Skip to comments.LIBERTY LOST - Cause & Effect
Posted on 08/05/2007 7:51:43 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
We believe the federal government has grown too big, too expensive, too intrusive, too nosy, too abusive and.. . .well, just about everything it was not supposed to be.
What are we talking about when we say that? It's not Congress. Nor is it the Presidents, but between the two, they have created and fostered an Imperial Bureaucracy, a virtually independent, ever growing government that is answerable to no one, staffed by unelected bureaucrats who write rules and regulations that have the force of law and lord it over us as if they were our Imperial Masters.
How big is the bureaucracy? Not counting Congress, the White House, the State Department, the CIA or the Military in uniform, there is 1 fulltime civilian federal employee for every 123 Americans. Surprised? Is that too big?.
Congress has been on a Legislative binge for more than 60 years. To enforce those laws, at the direction of Congress, the bureaucrats write regulations. At the end of 2006, there were 144,040 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. In that almost undecipherable mass there has to be one, two or a dozen that can jump up and bite any one of us at any moment. When it happens, they have the full force of government behind them while all we can do is go broke paying attorneys.
For instance: The BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is systematically, one by one, revoking gun dealers' licenses on paperwork technicalities. Someone overlooked and therefore did not fill in one space in a form. BOOM! "Your license has been revoked." The small ones who could not afford thousands of dollars in Attorney's fees, simply went out of business. Twenty years ago, there were 250,000 licensed gun dealers in this nation. Today, there are only 108,000. That works out to be 19 a day that have just disappeared. And, of course, the number of gun dealers "not complying with regulations" is used by BATF to justify and expand it's budget.
How much are these regulations costing us? According to a recent study released by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2004, the nation's business community, mostly small businesses, spent $1.1 trillion complying with Federal Regulations. Who pays that? We do. It's a cost of doing business and is a part of the price of everything we purchase. How much is $1.1 trillion? Assuming a population of 300 million, it's $3,667 for every man woman and child in the country. And you thought all those regulations didn't affect you. Right?
All Congress has to do to change all this is snatch the bureaucrats up by the knap of the neck, let them know the Rules Committee has arrived and rewrite the enabling legislation in specific terms, precisely narrowing and defining the scope of their authority and how they will conduct themselves. But it's too busy playing a vicious, high stakes game of political "Gotcha" while enacting even more legislation that directs the bureaucrats to write even more regulations. And virtually every new regulation take a bite out of someone's liberty.
The list of abuses and abusive attitude could go on to near infinity, but the real question is, "How did it get this way?" The Founding Fathers put together a government meticulously designed to prevent what we have. What happened?
What happened was the standard ingredients of politics, greed and corruption. Late in the 19th Century, the Power Brokers and Robber Barons saw the federal government as a cow that could be milked for power, prestige and cash, but the Senators, who took their marching orders from their respective Legislatures kept blocking them. After a number of years of manipulation, apparent bribery and really dirty politics, we got the 17th Amendment which took the power of appointment away from the State Legislatures and moved it over to general election.
The result was predictable and inevitable. When the Senators were dependent on the Legislatures for reelection, the individual legislators and the Legislature as a whole, had enormous clout. When your reelection depends on only 80, 90, 100 people, you pay very close attention to what they want. When it was shifted over to the entire population of the State, the electing units were so large no one at home had any clout. This is exactly what the manipulators wanted, because the Senator's attention and loyalties switched to those who could help assure reelection, the Power Brokers. And that's where they still are today.
We were supposed to have a Senate made up of Statesmen who would be immune to public opinion and popular causes, vigilant guardians of our individual rights and liberty. Instead, we have a Senate composed of 100 free agents, free to follow their own agenda, which they do with impunity and immunity; answerable only to their political party, special interests, the mainstream media and their campaign contributors; responding with legislation to every popular cause that comes along, often inventing one just to get face time on TV; perfectly willing to eradicate everyone's rights simply because a few might or have abused them and have turned the United States Senate into an arena for an ongoing, seemingly never ending political food fight. It's disgusting and we deserve better.
The answer, the solution, is to repeal the 17th amendment so we have at-home control over what they do or do not do and we can get that done if we put our mind and resources to the effort. Put the appointment of Senators back where it belongs, with the Legislatures and that's exactly what we're going to do..
"Whaat," you wail, "you want to take away my right to vote for Senators." If putting it back where it belongs, with the State Legislatures, means taking it away from you, Yes, we do. We're taking away ours too, so you haven't been singled out. But be realistic. That vote is only symbolic. It is meaningless, simply because the only time a person has power in the ballot box is when he can exercise some control over the actions of his "servants" and the only way to have control is to be able to talk to them directly, not just to their staff. Can you call your Senator and get him on the Phone? The Party Bosses can. Milton Megabucks can. The media can. The lobbyists can. But you can't. Face it. We're just a mass of nameless faces in the crowd they have to shmooze every six years just enough to persuade us to keep them in office.
