Beyond the Cusp

July 7, 2017

Where has Compromise Gone?

 

Obamacare passed completely on the weight of Democrat supermajorities. From all appearances, should there come a Trumpcare bill, it too will pass simply from a supermajority of Republicans. That is where the problem comes in as far as any new healthcare legislation. The Republicans are in deep discussion and even some argument over the particulars and thus taking far longer than many would prefer. But there is one wall in reality and another described in the media. The media are screaming that the Republicans are completely inept and unable to pass a simple piece of legislation that President Trump claimed would be his first and primary consideration. The media keeps pressing how the Republicans are failing but they are missing one simple truth, it is not all Republicans who are making things impossible. The House of Representatives sent a bill to the Senate where everything got jammed up both in committee and on the Senate floor. The Republicans have twice introduced legislation for debate and when calling for a vote, there came the problem, there were those demanding more debate. These debates were nothing to do with the legislation but were intended to block any vote by demanding cloture, something that just the mere mention has led to a new reality in the Senate that in order to call for any vote those desiring a call for a vote must have sixty votes of guaranteed support. This means that every piece of legislation must have cloture because the essential reality is that all legislation is considered to be being filibustered by those who oppose the bill. There no longer is any requirement for legislation to actually be opposed with a real filibuster, it is simply assumed that if one person opposes legislation, then they would be capable of filibustering the legislation indefinitely without recourse for food, sleep or other nourishment or relaxation. Anyone who has seen the film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (see entire film video below), realize that no individual person would be capable of carrying on a filibuster alone and even two would be hard pressed. There was a reason that the Senate believed that forty Senators would be sufficient opposition for a principled stand and no less would suffice. No longer, as now one must have the support, public support if pressed, of sixty Senators. We are not sure when such a decision was reached and became tradition, but it sure makes progress far more difficult and cumbersome as getting Senators to commit could be compared with herding cats.

 

 

The United States Senate was once referred to as the most dignified and austere deliberative chamber in the history of the world. The House of Representatives was to represent the fury of democracy filled with bluster, crude and terse yelling producing responses to the insanities and demands of the populace often flinging reason to the wind. The Senate was to be the barricade which imposed reason on such madness. But politics in the United States has reached a crucial and, as one might say, desperate point. The partisanship has boiled over and is simply waiting to explode. Debate is no longer permitted as the space for debate has slowly closed down. Now, one enters into the debate either armed with the skin of a rhinoceros or prepared to lose friends as taking a side other than those approved by your peers is akin to treason. Even relatives finding themselves on opposite sides have refused to speak to one another and even a few marriages have broken up simply because the partners voted for opposing candidates in the Presidential elections. Now the demand on both sides is to prevent the other side from ever managing to pass any legislation and nowhere is this battle more obvious than the healthcare debates. The left is fiercely set to defending Obamacare and simply pressing that the only reason that Obamacare is failing is because that imbecile in the White House demands that it fail as his entire esteem rides upon its failure. They claim if only President Trump would allow minor, Democrat-approved adjustments and put in the proper financial investment, then Obamacare would produce everything as promised. The Republicans insist that nothing will be able to save Obamacare and some even press that it was designed to fail so as to allow for the enactment of the Democrat dream of a Single-Payer Healthcare System. The response from many on the left demand to know what would be so terrible in adopting the identical healthcare system which has bankrupted many a European nation who do not have anywhere near the populations nor a military budget anywhere near to comparable to those of the United States. The sides on this debate find no middle ground nor do they seek any. Both demand absolute victory and this comes to a head in the United States Senate. The House of Representatives currently have a majority of Republicans which leads to the Republicans being able to pass whatever legislation they desire, and have done so on healthcare and other legislative time bombs.

