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Congress Constitution Rights Truth

Congress’s Behavior Police To Register Potential Future Criminals

By KrisAnne Hall

The TAPS Act is not the solution to gun violence many members of Congress are professing it to be. The unlimited and arbitrary authority this Act bestows upon an unaccountable bureaucracy of 24 people, combined with the language of double-speak and contradictions creating loopholes allowing completely unsupervised and unchecked authority, is reminiscent of the Sedition Act of 1798.

The TAPS act will create a brand new bureaucracy under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. A non-elected bureaucrat will be authorized by Congress to appoint 23 other non-elected bureaucrats to “identify individuals who are exhibiting patterns of concerning behavior” and then to “manage” those Americans.

The sole purpose of this bureaucracy of 24 will be to create State and federal behavioral policing body ruling over the perceived behavior of the American people — a KGB-style agency not only monitoring the behavior of Americans, but also functioning as judge, jury, and executioner.

This Act mandates the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a Joint Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management Task Force: a 24 member bureaucracy consisting of one government employee (level GS-15 or above) and 23 people from non-governmental organizations of the Secretary’s choosing. Not a single member of this 24 person bureaucracy will be elected by the people, therefore the people will retain no control whatsoever over the actions or activity of this newly created bureaucracy that will possess, by Congressional consent, an enormous amount of arbitrary and unchecked power over the people (see §4(a)).

The sole purpose of this task force is “identifying individuals who are exhibiting patterns of concerning behavior” and create a power to control those people on a federal and local level (§3(2)). This Act contains no clear definition of “concerning behavior.” As a matter of fact, the Act relies upon the Task Force (24 non-elected bureaucrats) to first define “concerning behavior” and then empower the “monitors” tasked with “identifying individuals” that exhibit that behavior.

According to (§3(2)(a)) no actual criminal act must take place to invoke the power this bureaucracy creates. A Federal or State agent must only believe an individual is “interested” in committing their definition of “concerning behavior” to summon this new and undefined power to action.  The DHS will then be “empowered” to implement these arbitrary rules with no acknowledgement of any of the rights of the people. 

To take the legal-eeze off it, this is intended to create a registry of people who may commit crimes at some unspecified and unknown time in the future. This registry will then be used to begin a step-by-step usurpation of their individual rights, from the assumption of innocence and due process to the 1st and 2nd Amendments and more.

Once a State or federal gent has identified an American believed to be interested in some kind of concerning behavior, §3(2)(b) authorizes the bureaucracy to empower these agents to investigate and gather information from multiple sources (sources remain undefined in this Act) on this individual American to find “articulable facts” supporting whether this person is truly exhibiting an “interest” in committing “concerning behavior.”

The 4 th Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant based upon probable cause (not articulable facts), supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the places to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Under the 4 th Amendment, it is impossible for this Task Force to empower any government agent to do what Congress has authorized it to do. But the Act makes no mention of the 4 th Amendment or the government’s requirement to respect and secure the rights of the people.  According to §3(2)(c) of this Act, after the bureaucracy has compiled its “articulable facts” by circumventing the 4th Amendment’s requirements on government, the bureaucracy is now empower an government agent to “manage” the threat of “concerning behavior.” There is no definition within the Act for the word “manage.” However, the “Powers of the Task Force” are defined in §4(f) as follows:

“Any member of the Task Force may, if authorized by the Task Force, take any action which the Task Force is authorized to take by this section.”

While there are no guidelines created by Congress on how this bureaucracy is supposed to define “manage” or “identify” the behavior of Americans, §2 of the Act establishes that the Task Force will create its own “guidelines and best practices” in order to devise a “national standard” of action.  Therefore, it seems indisputable through §2 and §4(f) that any member of the Task Force can take any action it chooses as long the Task Force will establish the guidelines and practices for such action. The only limit of a government agent and the agency as a whole, rests solely upon the whim of the individual bureaucrat and the bureaucracy to limit itself.  There’s not a lot of history suggesting that would happen.


No Real Congressional Oversight

Congress retains no real authority to check, balance, limit, modify, or control the exercise of power created by this bureaucracy.  The only requirement for this new bureaucracy is to operate as the behavioral police in America and after one year the Secretary (the GS-15 government employee) will submit a report to Congress telling Congress what they have been doing for the past year. The Act then requires DHS to report to Congress once a year every subsequent year on how the guidelines are working, not as a check and balance.  

A deceived member of Congress may attempt to assert that the only authority of the bureaucracy is to make “suggestions to Congress” as to what the proper course of action should be. However, that assertion can be seen as pure error by reading §3(2)(c) of this Act.

A deceived member of Congress may believe that this federal bureaucracy will have no power over the State and local police powers. However §8 of this Act establishes that federal grant money will be given to local jurisdictions which will undeniably establish the power for this Bureaucracy to control local and State authorities once they accept that money. So just as with the Department of Education and so many other federal agencies, if the States submit to federal authority, they’ll get the money. Most to all States will. (Surely the American people recognize this sleight of hand by now!)

