it was constructed to limit government.
We the People could vote the Congress in or out, we could choose our own president, and if the Supreme Court said something was unconstitutional that we wanted we could change the Constitution using a mechanism embedded within the document itself. For the first time no leader or oligarchy owned the state, instead the state belonged to the citizens.
What do we see in America today? We have a president who says, “We can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.” When Congress after deliberation decides not to pass the Dream Act giving amnesty to millions, the President uses an executive order to make it law by decree. When the Congress refuses to pass a cap-and-trade law that many believe will hamstring our industry and hobble us in the race with other nations, the president orders his EPA department to enforce it anyway. Without consulting Congress the President takes us to war against Libya and deposes a government.
These are the actions of an executive out of control. Under the original American system if anyone would have asked, “Who speaks for the people?” the answer would have been the House of Representatives because they were elected every two years and were thus closest to the people. It wouldn’t have been the Congress as a whole because under the original system the senate was chosen by the various state legislatures and was designed to represent the states. It was the House which spoke for the people. Today it is the President who uses the bully pulpit magnified by a subservient press and a thousand government media pressure points and outlets saying in effect, I have a mandate from the people. I am the embodiment of their will. I am the state.
The next hallmark of an empire we will look at is that domestic policy becomes subordinate to foreign policy. The American President is constitutionally in charge of foreign policy so there is no better place for the holder of that office to act without any restraint. Treaties must be ratified, so our presidents began in the 1940’s to forge personal agreements with the leaders of other countries that had all the force of treaties with none of the messy Senate confirmation required. Using their power as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces modern presidents have also used their authority to start wars as in Kosovo and Libya, to sign cease fires as in Korea, and to commit America to the support of dictators and tyrants through deployments and equipment transfers, all without any Congressional oversight.
If we ask ourselves, has domestic policy really become subordinate to foreign policy think about whose infrastructure are we being taxed to rebuild? In Afghanistan and Iraq our money and our companies are building new schools while ours fall apart, we are building new roads in Afghanistan while we watch our own bridges crumbling. We give billions to countries and governments that despise us. We borrow money to give it away and then sometimes borrow it back all in a bizarre dance balancing foreign interests at the expense of We the People.
Another hallmark of an empire is that the military mindset becomes ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated. Think about the Defense budget. In 2012 it was over 600 billion dollars. Does anyone believe Congress or anyone else really knows where all that money is going? The size, scope, and unbelievable waste in the defense budget stagger the imagination. However, to even question the defense budget will immediately get someone labeled as an isolationist who wants to gut our defense and surrender to the enemy.
Many people will argue that we are in a war and that during war of course the defense budget will be bloated. Can you remember any time since 1942 that we haven’t been in a war? Yes, there were the brief days of the “Peace Dividend” under Clinton after the Soviet Union dissolved which actually became the rational for increased defense spending. And during those brief days of peace back in the 1990’s we fought a war and enforced a decade long no-fly zone in Iraq, attacked Serbia, sent troops, planes or other assets to Zaire, Sierra Leone, Bosnia (numerous times), Herzegovina, Somalia, Macedonia, Haiti, Liberia, Central African Republic, Albania, Congo and Gabon, Cambodia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan, Afghanistan, and East Timor. And this was our only decade of peace since the 1940’s, and to question any of this is considered tantamount to treason. We must ask ourselves, “Has the military mindset become ascendant to the point that civilians are intimidated?”
Perpetual war for peace has led the peaceful American people to be ensnared in the clutches of the military-industrial complex as president Eisenhower warned it would in 1961.
All empires develop and maintain a system of satellite nations. When we hear of this we immediately think of the old USSR and their slave states in Eastern Europe. Advance the idea that America has satellite nations and people become irate. “How could you say such a thing about America?” Look at our so-called allies. Do they fit the description as satellite nations? A satellite nation is one that the empire deems is necessary for its own defense. It is also one that feels it cannot stand alone and wants the empire’s protection.
