A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia
October 25, 1998 #108
by: Doug Fiedor
E-mail to: email@example.com
Copyright © 1998 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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ABOUT THAT FEDERAL MONEY PIT
So OK, after they passed a federal budget bill totaling $500-billion, the $18-billion they forked over to the International Monetary Fund looked like chicken feed in the scheme of things. Right?
Wrong! Look what $18-billion could do for us here:
With an average annual American income of $40,000, that $18-billion given to the IMF, if put into our economy, would be enough to hire 450,000 Americans for a year. Is there anyone out there who honestly believes there are not areas of the country that would not have greatly benefited from a couple hundred-thousand new jobs?
Or, that $18-billion was enough to give 2,600,000 American families a $5,000 cash rebate on taxes. Somehow, we find it easy to believe that two and a half million American families may find good use for that $5,000 around the home.
Put another way, the federal government just gave IMF what amounts to the total gross wages of 450,000 average Americans -- free. The federal government just gave away what should have been a $5,000 tax break for two and a half million American families. The administration saw extra money sitting around, so they gave $18-billion of American taxpayer's money to the IMF to keep foreign industrialists in foreign countries from loosing money.
There's more, though. The UN wants a couple billion dollars of our money. That counts, too. And we hear that Jimmy Carter is still carping that he did not win the Nobel Peace Prize for causing peace in the middle east. Since we're talking about billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, perhaps we might want to examine that.
Carter wanted Israel and Egypt to stop making war. And, yes, Carter got them to stop fighting. How? He paid them to stop fighting. Israel has received at least $4-billion of our money each and every year since then and Egypt gets around $3-billion. That would have been enough money to hire another 250,000 Americans for the last 20 years -- benefits and all. Add in all the money given to the IMF, UN, the World Bank and to insure business deals overseas, and we could have had more than enough free money to keep well over 500,000 American citizens in full employment.
At the time of this writing, Clinton is pulling a Carter at the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. That will cost American taxpayers another five to ten billion dollars, at least. They'll get paid to not do something.
There are a number of countries on our welfare lists. Russia received a few billion over the years, as has Indonesia. South American countries do not fair quite as well, but the total outlay is in the billions. Add all this stuff up and we're talking a significant loss of money to the American economy.
Some say that all this foreign aide and business insurance money actually indirectly benefits our economy. It does, really -- sort of. But, the benefits are seen at the top end of the economy, not necessarily where the average middle class American taxpayers live.
Most of our steel and textile mills are gone. Half of our automobile parts are now produced overseas. So too with most consumer electronics. Meanwhile, we have huge pockets of unemployment and underemployment in the United States. Interestingly enough, foreign concerns are even trying to cut into our domestic agriculture market.
Should we continue taking money from the pockets of the American people to pay foreign concerns to compete for our jobs? How many American jobs can be allowed to go overseas without permanently degrading our American way of life?
It appears that many in Washington intend to stimulate the international economy in favor of multinational investors and corporations. At first glance, that is not all bad. However, there is a very distasteful problem with adding international organizations, multinational corporations and foreign governments to our American welfare rolls. And that's exactly what it is: welfare; a redistribution of what should be our personal money.
Still, the above numbers are but a thumbnail sketch of the real story. Nearly one-third of this country's annual profit is sucked up by the federal government. Professor of Economics and popular pundit Walter Williams pointed out in a commentary not too long ago that, were the federal government limited to only those functions delegated to it by the Constitution, our tax rate would need be only about one-third of what it is now.
That would put $1-Trillion back into the American economy every year. That $1-Trillion would be enough money to start 22,220,000 new jobs at $40,000 annually, or give one-hundred-million American families a $10,000 tax rebate every year. And that, just from operating government as planned by the Founding Fathers -- operating government the way each and every public official in the country took an oath and promised to do when taking office.
The States, of course, would raise taxes a little to pick up some of the slack. But, even so, all American citizens would benefit greatly.
In a nutshell, that is one of the primary reasons we want a Constitutional form of government. It's our money. We should keep more of it.
Government is the hottest growth industry in the United States. And yes, the federal government is now an industry, providing many goods and services over and above its duties as a government. One problem is that when government provides a product or service, it usually creates a monopoly for itself and forces its product on the people. It also usually loses money on the deal.
The federal government continues to grow because "We the People" allow the federal government to continue to grow. Years back, government employees took a position in government because it was secure employment and they felt they would be providing a public service. The pay wasn't the best, but the benefits were good, and there were no lay-offs.
Today, the federal government has one of the highest pay scales in the nation. The benefit package is also one of the best in the nation. Yet, overall, the quality of the work force is far below equivalent positions in industry.
One reason is that most government workers cannot be fired. Like teachers, many federal employees develop a type of tenure that gives them job security no matter how mediocre their job performance may be. Another reason is that the concept of public service has long since vanished.
Most federal employees no longer consider themselves public servants. In fact, most federal employees have actually organized themselves against the public. That is, they unionized to bargain for higher wages, more benefits and better working conditions.