A deceived Supreme Court, upon legal challenge, will likely fail to recognize this Act to be vague and full of self-defining authority for a non-elected bureaucracy. SCOTUS has long held great deference to federal agencies and their agents to define their own authority and procedures when Congress leaves holes in the laws.

The Constitution delegates no authority to Congress to fund, recommend, or create a behavioral police for the people. The writing of this Act and the Act’s website proves that every co-sponsor of this Bill knows this as fact! First, the Act makes no mention of due process, the rights of the people, nor any reliance upon or limit established by the Constitution of the United States.

Secondly, if you go to the Bill’s website and click on the hyperlink “Constitutional Authority Statement” the link takes you back to a copy of the Bill text, with no statement of authority whatsoever. The Constitution is not what the foundation for this Act, but fear of guns on the left and fear of terrorists on the right.

So, with the passage of this Act, Congress will create a new bureaucracy who will be empowered to create its own guidelines and procedures on how it will operate; and to define, identify, and enforce government control upon its self-defined “concerning behavior” of individuals in America — complete autonomous, arbitrary, self-defined authority resting in the hands of bureaucrats elected by no one, and controlled by no one.

This Act, on its face, violates the 4th , 5th , 6th , and 8th Amendments. But as in every arbitrary law, the whole truth of its offense to the rights of the people cannot be fully known until the law is put into action. If this Act is used as some members of Congress profess, it is highly likely that execution of this Act will violate large swaths of the Constitution — including the 1st , 2nd , 4th , 5th , 6th , 7th , 8th , 9th , and 10th Amendments. Constitution and the rights of the people be damned, the bureaucrats will have their power under the illusion of keeping people safe — always the justification for taking away rights.

Members of Congress are championing this Bill as the “be all and end all” solution to gun violence in America, yet the Bill does not even once mention the words “gun” or “ammunition.” It should be clear now that the TAPS Act is not about gun control at all, it is about people control. It will target any American who voices, types, or indicates a thought toward questioning government policy, people, or power. (See the FBI Memo defining and identifying the “new” standard for domestic terrorist.)

How any politician who professes a knowledge of the Constitution or professes a love for America, her people, and their rights could ever back this insidious piece of legislation is completely beyond my comprehension. And as Patrick Henry said in 1788: “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.”

It’s time for the American people to hold these pretend patriots suspect and tell them to change their vote or change their vocation.

If any person, including members of Congress would like to discuss this with me, my door is open. My website: KrisAnneHall.com.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


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Categories
Border Congress Immigration Trump Truth

President Trump: Get Wall Funding Or Shut Down That Government!

By Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of a political game of chicken between competing views for the future of our country. And once again, the ones who are stuck in the middle are the American people.

This time, the battle of wills is over the funding of the wall to our southern border. President Trump wants $5 billion allocated to the wall’s construction. The Democrats, on the other hand, have said they are willing to commit $1.6 billion to the wall, and not a penny more.

In the meantime, the nation is being exposed to the reality of an immigration crisis Democrats and the mainstream media said before the election did not exist, and now vainly argue is due to the President’s new policies on immigration.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear; the only reason we find ourselves in the midst of an immigration crisis of this magnitude is because of the decades of ineptitude and incompetence by Congress in not providing the resources and personnel needed to definitively seal the border.

Enter President Donald J. Trump. President Trump has been one of the few ferocious advocates for border control. One of his central and most important planks to his platform is building the border wall and the definitive eradication of illegal immigration. In fact, a Harvard/Harris poll from Aug. 1 showed that 76% of the American people want border security, and with the impact of the images and goings-on related to the Central American caravan, that number has likely crept up even higher.

Amazingly, the Republican members of Congress who are now entering the waning days of their control of all three steeples of power do not seem to have the resolve to push a $5 billion allocation for border wall funding to the president’s desk. The purported reasons are as varied as they are hollow. We can’t afford it they say. Walls are a terrible way to maintain security, and there are other, more effective ways of securing our border.

No one is saying that the border wall should be built at the expense of not funding other complementary measures of promoting border security. Quite the opposite. Congress should be funding every possible avenue designed to help ensure the security and safety of America’s borders. Why the Republican-led Congress cannot get a bill to the president’s desk designing and funding a permanent, virtually impenetrable solution for our border security inclusive of the construction of an effective wall against southern migrants defies reality.

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In the meantime, President Trump, who is one of the few who understands the gravity of this situation, has demonstrated his resolve to see the implementation of effective border security policy by expressing his willingness shutdown the government if the wall is not funded. The response by some has been to dare him to do it.

