If we don’t want a future U.S. government to become tyrannical we must work every day to limit the creation of government powers, laws, regulations and departments with the potential to be used as tools of tyranny. The tax collector has been an unfortunate but necessary fixture in society for thousands of years and will continue to be so. The power to tax is necessary (but certainly not at the levels we’ve chosen the past few years) but is also ripe for abuse and is definitely a potential tool of tyranny. Let’s not forget that one of the rallying cries that created our nation was tax related… “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
I must admit that when the cries of unfair treatment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by conservative nonprofits was raised during the election I discounted them as oversensitivity encouraged by election year politics but as it turns out there was preferential treatment for non-profits which espoused views similar to President Obama’s. It seems that organizations ‘friendly’ to the incumbent President weren’t selected for additional scrutiny but organizations with ‘patriot’ or ‘tea party’ in the title were.
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. That would be almost a 25 percent increase. Let’s look at the president’s proposal, but before doing so, let’s ask some other economic questions.
Are people responsive to changes in price? For example, if the price of cars rose by 25 percent, would people purchase as many cars? Supposing housing prices rose by 25 percent, what would happen to sales? Those are big-ticket items, but what about smaller-priced items? If a supermarket raised its prices by 25 percent, would people purchase as much? It’s not rocket science to conclude that when prices rise, people adjust their behavior by purchasing less.
It’s almost childish to do so, but I’m going to ask questions about 25 percent price changes in the other way. What responses would people have if the price of cars or housing fell by 25 percent? What would happen to supermarket sales if prices fell by 25 percent? Again, it doesn’t require deep thinking to guess that people would purchase more.
This behavior in economics is known as the first fundamental law of demand. It holds that the higher the price of something the less people will take and that the lower the price the more people will take. There are no known exceptions to the law of demand. Any economist who could prove a real-world exception would probably be a candidate for the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and other honors.
It’s [government regulation has] continuously gotten worse because there’s more and more regulations and it’s tougher for people to get into business, especially a small business. I tell you, if I started Subway today, Subway would not exist, because I had an easy time of it in the ’60s when I started and I just see a continuous increase in regulation.
Subway Restaurant Founder Fred DeLuca via If I Started Subway Today, Subway Would Not Exist | RealClearPolitics.
One reason most conservatives are very concerned about universal background checks [for firearms] is that’s the beginning of the end of government controlling every aspect of our lives…
Michael Bloomberg is a former businessman, media magnate, the Mayor of New York City and the 10th richest person in the United States. He’s so sure that he knows what’s good for you that he’s willing to use all the power that he has at his control including his wealth (estimated at $25 billion net worth), his media darling status, his influence and the mechanisms of government he controls to make many of your everyday choices illegal.
Some of the decisions he doesn’t think you’re qualified to make for yourself include…. Continue reading
An unarmed public is a tyrant’s playground.
[President] Obama, who believes government spends money more constructively than do those who earn it, warns that the sequester’s budgetary nicks, amounting to one-half of 1 percent of gross domestic product, will derail the economy. A similar jeremiad was heard in 1943 when economist Paul Samuelson, whose Keynesian assumptions have trickled down to Obama, said postwar cuts in government would mean “the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced.”
Federal spending did indeed shrink an enormous 40 percent in one year. And the economy boomed.
Because crises are government’s excuse for growing, liberalism’s motto is: Never let a crisis go unfabricated. But its promiscuous production of crises has made them boring.
Remember when, in the 1980s, thousands died from cancers caused by insufficient regulation of the chemical Alar sprayed on apples? No, you don’t because this alarming prediction fizzled. Alar was not, after all, a risk.
Remember when “a major cooling of the climate” was “widely considered inevitable” (New York Times, May 21, 1975) with “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation” (Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976) which must “stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery” (International Wildlife, July 1975)? Remember reports that “the world’s climatologists are agreed” that we must “prepare for the next ice age” (Science Digest, February 1973)? Armadillos were leaving Nebraska, heading south, and heat-loving snails were scampering southward from European forests (Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 27, 1974). Newsweek (April 28, 1975) said meteorologists were “almost unanimous” that cooling would “reduce agricultural productivity.”
Today, while Obama prepares a governmental power grab to combat global warming, sensible Americans, tuckered out with apocalypse fatigue, are yawning through the catastrophe du jour, the sequester. They say: Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the hamsters of sequestration.