But, if this were the whole of the story, it would be little more than fill-in material in a throw-away newspaper. These federal employee's unions actually have two very important ways to feather their own nests -- and feather their nest they most certainly do, better than any other single group in the nation.
It is supposedly against the law for federal agencies to lobby government. Never mind that regulatory agencies like EPA do so almost continuously. There will never be an arrest for violating that law because the Justice Department and FBI violate it regularly, too.
Anyway, not only can federal employee's unions use collective bargaining to increase compensation and improve working conditions, they also use their unions to lobby their bosses and contribute to election campaigns.
Federal workers are in a great position to know which candidate for President or Congress best supports their particular department or agency. They also know which Members of Congress will be most likely to increase their department's budget, vote them a pay raise, demand better working conditions and allow their group even more supervisory powers over State and local governments and the American public.
So, as a result of their collective bargaining procedure, most of the federal unions fixed it so their union leadership would be free to continuously present their case to the federal powers that be. We taxpayers pay the salaries of these union leaders while they lobby the administrative and legislative branches of government for more money and power. That's how it works in Washington. The agency and/or department heads lobby the administrative and legislative branches for more money and power, and so do the employee unions.
But there's yet another trick not often talked about outside of the D.C. Beltway. Many of these unions are huge and have large treasuries. Therefore, the unions hire professional lobbyists. And, of course, they form Political Action Committees so as to contribute to politicians who will do the best for the union workers and their departments.
For instance, so far this year, one Environmental Protection Agency employee's union PAC contributed $154,130 to selected Congressional Democrats. That's just one union PAC from one federal agency. There are many, many departments and agencies within the federal government. All have a vested interest in growing government.
We can expect workers to want more pay, shorter hours, more benefits and more creature comforts. However, these federal employees -- public servants, one and all -- are continuously growing both the size and cost of government. Worse yet, every time their departments grow, they find it easier to butt into more of our business. Every time they gain expanded powers and a larger workforce with which to enforce those powers, we Americans lose more of our rights and liberties.
Therefore, this growth must end.
Better yet, it is time that all departments and agencies of government begin downsizing. We should, in fact, demand that the overall federal government (except military) be quickly downsized to the level it was during the Kennedy administration. That being done, we must start converting to a truly Constitutional form of federal government.
The savings in both money and freedom to the American people would be enormous.
It gets to be a real bummer always writing about such things as the Clintons' perjury, subornation of perjury, witness tampering, misprision of felony, obstruction of justice, and repeatedly lying to the American public.
Oh wait, we forgot to add waste, fraud and abuse of government office and funds. Now we can, as they say, move on.
This week, let's dig into some new sleaze. Everyone already knows about the Clintons' bimbo eruption committee, wherein they bribed, intimidated and/or publicly discredited as many of Clinton's paramours as they could find. So, we need not go into that again. Nor do we need to get into the drug running and money laundering associated with the people working out of Mena Airport. The Whitewater deal and ripping off a couple Arkansas banks need not be mentioned again, either. And we've already covered the FBI file scam, the White House computer abuse, the campaign money laundering, the China connection, and various sexcapades.
Needless to say, that's a lot of scandal for one administration. So, the task of the White House (taxpayer paid) legal defense team will be to insure that these things are never all discussed in the same place at the same time. Their current method (whine) of limiting discussion to a single scandal is accusing Republicans of "not being fair" and of not "telling who is charged with what."
Most interesting, under the circumstances, is the new (taxpayer paid) attorney the Clintons hired as their primary attack dog to fight impeachment: Gregory Craig.
Gregory Craig no sooner got the job of obstructing the impeachment committee hearing when howls of protest were heard within the Washington legal community. Last week, Matthew J. Glavin, President of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, publicly called for Craig's removal. Both "Roll Call" and the "Washington Post" touched on the reasons Craig in unsuitable for the position, but no publication has come right out and stated the case clearly.
Gregory Craig has had some interesting jobs. He worked for Senator Ted Kennedy, the socialist from Massachusetts. But that's not the real problem. Craig also defended John Hinckley; the Hinckley who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan.
"In the 1980s, trial lawyer Greg Craig defended a man who sought to kill a President," Matthew J. Glavin said. "Now, he is defending a regime bent on staying in power even if it means destroying the presidency that Ronald Reagan sought to protect and honor."
(From our view, out here in the foothills of Appalachia, it seems that Craig fits in with the less than honorable crew in the administration quite well. But, that's just our opinion.)
Last week, Gregory Craig started off by whining that House Judiciary Committee Republicans would not kowtow to the White House's wishes to limit the impeachment hearings, both in time limit and subject matter.
"You can't investigate charges without telling who is charged [and] what it is that they're being charged with," Craig whined. "It's like attacking a man who is blindfolded and handcuffed. These are not fair procedures."
Supposedly, Craig is an attorney. Apparently, though, he does not know that the procedure in the House is not a trial. For the matter of impeachment, the House of Representatives acts as a grand jury. Therefore, as with any grand jury investigation, the target need not be consulted, or even asked to testify.