 

The time bombs which pass the House of Representatives with much noise but ineffectual opposition run smack into the polite deference found in the Senate where every piece of legislation had come to require a filibuster proof vote to simply pass. There is no longer the requirement to actually filibuster; one just has to oppose legislation and the filibuster is considered to be in force and cloture required. Additionally, the Democrats have come together in such a manner that they will act like a single entity and oppose everything the Trump administration favors. There is no concept even remotely resembling doing the nation’s business because as far as the politicians and their parties are concerned, there is no single nation but instead two warring camps between which no bridges can be built and no compromise can be permitted. With compromise out, then business is done because without even the slightest opening for compromise and doing what is best for the country, the two parties remain in gridlock with both sides controlling over forty votes in the Senate and thus neither being capable of reaching the magic number of sixty votes. This is a new development which has not been faced previously. And no, this was not the case during the Obama administration. The only legislation which was passed with total Republican opposition, to the best of our knowledge, was Obamacare where the Democrats had the supermajority of sixty votes in the Senate. Factually, the Democrats had to rush that passage as when Ted Kennedy died, the replacement elected in the November elections in Massachusetts was a Republican as he promised to vote against Obamacare, the Democrat promised to vote for Obamacare, and that was the deciding factor many voters gave for voting for a Republican for the first time in decades. That gave the Democrats in the Senate until the following January, so when they returned after the election they rushed a vote through and passed basically the legislation as the House of Representatives sent it without reading it, debating it or amending it. Some have pointed to this as the reason that Obamacare is failing, that it was incomplete when passed. Trust, it was complete and has done exactly what it was designed to do, bankrupt medical insurance industry and force the United States to adopt a single payer plan medical insurance and be just like Europe. Many are unsure if the United States would work well if it became more like the European Union than the United States. One might say that the leftists are trying to turn the United States into Europe one vote at a time. The Republicans are trying to avoid this and retain capitalistic principles at all costs. And that is a large part of the debate, capitalism versus socialism, and democratic republic versus single party unopposed rule, also known as fascism.

 

The United States of Europe Turning the United States into Europe One Vote at a Time

The United States of Europe
Turning the United States into Europe One Vote at a Time

 

I can hear the screeching, gut-wrenching, blood curdling, nails across the blackboard yelling already, what do you mean leftists are fascists, its Trump who’s the fascist. Well, as much as we love controversy, and we do, let’s hash this out looking back at history. Be calm, I know, Hitler was on the right, therefore fascism is from the right and the Republicans are on the right, game, set, match. Well, not exactly as the truth is that NAZI stood for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National-Socialist German Workers’ Party; NSDAP). That is not exactly a group which stood for a Democratic Republic which is what their government replaced, which was known as the Weimar Republic. The government under Adolph Hitler came to power only after the leaders of the Weimar Republic approved some critical changes to their constitution granting the Chancellorship additional, unprecedented and near total and quite unopposable power. Then after taking the position, Adolph Hitler then assumed additional powers leading to his being a fascist dictator. The methods he utilized to take power were textbook examples of how to take total power and control of a government. You cause a situation where the government is stymied and unable to accomplish or even address the needs of the nation, add unrest and increasing violence, invent a critical point where the people will feel their nation threatened, demand the problem you are orchestrating be immediately resolved, offer on a wave of public demands that you be granted the power to end the strife, take power and demolish the people at the bottom who were instigated into violence at the critical point and then claim unlimited power because you accomplished the impossible. This was Hitler’s plan, Lennon’s plan, Chavez’s plan and far too many others for such methods to be considered ridiculous. The simple plan is create a national problem such as the collapse of the healthcare system, propose to solve the problem if given the tools, use the tools and the popularity gained in solving the problem to change the remainder of any constitution and make your party the only political entity and you its unrivaled leader, instant fascist governance.

 

The fearful condition in the United States currently has been the inoperability of the federal government which is locked due to the Senate being the dam obstructing business being accomplished. The media is fully backing the story that President Trump is a buffoon and an idiot who has no concept of how Washington works or how to accomplish things. Granted, much of the President Tweeting has backed this portrait. Despite his less than intelligent Tweets, the President cannot be blamed for the lack of legislation ever reaching his desk, the problem being faced by the United States government. But this will not prevent the near constant media blame President Trump first, second, last and always. There are those who have cast the President as attempting to take dictatorial steps to shut down debate on his agenda. This claim is given credence by those so opposed to President Trump as he committed the most horrific crime which may be cast as the crime of the century; he defeated the anointed one, Hillary Clinton. This is the crime for which President Trump will never be allowed to live down and for which many are infuriated to the point that they are still spending much of their free time posting to social media every remote piece of media coverage which can be found even to the point of having established chains where people post such a vindictive piece of editorial media and it goes around as they send it each on to the next in a great circle such that it returns to the fist poster who posts it as if it were new again weeks later. There are numerous such rings, all secretive and never to be admitted, and these will see to it that President Trump’s detractors will have a never ending and always increasing amount of material. Oh, and if you desire to be blasted into a different time zone, decry the unfairness or inaccuracies of these posts at your own risk of hearing loss as some responses you will receive will be in all caps, possibly bolded and even italicized in red if at all possible. Of course, should you be so struck, then you obviously deserved such treatment.