Andrew’s Note: This is a bit longer than the typical Quote of the Day but I thought that it was important to hear from a crime victim, someone with firsthand experience of what it’s like to be at the mercy of a murderous criminal. The author is a survivor of the attack on Columbine High School. Here’s the opinion of a Columbine survivor on gun control and how effective the proposed gun control schemes might be…
As a student who was shot and wounded during the Columbine massacre, I have a few thoughts on the current gun debate. In regards to your gun control initiatives:
Universal Background Checks
First, a universal background check will have many devastating effects. It will arguably have the opposite impact of what you propose. If adopted, criminals will know that they can not pass a background check legally, so they will resort to other avenues. With the conditions being set by this initiative, it will create a large black market for weapons and will support more criminal activity and funnel additional money into the hands of thugs, criminals, and people who will do harm to American citizens.
Second, universal background checks will create a huge bureaucracy that will cost an enormous amount of tax payers dollars and will straddle us with more debt. We cannot afford it now, let alone create another function of government that will have a huge monthly bill attached to it.
Third, is a universal background check system possible without universal gun registration? If so, please define it for us. Universal registration can easily be used for universal confiscation. I am not at all implying that you, sir, would try such a measure, but we do need to think about our actions through the lens of time.
It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.
Ban on Military-Style Assault Weapons
The evidence is very clear pertaining to the inadequacies of the assault weapons ban. It had little to no effect when it was in place from 1994 until 2004. It was during this time that I personally witnessed two fellow students murder twelve of my classmates and one teacher. The assault weapons ban did not deter these two murderers, nor did the other thirty-something laws that they broke.
Gun ownership is at an all time high. And although tragedies like Columbine and Newtown are exploited by ideologues and special-interest lobbying groups, crime is at an all time low. The people have spoken. Gun store shelves have been emptied. Gun shows are breaking attendance records. Gun manufacturers are sold out and back ordered. Shortages on ammo and firearms are countrywide. The American people have spoken and are telling you that our Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
10-Round Limit for Magazines
Virginia Tech was the site of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Seung-Hui Cho used two of the smallest caliber hand guns manufactured and a handful of ten round magazines. There are no substantial facts that prove that limited magazines would make any difference at all.
Second, this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”
Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not. Whose side are you on?
Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.
Selling to Criminals
Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”
Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program?
Furthermore, the vast majority of these mass murderers bought their weapons legally and jumped through all the hoops — because they were determined to murder. Adding more hoops and red tape will not stop these types of people. It doesn’t now — so what makes you think it will in the future? Criminals who cannot buy guns legally just resort to the black market.
Criminals and murderers will always find a way.
Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.
Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?
You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:
First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.
Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.
This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.
Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.
Severely Concerned Citizen, Evan M. Todd
…there are an estimated 300,000-400,000 environmental laws, statutes and mandates believed to be in circulation nationally. Many can land a person in prison, regardless of whether another person, plant or animal is harmed.
John Stossel is one of my favorite writers. He’s a journalist, commentator and author who looks beyond the surface of a story to uncover the entire story. His in depth reporting on the unintended consequences of well meaning legislation can be particularly eye opening. I caught this piece recently on how government bans decrease freedom and create shortages which create big profits when handed back to the politically connected. Here’s a taste and a link to the rest of what Stossel has to say about how Government Bans Hurt Most:
I like to bet on sports. Having a stake in the game, even if it’s just five bucks, makes it more exciting. I also like playing poker. “Unacceptable!” say politicians in much of America. “Gambling sometimes leads to ‘addiction,’ destitute families!”
…So politicians ban it. It’s why we no longer see a poker game in the back of bars. Half the states even ban poker between friends — though they rarely enforce that.
After banning things, politicians’ second favorite activity is granting special privileges to a few people who do those same things — so big casinos flourish, and most states run their own lotteries. Running lotteries is one of the more horrible things our governments do. The poor buy the most tickets, and states offer them terrible odds. The government entered the lottery business promising to end the “criminal numbers racket.” Now states do what the “criminals” did but offer much worse odds. Adding insult to their scam, politicians also spend our tax money promoting lotteries with disgusting commercials that trash hard work, implying that happiness comes from hedonism.
If Philip K. Dick is rolling over in his grave it’s from bouts of hysterical laughter. One of the major plot devices of his book Minority Report, later made into a Tom Cruise blockbuster is seriously being contemplated by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Dick’s Department of PreCrime is in danger of becoming a reality…just without the clairvoyants.
In the story a government agency called the Department of PreCrime is established to identify criminals before they commit their crimes and incarcerate them as a preventive measure against crimes they might commit in the future. As the book unfolds it becomes clear that the Precrime Agency which might have been developed out of the best of intentions, has become a tool of tyranny. The nice thing about fiction is that you can clearly identify the good guys and the bad guys…unfortunately in real life it’s more complicated.
