Cleaning House (Part Three)
By: Craig Chamberlain
Last time education, foreign policy, and and culture were the topics for putting things right with America. But there is more to do. So in this final installment the topics will be the law, cutting the federal government, entitlement reform, and our constitution. It’s time for Americans to take these things seriously again, otherwise we won’t have much of a country left.
7. Respecting our laws. There is a general contempt for law and order in America. Police and courts are held in suspicion, we believe that the police are corrupt, stupid, or the oppressors of the people. (Crime has been climbing since the Great Society of the 1960′s, it dipped somewhat in the 1990′s, and is back on the rise again.) The simple fact is that we have too many laws. The law only has power over the people when they choose to obey it. When the law encroaches into areas that it need not go then this creates disrespect for the law. The constitution only lists three federal crimes: piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. We now have over 4,500 federal laws. Now, this doesn’t mean that we have to repeal 4,447 federal laws. The Congress was given the constitutional right to pass new laws. Interstate crime, for example, should be a federal matter, to clarify jurisdictional issues. But there are so many federal laws these days that a person could break one and not know it.
It’s not just the federal government. The states have not escaped the impulse to legislate and criminalize matters that are best left alone. Every state has hundreds of laws that are obscure and ridiculous(in my home state of West Virginia it was illegal for a man with a mustache to teach a woman how to play the guitar. I don’t know if that law is on the books, but the point is that it never should have been there in the first place.) some are extreme like Missouri’s “extermination order” that legalized killing Mormons and taking their property. This was enacted in the 1830′s and was not revoked until 1976. The tenth amendment does give states wide berth but they don’t have the right to pass unconstitutional laws, and they shouldn’t pass legislation that makes a mockery of law and justice.
People should respect the law, but this is hard to do when there are too many laws, too many stupid laws, and when depraved criminals are treated as victims of a society that just doesn’t understand them. When criminals are pampered instead of punished, rehabilitated instead of making restitution, given parole when they’ve barely served 1/3 of their sentence, or given probation instead of incarceration it’s no wonder people don’t respect the laws the way they should. Until the criminal justice system works for the victims, doesn’t trample all over constitutional rights, and doesn’t descend into the absurd there will be a criminal problem in this country.
8.Cutting the federal government. It’s a common complaint for conservatives to complain about the size of the government. Yet the government continues to grow, even under Republican, and conservative, leadership. When Washington was first elected there were only 4 cabinet positions. Now there are 15. Most of them are not needed, they cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and contribute to the frustration many Americans feel towards the federal government.
Of the fifteen cabinet posts at least nine can be eliminated without any serious side effects. HHS, HUD, Labor, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Commerce, Agriculture, and Education could all be done away with. And I’ll let you in on a little secret ,not only would we save a trillion dollars or so, the republic wouldn’t come crashing down around us. This will not be an easy task. The government thinks it should grow more, and government workers think that they are the only bulwark between civilization and the dark ages. They believe that their jobs, every one of them, is absolutely indispensable, and without them civilization itself would collapse.
The Democrats will support no cuts to the government, so wedded are they to the progressive cause. The Republicans aren’t much better. Many would lose their nerve and only offer modest cuts, which will be deemed extreme and dangerous by the media. Only if the citizenry, such as the Tea Party, holds the feet of elected leaders to the fire, demands action, and holds them accountable if they fail to act on their promises will anything get done.
9. Entitlement Reform. These are two words that are sure to send the Press into a lather and the Democrats into a foaming rage. Most of our debt is in entitlements. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, these programs will go bankrupt despite the claims of the Democrats. Only serious changes can save these programs. There are three options.
Option one is to raise taxes to obscene levels to continue funding these programs. This is the option most favored by the Democrats. Any excuse to get more taxpayer money is just fine with them, even if its for a problem that they deny the very existence of. Option two is to raise the age of eligibility. This is a viable option, though not popular. The age of 65 was picked in 1935, when the Social Security act was passed, because most people died before the age of sixty. Now most people live to their mid to late 70′s. It sounds harsh but raising the social security age to 72 would save the country a lot of money. The third option is privatization. It’s the least popular but the most effective. Chile took that route in the 1970′s and brought fiscal sanity to the program. Turning medicare, medicaid and social security over to private insurers would take the burden off the tax payer and would eliminate more than half of our federal debt.
America was not founded as an entitlement nation, the progressives made it into one. We must turn course from social democracy back to a constitutional republic with strong individual freedoms.
10.Restore our constitution. Conservatives believe that our constitution is the greatest political document ever written. They are right to have that belief. The left thinks that the constitution is an out of date piece of paper that smart people ignore, but pay lip service to in order to win over the hicks in the elections. Most of our politicians share this view. Either out of contempt or neglect our constitution is ignored by a political class that thinks they don’t need it. Yeah a political class the includes Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are smarter than Hamilton, Jay, and Madison.
This must stop. All legislation must be justified by the constitution or it must not be allowed to become law. Lawmakers that sponsor unconstitutional legislation should be held accountable. Any government official that ignores the constitution should not be in the service of the United States. This includes the President himself. The voters musta examine a candidate view on the constitution, ultimately the responsibility lies with them. If those who disdain the constitution come to power whose fault is it?
Constitutional government means limited government. It means division of powers and individual freedom. Without the constitution there is no freedom, and those politicians that want to destroy it should not be allowed to hold office.
America faces a lot of problems as our country and our freedom is more and more taken away from us. But each one of these problems is solvable. They are only insurmountable if we ignore them to the point of destruction. If the voters demand freedom and our constitution restored we will get it. If they don’t then nothing will change.