Category Archives: energy

Time To Wake Up, America

Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth of depravity and corruption to which the American political system and the American culture have sunk than the practice of deferred taxation. Our national debt today is $15,701,934,801,235. That amount equals a debt load of $50,100 per citizen and $138,300 per taxpayer. (U.S. Debt Clock)

Government does not have the means or the capacity to generate wealth. By its very nature, it can only consume wealth. The only income governments have for paying off debt or purchasing necessary goods or services for its operation is the wealth confiscated from citizens through taxation of one type or another, whether it is through overt taxation, fees, inflation, fines or other means of raising revenue.

Since all debts eventually come due and since this generation insists on living off borrowed money while refusing to pay the taxes necessary to support our leaders’ opulent life styles and prolific spending, or to defray the debt, that debt necessarily falls on future generations. This generational theft, or as Frederic Bastiat would no doubt call it if he were alive today, “generational plunder”, is both our national crime and our national sin. We are plundering the livelihood of our children, grandchildren and future generations in pursuit of the impossible utopian promises of the godless socialists that have infiltrated and now control our governments and our political parties.

Again to quote Bastiat, “…legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole –with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism…” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 15.

…With this in mind, examine the protective tariffs, subsidies, guaranteed profits, guaranteed jobs, relief and welfare schemes, public education, progressive taxation, free credit, and public works. You will find that they are always based on legal plunder, organized injustice.” ~Frederic Bastiat, 1801 – 1850; The Law, p. 21.

There are no innocents in this scenario. Both political parties, progressives, conservatives and even our beloved tea parties must share in the guilt. The Democrat Party has exploited the natural greed, jealousy and envy of its constituents to win votes by promising free food, clothing, medical care, education, loans, money, etc., all at the expense of other citizens. The gullibility, of what seems to be a majority of the American people, has allowed the Democrat Party and its socialist leadership to gain control over our government. They are using that power to destroy our cultural, economic and political institutions in order to replace them with socialist institutions that they believe will ultimately afford them total control over the lives and liberty of the American people.

The Republican Party has not escaped, by any means, the influence of socialism among its leadership. They may not be as taken in by the utopian mythology of socialism as their Democrat counterparts, but they are every bit as motivated by the lust for power as are the Democrats. In some ways, the Republican Party is even more devious than the Democrat Party. Democrats publicly reveal their intentions, depending on the apathy and gullibility of the American people and the ever-increasing financial dependency of their base, to return them to power. The Republican Party campaigns on conservative values promising to return America to its founding principles. However, once in office too many of them succumb to the perks and powers of office and become more intent on protecting and supporting the Party establishment so as not to risk their own coveted position than in their promises to the voters.

As we witnessed in the last several election cycles the Republican Party sometimes even seems willing to sacrifice the Presidency in order to maintain its dwindling power in Congress as well as in State and local government bodies. In primaries, they denigrate true conservative challengers, supporting candidates they believe will be most advantageous to the Party establishment. Once they have succeeded in winning their spot on the party ticket they drop the conservative façade they exhibited while campaigning and “move to the center” in order to hopefully gain the support of progressive republicans and the coveted “independents”. Once in office their sole consideration becomes how to hold onto the power they have won, perceiving that in order to do so they must kowtow to the Party leadership and support the establishment’s agenda. Their loyalty is to the Republican Party not to republican principles.

This lust for power, present in the breast of all professional politicians was the primary theme of debates during the Philadelphia Convention in 1787. For 84 hot, humid days during that Philadelphia summer from May 25 to September 17, the framers wrestled with the problem of how to organize a government that would protect the liberty and property of its citizens while preventing it from being overcome by its leaders’ desire for power. They succeeded in creating the most effective and practical plan of government ever devised, the United States Constitution. However, like all plans, it only works when it is followed. Our Constitution is incompatible with socialism. For that reason, the socialists among us have been working for over a hundred years to destroy it. They have almost accomplished their goal. Actions by the Supreme Court this summer and/or the actions of voters this fall could sound the death knell for our Constitutional Republic.