So, the choice is yours. You can hang on to your symbolic vote, or you can take positive steps to help change it. Millions of men have put themselves in harm's way to preserve our freedom with their blood staining the world's battlefields. We have not served them well by allowing this to happen. It's time to make amends and giving up your symbolic vote is a small price to pay compared to what they sacrificed.
We have a solid, three step plan to get it done. It's been hailed as "Brilliant," "Outstanding" with an 80% to 90% probability of success by some pretty savvy people who have been trying for years to get Congress to exercise some self restraint, trying to make them understand that they have been granted responsibility rather than power.
Constitutional historians rate the 17th Amendment as the biggest mistake we have ever made. Our success will be hailed by future historians as the greatest advance of liberty in the 21st Century.
Individual liberty and smaller government are our objectives, but it goes beyond that. We have wounded men and women languishing in miserable conditions in VA Hospitals and there are 1,252,188 members of Disabled American Veterans who are not receiving adequate care, partly because of the bloated, inefficient, dollar consuming bureaucracy but primarily because Congress has proven itself to be the world's most profligate spendthrift to the point where there's no money "left over" to take care of them properly. When we can cut the bureaucracy down to size and get some control over the Senate we will be able to provide some better care for these wounded warriors. We owe it to them and they have earned it.
If you want to be a part of it, contact us at the Email address below or at http://hometown.aol.com/repealthe17th/ROAR.html
ROAR (Restoring Our American Republic, Inc) 2975 Elizabeth Lane Snellville, GA 30078 Voice: 770-978-1913 FAX: 770-978-1064 RepealThe17th@aol.com http://hometown.aol.com/repealthe17th/ROAR.html
If the State legislature were to choose, then the folks from Carson, Powers Lake, Crosby, Velva, and Dodge would have an even chance of influencing the decision as to who would be Senator, and a better chance of being represented because the vote of their legislators would count for proportionally more than their individual vote in the current system.
This was a check against sliding into the morass of 'democracy' and mob rule, and a balance against the House which would be more representative along population lines.
BINGO!! Thank you Jim!!
mash here folks for more info...
17th amendment — 1912 — BAD year -— TR and his Bull Moose lost it for the Republicans ushering in the horrid Wilson.
Being conservative to the bone, I don't like democracy and really would like to see a return to Federalism as it was meant to be.
What I'd really like to see is the repeal of the 17th coupled with a drive to increase the size of the House. I've been banging at these issues ever since I came on board FR, but these threads never seem to gain the traction that I believe they should.
By putting the appointment of the Senators with the Legislatures, the founding fathers made sure being “responsive to the public will” would NOT infect the Senate. In fact, that’s one of the problems we have now, they do respond to popular causes and public opinion. Once the media starts a feeding frenzy on a “Popular Cause,” the Senators flock to the TV to see how much face time they can get.
“Its not an easy question to get a handle on !!!”
Look at it from a little different perspective. Right now we have virtually all power centered in DC. Repeal of the 17th would break it up into 50 power centers. And once you can break up the power, you end up with smaller govenment.
“I cant imagine all the backroom deals that might go on here as they negotiate who to send to DC”
At their worst, they wouldn’t be any different from what is going on right now. When a candidate gets on the ballot it’s only with permission of the party bosses and, once elected, they have to toe the party line or lose the party’s support (read money) for the next election. Look what the Dems tried to do to Lieberman
“I have been saying for years that the 17th Amendment was when and where it all started going to hell in a hand basket.”
So, now is the time to quit talking the talk and come along to help get it done.
“This is the first Ive heard of ROAR, how long have they been around?”
How long does one have to be around to have a good, solid plan to get something done?
“We also need term limits, and limits on the power of the unelected Congressional staffers”
That’s true, but even more than that, we need limits and very pricise job descriptions on the bureaucrats. Until we can get them under control, it’s just going to keep getting worse.
It worked for me. But, right now, all you get at the web site is a plea for money.”
Maybe because that’s what it takes to get the job done. This has aleady cost me a little over $12,000 and I am not a charitable institution. Unless some other people put money in the pot, it just ain’t gonna happen.
It’s up to you.
IMHO this site needs a touch of professionalism and clarity of purpose.”