That is the deal. The empire commits to protect the satellite and the satellite agrees to stand with its back against the empire facing a common foe. Add to that the fact that we supply money and material to build the national defenses of our satellite/allies as well as economic aid and a preferential trade system. Think about these ideas and decide for yourself whether or not America has satellite nations ringing the heartland of the empire.
Another hallmark of empire is that a psychology or psychosis of pride, presumption, and arrogance overtakes the national consciousness. We are all familiar with the twenty-first century incantation of “Too big to fail.” That was applied by our bailout happy leaders to their pet banks and companies during the opening days of the Great Recession. It is also an apt description for the way in which most Americans view our position as the most powerful nation on earth or as the silver tongued talking heads like to say, the world’s sole superpower. Since the end of World War One the United States has been the unchallenged mega power among the western block of nations. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union we have towered like a colossus over the rest of the world. In the memory of most people now alive it has always been this way.
To most people the way it has been is the way it shall be. We speak of embracing change and of realizing that change is the only constant but few can really think that way. The familiar seduces us into thinking that the momentary circumstances of today are the unshakable foundations of tomorrow. To the children and grandchildren of the greatest generation the world will always gaze in awe at the great American eagle soaring above the world. Our navies rule the waves, our masses of fighters, bombers, and drones can reach out and touch any corner of the globe, our troops are the best trained, best equipped, and best led armies the world has ever seen, so such a mega power could never fall.
So it seemed to the inhabitants of Rome the eternal empire. So it seemed to the British when the sun never set upon the union jack. And so it seems to us. Even though a rag-tag group like Al Qaeda defies our attempts to destroy them and continues to grow and multiply around the world. Even though the Taliban not only have withstood more than a decade of war they stand poised to reclaim their country as soon as we leave. Even though our deficit spending and the national debt it creates is leading us to a financial collapse that our own military leaders have identified as the greatest threat to our security, and our leaders only answer is more spending. This pride, presumption, and arrogance blinds us to the enduring truth of what comes before a fall.
Finally an empire is the prisoner of history. A republic is not required to act upon the world stage. It can pick and choose its own way seeking its own destiny as a commonwealth of citizens. An empire must project its power for fear that if it doesn’t another leviathan will arise to take its place. A free republic that has maintained its independence is able to decide where and when it will become involved. An empire is always the leader of a center heavy coalition comprised of the imperial core and the associated or satellite nations. As such it is the collective security against the barbarian, the other that drives the actions of the empire.
In the parlance of our day it is our turn. It is our turn to be the policeman of the world, our turn to keep the peace, to guard civilization from the unwashed hordes who seek to turn back the clock and bring darkness into the world. We are a vanguard of stability in a world beset by chaos, and so were the British and the Romans before them.
Other writers may say something has been left off these hallmarks while others may say some of these don’t apply. To all I would recommend a study of former empires to see if they agree these properties are found in all of them. Then ask ourselves, “Are these properties present in America today?” Once we have completed this process we will be able to answer the question for ourselves, “Is America an Empire?” If we decide, yes it is, we have to realize that there is a trajectory all empires follow: they rise and they fall.
We might decide that,we as the first empire that is not set-up to plunder wealth but instead to distribute wealth, are different, and therefore we will break the mold. We will stand while others have fallen. One look at our debt should persuade anyone that what we have built is as unsustainable as the British, the Roman, or any other empire we wish to use as a standard.
Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because our president is elected.” So were the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, so were the kings of Poland. It is the empire that empowers our executive. Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have a Congress.” So did Athens, Rome, and Britain. Do you say, “We can’t be an empire because we have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, why we even have the freedom to own weapons.” So did Athens, so did Rome, and so did Britain.
While we are yet on the glory side of the fall let us abandon the empire to save our republic. Let us resign from the great game of thrones, rebuild America, secure our own borders instead of those of Korea, or Afghanistan, and reaffirm our dedication to be the last best hope of mankind: a federal republic operating on democratic principles, securing our God given liberties, providing personal freedom, individual liberty, and economic opportunity to all its citizens.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
The Forbidden Word Impeach February 23, 2012Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
Tags: 2012 election, Dr. Robert Owens, Impeach Obama, Impeachment, Libya, recess appointments
What does History tell us about the impeachment of an American President? It has only happened twice.