Conservatives generally recognize this truth and have fought valiantly for the past couple of years in an effort to reverse course. The problem is that not enough conservatives recognize or accept the remedies necessary to cure all our national ills. Take, for example, the tea parties. The sole focus of many tea parties is fiscal responsibility. Some add to that focus, political reform, calling for a return to the Constitution. A few even address the cultural decay so rampant in America today; this diversity in purpose results in a splintered effort that in the long run may have little effect on the outcome. Many fiscal conservatives often overlook blatant breaches of the Constitution in order to enjoy their share of the socialist pie. They like the taste of the pie, they just don’t like the price attached to it. At the same time, many fiscal conservatives and constitutional conservatives alike denigrate the values conservatives, believing those values would somehow disturb the enjoyment of their pleasures and harm the chances of realizing their political agenda.

The idea that voters “always vote their pocketbooks” when they go to the polls is perhaps the greatest fallacy of all. It is not their pocketbooks they are voting, it is the pocketbooks of future generations. As for themselves, they will never agree to the increase in taxes necessary to pay for their leaders’ prolific spending. For generations we have been returning the same professional politicians to office in election after election. Obviously this practice is not working. Our debt keeps growing, our tax bills keep going up and our standard of living continues to decline. Our social programs are bankrupt, our unemployment rate is higher than it has been in eighty years, and few can say they are better off, spiritually, financially, or physically today, than were past generations. We can attend protest meeting and march with our cleverly worded signs all we want, but the only protest that counts is that expressed at the ballot box.

To solve our problem we have to change our system. We have to change the way our government is run and the people who run it. Thankfully, the Founders gave us a way to do that at the ballot box and not on the battlefield. In November, we need to vote out as many of the professional politicians as possible, replacing them with patriots who have the courage, knowledge and understanding to bring about true reform. As we have pointed out before, the American system has three components, its political system, its economic system and it culture. It is useless to believe that we can reform any one or two parts of this system and leave the other as it is, and hope that we can secure a lasting cure for our ills.

We must have political reform that restores the rightful authority to our Constitution, replacing our corrupt and self-serving political parties with ones made up of true patriots who take their oath of office seriously and abide by it. We must have economic reform that rejects crony capitalism and replaces it with the true market capitalism that made America the most prosperous nation on earth for generations. Last, but by no means least, we must revive the American culture that made us the beacon of liberty and opportunity the world over. In short, we need a political, economic and spiritual revival if we are to survive as a free nation.

To realize this revival we must learn all over again to cherish and abide by our founding principles as set forth in our founding documents, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I have heard mothers threaten their errant offspring with the threat, — insincerely, of course — “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” America was brought into this world by the benevolent providence of God and therefore, it can be taken out by His judgment…. Think about it.

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Does Pace expect $7.90 diesel fuel?

By W C (Bill) Augustine,

The Chicago suburban Pace bus system has purchased new diesel-electric hybrid buses because they hope the buses will be more cost-effective over a 12-year life span according to Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski.

The hybrid buses, which are made in Canada, cost $525,000 each as opposed to regular diesel powered buses which cost $288,000.  According to manufacturer Orion the hybrid buses will save over their lifetime 30,000 gallons of fuel.

If the manufacturer’s fuel saving estimate is correct, over the lifetime of a hybrid bus the 30,000 gallon fuel saving will need to offset the $237,000 higher purchase price.  Given these assumptions, in order for the hybrid to be “cost effective” diesel fuel costs must average more than $7.90 per gallon over the life of the bus. The diesel break-even price would be even higher if we added the expected six-year battery replacement cost (research shows the expectation optimistic)  and a present money value consideration to the equation.

Simple calculations show other considerations than cost saving must have driven the decision to purchase the hybrid buses.  “We’re always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint” said Kwasneski.

Pace’s projected 2012 operating expenses are $321 million of which riders pay $66 million or 21%.  Are riders willing to pay higher fees to reduce their carbon footprint?  Has anyone asked them?

Are taxpayers willing to increase $255 million in public funding for PACE’s meager contribution to an agreed ineffectual remedy to avert possible global warming?  Perhaps we should be straight forward and ask them.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

The Death of Federalism

Federalism is dead in America; its Constitution on life support. With Barack Obama in the White House and progressive democrats in control of Congress, the left’s centuries old goal of a consolidated government has finally been realized. With federalism gone, the Constitution becomes little more than an interesting historical artifact to be marveled at by historians and academicians. The experiment of enumerated powers and state sovereignty no longer has any relevance in American politics.

For over two hundred years, the one defining characteristic of the American psyche has been a desire for independence and its natural twin, liberty. It was to secure and maintain this independence that the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were written and published to the world. Thomas Jefferson, writing what he considered to be “an expression of the American mind” wrote in the concluding paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these words:

“We, therefore, the  Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”

For more than a hundred and fifty years, the Colonies had considered themselves as independent colonies, governed by laws of their own making, under the protection of the British Crown. Their relationship with the British government as expressed through its Parliament had always been tenuous at best. It was the increasing encroachment on the colonies independent status by Parliament that eventually led to the break with Great Britain and the Revolutionary War.

It is interesting to note that in the original copy of the Declaration of Independence on display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, D.C., and in most published copies of the Declaration, the word “united” in the first line of the final paragraph is not capitalized. It is “united States of America” not “United States of America”. The significance of this minor detail is in the type of union the Colonies envisioned. Also, notice that states never appears in the singular, always the plural. Compare the plural word “states” as used in our founding documents with the singular title, “State of Great Britain”. The colonies were “united” in their independence from England and they were “united” in defense. They did not consider themselves to be, and did not contemplate becoming a single consolidated “State” government.

The government later established under the Articles of Confederation was anything but a united, state government. In fact, the Articles were primarily concerned with mutual defense and international commerce. Article Two specifically precludes any type of central authority over the states other than the few specified.

Article Two
“Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.”

This spirit of independence held by the states was carried over in the Constitution and was the principle underlying the list of enumerated powers in the Constitution and the prohibition of encroachment by the national government on the liberties of its citizens, by the Bill of Rights, especially the Tenth Amendment. The states would never have ratified a Constitution calling for a central consolidated government. The highly venerated Federalist Papers were written primarily to convince the inhabitants of the various states that such a consolidated government could never develop under the Constitution. As it turns out, Hamilton, Jay and Madison severely underestimated the ingenuity of politicians on a quest for power, and the fears of the anti-federalist who opposed the Constitution have been proven by history, to be valid.

The difference between a “federal government” and a “national government” is more than just a matter of semantics. The national government envisioned by the present administration, regulating a centrally planned economy and regulating the private and collective lives of American citizens cannot be accomplished without uniform national laws and despotic enforcement. This fact has been made manifest by the recently passed and proposed regulatory bills of this administration concerning health care, finance, manufacturing, energy, etc. It is further manifested in the ongoing court cases in Arizona, California, Virginia and some dozen other states concerning immigration, gay marriage, energy production, etc.

The Constitution is a static document. Its words do not change with the calendar. If we are successful in taking back control of the government in the next two elections, there is hope for the restoration of limited constitutional government. However, federalism is dead. Nationalization of the central government has advanced to the point it can never be restored to the status of a federal government without major social upheavals that would never be condoned by the people. The best we can hope for is a modified national government with the gradual elimination of some if its more egregious encroachments.

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Why Left Fears Hitler Comparisons

The left cannot afford to have Obama compared with Hitler

Last week, a two hundred-member Iowa Tea Party group erected a billboard in downtown Mason City, Iowa, depicting three people under the headings of “National Socialism”, “Democratic Socialism” and “Marxist Socialism”. Underneath the headings were pictures of Hitler, Obama, and Lenin. Immediately the left went into attack mode because, according to it, the billboard compared Obama to Hitler. There were no complaints about comparing him with Lenin and there is a good reason why not.

