A Government That Wants to Control Us, Not Represent Us

TYRANNY   by Diane Rufino

George S. Liberty recently wrote a rant about government on his blogsite after he watched a news clip about Jonathan Gruber, the controversial architect of Obamacare.  His theme was how audacious and contemptible the government has become regarding the American people.  Clearly, the government has little respect for the people. It feigns loyalty to them only when it comes to election time or when it serves its purposes in enlarging the federal institution. As George wrote: “It’s clear that government feels it must oversee us rather than represent us. It knows best.”

The federal government is steadily becoming more antagonistic and repugnant to the People.  Its interests are not the interests of the American people. In fact, too many times, its interests are exactly opposed to their interests.  Look at the immigration issue, look at the erosion of race relations at the direct hands of the current administration, and look at the soft stance the current administration is taking with respect with the greatest evil the world has encountered since Nazi Germany and its designs for genocide of the Jews and world domination.  When has America ever stood by and watched its citizens being brutally beheaded?  The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, for example, which violates so many precious American liberties that this article dares not even go into them, was passed with a level of deception and duplicity that hasn’t been seen in this country since the days of the Civil War and Reconstruction. As if the backdoor deals, threats, and political promises make by the President weren’t enough, as if his promise to the American people, through an interview with George Stephanopolous, that the mandate was not a tax only to have the mandate officially classified as a tax (and supported and justified by the government’s taxing power) wasn’t enough, and as if the promises of lower healthcare costs (and retention of one’s doctor) only to see costs skyrocket, doctors lost, and businesses suffer wasn’t enough, we now learn that the architect of the healthcare bill “counted on the stupidity of the American people” in getting the bill passed in the court of public opinion.  He said that if more people knew what was written in the bill, it would have never passed. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish we could have made it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This government – OUR government – a government supposedly of the people, by the people and for the people –  purposely set out to deceive We the People.  Wow.  I mean, WOW!  Can you believe the audacity of our government?  King George III of England seemed audacious at one time.  He and the British Parliament took the liberty of taxing the American colonies to cover the costs incurred by the British in fighting the French in the French & Indian War (to clear claim to the New World territories) and the costs to protect them.  Yes, the tax was ultimately being used to serve and benefit the colonies, but it was the fact that the King didn’t first provide them with a seat in Parliament to give them representation with respect to legislation that affected them which set them off.  This failure of the King to safeguard their rights as Englishmen (as laid out in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, among other charters) is what gave birth to the Sons of Liberty, led to the Boston Tea Party, the shots at Concord & Lexington, the Declaration of Independence, and ultimately to our secession from Great Britain.  The lack of transparency, the duplicity, the contempt, etc…..  King Obama and his Congress of rats and weasels all of a sudden don’t seem much different from King George.

As I hear news story after news story showing just what a leviathan that our government has become – in both size and attitude –  I can’t help but reflect upon the genius of our Founding Fathers.  Thomas Jefferson repeatedly explained how government would work best. In 1816, he wrote to his friend Joseph Cabell: “”The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to.  Let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the

counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself.  It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.”  The federal government was never intended to have such concentrated power and authority over the states and over the lives and property of the people. Whatever happened to these documents: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…..”     And “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The highly intuitive and intellectual geniuses that debated and drafted our Constitution knew very well what could happen if the populace became complacent and tacitly surrendered their freedom to the designs of government. Thomas Jefferson and others warned that government would tend to grow itself and put its own interests above those of the people.  The delegates to the Philadelphia Convention thought they addressed this problem by creating separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches and by building into government various levels of checks and balances.  Madison’s essays – Federalist No 47 and No. 51 – addressed these important design features.  Aside from the separation of powers and the systems of checks and balances, our Founders believed the two most powerful checks on government would be the States (federalism; Tenth Amendment) and the People themselves (ever vigilante of their liberties).

The question is this: Once government becomes self-serving rather than freedom-serving, are we stuck with it?  The answer is no.  Lucky for us, the sheer brilliance of our Founders can be seen in the plain words of our country’s charter of freedom – the Declaration of Independence:

“…….That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

But the obvious follow-up question is this:  At what point do we “alter or abolish” our government?  Jefferson addresses that question in that second paragraph:

“…… Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.“

At this point, so many of our precious liberties – certainly our rights to property and now our rights to make basic choices regarding our lives, our associations, our conscience, and our health – are not secured by our government. In fact, government is assaulting and eroding them. Our right to bear arms, the one right that helps us secure all others, has become ever so tenuous.  Is now the time to “alter or abolish” our government?

Judging by the sheer volume of Americans that the government has managed to shackle to its existence and its programs, individual liberty may no longer be that “precious gem” (as James Madison once called it at the Virginia Ratifying Convention) that should be placed above all else. There was a time when it was.

