Bringing LIBERTY to
Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, September 29, 2007, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning
to listen to a replay of the September 29, 2007 Ozarks Virtual
Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- Avoiding
PRESIDENT: Good morning.
Today I am signing emergency
legislation to fund the Federal government for the next seven weeks.
This legislation was necessary because Congress failed in its most basic
responsibility: to pass the spending bills that fund the day-to-day
operations of the government. There are 12 of these bills this year, and
Congress did not complete a single one of them, so Congress had to send
me a stop-gap measure before the fiscal year ends this Sunday at
How the President Differs from the American vision of
"Liberty Under God":
- Todays Americans do not believe in "liberty," they
prefer "security" or "equality."
- Todays Americans do not believe in liberty Under God, preferring a
secular savior, the State.
- Both Democrats and Republicans ignore
of yesterday's Americans that proved so successful, making America
the most prosperous and admired nation on earth. Both parties
believe in the government as savior.
|THE PRESIDENT: Good
|Today I am signing
emergency legislation to fund the Federal government for the next
seven weeks. This legislation was necessary because Congress
failed in its most basic responsibility: to pass the spending
bills that fund the day-to-day operations of the government. There
are 12 of these bills this year, and Congress did not complete a
single one of them, so Congress had to send me a stop-gap measure
before the fiscal year ends this Sunday at midnight.
||Congress has enacted
all required spending bills by the fiscal new year in only three
of the past 30 years; in only 8 of the past 30 years did Congress
complete on time one-quarter of the bills.
|Congress's failure to
pass these 12 spending bills is disappointing, but I do thank the
Congress for passing this temporary measure, and for passing it
without any new spending, new policies or new projects. It would
have been wrong to deny essential
government services to the American people while Congress
works through its annual spending bills.
||Even by government
standards, most government services are "non-essential."
By Constitutional standards, they are nearly all
unconstitutional. Some "essential government services"
were intended by the Framers to be carried out locally,
with greater accountability and greater liberty.
|I also appreciate the
way this bill handles our disagreements over the State Children's
Health Insurance Program. Congressional leaders have put forward
an irresponsible plan that would dramatically expand this program
beyond its original intent. And they know I will veto it. But it
is good that they kept the program running while they try to work
out a more responsible approach.
||SCHIP was covered in
week's Ozarks Virtual Town Hall.
|Congress now has more
time to complete its work on its annual spending bills. Earlier
this year congressional leaders promised to show that they could
be responsible with the people's money. Unfortunately they seem to
have chosen the path of
higher spending. They have proposed spending increases that
would add an extra $205 billion on top of my Administration's
budget request over the next five years. There's only one way to
pay for such a large spending increase, and that is to raise taxes
on the American people. So it is no surprise that the same Members
of Congress who are planning this big increase in Federal spending
are also planning the biggest tax increase in American history.
||It is absolutely
hypocritical for President Bush to accuse the Democrats of
choosing the "path of higher spending" when the
President did not veto a single increase in spending during his
first 6 years in office -- because it was a Republican Congress
that chose the path of higher spending.
The national debt has skyrocketed under the Bush Administration
because it boasts of tax cuts while increasing spending across the
|If these members get
their way, the tax relief my Administration delivered could be
taken away from you. Let me explain what this would mean for an
average taxpayer. If you have children, your taxes would rise by
$500 for each child. If you're a family of four making $60,000 a
year, your taxes would be more than $1,800 higher. If you're a
single mother with two children, working to make ends meet, your
taxes would go up by more than a $1,000. If you're a small
business owner working to meet a payroll, your taxes would
increase by almost $4,000. And if Congress allows our tax relief
to expire, more than 5 million low-income Americans who currently
pay no income taxes would once again have to pay taxes.
||The war in Iraq is
costing Americans over $3,000 per person. If you have 4 people in
your family, your share of the Iraq War bill is about $20,000.
Would you have chosen to pay for this war if given a choice?