The trial phase of the impeachment comes in the Senate, and is presided over by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. That is the proper time for Clinton's attorneys to mount an aggressive defense.
For now, Clinton's huge taxpayer funded legal team should spend their time talking amongst themselves and writing (on) their briefs (or Clinton's, for all we care). To comment in public -- and especially to continue obfuscating and lying to the American people -- at this stage of the game, however, is to intentionally obstruct justice.
"If other matters are referred to us [from another source] we reserve the right to consider those issues," Paul McNulty, a spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee's Republican majority, said last week.
Craig later countered with, "You cannot investigate conduct without standards." Implying, perhaps, that only the administration can operate without standards. Craig also suggested that Clinton might take his fight for fairness "to the people of the United States" if the impeachment process in the House does not conform to White House wishes.
Republicans correctly dummied up before the election. Look for that to change significantly next month. Craig's preposterous whine aggravated a lot of people on Capitol Hill. Knowledgeable sources assure Heads Up that if Republicans do well in the election, everything will be on the impeachment table for consideration. Every thing.
Last July, Rep. Bob Barr submitted the bill, HR 4196, to the House of Representatives. Anyone still remember that bill? "A bill to restore the division of governmental responsibilities between the national government and the States that was intended by the Framers of the Constitution, by requiring all Federal departments and agencies to comply with former Executive Order 12612." The bill has 36 cosponsors.
That bill was intended to kill Clinton's Constitutionally belligerent Executive Order 13083, which gutted the State's rights guaranteed by our Constitution and put the obnoxious federal regulatory agencies officially in charge of every activity in our life.
Many in Congress promised to take care of that little matter. No one did. HR 4196 died in committee -- the House Judiciary Committee, by the way.
Clinton's Executive Order was suspended (White House aides said for 90 days) while under consideration by Congress. They were not interested, and so did nothing. Therefore, Executive Order 13083 will probably become effective on or about November 14, 1998. Thereafter, by unilateral executive decree, most State's rights are officially dead.
Oh sure, the U.S. Supreme Court will kill that Executive Order deader than a doornail as soon as the matter gets through the courts. But, that's not the point. We'll have to put up with even more interference from the regulatory agency dictators in the meantime.
Thanks, Congress! It appears that we voters now know exactly were we stand on your agenda: Nowhere. Perhaps you elite lawmakers can picture us peasants marching in protests starting next year. The chants will go something like: "In the year 2000, we want you to know; all statests and socialists are going to go."
Look for us in the primary election of 2000. Because, that is when we are going to make one hell of a lot of changes. We want that Constitutional form of government intended by the Founding Fathers. No compromises will be acceptable. So, to those of you presently in government, either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.
A Press Release from Free Republic.
LOS ANGELES, CA (OCTOBER 22, 1998): The national March for Justice, sponsored and organized by website www.FreeRepublic.com, will be held on the mall in Washington, DC, from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, October 31, 1998. The purpose for the march, according to Free Republic founder, Jim Robinson, is to call attention to the corruption in the White House and the Clinton administration.
"The Constitution of the United States guarantees 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.' It also commands the President of the United States, in whose person the executive power is vested, to swear an oath that he will faithfully execute the duties of the office and 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,' " said Robinson.
On October 31, 1998, thousands of American citizens will exercise their Constitutional rights of assembly to petition their elected representatives to remove President Clinton for his open and notorious violation of the laws established under the Constitution he twice swore to uphold as president. "This is not about Republican or Democrat. This is about right or wrong," said Robinson.
Because the issue is the rule of law, and because every American citizen has a duty to cherish the laws of his country, the rally will be altogether legal and orderly, a remonstration more than a demonstration. It will aim at presenting the evidence of the President's lawlessness and convincing the Congress and our fellow Americans of the gravity of the President's misconduct. The heart of the event is not the spectacle, but the speeches. Statesmen like Representative Bob Barr of Georgia and Ambassador Alan Keyes will be joined by citizens who have experience of the President's misdeeds. "The aim is to make plain how far we have drifted from the rule of law, and to petition the government to return to our tradition of ordered liberty by using the Constitutionally ordained recourse: impeachment, conviction, and removal from office," said Robinson.
Line up of speakers includes: Ambassador Alan Keyes, Congressman Bob Barr, Jim Robinson, Larry Klayman, Gary Aldrich, Lucianne Goldberg, Former Congressman Ben Jones, Dr. Paul Fick, Rev. Jesse Peterson, and LD Brown.
NOTE: We recommend that readers call C-SPAN to insure full coverage of the Free Republic rally. Saturday, C-SPAN covered a liberal whine intended to be a protest against Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. This outrageous far-left function was attended by less than 100 people (down to about 25 people by the second hour), and amounted to little more than three hours of socialist rhetoric. Yet, it received full coverage by C-SPAN.
Call the C-SPAN "Front Desk" at: (202) 737-3220, and e-mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone across our country should have the opportunity to see the Free Republic rally as it happens.