Archive for the ‘Founders’ Category

Dodd Caper, House Vote on 90% Tax, Highlights Founders Hopes; Modern Reality

March 21, 2009

When the House voted last week and passed a 90% tax on those rascals who got bonuses after the federal government bailed out their companies, many thoughts went through my mind.

The furor over $165 million in bonuses American International Group Inc. paid some of its employees while receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money has tarnished Senator Christopher Dodd, certainly.  It seems he was caught in a lie, first saying he added a measure to protect the taxpayer by removing the bonuses, and then saying he protected the bonuses but under pressure from others.

And people in his state are making noise that he should be removed: which I’d be doing if I lived there.

But people forget and Dodd has done a lot for many voters in his state which may decide to retain him in the future.

Unfortunately, a Republican member of the House, Rob Simmons, may have already decided to take on Dodd in the election due to the AIG snafu….

For Dodd, too bad he wasn’t just elected last November…then his reelection would be six years away….

Dodger Dodd Dogged By AIG
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03
/21/aig.dodd/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Dodd’s Stock Way Down Even Before AIG
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_us/aig_outrage_dodd_3

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. listens to witness testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009, during the committee’s hearing on bank regulation and supervision.(AP photo/Harry Hamburg)

And although my consitituional law and American history lessons are a little vague, here is what we might discuss about the House action on the 90% tax…..

John Marshall believed that the greatest danger to a strong Union would be the state legislatures, which were too likely to be swayed by the people’s fleeting and irrational passions.

I love that notion of fleeting and irrational passions.

This is one of the reasons the Founders wanted a strong federal government and also one of the reasons that Senators serve 6 year terms while House members serve two year terms. 
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It was understood that members of the House would stand closer to their people, through reelection, at all times.

Thus, members of the House are more subject to the fleeting and irrational passions of their people.Of course, the Founders had no idea how much our modern media including the Internet, You Tube, cable TV, et al could fuel and fan those fleeting and irrational passions…..

 

This explains why the Senate slowed down action on the House’s 90% tax measure in their chambers….

Wkipedia says this about the Senate, which is subject to debate but worth thinking about: “The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House.”

On the 90% tax itself, I am reminded of these quotes:

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” said Daniel Webster, in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland.

John Marshall said this just a bit differently: “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied.”

It should also be noted why many commentators have said that the tax, used as a punishment, is illegal.
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Punishment by tax is unconstitutional becaue that is the kind of trickery pulled to punish our Founders the colonists: by the King of England.

There could be a legal challenge to this bill: telling us again that rushed legislation is often bad legislation….Like the stimulus….

The Senate has to decide next week what it thinks of this 90% tax…..so just taking a ‘time out” over the weekend may be the only modern relief from the fleeting and irrational passions.

Related:

See Michelle Malkin:
Calls For Dodd in Conn.
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington-k
y-tea-party/

Experts Say Courts Would Uphold Congress on 90% Tax
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=20601087&sid=aC_hgTeumc70&ref
er=worldwide

Does the bailout spree signal the end of democracy?

December 22, 2008

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship….

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

These words – the author is unknown – are particularly sobering today. In the past few months, Uncle Sam has bailed out Wall Street, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, home-owners, banks, and US automakers, while the incoming administration promises a massive infrastructure investment.

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

Is it any surprise that cities, counties, and states are jostling for space at the federal trough? Who’s next? Big Media? Big Sports? Agribusiness?

By Randy Salzman
Christian Science Monitor

With the bailout “mother of all precedents,” it’s become difficult for Washington politicians to say “no” to any special interest that’s too massive, too economically important, or too well connected to fail.

Nor can politicians forget the poor. Or the crucial swing voters in the “struggling middle class.” And they can’t ignore seniors – AARP members are very vocal.

Virtually every group today is trying to meet with the Obama transition team to convey the urgency of its “crucial” spending requests. My local paper recently informed me that our area university is preparing its wish list for infrastructure dollars. Even the National Council for the Social Studies and the American Sportfishing Association have sent pitches to President-elect Obama.

Have we gone from “rugged individualism” to the complacency or even dependency of the national trajectory quoted above?

At the time of America’s founding, the Federalist Papers discussed the dangers of democratic politicians being forced to count on the votes and support of citizens or organizations too self-involved or uneducated to realize that short-term individual or group gain often precludes long-term prosperity.

And Thomas Jefferson sought to deal with politicians’ catering to their constituents’ convenience by founding the University of Virginia (UVA). He wanted an informed, intelligent, and thoughtful population in hopes of helping democracy survive. Today, sadly, UVA is the area university I read about in the paper seeking funds for its infrastructure wish list.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081222/cm_csm/ysalzman