Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Too Much Government

by Tom Rhodes, 1/10/2011

Common sense, reality, justice, are all concepts that the excess regulations that our government has instituted are chasing away from the American people form trust and belief in our government. We have so many laws and regulations that it is impossible for anybody to know them all, much less obey them all.

Consider a kid in school, a good kid, whom it is quite legal to own, use, and poses a tool when not in school. If this tool is a pocket knife, a tool people have traditionally carried from a young age for centuries, and he accidently forgets to leave it at home when he goes to school, notes that he forgot, and then self reports to the school (government) that he made a mistake, what should a reasonable response to that responsible action be.

The Gwinnett School System thinks that several days of in-school suspension is appropriate, they used to have a minimum 10-day out-of-school suspension for such atrocious crimes.

What our government is teaching it citizens, specifically our children, is that laws are not just, they are instituted to control you. That you are better off not trusting the government (schools) and hiding any problems or questionable possessions, as even if you did no wrong, you will be punished as an example to the rest of society.

Consider compliance with current traffic laws. We have so many traffic laws, most of which are used to generate fines, not provide more safety, that they are routinely ignored. Laws against and controlling mind altering substances like pot, beer, etc. are so routinely ignored that all of our past 3 presidents have openly admitted ignoring them.

Worse Yet, the government doesn't want to be accountable. Consider the EPA, they are arguing before the supreme court that the people have no right to legally challenge anything they dictate or any fine they levy, and must allow open access to private records without a court order to the EPA, and that there can be no judicial review. The government literally claims that the EPA as an agency is not and cannot be held to constitutional limits. In the case argued before the SCOTUS, a property owner had their property declared a wetland, it’s on the side of a hill in a subdivided community, and they had all the necessary building permits, and the property was not part any of the EPA declared wetlands. The EPA stopped construction and demanded they remove all foundations, plant non-native species, and let it be a virtual park for years before they could apply to the EPA for permission to build, and that there could be no review of the EPA finding of any kind.

SCOTUS Justice Elena Kagan said it was a “strange position” for the government to adopt in insisting that the property owner has no right to a hearing on such an order. Justice Stephen Breyer said it looked intimidating to him. “It said this is an order,” he said. Justice Alito summarized what had happened, saying, “You buy property to build a house. You think maybe there is a little drainage problem in part of your lot, so you start to build the house and then you get an order from the EPA which says you have filled in wetlands, so you can’t build your house. Remove the fill. Put in all kinds of plants. and now you have to let us on your premises whenever we want to … you have to turn over to us all sorts of documents, and for every day that you don’t do all this you are accumulating a potential fine of $75,000 and by the way, there is no way you can go to court to challenge our determination that this is a wetlands until such time as we choose to sue you…”

Justice Breyer said, “For 75 years the courts have interpreted statutes with an eye towards permitting judicial review, not the opposite.”

Justice Ruth Ginzburg recognized that the property owners had sought a hearing from the EPA over the controversy, “and the EPA said no.”

It is clear our government bureaucrats chafe at the idea that the people have rights and can challenge their orders. It has gotten so bad that even all of the liberal justices on the SCOTUS can be said to have misgivings based on the questions they asked EPA lawyers.

The EPA believes that the constitution no longer applies and does not restrict the power and authority of government. Regardless of the fact that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that “no person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” the EPA is arguing to the SCOTUS that through the Clean Water Act that they have the authority to issue orders as it wishes and collect fines for “violations” – without court review.

This is evidence that the government is trying to teach the people of this country that the rule of law, and equality under the law are passé. That the ruling elite have the power to issue orders as they wish and collect fines, confiscate property, and issue punishment for “violations” – without court review, without due process, and you mere citizens have no choice.

Clearly the left, and ruling elite in the government want to end property rights. Consider liberal columnist, Carl Gibson’s recent editorial titled, “ ‘Job Creators’ Aren't Doing Their Job.” where he says, "With $2 trillion at home and $1.4 trillion abroad, corporations are sitting on record-high piles of cash. For example, Apple holds $76 billion by itself, more than the U.S. Treasury. Yet these hoards of cash remain untaxed. A 35% tax on corporate America's cash reserves in the United States alone would generate $700 billion in revenue."

