Cape County Tea Party – 8th Congressional District Candidate Forum

The members of the Cape County Tea Party invite the citizens of Cape Girardeau County (and beyond) to hear from Missouri Candidates who wish to represent them at the Cape County Tea Party 8th Congressional District Candidate Forum.

Join us for an opportunity to hear from the six candidates who seek to represent you as a citizen of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives.

DATE:                    

  • Wednesday May 22nd, 2013

TIME:

  • 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Doors by 6:00pm
  • Eevent will start promptly at 6:30pm
  • Arrive early to mingle with the candidates

PLACE:                  

  • Cape Public Library
  • 711 N. Clark
  • Cape Girardeau, MO

 

CONTACT:            

PARTICIPANTS:   

  • Bill Slantz
  • Doug Enyart
  • Jason Smith
  • Dr. Robert George
  • Steve Hodges
  • Tom Brown

WEB:

FACEBOOK:          

NOTE:

  • There will be no regular Cape County Tea Party Meeting (a.k.a. Third Tuesday Tea Time) for the month of May which normally would have been held on Tuesday 05/21/13

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Cape County Tea Party – 8th Congressional District Candidate Forum

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Consequences of misinterpreting the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Cost

Births to illegal alien mothers are adding more to the U.S. population each year than did immigration from all sources in an average year prior to 1965.

The Urban Institute estimates the cost of educating illegal alien children in the nation’s seven states with the highest concentration of illegal aliens was $3.1 billion in 1993 (which, with the growth of their population to 1.3 million, would be more like $5 billion in 2000). This estimate does not take into account the additional costs of bilingual education or other special educational needs.1

FAIR estimates there are currently between 287,000 and 363,000 children born to illegal aliens each year. This figure is based on the crude birth rate of the total foreign-born population (33 births per 1000) and official estimates of the size of the illegal alien population – between 8.7 and 11 million. It should be noted that the Bear Stearns investment firm and others have concluded that the actual number of illegal aliens in the United States could be as high as 20 million.2,3 Using this higher number would roughly double FAIR’s estimate to approximately 574,000 to 726,000 children born to illegal aliens each year!

As of 2001, the cost of having a baby in the U.S. ranged from $6,000 to $8,000 for a normal delivery and $10,000 to $12,000 for a cesarean birth (to as much as $14,000 in certain parts of the country).10 Assuming that an average birth in the year 2007 now costs $8,000, the total cost for 363,000 anchor babies would be approximately $3 billion. Assuming the more realistic number of 726,000 anchor babies, the total cost would be nearly $6 billion. American taxpayers pay a substantial part of this cost.

In 1994, California paid for 74,987 deliveries to illegal alien mothers, at a total cost of $215.2 million (an average of $2,842 per delivery). Illegal alien mothers accounted for 36 percent of all Medi-Cal funded births in California that year.1 A survey conducted under the auspices of the University of California, found that of new Hispanic mothers in California border hospitals, 15 percent had crossed the border specifically to give birth. Two-thirds of births in Los Angeles County hospitals are to illegal alien mothers who are in the U.S. in violation of our existing immigration laws.

Illegal aliens are not eligible for welfare benefits, but their citizen children qualify for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and other benefits granted to US citizens. Based on data collected in California for AFDC’s “children only” cases, the California Department of Social Services estimated that in fiscal 1994-1995, 193,800 children of illegal aliens received welfare, costing $553 million.

By not addressing this abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment and enforcing immigration law, the funds that state and local governments must provide to anchor babies amounts to a virtual tax on U.S. citizens to subsidize illegal aliens.

Rule of Law

By deliberately not addressing this loophole, Congress in effect rewards law-breakers and punishes those who have chosen to follow the rules and immigrate legally.

The 14th Amendment stipulates that Congress has the power to enforce its provisions by enactment of legislation, and the power to enforce a law is necessarily accompanied by the authority to interpret that law. Therefore, an act of Congress stating its interpretation of the 14th Amendment, as not to include the offspring of illegal aliens, would fall within Congress’s prerogative.

One Man, One Vote

Congressional district reapportionment weighted by the presence of illegal alien noncitizens is notably unfair to American citizens (both natural-born and naturalized), and clearly violates the principle of “one man, one vote”.

