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Supreme Contempt April 5, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics.
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Recently President Obama made this remarkable statement, “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”  For someone reputed to be a former professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago this statement is hard to explain.  Any high school student in a sophomore American History class knows there are many precedents for the Supreme Court making laws passed by Congress null and void.  As a matter of fact, in the system of government tradition has delivered to us overturning laws as unconstitutional has been an important power of the Supreme Court for more than two hundred years.

And if the primary content of the President’s statement isn’t strange enough the supporting information is wrong.  Obamacare wasn’t passed by a strong majority in Congress. In reality the final vote in the House vote was 220 to 215.  Every Republican and thirty four Democrats voted against the law.  In the Senate the vote was sixty Democrats and Independents voting for and thirty nine Republicans voting against.  The Democrats, even though they controlled both houses of Congress knew they would lose enough of their own members that it was going to be a close vote so they moved the bill outside the regular order of business and used a legislative maneuver known as reconciliation to avoid giving the Republicans the opportunity to filibuster the law.

What is the context of these current pressure tactics being used by the executive branch on the judicial branch?

Soon after taking office in 1829, President Andrew Jackson a long time Indian fighter spearheaded one of his signature pieces of legislation through Congress: the Indian Removal Act.  This act gave the president the power to negotiate treaties with the various tribes which still existed in America East of the Mississippi.  These treaties, often accepted either under duress or under questionable circumstances seized the lands of the tribes and forced them to move West to the Indian Territory in what is today Oklahoma.  The time for fighting had passed and most of the tribes quietly left their ancestral lands.

One tribe decided to try another route.  The Cherokee Nation had adopted the ways of the Europeans.  They devised their own written language and wrote their own Constitution.  They had their own plantations, printing presses, and businesses.  They also had their own lawyers and instead of going on the warpath as their ancestors had done they went to court to fight the orders from the State of Georgia which dispossessed them of their land.

In two cases; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and Worcester v. Georgia (1832), the United States Supreme Court considered whether or not it had the power to enforce the rights of Native American nations in disputes between them and the states. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to review the claims of any Indian nation within the United States. In Worcester v. Georgia, the Court ruled that only the Federal Government not the states, had the power to regulate the Indian nations.

What the ruling in Worcester v. Georgia meant was that Georgia could not legally seize the Cherokee lands.  It was at this junction when referring to the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Marshall that President Andrew Jackson made one his most famous statements, “Mr. Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it!”  Instead of enforcing the ruling the Federal government joined in and the result was the Trail of Tears as the Cherokee lost their lands and moved west.

Franklin D. Roosevelt legislating Keynesian economic philosophy in the New Deal sought to end the Depression through government spending and central control.  With massive majorities in both houses of Congress the president’s agenda was enacted as quickly as possible.  Then less than three years after the New Deal began to transform America the Supreme Court began overturning some of the central portions of Roosevelt’s program

In response to this resistance to his vision for what should be done FDR decided to pack the court with Justices who would support his laws.  What he proposed was that for any justice over the age of seventy who refused to retire, the president could appoint a new justice to sit beside the current justice and do his work.   If his plan had been adopted and none of the then current Justices retired he would have been able to appoint six new Justices.  Since he couldn’t force the conservative justices to retire he sought in this way to outnumber them and thus change the ideological complexion of the court.  As the president moved ahead in his attempt to pack the court the Supremes started ruling in his favor which eventually stopped the need for his effort to influence the court through overwhelming appointments.  Then time and attrition did what he had tried to do with legislation.  By 1941, four justices had retired and two had died consequently by the end of his presidency seven of the nine justices were Roosevelt appointees.

Now we come full circle to President Obama and his obvious attempt to belittle and intimidate the court.  Should anyone be surprised?  This is nothing more than standard operating procedure for a Chicago politician.  It is also a normal technique for a community organizer who has been trained in the tactics of Saul Alinsky.  No, we shouldn’t be surprised but we could have expected more of anyone who has been entrusted with the highest office in the land.  It is just such crude strong-arm tactics such as this which open Mr. Obama up to charges of being a typical South Chicago thug.  If he wishes to avoid such charges he needs to avoid such actions.

