Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grand Bargain

Americans are, without a doubt, the most generous people on the planet.  For our own citizens we wish equality under the law, long life and prosperity.  For those abroad we wish no animus, to have good relations with all Nations, and to ensure that we are a brother within the family of Nations seeking lawful conduct amongst Nations to the benefit of all mankind.  To protect the former from the latter we institute governments amongst men, and those governments are to look after the welfare of their own Nations and peoples.  Without the orderly conduct amongst Nations we can have no security nor prosperity at home, and when our equality at home is at doubt we find ourselves unable to work with our fellow Nations to reach order as our biases drive us to ill-conceived conclusions about the equality of all mankind.

Government is not our savior, not our personal security blanket and we recognize that the law must be equal for rich and poor, young and old, sick and healthy, and favor none so that we may all be assured of the regularity of process, procedure and acknowledge that unequal outcomes are ever the result of the institutions of man as our given equality through life is not the same as equality of talent, ability, will or skill.  No law can make us equal in those things, that is the nature of Nature, not just of man.  Thus it is incumbent upon each of us, as individuals, to ensure the fairness of our deeds and lend the helping hand to our fellow citizens either directly or through our charitable institutions so that as individuals we may falter, but as a Nation we may succeed.  We expect our fellow man to give as he can, not through the coercion of government, but through the great boon of giving directly of his or her own time and wealth, which are the benefits of liberty, freedom and equality.  None are denigrated for working, all are praised for thrift, and we adore those who give to charity to benefit the poor, needy, sick, and elderly for that is the upholding of ourselves and our society in so doing.  We cannot promise that all will end their lives equally, save that, once dead, they all shall be equal once more.  In life the measure of a man or woman is not wealth, nor fame, nor ownership of goods or property, but how much they can give to their fellow man without fear, without recrimination and without force applied to them.  This applies to all citizens of all stature and none are to feel the coercion of others, but only of their own good will and conscience.

These things are not the venue of government and government is ill-suited to do these things for us.  It is a tool of statecraft, of management of National and regional affairs where the needs of society, not of men, are to be addressed.  Their good is to ensure the safety of all from predators of all types, to address those that would harm us, to upkeep our common lands, and to serve as the punisher for those who cross our common good.  Thus it is given the power to utilize our personal negative liberties to the benefit of all, through the oversight of society and to be kept within bounds so as not to impoverish the people, as a whole, by trying to uplift them in parts.  When government can uplift the elderly and not the children or middle-aged, we are impoverished as it steps into our lives to remove our liberty to do good on our own and replaces it with the expectation of provisioning with the strings of government attached.  The only strings that come with charity are those that we place upon ourselves, those that come with government come with the strings of the punisher attached.  Disagree to the strings and you are punished.  That is not either good nor evil, it is the nature of government at all times, in all places, in all States of mankind.  Find the loving State and you find the servile people obedient to the will of the few.  No matter how sweet and good the help of government sounds, when it is only applied to the few, it divides society and makes it the plaything of our common government, which is a poor end for all involved.

As Americans we are not a perfect people, but we have a perfect calling.  That calling is to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness via the happenstance of our life and our abilities.  We can admit to mistakes, admit to failure, and admit to ourselves that no matter how good a service is, that when it is directed by government to the few so as to indenture them to government to support those inside government, then we, as a people, have our liberty and pursuit of happiness put at peril by the powers of government to take our funds via taxation, restrict our liberty via law and put in place an unequal distribution of wealth so the well off are made poor and the poor have their liberty impoverished by the helping hand and ready boot of government. 

