Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Marriage is a Contract, not a “Right”

In Opinion on March 26, 2013 at 5:51 pm

According to the WSJ editorial board (link here  The Wall Street Journal) if the Supreme Court finds a right to gay marriage in the Constitution, “[i}t will inflame [debates Americans are conducting] and ensure they never end, prematurely aborting the give-and-take on contentious moral and social issues the Constitution is designed to encourage.”

Hogwash.

The Constitution does not encourage such give-and-take.  No, the Constitution puts such matters beyond the reach of political bickering and the law.  The Constitution neither proscribed nor prescribed debates about social norms – its authors were intentionally silent on that question – they didn’t leave it out by accident.  The Constitution enumerates the powers the people were willing to grant to their government.  The power to affect ‘moral and social issues’ by encouraging (or discouraging) debate (or any other means) was not among the powers granted to the government.

According to the Constitution, political and legal debates – free speech – may never be outlawed, PERIOD.  Since the Constitution pertains only to legal matters, regarding all other debates the Constitution is silent.  The effect that silence may have on ‘debates Americans are conducting’ is not properly a matter of political or legal discussion, so any mention of the Constitution is not germane.

The federal government (and the states, too?) should exit the debate about marriage, since it is a ‘moral and social’ issue.  Any and all laws about marriage should be stricken from the books immediately, if not sooner.  Tax preferences, any special or preferred legal status of a spouse, the mere mention of the word marriage should be expunged.  Marriage, as legal matter, should represent nothing more than a contract between consenting adults, and in that regard, the state’s sole purpose is to enforce the contract.  To confer special status upon parties of only a certain type of such contracts is, well, unConstitutional.

So, as far as the federal government should have any concern, we’re all bachelor(ette)s.  Properly understood, American Constitutional law has nothing to do with ‘an evolving social consensus‘ (WSJ’s words) about marriage (or gun ownership or video game content, or . . .)  It’s high time the left AND the right, the governing class in general, abandon their efforts to use government force to coerce certain social norms and outcomes.

(1) No theft.  (2) No murder.  (3) Every person is free to live life subject only to those two prohibitions.  That is the only just, moral code of laws.  It follows that whom I marry is no one’s business, so certainly it is not subject to Uncle Sam’s approval.

Advertisements

Lindsey Graham dines with Barack Obama – Fawning Shenanigans

In Opinion on March 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 10.45.56 AM

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 10.43.08 AM

Washington is aflutter because last night Barack Obama deigned to break bread with 12 US Senators.  Peace and civility broke out!  Promise of compromise fills the air.  Are you as disturbed as I am?

Why does Washington fawn over elected officials fawning over each other?  Why should the shenanigans of a small subset of 536 people in Washington, DC matter so much, or even matter at all?  Do we actually revere the man who said “give me liberty or give me death” or is that just a fairy tale taught to children about a long ago lost day and time?

We have monuments to great men in Washington, DC.  Those monuments enshrine the noble acts of certain men who were destroyers of, not abusers of, political power.  Today’s political class misrepresent their predecessors’ greatness and besmirch their legacies.  George Washington hated and eschewed power – especially in his own hands.  He risked his life to destroy the power of men over men.  When he declined to serve a third term as president, he did so not as an act of selflessness (as we are taught) he did so as the most selfish act possible – he wanted back HIS life.  He did not want power, he did not want to govern, to lead or be fed by other men, he wanted to live.  Now the city that bears his name is awash with men and women who would disgust him, who wrap themselves in the flag, use his name and monument as backdrops to acts of tyranny the likes of which he pledged his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to defeat.

Want the answers?  Don’t look to the politicians, look to the George Washington inside of you.  Find your own civility . . . not the kind displayed, like a stage act, with Lindsey Graham being feted by Barack Obama.  No.  Civility among free men is found in communities in which they live their own lives.  A community where men help their neighbors only when they ask for it and, then only when they deserve it.  Outsourcing compassion to Washington, DC produces distance, distrust and, as we’re seeing now, disaster and division.  Not a one of our ills will be repaired by someone who resides near or depends upon the federal fisc for his food and shelter.  When King George overstepped the lines, our forebears didn’t ask for a better king.  They did not seek to reform the monarchy, and they didn’t attempt a regicide.  Instead they declared, simply, we are free.

I am free.  I want to live in a civil, free, just and moral country.  I want to re-found a civil society.

Civil society? What is that? I think it’s what we had before we decided to let a few hundred people in Washington DC write all the rules for 300,000,000 people, before Washington DC decided it had the power to determine the disposition of over 25% of what we produce each year, and before we thought somebody with a badge or a title was responsible for our safety and our welfare.

Take back your life Americans.  The men and women in DC are not angels, and they have not the ability, the duty nor any intention of making your life better.  They, as should you, live for themselves.  Everything they say to the contrary is a lie, and you’ll die waiting for them to save you.

Magic, Not Good Governing, Balances the Budget

In Opinion on March 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm
That should work

That should work

There persists a notion that there is a magic ratio of spending cuts to tax increases that will produce ‘sustainable’ debt levels expressed as a percentage of GDP, as if that metric is dispositive and unassailable.  A little research reveals that 4:1 is the consensus-view solution to the puzzle.

Hogwash.

First, “sustainable.”  I have two sons whose definition of the sustainable debt level they voluntarily will inherit from me is $0.  They love their dad and all that, but they have been taught that an honest man pays for what he consumes.  They see no reason why that same standard should not apply to the community as a whole.  Sending a stranger your bar tab is just plain rude; sending him your grandmother’s hospital bill is even ruder – and tells me what you really think of Granny.

American tax policy is made by the same elected officials who appropriate and spend money.  To say that taxes are too low compared to spending is to suggest that spending is an orphan, that spending exists in its own universe and is ‘out of control.’  Tax collections are what they are because voters choose to control that lever and conveniently ignore spending, at the expense of unborn strangers.  And since those not-yet-voters who will pay for the overdraft (see above) have no control over the spending levers of government, we have a national debt of $16.5 trillion accumulated by an irresponsible and unaccountable political class who make a living handing out my sons’ future earnings.

Second, the “ratio.”  Consider fiscal year 2012.  (Analyzing budget policy using 10-year projections is neither illustrative nor legitimate.)  According to the White House OMB figures, in fiscal year 2012 the IRS collected individual income taxes in the amount of $1,179 trillion.  To cover a deficit of $1.127 trillion (same source) while assuming the mysteriously powerful 4:1 ratio, taxes would have had to be $225.4 billion (19%) higher.  All other things being equal, the highest marginal rate would have to increase from 39.6% to 47.2%.

Will anyone, even Harry Reid, propose a 19% tax increase ON EVERYONE?  Of course not.  Unless one assumes Americans are eager to pay significantly more income taxes, with an annual deficit roughly equal to TOTAL income taxes collected, it’s irresponsible, asinine and dishonest to suggest that increased income taxes can bridge a significant portion of the gap.

If Americans desired to eliminate the federal deficit with higher taxes, the IRS would receive unsolicited donations from millions of patriots.  Until that happens, rest assured that Americans have determined they are paying enough.

Cut spending.  My sons are counting on it.