The above brief review clearly shows that this was not the first attempt of a president to influence the court.  However coming from one who is constantly extolled as a constitutional scholar it is certainly disquieting.  As a constitutional scholar the president would obviously know what he said was incorrect leaving no other interpretation to his words than a conscious effort to alter the traditional system of checks and balances and the power relationship between the separate branches of the federal government.

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 drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

The Constitution Failed May 19, 2011

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People often ask me, “How could you write a book entitled The Constitution Failed?”  If the Constitution was written to ensure a limited government and if today we have an unlimited central government my question is, “How can anyone contend that the Constitution hasn’t failed?”

We know that for the last 100 years the Progressives have sought progress by changing the Constitution, which was written to establish unbreakable boundaries for government, without recourse to the amendment process.  The Framers knew that without these boundaries government would grow into a millstone around the neck of the American people.  Instead of a document establishing solid limits the Progressives say it is a living document that can be re-interpreted with each passing year evolving into whatever the current leaders may desire.

Our twin headed Progressive party of power expands and twists the General Welfare, the Commerce, and the Supremacy clauses to sanction any executive, legislative, judicial, or regulatory action they wish to impose whether it’s a welfare state, energy policies, or the mandatory purchase of insurance.  However, nothing is more symbolic of the current irrelevance of the Constitution to our leaders than the utter contempt they hold for the 9th and 10th Amendments.

Back during the original debate to ratify the Constitution these two sentinels of limited government were forced upon the proponents of a strong central government by those much maligned patriots the Anti-Federalists.  The Constitution never would have been ratified without an assurance that the first order of business for the new government would be the ratification of the Bill of Rights.  The capstone of these sacred rights is the 9th and the 10th Amendments which state:

The 9th Amendment, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The 10th Amendment, “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.”

I present the following examples of how our Progressive central government infringes upon the rights of the States and the people:

Term limits:

While in almost every instance that voters have had an opportunity to voice their opinion they have overwhelmingly approved term limits, and the courts have just as consistently overturned the will of the people.  Through ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments to State Constitutions the people have spoken, but instead of the voice of the people we hear the commands of the elites.

The Supreme Court in a classic five-to-four decision in U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995) said the states don’t have the authority to limit the terms of their own congressional delegations.  They further ruled that unless the Constitution is amended neither the states nor Congress has the power to limit the number of terms members of Congress can serve. Dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that the majority ignored the clear meaning of the Tenth Amendment.  Since there is no explicit denial of the power to limit terms to the States in the Constitution the 10th Amendment clearly states this power is reserved to the States.

Immigration:

When the Governor and legislators of Arizona attempted to address the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are pouring over their borders with Mexico each year they first had to admit that the Federal Government was not enforcing their own laws.   After the central government ignored their petitions and pleas for help for years the government of Arizona acted to protect their citizens.

Immediately, the Justice Department sued to block the law, contending it violates the U.S. Constitution.  The Arizona law was subsequently struck down by the Federal Courts using the Supremacy Clause for their justification.  Judge Richard Paez, said, “By imposing mandatory obligations on state and local officers, Arizona interferes with the federal government’s authority to implement its priorities and strategies in law enforcement, turning Arizona officers into state-directed [Homeland Security] agents.”  When it reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a three judge panel said, “Congress has given the federal government sole authority to enforce immigration laws, and that Arizona’s law violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution”  The Federal Government has abdicated its responsibility to protect Arizona from invasion and in their opinion a law that requires law enforcement officials to enforce the law goes too far.

The intrusive actions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

Legislators in Texas decided to take action to protect their citizens from what many considered to be overly aggressive pat-downs.  The reaction of the TSA to Texas attempting to protect their citizens from the molestation the Federal l Agency calls a pat-down is indicative of the attitude our central government has towards any infringement of their absolute power.  On their website The TSA Blog the gatekeepers of the air said, “What’s our take on the Texas House of Representatives voting to ban the current TSA pat-down? Well, the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article. VI. Clause 2) prevents states from regulating the federal government.”  This says it all.  As far as our Federal masters are concerned there is no limit to their power.