Just like during the Obama administration, opponents and members of the swamp have predicted that the earth will end and the skies will rain down fire and fury if a portion of the federal government is allowed to go unfunded even for 10 minutes. Unfortunately for the doomsayers, we have already seen that the negative effects of shutting down the federal government are not that terrible. As a matter of fact, about the most visible consequence of the last shutdown was President Obama’s vengeful closure of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., at the same time that a group of Honor Flight participants arrived to be honored for their incredible, patriotic service during World War II.

Recognizing that the consequences of a government shutdown are not as harrowing as the swamp and the mainstream media would like us to believe, the next fear-mongering argument to be made is the threat of a political meltdown. Here again, the doomsayers are wrong.

First, let us recall that the one who closed the government during the Obama era was the Republican Congress. If anything, even if we were to accept the doomsayers’ political fallout prediction, it was Congress that lost against the President, a fact that actually favors President Trump.

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Moreover, as opposed to the shutdown during the Obama administration where the issue was spending, the overwhelming majority of the American public side with the President on immigration reform — and enthusiastically so. No reasonable observer can cast aspersions on the President’s position on immigration and the urgency with which the issue needs to be definitively resolved. If a confrontation were to take place, it is the President who is in the position of strength on this issue and positioned to gain.

President Trump is right on immigration, and he should demand cooperation from the Congress, even if enforcing his demand results in a government shutdown. In the end, he will win, and more importantly, so will the American people.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Categories
Congress Constitution States Truth TSA

TSA Ignores Feckless Congress, Bullies States In Power Grab

By KrisAnne Hall

The Transportation Security Administration is now standing virtually alone, above the law, above Congress and above the Constitution.

It is ignoring the law which created it and bullying any airports that attempt to deploy a private security force — which they are allowed to do under the law — with the threat of creating an effective “no-fly zone” at that airport. It is bullying states such as Texas that try to ban pat-downs.

In reality, there is absolutely no oversight or accountability of the TSA, now a rights-threatening monster created by a Congress intent on looking the other way.

I wrote recently about the secret list that the TSA has created to identify any passengers who have offended TSA agents. Congress is not privy to this secret list, or apparently that it even existed. Congress is not establishing the policies that get someone on the list, nor have they established that people are noticed and a procedure created to petition to be removed. This is a purely arbitrary power resting in the hands of individual, unaccountable agents.

But this not a new dynamic. For the TSA and Congress, it is actually a designed one.

Most Americans do not know that the very congressional act that created the TSA, also established that airports could replace federal TSA agents with private security two years after the law was enacted. However, in January 2011, when more than 16 airports had tried to opt out, TSA refused to leave these airports and the director of the TSA put a “freeze” on the airports’ ability to opt out, violating the very Act that created the TSA.

When the TSA violated this Act with their policies and actions, Congress didn’t step up and remind them of the existing law. Instead, Congress passed a new law, HR 658, reasserting the “right” of the airports to opt out of TSA screeners and required the TSA to notify all airports of this “right.” Yet, in a questionable move, Congress also then gave the Secretary of Homeland Security, the directing agency over the TSA, the authority to approve or deny an airport’s “request” to transfer to private security screening.

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In summary, Congress told the airports they had a “right” to opt out of federal screening and then put the TSA in charge of approving or denying this “right.” If the TSA has the authority to approve or deny their own employment, then the airports do not possess a right to transfer to private screening, they merely possess a privilege granted by those they wish to remove.

Would that not mean that by all form and function, our airports are now occupied through force by the federal government? That, by definition, is despotism.

Unfortunately, this point is proven by the fact that in 2011, Texas lawmakers attempted to pass a law outlawing TSA pat downs. The FAA responded immediately by threatening to turn Texas into a de facto “No Fly Zone” if the law was signed. Of course, Texas backed down. If the federal government can deny a State’s right to internally govern itself, this is a violation of the delegation of Constitutional powers expressly enumerated and a violation of the reserved powers of the States expressly identified in the 10th Amendment.

There is no constitutional authority for the TSA to exist, much less wield unchecked power within the states. This unconstitutional agency was created by Congress through the pretense of “national security” and it is failing miserably.

According to James Bovard in the Los Angeles Times, “the Department of Homeland Security concluded last year that TSA officers and equipment had failed to detect mock threats roughly 80% of the time. In Minneapolis, an undercover team succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time. An earlier DHS investigation found the TSA utterly unable to detect weapons, fake explosives and other contraband, regardless of how extensive it’s pat-downs were.”

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Americans have been deceived into trading their essential liberties for a completely non-existent security. We have a private or state option that would likely be more effective and one that could more closely be overseen through the states.

Congress has created this monster. They have made TSA above check and balance, above the law and Congress, and above the Constitution itself: not only the 4th Amendment, but also the 1st Amendment, 6th Amendment, 7th Amendment, 8th Amendment, and 10th Amendment. It is time for the American people to stand up to Congress, the DHS, and the TSA and assert our Right to keep ourselves “secure.”

