If you are LEFT, you just ain't RIGHT
H/T The Daily Caller
…..Too bad the people of Detroit utterly ignored Newt’s sound advice.
When you figure in the $85 million million (aka trillion) worth of unfunded liabilities from Social Security and Medicare, the total debt amassed by the federal government of the United States comes to about $100 million million, give or take a few million million. That number is equate to roughly seven times the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country. In fact, if we were to liquidate all of America’s assets today for cold, hard cash – in an effort to meet the obligations of just those two programs – Social Security and Medicare would still be about $10 million million in the red.
Think about that for a minute. If our federal government seized everything of monetary value in our country, and used those assets to make good on the promises its made to America’s elderly, disabled and poverty-stricken citizens, it would still find itself in greater debt than most nations on Earth.
This is a picture of Ed when he was 30 pounds heavier than he is now… and his beard had some brown hairs in it.
Now consider this: Social Security and Medicare spending currently accounts for nearly half of all federal spending, yet even though we devote more money to these programs than most of our other budget items combined, we still find ourselves facing a real debt number (not that puny $15 million million the mainstream media keeps babbling about) so massive that the combined GDPs of every other country in the world – roughly $55 million million dollars – equal only a little over half of it.
Let me put that another way. If every nation on this planet pooled together all the wealth they produced in a year’s time and gave every penny of it to the United States, we’d still end up roughly $45 million million in the hole. To give you an idea of how much money that is, here’s a little visualization exercise for you. Imagine you were to stand forty-five million million dollar bills end to end. If it were possible to do so, they would stretch from the Earth to the moon and back approximately nine thousand times.
Now that you’ve got that image in your head – a wall of greenbacks eighteen thousand bills wide, stretching into space to a point so distant that you can’t see the end of it – go ahead and double that amount, and then add another four thousand dollar-wide section to that imaginary money wall for good measure. THAT is our national debt; a wall of singles well over a mile and a half wide, and nearly 239.000 miles high.
If that mental image doesn’t convince you that the people currently in charge of our federal government are so monstrously inept that they shouldn’t be allowed to manage an ‘Orange Julius’ stand, let alone the budget of the United States, then I’m afraid nothing else you’ll read in this article will be of any use to you. I suggest you move on immediately to more pressing endeavors, like – say – staring at small, shiny objects, but whatever you decide to do, please accept my humble apologies for interrupting medication time at the home.
Okay, so now that I’ve whittled down my readership to only those individuals with a firm grasp on reality, let me see if I can adequately summarize my previous assertions in a single sentence.
Our federal debt is really, REALLY big, and our representatives in Washington DC are really, REALLY incompetent.
Glenn Beck, the prominent radio (and former TV) talk show host, has stated on numerous occasions that the only difference between the DNC and RNC is that the latter party is taking our country down the road to statism and, ultimately, economic collapse at a slower pace than the former. And in a way he’s right. The leaders of these two political groups are fairly similar in that few if any of them seem to give a rat’s pucker about future generations of Americans, and the socio-economic hell they face as a result of this generation’s utter lack of fiscal responsibility.
That having been said, Mr. Beck – if, indeed, that is his real name – has failed time and time again to point out that the overwhelming majority of conservatives who constitute the foundation of the Republican party, strenuously oppose the out-of-control spending practices of our elected representatives. He also doesn’t bother to mention that the vast majority of leftists who comprise the Democrat party’s base, exhibit exactly ZERO interest in restraining the growth and irresponsible budgetary habits of our federal government.
As a matter of fact, today’s leftists wholeheartedly support the insane (yes, I said INSANE) increases in spending that the current administration has already inflicted upon our nation, and apparently wishes to double as soon as possible. What’s their primary justification for this endorsement? Well, the Republicans increased spending over the past eight years by more than $4 million million, so now that the Democrat party is in charge, it gets to spend at least double what George W. Bush did on thousands of fatuous, government programs, idiotic make-work schemes and more freedom-smothering, federal bureaucracies than ever before. NEENER NEENER NEE-NER!
Tell me, is any part of what I just wrote inaccurate?
Okay, so maybe that “NEENER NEENER NEE-NER!” thing was a little over the top, but still…
Is there any doubt that the notion of expanding the scope and authority of the federal government originated with the left in this country, or that its subsequent growth momentum has been fueled by the “progressive” movement ever since?
