THE GROWING POWER OF GOVERNMENT AND THE THREAT TO LIBERTY: ELECTION 2016

declaration of independence

OF A POST TO COME promised to compare the governing approaches of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with respect to two issues.

  • The growth of the power of government.
  • The protection of our rights.

The Growth Of The Power Of Government

Why is it a problem when government is powerful? Government exists to protect our rights. Yet the power we give our government makes government itself a threat to our rights. Therefore, we must choose between giving the government just enough power and giving it too much.

  • To give our government the resources it needs to defend our rights, we must give our leaders the authority to tax us and spend our money. Nevertheless, the more we allow our government to tax and spend, the more we work for government instead of ourselves. At some point, we risk slavery.
  • Some decisions which effect a people must be made jointly. Thus, government must sometimes make decisions we would otherwise make for ourselves. So it is that in a nation of free men and women, we have laws that restrict us from harming each other (traffic laws, for example). In a nation of slaves, however, the laws just list a few trivial decisions that the leaders permit the people to make for themselves.

Here is a table that summarizes where the candidates stand.  Not certain the information is correct? Then check their web sites. I have only provided links where their positions are not available on their own websites.

ISSUE Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
Taxing and Spending Favors tax simplification and reduction Favors increased taxation and spending (inferred from lengthy list of proposals)
Healthcare Private market solution Doubling down on Obamacare
School Choice For School Choice. Will end Common Core Against School Choice. Favors Common Core.
Immigration Favors extreme vetting Open borders/put new immigrants on the dole
Government Regulations Committed to reducing regulations Defends the current regulatory regime
Free Trade Opponent of the big trade bills Helped to craft TPP

To be continued: The Protection Of Our Rights

WHY I SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP

Trump in August 2015 (from here)
Trump in August 2015 (from here)

Why am I going to vote for Donald Trump? If you check earlier posts on my blog you will find I once supported Senator Ted Cruz. Since Trump and Cruz parted with bad feelings, I am not happy with Trump. I think Trump has a problem with keeping his ego in check, and he gets very nasty when he doesn’t.  That said, Trump’s problems ego problems look to be of the ordinary variety. He is not a political pro, and the stresses of running a political campaign are extraordinary. So there is not much reason to expect him to handle those stresses like a pro. Hopefully, he is learning. After you needlessly insult someone, it can be difficult to patch things up.

Still, I have a problem. Like every other voter I have to figure out who to vote for.  The two candidate with a serious possibility of winning are either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and I vastly prefer what Donald Trump has promised to do.

Here are my key issues (See Trump’s Positions Page).

HealthCare Reform

Trump will fight for the repeal of Obamacare.

But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare. (from here)

Trump has also promised to work to replace Obamacare.  I am not sure I will like what he and Congress cook up. Nonetheless, he promises to work for a system that uses free market principles.

Tax Reform

Trump will fight for a simpler tax system and to eliminate the death tax.

When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it. It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax for over 73 million households. 42 million households that currently file complex forms to determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time, stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs. Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money. (from here)

We should get rid of the income tax. As the paragraph above indicates, the people who advocated the 16th Amendment to our Constitution, created a monster that has funded the excessive growth of our government. Note that Trump’s tax reform does not address Social Security or Medicare, a major part of that 16th Amendment monster.

Trump’s plan includes tax relief for corporations and small business. That would help keep businesses from fleeing our country. Trump would also eliminate the Death Tax. That would also be a boon for small business and increase competition.

Therefore, what Trump proposes is progress. How do we get rid of the 16th Amendment. I expect that would take a Convention of the States.

Immigration Reform

This issue is the one that kicked off Trump’s campaign. I am not a big fan of the wall or Mexico paying for it. I just want to vet immigrants BEFORE they come into our country.

  • So we know each people coming into the United States is not a security threat.
  • Can speak English fluently.
  • Has a job or some means of support.

Currently, our welfare system is a draw to both legal and illegal immigrants. That’s stupid. We don’t need a welfare system so the Democratic Party can import voters.

In addition, we are allowing terrorists into the country. Instead of trying to help refugees as close to their homeland as possible, we are bringing them here, and we are not separating out the terrorists. There is no good excuse for that.

Trump is running on securing the border and securing our country again. I am happy with that.

School Choice

School Choice is my main issue. Unless we put education back under parental control, civil servants posing as teachers will continue to indoctrinate children. Am I trying to say I hate teachers? No. Of course not.

When government runs the schools, teachers are civil servants. That is a literal fact. As civil servants, teachers must teach what politicians who pay their salaries want them to teach. What politicians want children to learn very often not good for children. Politicians don’t necessarily love our children, but all them are tempted by power and prestige.

So I am disappointed Trump does not mention school choice prominently on his website, but he did say he favors school choice in his book (see my post, CAN DONALD TRUMP DELIVER ON HIS PROMISES?), Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again. In addition, Gov. Mike Pence, his running mate, apparently has an interest in the subject (see Ryan Applauds Governor Pence As Vice Presidential Choice) and Trump is on the record as being against Common Core (see DONALD J TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL ANNOUNCEMENT).