And government knows this.  Perhaps that was the very intent of government when it set on its path to become the great leviathan that it currently is. Maybe it knew that the people had to be coerced into surrendering their liberties – by promising them stuff and taking care of them from cradle to grave and by convincing them that the promise of guaranteed freedom isn’t the same as a guaranteed paycheck or guaranteed housing or guaranteed healthcare.

Maybe those government officials who have sought over the years to use the full power of the government to divest it of its constitutional moorings studied Federalist No 51.  In that essay, James Madison wrote: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

People can’t control government like they are supposed to if government controls them.  And make no mistake about it…. Government today DOES control the American people.

Combine the complacency that people have on account of the emphasis that the leviathan places on social and welfare programs with the “experience that hath been shown” of human nature to be “disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”  This looks like a perfect recipe for government longevity and acceptance of tyranny.  And so, in one of his arguments, George S. Liberty writes: “The government will continue to take, and take, and take. And it will push, push, and push –  all in the design to sustain itself at the expense of the populacebecause it knows that people are more inclined to suffer the consequences than to right themselves. The government banks on the fact that we are timid.”

It cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals — that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government — that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizens’ protection against the government.

In other words, in this country, it is freedom that is enlarged.….   NOT the government.  Freedom must endure at all costs; NOT government.  Government must not be perpetual, if it be at the expense of individual freedom.  But individual freedom MUST be perpetual, even and perhaps especially at the expense of government.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those entrusted with the powers of their government, these will be perverted to their own oppression, and to the perpetuation of wealth and power in the individuals and their families selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution has hit on the exact degree of control necessary, is yet under experiment.” (in a letter to M. van der Kemp, 1812)  Maybe our future generations of Americans are better served in our public schools by spending a month every year learning what our Founding Fathers had to say about civic duty instead of constantly re-learning about slavery and Jim Crow (the wounds that no one seems to want to let heal).

So, where are today’s Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Sam Adams, and George Washington?

If ever we needed these men – or their spirits – it is now.

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2016: Obama’s America or The People’s America?

      by Diane Rufino, November 9, 2012

As Obama gets set to begin his second term (sob, sob, barf, barf), he’ll no longer have his predecessor (George Bush) to blame for the bad economy. He can only blame the administration before him which was HIS. We know there are a few things we can expect, and none of them are good:

1). The looming fiscal cliff

2). Unemployment (Obamacare officially kicks in in 2014; it will hamper jobs like never before.  Obamacare is directed at businesses that have at least 50 full-time employees. How many small businesses will lay off workers to reduce their out-of-pocket costs?  How many will think twice about growing their business because the cost to do so is just too expensive?)

3). Greater tension in the Middle East (particularly with Israel, as Iran moves forward with its nuclear program)

4). “Backroom” deals with Russia (as he clearly indicated off microphone with the Russian Prime Minister)

5). Sequestration and deep military cuts (in order to pay for entitlements, thereby shifting the primary focus of government from National Security to General Welfare)

6). The end of the Bush-era tax cuts

7). The greatest tax increase on the middle class in the nation’s history (Obamacare contains 21 hidden taxes. New taxes. 7 of them are levied on ALL citizens regardless of income. And 14 additional ones will hit businesses and those making over $250,000. All of these taxes are necessary to supplement the Individual Mandate – also a “tax” according to Justice John Roberts – to pay for the President’s healthcare bill).

8). Greater demands on the wealthy to “pay their fair share” and greater sacrifices on those who are successful, causing them to reconsider major life decisions (such as getting married, buying a house, having children, having additional children, helping their children go to college, vacations, andpaying off debt, including college debt), while requiring no sacrifice on the part of those on entitlements (such as requiring an education, mandatory birth control, a transition to employment within 3- or 5-years, legal US status,drug screening, community service, making sure their children maintain a solid grade point average in school, etc).  In other words, the dynamic will continue to favor dependency because the government rewards that behavior over success and hard work.

9). Young people sacrificing their dream and resigning themselves to a less significant career

10). Appointments to the Supreme Court. One possibility is Hilary Clinton (who agreed to take the fall for Obama in the Benghazi attack of September 11th, during which the government allowed 4 American officials and former Navy Seals to be murdered by refusing to send help, which was already poised to be deployed). The threat this term, besides a Supreme Court decision upholding Gay Marriage and further eroding Religious Rights, is an attack on our Second Amendment rights. We can expect the administration to seek to define precise limits of this right with the intent of limiting individuals to the kinds of weapons they can possess, and how many and how much ammunition.

11). There is a rumor going around that Obama has his team of attorneys looking for a way to get around the constitutional limit of 2 terms as president.  Will he attempt to make himself dictator – and fulfill the prophecy of the “Savior” to all those Americans who want the government to take care of them and to solve all problems? Adolf Hitler rose to power under similar circumstances. Be careful what you wish for.

