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My biggest problem with government is not SIZE, but SCOPE

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What size are you?

It’s hard to answer that question if you’re not sure exactly what I’m referring to. I could be talking about height, weight, shoes, jeans, dresses, collars, rings, underwear, or cowboy hats. Context matters, and the word “size” is not one-size-fits-all.

With that in mind, what is the size of the government? I think we can all agree that the government is too big, but we need to specify what we mean by that — simply that the government has too much power in general, or that it has power over too many things? Both are troublesome, but I tend to place priority on the latter. So while many people complain that the government is too tall — that wherever it has jurisdiction it seizes excessive control, which I agree with — my primary health concern is that the government is too fat. This is why I adore the term “bloated government.” It imagines one that is too wide, spread too far over too many areas.

Issues of government height call for analysis, argumentation, and compromise. Defense, for instance, is a legitimate function of the federal government. But the appropriate amount of military spending, which wars to enter and when, and how many soldiers to enlist are all circumstantial. Standards of engagement must be decided case by case, and peacetime spending will certainly decrease, but by how much? There is no universal answer, so in that area, government height is subject to rational debate and vigilant scrutiny.

We should, however, know how to settle with relative ease whether the government should be involved in a particular field at all — this is government width. We babble ourselves breathless about cutting taxes and government spending, but not all revenue is created equal.

Why would we even consider slashing defense spending when the federal government has already proposed Social Security expenditures topping $1 trillion for fiscal year 2018, nearly one third of the government’s total estimated revenue of $3.654 trillion? Medicare and Medicaid account for an additional $986 billion of the FY2018 budget, meaning that these three welfare programs alone make up over 54% of projected spending. Before we can make the federal government any shorter, we have to trim the fat.

So when we say we need to cut spending, that doesn’t mean “reduce spending in all those areas in which we’re currently spending.” It means “cut out entirely those areas in which the federal government has no business spending.” And if we can cut out almost $2 trillion on just those three unconstitutional social programs, imagine what that will do for your tax rate.

Suppressing bloated government (federal or state) and securing power to those to whom it rightfully belongs is the essence of federalism. Reserving certain powers to the states doesn’t magically grant states the authority to violate our unalienable rights, as I’ve discussed previously, but matters of health, education, and welfare (among others) cannot be handled at a federal level for a bevy of reasons: 1) The federal government stinks at it. 2) We must respect the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law. 3) Local authority is much easier to restrain.

This is the beauty and genius of our separate but equal system of government: the judicial, legislative, and executive branches keep each other in check both federally and locally; federal and state governments maintain balance between themselves; and the people place checks on all of the above. Somehow we always forget about the second — there must be balance between federal and state powers. Historically, when one has been so powerful that the other could not bridle it, we’ve ended up with the Civil War, Japanese internment camps, and a crippling welfare state. Extremism on both sides is detrimental to the foundation of our republic.

The United States of America has endured progressive politics for over 100 years from both Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, as well as Democrats like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Party tribalism is not and has never been the answer. Devotion to principles — particularly those on which this country was built — are the only hope we have of recovery.

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Culture and Religion

The complete fraud that is socialism

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The complete fraud that is socialism

Once again we are witness to the age-old scam of socialism with Leftists making promises to attain power that can never be fulfilled.

Long before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago exposed the systematic oppression, torture, incarceration and deliberate mass murder that are the hallmarks of socialistic slavery. James A. Michener documented the 1956 Hungarian uprising against communism in his book ‘The Bridge at Andau’. While both are great literary works, ‘The Bridge at Andau’ laid bare the complete fraud that is the collectivist ideologies in creating a ‘Heaven on Earth’ or ‘worker’s paradise’ that never comes to fruition.

The selling of socialistic slavery to a new generation tends to follow a certain type of ‘progress’. Promises are made for all kinds of largess ranging from Free Healthcare, Free Housing, Free College, Free food to even Free income. All paid for with other people’s money. Never mind that It’s impossible to fulfill all of these wondrous asseverations. Appearances must be made to at least begin the process, so the ever-present task of wealth redistribution begins at the point of a gun.

This is also why the Socialist-Left obsesses over gun confiscation and the suppression of free speech. It is imperative for the Leftists to disarm the people since they generally object to having their property stolen from them. However, we are getting ahead of ourselves, this is to document how this exploitation of the people has ‘progressed’ in other collectivist enclaves to better understand how this crime against the people is perpetrated.

Why do collectivist regimes always require secret police apparatus and the suppression of Liberty?

This question was detailed in The Bridge at Andau in the chapters on the ‘AVO man’. In which he discusses the secret police organisation of the Hungarian Communists, the AVO (Allamvedelmi Osztaly). He bluntly asked and answered the question:

Why must communism depend on such dregs of society?