When in poverty, in pain, when in need our first recourse is not to government, not to the State nor Nation, but to our fellow citizens and the institutions we make to help each other.  Some are too prideful to take such help, it is admitted, and they are showing the extreme strength of character to never admit defeat, never admit the turn of fortune and we must respect them that as it is the greatest statement they can make: they will never be a drain upon our common reserves or love, but will only seek to contribute to it until their dying day even if that be in wretched health and poverty.  To those who admit that changes in fortune, in health, in circumstances are beyond them, we open our doors, our wallets and found great places where we can donate our very time and life to helping them.  Always and ever that greatest of institutions is that which allows us to make Nations and is our first recourse: our families.  When in hard times our families pull together, open doors to family members to give shelter, aid and loving care, while helping them to find means to sustain themselves once more.  From there we go to religious organizations who open their doors to the wretched of the earth needing to breathe free and gain sustenance of spirit as well as body.  We, as a people, found charitable hospitals, schools, and reach out into the community to seek help as well as give it, so that volunteer firemen and rescue squads stand at the ready from those who have other work now putting their lives at risk for all in the community.  There is always good work to be had, paid and unpaid, and while all may not lead to happiness directly, their circumstances may give the happenstance in which one's liberty may allow them to prosper.

Thus the ills we have created over the past 100 years and more come home to roost in government now feeling it can dictate good sense to the people, ignore its duties given to it, and impoverish us all to meet well wishing ends of equality of outcome.  Our parents and grandparents did not listen to good sense, did not exercise vigilance over government and did not see their fellow citizens as worthwhile agents of society and came to believe that government represented a way to achieve loving ends through bureaucratic means.  Burdening the future with debt to meet their over-appetite for good ends, we now come to the end of the good ends and find the bill mounting daily.  America was not debt free when it was born, as a Nation, and we repaid our debts to France and other supporters so as to be free of it.  That happened under President Jackson and lasted not long at all.  That original debt put our Nation at peril, caused the government under the Articles of Confederation to become shaky and find a way to reconstitute a better government that would either change it or replace it.  Even with the latter the debt was retained, and paid off.  We shall do so this time and admit to our wrongs while agreeing to work off our debt gathered through ill-conceived notions of what government can do and what it should do,  and recognize that the latter cannot make itself into the former no matter how much we wish it so.

In our bargain our goals to rid ourselves of what government can't do, retain what it must do, and differentiate between the two must be aimed not towards good ends but regularized means in which none benefit unfairly from government making unequal law.

The points are as follows:

1) One equal tax rate for all.  Those that are poor must pay something to our common good, even if it is a pittance compared to those above poverty.  No one gains the benefits of government without taxation and payment into it.  At the poverty line the full force of government taxation comes into effect regardless of race, creed, skin color, religion, locale or any other factor.  If you are a citizen making above that amount, you pay taxes at the rate all citizens pay them.  Income tax is a horrible way to collect taxes, and we would be better served by having the States collect our taxes through means more local to us.  To effect that permanently, Amendment XVI must be removed from the Constitution, and as we have seen Congress is not to be trusted with this power.  The only exemption in this is via the SSA payback, and when that is used up, the individual pays taxes on all funds they get through employment.  All other taxes are removed from collections (ex. Capital Gains Taxes, the 'Death Tax', and so on).

2) As Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid eat up all revenue to the federal government, and all other things including the servicing of existing debt is paid for by new debt, they must end.  Those getting SSA may continue to do so.  Those who are not will be given the opportunity to take off the supposed 'investment' in their retirement from their federal taxes.  In addition the FICA tax disappears.  Medicare and Medicaid are not suited to federal venues, thus the funds for these two programs should be added together, divided in half, apportioned via block grants to the States proportionally and then phased out over 5 years.  At the end of 5 years the federal government will no longer fund health care for any but our veterans.  As those taking SSA will dwindle in the century after enacting this, that burden decreases.  In the mean time individuals get the greatest tax cut ever seen in modern times with not only FICA no longer removed from pay, but the ability to utilize past payments to negate current taxes putting full paychecks into the hands of our fellow citizens.  As the burden of overhead for these systems vanishes from all companies, they, too, will gain from no longer having to collect and account for these funds and will no longer serve as the ersatz tax collectors of the government.

