Unconstitu​tional Spending Kills the Economy

News Highlights

Unconstitutional Spending Undermines the Economy
The Constitution gave us a federal government of very limited size and scope. Under this model America thrived and enjoyed exponential economic growth, the greatest in world history. Unfortunately, from the 1930s on we have seen exponential growth of government, and that unconstitutional activity has strangled our economy.

Last week, economists testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee on the impact of unprecedented debts and deficits on job creation and the economy, provided food for thought to Constitutionally-minded citizens. During the hearing, several economists documented the need for Congress to make immediate spending cuts and to address the underlying causes of the deficits. 

Dr. Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute cited historical data and a large body of research that indicates efforts to address rising debts by cutting spending “are far more likely to reduce debt and enhance the economy than raising taxes on American families and job creators.”

Stanford University Professor Dr. Edward P. Lazear explained that escalating debt signals higher taxes and creates job-crushing economic uncertainty. Dr. Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University explained:

  • Spending and its symptoms (debt and deficit) often signal to consumers, businesses and investors that taxes are likely to go up. 
  • This prospect of increased taxes tends to inject a significant amount of uncertainty into the economy and weakens confidence. 
  • That uncertainty means that investors don’t invest; employers don’t hire; and consumers save, rather than spend, money. 
  • People can’t find jobs; unemployment grows. 
  • This, in turn, hurts an already sluggish economy and has a negative impact on job creation.

President’s Budget Increases Unconstitutional and Ineffective Education Funding
Despite its cost-cutting spin, President Obama’s 2012 budget boosts federal spending on many failing education programs. His supporters defend the expansions as consistent with America’s vision, though the historical evidence is to the contrary.
It is true that the Founding Fathers placed a very high value on education. It is very clear they considered a well-informed public essential for a republic to thrive. However, the Founders did not specifically allow for education funding in the Constitution; it was therefore reserved to the states and the people. 
Since its relatively recent creation in 1980, the Department of Education has manipulated education through redistribution of taxpayer money and unauthorized regulation. The overall result on education has been far more harm than good.

1789 Blog and Opinion: Top Picks

Standing Up for the Rule of Law Locally
Many don’t seem to think that illegal immigration is a big problem…. Yet, between consuming public funds and causing increased criminal activity, illegal immigration is cause for serious concern. Though the federal government is ignoring their Constitutional mandate by “We the People” to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense…” state and local governments are proving up to the task…. 
While it is encouraging to see Virginia follow Arizona in taking an active role in the fight against illegal immigration, it is even more encouraging to see federalism working. This is exactly what the framers intended, strong states dealing with issues and a limited national government. For those that say the Founders’ vision is a relic of some ancient past, this proves you wrong. Federalism is alive and well, and the Constitution works! Read the rest of this story on The 1789 Project blog here.

Corn: Food or Fuel
Government subsidies for agriculture and energy are among the many unconstitutional programs created by the federal government. Right now, the world is facing massive food shortages, yet U.S. corn farmers, who account for 39% of global production, are sending 40% of their crop to help fill automobile gas tanks. Ethanol subsidies and ethanol use are bad for cars, bad for the environment, and bad for food prices. Federal subsidies force corn and overall food prices higher, since virtually all food in the U.S. is tied to corn: 40% of America’s corn crop is used to feed the animals which produce meat and dairy products. Read more in Opinion here.

The Social Security Problem
Would you rather get 75% more than you will receive from Social Security? Oh, and by the way, Social Security is hemorrhaging money from its supposedly safe reserve, with more money going out than coming in, and the “trust fund” which contains only government IOUs. “Yet, [an average couple's low-risk] account would still be sufficient to pay them about 75% more than Social Security promises them, increased annually for inflation just like Social Security.” Read the rest of this story on The 1789 Project blog here.

More from The 1789 Project Newsfeed

The “Constitutionally Correct” Award

Hon. Denise Page Hood

In a notable victory for 1st Amendment free speech, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood has ruled that Detroit’s SMART bus system must allow bus ads (below) with a message offering help to people who wish to leave Islam safely, without having to live in fear. Detroit refused to run the ads on the Dearborn and Detroit buses in the spring of 2010. In May the American Freedom Defense Initiative sued the city of Detroit for refusing the ads, which are identical to ads used in Miami, New York City and San Francisco. But Detroit caved to pressure from Islamic activists. This violated Detroit’s own ad guidelines which are intended to protect the Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Dearborn, Michigan now has the largest single concentration of Arab Muslims in North America. There are 32,000 Arab Muslims from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq living in East Dearborn, making up almost 1/3 of the population. In some districts it is common to see store signs and billboards written in Arabic.
The 1789 Project congratulates Judge Hood for her bravery in issuing this Constitutionally-correct decision. Read more here.

The “Constitutionally Incorrect” Award

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Speaking at a Pro-Planned Parenthood rally, where your tax dollars were wasted to ask the government for more taxpayer money, Senator Lautenberg got a little carried away in his moment of glory. He told the  protesters that

“…The Republicans in Congress claim they’re concerned about the budget balance, but it’s a disguise! It’s not true! It’s a lie! That’s not what they want. They want — they want other people not to be able to have their own opinions. They don’t deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution! But we’ll give it to them anyway.”
There are at least two problems here. One, Constitutional freedoms aren’t only for those who “deserve” them, and they aren’t “given” by the government, they come from our Creator. Two, the U.S. Constitution is designed to protect our God-given natural-law and human rights from government (primarily) and others who would seek to violate them. Read more and watch the video of the senator’s comment here.

Stories to Watch

Unconstitutional Spending Holding up Budget
Political posturing over negotiations to reach agreement on spending cuts and pass legislation to keep the government funded through September continues as this week’s April 8 deadline approaches. If no agreement is reached, there will be a government slowdown, during which ”non-essential” workers would be furloughed.
Senate leaders have thus far refused to allow cuts to unconstitutional programs including Planned Parenthood, Public Broadcasting, and Obamacare. News reports that House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to a compromise of $33 billion in cuts, leaving most of the unconstitutional spending in place, have not been confirmed by his office. House Conservatives are pushing to retain the $61 billion level of cuts in the bill (HR1) they passed months ago, which big-spending Senate leaders call “extreme” and say are tied to Tea Party pressure.
What You Can Do
The $61 billion in proposed cuts is a tiny portion of the unconstitutional spending that has brought us a $1.65 trillion deficit for the year. Contact your Senators and Congressman this week and tell them you want to see spending cut to at least the HR1 levels. 
2012 Budget and Debt Limit
While the House and Senate have taken months trying to fund the last six months of the 2011 budget, the next big debates are about to begin. This week, Rep. Paul Ryan plans to unveil his 2012 budget proposal, including $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next ten years. This is still too long to continue spending on unconstitutional programs, but it’s a good start.

Congress has limited itself to a certain amount of national debt, called the statutory debt limit, which they raise whenever necessary or convenient.  All the Republicans in the Senate have signed onto a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment, saying they will force a vote on that amendment before voting on raising the debt limit. Some conservatives are refusing to raise the limit at all.

We hope this sampling from the newsfeed, blog, and opinion pages from the 1789 Project website inspires you to continue fighting for the Constitutional Revival.
David LaRock
The 1789 Project

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