No matter on what elevated plane communism begins its program of total dictatorship. it sooner or later runs into such economic and social problems that some strong-arm force is required to keep the civil population under control.

As is the case now as it was then, a nation’s Socialist-Left will promise just about anything to attain power over the people:

When communism is wooing the workers in Csepel, all kinds of exaggerated promises are made if they seem likely to awaken men’s aspirations and their cupidity. These promises are couched in such simple terms and such effective symbols that they become immediate goals of the revolution.

Review briefly what communist agitators had once promised the Hungarians who appear in this book: consumer goods such as they had never known before, increased wages. increased social benefits, shorter hours of work, improved education for everyone, a greater social freedom, and a government directly responsible to the working classes. Under communism such promises were never even remotely capable of attainment.

[Our Emphasis]
If all of that sounds eerily familiar, it’s because that’s part of a very old song and dance that has deceived many a generation into enslaving themselves under socialism. Consider this recent story from the Associated Press:

Democrats lurch left on top policies as 2020 primary begins

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro launched his campaign by pledging support for “Medicare for All,” free universal preschool, a large public investment in renewable energy and two years of free college for all Americans.
….

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign soon, has sponsored legislation to create a federal jobs guarantee program in several communities across America.

The pilot program… could ultimately transform the U.S. labor market by providing well-paid government employment with benefits for anyone who wants it.

[Our Emphasis]

As Margaret Thatcher so aptly surmised, eventually they will run out of other people’s money. In our case in the states, that is already the situation given the enormous debt and unfunded liabilities reaching into the stratosphere of trillions of dollars. Of course, this hasn’t deterred committed collectivists such as Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio who recently stated that ‘There’s plenty of money in the world… It’s just in the wrong hands!’ Never mind that it is morally wrong to steal the property of others or that once a society turns down the dead-end of socialism there will always be more people wanting more money from those who have it.

Wealth redistribution scams will always wreck the economy. A socialist regime that nationalizes the economy can never function better than one of economic Liberty. Soon enough everything breaks down, the people see through the lies and the government has to start breaking heads. Thus it is imperative that they have previously confiscated the people’s guns and made it illegal to defend themselves.

The Takeaway

Socialistic schemes always run contrary to basic human nature. Rewarding someone for not working will always result in less work. Conversely, punishing someone for working will also result in less work.

This basic logic of human nature seems to be lost on Leftists. But perhaps it is not. They have to know their schemes have never and will never work. And yet they still try to impose them on everyone else. Perhaps they know of the epic fraud they are continually perpetrating on society, but they don’t care. That will be the subject of our next installment.


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Foreign Affairs

As Venezuela implodes, Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaidó as President

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As Venezuela implodes Trump administration recognizes Juan Guaid as President

The destruction of Venezuela by socialism and corruption is practically complete, but hope is on the horizon. A new President has been recognized by the United States, making Nicolas Maduro’s presidency nearly finished.

Juan Guaidó has been serving as the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela since earlier this month and assumed the role of interim President earlier today. The United States joins Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, and Puerto Rico in recognizing his claim as legitimate.

People have filled the streets of Caracas in an amazing display of solidarity against Maduro, who held an “inauguration” on January 11 despite clear indicators the May 2018 elections were rigged. Now, the streets of Caracas are full.

President Trump confirmed the move following multiple news outlets quoting White House officials.

Ironically, Guaidó’s rallying cry happens to be “Sí, se puede!”, Spanish for “Yes we can.”

My Take

This is the only viable move given the circumstances. As I posted on Facebook:

It may not be possible for Guaidó to turn around the failing nation without a lot of outside assistance, but one thing is certain: Maduro had zero chance of making anything better for his starving people.


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News

Four Republicans Senators ask the President to transfer ISIS prisoners in Syria

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Four Republicans Senators ask the President to transfer ISIS prisoners in Syria

As the United States military prepares for a full withdrawal from Syria, some are concerned that Islamic State fighters currently being held by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will be released or others be allowed to rejoin ISIS. Four Republican stalwarts in the Senate are calling on President Trump transfer the worst of these prisoners to Guantanamo Bay.

Senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio all signed the letter to the President requesting this action.

The President announced the move to pull out of Syria on Twitter last month following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This prompted the resignation of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and drew condemnation from people on the left and right who felt the President was abandoning our allies in the war against ISIS.

Turkey has long wanted the United States out of Syria so they could deal with the Kurdish forces that they consider to be terrorists.

My Take

This is a smart move to do before the withdrawal, but this letter was also a not-so-subtle reminder to the President that pulling out of Syria quickly will have repercussions. Both National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have tempered the President’s remarks by saying the United States will pull out just as soon as ISIS is fully defeated.

One thing is certain: if these terrorists and militants are not moved to Guantanamo Bay, many if not all of them will eventually return to the Islamic State to continue their mission against the the rest of the world.


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