Let us not be so cavalier with the system that our Founders crafted for us, the one secured by the blood of over a million Americans, and the one that the rest of the world looks to.

The dust barely settled from Tuesday’s election before attention turned, as it should, to the looming fiscal cliff threatening the U.S. economy in the new year. The election outcome didn’t change the fact that America is headed down a path to financial oblivion. In fact, awarding Barack Obama with another four years will most likely assure us of getting to that cliff.  Economists have warned us that we have at most 4 years to turn things around or we will face a severe depression on the magnitude of that suffered by Greece.  And we already see the market players’ response to the election, as reflected by the market’s sharp downturn in the election’s aftermath. They don’t have confidence in the Obama administration. They know his policies and they don’t see how our problems can be solved. Americans rejected the candidate with experience in turning debt and crisis around. The market downturn indicates that businesses and investors believe things will only get worse.

Thanks to the political shenanigans of our elected representatives, a perfect storm of tax hikes and sequestration (which are automatic spending cuts) will hit all at once in January. All of the Bush-era tax rates will expire, sending the five tax brackets anywhere from 20% to 50% higher. The payroll tax cut will expire, costing the average worker over $1,000 next year. The Alternative Minimum Tax patch will also lapse, as will the lower death tax rate. More Obamacare taxes kick on, particularly on the already-targeted top-bracket taxpayers.

Automatic federal spending cuts across the board (except for entitlements, of course) that will be triggered, and the defense cuts in particular, will hurt both our capability and the economy. Indeed, the day after the election, Boeing announced that its defense division will suffer a 30% cut in management jobs, and several facilities in California will close. For obvious reasons, the administration demanded that defense contractors wait until after the election to announce cuts.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that Republicans would be open for a deal.  He said that they might be open to increased revenues, but only if Democrats agree to keep income tax rates from going up and accede to reduced spending and entitlement reform. Boehner made clear that higher revenue should (and would) come from “a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fair tax code, with fewer loopholes and lower rates for all” – which, of course, was the Romney-Ryan plan.  The House Speaker added a day later, “Raising tax rates is unacceptable.”  There was a time when a promise like that would be received with resounding approval by the American people.  But in this new era of America – in Obama’s America – only half of Americans have to fear the federal income tax code.  And so only those who enjoy the freedom from the code could care less when a tax increase is on the table.

We expect an ugly fight from Democrats, who blew up the deficit only to complain that Republicans won’t play the role of tax collector to pay for it. This is especially true of Barack Obama, who has been making the case to the American people that Republicans won’t compromise, while it’s been the Democrats who haven’t put forth any budget plans and it was the Democrats who worked behind closed doors to pass Obamacare – without considering any input from Republicans (such as tort reform) and without a single Republican vote.  President Obama would rather push the economy over the cliff than give up his “new economic patriotism” — i.e., the belief that the wealthy should pay higher tax rates.  How many times have we heard his campaign pitch “The rich need to pay their fair share!”  How many times should they pay taxes on their income or their gains?  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), those higher rates will hit small businesses extremely hard and likely result in recession.  Also according to the CBO,  the cliff will cause unemployment to spike beyond 9%.

Meanwhile, massive deficits continue unabated. When Obama took office in 2009, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. As of Nov. 1, 2012, it stood at an obscene $16.2 trillion, and his budget proposals will push that number north of $25 trillion by 2022. The U.S. per-person share of government debt, according to the International Monetary Fund, now exceeds $53,400. That’s 35% higher per capita than Greece, which has seen a catastrophic economic collapse.

The federal government has racked up more debt since 2008 than it did in the first 224 years of the Republic. In other words, it took all the presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton to match the debt built up under Obama’s first four years. And as Michelle Obama tweeted before the election, “If this is what the President can do in 4 years, imagine what he can do in twice the time.”  That should scare every right-thinking American out of his or her shoes.  We simply won’t survive as a free nation.  The wealth distribution that will have to result from such a transformation of our system or from an economic crisis will warp speed us into a socialist country.

A good friend of mine tweeted this after the election: “I’ll do Michelle Obama one better…  For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed of my country.”

If that’s not enough, the Treasury Department noted last week that the government will again hit the debt ceiling by the end of this year. Yet the only plan Treasury has to address our ballooning debt is to continue printing more money to finance it.  Inflation will continue to rise.  Our national debt will soon be too risky for nations like China to purchase.

The fact that the White House and Congress remain essentially unchanged after the election certainly doesn’t bode well for the nation’s economic plight. Obama undoubtedly views his victory as a mandate for more socialist policies and class warfare.  In his second term, he will seek to complete what he set out to do in his first term – the fundamental transformation of the greatest nation ever created by man.  What sins or failures of our past can justify this transformation?