Start with the obvious lie, where he claims that “hoards of cash” are untaxed; taxes were paid on that cash when it was earned, cash on hand is savings not untaxed income. Just like individuals can save part of their income if they choose not to spend it after they pay taxes, groups of people (what corporations are) can do the same. Gibson is in essence saying that if you have cash remaining after you pay taxes and rather than spend those funds you choose to you save them, that then the government should take that savings from you. Get it!! you should only be allowed as much savings, property, etc, as the government gives you permission. Your savings is actually the governments and the government not you should decide if it should be spent. This sounds more like the old USSR than the USA. Liberals and the media wonder why corporations move their savings off shore, or why Americans are purchasing gold, jewellery, guns, and other tangible goods in record numbers, as investments to protect assets, it’s because the people no longer trust the government not to confiscate their accumulated wealth.

The ruling elite and liberal intelligentsia actually believe that all the wealth and property of the USA is the governments, not the individuals who earned it, and the government has the right to redistribute all property as it sees fit, including savings. It isn’t just big corporation savings (cash on hand) that leftists want, they also want the accumulated savings of those individuals who have taken personal responsibility and saved for their retirement. The government is actively seeking ways to control 401K accounts. The government is saying that you are too stupid and shouldn’t be burdened with being responsible for your own money, and that you are not a sovereign individual with individual rights, that your property is actually the governments, and it graciously allows you to keep some of it at the government discretion.

Our government is too big, protecting individual sovereignty and responsibility is no longer considered the job of government, and it now considers the people and their “rights” to be a burden. To get around constitutional restrictions on confiscating property without due process, then now charge the property not the person with a crime. Have more than a few dollars in your pocket, and the police will confiscate it saying it was drug money with no proof, no evidence, and no due process. Rather than innocent until proven guilty, you must prove that the money charged with a crime is yours. Note that to avoid the obvious lack of due process they have decided that it is ok to charge the money with a crime, not the owner of that money, and since money isn’t a person and has no rights, they can do what they want with it.

Too much government has now made it so that the average person no longer considers avoiding a tax wrong. Too much government has now made it so that the average person now considers what the government might do to them before reporting anything. Too much government has now made it so that the average person seriously searches for ways to avoid “permits.” In many of our big cities it is almost impossible to for the government to get a jury to convict individuals arrested for possession of small amounts of pot. The people realize that the law is stupid, the government will destroy individuals not for violating anybody else’s rights, but for doing something the government doesn’t like, so juries don’t convict.

Because of this the government is trying and has succeeded in limiting the people’s right to a jury trial. Schools no longer teach civics where the jury trial, and how being tried by your peers is a check against an abusive government. A jury can and does have the right to say not guilty when the government charges a person of a crime that although the defendant did commit, the law itself is wrong and the action should not be a crime. A fully informed jury is not something the government wants, and better yet, the government doesn’t want juries at all. Having to prove to 12 people, not a single government employee (the judge) severely restricts the power of government.

The solution to almost all the problems America now faces is not more government, it’s less government. But don’t expect the media who profits from more government or corporations who can buy off government to protect themselves from competition and being held accountable to their actions, to promote smaller government.

We need to return to limited government, but just as the Romans used bread and circuses to control the mobs, we too are seeing the same actions by our ruling elite, and is indicative of the beginning of the end of our republic. The only possible way to reverse course, and not end up a former shell of our past greatness like roam, losing our constitutionally protected rights, is to return to what made us great; being a limited small government republic. From the way anybody supporting smaller government who does manage to get the public’s attention (think Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson) is systematically destroyed, there is little hope that in 2012 we will even have the choice to elect a person who respects private property, individual liberty, freedom, self-rule, etc.

I have a better idea, more freedom, less government. Of course you have to be willing to accept that you not the government is responsible for your own well being. You not the government will be responsible to help the needy. You’ll have to be a part of your community and depend on your family, neighbours, church, etc. to help you when/if you’re in need not the government. That was the situation and worked for about the first 150 years of American history. That can, and will, work again, but not if society doesn’t believe in individual sovereignty and responsibility. If you wonder, I did steal that phrase “more freedom, less government” check it out at www.lpf.org.

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