While the White House finds itself engulfed in three scandals, one would think that Rep. Cheri Bustos would be more vocal in her outrage over the lack of transparency by the Obama Administration. And especially the scandal involving the IRS; the most feared of all Federal agencies which targeted American citizens and private groups for their political beliefs.
What is especially troubling is her silence over the flagrant abuse of power by the IRS, and the bits of contradictory information that drip, drip, drip, daily from the White House. To date, her response has been rather tepid, calling the abuse, “appalling.” Appalling, really? That’s it?
In light of the recent revelations of abuse concerning the IRS, the House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare by a rather wide margin. Not surprising, Rep. Bustos voted to ensure that her fellow Americans were saddled with what Sen. Max Baucus, (D) Montana, who up until now has been an ardent supporter of Obamacare, but now describes it as a “train wreck.”
And let’s not forget that Rep. Bustos will not be forced into the Obamacare nightmare as we are, since she is covered by her luxurious congressional healthcare system which she chose not to opt out of as former Congressman Schilling did when he was elected.
Perhaps even more alarming is that we now know that the same person who oversaw the targeting of Americans citizens by the IRS, Sara Hall Ingram, will now oversee the section of the IRS that will have access to our medical records under Obamacare.
If this doesn’t frighten you how about this fact: according to the NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, Rep. Bustos took $ 3,500 in campaign contributions from the same IRS employees who spied on American citizens and, yes, will enforce Obamacare. This appears as though the fox is guarding the chickens, and Rep. Bustos is opening the door for the fox.
Rep. Bustos is the same elitist now that she has always been.
Ron and Marcia Tady
East Moline, IL
The Era of Purchased U.S. Senators Began 100 Years Ago This Month
By Dr. Harold Pease
On May 31,1913, one hundred years ago this month, the U.S. Constitution was changed by the Seventeenth Amendment nullifying the most essential safeguard and ingredient in our remaining a republic. Although our “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” still uses the word republic we, on this date, took a giant step into a democracy from a republic and in doing so initiated the era of purchased U.S. Senators, something the Constitution had protected us from heretofore by having senators chosen by the state legislature rather than by the masses.
Some unfamiliar with our history may not know that the Senate was specifically designed to protect state authority from federal government intrusion and to cool the emotional whims of the peoples’ branch—the House of Representatives. To accomplish this, and to keep this body committed to, and aware of state needs, U.S. Senators were to be elected, not by the people at large as was the House, but by the state legislatures themselves. All prospective law was to be evaluated from two perspectives, the needs of the populace and the needs of the states. Why else would we need two branches of government essentially doing the same thing—making law? The 17th Amendment reduced law making to but one perspective virtually eliminating the perspective of the states.
We live under two political systems: one primarily national in function, the other primarily domestic. It’s called federalism—the two share power and are equal. Neither was to be subservient to the other and each was to have separate duties. Thomas Jefferson explained it best when he said, “The states are not subordinate to the national government but rather the two are coordinate departments of one single and integral whole…. The one is domestic the other the foreign branch of the same government.” Think of this relationship as an ideal marriage, where neither partner is subservient to the other. Neither feels beneath the other, rather they are a team.
The Senate was specifically charged with ensuring federalism but could only do so if they were not subjected to the popular vote. Again, that essentially ended on May 31, 1913, when the 17th Amendment made the senate popularly elected and responsible solely to the emotion of the masses that tend to vote with their stomachs. Prior to this date each state sent the two, usually from their own members, most qualified and able to defend the interests of their state—not who was best funded, best looking, most charismatic, or worse, promised the most handouts to those less productive. These elections cost nothing and no one argued for term limits. It was not needed.
Today, because of this amendment, U.S. Senators must raise between 5 and 10 million for a successful senate campaign thus they are always campaigning and attention to local constituency is the key to their survival—not attention to their state legislature issues. Moreover, the candidate that spends the most money normally wins. The change allowed the moneyed interests to purchase U.S. senators, not the masses. The masses hardly care. “Indeed only about 60 percent of the general public can name one U. S. senator from their state, and only about 40 percent can name both of their U.S. senators” (Politics in America, Thomas R. Dye, Edition 13, p. 379). Some senators receive large sums from contributors outside their states enabling outsiders to help purchase their senator.
But the biggest obstacle to retaining our republic, and thus our liberty, is that there now exists no body whose principle duty is to keep the federal government harnessed to the powers listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and to protect Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights that makes it clear that all power not listed remains with the people and the states. Without this body a republic deteriorates into a democracy, which deteriorates further into socialism, which goes into extreme debt because it can’t say no to the expensive whims of the masses. Sound familiar? We must rescind the 17 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The New American said it best when it noted, “Today the federal government is involved in everything from our farms to our health and education, along with our sex lives (Viagra is covered by the prescription drug benefit for seniors, and contraception coverage is mandated under ObamaCare) and preschool programs for toddlers” (The April 1, 2013, p.39). Constitutionally all of this falls within state prerogative without a constitutional amendment authorizing the federal government to have these specific powers. If senators represented their states, as designed, they would have prevented this federal intrusion and the high taxes that come with it and we would be a much freer people. Moreover, the era of purchased U.S. senators would never have become the practice.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
It’s that time of year again. We “try to squeeze six pounds of mud in a three pound sack”. I suppose it is human nature. In college my term papers were always done in the eleventh hour. I just so want to believe we could do better.
We have been in session since January. We have had days where it appears we accomplish so little. We must adjourn according to our constitution by May 31. At this writing it is early morning May 22, 2013. We have not passed a budget (we aren’t even close). We have not passed concealed carry (very close). A major gaming bill is hanging in the wings. A push remains for same sex marriage. Our most important issue, as I see it, is an acceptable pension bill. Whatever you’ve seen so far will have changes. Many other issues remain out there. They may or may not be addressed this legislative session.
My emails and phone calls are blowing up the system. My response time to get back to you is now about three weeks.
Still we trudge on, trying to repair a system with many faults. I have always, and always will, believed that we are still better than many parts of the world. Illinois could do so much better and good people continue to try. No, I will never lose heart.
Our entire country faces many challenges. The following is quoted often as to where America is headed:
In 1887 Alexander Tyler, as Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburg, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.”
I believe we are approaching government dependence. I also believe we are smart enough to fix it.