A St. Louis County, Missouri State legislator has proposed the following legislation, SB 124 AKA the Rat Your Kid Out or Rat Yourself Out Act:
Among the key provisions of the Act:
1.This act creates the offense of failing to stop illegal firearm possession. A person commits the offense if he or she is the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18, he or she knows the child possesses a firearm in violation of the law, and he or she fails to stop the possession or report it to law enforcement.
2.This act also creates the offense of negligent storage of a firearm. A parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18 commits the offense by recklessly storing or leaving a firearm in a manner that is likely to result in the child accessing the firearm if the child obtains access to the firearm and unlawfully carries it to school, kills or injures another person with it, or commits a crime with it.
3.This act requires a parent or guardian to notify a school district, or the governing body of a private or charter school, that he or she owns a firearm within 30 days of enrolling the child in school or becoming the owner of a firearm.
Oops…Police in New York to become criminals under hastily passed gun law…maybe the politicians don’t believe the police should be able to defend themselves either…
A troubling oversight has been found within New York State’s sweeping new gun laws. The ban on having high-capacity magazines, as it’s written, would also include law enforcement officers. Magazines with more than seven rounds will be illegal under the new law when that part takes effect in March.
As the statute is currently written, it does not exempt law enforcement officers.
Yet another bad idea from Chicago…
A South Side alderman is asking for City Council hearings on an unorthodox gun control measure that would allow for GPS tracking of firearms…Willie Cochran (20th), a former police officer, has suggested that global positioning system chips be embedded in new guns, and retrofitted on existing firearms, so they could be located if they go missing.
…Cochran has introduced a resolution asking the Committee on Public Safety to hold hearings to receive testimony on the matter. A Massachusetts state senator from Boston has been pushing a similar measure in that state.
Cochran acknowledged it might be expensive to install GPS chips on current and future firearms, but not as expensive as the cost of gun violence to society.
As for the privacy of gun owners who could be tracked with the GPS chips in their guns, Cochran said, “safety is … a much more important issue than is privacy.”
Why are so many government officials enamored with the idea of the rest of us trading in our privacy, self reliance and ability to defend ourselves for a false perception of safety? Are they tyrants in waiting, stupid or something else? Please, not another bad idea from Chicago!
When the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter, makes a ruling in a case they first look for precedent, in other words to see if there has been a court decision rendered on the same subject in the past and usually defer to the old decision in ruling on the case.
The greatest teacher in life is experience; it only takes one time of burning your fingers on a hot stove to know that you never want to touch another one.
The next greatest teacher is observation, paying attention to someone else’s experiences and profiting from their wins and losses, trials and errors.
In my generation I have seen the rise and fall off fascism, communism, different experiments in socialism and the kind of downright social and fiscal foolishness that leads to what has recently happened in Greece.
There is an old saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
There is at this time a huge debate in our nation about the private ownership of firearms. The president and the anti gun crowd claim they do not want to do away with private ownership, that they only want to modify the existing laws having to do with assault weapons -which can be construed as anything in your gun cabinet of any heavy caliber – and clips for semiautomatic weapons holding more than 10 bullets.
I submit to you that what is going on here is the first assault on private gun ownership
Charlie Daniels via Precedent Teaches Us The Left Really Wants ALL Our Guns
The existing tax code makes compliance difficult, requiring taxpayers to devote excessive time to preparing and filing their returns… and it undermines trust in the system by creating an impression that many taxpayers are not compliant, thereby reducing the incentives that honest taxpayers feel to comply.
“H.J.Res.15 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.” via H.J.Res.15 – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.
Andrew’s Note: Not likely to happen at this point but a scary topic nonetheless…repeal the 22nd Amendment…heck NO! It takes the approval of both houses of Congress and 3/4 of the States to repeal a Constitutional Amendment. The 22nd Amendment was created after a bout with a multi-election winning socialist administration. I think it’s a good idea to keep any single individual from amassing too much power in our Republic.
…the vice president indicated that there was a very short timeline for him to get back to the president with his recommendations because the American public has a short memory.
Sheriff Richard Stanek, president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association paraphrasing Vice President Joe Biden on rushing through gun control legislation via White House weighs broad gun-control agenda in wake of Newtown shootings – The Washington Post.
Andrew’s Note: Reminds me of a quote from another former Administration Official, former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel who said “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Incidentally, Chicago’s extremely restrictive firearms laws are being considered by some as a model for the nation…the same city that has a horrendous violent crime problem because gun control only disarms the law abiding.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
Matthew Boyle via Fiscal Cliff Deal: $1 in Spending Cuts for Every $41 in Tax Increases.