Obamacare: Mandating action and penalizing inaction:

The Federal Government is attempting to enforce the mandatory purchase provisions of Obamacare alternately as authorized by the Commerce Clause and as a tax, depending on which argument they think a judge will uphold.  This massive invasion of personal liberty is currently being challenged by 28 States as being beyond the bounds of the Constitution.  Currently two judges have ruled it unconstitutional and three have ruled it constitutional.  If this is provision wherein not taking an action is considered either engaging in commerce and thereby subject to regulation or if a non-action is taxable what is left of our precious freedom?  What other non-actions will now be under the power of the government.  If a government can control our non-actions what does that say about their power over our actions?

By ignoring the unambiguous meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments and by stretching and twisting the meanings of a few vague clauses the Progressive leaders of our Federal government have interpreted our Constitution to mean anything needed to do anything desired.  Once the words lose their meanings, once the sentences can mean anything the Progressives want, what power does the Constitution have to limit government?

Ultimately this is a message of hope because I trust in the ability of the American people to solve any problem they confront.  However, we have to admit there is a problem before we can solve it, and if we refuse to admit there is a problem we have no chance of solving it. The problem is our limited government has become unlimited and does whatever it wants.  How can I say, “The Constitution Failed”?  What I am saying is our system is broken, it is no longer functioning as designed, and we need a re-set button.

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 dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Are Unintended Consequences the Intention? March 31, 2011

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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 dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

Don’t Not Do That! February 18, 2011

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For the first time the Federal Government has mandated that all citizens must purchase a product: health insurance.  If citizens fail to purchase the product they become law breakers subject to fines and penalties enforced by the IRS although we’ve been repeatedly assured this is not a tax.  According to the Federal attorneys arguing that this ground-breaking regulation is constitutional the Commerce Clause provides the authorization.  In other words, not taking an action is now considered commerce by the Federal Government.  In effect the Federal Government maintains for the first time in American History and perhaps in the History of the world that not doing something is doing something.  It is this type of newspeak, circular logic, and sophistry which destroys the credibility of those who tell us less is more.

Officially known as America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, this was the first entitlement passed without bipartisan support.  The only bipartisan part about it was that thirty nine Democrats voted with the Republicans against it.  Thus it passed with a slim majority and no Republican votes.  It was also passed over the objections of a majority of the population.  The new entitlement popularly known as Obamacare purports to insure tens of millions of previously uninsured people maintain the benefit levels of everyone else and lower the costs.  But will it stand the tests to which it is being subjected?  Will it ever be implemented?

With the date for full implementation placed years in the future step-by-step the new regulations, fees, and mandates are trickling into our lives.  However, although the President and his party managed to push this through Congress it won’t stand without a fight.  The debate has moved from the legislature and is wending its way through the courts.  So far two judges have ruled it constitutional and two have ruled it unconstitutional.  These rulings also followed party lines.  Judges appointed by Democrats ruled it constitutional and judges appointed by Republicans ruled it unconstitutional.  This will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.

If this is decided in favor of the Federal Government it paves the way for a classic 10th Amendment confrontation.  Several states such as Virginia, have passed laws saying that no law can require their citizens to purchase health insurance.  Since nowhere in the document does the Constitution give the Federal Government the power to mandate that citizens purchase anything this would clearly lie with the confines of the 10th Amendment which states, “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.”

In contravention to the States appeal to the 10th Amendment the Federal Government will point to the Supremacy Clause which states, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”  Using this as their rational as they did in the Arizona Immigration case the Federal Government using the Federal Courts will force states to legally step aside.  Then buying health insurance will no longer be an option because failing to do so will be illegal. In other words, “Don’t not do that!” or face the full force of the law and miraculously not doing something becomes doing something.

Another issue which might surface along the way is the question of waivers.  It seems many of the organizations, unions, and businesses who supported the law and helped lobby for its passage don’t want to live under its benevolent care.  Consequently the Obama Administration has issued hundreds of waivers exempting the President’s supporters from compliance.  This raises the question of the government passing laws that apply to some people but not to others.  Traditionally legislatures have always had the power to suspend the enforcement of laws in special cases.  However this has never been a power wielded by the executive in any except authoritarian states.  This flood of waivers raises another potential constitutional question with reference to the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment which states that everyone is guaranteed, “the equal protection of the laws” meaning that the state must apply laws equally and cannot give preference to one person or class of persons over another.

In reference to all these matters whatever the courts may say President Obama has already signaled that he will enforce the strictures of the law even if they are found unconstitutional.

