The Bow-Tied Blogger

The life and adventures of one soldier and his various journeys.

  Sunday, May 30, 2010

Discussion of Contract with America

As I mentioned earlier, I was going to discuss teh Contract with America. Sure, it's 16 years old and the GOP has forgotten the whole notion of small government since Bush 2, but it is still worth mentioning, especially since it was an idea that had merit andis rarely critiqued. Today, I will discuss the Fiscal Responsibility Act. According to wikipedia:

An amendment to the Constitution that would require a balanced budget unless sanctioned by a three-fifths vote in both houses of Congress (H.J.Res.1, passed by the US House Roll Call: 300-132, 1/26/95; rejected by the US Senate Roll Call: 65-35, 3/2/95, two-thirds required), and legislation (not an amendment) provide the president with a line-item veto (H.R.2, passed by the US House Roll Call: 294-134, 2/6/95; conferenced with S. 4 and enacted with substantial changes 4/9/96 [2]). The statute was ruled unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417, 118 S.Ct. 2091, 141 L.Ed.2d 393 (1998).

Balanced Budget Amendment. Great idea. As we can see, we actually had a surplus, though it would have been better if Clinton went after discretionary spending as well as the military. Bush could have accomplished that, though. Instead, he went Keynesian and ran up record deficits with Medicare Plan D. If the Amendment passed, Bush's gimmie programs would have been stopped.

Second aspect was a line item veto. I think it is an excellent provision that can be great at trimming pork, and I'd apply it to more than just fiscal matters. This way, populist measures that are unconstitutional could be excised, though that is ultimately the job of the Supreme Court, but it would be good if an added check were made.

This bill was ruled unconstitutional, so without a later court decision or a Constitutional Amendment, no dice. Now, is that an imbalance in power giving the President the power to veto part of a bill, but not the full bill? I don't think it is, but I am no lawyer, nor am I an expert on Constitutional law. Any thoughts would be great.

Now, other measures that could be fitted under this umbrella: A bill that would freeze all salaries (except the military, or all pay raises for them are automatically sent to their TSP account and not available as disposable income) of federal employees, including the President, Congress, and Supreme Court Judges during times of recession. This would prevent layoffs and prevent some expenses.

I'd also advocate end of life counseling to curb Medicare costs and audit any bleeding heart religious group raising any fits about it, and a triage system for end of life care. It is criminal to spend millions on extending a life by a few years that is no longer contributing to the IRS and next of kin should have veto power on expensive treatment. They should get the money, not some hospital that is crazy about running the tests in the name of our perverse longevity cult. Once I reach a certain age, there are a number of illnesses I won't bother treating. I care about minimizing pain at that point and not enduring the last five years of my life in a hospital bed. Well, my cut off point will be around 70.

Those are my thoughts on how to use some fiscal restraint.


  Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hear! Hear!

Now for those that know my unique right-leaning, but not solidarity-driven, political views may also know that Calvin Coolidge is my favorite 20th century President. While many my age would say Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt and some more liberal than me would say JFK or FDR, I stick with Calvin Coolidge, a man with a dry New England wit who also favored limited government, and he was the last Republican President to win NYC, though he didn't get a full majority in Manhattan thanks to that wacky cheese head LaFollette.

Now, I recently discovered a Calvin Coolidge blog, Kai's Coolidge Blog.

The most recent blog post has an article from Pajamas Media that suggests Barrack Obama could be more like Calvin Coolidge. His re-inauguration oath is something Calvin Coolidge did, but President Obama's charisma and our own warped national mindset have him engaging in more populist activities, but the Silent Cal approach would be a nice change as the President would be there, but less of a celebrity, appearing only when needed. I don't see President Obama doing that, but it may help his imagine in the long run, but sadly it's not in our generation to be like these wise men of times past.

I also discovered another Calvin Coolidge blog, Silent Cal. Enjoy!!

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  Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Now, back in an ancient and forgotten time, the Republican Party stood for limited government, and not just when a Democrat was President. To win the House for the first time in forty years and to hold power for twelve consecutive years. The last time the Republicans accomplished this was from 1919 to 1931, also a period of twelve years, and both periods had two Speakers, with Gingrich in power from January 4, 1995 to January 3, 1999, followed by Dennis Hastert from January 6, 1999 to January 3, 2007. Previously, Frederick Huntington Gillett of Massachusetts (you heard that right) was Speaker of the House from May 19, 1919 to March 3, 1925, followed by Nicholas Longworth IV of Ohio from December 7, 1925 to March 4 of 1931, and he died the next month.