It is time Americans replace this ineffective, intrusive and secretive unchecked system with one that follows the law and the Constitution, and where the States protect the internal security of the people while the feds are limited to the specifically enumerated powers.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the U.S. Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. She is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and has an internationally popular radio and television show. Her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com. Get the book “Sovereign Duty” to learn what the designers of our Constitution wanted Americans to do when their federal government became bloated and out of control. Find this book on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Wal-Mart, and many other merchants.


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Congress Democrats Media Politics Trump Truth

State of the Union Unveiled the Democrats Last Night, the Media Today

Rod Thomson

Last night’s State of the Union was revelatory — not in the substance of the speech, which was powerful, emotional, energetic and hopeful — but in the stoney responses of Democratic leadership seated in the chamber and in the wildly negative, unrealistic media reporting today.

President Trump was at his very best, delivering an optimistic, bold, energetic, accomplished, emotional speech, the “presidential” act so many people have been claiming to want. It is possible we are seeing a guy not only learning how to govern in a deeply corrupt environment, but also perhaps showing a different way forward for America from here that looks more like the later 1980s than the 2000s.

That was some of the best Trump ever…unless you are in the media or a partisan Democrat. Americans agree with that assessment.

A CBS Poll found that the speech was very well received by Americans who watched it, with 75 percent being positive and 25 percent negative. Even 44 percent of self-identified Democrats found it positive. Similarly, a CNN Poll found 48 percent positive to 22 percent negative, the rest being “somewhat positive.” Those polls will likely shift with media “coverage.”

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These have always have partisan affairs, with the party out of power not standing or clapping for elements. But last night was something totally different. At least 11 Democrats boycotted it, and one walked out during it. There was virtually no unity, even in the most basic patriotic, flag-waving, mom-and-apple-pie moments.

 

The speech and Democrats

The high points:

For everyone who wanted Trump to be more presidential, there it was. In fact, that was almost a classic speech, quintessentially conservative, traditionalist and, most importantly, pro-American. Most Americans outside D.C. and the media don’t have a problem with a pro-American policy.

There is nothing Trump, or Republicans, can do at this point to try to unify the most partisan Democrats (which is most of those in Congress.) The media is overboard in its bias, and Americans who watch the speech and then see the “reporting” realize just how little they can trust these media outlets. This is the largest driving cause of the bifurcation in the country — those who watch, trust and believe the media and those who do not.

There were at least three tear-swelling moments. The very real stories of tragedies stemming from terrible policies. There was the story of two black girls brutally murdered in their school by six MS13 gang members who came into the country illegally. (Democrats embarrassingly groaned and the Congressional Black Caucus was stoney-faced.) There was the tragedy of the American student tortured and killed by North Korea and the North Korean defector who was tortured and escaped across China and Asia on crutches to reach freedom. These are brutalities previous presidents could have prevented or limited. If you didn’t feel something when the four parents of the girls’ murdered and the parents of the Ohio student killed by North Korea were trying to hold it together, unsuccessfully, you have no heart. Step far, far away from politics, far away from Trump news, and reassess your life.

I kept wondering how many votes Democrats were losing with each of their sourpuss, angry, muttering, seething faces. How does that win support? And this all happening during a speech touting an awful lot of good stuff going on — and popular decisions taken, according to the CBS Poll. It’s not clear that the Democrats’ slam-dunk to win the House in November is any more assured than their (non) victories in November 2016.

The Congressional Black Caucus stayed angry and hateful when Trump reported the black unemployment rate is the lowest in 45 years and incomes are rising. This was not a good look.

Trump encouraged patriotism, standing for the flag, etc. Democrats sat on their hands. Perhaps the driving hatred of Trump by Democrats and the media is that he is pursuing traditional conservative policies at a rapid rate and seeing success, while wrapping those policy successes around an unusual and sometimes abrasive presidential personality.

➡ Trump proposed $1.6 trillion in infrastructure (which is a totally liberal policy) and amnesty for about four million illegal immigrants (DACA former kids, which is supportable, and chain migration for their families, which is also liberal.) So two liberal policies Democrats love and push for and both go beyond what Obama even tried. And still Democrats sat on their hands and seethed. It doesn’t really look like they want what is best for America — even when they are the very policies they think are best — if it comes from Trump.

 

The State of the Union media coverage

The high points:

➡ First, if you did not watch the address, do not watch or read any media coverage. It is a partisan divorce from reality. Watch the speech on Youtube, so you aren’t deceived. Even moderate, media-loving Hugh Hewitt has finally seen it, saying this morning “the media has totally thrown in with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. This is very bad for the country.” Yes. First I’ve heard anything like that from him.

➡ ABC’s Martha Raddatz called the speech “gloomy.” (How much do you have to hate Trump to listen to the content of his speech and call it “gloomy?” That’s a rhetorical question.)

➡ A CNN analysis called it “open-handed and clenched fist.” Clenched fist? The analysis went on to spend time on the “corrosive daily toll of the Russia investigation” and then returned to it later “as the Russia scandal races to a crisis point.”

