Saturday, February 10, 2018

The GOP is Crapping on the Constitution

The GOP and Democrats agreed on a two-year spending resolution. In that agreement, that GOP would get a much needed extra 135 billion in spending for the military. On the flip side, the Democrats received about 120 billion in extra discretionary spending across the board to be shared by all other department and agencies. This is a terrible deal because it adds 250 billion dollars of spending, per year, to the budget without reducing spending anywhere. We know Democrats are big spenders, but so too are Republicans and this is proof. Sure, they want to rebuild our military, but they cannot hold the country hostage with tons of debt in doing so. It is not worth it if the result is a larger and bigger federal government which will ultimately take away from individual and state sovereignty. This compromise is not worth it. The United States is over 20 trillion dollars in debt and any agreement to increase that debt is a bad deal for the future health of our economic system. But that is just it, politicians are so used to kicking the can down the road, it is just a matter of time before our debt and unfunded liabilities ruin this country.

Even those Republicans who did not vote in favor of the spending bill have misguided views. Several of these folks have been on TV talking about how Republicans could eliminate Senate procedures requiring 60-votes for cloture on spending bills. Once Republicans eliminate the 60-vote threshold then they can push their will on Democrats. There are several issues with this type of thinking. First, it is short sighted. When Democrats have majorities in Congress, they will return the favor by cutting military spending while increasing discretionary spending. What comes around goes around and Republicans should not forget this. Secondly, and most importantly, Republicans wanting to do away with the 60-vote threshold are forgetting about the history of America. Our Constitution does not implement a simple democracy, the Constitution outlines the government of a Republic. Our founders abhorred democracy and that can best be outlined by James Madison in his Federalist Paper 10 essay. To protect Americans from majority factions wanting to infringe on the rights of minority groups the Constitution put in place many checks and balances to ensure that majority groups will not get their way and impose their will on minority groups.

How is America a Republic but not a democracy? The Constitution supports Federalism to share government functions between the States and federal government. All States have two senators regardless of population. The Electoral College is not population based. Both the Executive and the Supreme Court can void legislation passed by Congress who support the people. And many laws or treaties require more than a simple majority to pass. Impeachment, amendments, and treaties, for instance, require super majorities to pass. This structure of the Constitution was put in place for reason: to protect citizens from government encroachment. The same can be said of a 60-vote majority in the Senate for spending bills. This Republican form of government helps protect citizens from government encroachment (like hijacking the future of our grandkids). For this reason, Republicans should not destroy this Constitutional structure. If our Founders wanted a simple democracy then they would have created that.

In one case the Supreme Court held that Nevada could allow for a simple majority to pass a budget instead of a supermajority required in the State’s Constitution. This is wrong. It infringes on protections built into the Nevada Constitution to protect its citizens. People have less freedom not more. There is nothing wrong with gridlock. This is how things are supposed to work in politics so one side does not push its agenda on another. A Republican form of government should be respected instead of being taken down brick by brick by the Court and impatient politicians. The Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) and Seventeenth Amendment (elect Senators through popular vote) are excellent examples of amendments that work to support democracy at the expense of Republican principles. We need to stop crapping on the Constitution.

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