So a track record that was pretty good, and if not for Abramoff and Foley, the trend may have continued, except that Bush forgot what the term fiscal conservative meant and Pelosi knows to hide her truly creepy stare from the public until she decides to brainwash us into solidarity zombies, or something equally absurd I made up.

Now as part of a platform to achieve power, Newt Gingrich established his Contract with America. Now, you may love it or hate, but how much do you know about it? Due to ideological solidarity, your ideology probably determines your view, but how many people know the ten items and what they really like or really hate?

Why do I ask? Well, President Obama may want that authority. If you are for or against granting him that authority, replace Obama with Bush and see if you have the same answer. If you do, congratulations, you think for yourself.

Here's another link

Now I figure we (assuming anyone reads me) can go over the Contract with America and discuss the items. Knowledge over passion, after all.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act

The Taking Back Our Streets Act

The Personal Responsibility Act

The American Dream Restoration Act

The National Security Restoration Act

The "Common Sense" Legal Reform Act

The Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act

The Citizen Legislature Act

Family Reinforcement Act

Senior Citizens Fairness Act

The line-item veto was part of the
The Fiscal Responsibility Act and it passed, but was declared unconstitutional in Clinton v the City of New York. A pity about that,but I welcome President Obama to work to regain that authority, as long as he does it constitutionally..well I'll leave that to the judges. I somehow doubt Ol' Kleagle Byrd will be too receptive, as this will affect his ability to change the name of West Virginia to the State of Robert C Byrd, but that is expected.

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  Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rand Paul won the Republican primary for the Senate seat in Kentucky and he botched it in an interview with Rachel Maddow. Now I am not likely to agree with Rachel Maddow on most issues, but she is no Keith Olbermann who will somehow call Rand the worst person in the World and find some way of connecting Paul's gaffe to Bill O'Reilly.

Rand Paul then reverses himself, but the damage is done. Now, I admire Barry Goldwater for many reasons, and he will ultimately be vindicated in history, as a principled and genuine conservative who felt every "good Christian should give Jerry Falwell a swift kick in the ass." Barry Goldwater was wrong in that issue and it was a big issue he was wrong on. Lyndon Bane Johnson used these events and with other manipulations won in a landslide, but thankfully the Vietnam War destroyed him and he only stole oxygen from our atmosphere for another 9 years. Thankfully he only sponged his pension for a little more than four years.

While Lyndon Johnson may have been credited with the 1964 Civil Rights bill and didn't sign the Southern Manifesto, but he was in his heart a racist and one of the crassest people to ever slither into the Oval Office. Barry Goldwater was a naive man who didn't understand racism and some of his failings were due to his naivete and his environment, but he did support the 1957 Civil Rights bill which LBJ only supported to gain power as a national figure and be JFK's VP, and let's not forget who's home state JFK was killed in.

Rand Paul made a colossal failure in failing to address the evils of Jim Crow laws, which are even evident in Bacon-Davis as labor laws were made to protect white union labor form minority competition. The use of federal power in the 1964 Civil Rights Act is a loaded gun and there are times when that is the only solution. To support such power with total solidarity is worse than Goldwater's misguided opposition as one should be reluctant about using federal authority even for a good cause, but there are times when it is necessary to use. While such power should be used sparingly, there are clear cases when it needs to be used. The Tenth Amendment is a part of our Bill of Rights and an absolute right, but the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments are also part of our Constitution and the Tenth Amendment does not favor giving any state the right to trample on individual liberties, and in such cases as the deep south in that time, the rights of individuals were at stake. Barry Goldwater was born in 1909 and the CRA of 1964 was a new law being proposed so he had an excuse. Rand Paul didn't. This may not end his chances as Joe Biden proves you can say ignorant things and still get ahead. The progressives are sharpening their blades and will use Rand Paul to go after the Libertarians and no doubt Alan "the Orlando bully" Grayson may try to get ran Paul's medical license suspended, so Rand Paul will need to wise up.

Finally David Boaz comes up with a good counter in Reason magazine about some who can have an understandable nostalgia for times past, and hell there is a lot I like about the 1880s, but I don't think I'd want to live back then. I do like their music and formal wear without a doubt and I think the affluence in this country post WWII has had a very corrosive effect, but this can be solved by parents not spoiling their children.


Copyright 2007 Thomas forsyth. I welcome comments