You will please note that I said “a few extra dollar” in “honor of,” not “for.” My point is that by allowing this government to go this far we have, essentially, betrayed the men who spilled their blood on our beahalf, and, as stated, it’s time to make amends.
As for being “professional?” As I recall, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were hand printed on parchment, straightforward, simple statements of purpose.And that’s what is on the web page. No bells, whistles, swooping eagles, just a simple, straighforward statement of the problem and the proposed solution.
Because you had the courtesy to send me an email, I sent you a copy of the plan. For the people who have read it, it seems to be split into three camps
1.Those who believe it will work.
2. Those who don’t think it will.
3. Those who are afraid it will.
If you fall into number 1, get aboard.
If you fall into number 2, you’re in line with about 2/3 of the people who thought Thomas Jefferson and those other idiots who signed the Declaration of Independence were looking at nothing more than a short trip on a tight rope, because, obviously, it won’t work.
I don’t think you fall into number 3. Incidentally, from the feedback I get, those in Number 1 are leading.
The choice is yours.
That’s the conventional wisdom, that it can’t be done because there’s no way the Senators will give up their hot tub. So, when the front door is blocked, barred and bolted, go in the back door and that’s what we’re doing. The second principle, much like the first, came from a shoulder patch I saw on a U.S. fighter pilot —”When you’re losing the game, change the rules.” That too is what we’re doing. So, if you’re curious as to how this works, send me an email and I’ll send you a copy of the plan.
You may say this statement is ridiculous, but think about it. The House of Representatives is elected directly by the people the way it was intended by our founders. No State government influence or say in who gets elected. Representatives are accountable to and serve at the will of the people.
After the 17th, State Legislatures have no say or representation in Washington. Both Senators and Representatives are accountable directly to the people, not state government. What makes it even worse is that Senators don't represent small compact districts with their own interests like the House members do. Instead of representing say, an agricultural district, or an industrial district, a white, black or Hispanic district, Senators have to prostitute themselves statewide over all interests. The only way they can do this is by way of pork. Big pork barrel projects that will get them elected state-wide. Guess who pays for all this pork.
State government has to hire lobbyists such as the National Conference of State Legislators, or the National Governors Association, or private lobbyists to name a few. They stand in line with their hats in their hands behind all the other thousand of lobbyists like big oil, the tobacco lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, etc. to try to influence their Senators. The problem is that the State lobbies don't have BIG BUCKS like the other lobbies do.
This is wrong. This is not the way it was intended to be. You may not trust your state Legislature, but do you trust big business and political action committees that fund multi-million dollar Senate campaigns more? (Don't get me wrong, I support free enterprise and capitalism 100%, however, big multinational corporations should not be running our country for their own benefit at the expense of the people. The amnesty bill is a prime example.)
We need to go back to the way things were. Do you think that Trent Lott and others were representing their states during the Immigration amnesty vote? Hell no! But Trent will get re-elected because of his seniority. If State Legislators sent Senators to Washington, they could also call them home and replace them. Do you think the federal government would ever impose unfunded mandates on the states again? Remember, the federal government is supposed to act for the benefit of the States and do what the States cannot do on their own individually.
My 2 cents for what it is worth.
It’s not up to us to decide. That is something that will have to be worked out between the Legislatures and the Senate post-repeal. We do not have an agenda, except to get the bureaucracy under control, not only in size, but in the way they do things.
We hope to make it a part of the amendment required to repeal the 17th, but it may not be possible to require Congress, after there are 51 Legislature appointed Senators seated, to create a national Ombudsman which would take over the review of new regulations, appeals on infranctions and be charged with the responsibility to keep the bureaucrats on track.
The current mess is the result of ‘democracy’ in action.
That’s exactly what it is, so come aboard.
The special interest groups that want illegal immigration also have less clout since the senators do not have to raise money for campaigns. The states and cities and counties are the ones dealing with the problems of unchecked illegal immigration, they are already screaming to the state legislators to do something about it.
Would you Freepmail me the plan, too?
Sing along: "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I'm told I'm free"....
Your posting was informative and made a lot sense.Gave me a different viewpoint on the subject,thanks !!!
The Founders designed a Constitutional Republic to avoid the emotional mob rule facet of democracy and promoted states rights to (among other reasons) keep the government closer to the local citizens. A brilliant plan.
The 17th was a major step away from those plans, and it appears we are in danger of losing the Republic, in spite of Franklin's caution.
Massive unaccountable bureaucracies have expanded into state and even large local governments as well. Can this be reversed? The task is daunting and heavily opposed, but illumination and ROAR can certainly help inform those who will see the issue.
Sacking the 17th may well be effective in restoring a balance of power to the small states and the people.
Would you Freepmail me the plan, too?