➡ NBC Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd said that : Trump’s speech “set things back,” and “offended a lot of Democrats.”

➡ ABC News’ Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd said, “The last time (a super blue blood moon) was visible in the United States was in the 1860s and I think we are as divided now as we were then, back when that rose the last time in the United States.” That was a clumsy reference to a unique astronomical event.

➡ NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel conflated Trump’s comments on illegal immigration with a discussion of all immigration. “It’s the anti-immigrant rhetoric from a nation of immigrants that has many world powers confused,” he commented. Well yes, there is confusion here.

Bloomberg’s headline and lead focused on the “divisive tone.”

➡ Fox News’ Chris Wallace immediately labeled the speech “way too long.”

➡  CNN’s Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza‏ made fun of how Trump read the speech: “Trump reading the teleprompter is an odd thing. He always seems sort of surprised by the next words.”

➡ And amazingly, CNN White House reporter Kate Bennett pondered out loud why First Lady Melania Trump went to the capitol separately from the president, implying problems, and then actually tried to suggest Melania wore white to protest her husband’s policies against women because last year female members of Congress wore white to the event.

You get the picture. The media response to the speech was as pre-ordained as the Democrats’ official rebuttal and is totally unrelated in a fair and honest way to the content of the speech.

Last night, the veil was pulled back on Democrats. Today, it is pulled back on the media.

Our country is not in a good place on the unity front. But less and less does it appear to be on Trump and more and more on the wildly inappropriate reactions to Trump by a deeply dishonest, partisan media and almost shockingly hate-filled Democrats.


Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Budget Congress Constitution Government Truth

True Constitutional Budgeting Would Eliminate Political Brinkmanship

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

Now that the most recent budget panic is momentarily past, let’s speak about the budget truthfully and constitutionally.

Politicians and media pundits seem intent upon deflecting, distracting and deceiving the American public to keep the same old divisive politics churning along. The popular talking points do nothing to identify the real problems nor focus on the right solutions. It’s time to stop the blame game and look at the problem that has plagued America since 1921.

We want to look to the Constitution of the United States and what those who wrote that document say about the budget; how taxing, spending and budgeting are designed to work, who is responsible for that process, and most importantly, what is the designed solution to this current budgeting problem.

First let’s put aside some of the errant deflections that saturate popular media and get to the root issues.

The President of the United States is not to blame for any budget crisis. This is not a defense of any president. This is a factual statement that applies to all presidents since the Constitution was ratified in 1789. The president of the United States, other than submitting a budget, was not established as a “necessary” part of the budgeting process until Congress passed the unconstitutional Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

The Senate is not to blame for the failure to pass a budget. The Senate, constitutionally speaking, only plays a supportive role in creating and passing of the budget. From a Constitutional perspective it’s not mandatory for the Senate to approve any budget.

I know this sounds strange. I know that your D.C. politician is likely to vehemently disagree, and some may be just ignorant. However, the budget process that is used today is not only relatively new in our government, but also contrary to the design of the Constitution.

 

The original and long-lasting budgeting method

Ironically, it’s this radical, new budgeting method that makes the process so complicated that it’s nearly impossible to understand. The process created by the designers of our Constitution, the process that was mostly followed until the turn of the 20th century, is plain, simple and expedient. The constitutional process, like the Constitution itself, was designed so that the “we the people” could clearly understand and follow the budget process, easily identify any problems and quickly apply the proper solutions.

Article 1 Section 7 Clause 1 of the Constitution is the governing text regarding this issue of budgeting. It reads:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”

Since the Constitution is a contract, in line with contract law, we must look to the drafters of the contract when we need clarity. James Madison, drafter of the Constitution, fourth president of the United States and commonly referred to as the “Father of the Constitution,” explains in Federalist 58 that the budget is to rest firmly in the hands of the House of Representatives. He says:

“The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of the government…This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutatory measure.”

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Madison also explains that one of the main reasons the House was vested with this important power was to reduce “the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government” as the people may demand.

According to the Father of the Constitution, when speaking about the design of the Constitution with those who would ratify the Constitution, the sole responsibility for creating a budget rests in the hands of your House Representatives. Alone.

On May 15, 1789, during the debates on the ratification of the Constitution, James Madison, then a federal representative to his District in Virginia, had a conversation with fellow Virginia Representative Alexander White.

White says: “The Constitution, having authorized the House of Representatives alone to originate money bills, places an important trust in our hands, which, as their protectors, we ought not to part with. I do not mean to imply that the Senate are less to be trusted than this house; but the Constitution, no doubt for wise purposes, has given the immediate representatives of the people a control over the whole government in this particular, which, for their interest, they ought not let out of their hands.”

It is interesting to note that White is repeating the principle of the power of the purse Madison identified in Federalist 58; that it is the duty of the House of Representatives to have a “control over the whole government” to reduce “the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government.”