As the number of US House seats is fixed at 435, reapportionment means that if a given state gains a House district, another state must lose one. If non-citizens (illegal aliens) are counted in the decennial Census upon which districts are apportioned, then states with larger illegal alien populations are likely to end up with more districts and therefore more representation in the House. This effectively dilutes the votes citizens in states having relatively low proportions of illegal aliens.

United States Sovereignty

The Oath of Allegiance for Naturalized Citizens

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”8

The Mexican government recently provided dual nationality to its citizens who naturalize in the United States. No longer looked upon by their countrymen with contempt, those who emigrate (and sneak in) to the United States are seen by Mexico as advocates for its presumed territorial claims to the American Southwest. Mass immigration, while acting as an overpopulation safety valve for Mexico, simultaneously strengthens Mexico’s political presence inside the United States. Mexican dual nationality serves to retain the allegiance of its citizens who become United States citizens, and to discourage assimilation – in spite of the oath of allegiance they take to America.

Unconstrained illegal immigration and disregard for the rule of law are not conducive toward maintaining US sovereignty. Special corporate and political interests want all the cheap foreign labor they can get. Misinterpreting the 14th Amendment and granting automatic birthright citizenship to children of illegal aliens is but one aspect of the dismantling of America.

In April, 2005, President Bush signed the Security Prosperity Partnership with Canada and Mexico, with the stated objective of ensuring the free movement of goods and people across the US border. This treaty, never ratified by Congress, is a significant step towards the North American Union where a sovereign United States will be merely a memory.

Population and environmental consequences

United States population is at roughly 300 million and is projected to double within the lifetimes of children born today.4 Approximately two-thirds of this population growth will be due to mass immigration – that is, immigrants, illegal aliens, and their descendents.5

The United States is past the point of environmental sustainability. Scientists have noted that a sustainable population at today’s consumption levels would be approximately 100 to 150 million people.6 A good and readable overview of the population-environment connection can be found at SUSPS. A visual presentation of the damage illegal immigration does to the environment near our southern border can be seen at DesertInvasion.US.

Other countries

The United Kingdom, for example, formerly allowed Birthright citizenship. In 1981, because of immigration pressures, they restricted it to now require that one parent be a legal resident. In France birthright citizenship has been changed — now children between the ages of 16 and 22 of illegal alien parents must actively seek French citizenship.

It should be noted that on June 11, 2004 Irish voters voted in a national referendum to end automatic citizenship for any child born in Ireland regardless of the parents’ residence status. Ireland was the last member of the European Union to allow pregnant foreigners to gain residence and welfare benefits as a result of birth in the country. (Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 13, 2004.)

Millions of Americans

Millions of Americans have served in defense of the United States of America. Many have died to preserve the freedoms that we take for granted – freedoms granted to United States citizens by the US Constitution. Granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens whose first act in coming here is to break our laws, cheapens beyond recognition the meaning of our Constitution and the value of the lives lost fighting to preserve it.

Notes and more information:

1.   Anchor Babies: The Children of Illegal Aliens (Federation for American Immigration Reform)

2.   Robert Justich and Betty Ng, CFA, The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface (Bear Stearns, January 3, 2005)

3.   Fred Elbel, Illegal immigration invasion numbers (DesertInvasion.US, August, 2004). Published in the Social Contract under the title How Many Illegals Are There in the U.S.? (A New Methodology) (Fall, 2005)

4.   US Census Bureau.

5.   NumbersUSA.com resources on Birthright Citizenship

6.   SUSPS

7.   James R. Edwards, Jr., Two Sides of the Same Coin – The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration, (Center for Immigration Studies, February, 2006)

8.   Anthony Beilenson, Case for Correction By Constitutional Amendment, The Social Contract (Fall, 1996)

9.   US Citizenship and Immigration Services

10.   The Cost of Having a Baby Dr. Greenfield (Dr. Spock, July 18, 2001)

Misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Quite simply, the Fourteenth Amendment currently is being interpreted to grant automatic birthright citizenship to children born in the United States of illegal alien parents (called anchor babies because under the 1965 immigration Act, they act as an anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of other relatives into permanent U.S. residency). This clearly is contrary to the original intent of Congress and the States in ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment.