The Income Tax should be abolished
|These are not the
only taxes Congress wants to raise. They're proposing higher taxes
on dividends and capital gains. They're proposing higher taxes on
cigars and cigarettes. They're proposing to raise taxes on
domestic oil and natural gas production. They're proposing new
taxes on stock and bond transactions. And they refuse to make the
Internet tax moratorium permanent. If this tax ban expires, it
would open the doors for State and local officials to impose new
taxes on your access to the Internet.
taxes are wrong, but they are only the tip of the iceberg toward
which Bush is steering the Ship of State.
|At a time when many
American families are dealing with rising mortgage rates, college
costs, and health care expenses, it is wrong to take even more
money out of your paychecks. Washington's elected leaders can do
better. By working together, we can keep taxes low, help keep the
economy growing, balance the Federal budget, and build on our
record of fiscal discipline and greater economic opportunity for
of fiscal discipline?"
|Thank you for listening.
Investor's Business Daily - Drain The Swamp
- Here’s a suggestion: Many government departments, agencies and
offices should be closed for good. …In 1800, the government needed
a mere 3,000 employees and $1 million a year to do its job. In those
days, lawmakers knew well the meaning of “limited.” Today,
federal civilian employees number nearly 2 million. Another 10
million or more are federal contractors or grant recipients. The
yearly budget of this runaway train is soaring toward $3 trillion.
…Start with the Education Department, created in 1979 by the
Carter administration despite the fact there is no constitutional
authorization for its existence. In addition to its meddling, the
department is spending nearly $70 billion a year in taxpayers’
dollars. By all accounts, public education in this country is worse
off than it was when the Education Department opened. It’s hard to
make an argument that those 5,000 employees are contributing
anything. Next on the block should be the Energy Department, another
monster wrought by Jimmy Carter, this one in 1977. There’s no real
job this department… Like food, shelter and clothing, energy is a
commodity that can and should be traded on an open market. There is
no need to make a federal case out of it, particularly one that
employees 17,000 people. All Cabinet-level departments — even
Defense, which could cut waste — should at least have their
budgets drained of excess. On a smaller scale, the National
Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities
should go. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
should be zeroed out.
Delays Should Not Cause Government Shutdowns
- Congress has enacted all required spending bills by the fiscal new
year in only three of the past 30 years; in only 8 of the past 30
years did Congress complete on time one-quarter of the bills.
- Costly Government Agencies
The Democrat Party Radio Address:
- Graeme Frost, 12, delivers this week's Democratic Radio Address. According
to the Democrat webpage, "Because of the Children's Health
Insurance Program (CHIP), Graeme was able to get the medical care he
needed after a serious car accident caused severe brain trauma,
paralyzed one of his vocal chords and put him in a coma."
- "I don't know why President Bush wants to stop kids who
really need help from getting CHIP. All I know is I have some really
good doctors. They took great care of me when I was sick, and I'm
glad I could see them because of the Children's Health
Libertarian Response to Democrats:
- See last
- Bush wants to expand the SCHIP program, not cut it.
He just doesn't want to expand it as much as the Democrats do.
There's no evidence that this child would have been denied coverage
under the White House expansion.
- Expanding this government program is wrong. It is sinful and
immoral to take money from Jones under threats of violence
to give to Graeme Frost.
- -- even if Graeme Frost is poor.
- It is unconstitutional for the federal government to to this, even
if it were moral.
- Capitalism, not socialism, will ensure the greatest amount of the
highest quality health care to every child in this country. The
medical care available to this child would not have been available
to him if he lived in the Soviet Union a few decades ago.
- Democrats and Republicans are quibbling over ten or fifteen
billion tax dollars. True leadership would inspire and orchestrate
voluntary giving from those who can afford to do so.
Review: The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience - Acton
- “If American Christians simply gave a tithe rather than the
current one-quarter of a tithe, there would be enough private
Christian dollars to provide basic health care and education
to all the poor of the
earth. And we would still have an extra $60-70 billion left
over for evangelism around the world.”