After more than a hundred-and-fifty years of the abject failure of socialism all over the world, it is essential that the left deny the lessons of history, in order to sell its failed policies. As its grip on America’s education system grew during the last half of the twentieth century, the left began to revise American history in education curricula at every level. Contexts and facts concerning important historical characters and events important to the development of America were changed to present them in a negative light. Since World War Two, the left has worked diligently and successfully to place Hitler to the right on the political spectrum in the minds of the American people.

Historically the American left has shown an admiration for socialism as it gained strength in other parts of the world. In the late nineteenth century, it worked to spread the teachings of Marx and Lenin in America. After the communist revolution in Russia, many Americans traveled to Russia to study its social and government structure, returning to America with glowing reviews. During the Great Depression, a lot of the American Left transferred its admiration from Communist Socialism to the National Socialism of Germany.

After World War Two, the left again switched its high regard for socialism, this time to Asia. The left’s love affair with socialism and communism reached its height during the Viet Nam era. It was during that period that the left adopted the doctrine of “politically correct speech” from Communist China as an effective means for controlling political and social debate in America. Self-respecting socialists of the sixties and seventies delighted in quoting passages from Mao’s “little red book”.

National Socialism as practiced in Germany fell out of favor with the American left during and after World War Two because of the genocide and cruelty of Germany’s concentration camps. Germany simply went too far even for the most dedicated American Socialist. Since then, the left has worked to convince the American people that the atrociousness and brutality of Nazi Germany were the product of right wing political policies. Aside from the revulsion toward Hitler in the American mind, there is another reason why the left cannot afford to have Obama associated with German National Socialism.

During the twentieth century, communism and socialism spread throughout Europe, Asia and to a limited degree, South and Central America. Totalitarian socialism, for the most part, has been spread through revolution or military conquest, with one major exception: Nazi Germany. Only three totalitarian socialist leaders of any consequence have risen to power through the democratic process. Hitler, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Barack Obama. Admittedly Chavez and Obama are still works in progress, and the outcome for Obama is far from certain, however, the similarity in their rise to power cannot be denied other than by closing our eyes to history.

With each passing news cycle, it is getting more difficult for the national media to camouflage the true agenda of the Obama Administration. In order for American socialists (progressives) to reach their ultimate goal of a Socialist America, it must accomplish three major objectives, the dismantling of our capitalist economy, the fragmentation of our common culture and the destruction of our Constitution. In the eighteen months Obama has been in office, he has made amazing progress toward all three of these objectives.

Marshalling the socialist elements that have been growing in government for the past seventy-five to one-hundred years, Obama has focused single-mindedly on getting the nation to a point of no return during his four years in office. Following the Marxist-Alinsky playbooks, so succinctly summed up in Emanuel’s famous quote, “never let a good crisis go to waste”, he has used the EPA, the Justice Department, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Treasury Department to inflict, what may be irreparable damage on both the Economy and the Culture.

Nowhere is the Obama agenda more transparent than the events surrounding the Gulf Oil Spill and the lawsuit brought against the state of Arizona over its immigration law enforcement bill. His exploitation of both these events to fracture our culture and damage our economy cannot be denied. Even after losing two consecutive lawsuits concerning his moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, he refuses to accept the court’s decisions. Rather than accept the federal government’s constitutional requirement to protect our borders, he chose to file a lawsuit against Arizona to prevent it from protecting its citizens from the effects of a foreign invasion across its borders.

The damage already caused by the Obama policies will take years and maybe generations to heal. The only good news in the gloom brought about by the election of Obama is the slow but sure awakening of the American people. In less than four months we will find out if America is capable of recovery, or if we have reached the point prophesied by Benjamin Franklin, becoming so corrupted as a people that we cannot be ruled by any means other than despotism.

