Archive for the ‘debt’ Category

We’ve been begging our leaders for specifics on what to do to make a difference. Glenn Beck’s events (Restoring Honor, Courage & Love) represent a huge step towards getting our heads & hearts straight about the morality of our cause.  Others have also made contributions, but Levin’s proposal, The Liberty Amendments, deserves specific recognition – it is the first path to restore our founding ideals, based on the Constitution itself, that we can all contribute to, that has a realistic chance– if we pledge “our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor” to the success of the Liberty Amendments.

Our kids and our country deserve no less.

It will be a difficult climb but I believe the country is ready for a tangible solution to the threats our country faces. Make no mistake; we’re in a race against time and a ruthless progressive cancer. With a $17 trillion national debt, and $60 trillion more in unfunded liabilities, cities like Detroit going bankrupt and states like California threatening, we must right the American ship as soon as possible. Once a financial crisis occurs, it may be impossible to counter calls for a more powerful central government – especially if people go hungry or start blaming the usual suspects (capitalism, tea partiers, etc.)

One last comment before I summarize my ideas for the first five amendments. I believe it’s important for the leaders of our movement – we all have a different list, but mine would include, in addition to Levin, among others, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Yaron Brook, Sen. Rand Paul (and his father Ron), Sen. Ted Cruz (& his father Rafael), Sen. Mike Lee, Mia Love , Rev C. L. Bryant, Walt Williams and 2008 GOP VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin.

Everybody has different ways of contributing to the cause of freedom. I hope that all of them discuss Levin’s book, advance the idea and help pass the Liberty Amendments. Sometimes silos are created where no one wants to promote what their “competition” is doing – that must not happen.  I would encourage all of them to be generous with their comments and their air & face time.  However, so far, I haven’t heard one word of the idea, or Levin’s upcoming book, from these folks – perhaps they’re waiting for the book?

As you can see from this post, I think it’s a mistake to wait. In fact, Levin’s idea motivated me to start blogging again for the first time in years.  It will be my 100th post, with over 26,580 visitors, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate #100.  Not only is it fun to see if my ideas for reform match up with Levin’s, but until his book comes out on August 13, I hope and pray my ideas will encourage others to come up with their own – can there be too much engagement in the cause of freedom? Of course, Levin’s specific amendments will be very important, but just his idea has lit the torch – by urging us to look within the Constitution itself for how to repair our Constitutional Republic.

Everyone has ideas – my first five are listed below and I’ll follow-up with more details on each one – but the main thing is to jump in and start, time’s not on our side.

The Liberty Amendments – My First Five

1. Voter Campaign Finance (VCF)

  • Limit campaign contributions to those who are registered voters that can vote for the candidate. For example, I live in VA 5th Congressional District – Robert Hurt’s my congressman. If he ran for House, under this Amendment, he could only receive campaign contributions from registered 5th district voters (easily checked against existing voter rolls) – no unions, corporations, out-of-district fat cats, PACs, etc. If you don’t have a legal right to vote in 5th district, you can’t influence the 5th District election.

2. Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA)

  • Cut Cap & Balance (HR 2560) was a great idea that died in the corrupt halls of Harry Reid’s U.S Senate – but just barely (51Ds-46Rs) – a real life example of the wisdom of Levin’s idea – Congress will not reform itself, we must go around Congress. My twist on Cut Cap & Balance is this: Limit federal revenues to 18% GDP, spending to 17% GDP limit and the remaining 1% for debt relief and, after that, an “Emergency Fund”.
  • In case of war, Congress can authorize spending to exceed 18% only if two-thirds of Congress approves. The 1% of GDP (of the 18% collected for revenues) would go to pay down the national debt (about $16 Billion/yr at current GDP) and, once debt free (woohoo!!), use the 1% for an Emergency Fund – to pay for declared wars and disasters but only if two-thirds approve “withdrawals” – restoring Congress’ power to limit wars with their Constitutional funding power.

3. Term Limits

  • This has been around for a while but my version would limit service in Congress to just 12 years total. This could be three House terms (3×2=6) followed by a Senate term (1×6) or two Senate terms (2×6=12) or other combinations. The main idea is to not allow folks to make a career out of DC politics while allowing them enough time to be effective.