Considering not taking an action to be commerce opens the door to many interesting possibilities. I didn’t buy Apple stock when it was $10 a share can I have my profits now?

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 dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

 

Here Comes the Judge December 18, 2010

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Judging that the mandate in President Obama’s Health Care bill is an unconstitutional expansion of the commerce clause, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson struck a blow for a commonsense approach to constitutional interpretation.  He further decided that words actually have meanings and are not merely place holders for future generations to use as they deconstruct the document meant to limit government into a document used to expand it.

Judge Hudson stated “At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”  In his well reasoned and well stated 42 page opinion, Hudson also said many things which have needed saying for quite some time.  After years of activist judges stretching our tortured Constitution from limiting the government to limiting the citizen it’s refreshing to see an American jurist proclaiming that the corruption of our fundamental charter is leading us towards the creation of an unlimited central government usurping the powers expressly reserved to the States and the people.

Several of his statements are so well worded and so important they deserve repeating by every patriot who has a voice:

According to Judge Hudson:

“Although the Necessary and Proper Clause vests Congress with broad authority to exercise means, which are not themselves an enumerated power, to implement legislation, it is not without limitation.”

“Every application of Commerce Clause power found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court involved some form of action, transaction, or deed placed in motion by an individual or legal entity.”

“Although purportedly grounded in the General Welfare Clause, the notion that the generation of revenue was a significant legislative objective is a transparent afterthought.”

“The legislative purpose underlying this provision was purely regulation of what Congress misperceived to be economic activity.”

“[i]f a person’s decision not to purchase health insurance at a particular point in time does not constitute the type of economic activity subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause, then logically an attempt to enforce such a provision under the Necessary and Proper Clause is equally offensive to the Constitution.”

“The same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation and is unsupported by Commerce Clause jurisprudence….”

“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I….”

“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, the dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”

“[T]he Minimum Essential Coverage Provision appears to forge new ground and extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark.”

These are the type of words patriots have been waiting to hear from the bench!  These are the bold and direct statements needed to reaffirm the truth that the Constitution is meant to limit government not to enable it to run roughshod over the freedom and liberty of the people.  If the original document did not make this clear the Tenth Amendment states this fundamental truth clearly for all to hear, “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.”

However gratifying it is to hear an American Judge stand up for American values we must keep this victory in perspective.  Two other Federal Courts have previously upheld the government mandate.  And one thing can be confidently predicted, all of these rulings will be appealed.

There is no effective way to bring pressure on a federal judge.  They are insulated by lifetime appointments.  Therefore, We the People cannot influence any of them and our opinion means nothing.  Although some desire for the procedure to be shortened, having the matter immediately brought before the Supreme Court, even that wouldn’t bring a definitive answer until well into the next election cycle.  And then the decision as to the continued freedom of American citizens to refrain from economic activity and the freedom of American citizens to make personal choices for themselves will be left up to nine individuals.

As the Anti-Federalists warned so many years ago in Brutus’s 15th essay; “The supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and subject to no control.” The essay continued to warn, “There is no power above them that can correct their errors or control their decisions.”  And, “The power of this court is in many cases superior to that of the legislature.”  Ultimately observing, “When great and extraordinary powers are vested in any man, or body of men, which in their exercise, may operate to the oppression of the people, it is of high importance that powerful checks should be formed to prevent the abuse of it.”  The ratification conventions of the States chose to ignore these powerful arguments; consequently, never has the freedom of so many rested upon the judgment of so few.  And, probably on a vote of 5 to 4 rests the fate of We the People and a limited government.

Dr. Robert 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 © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

A Principle for Peter in the 21st Century November 13, 2010

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The world is lining up to not buy our debt so we are buying it ourselves in a move we call by the innocuous acronym QE2, which is short for Quantitative Easing two.  More traditional, or verbally honest, economists are calling this what it is: monetizing our debt.  This is a move which has our creditors heading for the doors and our enemies smiling as poor old Uncle Sugar stands with his pockets turned inside out, a bewildered look on his face as he wonders, “Where did all flowers go?”