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Conservatives Line Up to Join Progressive Lynch Mob

Administration continues its attacks on BP, while stalling on cleanup operations.

It is frightening to see how many conservatives have climbed aboard the progressive bandwagon to “bash BP”.  At this point, no one knows the amount of culpability British Petroleum has in the Gulf oil spill. That will only be known after future investigations whose results will be tried in court.  Propaganda from Congress, White House and the media, far exceeds the facts available to the American people. However, we do know that we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. When we cease to be a nation of laws, we also cease to be a nation of liberty.

Following the strategy of Rahm Emanuel to “never let a serious crisis go to waste”, the Obama Administration has seized on the Gulf catastrophe as an opportunity to ramp up its attacks on capitalism and increase its power over the American people. The rhetoric of Obama since the spill has been the rhetoric of a dictator, not a President. He has brazenly defied the restraints placed on the Federal Government by the Constitution and appointed himself as the judge, jury and executioner of British Petroleum.

America has not witnessed a political climate like today’s anti-big-business one, since the turn of the Twentieth Century, when progressive politicians attempted to ride the populist tide against the “Robber Barons” of industry into elective office.  For many, that strategy proved successful, however, it ultimately culminated in the market crash of ’29 and Great Depression of the thirties.

This week Obama arrogantly announced he had ordered BP to place 20 billion dollars in an escrow account to cover the cost of mitigating the damage caused by the Gulf oil spill.  When a reporter asked a member of Congress whether there was legal authority for the demand, she answered, in effect, “if not we will pass a law”.  In addition, Pelosi is pressing for legislation to remove the liability cap on oil companies.  Under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act currently in place, oil companies are obligated to pay all cleanup costs, but liability for damage to local economies, natural resources and livelihoods is capped at $75 million.

The threat of retroactive laws and laws targeting a particular party violate a number of constitution prohibitions.  Article 1.9.3 forbids the passing of ex post fact law or bills of attainder. Amendment 7 guarantees the right to a trial by jury, and Amendment 14.1 forbids the taking of private property without due process of law.

While Obama has been bullying BP and its executives for political points, his administration seems to be doing everything in its power to obstruct clean up efforts.  The latest example occurred on Thursday when the Coast Guard pulled all the tankers used in skimming oil from the water, off the job for inspection. Believe it or not, the inspection was to make sure the tankers met specifications for the number of life preservers on board.  If there were any doubt, it would have made more sense for the Coast Guard to load up a boat with life preservers and distribute them to the tankers, where necessary.

Obama’s obvious attempt to use the Gulf spill disaster for political advantage could prove to be his biggest mistake to date.  In trying to deny Gulf Coast governors any credit in controlling the damage caused by the spill, he is alienating the American people and increasing the political stature of his number one political threat, Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana. His administration has stalled on Jindal’s request for permission to build barrier islands, for request for more booms to contain the oil, and now the incident with the Coast Guard.

Obama’s actions place Jindal in the position of “underdog” in a David and Goliath type of struggle. The American People love underdogs. The more Obama resists the efforts of Jindal the less popular he becomes and the more Americans who are rooting for Jindal. Every event of history has its own time. Now is the time for action, not finger pointing and foot dragging.

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A Call for Truth in Political Labeling

Inspiration for this post comes from Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain and Rush Limbaugh, talk show host.  Back in March of 2009, during an interview on “Larry King Live” in response to a question, Meghan McCain proudly announced that she was a “progressive Republican”.  Today a caller to Rush’s show wanted to know why he insisted on using the word liberal instead of progressive.  Rush’s answer was basically because the term liberal in recent years has picked up a negative image while progressive still carries the positive image of being forward looking and modern, and he uses liberal because he likes to tweak Democrats.