4. Law Limits

  • Obamacare was over 2700 pages long. The recent immigration bill was 1200 pages. Neither of these very devastating bills, that affect all of U.S., has been read by their supporters or detractors – that’s not a democracy, that’s a marketing campaign. Just vote on one or two issues at a time. I don’t know a specific # – others can work that out – but perhaps < 10 pages.

5. Pardon Accountability

  • Require Presidents to prioritize pardons (100 or less) and announce their last pardons at least 90 days before general election. Although an outgoing POTUS can’t be held accountable, voters can hold parties accountable. I predict the outrages from Obama’s pardons – both the # and who – will force this Amendment to top of list.

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I often hear pundits and commentators, on the left and the right, say “this is a tough year for the GOP because the economy is so bad”. 

Why?  Why blame the GOP for the economy? 

Is it possible that we can take a few moments and think this through a little bit?

The economy isn’t all bad, just parts of it.  So, what are the bad parts?  Which parts are causing us problems?

  1. Too much “Toxic Paper”.  The world invested trillions in mortgage products that contained lots of loans made to high-risk borrowers but guaranteed by the U.S. government.  This irrational exuberance lead to a housing bubble that, predictably, came crashing down, bringing financial markets to their knees. 
  2. Energy costs skyrocketed.  When oil prices shot up, the price of everything else shot up.   This increased the structural costs to everyone – reducing discretionary income, reducing sales, wiping out profits resulting in layoffs and making it much harder for the average person and business to make ends meet.
  3. Too much debt.  Even before the first two problems, U.S. households were carrying too much debt.  In the same way that having a nice chunk of savings helps you weather storms, having no savings and a lot of debt makes you vulnerable to storms.   

So, who caused these problems?  Yes, there are millions who don’t think things through very much and will blame everything on Bush.  There’s a lot of news media in this group.  Ironically, this same group will not give Bush credit for the good news in Iraq.  If you can make sense of that position, gold star for you.

Another group wants you to blame everything on Bush because they either want his job (Obama), or they want Obama to have his job, and, even though they know better, they will attempt to fool enough people to blame Bush, and McCain by association.  Barack Obama loves to say the current financial crisis is the “final verdict” on “eight years of failed Bush policies”.

Which Bush policies hurt the economy?

Tax Cuts?  NAFTA?  Too much spending?  Iraq?  Support for free markets?  Except for too much spending, which Democrats want more of, none of these “Bush policies” have anything to do with those things we already said damaged the economy (toxic paper, energy costs and too much debt).  On the contrary, Democrats are responsible for toxic paper and high energy costs.

So, using the Audacity of Reason, you can see that blaming Bush for the bad economy is weak, at best, and a bald-faced lie, at worse.  It’s much more credible to blame Democrats for two reasons:

  1. Toxic Paper – Democrats encouraged the sub-prime loans (toxic paper) that are choking our financial markets.   Clinton took Carter’s CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and turbo-charged it.  Sub-prime loans under Clinton increased five-fold from $200 billion per year to over $1 trillion per year.  That’s a lot of money.  The Germans, Chinese and the Saudis never imagined that something called a “U.S. Mortgage obligation” was given to an unqualified borrower, sometimes without income verification.  Surprise!  Thank you ACORN!
  2. High Energy Costs – Democrats keep energy prices high by clinging to their extreme environmentalism.   I like cleaner air and water but Democrats have taken that bit of common sense too far.  For example, modern offshore drilling is pretty safe now – at least the way U.S. companies do it.  Although OPEC has much more lax environmental laws, Democrats will attack them for not producing more oil instead of lifting the ban on clean U.S. drilling.  Obama led Democrats had a chance to lift the ban on offshore drilling or go on a 5wk paid vacation – they chose the vacation.  Ten years ago, Bill Clinton refused to drill in ANWR, preventing us from adapting to increased worldwide demand and Hurricane Katrina.  For thirty years Democrats have refused to allow a new nuclear plant or refinery to be built in this country.   It goes on and on and on…we have paid a steep price because of Democrats on this issue.

When the housing bubble burst, it was like watching a patient cough up blood – they looked fine but inside the patient was very sick because of the sub-prime loans Clinton injected into the U.S. economy back in the 1990s.   Bush applied chemotherapy treatment (the bailout) and we’re now waiting to see if the patient recovers.  That depends on how Bush administers the chemotherapy and whether the next doctor nurtures the patient with lower taxes (McCain) or kicks the patient in the teeth with higher taxes (Obama).

I pray tonight that America chooses McCain.

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