While it has been the practice to bestow citizenship to children of illegal aliens, this has never been ruled on by the Supreme Court.

Professors Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith have noted1 that:

“The present guarantee under American law of automatic birthright citizenship to the children of illegal aliens can operate…as one more incentive to illegal migration and violation by nonimmigrant aliens already here [.] When this attraction is combined with the powerful lure of the expanded entitlements conferred upon citizen children and their families by the modern welfare state, the total incentive effect of birthright citizenship may well become significant.”

References

1.   Professors Peter Schuck and Rogers Smith, “Consensual Citizenship” (Chronicles, July 1992)

16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913)

Far-reaching in its social as well as its economic impact, the income tax amendment became part of the Constitution by a curious series of events culminating in a bit of political maneuvering that went awry.

The financial requirements of the Civil War prompted the first American income tax in 1861. At first, Congress placed a flat 3-percent tax on all incomes over $800 and later modified this principle to include a graduated tax. Congress repealed the income tax in 1872, but the concept did not disappear.

After the Civil War, the growing industrial and financial markets of the eastern United States generally prospered. But the farmers of the south and west suffered from low prices for their farm products, while they were forced to pay high prices for manufactured goods. Throughout the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, farmers formed such political organizations as the Grange, the Greenback Party, the National Farmers’ Alliance, and the People’s (Populist) Party. All of these groups advocated many reforms (see the Interstate Commerce Act) considered radical for the times, including a graduated income tax.

In 1894, as part of a high tariff bill, Congress enacted a 2-percent tax on income over $4,000. The tax was almost immediately struck down by a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court, even though the Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Civil War tax as recently as 1881. Although farm organizations denounced the Court’s decision as a prime example of the alliance of government and business against the farmer, a general return of prosperity around the turn of the century softened the demand for reform. Democratic Party Platforms under the leadership of three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, however, consistently included an income tax plank, and the progressive wing of the Republican Party also espoused the concept.

In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.

This document settled the constitutional question of how to tax income and, by so doing, effected dramatic changes in the American way of life.

(Information excerpted from Milestone Documents in the National Archives [Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995] pp. 69–73.)

 Page URL:  http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=57

U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408 • 1-86-NARA-NARA • 1-866-272-6272

Apportionment and The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution

Fred Elbel.

Website by Fred Elbel, Elbel Consulting Services, LLC

Political representation in the United States is based upon creating constituencies in proportion to geographical areas. The US House of Representatives, for example, delimits seats proportionally between states. The states, in turn, create districts in which House members run.

The decennial US Census has been used since 1790 as the basis for the United States representational form of government. As a result of growing population, the number of House members eventually quadrupled in size. In 1911, the number of Representatives was therefore fixed at 435.

In principle, districts are reapportioned every ten years after the decennial US Census. The number of districts apportioned to each state is defined by Congress, in accordance with Title 2 of US Code. (In practice, the two major political parties vie for control of reapportionment in order to maximize their respective constituency bases). During the 1960s, the Supreme Court ruled in a series of cases that congressional and state legislative districts must consist of relatively equal populations. Specifically, the Court’s decision in Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) mandated that states apportion congressional district boundaries based strictly according to population.

Malapportionment can occur in the states as a result of failures to reapportion after significant population shifts within established districts. The resulting effect is that in a given House district, a House member can end up representing a much larger number of voters as compared with another district. The result is that citizens in the larger district have less direct access to, and influence upon, their elected Representative – thus diluting the principle of “one man, one vote”, which has been upheld by the US Supreme Court.1

Reapportionment based on non-citizens

As the number of US House seats is fixed at 435, reapportionment means that if a given state gains a House district, another state must lose one. If (illegal alien non-citizens are counted in the decennial Census upon which districts are apportioned, then states with larger illegal alien populations are likely to end up with more districts and therefore more representation in the House. This effectively dilutes the votes of citizens in states having relatively low populations of illegal aliens.

Similarly, congressional districts in those states with proportionately higher numbers of illegal aliens end up representing a large illegal alien, non-citizen, non-enfranchised population.

