Congress Must Be Held Accountable

Where is it that elected representatives feel that they can take their leave without finishing urgent business, causing financial loss and unemployment, two major issues facing their “people.”

Only in America.

It is most disturbing that members of the House and Senate take their four week leave prior to dealing with the expired FAA taxation.

This serious lapse by Congress is estimated to cost the government approximately one billion dollars in revenue.

Isn’t there a financial crisis still facing the United States?

Does Congress feel that dealing with the loss of a billion can wait?

Or, is that number too small to worry about?

The time is past due when all individuals elected to represent the people perform their jobs as professionals, not as politicians.

They (members of Congress) need to balance the budget. They need to totally eliminate earmarks as a “way of life.” They need to trim their own office expenses. They need to quit spending more than is collected by the myriad sources of income they collect. They need to be held 100% accountable.

In short they need to put our house in order.

Main Street USA should not have to continue paying for the excesses and irresponsibility exhibited year after year on Capitol Hill.

America does not need more politicians. America needs leaders. America needs people who take full responsibility for their actions.

Over For now.

Main Street One

Capitol Hill Egos Dangerous to America

The egos residing at Capitol Hill, those same egos voted to hold office and act as representatives of Main Street USA, have proven to be dangerous to America.

The theater and dramatics surrounding the “historic” agreement to lift the debt ceiling have proven once again that for a person to be a part of the House, Senate or White House they must have a huge ego that does not concern itself with what is right for the people.

Their egos dictate to them that they must be right and others must be wrong and damn the consequences.

For a group of supposedly bright people to allow the “debt crisis” to roll to the 11th hour-plus, knowing full well for months that August 2, 2011, would come and go is all the proof needed to brand politicians as egotistical-to-the-extreme.

Witness, there is nothing at all historic about lifting the debt ceiling. That has been done time and again to ensure that future generations of politicians can spend freely, without regard to the damage created for future generations of Americans.

What is needed in Washington DC is not another huge ego, but a leader who leads by example. A person who can cut waste in his/her own sphere (i.e., cut foreign travel by members of Congress, cut their own salary, cut their office expenses dramatically, eliminate taxpayers footing the bill for members of Congress to visit home, etc.)

And during all the “savings” announced under the “historic” deal there has been absolutely no mention of doing away with earmarks. Cutting those pesky pieces of pork would save taxpayers between $300 and $400 billion in a decade and be an immediate expense reduction.

There is no doubt that Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison and the other Founding Fathers are disgusted at the actions (as well as inactions) by those elected officials who put themselves above the citizens of this great nation.

Capitol Hill has a short memory. Do they not remember that they are servants of the people?

Over For Now.

Main Street One

The Washington DC Finger Pointing Game Does Not Produce Viable Results

Finger-pointing, which the White House and Congress seem to enjoy, especially concerning spending or budget cuts, does not show Americans any form of responsibility or concern for Main Street USA.

It is a childish activity that does not result in any viable product. Ever.

The only end products of this adolescent behavior are minutes of airtime or inches of press and seeing themselves on prime time.

Politicians of all sizes, shapes and political affiliations are too much engaged in the blame game.

Few are willing to cut spending, especially in areas where the federal government should not be allocating dollars in the first place or to make cuts in their own backyard.

Not to mention the full elimination of earmarks. Each citizen should not have to contribute to an individual community walking path or the like that is attached to a piece of legislation to buy a vote.

Congress and the White House should lead by example.

Each member must begin making cuts in their own house. They have far too many benefits, expense accounts, overseas trips, staff and perks that are paid by taxpayers.

That is where representatives of the people should have started if they were truly serious about handling an economy that the Congressional Budget Office reports faces a $1.5 trillion budget deficit for 2011.

If the newly elected members of Congress (Nov 2010) really believed in cutting the size and shape of government they would have done so when they assumed office and slashed their own individual office budgets (pay freezes, hiring freezes, cuting perks, cutting travel expenses, eliminating waste, etc.).

That would be leading by example.

That would be the only valid time the president, a member of the Senate or House of Representatives could point fingers, telling their colleagues that they must do the same.

Those who occupy seats on Capitol Hill are not some sacred anointed masters. They are elected officials who are servants of the people, though it appears that none truly remember this, if they knew it in the first place.

Servants of the people.

Perhaps each and every one of them should intently and earnestly study the writings of our Founding Fathers and learn what it means to serve.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

The Affordable Care Act & The Constitution

The stage is set for the Supreme Court to become involved, whether they wish to or not, in the decision of whether or not forcing citizens of Main Street USA to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

While there certainly is debate centered around other portions of the incredibly massive piece of porked-out legislation, the rulings of two Federal judges that Congress has overstepped its authority by relying upon the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution (while two others ruled the opposite) all but guarantees the highest court’s involvement.

Simply put, the Commerce Clause (Article I) grants Congress the power to “…regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

Throughout the decades the Supreme Court has used that particular clause very very broadly, including rulings on Depression-era farm quotas as well as bans on racial discrimination in the 1960s.

This Main Streeter finds it extremely difficult to fathom exactly how racial discrimination fits into the Commerce Clause. Whether one is Democrat, Republican or Independent, how could it be that human beings are considered as commerce?

In reality, the court used this clause because a company that was discriminating earned a majority of it’s revenue through interstate commerce. That still seems a stretch when, in fact, the country was founded in the belief that all people are created equal. Consider that the 14th Amendement (1868) guarantees equal protection under the law and racial discrimination would quality as something which is not equal. It seems, therefore, that the 14th Amendment offers a quite superior legal standing to ban racial discrimination.

In an attempt to determine what may or may not have been included in the thoughts and intentions of our Founding Fathers regarding the Commerce Clause, the reference used was the American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.

It was thought that perhaps by using a dictionary from that time period there could be some light shed on the issue at hand today (and perhaps even some of those earlier court decisions that do not quite seem to fit).

The definition of Commerce is: “In a general sense, an interchange or mutual change of goods, wares, productions, or property of any kind, between nations or individuals, either by barter, or by purchase and sale; trade; traffick.” It further defines inland commerce as: “…the trade of commodities between citizens of the same nation.”

Turning a page, the definition of Commodity is: “…anything that is useful, but particularly in commerce, including everything movable that is bought and sold, goods, wares, merchandise, produce of land and manufactures. Unless perhaps animals may be excepted, the word includes all the movables which are objects of commerce.”

Based upon the above definitions, which were used by those responsible for writing and implementing the Constitution it seems clear that mandating that a citizen of the United States purchase health insurance through the vehicle known as the Affordable Care Act is, indeed, unconstitutional.

It really is not even debatable.

That, coupled with the actual wording of the Article in question (“regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”), indicates that Article I gives absolutely NO power to Congress to force citizens (i.e., individuals) to purchase anything.

Undoubtedly someone will be called upon, when all is said and done and attorneys for both sides have voiced their last convincing words, to write a decision. And that document will more than likely be scores and scores of pages, when, in fact, it boils down to just a couple.

And, as a last thought, allowing Capitol Hill to mandate what an individual must purchase opens the door for future edicts by those elected representatives who are supposed to be serving the interests of Americans, not dictating them.

Over For Now.

Main Street One