 

Where will all of this lead? That depends very heavily on the 2018 election and whether the Republicans can attain sixty Senate seats while retaining control of the House of Representatives. That is a tall order as very often in midterm elections the party of the sitting President lose seats in both houses of Congress, especially the House of Representatives. But these are different and new times and nobody can predict things political in this new era. The fact that Trump even lasted until the first primary was strange, that he did so well was astonishing, that he became the Republican candidate was unbelievable. This was the end of politics as had previously been known in the United States. The near come from behind win by Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primaries was a further established proof of the changing political scene. Will politics return to the old normal? It very probably could but then again, there have been such drastic changes before when things came to a head, but the United States does not need to have a new party rise and one fall to the side and disappear as happened when the Republicans became a major party. Those days eventually led to the Civil War and that is most definitely not something needed by any nation. Further, as much as it has been claimed that the election of President Trump could lead to the end of the Republican Party, that is probably just as unlikely if not more so than the Democrat Party disappearing. The only potential threat the main two political parties have in the United States will be if they continue to refuse to see any means of working together. Such refusal to be capable of seeing things as the needs of the nation rather than the unacceptable policies of the “other” could lead to one of the third parties to become a real third party. The existence of an actual third party which could gain sufficient support that they would hold the swing votes required by the other two parties to achieve their agendas, that party would become quite powerful and determine the direction of legislation and the nation. It might also lead to a fourth and fifth and soon, the United States would look like European nations with a party for every taste instead of coalitions forming two parties. Who is to say whether or not such would be a good thing or such fracturing of political power would make for some politicking so strange than nobody could ever establish anything resembling an actual solid policy. The future of the United States is at a crucial point in her history challenged only be the era around the Civil War and perhaps the divisions are just as deep and unresolvable. The next decade or two will be determinable for the future of the United States and whether she will remain the leader of the free world and a superpower unrivaled in the world. Nothing short of her place in the world is at stake but asking for the two sides to tread softly will fall upon deaf ears as they are all screaming far too loud to listen.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 11, 2017

Of Healthcare and Health Insurance

 

Obamacare was not about receiving healthcare but on how it was to be covered, how it would be paid for. Trumpcare is not about receiving healthcare but on how it is to be covered, how it will be paid for. So, nobody is going to die because they cannot receive treatment because of either legislation. The differences are all about how health insurance will be distributed, paid for and the role of government in this procedure. Another item which is required is the knowledge that there is no such thing as an untreatable patient because by regulations any hospital which receives any form of government money, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Reimbursements or direct government aid are required to treat absolutely anybody who comes to them for treatment regardless of whether or not they are capable of paying for the treatment. This includes treating the uninsured, the homeless, the indigent and anybody else who comes to them for care whether through emergency vehicle or simply walking in the front door or the side door marked “Emergency Room.” The hospital I used to work for as a Biomedical Engineering Electronics Technician, the Washington Hospital Center, a thousand bed cardiac care hospital which also has Washington D.C.’s award winning burn center, a top eye and ear clinic, a Cath Lab with a half dozen operating theaters including two Electrophysiology Labs, an EEG department, an entire separate Physical Therapy Hospital attached to them across the entranceway, two separate operating theaters, one with a dozen operating rooms and the outpatient theaters with five operating rooms, one of the areas major Trauma Centers with two medical helicopters and six bays of which two could be used for emergency surgeries, an entire series of outpatient health clinics covering everything from inoculations to chronic treatments plus much more, and was a hospital which provided close to two million dollars in free care back when I was an employee in the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s. So the untruth that people in the United States die on the street because they were unable to receive treatment anywhere because they had no insurance is exactly that, an untruth. In the United States all but a very small number of specialty hospitals and members’ only hospitals, which treat either certain religious groups or select people who belong and pay either a monthly or an annual fee, receive federal funds one way or another and thus are required to treat all who come to them needing treatment. That is the first point that needs to be told as it removes the largest complaint that people are falling dead all over the United States in nearly every city as they are denied treatment because they are uninsured. The claims that we would soon see carts dragged through poorer neighborhoods calling for them to bring out their dead (as seen below) were a bit of an over-exaggeration.