I am a fan of labels, particularly in the political arena.  The use of a truthful and accurate label to describe someone’s political philosophy is an efficient way to identify one’s approach to the issues that affect our lives.  However, in modern times, the use of labels has fallen into disfavor and using one leaves one open to the accusation of “name calling”.  In addition to that, a major problem with labels is that adherents to an unpopular political philosophy will attempt to hide their true beliefs by applying a misleading label to themselves.  Conversely, they will adopt a popular label in order to hide their true political philosophy. For example, virtually every Republican politician today, from Mark Kirk to John McCain to John Boehner refer to themselves as “conservative”.

Democrats, who for the most part, support a socialist agenda, insist on calling themselves “progressives”.  The result is that the average voter has a difficult time distinguishing a Republican from a RINO or a liberal Democrat from a socialist.  This confusion of labels is what causes many Americans to throw up their hands and declare “a pox on both your houses”, you’re all the same; which brings us to the question, what is the difference between a socialist, a progressive, a Republican and a conservative?

To understand these differences properly we have to look at the history of the terms.  Socialism, as an organized political philosophy began in the mid-nineteenth century, primarily from the teachings of Karl Marx in Germany. Its stated ideals of social and economic equality, a popular democracy and its opposition to the inequities of some segments of capitalism quickly won favor with many Americans.  However, Americans are different from Europeans so these socialists doctrines had to be Americanized. During the last decades of the nineteenth century, the American version of socialism adopted the label, “progressive”.

Political leaders of that era, which ended in the Great Depression, used many of the same tactics used today by the Democratic Party.  One that stands out is the demonization of capitalism. Leading capitalists were labeled “robber barons” and their financial empires were broken up or destroyed amid the cheers of the general public. Theodore Roosevelt became one of America’s most popular progressive leaders, earning the nickname of “Trust Buster” for his success in breaking up some of the largest capitalists institutions of his day.

The twentieth century dawned with progressivism being the most popular political philosophy in America.  The Presidential Election of 1912 featured four progressives vying for the office, representing four different political parties.  William Howard Taft, the incumbent ran as a progressive Republican, Woodrow Wilson as a progressive Democrat, Eugene Debs ran as a Socialist and Theodore Roosevelt ran on the new Progressive Party ticket.  Roosevelt and Taft split the Republican vote giving the election to Wilson.

The 1912 election was the beginning of the end for Constitutional government in America.  No matter who won the election the American people would have elected a progressive President. The one thing all four candidates had in common was the advocacy of a progressive income tax designed to facilitate a more equitable redistribution of the nation‘s wealth. A second similarity of the 1912 candidates was the belief in government’s ability to manage and eventually solve all of the country’s problems, if only its institutions were made more “democratic“.  In 1913 two progressive amendments were added to the Constitution, the Sixteenth, establishing a progressive income tax and the Seventeenth, requiring the popular election of Senators.

Socialism in its Americanized version, progressivism, was instrumental in bringing about the Great Depression.  America was slower than Europe in emerging from the Depression because of the twelve plus year reign of the Democrat Saint of Progressives, Franklin Roosevelt. Today, while the progressives make up the base of the Democrat Party, progressivism also exercises a strong influence on the Republican Party.

Progressive Republicans label themselves as “moderates” or sometimes as “fiscal conservatives”. It pains me to point this out, but many of those in the popular tea party movement would be more properly classified as “progressive conservatives”.  If that seems on the surface to be oxymoronic, let me clarify the term. Many self-identified conservatives are perfectly content with unconstitutional spending by the federal government as long as it is limited to things they perceive as being of personal benefit to them.  Education, infrastructure, and health care for example. They are content with unconstitutional taxation as long as it is not too oppressive to them personally. The same can be said of government regulation of businesses.  Unconstitutional regulations are considered Okay by many conservatives as long as they perceive it to be in their personal best interest.