Illegal immigration has the same effect on presidential elections because the Electoral College is based on the size of congressional delegations. Indeed, the presence of all foreign-born persons in 2000 (naturalized citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens) redistributed 16 seats, up from 12 seats in 1990.5

For example, in Southern California, several districts contain less than half of the eligible voters found in districts in other states.2 Indeed, 43 percent of the population in California’s 31st district is made up of non-citizens, while in the 34th district, 38 percent are non-citizens. In Florida’s 21st district, 28 percent of the population is non-citizen, and in New York’s 12th district the number is 23 percent.5 The presence of illegal aliens in other states caused Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi to each lose one seat in the House in 2000, while Montana failed to gain a seat it otherwise would have. In addition, the presence of all non-citizens in the Census redistributed a total of nine seats.5

Apportionment Solutions

Reapportionment weighted by the presence of illegal alien noncitizens is notably unfair to American citizens (both natural-born and naturalized), and clearly violates the principle of “one man, one vote”.

The most obvious solution to this inequity is to stop counting noncitizens for purposes of apportionment. Article 1 Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be conducted every 10 years expressly for the purpose of apportioning seats in the House of Representatives. Yet the Constitution does not specify the method of apportionment, or the composition of the population to be apportioned. Since the original 1790 apportionment, several different methods have been used, with the method of Equal Proportions being used since 1940.

Precedent is established in that Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment both explicitly exclude non-taxed Indians from apportionment. In addition, the 14th Amendment, Section 2 acknowledges that some may be denied the right to vote. 2

Although the Supreme Court has to-date favored counting both citizens and noncitizens in reapportionment cases, this interpretation of the Constitution appears to clearly go against the Founders’ intent. It should not require a Constitutional amendment to count only citizens for apportionment purposes, but in light of special interest groups pushing for open borders, perhaps an Amendment ultimately will be necessary.

“If, as I suggest, one person one vote protects a right uniquely held by citizens, it would be a dilution of that right to allow noncitizens to share therein.”

Kozinski’s opinion reinforces the concept that illegal aliens should not be count for apportionment purposes.

Given the number and power of special interest groups pressing for open borders, any attempt to change apportionment methodology would meet substantial resistance in Congress. Furthermore, the most serious obstacle to counting only citizens for apportionment purposes would remain: the inability to differentiate between citizens and noncitizens during the Census-taking process.

Ultimate Solution

The ultimate solution would be to enforce existing immigration laws both along the US perimeter and within in the interior, thus preventing additional illegal aliens from entering the US, while encouraging those already living here to return home to reunite with their families.

References

1.   Reapportionment, and United States Census, 2000 (Wikipedia)

2.   James Gimpel and John Edwards , Immigration Dilutes the Voting Rights of Citizens- Gimpel, The Social Contract (Winter 2005)

3.   Charles Wood, Losing Control of America’s Future — Census, Birthright Citizenship & Illegal Aliens, The Social Contract (Spring 2005) [This article is adapted from a larger paper, “Losing Control of America’s Future – the Census, Birthright Citizenship, & Illegal Aliens“, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Spring, 1999)]

4.   Charles Wood, Losing Control of the Nation’s Future — Part One — The Census and Illegal Aliens, The Social Contract (Winter 2005) [This article is adapted from a larger paper, “Losing Control of America’s Future – the Census, Birthright Citizenship, & Illegal Aliens“, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Spring, 1999)]

5.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven A. Camarota, and Amanda K. Baumle, Remaking the Political Landscape – The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment (Center for Immigration Studies, October 2003)

6.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven A. Camarota, Leon F. Bouvier, Godfrey Jin-Kai Li, and Hong Dan, Remaking the Political Landscape – How Immigration Redistributes Seats in the House (Center for Immigration Studies, October 1998)

7.   Mark Krikorian, Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Steven Camarota, Noah M. J. Pickus, Remaking The Political Landscape: The Impact of Illegal and Legal Immigration on Congressional Apportionment, Panel Discussion Transcript, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. (Center for Immigration Studies, October 23, 2003)