Wacky, yet impassioned Glenn – the self-proclaimed “rodeo clown” and outspoken critic of government waste, fraud and abuse – seems to believe that we can just ignore the two main political parties in this country on election day and come together as a nation of independent voters to solve the myriad problems we face.
Talk about naiveté!
Regardless of how independent-minded one may be, if disseminating throughout the federal establishment the conservative ideals of limited government, personal accountability and fiscal restraint is one’s aim, there’s no viable delivery vehicle available other than the Republican party. After all, that’s where the overwhelming number of politically active right-wingers reside today, and to abandon it at this point in history is akin to calling for the forces of conservatism to further fragment in the face of an aggressive and unified leftist front.
If he were a soldier in General George S. Patton’s army, Private Beck would likely be relegated to the position of chief latrine scrubber for merely suggesting so foolish a strategic battle plan. Suffice it to say that no political ideology can be advanced in the United States without the assistance of an organized party of substantial wealth and influence. Independent political candidates don’t win federal elections very often, and the few who do, usually find themselves alone in the wilderness when it comes to garnering support among their peers for their policy initiatives.
Like it or not, changing the culture of irresponsibility and corruption that defines our national government these days, means changing the culture of at least one of the two major parties currently running it, and to accomplish that, one needs to confront the problem from within. It simply cannot be done by standing outside the gates of power, shaking one’s fists and wailing at the gathering storm.
Sure, there are times when large demonstrations by rag-tag coalitions of citizens can make a difference in the way our public officials behave at any given time, and you’ll find no stronger proponent of such peaceful revolts than I. That having been said, truly influential mass protests are rare and their impact fleeting. Lasting change only comes about as the result of a concerted effort among people of like-mind to repeatedly vote into public office, honorable candidates from a common political party who are capable of persuading others within their ranks to do the right thing.
There will always be a certain amount of corruption in any group, however, which is why it’s important to expose and punish as swiftly as possible the bad eggs in one’s own party. For all their flaws, the leaders of the GOP do have some integrity in this regard, whereas Democrat bigwigs are utterly shameless in their repeated defense of demonstrably corrupt leftists.
It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get the Republican party back on its conservative feet again, no question about that, and the transition from a party of wishy-washy RINOs to one controlled by genuine right-wingers, won’t happen overnight. But think about the ramifications if we don’t even try to salvage it. We’ll be stuck with essentially two versions of the same party controlling the political direction of our country for at least a generation to come; one which continues to slide seemingly irrevocably into the cesspool of Marxism, while the other dances precariously on a sheet of thin ice above that same, putrid sewer.
That doesn’t have to happen, Mr. Beck, but if you insist upon preaching the gospel of “to hell with both major parties” to a sizable audience of disenfranchised former GOPers, Libertarians and right-leaning independents, it probably will. If such a tragedy should come to pass, national bankruptcy and severe economic depression is not only probable, but a near certainty.
Indeed, if our nation is to survive the hopey-changey era of President Obama and his left-wing lackeys in Congress, electing vast numbers of true conservative REPUBLICANS to their respective high government offices is the only rational course of action available to us, and it is a course we must embark on sooner rather than later.
After studying the constitutional language governing the use of military force and the debates that the Framers had on the issue, Joe Biden determined that the Founding Fathers had vested the power to authorize even the limited use of military force in the Congress not the president—unless it was necessary for the president to act swiftly to repel an attack on the United States or to rescue U.S. citizens.
Biden derided the opposite position—that the president could use military force without congressional authorization—as a “monarchist” view of presidential power.
That was in 1998, however, when Biden was in the Senate.
Today, Biden serves as vice president to a commander in chief who has just committed the U.S. military to an action in Libya that was authorized by the U.N. Security Council but was never even so much as debated in the U.S. Congress let alone put to a vote.
Nor has the president argued that the aim of the military action in Libya is to repel an imminent attack on the United States or rescue U.S. citizens.
“The rationale for vesting the power to launch war in Congress was simple,” Biden said in a Senate speech delivered on July 30, 1998. “The Framers’ views were dominated by their experience with the British King, who had unfettered power to start wars. Such powers the Framers were determined to deny the President.”
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution says: “The Congress shall have power … To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.”
After summarizing this language, the debate over it at the Constitutional Convention and the treatment of it by Presidents George Washington and John Adams and the early Supreme Court, Biden determined it was impossible to conclude anything other than that the president could not use force without prior congressional authorization unless it was necessary to “repel a sudden attack.”