Madison replies to White with confirmation:

“The principle reason why the Constitution had made this distinction was, because they (the House) were chosen by the people, and supposed to be the best acquainted with their interest and ability.”

It really becomes clear, according to the drafters of the Constitution, that the House alone was vested with the power of purse.  

Remember, Article 1 Section 7 Clause 1 says, the Senate may propose amendments and may concur, but now we know it says MAY because their agreement is not necessary.  

As both White and Madison stated, this power rests in the House alone because it is the House that is chosen directly by the people as their representatives and best suited to remedy their grievances and reduce and control all the other branches…as the people see fit.  

Constitutionally speaking, if the House proposes a budget that the Senate refuses to vote upon, then the House budget stands. If the Senate proposes an amendment to the budget and the House doesn’t want it, then the original House budget stands. It is also important to note that constitutionally speaking the president was to have no veto power over a budget.

And this is how our government operated until the 20th century.

 

The new budgeting process confusion

Proponents of the new and then-radical budgeting procedure that began with the Budget Accounting Act of 1921 (which moved many preliminary budget-setting functions to the President, created what is now the Office of Budget and Management in the Executive Branch and required the President to submit an annual budget), want to confuse the specific process outlined in Article 1 section 7 clause 1 with the procedure of passing a law in Article 1 section 7 clause 2-3.

A very important distinction must be recognized: A budget is not a law. Very simply, a budget expires, a law does not. A law must follow the procedure of both houses of Congress, with veto power by the president because in order to get rid of a law it must be repealed.

The arduous process of passing a law is established to be a check and balance to prevent the passing of unconstitutional, harmful laws. Budgets, however, expire and must be renewed each congressional session. No future Congress is ever bound by a past congressional budget. That is one reason why the Senate is not necessary to the process, and president is procedurally excluded from the budgetary process. The budget process does not require the same level of checks and balances; the budget is the check and balance.

We must also remember that one of the chief purposes for vesting this power in the House was to reduce the overgrowth of the other branches of government. It is counterintuitive to ask the House to exercise that control over the Senate, the Executive, and the Judiciary and then require those branches to concur with that control.

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It is highly unlikely that our founders would create such an absurdity within the Constitution, yet the process has been corrupted to take control from the House and consequently from the people so that the other branches are free to run roughshod over the people’s liberty and continue year after year on an unbridled spending spree. This is the most important reason the involvement of the Senate and the Executive are intentionally limited and even excluded from the budgetary process.

Of course, the taxing and spending authority of the House of Representatives itself is not limitless, but is directly limited by the few and defined powers that are delegated to the federal government. Madison warned in 1792 that if the members of the House were allowed to tax and spend outside the delegated authority by the Constitution on things like education, roads, care for the poor, and local police matters, it would transmute the very nature of the Constitution and the limited government it created.

James Madison, in Federalist 45, also explains that the powers delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are exercised principally on foreign affairs. He says these powers are specifically “war peace negotiations and foreign commerce, with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.” The power to tax and spend in the House was to be principally exercised through foreign affairs, not through the direct taxation of the people. For the budget to be consistent with the Constitution, it must be limited to spending on powers and programs properly delegated through the Constitution.  

The current budgeting procedures, invented outside the boundaries of the Constitution less than 60 years ago, are contrary to the Constitution and therefore, according to Article 6 section 2 of the Constitution, invalid and unlawful. These corrupted procedures have also achieved exactly what both James Madison and Alexander White have warned and exactly what the creators of the Constitution hoped to prevent: the House has let this vital power out of their hands and placed it into the hands of those not constitutionally fit nor authorized to fulfill the demand.  

We need educated and principled leaders in Congress to stand against this usurpation of the greatest check and balance on governmental overreach. We need educated and principled representatives in the House who are willing to demand and require that all budgeting, taxing and spending are consistent with the Supreme Law of the Land, even if they must oppose current legislation.

We need educated and principled people in America who will expect and demand that every budget will follow the following guidelines as established by the Constitution and practiced in the United States for over a century:

  1. Budget must be firmly in the hands of the House of Representatives
  2. No overriding control by the Senate
  3. No veto power by the Executive
  4. No spending on items beyond the grant of the Constitution
  5. House of Representatives to check the expansion of the federal government by control of the purse strings.

Then America can begin the journey to Constitutional recovery.  

 

If you want to get a full, original source understanding of the budgetary process established in 1789 and followed for over a century, visit www.LibertyFirstUniversity.com and enroll in this online, self-paced, educational program. I personally guarantee that Liberty First University will to teach you the education necessary for demanding a proper Constitutional Republic; an education that you cannot find anywhere else.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Congress Government Truth

Keep The Filibuster, Limit The Damage Congress Does To Americans

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

“Gridlock is the greatest protection to our personal liberties.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, addressing Stetson Law students

With Congress’ hyperpartisan posture and the difficulty passing legislation through the Senate, interest has grown in doing away with the filibuster rule. Be careful what is hoped for.