 

 

So, the two plans are all about health insurance, not healthcare. The next truth, which is being used to cast a false accusation, was that the large increases in premiums came since President Trump became President, thus are his fault. The quote that the largest and by far most drastic increases in insurance premiums have been witnessed this year is absolutely true. The claim this makes them President Trump’s responsibility is quasi-valid. That President Trump has caused these drastic increases is false. What is true but seldom mentioned is that all of the statutes and regulations derived from Obamacare came into effect this year as of January first. Now this could all be coincidence, but I doubt this. Many premiums had been seen to increase, in some states almost, if not, doubling, last year as another round of regulations, laws and rules came into effect, but those paled in comparison to those that struck this year. The real effects intended by Obamacare have begun to raise their ugly truths with states such as Iowa fearing the loss of the final insurers pulling from offering coverage in the near future. This was the plan, to so bankrupt the health insurers leading to a panic, which would make a single-payer government health insurance plan acceptable due to lack of alternatives. One by one states would be forced to join Federal Government health insurance. The end result was to be Government Healthcare simply because the insurers who had covered health expenses could no longer make a profit as with the rising premiums people either opted for the Federal coverage or simply ducked from having any coverage. This is what Trumpcare is attempting to prevent and the reason why putting something in place quickly is so important. Unfortunately that also might lead to putting forward a flawed plan which will require patches and modifications before it becomes workable and this would be interpreted as poor planning. Meanwhile, a case being brought before the Supreme Court that would make Obamacare subsidies be limited to those states running their own exchanges threatens to force Obamacare to actually operate as written and not as expanded through broadened but presumed illegal interpretation (see map below). Should this case win it could open the way for more cases of a similar vein leading to strictly limiting Obamacare to the language of the law.

 

States Where Supreme Court Could Make Obamacare Subsidies Disappear

 

Emergencies often lead to poorly thought through or otherwise incomplete plans being put into force requiring more attention and an ongoing policy, which causes other problems as changing rules leads to fearful reactions by the affected companies, in this case health insurers. This could in part be the reason for the initial failure of the first attempt at cobbling together a plan and that may prove to have been a saving grace. Now we have Republican Care II, which passed the House of Representatives but now faces review in the Senate where changes will very likely be made and then the legislation, and this is all we have, legislation, will be returned to the House of Representatives. There it may be changed further and this exchange will continue until something more complete and comprehensive which meets the principle concerns of the Senators and Representatives and then will be passed on to the President. This is all depending on one little technicality, the Senate Democrats. The Democrats have sufficient Senators to prevent anything being passed through the Senate through filibuster. The overt civility of the Senate has made the filibuster as simple as telling the President Pro Tempore that a filibuster is intended and the legislation is all too often tabled until sixty votes can be guaranteed to invoke cloture ending the filibuster. No longer does the Senate demand that Senators imposing the filibuster actually talk twenty-four hours a day seven days a week until they tire of doing so or cloture is voted. There was one recent exception when Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas read Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs And Ham” as part of his twenty-one hour solo filibuster before surrendering as none of his fellow Republicans stepped up to support his attempt at mainly a symbolic statement against Obamacare (seen below). So, out of courtesy, the Democrats will not be made to actually take to the floor and fill the time with endless driveling and possibly entertaining the media with the reading of children’s tales or misquotes. This is also why the filibuster is used so frequently in the Senate as it no longer requires any significant effort or contribution in support of the position taken by the filibuster in opposing legislation. This will also prevent the necessary back and forth between the House and Senate in the manner in which the Congress is supposed to function and also stall any possibility for relief from the impending disasters that will come as a result from Obamacare. This is one time where time actually is of the essence.

 

 

What is certain is that should too many insurers decide to no longer offer health insurance and simply close down this part of their companies, then there truly will be a healthcare crisis in the United States. Many will say that this would be a gift as it would usher in government provided healthcare at long last and the United States could joint the long list of civilized nations. These individuals and groups will leave out the interesting fact that most nations providing government healthcare have a different problem, they cannot provide for their own defense and rely completely on the United States to provide the deterrence, which keeps them safe, relatively and thus far. They will point to particular nations while avoiding numerous others to prove their point that government provided healthcare is completely doable. Those nations they refuse to point to are the reason it will not work in the United States as they found out in Britain when they finally decided that they had to cut back on the amount of healthcare they were providing while other nations approached their problems with price controls.

