The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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Excellence in Federalized Spending

It's a cute video, but the reality is not quite as cuddly:—We as citizens have totally lost control over the way our government spends its money.

Can there really be any future for our country under those circumstances?

Thanks to Dollard, who always brings the awesome vids.

  #FridayFun


Comments:

#1 captainfish 13-Aug-2010

I'm in love!!!!!

#2 J. Tyler Ballance 16-Aug-2010

OK, we get the part about making fun of various spending projects. This sort of thing has been a media favorite since the founding.

 

Who hasn't heard of the $600 dollar toilet seats on Air Force planes, or the hondred thousand to install tampon dispensers on Navy ships? 

 

The fact is that a lot of the money spent on projects are dubious, inefficient, or both. However, both sides, when they hold the purse strings of government do the same thing. in order to help keep certain segments of society employed or at least from falling below the poverty line.


Where was the cute snarky comment girl while the Bush Neocons were gutting our Constitution and running-up a trillion dollar bill on an undeclared war? I know pissing away a trillion dollars isn't a cutesy as talking about turtle tunnels, but that is where our political discourse is today.

 

The Republican side pisses and moans about how the stimulus is being spent, but HAS NO PLAN to rebuild our strategic manufacturing base.

 

The Democrats are so busy trying to deflect Republican led propaganda that they have done very little to use what resources are available to government, such as

1. Changing workplace law to promote hiring based on MERIT.

2. Taking anti-trust action to break-up oligopolies like WalMart.

3. Changing trade policy so that it is no longer profitable to ship American jobs overseas or hire illegals or H1B workers to take American jobs.

 

Americans would have to be nuts to trust the Republicans with our national leadrship, ever again.

 

Democrats had better get on the ball and make some significant policy changes to RESTORE our LIBERTY and REBUILD our strategic manufacturing base, and do it  PRONTO!

#3 Brian C. Ledbetter 16-Aug-2010

Tyler,

I understand where you're coming from, and believe me, I'm as angry at ill-considered Republican spending (Medicare Schedule D, No Child Left Behind) as I am at the rubbish highlighted in the video above.

You and I do part ways on wartime spending, however. Unlike all of the programs above, the power to tax and spend in support of national defense—especially during wartime—is one of the core powers our Government is explicitly granted by the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clauses 11-16).

On the other hand, I can find no clause in the Constitution that gives the Congress the right to legislate our nation's schools. Or to give prescription drugs to seniors. Or to set national workplace law. Or to break up "oligoplies" like WalMart. (You're welcome to disagree, but please do reference which clause in the Constitution grants the Federal government these powers. Because other than reading "between the lines," I'm not seeing it.)

I do agree with your point (3), though. And I do think that's something the Congress has the power to do—if they had the political will to do so, of course.

Hope this gets us closer to some reasonable common ground, my friend.

Respectfully,
Brian

#4 J. Tyler Ballance 16-Aug-2010

1. The wars have been waged without a declaration of war by Congress. Bush saying, "We are at war..." is not a legal declaration of war. For war to be waged without the explicit declaration from the Congress, is an egregious abuse of the War Powers Act, and the power of the Executive branch. One could argue that the current wars have "tacit" approval, since Congress is funding the damned things, but the fact remains, both "wars" are being waged, illegally.

 

2. In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Sherman Act prohibits the restraint of trade. Congress derived its power to pass the Sherman Act through its constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce.

One famous example of the proper employment of the Sherman Antitrust Act was the break-up of Standard Oil. On May 15, 1911, the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court judgment that declared Standard Oil to be an unreasonable monopoly, under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Court ordered Standard Oil to break up into thirty-four independent companies with different boards of directors. The Clayton Antitrust Act was passed in 1914, and expanded actions that would be defined as monopolistic behavior: price discrimination, exclusive dealing agreements, tying arrangements, mergers and acquisitions that substantially reduce market competition.The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 amended the Clayton Act and prohibited certain anticompetitive practices by manufacturers engaged in price discrimination against distributors.

 

Americans have lost millions of manufacturing jobs to Communist China and both former Democratic and Republican administrations are to blame.

The break-up of WalMart would help break their monopoly in the retail market and stimulate more domestic manufacturing. The Obama administration must also scrap and rebuild, "work place law" so that we can move forward with a MERIT based society where only MERIT is considered in selection, hiring and promotion. Another initiative that must be implemented by the administration, is the revision of environmental, safety and liability laws, so that realistic levels of acceptable risks are codified in law, so American businesses can return to competitiveness. Finally, we must restructure trade arrangements, so our workers are not forced to compete with slave labor camps in Communist China, and that domestic manufacturing is favored and rewarded, while companies that locate manufacturing offshore are punished.

#5 Brian C. Ledbetter 16-Aug-2010

Towards point 1, you are absolutely incorrect: Congress approved the war on Afghanistan with PL 107-40, 115 Stat. 44, and on Iraq with PL 107-243, 116 Stat. 1498.

I guess I can agree with you partially on point 2, in that Congress obtained for itself the power to regulate inter-state commerce over a hundred years ago, and to argue the constitutionality of such would be pretty pointless so far after the fact.

And I also agree that offshoring our manufacturing to China is harmful to our national interests—however, notice that this trend didn't begin to accelerate until we regulated and unionized our manufacturing base totally out of existence (see: Detroit).

After all, why should a business pay $30 per hour to build something that they're essentially only going to make $0.10 per hour selling?

Regarding MERIT-based hiring: Am I to read that as you opposing affirmative action? If so, you and I are in full agreement. (And if not, I'm quite interested in hearing what exactly that entails...)

And finally, on trade agreements, you and I agree fully. NAFTA is a crock. Granting China most favored nation status was a mistake, and allowing them to accede to the WTO was disastrous.

Respectfully,
Brian

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