Senate rules require a greater than 60 percent vote to forcibly end a filibuster, a supermajority requirement is essentially invoked in order to pass a substantive bill out of the Senate. The difficulty in surmounting this hurdle has many lamenting the filibuster rule and wondering whether it’s time to do away with the supermajority provision so that bills may be passed by a simple majority.  

My answer to this suggestion is quite simple. No.  

One of the great priorities of the Framers in designing the Constitution was the concept of separation of powers and the decentralization of authority. These are the principles that gave rise to the enumerated powers of the federal government and the creation of three co-equal branches of government. Even within the legislative branch, the plan was to maximize the tension between the chambers so as to elevate the hurdle to be cleared to successfully get a bill to the President’s desk.

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According to the Framers, the House of Representatives was designed to be the chamber of the people, reactive to its whims, and directly elected by the constituencies of the various districts. Towards that end, every member of the House of Representatives was subject to reelection every two years so that if Congress were to proceed in a direction contrary to the will of the people, the people themselves could forcibly and quickly effect a change in the direction of Congress.  

The Senate was decidedly different as it was supposed to be the more seasoned, more stable chamber.

First, only one third of the Senate was to change hands each election cycle, that way, while the House could be subject to dramatic, biennial membership changes, the Senate could only change one-third of its members at a time.  

Second, the Senate was equal in representation of each state. This meant that while the number of members in the House of Representatives varied according to each state’s population, the representation from amongst the various states was equally weighted. It also meant that each Senator was responsible for a much larger constituency, which would have a tempering effect on the Senator’s views.  While it is easy to take a hard right or hard left position when one represents a small geographic location with similar views, taking on a population as large as that of a state checks the breadth of a senator’s views as the state as a whole can never be as radical as its most ardent congressional seat.

But there was a third distinction to the Senate, and one that is arguably more influential upon its actions. In the Constitution’s original incarnation, the members of the Senate were elected by each state’s legislature. This was instrumental to defining the actions and the policies approved by the Senate since, under this scheme, the Senate was truly answerable to the states. One can scarcely imagine a Senator voting for imposing a funding mandate upon a state if that senator knew that his state legislature would be negatively impacted by his vote.  

That all changed with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution. As a result of the Seventeenth Amendment, senators were elected by a direct vote from the people of each state. Instantly, the Senate became less responsive to the state legislature and became decidedly more like the House of Representatives. As a result, it became a lot easier for a bill originating in the House of Representatives, namely the budget bill, to get passed out of the Senate.  

Enter the filibuster. In light of the decreasing tensions between the two legislative chambers resulting from the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, it has become much easier for the federal government to pass laws. Power has been centralized, not decentralized, as the Framers had intended.

The filibuster with its 60 percent plus one supermajority requirement to break it, although not constitutionally prescribed, imparts a difference in the inner workings of the two chambers that serves to increase the tension between the two chambers and decentralize power away from the House of Representatives. In so doing, our liberties stand a higher level of protection.

So, in light of the trend toward centralization of power brought to us through the actions of the Progressive wing of our political spectrum, should we encourage the Senate to do away with the filibuster rule?

The answer, clearly, is no — unless we want even more centralization of controlling authority.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

Categories
Congress Taxes Trump Truth

GOP Tax Reform is Democrat-Lite. Where’s the Conservatism?

Rod Thomson

When the GOP unveiled the outline of their big tax reform plan last week, they billed it as one of the largest tax cuts in history. If only that were true. It cuts the corporate tax rate which even Democratic economists (not politicians, they have to demagogue everything) see as necessary. This is easily the strongest point in the plan. But there’s now a hitch even there.

All of our western nation competitors have cut their corporate tax rates in recent years (Germany went from 40% to 15%!) leaving the U.S. as the highest rate in the industrialized world at 35%. That makes U.S. soil uncompetitive, and that’s bad for American jobs, companies and the economy. So, yes, that is good and necessary — but more later as even it may be imperiled.

Once we get past that corporate tax cut, there is very little cheer from a conservative perspective for individual American taxpayers. There’s an actual tax increase for the wealthy with a bubble tax rate of 46% for those earning more than $1 million until they make up for a tax cut at the lower ends — which pay hardly any taxes now at all. So an actual tax increase! How is that in any way conservative? Does anyone need reminding that the rich are already carrying most of the income tax load — far more than their “fair share?” Or that it is the rich who are the job-creators? Apparently just the party representing conservatism.

It will change from here for the worse as it looks to get votes in both chambers. But overall, it looks a lot like the GOP tax cut plan is largely a sop to class warfare, a totally swampy cave from the most basic principles of conservatism. Outside the corporate tax cut, it is nothing more than Democrat-lite. It looks like one big shell game to ensure that the government keeps growing and the “rich” get soaked, because rich people are, you know, evil.

Getting into the details is not worthwhile as it will change. Essentially, it reduces tax brackets except the highest one and eliminates some deductions — that latter of which means more taxes paid.