Late Questions from Listeners
Unfortunately, a question arrived from a listener after the
conclusion of this week's Town Hall:
|I thought the Preamble for the Constitution said
the purpose of that document was "to provide for the common
weal. . ." How can that be done without education? Without
public safety? Without regulation of industries that would
otherwise rob the public and spoil the environment?
The preamble states:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the
common defence, promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of
Probably our listener was referring to the highlighted phrase.
What are "the blessings of liberty?" How are they
"secured" by the government? The blessings
include automobiles, computers, antibiotics, and thousands of groceries
at the local market. How are these blessings "secured" by the
government? By nationalizing the automobile industry, as in the Soviet
Union? No, simply by protecting the nation from foreign invasion and
eliminating trade barriers between the several States. What about
punishing fraud and crime? Though considered to be a function of
government, it was not considered to be a function of the federal
government. Punishing crime remained with the states and local
The question posed during the Constitutional Convention and during
the ratification process was "What form of government best secures
the Blessings of Liberty and promotes the general Welfare?" The
answer given was not "a huge centralized federal
government with unlimited powers," but rather a limited federal
government that has only a few powers enumerated in the
constitution, with the rest of government remaining with the states. The
Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights summarizes the philosophy of the
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
45, Madison described the relationship between the federal
government and the states in these famous words:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal
government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in
the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former
will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace,
negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of
taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to
the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the
ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and
properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and
prosperity of the State. [emphasis added]
And nobody believed that the state governments had the authority to
nationalize production of computers, automobiles, and groceries.
Government on all levels was tightly limited, and liberty extended to
The People and their businesses.
This is the theory of constitutionally-enumerated
powers. Only powers enumerated in the Constitution are possessed by
the federal government.
But doesn't the "promote the general welfare" clause
indicate that the federal government has vast, sweeping powers to
whatever is necessary to "promote the general welfare?"
testimony before Congress, CATO Institute scholar Jerry Taylor
explained how the architects of the Constitution understood the
"general Welfare" phrase:
|In Federalist No. 41, Madison summarizes the
relationship of the general preface language including the
"welfare" language, to the subsequent more detailed
enumeration of specific powers, as follows.
"Some who have denied the necessity of the power of
taxation [to the Federal government] have grounded a very
fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language on
which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed that the
power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and
excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common
defense and general welfare of the United States"
amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power
which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense
or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the
distress under which these writers labor for objections,
than their stooping to such a misconstruction."
Thus, Madison, who like Story after him sought to defend
federal power, treats with derision the claim of opponents of
federal powers the claim that the "welfare clause" is
a general grant of power. Madison continues Federalist No 41 in
this language of angry paradox:
"For what purpose could the enumeration of
particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were
meant to be included in the preceding general power?
Nothing is more natural or more common than first to use a
general phrase, and then to explain and qualify by an
enumeration of the particulars. But the idea of an
enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify
the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to
confound and mislead, is an absurdity ... what would have
been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to
these general expressions and disregarding the
specifications which limit their import, they had exercised
an unlimited power of providing for the general welfare?"
More information on the "general Welfare" clause can be
found on our Constitution page, and this
Our listener mentions three functions which are necessary to secure
"the Blessings of Liberty":
The first question to be asked is, must education etc. be provided by
the government, or can it be provided by the Free
Market: voluntary associations, businesses, and "We the
People" networking together to assure that children are educated.
In other words, which political theory is true: capitalism or socialism?
If socialism is true, we might still ask, should state and local
governments decide how children will be educated, or should that be
done by the federal government? In other words if only government
can provide these elements of an orderly and prosperous society, which
level of government?
The Constitutional answer precludes the federal government from
involving itself in these areas. It would not have been ratified by
states jealous to protect their own powers, or The People jealous to
protect their liberties, if it gave to the federal government such
for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual