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Posts Tagged ‘issues facing federal government’


It is clear that our country is in serious trouble due to debt and our economy.  It is also clear that this trouble did not occur overnight.  It took years of sick misguided nurturing to get us where we are today;  at a fork in the national path.  We must decide which direction to take.

Do we head down the pike of progressivism with a European like socialism as our government?  Or do we slam on the brakes and make a hard direction change to take the right fork?  Before we discuss that choice, we should analyze what brought us to this juncture.  Yes, we can blame the current or the previous administrations – both have had a hand in our potential demise.  I prefer to start by analyzing Congress and the root cause that has slowly but steadily taken this nation to this precipice.

Did you know that since there are no term limits in Congress that it has become a club for some members?  Those members who quickly learn how to play the special interest game and how to amass money and power have longevity.  The more you learn how to manipulate the system and the perks of seniority, the more you can protect yourself against challengers and be reelected again and again.  The lack of term limits has permitted twenty five percent of our Senate to be in office more than three terms – more than eighteen years.

It gets better.  We have senators serving for as much as fifty-one years.  Robert Byrd is in his ninth term and at ninety two years of age is in his fifty-first year – he is also third in line to be President of the United States after Nancy Pelosi.  This makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Robert Byrd is not alone.  Arlen Specter is eighty and is seeking his fifth term.  He is in his 29th year – isn’t that enough?  Other career politicians deeply planted in the Senate, who by the end of this year will have served more than any one person should, are:

Richard Shelby-AL – 23 (years)

John McCain-AZ – 23

Chris Dodd-CT (at least he is retiring) – 29

Joe Lieberman-CT – 21

Daniel Inouye-HI – 47

Daniel Akaka-HI – 19

Richard Lugar-IN – 33

Chuck Grassley-IA – 29

Tom Harkin-IA – 25

Mitch McConnell-KY – 25

Barbara Mikulski-MD – 23

John Kerry-MA – 25

Carl Levin-MI – 31

Thad Cochran-MS – 31

Kit Bond-MO – 23

Max Baucus=MT – 31

Harry Reid-NV – 23

Jeff Bingaman-NM – 27

Kent Conrad-ND – 23

Orrin Hatch-UT – 33

Patrick Leahy-VT – 35

Jay Rockefeller-WV – 25

Herbert Kohl-WI – 21

Do these people have a stake in the derailing of this nation?  Are they partially responsible for the catastrophic mess we are in?  How many votes have they cast that have put us right where we are?

In the House of Representatives where the term is two years (the Senate is six years), we have just as much carnage.  There are forty-one members serving 25 or more years.  This includes members with thirty, forty, and yes, even fifty years of service.

When you consider that Senators, for the most part, had service in the House of Representatives before joining the Senate, we have an absolute power corrupts situation in our Congress.  These career politicians of the Senate serving upwards of forty years in the Congress, when you combine service in both houses, and the career two year term politicians of the House of Representatives are responsible for the economic failure and the disregard of our Constitution with years of seemingly unconstitutional and government intrusion legislation.

We need fresh representation in both houses of Congress, because our current representatives in the Senate and the House have an abysmal track record, often only serving themselves and not the nation.  They have been there too long to be in touch with the electorate.  This, to any sane person, is the root cause of our demise.

Now, back to that fork in the road.  I choose the path of new leadership in both houses of Congress, a new administration, and substantially less government intrusion into our markets and our lives. How about you?

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At the founding of our country, we had thirteen sovereign states come together and create a new federal government.  These sovereign states were desirous of building a common defense, improving trade amongs themselves and with foreign nations.  The states held that a representative form of government was needed and that a House of Representatives, similar to the lower or “people’s” house of England, the House of Commons, was needed to ensure that the peoples wishes were heard at the new federal level.

However, these states wished to only cede limited power to this federal government.  They knew that a local form of government was best for local issues and that the federal government was only necessary to handle the larger defense and international issues.   These states knew that they would be sharing power with the people under this new federal arrangement.  The intent was for both the people and the states to remain masters of the new federal government.

To accomplish this new limited power arrangement, the founders, representing the states, created a senate.  Under this arrangement the senators would be elected to their federal senate position by the legislatures of the “states united” for a six year period.  The founders placed some key controls in the new constitution to insure that the federal government could not usurp the states and take on un-ceded power, which could and would make the states subordinate to the federal government.

The new senate was given the sole right to try all impeachments, approve treaties, and approve the appointment of ambassadors, public ministers, and consuls (counselors to the president), Supreme Court and inferior court appointments, and officers of the federal government, all with a two thirds approval.

This new senate was specifically provided these controls over the federal government to ensure that the power ceded to the federal government remained limited.  Beyond these specific controls over the president and the federal government, the founders knew that having senators appointed by and representing the respective states would insure that the federal government answered to the states and would remain subservient to these states.

For added measure the founders, more correctly the early Congress and the States, added an amendment in the Bill of Rights.  Number ten 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.

This power sharing arrangement worked very well from 1787 through 1912 – 126 years.  It was not until a populist progressive movement got a headwind from the Hearst newspapers around the country that a push for the people to directly elect their senators became a seemingly correct thing to do in a democracy.  Remember, we are a republic and that Randolph Hearst and the progressives stirred up public opinion to believe that there was no reason why in a democracy the people should not directly elect the senate.

The real motive was to have the Hearst publications, at that time found in most states, drive public opinion to select Senators suitable to Randolph Hearst and the progressives – the goal was to enlarge the federal government and to remove the necessary control of the states.

The seventeenth amendment was ratified in 1913, thus ending the careful plans of the founders to ensure balance between the states and the federal government through power sharing.  Today, Senators are subject to the will and money of lobbyists, rather than the will of their state.  Some Senators have created a power base so strong that they have been in office for more than forty years.

If you really want to take back your government, then you must repeal this ill advised amendment, stampeded through ratification by, Big Government Progressives (read “What The Progressives Want”) holding public office at that time and most importantly by the highly influential Randolph Hearst and his powerful national dailies.

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