Fortune magazine fact-checked the middle class cuts and found a mixed bag:

“But the proposal’s conflicting provisions and phase-outs of certain benefits suggest that taxes could rise for some middle-class earners over time. Middle-income people in states with high state income taxes or who have many children, high medical bills or heavy student debt are particularly at risk of a bigger tax hit. Others may benefit modestly from the lower tax rates and revamped credits and deductions.”

Shell game.

Remember, this proposal is essentially the starting negotiating point. If the swamp acts as normal, what will happen from here is that this proposal will be larded up with more special interests and hidden garbage like the bubble tax and become worse. Bottom line: We could end up with even worse than we have right now.

Good job, guys. Glad we gave you a majority so you could act like little Democratic class warfare warriors and make sure leviathan keeps chewing us up — while pitching it as this huge tax cut. More and more conservatives outside the ruling class are catching on as the details get examined.

This all is more than disappointing. Just like repealing Obamacare (although that was really on a small number of Senate Republicans who lied during re-election, including John McCain.) Just like keeping the Dreamer Act (Trump.) Just like no money for building the wall (Congress.)

VIDEO: Tax cuts are morally and economically right

The only big promises kept so far are by Trump on deregulation and appointing conservative justices and judges — few of which have been confirmed, yet. That’s a pretty short list of promises kept, and none of them from the GOP-controlled Congress.

The Republican Party used to stand for basic conservative principles: limited government, reduced tax burdens, de-regulation over an overly regulatory state, personal responsibility, individual freedoms, equality under the law.

Where are these to be found in this tax plan? Where are they found in the budget outline approved previously? Where are they in the various (and failed) Obamacare repeals? Where are they in building a wall and enforcing existing laws?

Do we have a party of limited government or do we have Democrats-but-burden-Americans-more-slowly?

 

Where is President Trump on the tax proposal?

Populists and conservatives look at the tax code differently.

Since Trump is more populist than conservative in philosophy — although a lot of his policies have been conservative — it was incumbent on actual supposed principled conservatives such as Speaker Paul Ryan to come through with strong tax reform that made American corporations more competitive, gave all Americans tax relief and for goodness sake, shrank government.

This does the first, but whiffs on the next two.

However, Trump was the avatar for Americans who wanted change, who knew we needed change. Washington was a place filled with self-promoting creatures who cared first and only about re-election as their pathway to power, prestige and wealth. They feed the beast.

And it works great for them, for lobbyists, for bureaucrats, for the nest of hangers-on that feed off ever burgeoning government. But not for Americans. And many Americans know this. Washington long has been out for only Washington. Trump was seen as someone who might be able to at least take a step forward in draining a little of the scumminess out, shake up the status quo.

So while he is a populist, it was still disappointing to see him so strongly onboard with this “biggest tax cut in history” nonsense. Part of this may be because Republicans aren’t presenting what he wanted. But part is because of the mantra that “Republicans need a win!”

Here’s an idea. How about if Americans get a win?

Starting to make any real change in Washington, D.C. requires an almost revolutionary vision for a Capitol that works for Americans. Trump rightly identified the problem being the seedy Washington culture. But tweeting and complaining about it doesn’t change anything. And calling a questionable class warfare tax plan the biggest tax cut in history doesn’t change the swamp, either.

 

Potential saving grace — repeal Obamacare mandate

Republicans are looking to include repealing the Obamacare individual insurance mandate. That would totally change the dynamics and value of the tax plan…if they actually do.

This is a two-fer winner. The first and most important part is that it is a win for individual American liberties. Personal freedoms from heavy, distant government intrusion is a bedrock conservative principle.

The individual mandate is maybe the most onerous element of Obamacare. Forcing all Americans to buy a private-sector product was always an atrocity — upheld 5-4 by an outrageous U.S. Supreme Court decision that put the reputation of the Court above the rights of the American people by calling the mandate a “tax.” The result was that it ended up eroding both. A terrible decision. Getting rid of this monstrous assault on individual liberties is a huge benefit.

Second, it’s good for Americans’ wallets by allowing millions to choose not to have insurance, or traditional health insurance, and keeping money they earn to spend how they choose.

Democrats would undoubtedly demagogue such a move — they laughably denounced the original proposals as tax cuts for the rich before even seeing it, because they are on autoplay — and the media would report the move as “throwing 13 million off their health insurance.” But of course it does no such thing. It allows people the choice, and an estimated 13 million Americans would choose not to have insurance. See how that works, media? Americans should have that freedom.

House leadership seems onboard with doing this, although it was not in their initial proposal. It still may be. However, the Senate plan revealed today does not include the mandate, and delays the corporate tax — the only strong element — for a year. Any delays are problematic because too often it has meant that it never actually happens.

The entire tax “reform” efforts just further reveal how badly the swamp needs draining — and how difficult that is to do.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.