8.   Steven A. Camarota, The Impact of Non-Citizens on Congressional Apportionment, Testimony prepared for the House Subcommittee on Federalism and the Census (Center for Immigration Studies, December 6, 2005)

9.   Leon F. Bouvier, The Impact of Immigration on Congressional Representation (Center for Immigration Studies, July, 1988)

10.   Steven A. Camarota Rotten Boroughs – Immigration’s Effect on the Redistribution of House Seats (Center for Immigration Studies, Fall, 1998)

11.   Dudley. L. Poston, “The U.S. Census and Congressional apportionment”, Jr. (Society, 34, March-April 1997, pp.36-44)

12.   Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Leon F. Bouvier, and Hong Dan, “The Impacts of apportionment Method and Legal and Illegal Immigration on Congressional apportionment in the Year 2000”, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Demographic Association, Orlando, Florida (September 25-27, 1997)

Fiscal Cliff: Let’s Make A Deal

The solution to the problems in America’s economy, finances, debt, and obligations is certainly NOT for the Federal Government to have more money and control — as if, under Barack Obama’s claim, you just hive him another $100 Billion more per year, all our problems will be solved.

Under Clinton, yes, taxes were higher, but spending was 18% of GDP instead of the current 25% of GDP. THAT h/t http://www.yourcpapartners.com/is why the budget was (closed to being) balanced… …along with the whole of the Congress and President knowing that Newt Gingrich was willing to take the Nuclear Option and shut down the Federal Government.

So, to solve our problems, a true leader, a true conservative/libertarian would introduce legislation and vote to reduce the amount of money taken out of the economy by the Federal Government and reduce the amount of our labors the Federal Government spends.

It’s simple common sense… …that is so uncommon these days.

So, why would any Republican, the party of Fiscal Responsibility, bring legislation to the floor and vote to increase taxes and spending?

There is only one answer:

They care more about their future as a legislator than they do about what’s best for America.

So, when they vote to increase your taxes and increase the money going to the government and increase spending (while calling it deficit reduction), you know that that person is not working for you and the betterment of America.  They are callously voting to ensure their own future is bright at the expense of yours.

Maybe you ought to vote ‘no’ this time when they tell you they are the true conservative/libertarian but their votes show they are not.

Pavlov’s Monkeys

Received via E-Mail

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water. After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result … all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away.

Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs.  To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him.  After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.  The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment… with enthusiasm. Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to
the stairs he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs.

Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, none of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana.

Why, you ask? Because in their minds…that is the way it has always been!

This, my friends, is how Congress operates… and is why, from time to time, all of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.

The Day The Democrats Took Over

I’ve been arguing what is written below (received via e-mail and edited) since President Obama took office, but my thoughts are well-crystallized here:

The day the Democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009 (the inauguration of President Obama), it was actually January 3rd 2007, the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate at the very start of the 110th Congress.
The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is “Bush’s fault”, think about these facts.  On, January 3rd, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:

  • The Dow Jones closed at 12,621.77 (Incredibly as of this writing it is now on the verge of 13,000)
  • The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.6%.
  • George Bush’s economic policies had set a record of 52 straight months of job creation!

Remember that day…

January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?  BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney Frank) for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment … to this crisis by (among many other things) dumping $5-6 TRILLION of toxic loans on the economy from your Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cronies!

By the way, Bush asked Congress 17 times to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy.  Barney blocked it and called it a “Chicken Little Philosophy” – and then the sky did fall!  He wanted to roll the dice.

And who took the third highest pay-off from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  OBAMA did!

And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?  OBAMA and the Democrat Congress, especially Barney!

So when someone tries to blame Bush … …remember January 3rd, 2007… …THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!
Bush may have been in the car, but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel and they were driving the economy into the ditch.

Budgets are not passed by the White House. They are passed by Congress and the party that has controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.

Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 and 2009 as well as 2010 and 2011.

In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

For 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office.

At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

And where was Barack Obama during this time?

He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

  • If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending.
  • After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself..

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is “I inherited a deficit that I voted for, and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.”

Tell Congress to Read the Bills…

What if Congress read the bills before it passed them? What if Congress, by law – rather than by rule – were required to read the bills? Well, DownsizeDC has proposed just that through their Read the Bills Act (RTBA).

