Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Constitution (a few simple thoughts)

Just before the election an Obama Radio interview surfaced. In that interview he argues that the constitution was getting in the way of the supreme court redistributing wealth (creating economic change). He also talked about the fact that the constitution lists what the government cannot do to you, but it does not list what they should do for you. I know I did not go to Harvard and maybe my knowledge of Constitutional Reinterpretation is just not at his level, but I see it very differently.

The constitution is not getting in the way. The anti-federalists where very clear that the constitution was written to protect the people. To protect them from a over zealous and over reaching government. They argued for the Bill of Rights. Some against it, stating that the constitution itself was clear enough on the limitations of a federal government. That these rights were so well understood and so basic that they need not be documented. But sufficient fear of a giant federal government existed in those founders that they approved the Bill of Rights. Most of those first ten amendments do guarantee our rights and protections from the government. But two very important rights (ones that Obama seems willing to gloss over) need to be remembered.

Amendment 9 - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment 10 - Powers of the States and People.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It would seem clear to me that the 9th is to make sure that the federal government does not try to limit our rights to only those allowed or stated by the constitution. And its counterpart is the 10th and the one that protects us most of all. If the constitution does not specifically allow the federal government to act, then they cannot act. They do not get to redistribute wealth outside of the additon of the 16th amendment's ability to allow for taxation on income. But it is important to note that it was deemed necessary to have the 16th amendment in the first place.

So I would respectfully disagree that the constitution does not say what the government must do on our behalf. It does so in such simple terms that most Americans simply no longer understand it. It should do NOTHING but and NOTHING other than what is written in that document itself. It should organize a military, negotiate treaties and a few other items and fund those items through taxation. But without the additonal the 16th amendment that taxation could not be on income.

We have all lived our lives with a federal government with too much power and too much control over our lives. We find it an odd concept to read the Constitution as it was meant to be interpreted. I do not believe that we have yet reached the point in our history that this document is no longer valid. I do not believe that the founding fathers were so dumb as to not think of these issues. Instead, I would agrue that speciallically wanted to avoid these issues and keep the federal government from gaining this much control in the first place.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama Recession hits -20%.

Yeah, I said it. This current downturn since November (even earlier) is now on Obama. As the economy rolled quickly down the hill, Obama had the option in each debate, his stump speeches, his acceptance speech and to any microphone since to stop the bleeding. He has not. All he would need state is that any economy in turmoil cannot afford higher taxes. Especially on capital gains. What is ironic is that raising the capital gains rate will have little impact by the time it is passed anyway. Anyone with gains to take is getting out of the market and no one is getting back in. The economy is shrinking, companies are fighting to stay above water and they are laying people off.

Obama threatened to raise taxes, threatened investors with a near doubling of the capital gains rate, threatened companies with more oversight, more taxes and more unions. He backed down on none of it and now he is elected.

Many thought the market had already taken its lumps, found a new low and prepared for this before November 4th. I thought it had to and I put some back in. What many missed, including me was the senate fight for 60. Some were talking about it but it did not seem likely. But as the election approached it became possible. Then on November 5th three elections were undecided and three seats was all that was needed...and down the market went.

Since that time those elections sat undecided. One concluded this week and the Democrats are now two away. One is so close and in a Democrat controlled state, so that is likely to change hands... leaving us with one...Georgia... and down goes the market.

The fears Obama put in every business owner, every investor, and any tax payer that was really listening look even clearer now then they did before the election. The ability to implement each and every program [deficit be damned], raise taxes, limit corporations, empower unions...kill growth, drive up unemployment, capital the US economy for years to come... these are now all possible... and the markets sink.

I believe in irony and I believe if the Dems hit 60 the Dow hits 6000 (a < 50% decline from its highs).

Moderate Republicans and Crossing the Aisle

Well, it has been a while. Licking wounds, pondering the future... no. Sometimes work and kids take you away. In this case it was a needed and welcome diversion. It has given me time to work up a lather over the post-election coverage. So on we go....

There are two dominant opinions working there way around the Republican party in these post-election days. Both admit defeat in the election and both say that it is about time to change the message. Hard to disagree when both sides want the same thing. But they have very different messages and goals.

The moderate Republicans believe that the party needs to learn from these losses and try to join the Democrats on some of the big issues. Americans want civility and someone who can get things done by working with the other party. They say, "We need to understand that the American people have spoken. They want universal health care, they believe in climate change." The theory is, if these are winning platforms, you need to run on them to win. I do not subscribe to this theory.

What I believe is that a large population of voters, believe that Republicans are mean spirited, racist homophobic free market anarchists. They say they don't want divisiveness that they want someone in the middle like everyone believes they are. So you can jump into the Socialist big government pool with the Democrats. This leaves you to be a less mean spirited racist homophobic Socialist. These folks will surely like you more. But they will never vote for you over the loving caring free-love green Socialist that is today's Democratic party. This is the real lesson of John McCain. A lost Republican trying to befriend the left and get along only looks like a cheap copy. No one wants a cheap copy when they can get the real thing by voting for a Democrat. No one wants to vote for someone that has come to their views out of fear instead of conviction.

What Republicans need to do is not to blur the lines as they have begun to do. What they need to do is differentiate themselves on the one key issue: The role of Government in America. The more I discuss issues the more I find that no matter what someone wants, no matter the issue they find dear, they have another issue (usually more) that disgusts them. The country does not want universal health care. They want a solution to rising health care costs. They don't want higher taxes. They want to trim budget deficits. But in this election no clear distinction was given.

Let me state is clearly... Republicans lost this election. It is time for Conservatives to run for office again. McCain tried but when you do not believe it in your core, you cannot deliver the message with emotion. You also cannot counter the media and the lofty speeches of your opponent. I agree with Ronald Reagan... now is the time for bold colors. Now is the tie for conservatives to stand clarify their message and begin to articulate it again.

I am sure there will be plenty of options to articulate the differences in approach over the coming years. In my opinion the failures of the coming policies will be seen. There needs to be a clear alternative in the mind of the voters, a message that says, "We have another idea, we believe in less government [not no government]. We believe in the power of the American people and not the power of elite government bureaucrats. We believe in this option or that option." When the failures come, and they will, they will eventually be followed by a election and the voters will know what to do.

Until then. I will do my part to articulate my views and other options to those being proposed. If I happen to agree, I will strongly push for those as well. More to come.