THINKING ABOUT THE WORDS OF A FEW DISSENTERS
After the Constitutional Convention finished its business in September 1787, the ball was in the court of the individual states to ratify the proposed document. There was really no mistaking the fact that the new Constitution was crafted according to Federalist principles and ideology. A strong centralized government, with only minimal democratic tendencies, was the plan.
The first and major wall of opposition to the document came, without surprise, from the Antifederalists. These individuals were suspicious of big, centralized government with immense powers.
One such Antifederalist was no other than Patrick Henry, pictured on the right. Not too long ago every schoolchild knew Patrick Henry for his stirring oration, given on the eve of the American Revolution, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
What no student hears in middle school, high school, or university required "American history" courses is that Patrick Henry strenuously opposed the ratification of the Constitution. He thought the Convention, over which George Washington presided, had exceeded its authority (it had!) and had created a document that would result in enormous mischief.
As it turns out, Henry may have been not only a patriot, but also a prophet. He insisted that, under the proposed order of government, the Senate would live in splendor and that a "great and mighty President" would "be supported in extravagant magnificence, so that the whole of our property may be taken by this American government, by laying what taxes they please, giving themselves what salaries they please, and suspending our laws at their pleasure."
Another Antifederalist, who wrote under the pen name "Brutus," and is believed to have been New York jurist Robert Yates, pictured on the left, possessed a clarity of vision just as impressive as Henry's. Brutus noted that the Constitution gave the federal government power to "borrow money on the credit of the United States." With this power, he pointed out, "the Congress may mortgage any or all the revenues of the union. . . [and] may borrow of foreign nations a principal sum, the interest of which will be equal to the annual revenues of the country." He continued, "I can scarcely contemplate a greater calamity that could befal this country than to be loaded with a debt exceeding their ability ever to discharge."
Well, who do you think was right – the Federalists or Antifederalists? We have a President who lives in extravagant magnificence. He and his family enjoy a style of life akin to that of royalty. The First Lady has a personal entourage that costs the American taxpayers millions of dollars a year! The couple's dog accompanies them to Europe, but on a separate jet no less. Congressional officials pay themselves salary increases whenever they please. Their pensions are splendidly spectacular! But what really should seize our attention is that America, the wealthiest country that ever graced this planet, is now over fourteen trillion dollars in debt! It is a debt that threatens our way of life. (I can see a smile creasing George Soros's face, can't you?)
States can no longer look to the federal government for massive bailouts and are having to bite this bitter bullet themselves. Wisconsin is attempting to do so, although some of its senators have decided to subvert the system by absenting themselves from the process. Hey, that's responsible, isn't it? You see, the unions are their bread and butter and so these legislators would rather not appear at all and subvert the governmental process than cast a vote on which unions are sure to lose. Hell is boiling over in the state, and this is, I believe, simply a preview of what's to come throughout American life.
Americans are living beyond their means. Their nanny is now bankrupt. There is no place to run and hide, contrary to the example set by sorry public officials in Wisconsin. The bills have to be paid, and Barack Obama's "glibberish" about budget tightening is no more credible than his promise to walk the picket line with unionists.
You may be reading this piece and saying, "Okay, let's pay it." Well, hold on a second. The National Inflation Association has stated the following: "We are now at a point where if the U.S. government taxed Americans 100% of their income, the tax receipts generated would not be enough to balance the budget. Likewise, if the U.S. government cut 100% of its spending including defense, but kept paying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we would still have a budget deficit. NIA believes it will be impossible for the U.S. to have a balanced budget ever again." Hmmmm.
Here's another consideration: almost fifty percent of the American people pay no federal taxes at all. When we speak of repaying the debt, we are speaking primarily about a burden on the shoulders of a little over half the people. Does anyone have a problem with that? I guess it depends on whether you are a worker or a drone.
It might be worthwhile to think about reducing billions of dollars in entitlements. But turn off the heat and extinguish the lights in Harlem, or Watts, or in any number of other places, and see what happens. There will be nine kinds of hell to combat. And, please don't forget, elected officials know and will capitalize upon the fact that these people vote. Yes, they have a say in how the company is run, although they don't own an ounce of stock in it. That's another brilliant development! How do you guess they will be inclined to vote? Not for Speaker Boehner's cuts certainly!
"Oh, no," you exclaim, "we are in a real mess, aren't we? What should I do?" Praying for elected officials who will stand up against a turbid tide of mud is not a bad idea. Other than that, have you ever thought of investing in a gun and ammo?
March 7, 2011