Conclusion

On the issues that matter most to me, Trump is the best choice.

TED CRUZ WOULD REPEAL EVERY WORD OF OBAMACARE

Ted Cruz campaign ad (from here)
Ted Cruz campaign ad (from here)

“We’re at war” by insanitybytes22 is one of those interesting posts that gets us thinking. Since thinking can be a rather random process, the comment thread soon rambled over to Obamacare. Since Obamacare is topical to this election, I decided to steal some material from my comment and turn it into a pro Ted Cruz post.

You don’t like Obamacare?

Vote for Ted Cruz.

Where does Cruz stand on the issue of health care? There is lots of BS out there. Hence, Michael F. Cannon wrote Clean Up Your Act, PolitiFact: Why Ted Cruz Was Right On Obamacare And Jobs to refute what the mischief makers are writing. Here is an article that is fairly specific about where Cruz stands on the issue.

As an issue, Cruz addresses the topic of Obamacare on this page: Jobs and Opportunity. Why? The health care sector is a large part of our economy. When government steps in and makes our health care decisions for us, government kills jobs and limits our opportunities.

How do I feel about Obamacare? Obamacare is too much government, and I am voting for the candidate who most wants to reduce the size of our government. I hope Ted Cruz will kill Obamacare, but I don’t think he will rid us of Medicare and Medicaid.  Just killing Obamacare, limiting the ambulance chasing, and encouraging interstate competition between insurers will be monumental tasks. Getting our government out of the health care business — if it ever happens — will most likely take decades.

What is the Christian position on how we should make our health care system work? I cannot speak for all Christians, but one message that comes from the Bible is that no man is good, not one (Romans 3:9-20). That is why the people who wrote our Constitution designed our government with numerous checks and balances.

Because it forces us to accept the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in our health care, Obamacare outrageously violates the Constitution. Because Obamacare is blatantly unconstitutional, we know from the get-go the people who crafted the legislation cannot be trusted. The majority of Americans don’t even want Obamacare. So the notion our leaders created Obamacare for the good of the American people is absurd.

Do I have a solution for all our health care woes? Yes. Don’t get born. Don’t get old. Don’t get sick. Don’t have accidents. Failing all that, rob a bank and spend somebody else’s money. Seriously, isn’t that all devious politicians have promised us?

When our government takes money from one person and gives it to the “needy,” that is stealing. Even if it were not, our Constitution does not charter Congress to redistribute the wealth. When the Supreme Court says that it does, they have to use ridiculously convoluted arguments. For example, because the Constitution is supposedly a “living document”, judges have the discretion to amend it. However, there is an obvious problem with that argument. If we say the Constitution is “living document”, that just says the Constitution doesn’t mean what it says.

Therefore, sneakier members of the judiciary try to hide their shameless shenanigans under the guise of common law.

Our constitutional system, without our fully realizing it, has tapped into an ancient source of law, one that antedates the Constitution itself by several centuries. That ancient kind of law is the common law. The common law is a system built not on an authoritative, foundational, quasi-sacred text like the Constitution. Rather, the common law is built out of precedents and traditions that accumulate over time. Those precedents allow room for adaptation and change, but only within certain limits and only in ways that are rooted in the past. Our constitutional system has become a common law system, one in which precedent and past practices are, in their own way, as important as the written Constitution itself. A common law Constitution is a “living” Constitution, but it is also one that can protect fundamental principles against transient public opinion, and it is not one that judges (or anyone else) can simply manipulate to fit their own ideas. (from here).

Yet those  sneakier souls ignore plain words of the Constitution which must take precedence over common law. Thus, whether they admit it or not, those sneakier souls are arguing that the Constitution is a “living document”,  that judges have the discretion to amend it.

So what is the alternative? If we don’t want government-run health care, how is free market health care suppose to work? It will never work perfectly, but does anything we can devise?

What are the problems with free enterprise health care? When we get sick, it is too late to go shopping for healthcare, and some people will always procrastinate. Some people will always be poor, unable to afford a doctor. And some will always be sickly at birth, so that insurance is impractical. Nevertheless, most of us want insurance, and we can afford it.

What does insurance do for us? When we have a catastrophe, our insurance helps us to pay the bills. In addition, because insurers have market clout and can hire people with the appropriate skills, they can negotiate affordable doctor and hospital fees. Therefore, if we can and we are willing to purchase health care insurance, the main thing we need our government to do is prosecute fraud.

What about those who don’t have insurance? The solution is charity. Charity is something politicians did not invent, and government NEVER provides. Politicians just take money from some people so they can buy the votes of other people.

When we let our leaders redistribute the wealth (or health care), what is Christian about that? Doesn’t redistributing the wealth bankrupt and corrupt our government? Don’t meddlesome government regulations wreak havoc on free market solutions that work quite well for the majority of people? Why is any of that Christian?

