Friday, October 26, 2007

Money And You The Taxpayer

A couple of weeks ago Representative Pete Stark said the following on the floor of the U.S. House: “You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

Not to dig in to repulsiveness of Starks comments, because that would be a 10 page post, but I do want to address the theme of his comments and that is the spending of American taxpayer money.

Stark made his comments after the President vetoed the SCHIP expansion bill (State Child Health Insurance Program) and is apparently upset that we don't have money to fund his desired expansion of the government nanny state or to continue the war in Iraq.

I think it is necessary to point out to Representative Stark and anyone else who apparently thinks that we don't have enough money to cover the war that they are simply and completely wrong, we have tons of money to spend on the war. Hows that you say? Well this may seem crazy in the era of activist judges and the complete disregard and knowledge of the document this country was created with, and from which all governmental authority is derived, but let's take a quick look at the United States Constitution, specifically the preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Okay let's look at that little beautiful piece of literature, you will notice I highlighted two words. PROVIDE and PROMOTE, and they my friends are two very very different concepts and responsibilities.

According the Constitution the US Government is to PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE that means they are obligated to do it, to spend whatever resources necessary to accomplish that task, be it treasure and/or blood.

The Government is then also directed to PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, to promote something means to encourage and educate about it, it is no way shape or form an obligation. Items such as health insurance for kids clearly falls under this category of general welfare promotion.

Are you beginning to see and understand the difference, one issue is to, by law, be addressed with all possible effort, the other is to be addressed when convenient.

All the nice things the Government supplies to us through social safety net programs, and even perceived necessities like say air traffic control are promotion of the general welfare. Putting a gun to our country's enemies head and pulling the trigger is to provide for the common defense. Providing is an obligation you need to spend money on, promoting is not.

According to the Constitution it's the Governments requirement to take money that is spent on promotion and use it for providing, to argue any other interpretation would require the arguer to take a remedial English class.

So now that we have the ground rules established, let's look at the issue of fiscal distribution again.

Currently the budget of the United States is around 2.5 Trillion dollars. Of that 17% goes to defense, on the other hand 33% goes to Social Security and Medicare combined. So some quick math shows that around $450 billion goes to defense and around $850 billion goes towards social programs. The cost of the war in Iraq may come in somewhere around $750 billion. Looks to me that there is plenty of cash to spend on our OBLIGATION as opposed to our OPTION. More importantly any future spending should only be considered for use in the war as opposed to programs like SCHIP.

Think I'm joking, let's put this little scenario out there for you to consider:

It's a beautiful July day in 2010 , people are gearing up to go back to work after celebrating the long 4th of July weekend, suddenly TV stations and radio stations all break their regular programming to announce a major news story, US military bases in Germany, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have come under massive missile bombardment! US forces were taken completely by surprise are fighting back against the unknown enemy, but it is night and the ferocity and quickness of the attack makes for a difficult defense. Theories that the forces are Iranian backed militia are strongly suggested, as it has been reported for months now that Supreme Leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was planning a major response to the attack on their nuclear facilities by a joint US-Israeli assault force.

Suddenly the TV goes dead, so does the radio then the power goes out completely, you go down in to the cellar and dig up a hank crank emergency radio you got for this past Christmas. Strangely all the stations have nothing but static on them. What's going on you think? You go over to the neighbors and surprisingly they are experiencing the same exact problems. You go to get in the car to drive in to town and it's also dead as a door nail. Suddenly your other neighbor the "gun nut" down the road comes running up yelling something. When you finally get him to slow down, he tells you this. Thanks to his well shielded generator and shortwave radio that survived the invisible electromagnetic pulse that fried your electronics, he has learned that the following cities have just suffered 5 megaton nuclear detonations. New York, Las Angeles, Miami, Houston, Seattle. (Surprisingly Washington DC wasn't on the list) a good portion if not all of these cities have been destroyed. It also being reported the USS Ronald Reagan in the Persian Gulf has been sunk by a similar nuclear explosion.

If these events were happening to you on that future July day, do you think grandma would be getting her social security check that week, do you think little Suzie would get her free government provided checkup by the local doctor tomorrow. Would you even want the money spent on those things?

Think about it people and then think about being a little less liberal, and then think about if you want the Government to do anything it should be to return to abiding by the Constitution, not using it for toilet paper.