Today Lincoln is an icon. His Roman style temple and oversized statue dominate one end of the National Mall. But in 1864 he was an embattled president caught in a war he couldn’t win and running against George B. McClellan, a popular general who said he could end it. Even History was against Lincoln. No president had won a second term in over thirty years. Mr. Lincoln needed all the allies he could muster to win. So the first Republicans led by the President tried to split the opposition. They changed the party name to the National Union Party and chose a Southern Democrat as a running mate. In a surprise to everyone including Lincoln, he won re-election positioning Johnson one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
After the worst mistake by a Southern sympathizer since the attack on Fort Sumter, the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency and almost immediately ran afoul of the Radical Republicans who had a three to one majority in Congress and who wanted to punish the South. Johnson was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union. He served as the Union imposed military governor of Tennessee until chosen to run for Vice President. A mere forty one days into Lincoln’s second term Johnson was sworn in. When he sought to allow the South a path back into the Union that re-imposed limitations upon the freed slaves and ensured the rise of ex-Confederates to power, he was impeached for breaking a law concerning the firing of appointees. After a contentious trial he was acquitted by one vote.
Johnson and his presidency survived, barely. He was afterwards relegated to irrelevancy and served as a mere caretaker until General Grant came along to become the face of Reconstruction. In this first impeachment battle the President was acquitted, but Congress won.
If you ask the average person who lived through the national ordeal President Clinton was impeached because of his scandalous tryst with a young intern in the Oval Office. Though this was a shameful betrayal of trust, it was not the reason he was impeached. He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in a legal matter that had nothing at all to do with Monica Lewinsky. And even though Clinton was later found in contempt by a federal judge for lying under oath and was later disbarred for ethical violations it was the leadership of the House that impeached him that paid the political price. The Senate which on a strict party line vote (all the Progressives voted to acquit), came out relatively unscathed. Today we are constantly told by the Progressive Press Mr. Clinton is a beloved elder statesman.
Etched upon the memory of the Republican wing of the party of power is the knowledge that unless there is a Senate willing to convict there is no glory in being a House ready to indict.
Republics rise and republics fall. They rise due to the explosion of creativity and production which always accompanies freedom, and they fall when demagogues convince a majority that they deserve a free ride at the expense of a minority. The good thing about History is that if we are wise enough we can learn from other people’s mistakes. And if we aren’t going to allow History to instruct us we should at least be wise enough to allow it to warn us.
Our History teaches us that the impeachment process is possible to initiate but difficult to consummate. So what are we to do if History warns us that what we are witnessing is the fall of our republic? Have we learned enough from History to navigate our way through to a safe harbor, or are we helpless in the face of a hurricane of transformation?
Due to the information developed by the American intelligence community and the bravery of Navy Seal Team Six we learned that the leader of Al Qaeda, the fraternity of terrorists America finds itself endlessly destroying, was not hiding in a cave. He was instead living in a compound barely 1,000 yards from the military academy of our principle ally in our decade long undeclared war. Today’s Hitler is dead, yet the war goes on as if nothing has happened. We have victory after victory with no conclusion and no peace in sight.
Looking at our current economic and social situation America appears more like an occupied nation than the victor of the Cold War and the sole remaining Super Power on Earth. Perhaps it is time to conceptualize the idea that our existential enemy is not a rag-tag group of malcontents dedicated to turning back the clock by six centuries. The enemy that poses a mortal threat to our way of life is instead the homegrown Progressive Movement that has labored for more than a century to subvert our education, corrupt our politics, and evolve their way from constitutionally limited government to central planning and total control.
The visible head of the Progressive Movement today is President Barack Obama. As portrayed by the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media he is not just an Alinsky style community organizer, he is a constitutional scholar. We are told endlessly that he was a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago. Leaving the reality of these claims aside suffice it to say that this constitutional scholar professes to believe that the constitution is a flawed document because it does not provide for positive rights such as guarantees of housing, jobs, etc. The kind of rights that the constitutions of the Soviet Union did and of Red China does provide its slaves, I mean citizens. Not to worry our constitutional scholar-in-chief also believes that our Constitution, written to set strict limits on the federal government is a living document that each generation is free to interpret: that is, change at will.