Indeed, this was exactly the language used at the Constitutional Convention by James Madison and Elbridge Gerry when they offered a successful amendment to the draft Constitution—which, as originally written, would have granted Congress alone the power to “make war.”
“Mr. [James] Madison and Mr [Elbridge] Gerry moved to insert ‘declare,’ striking out ‘make’ war; leaving to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks,” said James Madison’s notes from the Constitutional Convention.
“Mr Gerry never expected to hear in a republic a motion to empower the Executive alone to declare war,” said Madison notes.
“Mr. [George] Mason was agst giving the power of war to the Executive, because not safely to be trusted with it; or to the Senate, because not so constructed as to be entitled to it. He was for clogging rather than facilitating war; but for facilitating peace. He preferred ‘declare’ to ‘make,’” said Madison’s notes.
“On the Motion to insert declare–in place of Make, it was agreed to,” Madison recorded in his notes at the Constitutional Convention.
In his speech to the Senate in 1998, Biden accurately summarized the notes of the Constitutional Convention.
“The original draft of the Constitution would have given to Congress the power to ‘make war.’ At the Constitutional Convention, a motion was made to change this to ‘declare war.’ The reason for the change is instructive,” said Biden.
“At the Convention, James Madison and Elbridge Gerry argued for the amendment solely in order to permit the President the power ‘to repel sudden attacks,’” said Biden. “Just one delegate, Pierce Butler of South Carolina, suggested that the President should be given the power to initiate war.”
Citing Federalist No. 69, Biden noted that Alexander Hamilton, who among the Framers was perhaps the greatest champion of a strong executive, argued that the Constitution gave the president the authority to direct the military in action only after that action was authorized by Congress.
“Even Alexander Hamilton, a staunch advocate of Presidential power, emphasized that the President’s power as Commander in Chief would be ‘much inferior’ to the British King, amounting to ‘nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces,’ while that of the British King ‘extends to declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies–all which, by [the U.S.] Constitution, would appertain to the legislature,’” said Biden.
“Given this,” Biden concluded, “the only logical conclusion is that the framers intended to grant to Congress the power to initiate all hostilities, even limited wars.”
Biden gave this speech laying out the Framer’s original understanding of the meaning of the war power to explain why he was introducing legislation that would replace the War Powers Resolution, enacted in the 1973, with a new law designed to prevent the president from indefinitely committing U.S. forces to a military engagement without congressional authorization. Biden’s proposed act also spelt out the conditions under which Biden believed the president—using his authority to “repel a sudden attack”—might launch a military action without prior congressional approval.
“One fundamental weakness of the war powers resolution is that it fails to acknowledge powers that most scholars agree are inherent Presidential powers: to repel an armed attack upon the United States or its Armed Forces, or to rescue Americans abroad,” said Biden in his 1998 speech.
“My legislation,” he said, “corrects this deficiency by enumerating five instances where the President may use force: (1) To repel attack on U.S. territory or U.S. forces; (2) To deal with urgent situations threatening supreme U.S. interests; (3) To extricate imperiled U.S. citizens; (4) To forestall or retaliate against specific acts of terrorism; (5) To defend against substantial threats to international sea lanes or airspace.”
Biden did not say that the president could use a UN resolution, as opposed to an act of Congress, to justify military action. In fact, he specifically criticized President Harry Truman—a Democrat—for going to war in Korea after that war had been authorized by the UN Security Council, but not by the U.S. Congress.
Biden, in fact, accused Truman of taking what Biden called the “monarchist” view of the president’s power to use military force.
“[W]hat I call the “monarchist” view of the war power,” said Biden, is “the thesis that the President holds nearly unlimited power to direct American forces into action.
“The thesis is largely a product of the Cold War and the nuclear age: the view that, at a time when the fate of the planet itself appeared to rest with two men thousands of miles apart, Congress had little choice, or so it was claimed but to cede tremendous authority to the executive,” said Biden.
“This thesis first emerged in 1950, when President Truman sent forces to Korea without congressional authorization,” said Biden.
On June 27, 1950, after North Korea invaded South Korea, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 83, recommending “that the Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area.”
That same day, President Truman ordered U.S. forces into Korea without seeking congressional authorization.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Senate Republican Leader Robert Taft (Ohio) said of Truman’s action: “The President simply usurped authority in violation of the laws and the Constitution, when he sent troops to Korea to carry out the resolution of the United Nations in an undeclared war.”