Quantitative Easing is a type of monetary policy central banks use to pump money into their respective economic systems.  This policy is only used when the central bank has already reduced interest rates to or near to zero.  In other words, they have tried to encourage lending but they’ve failed.   What the central bank does next is create money with a printing press, using that money to purchase bonds from its parent government and from banks and corporations within the nation’s banking system.  The second and third tier banks then increase the money supply even further through another process known as deposit multiplication wherein they receive 100 dollars but are only required to keep $20 on hand, so they loan $80.  The person who borrowed the $80 deposits it in their bank, and then that bank keeps 20% and loans the rest, and so on and so on until the increased money primes the pump and the stalled economy sputters to life.  At least that’s the strategy.

No strategy survives contact with the enemy.  And in this case the enemy is a financial system still reeling from government produced or instigated shocks: the housing bubble, the credit crunch, the escalating costs associated with Obamacare, and now the threat of a foreclosure moratorium.  The dangers of the QE2 strategy lie in two directions.  One it could be too successful igniting inflation and maybe even hyperinflation or two it could fail to re-ignite the economy and then the uncertainty of future tax rates, what new regulations might cost and the prospect of irretrievable assets locked up in a foreclosure freeze causing banks to hold the additional cash as a hedge against the government caused uncertainty.   This would put us right back where we started: a frozen economy which opens the door for QE3, QE4, and eventually the dollar won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

If you rob Peter to pay Paul you can usually count on Paul’s vote in the next election cycle.  This has been going on since FDR’s political genius discovered the magic formula of spend, spend, spend, tax, tax, tax, elect, elect, elect.  Years of getting Paul addicted to lying in the hammock of government safety nets and swilling a brewsky as the game dulls his senses haven’t worked.   Likewise, years of socialist education teaches Paul he isn’t a parasite he’s a victim with an entitlement haven’t worked.   At the end of the day even Paul is starting to see that this can’t go on forever.

The free trade policies of both parties may have brought in cheap consumer goods to make Paul with his diminishing buying power think things are getting better all the time, but these same policies have also destroyed the manufacturing base that once provided Peter with enough income to carry Paul on his back and still live a good life.  Today the average Paul is obese and the average Peter hasn’t had a raise in years, has watched his friends get laid-off, and wonders how he’s going to send Paul’s kids to college on burger-flipping money.

This brings us back to the world not lining up to buy our debt and to the definition of monetizing our debt.  This is the government version of paying your MasterCard with your Visa.  It may relieve current stress, but it portends future catastrophe.  Debtors may appreciate moving their debt around, but creditors want to get paid.  At a minimum they want to know their investment is secure.  If we owe someone 100 dollars they want to know that the 100 dollars they receive in payment will have the same buying power as the 100 dollars they originally lent out.  If the money they receive in payment is only worth half as much, they have lost half their initial investment.  This is why China is reacting negatively to the Fed’s plan to pump more money into an economic system strangled by red tape and bleeding red ink.

It’s just not that hard to recognize a ponzi scheme.  The smart bet is to walk away as soon as you see the shill starting to move the shells around on the table and this is just what the rest of the world is beginning to do.  But poor old Uncle Sugar still thinks he has magic in his hands and more than a smile to hide his motives.  What happens if you have a bond sale and nobody comes?  I guess you buy the bonds yourself.

Will the end of American preeminence come not with a Bang: not with a whimper but instead with a “cha-ching!”   If America, once the engine of the world’s economy and the seedbed of innovation crashes due to unsustainable debt will this validate the 20th Century concept of the Peter Principle? This principle states that within a bureaucracy people tend to get promoted due to their competence until they reach a level of incompetence remaining there until over time incompetence fills every level.   Or is it time for a Peter Principle for the 21st Century?

Now is the time for Peter to rise up and say enough is too much already!  In the coming Tea Party Congress the father and son Paul Team plan to offer twin bills in the House and the Senate to dissolve the Federal Reserve and reassert congressional control of America’s economic destiny.  The howls will be loud, the fight will be hard, but either those who want to see a second American Century will usher in a return to limited government and free enterprise or the national motto may soon be, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”  To avoid this I urge every Peter who’s tired of being taxed to support the Pauls, contact you congressional representatives asking them to support the Paul Team as they fulfill their promises and strike a blow for freedom.   If all the Peters follow these Pauls maybe we can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University Systemhttp://drrobertowens.com © 2010 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.

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