President Obama has presided over the most calamitous decline in American prestige and influence since his fellow Progressive Jimmy Carter disgraced the office. Mr. Obama’s apology tours, his over-the-top spending which are nothing less than cross generational theft are eclipsed by his blatant assaults upon the very core of his responsibility: the integrity of the Constitution.
The president of the United States is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, but instead Mr. Obama has trampled upon the letter as well as the spirit of this document meant to define the perimeters of federal power.
Unconfirmed Czars rule like potentates over shadow departments dispensing huge budgets while creating a parallel government outside of citizen scrutiny or control. Appointees at the National Labor Relations Board work at subordinating the nation to organized labor. A rogue justice department provides guns to Mexican cartels, refuses to prosecute obvious instances of voter intimidation, gives a pass to Islamist groups, and stonewalls Congress, while aggressively going after peaceful pro-life demonstrators and America’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They sue states that try to enforce immigration laws they ignore and seek to try the perpetrators of 9-11 in a New York trial that would parade itself through our national consciousness like a Broadway production of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Superstar.
Beyond these abuses of power there are two glaring examples of the type of blatant transgressions of clear constitutional limits which, if not addressed set a precedent that may stand in the future as signs of the times that were missed at the time. If not addressed, they will point accusing fingers at a generation asleep at the switch when the bounds of limited government were finally breached.
Mr. Obama has said he can rule without Congress because he can’t wait. He travels the country at tax payer expense campaigning for four more years to seal the deal, inflaming class warfare, and dispensing government giveaways to buy votes. These two egregious affronts to the Constitution lie at the feet of the Washington Monument passed over by the media and explained away by the government’s propaganda arm. And what does the loyal opposition do? They huff and they puff but actually they do nothing.
Only two Congressmen had the integrity to point out that presidents are not allowed to take us to war by whim. And only one had the courage to point out that making high level appointments without Senate confirmation while the Senate is in session is more than bad form: it is unconstitutional and more compatible with a dictatorship than a republic.
We stand before the yawning maw of collectivism presided over by a self-proclaimed transformational president seeking to change us from what we have been to what he thinks we should be. Mr. Obama is supported by what amounts to a personality cult in the media and a legion of fellow citizens addicted to either distributing or receiving the dole. The Republican candidates are standing in a circular firing squad working hard at allowing the Progressive Media make them look like the bar scene from Star Wars. At the same time the media gives the President a pass for everything from gas prices to artificially deflated unemployment figures. If America as we have known her is to survive, we must elect a Congress with enough courage and enough votes to do what must be done. The Congress we have now is passive in the face of serial provocations and outright illegality. They will not call Mr. Obama to account on anything so he feels free to do everything.
If he wins again we all lose unless we replace those who merely go along to get along with those who are willing to speak the forbidden word…Impeach!
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the Historian of the Future and the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
Where’s the Outrage? May 26, 2011Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: Dennis Kucinich, Dr. Robert Owens, Impeach Obama, Libya, Ron Paul, War Powers Act
In the best line of a lackluster campaign Bob Dole challenged the voters who were swallowing the liberal line of the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media. At the time they were carrying the water for Bill Clinton in the 1996 election. By that time Mr. Clinton’s Bimbo Eruptions and complete lack of ethics had become common knowledge but the unengaged in fly-over country were lapping up the Clinton mantra “Character Doesn’t Matter” and preparing to not vote in droves.
Today we face a crisis that is more pertinent to the beating heart of American liberty than whether or not the President is or is not a morally challenged serial abuser of women or what “is” means. Today we again face a challenge that was also presented to us by Mr. Clinton twelve years ago when he waged in an unconstitutional wag-the-dog air war against Yugoslavia that even some of his supporters speculated was more about diverting attention from his Oval Office escapades than anything else.