From the Read the Bills Act of 2011 page:

Ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens. Neither should it be in Congress.

With great power comes great responsibility. The obligations imposed on public servants must always be greater than those imposed on citizens. This is why we need DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).

Representatives have a fiduciary responsibility to read every word of every law they seek to impose on us. RTBA requires that . . .

Any member of Congress wishing to cast an affirmative vote for more spending, greater regulation, or the creation or retention of a program or bureaucracy, must sign an affidavit swearing that he or she has either . . .

  • Read the entire bill, or . . .
  • Heard the entire bill read.

It will always be easy for every member of Congress to hear a full reading of a bill because RTBA requires such a reading before a quorum of each chamber of Congress.This requirement for a quorum reading is by far the most important reform contained in this bill. Here’s why . . .

The quorum reading requirement means that all floor business will halt while a Constitutional quorum is present for a full, literal, word-for-word, in-order, reading of the entire bill. This one simple requirement will change how Congress operates. As it stands now, too many bills . . .

  • Are passed too quickly with too little understanding, debate, and deliberation
  • Are too long, too dense, and contain too many subjects

The quorum reading requirement will fix these problems. It will make Congress . . .

  • Slow down
  • Debate
  • Deliberate
  • And better understand the burdens they seek to impose on the American people

In short, the quorum reading requirement will give Congress a huge incentive to make bills shorter, clearer, and more focused, so that the members of Congress can better endure the fatigue of hearing them read!

No mere rule, or three day waiting period (which the House has already passed) can accomplish any of these things. In addition . . .

RTBA requires that each part of a bill that amends present law must quote the existing law to be amended, and the new section as amended. It will no longer suffice to have something like the following . . .

“Section 415 (21 U.S.C. 350d) is amended in subsection (a)(2), by inserting after the first sentence the following: . . .”

This is yet another feature of RTBA that will make things easier for both Congress and the public.

RTBA also imposes waiting periods . . .

  • After the quorum reading Congress must wait seven (7) days before the final vote.
  • The bill must also be posted online during that period so that the press, the public, and watchdog groups can read the legislation too.
  • The vote must be publicly scheduled on the Internet for a date certain, seven (7) days in advance.

These provisions will end the practice of legislating by surprise, and give citizens the same time for reading and deliberating that Congress has.

Finally, RTBA has several mechanisms to compel compliance. We’ll just note two here . . .

First, RTBA is a law, NOT a mere rule. The evidence is overwhelming that Congress doesn’t obey rules. Enforceable laws are needed instead. This problem of enforcement is also why RTBA permits no exceptions for “emergencies.” “Emergency” has become an accounting term on Capitol Hill — a way to work outside the constraints of current budget law.

Example: The Iraq war has been funded, every single year, from the emergency budget. And the emergency supplemental bill has been noted for its profligate pork-barrel spending and earmarks. Everyone on Capitol Hill understands the purpose of the budget law. The leadership knows they’re violating the spirit of it by passing the emergency supplemental. They do it anyway. This is just one example of why Congress needs to be regulated. And to do that, we need a firm law.

Second, Congressional rules can’t be enforced by the courts. Properly written laws can be. That’s why RTBA contains the following enforcement mechanism . . .

Any law enacted in violation of any provision of RTBA, OSTA, or WTLA can be considered invalid in a court of law. How?

All citizens will have a sufficient defense, when charged in court by presenting evidence that the law they’re accused of violating was passed in violations of RTBA, rendering the law null and void.

No mere rule can be enforced in this way. Only a law can give citizens this kind of protection.

In conclusion . . .

If the citizens Congress supposedly serves must be responsible for obeying and paying for every word of every law Congress enacts, then every member of Congress must be responsible for reading every word of every bill before they vote to pass it.

It’s time for Congress to slow down, deliberate and listen to their constituents. The Read the Bills Act is designed to force Congress to do just that.

If you’re tired of bills that are hundreds or thousands of pages being passed in the dead of night, with no time for you to review or respond to them, then go the the Read the Bills Act page and send a letter to Congress and let them know that you want them to read the bills.