BBA Gains Momentum
Wisconsin may soon join with other states to demand that the federal government balance its budget. On November 20, Ohio became the 19th state to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution. Their senate voted 28 to 3, followed by a 63 to 28 confirmation in their house, to join with other states to amend the Constitution to require that Congress balance its budget. Michigan is expected to be next to pass the resolution that would force Congress to get its financial house in order.
Under Article V of the Constitution, two-thirds of the states have the power to bypass Congress to amend the Constitution. Proponents of the resolution note that since 2009, our federal government has borrowed more than one trillion dollars each year (pushing our national debt from $10 to $17 trillion in five years), and it shows no signs of letting up. We will reach unsustainable levels by 2018 when the national debt reaches $22 trillion with over $1 trillion interest to be paid yearly with only 3.3 trillion in federal tax revenues.
Our financial situation is so dire, that creditors like China and Japan have refused to loan us any significant amount over the last two years, forcing our government to fund its deficit spending by cleaning out the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Now the FED is just printing electronic currency, the last act of a desperate nation.
Since Congress has been unable to control its spending, the states are now taking action. Thirty four states must apply for the Article V Convention to bypass Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. It must be ratified by 38 states.
Proponents note that since our looming federal bankruptcy would destroy the livelihoods of 100 Million Americans who depend on the federal government, this is a serious crisis that demands serious action. Nineteen states have already taken action with more on the way. As most states are concerned about the financial irresponsibility of Congress, thirty eight states may be willing to do something about it. For more information check www.iamamerican.org
Wall Street Journal Exposes Intimidation in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Citizens awoke Saturday to see their state again featured prominently on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal under the headline Wisconsin Political Speech Raid. (11/15/13) The story, which begins with the line, “Americans learned in the IRS political targeting scandal that government enforcement power can be used to stifle political speech,” told about a flurry of secret subpoena’s and dawn police raids on organizations that have a record of supporting Scott Walker in our state.
The fact that no one has been brought to justice after the IRS was used effectively to shut down conservative opponents to the administration prior to the last election has apparently not been lost on political operatives in our state. The WSJ story observes that this flurry of subpoenas, that followed Mary Burke’s announcement of her bid to unseat Walker, is suspicious to say the least
Even a newspaper with the clout of Wall Street Journal was unable to discover who is responsible for this John Doe investigation with its secret, “kitchen sink” subpoenas of 29 state organizations, demanding in one case that it produce “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation” although non-profit groups are not required to reveal the names of their donors.
This story tells about secret subpoena’s and police raids that are aimed at conservative groups but threaten the rights enjoyed by Republicans and Democrats alike. These rights include the first amendment right to “freedom speech” and the fourth amendment “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Eric O’Keefe, director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, by refusing to be intimidated and speaking to the WSJ, broke the veil of secrecy surrounding these Wisconsin fishing trips. His courage stands in sharp contrast to the behavior of who are willing to use our justice system to violate the rights that it was designed to protect.
(Google Wisconsin Political Speech Raid for a text of the article.)
Opinion--Road Tripping while Washington Burns
While taking an autumn road trip from Sheboygan to Wyoming, my wife and I were again moved by the breathtaking size of this country. As we drove through the broad valleys between peaks white with new fallen snow, we turned on the radio to pass the miles. The airwaves were alive with outrage, and we had a ringside seat.
The public suddenly had realized that they faced a deadline to sign up for health insurance. If millions of people didn’t buy health insurance at a malfunctioning government website, they would be subject to a monetary penalty. It got worse. Although they were used to a dizzying array of choices everywhere else, here they were limited to a few government approved plans. Single men found that they had to buy maternity coverage, women had to pay for Viagra, Catholics abortion coverage, and young people had to subsidize oldster’s knee replacements.
Radio call-in shows were amping up. “How can they force us to give private information to some ‘glitchy’ website just to get an insurance quote?” callers demanded. “Who gave billions of my dollars to some third rate, foreign tech company just to make a website to replace my local insurance agent?” others asked. “They have no shame to pass a lousy bill then exempt themselves,” others snarled.
Amazon shoppers called in asking how people who couldn’t roll out a simple shopping website could be trusted to manage the health care of more than 300 million people. Veterans called in with horror stories about government VA hospitals. Canadians, who relied on US medical research and emergency medical care, chimed in.
By the time we rolled into Nebraska where I-80 parallels the Platte River bordered by amber trees and yellow fields, millions of people had received cancellation notices and others saw their premiums and co-pays doubling and tripling to meet the new government demands. Every talk show host in the country seemed to be replaying the president’s soothing lies; “If you like your coverage, you can keep it. Period!” “You will be able to save $2500 for a lot better policy. . . .”
By then callers were speculating that it was so bad that it had to be an attempt to melt down the entire interconnected network of private insurance, health care providers, and researcher establishments to prepare the way for some demented government run utopia.
Democrat senators simply laid low, relying on the public’s well-known short attention span. The president tried to change the subject to “comprehensive immigration reform.”
Although every Republican lawmaker had voted against this “affordable” law, talk show hosts hauled them on the carpet to explain why they, like incompetent babysitters, had been unable to keep the Democrats from trashing one sixth of the economy while the citizens were out partying. Callers and hosts alike seemed to have forgotten the dozens of house bills to derail the disaster and Ted Cruz’s doomed attempt to defund it.
By the next day as we rolled into Iowa where the cattle chewed contentedly on the stubble of this year’s bumper corn crop, people who had decided to blow off the whole sorry mess were realizing that if they did, they would be at the mercy of their least favorite agency, Obamacare’s enforcers, the IRS. They had no illusions about IRS courts where everybody is guilty unless proven innocent. If the IRS had no trouble jamming up the president’s tea party opponents in the last election; it could certainly take on health insurance scofflaws, like them.
“This can’t be happening in America,” I said as I switched to Iowa Public Radio for relief. Here the commentators burbled happily about a tunnel under the Bosporus in Turkey and about the Syrian government’s promises to dump its chemical weapons stockpiles. Then they shifted to their lead story about hard-hearted Republicans trying to starve children by cutting the food stamp program out of the farm bill, the same comforting stories.
After that the NPR commentators smoothly transitioned to an interview with one of Bernie Madoff’s biographers. Madoff had been convicted to life in prison after lying to his investors, creating a huge ponzi scheme, and squandering other people’s money. He was a truly despicable human being who had perpetrated “the biggest fraud in American history,” the guest explained.
“I doubt it,” I muttered as I switched off the radio, worried about that we would find in our mail when we got back to Wisconsin.
Art DeJong, Sheboygan