This re-run of Clinton’s war by decree prompts this writer to ask: Who has the right to commit America to war? Who has the right to send our soldiers into harm’s way? Does America go to war by the act of Congress or by the whim of the Executive?
In this matter, which strikes at the heart of the American Experiment no one in Congress, except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, two polar opposites from the right and the left, had the integrity to ask these questions. The media totally abdicated its watchdog role. This is a matter that should be at the forefront of the consciousness of the American people. We should have risen up and demanded an explanation. But instead, since our Congressional leaders ignored it and the media treated the only two elected officials who did speak out as if they wore aluminum hats, our fellow citizens hit the mental snooze button, and rolled over to watch a reality show so they could ignore reality.
On March 19, 2011 President Obama’s administration declared war on Libya by launching 112 Tomahawk missiles at targets within the country. I say the administration declared war because the United States Congress was not consulted. Congressional leaders weren’t even advised of these acts of war until 90 minutes before the bombs started falling. And this was not really consultation. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “I wouldn’t call it consultation as much as laying it out.” He [President Obama]had spent time consulting with the U.N. and the Arab League but he couldn’t be bothered with consulting the United States Congress? Which brings me back to the quote from Bob Dole, “Where’s the outrage?”
The Constitution in Article One Section Eight ever wary of giving the executive too much power gave Congress the exclusive power to declare war. Ever since Harry Truman decided for domestic political reasons to call a war in Korea that cost 54,229 American lives a Police Action our Presidents have followed the guns and butter policies of peace at home and war abroad. However; Johnson, Bush I, and Bush II sought and received Congressional approval before committing America to war in all but name. Only “Where is the Outrage” Clinton presumed to have the power to wage war by Executive Order.
Today we are faced with an out of control administration that believes it can involve America in a war on the whim of the executive instead of the act of Congress. They pointed towards the War Powers Act as a fig leaf to cover their actions. This administration is headed by a lawyer and filled with lawyers, and yet they presumably did not know that the War Powers Act specifically says, “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” And it is clear that not one of the three circumstance explicitly named by the Act applied to the situation of our attack upon Libya.
The President has said he doesn’t need Congressional Approval, Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media repeats that the President has the authority, and the Justice Department says the president has all the authority he needs for the war in Libya.
However, due to President Obama’s clear circumvention of Congressional approval and his egregious and erroneous appeal to the War Powers Act, I am stating categorically that his attack upon Libya is an abuse of executive power and an unconstitutional action. This is not my opinion alone. Many Americans from constitutional law experts to his own liberal Democrats are beginning to say the same thing, which brings me back to the quote from Bob Dole, “Where’s the outrage?”
If this is a blatant abuse of power and an unconstitutional act leading to war I also say this rises to the level of an impeachable offense. In this I find myself standing for the first time with the most liberal Democrats. And in another departure from tradition I am also in agreement with Vice President Joe Biden when he said, “launching an attack without congressional approval is an impeachable offense.” No matter what the administration says, no matter what the media says, we the people need to hold those who would violate the constitutional limitations of our government to account or they will continue to transgress the limits and do whatever they want.
In another quote that seems as relevant today as it was fifteen years ago Senator Dole asked, ”When do the American people rise up and say, ‘Forget the media in America! We’re going to make up our minds! You’re not going to make up our minds!’ This is about saving our country!”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.
Are Unintended Consequences the Intention? March 31, 2011Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
Tags: Dr. Robert Owens, Financial Reform, Libya, Obamacare, Stimulus
Joining the slow motion delivery of Iraq to the Ayatollahs of Iran and the decade long quagmire of Afghanistan America’s Progressive leadership stumbled into Libya with all the bravado and none of the experience of Custer at Little Big Horn. The UN and NATO get more attention and have more influence on a decision affecting the lives of our warriors and the security of our nation then the United States Congress.
The government drifts rudderless into the whitewaters of war, the mission changes with each new speaker at the podium, and the President appears more interested in sporting events and vacations than in doing his job. With a foreign policy this well directed the unintended consequences are the only consequences we should count on, which makes one wonder how unintended they are.
