Friday, October 18, 2013

Missed Opportunities

            Well we have avoided the great precipice, the end of the Nation as we know it.  In the eleventh hour an amazing compromise was reached and the collapse of the free world as we know was averted.  Or was it?  Did we miss the whole point of Ted Cruz’s Green Eggs and Ham filibuster?  Did we miss the whole reason candidates like Rand Paul were elected?  Did we miss the opportunity to do what really needs to be done?

            These United States of America were never in danger of defaulting, not unless the President of these United States ordered the Treasury Department to not make the payments that would keep us from defaulting.  In point of fact it was not These United States that were ever in danger, it was the Federal Government of These United States that was in danger; the independent State Governments were still up and operating.  OK, now that we have that out of the way let’s look at what has really happened and the missed opportunities.

            The American people have been duped.  There has not been a budget for the running of the Federal Government in almost a decade, they have been running on what is called a Continuing Resolution, a CR, in other words permission to continue spending at the same levels we have been for the next year, only we won’t really hold you at those levels, this is only to look good to the public.  To add insult to injury Congress, after making all pretenses of holding the line on spending finally gave in at the last minute and passed a Continuing Resolution that was loaded with pork spending and some say it also contains wording that takes the authority for raising the debt ceiling away from Congress and gave it to the President, potentially indefinitely.  Instead of giving in Congress should have taken this opportunity to look at all the Government agencies that are loaded with what were called unessential personnel and determine whether or not the continuing existence of these agencies was essential or not.  The easy way to do that would be to look at the powers of the Federal Government that are enumerated in the Constitution of the United States, if an agency did not meet one of the enumerated powers then the agency should be dismantled.  If the function of that agency is desired by a State then that State can take up the slack for their State.  If it is determined that an agency does not fall under one of the enumerated powers but it is performing a necessary function then Congress should submit an Amendment to the Constitution in accordance with Article V to make it a legal agency.  That last statement should make critical thinking individuals ask the question, why have we not done this in the past?  The only answers that would make sense would either be that Congress knew the States would not ratify an Amendment for many, if not most, of the agencies that have come to life or, Congress believes they are superior to the rest of the Nation and know what is best for us.  I personally tend to believe both are true, at least in the minds of lifetime politicians.

            Another opportunity that was missed was breathing life back into the States.  The Federal Government shutdown those things that they knew would tug at the heartstrings of the American citizenry.  Foreign aid continued, Camp David stayed open, contracts for expensive crystal glasses for our embassies were signed and I’m sure a whole host of other non-essential expenditures continued unnoticed by the American public.  What was noticed was the closing of open air memorials and National Parks.  Many of these National Parks, in point of fact, actually make money for the Government by souvenir sales, food sales, tour tickets, etc… So exactly why would the Government choose to shut these Parks down and spend the money to erect barricades at open air memorials?  To play the blame game, in other words, politics at its finest.   Here again we missed opportunities.  At the Mall in Washington there were regular citizens that took their personal time to mow the grass, pick up the trash and in general maintain the memorials, at least they did until the Park Police told them they could not do that, why can’t they do that?  In Arizona and South Dakota the State Governments tried, and finally succeeded, to reopen both the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, at mind boggling expense I might add.  Why are the States not just taking these National Parks over period?  There is no provision in the Constitution of the United States for the Federal Government to own and control the lands that they do, in fact even the “10 square miles” that was to be the Nation’s capital has expanded a bit beyond that with no Amendment to the Constitution, it has just been taken, usurped, just like everything else the Federal Government has taken.

            What is probably the biggest missed opportunity is the waking up of the American People to what the Federal Government has become.  The Federal Government has become a powerful machine that wants to control every aspect of your life, from birth to death; education, work, marriage and even your recreational time.  If the American People do not wake up and in turn wake up their State Governments we will never get this under control, it may already be too late but I can only hope it’s not.  The out of control spending is not stopping as evidenced by the continuing raising of the debt ceiling; as long as it continues we will slide farther and farther into a Nation enslaved to the Government through taxes.  The continuing efforts to control our lives is evident by the unwillingness to negotiate on the Affordable Care Act problems that were brought to light, a program that is only good for the masses, not the masters and their cohorts.  If the American People do not wake up and really think about these things, if they continue to believe it will all be better tomorrow, there will not be a tomorrow, at least not for our Nation and our freedom, what little of it we have left.

Steve Avery