3) The first and second items require an extreme austerity budget.  Thus while the State Department is funded, no overseas moneys will be available for anything.  The Department of Defense, being a necessary part of our security, will remain, but have much of its civilian workforce cut.  All Senior Executive posts throughout the federal government are abolished and the civil service will need to find able executives via the existing workforce, and that will make the entire civil service structure accountable to the Executive and Legislative branches directly.  The areas of US Coast Guard, US Geological Survey and Parks Departments remain, all else at Dept. of Interior goes.  Those areas within the Commerce Department associated with the US Mint and tax collection remain, all else goes.  The following are privatized by putting one share of stock out to each US citizen: Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, Sallie Mae, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and any other corporation or organ created to serve as a funds intermediary or directing organization on the US economy.  This does not include the Departments of Energy, Agriculture or EPA which are abolished.  Indeed, anything not explicitly stated within the US Constitution as a necessary organ of government is abolished.  Thus the General Accounting Office is necessary for the oversight of lands and goods held by the federal government, and the US Printing Office is not and will go.  The list of what the federal government MUST do, like secure the borders, will no longer be confused with nice things it should do, like have a Small Business Administration: the necessary for enumerated functions is kept, that which is not, is removed.

4)  Sunsetting all laws, regulations, codes and federal actions on the final digit year they were enacted.  Thus a law put in on 1913 comes up for renewal on any year ending with a 3.  All existing laws must pass both Houses of Congress and be re-signed by the President, no exceptions.  The citizenry shall have at least 2 years notice and input into all these items, which INCLUDES those proposed above.  If, after 10 years without such agencies and organizations there is a compelling need to put them back in place, the citizenry can say so.

5)  As (4) nullifies the size of Congress set in 1911, which had nullified all previous size changes via proportion, the Maximum House comes into being the year after the year that ends with a 1 in it if no other action is taken.  That is the Constitutionally largest House of Representatives at 1 Representative per 30,000 citizens.  Be advised that this will create a House of over 9,000 members.  It is suggested that the problem with 'corruption' in Congress is not due to the amount of money, but too few representatives to chase after it.  As representation increases, the ability of money to sway elections and representatives decreases inversely to the size of the House.  Also at 1:30,000 all seats will see demographic changes between each census and, frequently, between elections and thus come to represent the ever changing and moving face of the American people.  There is much good that comes from 9,000 politicians at each others throats.


How would the US government look without an Dept. of Health and Human Services?  Without a Dept. of Agriculture?  Without an EPA?  Would businesses run wild? 

Examine all the supplemental laws at the State level that have been put in place to enforce similar federal mandates and then ask why we need two laws on the books when only one is suited by region and locality?  Many are the laws that we duplicate, which means that our States stand ever ready to protect the environment at the local and regional level and willing to work with other States for larger compacts.  Before the EPA that is how it was done, even if somewhat corruptly it was better to disperse corruption amongst competing States that must come to agreement rather than in the faceless federal bureaucracy which is an advocate only for itself.  And it has grown during good times and lean times, and we feel that expense especially during the lean when the bloat of government becomes a drain to all American citizens.

We have created structures that tried to ignore demographics, and now we are eaten alive by them in a fiscal manner and see our liberty draining with those funds to the government.

We can help the poor, the elderly, the sick, the infirm and those that have lost jobs.

That does not start at the federal government, the cause for such woes in many areas, but at home with the family.  Then to neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties and States.  We pay dearly for burdensome overhead when we cannot sustain it, and that ever happens when our good wishes for our fellow man are replaced with distrust of his charity and the unfounded belief that government can be charitable.  That is not the purpose nor function of it, and when put in that role it is the least, worst and most costly way to deal with any problem... strange we seek it out first, instead of appealing to our fellow man to help create something better amongst ourselves.

And that is the grandest part of the bargain.

Believing in each other as capable individuals, no matter our circumstances, and placing our faith in each other again, and back to our families, first.  Do not ask what government can do for you nor what you can do for government, but what you know is right to your fellow citizens to help and aid him, directly.

Your Faith will guide you.

Your Hope will sustain you.

Your Charity will build a better society.

Our greatest liberty is that FROM government, not TO government as that latter is the path to Tyranny.

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