Harry Reid’s Ironic Pursuit of Cleanliness: the filthy habit of continuing resolutions

A continuing series of discussions of Mark Levin’s new book,
The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic

(Discussion #8 – the filthy habit of continuing resolutions)

You know our good friends on the left: they believe they possess the intelligence to run our lives, our livelihoods, and how we use our property. Like the old aristocracy in Europe, they believe that circumstances of birth—in this case a claim to superior intellect—entitles them to do so. However misguided our friends may be, they persist in the pursuit of limitless control. But they need one thing to attempt it: money. To be specific, our money, and lots of it.

This desperate need for funds to create their New Order has borne strange fruit. To avoid the inevitable downfall of tyrants and to pursue their utopian dreams, they need something which we all desire: solvency.

In less-disastrous times we could laugh with them as they wrest control—and then we take it back again—in the normal clash of societal evolution. But strangely, we find ourselves bound together with them in a wholly unnecessary crisis. The crisis is our heavily-damaged economy. The biggest reason for it is excessive spending. The spending problem has gotten so bad that even our President—history’s most profligate spender—has very nearly stooped to acknowledging the problem. (see Notes, below.)

Fortunately, you don’t need the self-inflated intellect of a leftist to realize we have over-borrowed and overspent. But unlike the average citizen’s personal situation, where reducing spending is as simple as skipping purchases and doing without certain things every month, federal spending involves a complex process. Unfortunately for us all, most of the people we elect to follow this process are cowards.

I’ll return to that notion in a moment. But first, I invite you to notice a few things about how congress spends your money.

Some random, simple facts about the complex process of government spending:

  1. The Constitution declares, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives” (I.§7.). In other words, only the House can lay taxes on you.
  2. The Constitution charges Congress (meaning both Houses) with responsibility for borrowing and repaying all federal debt (I.§8.)
  3. Congress created the Treasury Department to deal with collection and payment, and the head of that department is the Secretary of the Treasury, who is attached to the Executive Branch. However, the Secretary of the Treasury is required to perform certain duties at the direction of Congress and as directed by law, so is not totally under control of the Executive. The Secretary is appointed by the President, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.
  4. Budget Resolutions are not law, and therefore require no Presidential signature. However budget resolutions are not the only aspect of spending.
  5. Appropriations Bills are passed to assign spending to specific parts of government. Those are signed into law by the President (or vetoed and possibly overridden). Several of these are passed each year, and last for one year. They direct the Treasury department to cut checks to pay for Authorized operations of government. (Entitlement laws direct such payments—like Social Security checks—without needing to be regularly re-Authorized).
  6. The budget process is controlled by various laws, and is therefore subject to alteration. Remember this.
  7. The current Budget Process is fairly new, and has only given the President the power to shape the budget since the presidency of Calvin Coolidge (via the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921).
  8. The Budget is supposed to follow a process codified by law. Instead of being followed, Congress continually rewrites the laws by passing new ones, such as the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to catch up to how they actually complete their spending process.
  9. The statutory limits on spending expired years ago, and Continuing Resolutions have been used to dodge them ever since
  10. A budget that correctly follows the budgeting process and is balanced in terms of revenue and spending hasn’t happened since 1997
  11. Omnibus Bills and Continuing Resolutions are not Budgets.

After you think about it for a moment, the obvious aspect of Continuing Resolutions is that they are the byproduct of the abdication of responsibility. With so many rules being ignored or violated willfully, the center of the budget process has not held. Congressional leaders have forgotten how to establish a budget and allocate funding, and the system has collapsed due to the total corruption of the way Obamacare was foisted upon the public. Looking at Item 1, one would rightly wonder how the ACA (Obamacare) could possibly be Constitutional. The ACA was a creation of Harry Reid’s staff and lobbyists, meaning it actually originated in the Senate. Additionally:

More importantly, since the Supreme Court voided parts of the law, and other parts are yet-to-be discovered, how could a budget possibly be created for such an unknowable pile of legislative irresponsibility? This is why the cowardice in so many of our Republican leaders is so untimely, unpatriotic, and contemptible. This is why the process will remain broken. Once the corrupt path of passing something like Obamacare has been given the blessing of our leaders, Congress will be forever prevented from fixing the problem.

And yet Congress is still following the path of the Continuing Resolution. These resolutions are a degenerate pathway, born of corruption, full of incompletions and legislative debris, and represent a total lack of statesmanship. They are a byproduct of the legislative landfill of the Omnibus Bill concept, which is another major abdication of responsibility and represents basic cowardice in leadership. Yet, somehow, among the corrupt practices of cheating on the rules, the laws, and the Constitution, Harry Reid and the President seem to think such a thing as a “clean” continuing resolution is possible.

One might as well attempt to dip potable water from a cesspool.

Sorry Harry, but you cannot polish a Continuing Resolution (IYKWIMAITTYD). When you say you want a “clean” one, we all know what you mean.

The reason we’re exploring this particularly filthy aspect of the frequently dirty process of funding the government is because a way to fix it is vital. We can somehow end this sad spectacle of Congressional cowardice by removing the central control over our vast nation from the hands of a small group of people. In these discussions, we’ve seen many proposals for ways to accomplish a return to the processes and pathways of Liberty envisioned by the Founders. It’s an idea with which every generation must wrestle.

The Founder’s well-considered solution boils down to one simple concept: decentralize.

Many folks have tried to warn us off of relying on the states because statehouses are just as full of corruption as the nation’s capital. In some cases, the corruption is worse, and power is held in very few hands, indeed. We know this. But the Founders also knew this. In the day of the Founders, the world had its Robespierre’s, who believed, like our friends on the left, that you can perfect man via legislation and enforcement. Mr. Robespierre was rewarded for his hubris by riding the guillotine out of this world. (Interestingly, if you read up on Mr. Robespierre, as I urge you all to do, you’ll see he was a first adapter of what we know as the Limbaugh Theorem.)

In this world, all you can do is to set men free to make up their own minds, and hope the majority will do the right thing. To attempt to coerce and control leads to tyranny, no matter how pure the intention of the controllers.

This is why the Article Five second process is vital to our survival. And not only ours, but mankind’s. If you think that declaration is mere overstatement, think again: Prior to the Twentieth Century, the world was mostly tribes, kingdoms, empires, and wilderness. The rise of the modern Superpower has increased the possibility of world dominance by a single group. Instead of trying to convince you of this, I urge you to reflect on two potential candidates for such control: the Islamists and their dreams of Caliphate, and China.

The last best refuge of mankind is STILL the United States, but only if we embrace and restore the Constitution. The Article Five second process is our best hope to make it happen.


A glimpse inside the mind of our President

If you search through Mr. Obama’s Presidential speeches and remarks, you’ll find he rarely states explicitly that our spending is a problem. For example, searching for explicit use of the phrase “spending under control” finds several instances where he is making fun of opponents for using that phrase. The President favors claiming that it is deficits (and debts) that need to be controlled. A few minor instances turn up where he mentions we need to control government spending—a concept with slightly different meaning from, “Get spending under control.” Clearly this legerdemain in word choice implies a far different vision for “control” than the average man’s idea of restraint in spending and saving the grandiose plans for later.


Discussion #8: Naysayers
Discussion #7: Tracking Our Progress
Discussion #6: Amendments on Spending and Taxes
Discussion #5: How much power do the states have?
Discussion #4: What If They Hijack the Convention?
Discussion #3: An Invitation to Our Friends on the Left
Discussion #2: Run Away!
Discussion #1: Zombie Doctrine, Tactics, and the Liberty Amendments

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