Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th is no day to celebrate

From the July 4, 2009 Orlando Sentinel

In 1794, Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia. James Madison, the principal author of the U.S. Constitution, stood on the floor of the House to object."I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents," he said.A few decades later, while serving in the same capacity as a member of the House of Representatives, David Crockett, upon listening to pleas from his fellow congressmen to give tax dollars to the widow of a deceased naval officer, said, "We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress, we have no right so as to appropriate a dollar of the public money."Madison and Crockett would not recognize the United States of America as we approach our nation's 233rd birthday. In fact, these gentlemen, along with the others who created our great nation, might suggest that the July Fourth festivities be canceled and replaced with a national day of mourning for what we have lost the past several years.When our republic was founded, the framers of our Constitution formed a rule book that established our government as the protector of our life, liberty and private property. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that along with national defense, Congress can allocate our earnings to provide for the general welfare of the citizenry.Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others argued that "general welfare" was confined to only those functions that secure our rights. These three natural rights were to be the only rights we would enjoy. Everything else — a car, access to education, decent health care, concert tickets — would be part of our interests, things we would have to obtain by serving our fellow man effectively enough so as to earn the income necessary to enjoy them. Where our earning capabilities were stunted by disabilities, illness or bad luck, charity from secular and religious sources was to fill the gaps.During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Alexander Hamilton argued that the general welfare clause should not be confined to the specific spending clauses in our Constitution. Hamilton argued that the government should be able to spend money on anything so long as the argument could be made that it was for the general welfare of the nation. Not one of the Founding Fathers agreed with Hamilton during the convention.The Supreme Court agreed with Hamilton in 1935. Fearing that the Roosevelt administration would pack the Supreme Court with justices sensitive to his big-government agenda, the court specifically mentioned Hamilton as the Founding Father who best understood what the role of government should be in our lives. Consequently, since the 1930s, the cost of government has risen from about $20 per person annually to more than $10,000.Today, our quasi-socialistic nation has moved so far from the intent of the Founding Fathers that it is laughable to hear politicians swear an oath that even mentions the Constitution.Consider the past few years alone. Trillions of tax dollars have been allocated to pre-emptive wars, domestic spying on innocent citizens and bank, automotive and insurance bailouts. We have seen huge increases in social-welfare spending for the elderly, people facing foreclosure and farmers who were supposed to know that sometimes it rains and sometimes it does not.We are witnessing the nationalization of General Motors, the banking sector and the health-care industry, all while higher taxes are imposed on America's most productive citizens to pay for the well-being of the less productive. Moreover, we now have the highest corporate income-tax burden in the developed world, while India, much of Eastern Europe and China moves in the opposite direction.If you believe in liberty and small government, July Fourth is no day to celebrate. We cannot, in good conscience, celebrate our independence when we have become so dependent on the government.It is a day to think about how much longer a nation can survive when the citizenry forms a longer and longer line at the trough of public tax dollars.


  1. When the United States was first being colonized by the eastern world there were these people that called themselves the Puritans. They came to America looking for freedom from political corruption and religious ideologies that put a terrible burden upon their rite to practice what they saw as their religious beliefs. Now, flash forward two hundred and fifty years where we are being persecuted, spied upon and put down because of our heritage, ethnic background, religious beliefs and social standings while governmental bodies illegally infringe upon our civil liberties. America is on its decline and maybe it is time for those of us who still believe in our founding fathers vision to take the Constitution that is spat upon everyday by our political body, the bill of rights that has footprints on it from being used as a floor mat, and my favorite thing of all the rite to say it is time for us to leave and do just that. Like the puritans before, it is time for our psychology to come full circle and to do what our ancestors did. I have no problem leaving those that hate me for my ethnic background, educational stature, belief in freedom and courage to stand up and voice my true opinion here to enjoy the mess that they have more than helped to create. That or we could finally realize that we have had our social contract balled up and thrown in our faces, meaning that we no longer have representation within our government and most of us here are to proudly ignorant to even see what is being done. I agree with the author of that article, and because of that I am ashamed of what we ALL have allowed this country to become. But, before we go and decide that we have no choice maybe we should stop and see that we do. We have the choice to start over again, taking the best of what we learned and leaving the worst of what we no longer want behind. Yes, I am a seperationist, and if I ever get the chance then the new city state of Zyon will be born, and on that white flag with a blue star will be the names of those that were unafraid to say enough, and you can bet that my name will be signed the largest. Because I believe in those aspects of liberty that my ancestors fought and died for, regardless of where my essence calls home.

    David Huff
    Angry American
    Ours will be the last free generation in America

  2. Both my initial and ultimate impressions of your article are similar in that I feel you're dead-on in summing up the overall state of things in our country- though I may nitpick and disagree with your thoughts on funds allocated towards "pre-emptive wars".

    I want the "honest day's work for an honest day's pay" that Washington, Adams and the rest of our Founding Fathers envisioned. I mourn the loss of that ideal in our nation- in folks both young and old alike. If I work hard for my money, I want others to work hard for theirs'- and I want them to keep their hands off of mine.

    I always believed (long before I ever heard it from Rush Limbaugh) that in America we should be free to achieve whatever we work hard for, but that we should also be free to fail if we choose not to work hard or to not work at all. Simply put, there shouldn't be any free rides in this country.

    Your article touches on social programs, and your position in the economics field surely makes you more knowledgeable than I on these matters. I'm not a dullard, though, and no politician of any ilk will ever convince me that folks "deserve" or are "entitled" to get money from our government for sitting on their backsides. There's a lot to be said for hard work, and it seems less and less Americans want to do any of it. John Adams could well be called one of our Flipping Fathers these days- as in flipping over in his grave at what the nation he left us has become.

    Margaret Thatcher once said (aside from her more commonly-referenced "socialism quote") that "I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work...It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near". Our citizenry has lost the will to work hard towards achieving our goals. If a neighbor has a Lexus or a Cadillac, we choose to sit and complain about how we "deserve" one, too- all the while sitting on a couch changing from Judge Mathis to Jerry Springer while the neighbor works his ten-hour day.

    Are we headed towards socialism? That's an expert opinion I'll leave to you and others. I just know that both in business and society, you can boil things down to either of two categories- assets and liabilities. I see a time coming in America (if it's not already here) when the number of folks with their hands out asking others to support them exceeds the number of hard-working, contributing folks willing and/or able to facilitate the others' living on their dole.

    That time is what I lamented on the 4th. I'm a Navy veteran, son of a Viet Nam veteran, grandson of a World War II Silver Star recipient and grandson of a 16-year-old World War I veteran on the other side of my family. Forget the great men Adams, Washington and Ben Franklin were- America's Independence Day hypocrisy is a slap in the face to many more than them. And they're all flipping these days.