On the Home front after all the back-slapping died down its plain that as far as Congress goes the new boss is just like the old boss. First the Patriot Act receives rubber-stamp approval. Then a series of highly publicized overly dramatic Continuing Resolutions take one step back and billions of steps deeper into debt. And after the record-shattering victory of the Tea Party led Republicans the Progressive’s Evolution Revolution continues as the Stimulus, Obamacare, and the Financial Reform Bill take affect and strangle the economy.
The Stimulus: a slush-fund to help re-elect the President kicks into high gear pouring out money for make work jobs. The administration trumpets each drop in the unemployment figures as a return to normalcy when everyone knows it is merely a reflection of discouraged workers leaving the job market as America’s work force shrinks. It is patently absurd to think that government spending can grow the economy. Government only gets money by expropriating it from the economy in the form of taxes, inflation, or borrowing. It then rakes off exorbitant handling fees and then puts it back into the economy. If I take twenty dollars out of my right pocket, throw eleven dollars down a rat hole and then put nine dollars in my left pocket how have I increased my net worth?
Obamacare: sold to the American people on the basis of insuring 30-40 million people while at the same time lowering costs is busting the budget. Even according to the Progressive’s own Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media the budgets so far proposed by President Obama add in excess of $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years, as analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
This nonpartisan report contrasts with the still disturbing projections of the White House, which stated that President Obama’s budget would produce deficits adding only $8.5 trillion to the national debt in the same time frame. That was last year and the dominant Progressive party never passed that budget in the face of elections. This year’s budget is even bigger yet the administration claims it will result in lower deficits and a decreasing debt and the cow jumped over the moon.
This optimistic White House projected a deficit of about $1.5 trillion last year or 10.3% of the entire economy which would be the largest since World War II. The report went on to predict a $1.3 trillion in 2011. It is now estimated at 1.6 trillion. The sobering news does not stop there however.
The CBO continues in a considerably less optimistic vein predicting that deficits would never fall below 4% of the economy under President Obama’s policies and that they will begin to grow even larger after 2015. The report also notes that perpetual deficits of this size will make it necessary for the government to continue to borrow at ever accelerating rates and that by 2020 the national debt will account for an astounding 90% of the economy. The CBO also projected that the interest payments on this escalating debt would increase by over $800 billion in the next decade.
The financial reform Bill was passed on a wave of indignation concerning big banks which foreclosed on homes without reading error-filled paperwork.
It is beyond absurd that legislators who routinely pass thousand page bills without reading them were really indignant at the crony capitalists who are among their biggest donors because they foreclose on houses without reading the mortgage papers. Can’t you just see our legislators from central casting in the best Congress money can buy, sleeves rolled-up, coat over the shoulder ready for a photo-op as they plan more regulations to clean up the mess their previous regulations caused?
The crisis with the big banks exploded after President Obama theatrically pointed his finger at the EVIL bankers telling them defiantly, “We want our money back!” as he is lobbied Congress for the imposition for a Financial Crisis Responsibility Tax. It turns out that the bankers are passing any taxes imposed on them to consumers in the form of fees. So now we get to contribute the money to pay ourselves back for the money Washington appropriated from us to bail out the banks.
To finish the cyclical kabuki farce Congress then bails-out their friends again so they can return to the casino floor to place our money, our children’s futures, and the fate of our economy on Red-13. It’s time to deactivate the robo-signers. It’s time to vote out the cronies in Congress and to stop doing business with the cronies in the financial industry. There are alternatives available: citizen-patriots who will serve a few terms and return to the real world and locally owned banks and credit unions.
What’s the shape of our Transformed America? Looking at the government-induced government-sustained Great Recession, the unsustainable debt that grows every day, and the increasing over-extension of our military obligations the now repudiated doctrine of Too-Big-to-Fail may be our last best hope. America’s status as the largest consumer economy in the world makes us valuable to China, the largest manufacturer in the world. Hopefully they will continue to buy and hold our debt. After two years of the Obama Administration it feels like America’s New Motto should be “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.