A government that can create economic stress is in a good position to constrain our liberties. A hungry man thinks about food, not freedom.

In 1700, Alexander Fraser Tyler wrote: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been two-hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again into bondage.”

I’ve written many articles, but the one that is most popular is one I wrote on Secession in 2011.  Never before in modern history have so many people taken an interest in secession and the division of the country into two separate nations.  Why?  They simply want to have at least one place that still is free and protects those that desire freedom above all else.  They are not getting that in the United States anymore.  So what do we do?  Do we let tempers flare?  Do we allow frustrations to intensify?  Do we laugh at these “crazy people” and assume they are just venting?   Do we take them as seriously as Barbra Streisand and Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin who promised to leave the country if George Bush was elected (but never left)?

There is a breaking point, you know.  We all know this from our own lives and from watching the news every time there is a workplace shooting or a suicide or a person kills his or her family because things are just so bleak.  The more the Obama administration senses the frustration with government, the more it will seek to restrain the one right the people still have – the right to own and bear arms.  The more the government senses frustration, the more Executive Orders Obama will pass to put government forces on alert to step in our states and into our communities to keep the peace. We are talking about martial law.

So, what do we do?  Do we perpetuate this cycle of government oppression and individual frustration?  Do we let tempers flare and frustrations intensify and entertain the idea of a divided country?

No, we offer them Thomas Jefferson’s remedy of Nullification and ask them to join the movement to peacefully end the “transformation” that Obama and others before him have done to destroy our constitutional republic.

We ask people to study their history and remember that the nation was founded by individual states who came together to mutually concede which limited powers they would delegate to the federal government, for their benefit, so that they could find protection and prosperity in a Union. The federal government was supposed to respect their borders and individuality and not work feverishly to erase them and to establish a one-size-fits-all approach.  The states who drafted, debated, interpreted, and ratified the Constitution (creating the federal government) are the rightful parties to declare what those powers delegated to the government are.  Therefore, Nullification is power of the states to declare when the government has overstepped its legal bounds under the Constitution and to remind the government that without a rightful exercise of power (as the Supremacy Clause explains), the particular federal law, policy, or federal court decision is null and void and unenforceable on the States and its people.  Nullification is the rightful remedy, as Thomas Jefferson articulated, to restore proper constitutional bounds of power and therefore secure individual liberty. James Madison articulated a similar doctrine – Interposition – which states that states are duty-bound to use nullification and refuse to enforce such law, policy, or decision within their borders.

It takes good and decent, concerned citizens to make a difference.

Recall the Sons of Liberty, with members such as Samuel Adams and John Hancock and Paul Revere and Patrick Henry. The Sons of Liberty, which started out as a small secret organization, set in motion a series of events that eventually resulted in our country’s independence.  In fact, it’s most doubtful that the Revolution would have happened without this group of liberty-minded agitators.  How did they get things rolling?  They started with simple acts of civil disobedience – like protesting a tax on documents (the Stamp Act) and dumping some tea into the Boston Harbor because they opposed the tax on tea.  They organized demonstrations, forced officials of the Crown to resign, circulated petitions, published newspaper articles, and distributed handbills. They started in Connecticut, spread to Massachusetts and New York, and soon there was a group in every one of the 13 colonies.  When the stamps arrived in the colonies from England which would be affixed to various documents, including newspapers, pamphlets, deeds, licenses, and other legal documents, diplomas, bibles, calendars, and playing cards, the Sons of Liberty organized to threaten and intimidate those officials appointed to apply the stamps. Thanks to the Sons of Liberty, the Stamp Act could not be enforced.  When the King responded with further oppressive measures – which Jefferson would refer to as “abuses and usurpations” of their rights – the patriotic resistance grew.  By 1766, there were thousands of members in each colony.  Soon others were encouraged to address their grievances against the Crown by similar acts of disobedience.  And we all know what eventually happened.  We fought the Revolutionary War and gained our independence.

We don’t want another war but we do want our independence again.  And Nullification is the answer.  Otherwise, I fear, there will be a revolution.

References:
Breitbart News: “Obamacare: Seven New taxes on Citizens Making Less than $250,000,” June 29, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/29/Seven-new-taxes

The Patriot Post Digest of November 9, 2012.   http://patriotpost.us/editions/15407/

Diane Rufino, “What is the Significance of the Constitution and Can Nullification Save It?, January 25, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com

Diane Rufino, “Nullification and the NDAA,”  May 31, 2012.  Referenced at: http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com

Diane Rufino, “Nullification: A Concept Whose Time Has Come,” June 23, 2012.  Referenced at: http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com

Diane Rufino, “Nullification Now!,” July 13, 2012.  Referenced at: http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com

Diane Rufino, “Nullification & the Myths,” January 25, 2012.  Referenced at: http://forloveofgodandcountry.wordpress.com