 

There is a light on the horizon, though most would never point to their success. There is one nation that has universal coverage, a very capable and viable defense force, and a form of government/private health insurance. That nation is Israel. They have a minimal coverage required be provided by all insurers for which each receives a government payout. Then the four insurance companies offer their base plans while the people pay a health tax to cover the base plans offered. Then each of the four insurers operates in areas they feel they can make a profit with at least two operating in each part of the country. Then each insurer offers additional coverages, which they give nice sounding names such as Silver, Gold, Platinum or Palladium, well, OK, not the last one as it is made up. Individual can take the base coverage or they can purchase additional coverages, which vary depending on which of the four companies they choose. This works well for the most part. Yes, there can be problems when a person’s coverage and their particular needs have a failure in coverage, but these are addressed individually. So, nothing is perfect, but it appears to work, at least as far as we have experienced. Where this system may not be perfect, it is a great starting point and with the numbers of insurers currently in the United States, some form of system like this should be capable of being established, perhaps one where the government simply dictates the medial price for the basic coverage and sets up variances for the different markets throughout the nation. That’s our best suggestion if the politicians in the United States are seeking a system that combines a set coverage for all, even to include major medical for unexpected emergencies and hospitalizations, combined with a competitive market where competition is used to reduce prices. In the meantime, let us wait and see what the Congress is capable of producing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 23, 2013

The Debate is Cloture and Not the Filibuster

The main reason that the mainstream media is talking about the Senate changing the rules on the practice of filibuster is due to their being too lazy to explain what the Senate really did and actually educate the people who might not be as up on their United States Constitution as used to be the norm earlier in American history. The Senate changed the rules on cloture which is the means by which a filibuster is ended, not prevented or even stopped dead but ended with a possibility of allowing limited debate time to each Senator if the rules so permit. So, let us take a short trip back through history, and I promise to try to be brief. When the Constitution was ratified and became the founding document for the governance of the United States in 1789 there were no rules limiting debate in any manner. Senators could talk on any legislation pending before that august body until the cows came home and beyond. That was the beauty of the Constitution and the original interpretation of the idea that the House of Representatives was a rough and tumble and coarser body while the Senate was proper and deliberative with cordial rules and mutual respect, a far cry from what we have today and even originally. Do not for one second believe that American politicking has become raucous and vile only in the recent past as it actually has become more sensitive and polite. Nobody is referring to the other candidate for President of being a hermaphrodite or of being the son of a half-breed Indian squaw. To quote the two gentlemen in question behind those remarks, and they are to this day considered gentlemen though I doubt the shorter of the two would have agreed with such a description when he was alive; the Jefferson campaign described President Adams as a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman,” and Adams in return defined Vice President Jefferson as “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.” Yes, believe it or not these were the President and Vice President of the United States at that time as originally the candidate with the most votes became President and the candidate who came in second became the Vice President but we obviously changed that as it became a tad unworkable and obviously so. The Twelfth Amendment in 1804 put this problem to rest allowing for separate ballots for President and Vice President but did not dictate that the two office holders be from the same party, it is still possible though unlikely that the President and Vice President could come from different parties.

Back to the “nuclear option” voted on by the Senate this past week. The Senate rules call for a simple majority vote with limited debate for any motion to alter, add or deduct from the rules under which the Senate operates thus making any chance for a filibuster basically mute. Because of that the Democrats with their four seat advantage won the passage of the new rules by a 52-48 vote. President Obama took the opportunity to continue his war against the minority Republicans in the Senate in a short speech after which he delegated a person to answer any questions in what has become a normal routine of never allowing the President to be questioned by the press directly or be allowed to ever go off of the carefully scripted words on his teleprompter. Sometimes I think that it would be both revealing and educational allowing for the truthful revelation of the character and inner feelings of a President if it were required that he take a session answering press questions at least once each month and could be required when asked to appear before either branch of Congress to answer questions on any legislation brought to the floor by request of the White House or any member of the President’ own party. Any additional information that is revealed concerning a President’s inner feelings, ability to think quickly and respond to unexpected queries and situations as well as anything that fills the people with additional truths about the person supposedly running the nation and being the face of the American people and the nation on the world’s stage should be encouraged, even mandated. The Senate changing the rules such that a cloture vote which restricts virtually ending debate on appointment for judgeships and other posts to a simple majority has basically changed the process into simply the Senate being a rubber stamp for all but the absolute worst nominations, and even then it might be questionable if the Democrats would not simply bow before the President’s will. This may prove to be catastrophic or it may simply end up as a tempest in a teapot, it all depends on which appointments now gain affirmation who might have been prevented by a Republican or a single Democrat deciding to filibuster the nomination. This I just one more time will tell and I have found that time usually tells long after anybody is paying attention. A perfect example, except that people are paying attention, is Kathleen Sebelius and the catastrophic rollout of Obamacare. Had that gone relatively smoothly with only minor glitches we would have never known how vacuous that woman is and how Health and Human Services is being directed by an incompetent who appears incapable of managing a major project any better than a junior project manager in training.