But what about the fact the people of the United States spend too much money on health care? Do government-run solutions reduce the cost of anything? Isn’t more government involvement just going to lead to the rationing of health care? Do we want bureaucrats to decide who doctors can treat and how?

If you or I want to buy an expensive car or house, why should politicians have the right to stop us? We don’t buy health care for the “People.” We each want to buy health care for ourselves, family members, and individuals we care about. It is a cinch that few politicians actually care about the “People.” Therefore, our leaders should just have the same right to health care as the rest of us, to buy health care for themselves, family members, and people they care about.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN, HERE IS WHY I VOTED FOR YOU

capitolThe general election of 2014 is over. The Republican’s party has had an overwhelming victory. Nevertheless, we know the polling. Republicans did not win because of their own popularity. They won because President Obama and the Democrats insist upon making a mess of our country.

Therefore, I have decided to send a letter to my congressman. I want him to know why I voted for him.

Dear Congressman Rob Wittman

I suppose you are happy and content with the results of this last election, but I hope not. We sent you back to DC to do some hard, difficult work, not to enjoy the fruits of a great victory. We sent you to war with a ravenous government that claws and grasps for revenue. We sent you tie up in knots any congressman who would spend more money than we have. We sent you to shackle the phone and the pen of a president thirsting for power.

I cast my vote for free enterprise, not more government. Why? In the 80’s I worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  I went there as an advocate for increased spending for NASA. I came away as adamant opponent, someone who would have happily seen NASA scrapped. I had seen for myself that socialism does not work. That includes a socialist space program.

I recognize that some still pine away for the good old days, those days when the United States was the first to land a man on the moon.

Forty-five years ago last summer, Neil Armstrong and I walked on the moon. Our Apollo 11 lander touched down in the moon’s “Sea of Tranquility,” and three days later we were home. We splashed down and came safely aboard the USS Hornet. In that moment, America fulfilled a promise — to herself and to the World. Together, we resolved to lead in space, convey men to the moon and come home safely. As Americans, one nation, we resolved to do it, and we did it. The time has come to find that kind of resolve again. (from Getting on with getting to Mars by  Buzz Aldrin)

For forty-five years those who dream of exploring new frontiers have depended upon politicians to fulfill their dreams. We have been fools. Politicians have their own dreams, and they have nothing to do with space exploration. They never ever did. For the number of votes it buys, space exploration is too risky and costs too much. Moreover, government bureaucracies, even NASA, are populated by too many risk averse bureaucrats, not enough people with a dream.

I now know I cannot make my dream someone else’s dream. If I want my dream to become real, I must do the work myself with others who share my dream. Therefore, I now cast my vote for smaller government.

I cast my vote for a balanced budget. We cannot afford what Congress and the President want to spend. Since September 15, 2008, Congress has added over $12 trillion to the deficit (see How Much Obamanomics Has Cost Us by Stephen Moore).

I cast my vote for a strong defense. The United States still retains a strong military, but we face growing threats: a resurgent Russia, an increasingly belligerent China, and militant Islamic states. Yet too many of our leaders want us as weak as Europe, with a government that divert funds needed for defense into extravagantly expensive social programs, incapable of defending ourselves (see Europe’s sentinels have gone home by Bruce Lawlor).

I cast my vote for the resolute defense of our borders from illegal immigrants. It is no secret that our president wants to make law, not just enforce the law, that he would legalize millions of immigrants with a flourish of his pen. Thanks to a spineless Congress and out of control executive, we now risk becoming a bilingual banana republic ruled by a tyrant with a pen and phone. You know what the people of this country want done. Please find the courage to do it!

I cast my vote for an end to Obamacare. That law is blatantly unconstitutional. Repeal it first. Then we can worry about replacing it.

I could say more, but this is enough. So let’s summarize. When those in power insist upon spending other people’s money for them, politics becomes a blood sport, not fun and games. That’s why I did not cast my vote so that you could work with the president and the Democrats. I cast my vote so you could stop them and reverse their agenda, and I think it is safe to say that lots of other people voted the same way. Therefore, you now have a choice. I hope you will help lead the opposition to Obama and the Democrats. Otherwise, please follow those willing to lead that opposition, or just get out-of-the-way.

In times past, the Democratic Party defended slavery; they even sought to expand it into the territories and free states. Latter the Democratic Party fought for racial segregation. Now, in support of bigger and “better” government required to implement so-called social and economic “rights,” Democrats would enslave all Americans. That’s what socialists do.

The Republican Party began as a third-party before the Civil War. Because it refused to fight slavery, the party the Republican Party replaced is now long gone. Yet time corrupts all things and all institutions created by men. Therefore, unless we get involved in the Republican Party, we cannot depend upon the Republican Party to stop and reverse the damage the Democratic Party has done.

Do you favor the prosperity and freedom that comes with limited government and free enterprise? Did you reluctantly vote for a Republican who needs to be encouraged to defend freedom? Then please write him or her a note. Politely let your member of Congress know why you gave him or her your support. Then, if your member of Congress fails to do his or her duty, do your duty and help nominate another Republican to replace that delinquent.