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Where the Battle Is Won

John and I have, for some time, promoted the idea of focusing more on the politics within the local and state governments than the corrupt and inept national government.  We truly believe that the answer to our current problems doesn’t start at a national reformation, but at a local one.  Simply put, if we bring the power back to the states the national government will fall in line.  Allow me to provide some evidence to support what we’ve promoted to be effective and hopeful.

First, it is abundantly clear that national political victories are, at best, a small source of friction along the path of self destruction.  While the House victories in November were historic in numbers, the actual political outcome has been far from monumental.  The addiction to spending in Washington runs so deep in so many that even historical elections can’t provide enough people for a successful intervention.  Two months in and our great successes are a symbolic message to the President and a budget “cut” proposal that cuts $61 billion from our $3.7 trillion dollar budget. 

Let’s consider this cut for a moment.  First, watch the video below.

Now that we have a visual on how much a trillion is compared to a billion consider this.  We’ve got a budget of $3.7 trillion (that means almost four times that represented by the double stacked pallet image) and we’re proposing a cut of $61 billion.  $61 billion is merely 1.7% of the budget.  Of course, cutting just 1.7% doesn’t sound like a lot to you and me, but to the addicted politicians in Washington it’s a ton.  In fact, you would think it was the end of the world by their rhetoric.  Apparently such a cut would endanger national security, hurt the low income and elderly, and destroy economic growth.  I have news for Washington – all of those things are already happening.

The fact that Washington is calling anything in their actions “cuts” is absurd anyway.  The President’s latest budget proposal of $3.7 trillion is actually up from 2010’s $3.5 trillion.  Either way, our revenue is more than a trillion dollars lower than our budget proposal.  Who proposes a budget with nearly a 1/3rd of it going directly to debt?  I’ll tell you who, someone who already has a debt more than 5 times their annual income. 

The fact is that this year’s proposal is an increase on the 2010 budget (there wasn’t a 2011 budget).  It is interesting to see where this budget increased and decreased.  Let’s take a look:

Health and Human Services            +3.1%                    $1.11 trillion                        $9,727/household
Social Security                                     +8.5%                    $808 billion                          $7,112/household
Defense-Military                                  +0.7%                    $294 billion                          $2,595/household
Treas.- Interest on Debt                     +14.5%                 $474 billion                          $4,173/household
Agriculture                                            +21.3%                 $104 billion                          $917/household
Transportation                                     +4%                       $70 billion                            $620/household
Education                                             +56%                     $31 billion                            $276/household
Energy                                                  +38%                     $12 billion                            $104/household
Veterans Affairs                                   -2%                        $70 billion                            $620/household
Military Reitrement                              -5.2%                     $48 billion                            $426/household
Labor                                                     -51%                      $117 billion                          $1,035/household

Does that look like the budget planning of a government that is serious about cutting spending and balancing a budget?

Let’s put this into a personal perspective.  Let’s say that you were running a business with America’s fiscal attributes.  Let’s say that this businesses annual revenue is $500,000 this year, but has started the year off with a budget to spend $750,000.  At the end of this single fiscal year the business is going to add $250,000 dollars to their debt.  Combine that with the fact that he is already $3,000,000 in debt and you can see this business is literally worthless.  It’s okay though, because they are going to make a serious cut to the previous year’s $750,000 budget – they’re going to cut it down by $10,000!  Now imagine that you were trying to run a business with this budget plan and you were selling these proposals to your investors.  Unfortunately, we the people are the investors to such a plan.

The only conclusion we can draw is that the federal government is incompetent when it comes to fiscal responsibility.  Even when we turn up at the polls and flip the national ratios the end result is comparable to a bucket in the ocean.  We put too much faith into too few who are too far away.  November did bring us hope though…

In November Republicans gained control of 19 state legislatures and picked up more than 650 seats nationally.  10 states threw democrats out of their executive seats and replaced them with republicans.  More importantly than the R’s and D’s, many of these individuals have taken office with the intent to cut state spending and loosen the grip the fed has on their state.  More important than the proverbial political promise is action; and we’re finally seeing something.

Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Sean Parnell, John Kasich, and more are a new breed of governor that are fighting the fed on behalf of their state’s rights.  Further, they’re fighting the spending from within the state in order to make right what has for too long been wrong.  Standing up against the fed, the establishment, and entitlement leeches is a formidable task, yet they do it and it is about time.

The states have been forgotten too long in the shadow of the ever growing centralized federal government.  It is in these shadows that we find not only our only option to bring America back to a responsible and formidable nation, but also what has always been our best option.  It is unfortunate that it has taken the exhaustion of all other inferior attempts to finally realize that our last option was best all along. 

States are intended to be the greatest check on the potential imbalance of power at the federal level.  It is by no mistake that the Constitution gave power, not specifically identified as national in letter, to the states.  This nation has chosen to ignore the letter of the law in an attempt to redefine an intent; that is to say, that we can assume expanding national powers by applying broader definitions to the letter.  The Commerce Clause, for instance, is specific in letter, but the intent can be broadly interpreted to mean nearly anything to include, most recently, that your thoughts are affirmative action and therefore fall under the proper jurisdiction of Congress.  

Now, considering the relative ineffectiveness of our national elections, look to the victories of the states.  Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, etc. are all making huge strides in balancing their state budgets, breaking up the democratic party’s money laundry scheme (unions), and throwing off the unbearable yoke of the federal government (Obamacare for instance).  A small handful of states have done more in fiscal responsibility in just 2 months than the national government has even dared to dream.  Of course, this doesn’t make the beneficiaries of our burden happy. 

Have you ever seen the democrats more unhinged than they are right now?  When was the last time you saw state legislatures turn into chanting protestors in their own legislative halls?  When was the last time you saw legislatures hiding in hotels across state lines in order to avoid their duties?  Have you ever seen teachers get fake notes from doctors in order to skip school?  It’s at least been since President Bush was in office that you saw them doing things like this, this, this, this, this, and this

Cut the cord and the baby must learn to breathe on its own…and that is usually initiated by crying.  Let the crying begin.


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  • Steve Dennis February 26, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Another great post RHM! You and John are onto something here–change has to start at the bottom and work its way to the top. It can not start at the top and work its way down because the problem is at the top. We have let the federal government become much too stong over many years and it is going to take years to put the power back where it belongs–in the states.
    Only when the state begin to take back the power that is rightfully their’s will we be able to get the federal government back to where it belongs. They have expanded their power far beyond the boundaries laid out in the constitution, and if the states do not fight back we have no chance of changing anything. Thankfully the states are beginning to fight back–I only hope they have the fortitude to fight this for years, because that is what it is going to take.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Darrell Issa subpoenas two DHS employeesMy Profile

  • John Carey February 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    Great post Right. As I have said many times before, the key to reining in this federal monster that tramples on our liberties are the states. I just feel like I’m talking but no one is really listening. Many see the solutions to our problems as electing a new group of representatives to impose limitations on themselves. As noble as this idea is, the only way it works is when we have a system that is not corrupted by lobbyists and big money. Our system is corrupted and the major changes we desire from this new batch of conservatives is in my opinion wishful thinking. The answer rest within the states. This is where the Tea Party focus should be. This is where our focus should be. After all the states are in a better position to be responsive to our concerns and issues. I just don’t know why this is such a hard concept for many to embrace.

  • Trestin Meacham February 28, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    Good one. I’ll take the Republicans serous when they have the guts to tackle Social Security and Medicare; until then, it’s all window dressing.
    Trestin Meacham recently posted..THE ISSUES 1-3My Profile