It is difficult to define true conservatism today because there are so few examples to point to. To understand it properly we again have to go back in history to the first conservatives. During the early-post revolutionary period, the conservatives were known as anti-federalists.  After 1891 and the ratification of the Bill of Rights conservatives were popularly known as republicans.  The identifying characteristics were defense of the Constitution, rule of law, intolerance for government corruption, love of liberty and the sanctity of private property. Conservatism prevailed in America until the progressive era.  The last bulwark of conservatism was lost when the Supreme Court was successfully politicized by President Roosevelt in the mid-nineteen-thirties.

Since that time, conservatives have been in the minority, as they are today. A recent Gallop poll is being touted as evidence that conservatives are the largest voting block in America today.  Forty percent of those polled identified themselves as conservative, thirty-six percent as moderate and only twenty percent as liberal.  Before you break out the Champagne, consider the fact that most of those who identified themselves as conservatives were simply expressing their dissatisfaction with the excessive progressive policies of the Obama Administration not an ideologically understood preference for true conservative principles.

No one can rightfully claim the label of “conservative” who tolerates and often encourages the wanton violation of the Constitution by their elected officials whether they considerer themselves as fiscal conservatives, social conservatives or blue dog Democrats. When I hear self-proclaimed conservatives call for bipartisan federal solutions to things like health care, education, alternative energy and so forth, I fear for my country.

Progressivism is the American version of socialism.  Socialism and our Constitution are mutually exclusive. Constitution based conservatism cannot compromise with progressivism. It must defeat it or perish.  The call for bipartisanship is nothing more than a call for surrender, one battle at a time and can only lead to despotism. True conservatives do not want “smaller government”; they want a constitutionally limited government.  They do not want “lower taxes”; they want constitutionally authorized taxation only. They do not want a “less intrusive government”; they want the federal government out of their personal lives, period.

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The Congress-Copenhagen Connection

minute-man-2-lithoIn several ways, the future of America will be decided in the next thirty days.  Four events are scheduled that will have a profound effect on the level of freedom and liberty enjoyed by the American people, passage of the 2009 budget; the initial negotiating session in Bonn, Germany on the U.N. “Climate Change” plan;  Domestic legislation on global warming by Congress; and legislation on national health care.  All four have the potential to greatly expand the reach of the federal government, further erode state sovereignty, adversely affect the national economy, and diminish the level of liberty and freedom for citizens.

The Copenhagen Accords

The U.N. plan also threatens the erosion of our national sovereignty.  The first negotiating session for the “Copenhagen Accords” began Sunday, March 29, in Bonn under the auspices of the United Nations.  Goals for the accords are set forth in a sixteen page informational document to be distributed to participants. They are expected to be signed by December 2009. Unlike the Kyoto Accords, indications are that the Copenhagen Accords will have the support of both Congress and the White House.

An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily Saturday, begins with a reference to Czech President Vaclav Klaus who once called global warming “a new religion, a Trojan horse for imposing a global tyranny worse than communism.”

“Details about the Copenhagen Conference prove how right he was”, comments the IBD editor.

The centerpiece of the new accords will be an international “Cap and Trade” scheme that, if implemented, will result in a massive transfer of wealth from advanced industrial nations, particularly the United States, to underdeveloped and developing nations like those in Africa, South and Central America, China and India.  In addition to wealth transfer, the UN’s “informational notes” predicts a major relocation of businesses as companies flee from highly regulated countries to those with fewer regulatory policies.

The two domestic industries hardest hit by the new regulations will be energy and transportation.  Both rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels and they cannot be outsourced.  The costs associated with “cap and trade” and carbon taxes will be passed on to consumers through higher prices.  When added to the inflation caused by the Treasury Department’s printing of trillions of dollars to pay for the Obama economic plan the result is sure to be a lowering of the standard of living for everyone.

There is, however, a ray of hope so far as the UN plan is concerned, assuming that we still have a Constitution in place next year when a treaty is likely to be presented to the Senate for ratification.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution requires a two-third majority in order to ratify a treaty. The constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote in the Senate cannot be set aside with the Reid-Pelosi “reconciliation” plan they intend to use to bypass any attempt to filibuster bills dealing with domestic climate change, energy conservation and healthcare.