 

There will be some commentators and political talking heads who will go off the deep end and erroneously relate that this move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was unconstitutional and that the Constitution enumerates the right and procedures known as the filibuster and cloture vote. They are mistaken at best and intentionally misleading at worst. The truth is that the Constitution says absolutely nothing about either process by name. Under the Constitution the original Senate had absolutely no limit on the length of the debate thus allowing every Senator and thus every State to have ample time to discuss and debate the merits of legislation and even return home to get their marching orders from the State Legislatures which chose the Senators. The Senate under Article I, Section 5, Clause 3 was empowered to write its own rules concerning debate and the procedures which govern the same. The Senate adopted its first anti-filibuster rule in 1917 calling such a procedure cloture. Traditionally the cloture vote has taken some form of supermajority in order to shut down debate. The rules of the Senate, according to the writings of the Founders, was to be a more deliberative body which fully debated legislation thus allowing the Senate to reject any legislations which was passed under emotional or other reaction to momentary events and to represent the individual States within the Federal Government such that the States would be protected from the rapacious appetite for power and dominion by any Congress or President. It is interesting that the initial limitation to debate came in 1917, four years after the ratification of one of the most destructive laws to ever make its way onto the books, let alone the Constitution, the Amendment XVII which forever changed the Congress and permitted the unrestrained expansion of the powers, reach, and oppressive abilities of the Federal Government. Under this amendment the States no longer appointed their own Senators in any manner they saw fit, be it appointed by the Governor, appointed by the Governor and ratified by some branch of the State Legislature, appointed directly by the State Legislature or even directly elected by the people which any State could have enacted as their method had they so chosen. This was a direct assault on the rights of the States and took place under a wave of humanist excitement where it was believed that the people, if allowed to voice their combined will, would reach a more reasoned and duly proper decision than any that could be reached by the corrupt and despicable State Governances. The members of the Federal Government even back then looked upon the State Governments, from which many of them had originally served, with contempt and disdain. They saw them as incapable of reasoned thought or honest debate. Looking at the Congress of today one might come to the conclusion that a monarchy might be preferable, but surely I jest. It is likely certain that had the Senate remained as intended a product of the individual State Governments deciding their selection process that the vast majority of States would have decided to allow for the direct election of their Senators in the Federal Government anyways, so there is probably little difference today that if the Amendment XVII were never passed or ratified. One note on history, both the Amendment XVII and the Amendment XVI, which enacted the income tax, have both had claims made that they were not truly ratified by the necessary States within the time limited by the Constitution and are therefore not enforceable. Thus far nobody has won a court case challenging either Amendment. Given my personal choice, I would prefer ridding the United States of the Amendment XVII as returning a greater amount of limiting force by the individual States would do more to limit and turn back the growth of the Federal Government than anything else I have ever heard promoted. The one item that would cease to exist immediately would be the imposition of unfunded mandates on the individual States by Federal legislation as that has become a nasty and not all that uncommon way that the Federal Government passes legislation while forcing the States to finance the implementation and continue maintenance of the legislation and not burdening the Federal budget with such costs. Imagine a Federal Government which was forced to pay for every consequence of their legislative agendas. They would soon go on a legislative diet which the press would label gridlock and the Representatives and Senators would label sticker shock from seeing the financial consequences of all of their actions and being unable to pass the costs off on the States. That was an imagine that Mr. John Lennon missed in his song, but being British I guess he should be forgiven.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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