I don’ t know how this system works. I just signed on this morning. Send my an email to RepealThe17th@aol.com and I’ll get it right back to you.
This has long been the commentary of conservatives. That it all went wrong after the 17th.
Good food for thought and thanks for the ping!
** ping **
I wholeheartedly endorse both of the goals.
I lauded the goals in my initial post and I offered constructive criticism. Yet you confused that with whether I was behind the effort and challenged my motives---now where did that come from? No goal-oriented, professional activist organization would do such a thing to those from whom it was soliciting donations.
While the GOAL IS WORTHY, the organization is not ready for prime-time. A "few extra dollars in honor of" is still a donation and, if you seek donations, you must be properly constituted and organized in order to be successful.
Do you know what are, and how to solicit and use, "in-kind" donations? If not, you're not ready. If so, then you wasted 12 grand when you should have used in-kind donations.
Having organized and directed several such non-profits, I'll be glad to help, if it is a well-run, properly constituted organization you wish to have.
I truly don’t think that repealing the 17th Amendment will accomplish much of anything, compared to multiple, and probably ordinary (as opposed to constitutional) changes.
For example, one of the most effective ways of getting your agenda heard in political functions such as parliaments and conventions, is to be a “marginal” organization with a focused agenda, between two major competitors.
In the US right now, there is only one such group that has the fixated attention and patronization of both republicans and democrats: “Hispanics”, or more properly Mexican Americans. Specifically American citizens of Mexican ancestry.
And while they are an ethnic bloc, they represent the “marginal” condition that any “marginal” political party or organization could achieve, except they have no great focus, no special agenda, as such. They may end up voting in either direction.
If these people ever found a leader with limited and concise demands, both republicans and democrats would jump through the hoop to appease him and them. That is because by being in the middle, they would carry far more weight than other groups who have already chosen sides.
Now in the case of reducing the size of the federal government, the path to success would be to create an organization, if not a political party, with enough clout to turn an election towards either party. And it would have to be clear, and be able to deliver the votes, to *whoever* gave them what they wanted.
Under no circumstances could they adopt other positions favored by one side or the other, which would take tremendous discipline. Their sole effort, individually and collectively, would have to be to reducing the size and scope of the federal government.
Importantly, this would *not* have to take place at the federal level, at first. For that, the NRA is a good example. They intervene in tight political contests at the State level, and will support whichever candidate that supports gun right more. This skillful technique has busted up rigid blocs in both the democrats and republicans, by creating both “pro-gun” democrats and driving from power “anti-gun” republicans.
So say this new organization has the single platform of reducing the size of the federal government. It should go to the State where it is the strongest, and as an organization wheel and deal with both democrats and republicans at the State level. Make them both the same offer: support slashing the size of the federal government, and we will get you elected.
But, you might ask, these are State offices. What good are they in influencing the national parties and federal government? The answer to that is “building bi-partisan momentum”.
On almost every election day in the US, there are races that are tight all over the country. The more politicians you can get “across the finish line” in more places will be elected officials who will owe you a big favor. They will see your organization as “the” one that got them elected.
And republicans and democrats will then start vying for your support. And such power does trickle up.
With such a tactic, pretty soon the national parties would start looking at how they could “bring you into the fold”, as a permanent supporter of their party. But this has to be refused, though it is a terribly attractive idea. They will offer real power if you align with them, but if you do, then you will win a small battle and lose the war.
As you well know, I have been on this bandwagon for years. In fact 1913 was a VERY bad year for our republic all around. Both the 16th and 17th amendments desperately need repealing if we are ever again to be a truly free people.
And I don’t believe yours would accomplish much of anything, but it you go ahead and start such an organization, I certainly will support it.
“As you well know, I have been on this bandwagon for years. In fact 1913 was a VERY bad year for our republic all around.”
As one of my people noted, “All we really have to do to get everything straightened out is delete 1913.”
“I lauded the goals in my initial post and I offered constructive criticism. Yet you confused that with whether I was behind the effort and challenged my motives-—now where did that come from? No goal-oriented, professional activist organization would do such a thing to those from whom it was soliciting donations.”
If I misunderstood your motives, I sincerely apologize. Please understand, I get tons of emails with suggestions from people who “Know exactly how to get it done,” and, so far, all of them have been colossal flops. The bottom line is this. I have selected and decided on a way to do it, which has evolved from some false starts. If someone can show me how to improve on what I’m doing, I’m wide open to suggestion.
“While the GOAL IS WORTHY, the organization is not ready for prime-time. A “few extra dollars in honor of” is still a donation and, if you seek donations, you must be properly constituted and organized in order to be successful.”