A more immediate threat comes from a domestic cap and trade scheme legislated by Congress.  The domestic plan would have all the negative aspects of the UN plan and will probably have popular support among the uninformed voters that make up the major segment of the voting public.  What makes new cap and trade regulations more likely is the fact that many Republican Congressmen and Senators have bought into the pseudo-science of “global warming”.  There is little chance that such a bill could be successfully filibustered, even if the opportunity was given.

There seems to be little we can do other than protest to stop the anticipated legislation on both climate change and healthcare.  Aside from the outrageous spending spree already underway by the federal government, climate change and health care legislation pose the biggest threats we will be facing in the near future.

Eventually we will make the transition from fossil fuel to an alternative—when the time is right. When that happens it will be because of entrepreneurial innovation and consumer demand not because of central planning by the government.  That is always the way progress comes about.  We did not make the transition from the horse and buggy to the automobile because of government initiative, but because of American ingenuity and the free market.  Government interference in the free market always causes dislocation in the economy and results in unforeseen and unnecessary problems for the consumer.  Government can, to a certain extent, affect production through regulations, but it cannot dictate consumption except by trampling on the liberties of its citizens.

Both Climate change legislation and health care legislation are doomed to failure in the long run  because they violate two basic principles of the human condition.

The Problem with Central Planning

Two terms familiar to every business school student are “span of control” and “economy of scale”.  Span of control has to do with the principle that the human mind is limited in its capacity for gathering, absorbing and using information efficiently.  Economy of scale has to do with the consolidation of operations in order to improve efficiency.  The merger craze of a few decades ago brought out the shortcoming of both these theories.

Large companies bought up smaller companies in order to take advantage of the economy of scale only to find that they had stretched the span of control to a point that could no longer be managed effectively. Companies go from acquisition to centralization, to decentralization, to “spin offs” in an effort to find the optimum balance between the span of control and the economy of scale.  Few ever find it, and private businesses have an advantage over government in that they are merit based and motivated by profit.  Governments are politics based and motivated by the desire for power.

Centrally planned economies have never worked, and cannot work, because they always violate the principle underlying “span of control”.  The founders understood this principle well when they drafted the Constitution.  That is one of the reasons why they limited the power and size of the central government and reserved policy decisions affecting the daily lives of citizens to states and local communities.

Health Care

America has the best and most innovative health care system in the world.  It’s artificially high cost is primarily the result of a manufactured demand caused by our third-party payment system created by employer paid health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Until we deal honestly with that problem, we cannot solve the problem of unaffordable health care.

The only way to solve the problem of healthcare costs is to allow the market to function.  Add the amount being paid by companies for employee health insurance to employees’ paychecks, return taxes paid for Medicaid and Medicare to the taxpayer and let the taxpayer pay for their own catastrophic health insurance and routine healthcare, “out of pocket”.

When our automobile breaks down we think nothing of paying five hundred or a thousand dollars to get it fixed.  Certainly, our body is more important than our car.  Yet, we have created an expectation that when our body breaks down or develops a temporary “problem” the expense of getting it fixed should be born by someone else.

The expense for indigent health care can and should be born by states, local communities and families, as it once was.  No one should go without needed health care, and they do not today.  The problem is that as the system is now working the cost of  indigent care is born by hospitals and emergency rooms and passed on to other patients through elevated cost for hospital services or to the taxpayer through hospital reimbursements.

The problems caused by government planned and administered healthcare schemes in Canada, England, France, and elsewhere are well documented and widely known.  In spite of this, our politicians are determined to force nationalized health care on everyone, in one form or another.  The inevitable result will be lower standards of care for patients and unsustainable cost to the taxpayers.  Eventually, health care and our arrogant attempts to control climate, unless checked, will result in the demise of capitalism.  If one doesn’t get us, the other one will.