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Monday, September 5, 2011

Constitutional Duct Tape for a Sinking Ship of State

     It seems the ship of state is sinking fast and no one seems to know how to plug the hole and get it sailing again.  The steady bleeding of jobs is taking its toll.  Everybody knows the problem but nobody seems to have an effective solution.  Further proof of the problem showed up on the television this morning.  The U.S. Postal Service is in danger of going out of business.  Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution requires the government to establish and manage a Postal System.  It also requires the posting of Roads.  Does that mean making roads or just posting signs so people know where they are going.  I am not sure on that one, but I am sure that the Founding Fathers meant for the government to meet these obligations in perpetuity.  So maybe if we look a little harder at the Constitution we might find some sound answers.

          It is my feeling the Constitution address's what I am about to propose.  If it does it is a duty the government is not only required to do, it is something the government is required by the Constitution to do. The Constitution requires the government to provide for the welfare of the country and taking care of our home(infrastructure) should be covered.  It is a duty the government is not performing. They certainly have tax offices in every state.  Considering that the duty to collect taxes and providing for defense and common welfare are all in the first paragraph of Secion 8, Article 1 it would seem they have equal importance.  It is my opinion that the founding fathers felt our nation would be very blessed and providing for the few who were not was the responsibity of those of us who are. However providing for the welfare requires more than taxation.  When you provide for the welfare of your family you provide a home, food, clothing and the necessities of life.  If you have children you provide them a safe and healthy place to play and live.  Those are things you do to provide for your families welfare.  It is by that understanding and my reading of the Founding Father's writings that I believe they felt those things should be provided to every American. If the government was doing what it is required to do we would not be in the situation we are in.  There are a great number of Constitutionally questionable agencies and programs the government runs.   One more that is Constitutionally mandated, to take care of infrastructure (necessary to the welfare of the people), should not be a problem.

     It is time for all hands to come on deck.  The ship is going down if it is not fixed.  Their is ample proof that the present politicians do not get the gravity of the problem.  They want to put a band aid on the problem and it needs many rolls of duct tape at a minimum.  This can be proved by their solution of the debt limit problem after much bickering.  They intend to cut a whole $2.4 Trillion dollars out of the budget over a ten year period.   It may be admirable that they see there is a problem, but they do not get the magnitude of the problem.  This can be seen in the fact that the daily interest on the national debt is $1.2 Billion dollars.  Well over ten years that equals $4.38 Trillion.  So in ten years they will be over $2 Trillion dollars more in debt than when they started.  Another of their brain farts is to give business's a $5,000 tax break for hiring someone, to make something they can not sell because the economy is dead. With all the other problems that is not good at all.  However there is a solution.  A "New Program" that pays for itself.  It is our only hope and I think it is Constitutionally mandated.

     The Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 1 requires the government to be in charge of collecting taxes and also for the defense and general welfare of the United States.  Taking care of your home(the Nation) is a duty that comes under providing for the welfare.  The problems with infrastructure need to be addressed with a tax that creates a permanent program to maintain our home.  You do not take care of a home part time or only when  you want to.  It requires an ongoing and long term commitment to keep things in working order.  You do not wait till bridges are falling down or roads are collapsing.  You have to be continually at it or the cost of repair is magnified.  In my previous blog "Getting Our House In Order"  I outlined a plan that would do this.  We need a program that is paid for by a continous influx of funds to keep it going.  My solution is to put a tax of $1.00 per gallon surcharge on gas.  It should be given directly to the states in which it is collected.  Nobody wants to pay more tax,  but nobody wants to sleep in the streets or risk having Chinese become the national language because of our debt obligations.  I like to call it a One for America Program.

     We need a balanced budget, but more than that we need jobs and this program creates jobs and  creates them in perpetuity.  The jobs created generate tax payments that help get the government back on its feet.  The heavy machinery required to build and maintain infrastructure is mostly American made and the materials will mostly be American made and supplied.  Once this is in order America needs to reign in and down size our military.  We need to quit being the world's police force.  Yes we need to maintain our defenses, but having troops all over the world is not the answer.  Vietnam should have taught us that, if nothing else.  America needs to start taking care of America.  We need to quit swatting flies with sledgehammers.  If we had put as much time and planning into the retaliation for 9/11 as the enemy did getting ready to attack.   They(the enemy) would be history.  The attackers spent almost seven years getting ready for that attack.

      From a program I watched President Bush gave the order that if it was necessary military aircraft should shoot down a commercial jet.  A little later in the program they interviewed a pilot who was scrambled on 9/11 to defend America.   He stated the only way he could have taken down a commercial jet was to ram into it with his plane.   His, hundreds of  millions of dollars, jet was not even armed.    When we have aircraft the taxpayers pay hundreds of millions of dollars to build and then  they are not even armed.  This is a problem and a waste.   If we are suddenly attacked by whoever for whatever reason.   What do we say, "Wait a minute I need to go load my guns."  This is not the exception this is the norm.  I was in a rear echelon job in Vietnam and when our base was attacked we had to stand in line and sign to get a rifle and one clip of ammunition.  I mean the enemy was supposedly coming through the wire, but signatures were more important than our lives.  The armorer was just doing his job, but he got over ruled and thumped pretty good for failing to use some common sense.  He was over ruled by a knuckle sandwich.  Please note this happened in a combat zone that had no fronts.  The enemy was everywhere, not just in front of us. If the military can not be trusted to hold armed weapons we have a problem.  If soldiers did carry armed weapons maybe so many would not have died in the Fort Hood shooting incident.
    The Constitution requires the government, in the same paragraph that provides for taxes and the military,  to provide for the welfare of its people. Several of the key writers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution advocated for government responsibility for the poor, needy and aged.  Paine, Jefferson and Franklin agreed it was a duty of the state.  No one in this country should go to bed hungry and no one should be living on the streets  unless they choose to do so.   No one should die for lack of medical care.  It is something that should be furnished to every American and not just 80% as Medicare does.  That was a conspiracy with the insurance companies I am sure.  As I am just a few months from turning 65 that is being made clear to me by the daily pleas for my money to insure me for the other 20%.

              Do we have to have a dole?  No we should not, but we should provide a means for those receiving assistance to perform some service in return for what they get.  If they refuse to work, fine they can eat in soup kitchens(which by the way create jobs cooking and cleaning) and sleep in a bed in a government flop house that provides nothing more than a bed, bath and a shower.  If that is not acceptable to them they can either find a job or go sleep under a bridge.  The choice is their's, those in need, to make.  There are plenty of things communities need done that those getting assistance can do.   If they physically can not work fine, but just handing it out for nothing is an insult to those who are trying to make the system work.  Nobody gets a free ride, unfortunately that is not the truth.

     When the government starts cutting off  people's checks, that they worked all their life to get,  the politicians will find out what anarchy is all about.  When people no longer believe in the system and return to a bartering society as many did during the Great Depression.  The government will feel the impact of their incompetence. In my opinion we are not far from that day.  If somebody does not stand up and do something the ship is going down.  When our economy collapses it will make the Great Depression look like a cake walk.  It does not have to happen, their are solutions.  If you agree with me share this with someone, if you do not, then you can tell me why I am wrong.  Thanks for reading.  They say the pen is mightier than the sword and I believe it.  If enough people share this, someone who can make a difference may get a copy.

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