I hear what you’re saying, and recognize that you are sincere. But I think you will have to admit that when someone come on with a “You’re doing everything wrong” approach without providing any detail as to what is the “correct” way to do it, it is subject to some skepticism's. I’ve given a couple of people a shot at it, but all they accomplished was to slow me down for a while.
“Do you know what are, and how to solicit and use, “in-kind” donations? If not, you’re not ready. If so, then you wasted 12 grand when you should have used in-kind donations.”
Your term “in kind” donations is a bit ambiguous. It can and does have multiple meanings. How are you using it. Please be specific.
“Having organized and directed several such non-profits, I’ll be glad to help, if it is a well-run, properly constituted organization you wish to have.”
As I said, I’m open to suggestion.
Yep! Now all we need is to figure out how to undo 1913.
Glad to know there are others who understand that the 17th did far more that change the way senators are selected. It changed the fundamental design of the republic for the reasons you have eluded to.
B T T T
Ok, that tells me you've not done this before, at least not on a professional level, and that is helpful information. In Kind donations are donations of time, material, facilities, heat, light, water (general utilities)and services made by those in a position to extend these. Often, they are made by local govt. offices (e.g., county commissioners), but are by no means restricted to that. For example, an attorney who is sympathetic to your cause can make an in-kind donation of services to set up your non-profit organization and deduct this from their income taxes. A person with an established office staff can do the same for secretarial, etc., assistance. A landlord can do this for a building or office space. All has to be well-documented, etc. A church can do this as well.
“With the illegals voting, we are simply out numbered....”
Which is why IMHO, the Senate is risking its entire reputation on illegal immigration legislation. Business, and their Senate lackeys, smell this coming a mile away.When the senate once again, belongs to the people, we’ll have our country back for our kids and grandkids. It is doable...
“By professionalism: Get non-profit status so that contributions are deductible”
When I first started I went in that direction, but on the advice a very knowledgeable and experienced person I canceled it. If were a Chapter (C)3 it would make fund raising much easier, I know that. However, it would open me up for some really nasty opposition tactics. Even though it isn’t, someone along the line would go to court contending that I am engaging in forbidden political activity. I would eventually win, but it would tie things up for several years as it wound it’s way through court. Therefore, I have to settle for simple “Not For Profit.”
“Stick to one issue for fund raising—if you want two issues, then form two groups-—Accountability is a must if you expect significant donations.”
Again, you are the first and only person who has ever seen it as two rather than one. I really don’t think that’s a problem. Furthermore, I am not going for “Significant” contributions. Since it is a strictly non partisan effort, I have to be quite careful as to who contributes, since I cannot take the risk of being identified with any existing group. I have had offers of substantial support from various organizations and an offer to join one, but their political positions would be a poison pill with the legislatures. Therefore, I am going after a whole lot of small contributions.
“Finally, the web site has only a two choice (donate, don’t donate), forced-choice alternative. There should be the ability to volunteer for those who are not ready to donate money.”
Good suggestion, but at this point I have no use for volunteers. When it comes time to put pressure on Congress, I have thousands of people who will do that.
I wholeheartedly endorse both of the goals. good.
Now, I’ll address a couple of points you made in a later post. As for “in kind” contributions, I thought that’s what you meant. FYI I have free office, Free Telephone, Free DSL etc. If I said I have spent $12,000, that’s in error. I think I said, it has “cost” me $12,000. That’s the amount of income I have had to give up so far to do this. I’m a contract financial analyst for a major, national consulting firm. I still take jobs when they tell me they really, really want me to do a particular one, but I have turned down $12,000 worth of work.
You can hang on to your symbolic vote, or you can take positive steps to help change it. Millions of men have put themselves in harm's way to preserve our freedom with their blood staining the world's battlefields. We have not served them well by allowing this to happen.
Bears constant drumbeat repeating.
Allegiance and Duty Betrayed
Wow this blows my mind. Theres some heavy stuff being brought up here.On the one hand do we let government State Legislatures choose more government US Senate or do we decide for ourselves who represents us? Its not an easy question to get a handle on !!!
I look at like this, would the legislature of New York have sent Hillary to DC ?
Clearly worth supporting.
If I had money to spare I'd send it. As it is I have only well wishes and a "good luck" to send your way.
The current make up of Democraps on a state level is that they control 30 State House of Representatives and 26 State Senates, with a coinflip for State Senates for Oklahoma and Tennessee tied at 24-24 and 16-16 respectively. To think that this idea would get my voice heard is rediculous!
That can and probably will change in the 2008 elections. If not then, there’s 2010 and a Sent-or is there for six years.