Tag Archives: Congress

Why aren’t patriots demanding a halt to military spending?

If I were a savvy investor, I would already have sunk a ton of money into those tri-cornered hats that have become all the rage among patriots these days. You know, the hats worn by Americans in colonial times. They really do go with anything!

While we’re at it, let’s not forget the “Don’t tread on me” T-shirts popping up everywhere. Now that America is under siege from socialists, as demonstrated by the government takeover of health care, these items will be flying off the shelves. And had I diverted my financial resources into this kind of merchandise, I would have been swimming in cash.

But once again, I’m a day late and a dime short — with only myself to blame.

Many people involved in the Tea Party movement, along with their like-minded comrades (whoops, wrong choice of words), have become very animated about the health care reform legislation signed into law this week. I had no idea there were so many legal scholars among us! Everyone on TV waving a U.S. flag or a handgun — or both, in some cases — screaming about how we should take our country back is undoubtedly a noted authority on the intracacies of constitutional law.

If you don’t believe me, just ask them — they’ll tell you. Down to the last subparagraph, they know what’s in the Constitution and how it should be interpretted.

And one thing that is explicitly forbidden by the Constitution is socialized medicine. It’s right there in black and white. … Well, somewhere. It must be in there, if all these patriots are telling me it is.

But seeing that we’ve been overrun by constitutional scholars, I don’t understand why they’re not up in arms (figuratively speaking, of course, unless it becomes literal) over all the other unconstitutional things that Congress has done. Take, for example, the perpetual funding of a government-run army.

In listing what Congress may do with taxes, duties, imposts and excises, the 12th clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states: “To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.”

Wow, that’s very revealing! From the way the Constitution reads, keeping an army around for longer than two years is, well, unconstitutional. Who knew?

Certainly not the patriots who are working to save us from the nightmares of marxism. For if they did know this, they would already have marched on Washington demanding an immediate end to socialized defense.

An argument can be made that Congress appropriates money to everything it funds on an annual basis, unless otherwise stipulated. So appropriations made to any branch of the military is done every year, thus falling within the two-year limit imposed by the Constitution.

Does this logic pass constitutional muster? Perhaps not.

When the country was founded, national defense forces were normally raised as they were needed. The Continental Army was put together for the purpose of fighting the Revolutionary War, and then it was disbanded once the war ended.

In adddition, the Constitution differentiates between congressional authority to “raise and support armies” and “provide and maintain a navy.” Since the greatest threats came from sea-based forces, having a permanent navy was essential. Not so a permanent army.

So, as I read the Constitution, Congress is permitted to raise an army and fund it for no more than two years — and then the army is to be disbanded. This conflicts with the practice of enlisting or commissioning military personnel for many years. How can someone sign up for four to six years if the Constitution demands the army be funded for no more than two years at a stretch?

Where are our Tea Party constitutionalist patriots when we need them? The government has been subverting the supreme law of the land for many years, and it’s high time this practice be stopped.

Has anybody seen my pitchfork?


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Congress, Obama coddle stragglers in push to convert to digital television

I wish the federal government would grow a backbone.

President Obama sadly made a request of Congress, which Congress even more sadly granted, that the deadline for television stations switching over to all-digital broadcasts be extended from Feb. 17 to June 12. The drive to get all stations to convert from analog broadcasts to digital broadcasts has been going on for about a year.

So for about a year, I’ve heard all the public service announcements and read numerous articles on how people can make sure their older-model TVs are equipped to receive digital broadcasts. And all of them have been prefaced with the warning that the deadline is Feb. 17, so get this done ASAP.

I guess Obama thought the TV-watching American people weren’t paying enough attention, although I have no clue how anyone could have missed the message. But he figured they should be granted an additional four months to obtain digital TV converter boxes.

This is a bad strategy, and here’s why. No matter how many times you reiterate when a deadline is, some people won’t make it. I work in an industry that’s dominated ny daily deadlines, and it seems as though someone always misses the deadline (admittedly, sometimes that’s been me).

If we pushed back deadlines merely because we knew some people weren’t going to make them, we’d never have a final time/date set for anything. What’s going to happen now if Obama believes many people are still unprepared come June 12? Is he going to ask Congress to postpone the deadline further?

As I said, there will always be people not ready to go with the flow when the deadline approaches. Often the best solution is to set and enforce the deadline and compel stragglers to face the consequences.

Now we’re all going to have to listen to four more months of warnings about not being prepared for the digital TV switch. If people can’t get themselves ready for this in a year, will they ever have enough time to get ready?

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