Sunday, May 19, 2013

What is the proper size of Government?

Far too many people feel the need to put one either in the Tea Party camp or in the Liberal camp when discussing topics that are current in politics. This type of divide is disheartening as it doesn't aide the conversation nor is it an honest, genuine manner in which to debate a topic either. During a conversation on the emails stemming from Benghazi that were released by the White House the sides were drawn and if you raised skepticism on the threads starting point - which was that Republicans fabricated emails to promote the lie that President Obama was involved in the cover-up - you were labeled a Tea Partier.

At one point in the conversation, a few people asked me what I meant by smaller government. The request was a more expansive explanation than a "bumper sticker" response. A single response, I knew, wouldn't justify my stance on smaller government.

The role of the Federal Government is limited already by the United State Constitution but that hasn't prevented the Supreme Court from expanding Federal Powers through a liberal interpretation of the Commerce Claus, the Due Process Claus and most recently the tax code. The Federal Government's role should be limited to:

  1. Ensuring Interstate Commerce is conducted legally and ethically.
  2. Ensuring that our borders are secure from foreign invasion.
  3. Assist States in Commerce with foreign nations via trade treaties, pacts, and tariffs.
  4. Ensuring infrastructure is up to date and in working conditions - i.e. roads, bridges, and power grid.
At the State level government has a different role:

  1. Ensuring property is secure - i.e. Police and Fire Departments.
  2. Ensuring that the roads, bridges, waterways, energy sources are in working condition.
  3. Ensuring trade within the borders of the State is conducted legally and ethically.
  4. Ensuring that the education system educates the populous.
Granted these are some broad strokes to the idea of Government but it the foundation that our Government should be limited to. Our Government, no matter what level, should never delve into the Social issues of the day. Often Government creates these inequities on social issues by trying to solve them instead of staying out of the way. A prime example is marriage. Marriage should have never been ingrained into the fabric of public policy as the role of government is not to dictate to us who we are to share our lives with. Another example is abortion. The only role the government is to have in abortion is to make sure the procedure is safe just like any other medical procedure. The role of government is not to provide tax payer money for abortions nor is it to dictate that one who has a moral objection to it be forced to provide the service or access to the service.

What is your idea of the proper size of government? What freedoms are you willing to give up to have that size of government?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Today is an important day for homo sapiens in the United States as it is Mother's Day. The day that we take a little extra time to thank the one person that was the vessel to our being. To every Mother, I wish them a Happy Mother's Day!

For Minnesotans this year Mothers Day takes on potentially a new meaning as the House of Representatives in Minnesota last week passed legislation that will re-define marriage in Minnesota. It begs the question: Why do we need Government to define marriage or unions when the decision is personal?

Last year when the Marriage Amendment was on the ballot, I did vote against it. The reason why I voted against it wasn't because I disagreed with the definition of marriage being proposed; rather my disagreement, thus my No vote, was with Government making an attempt to define a private decision. It boggles my mind that people, on both sides of the aisle, want to move our society forward and increase the freedoms for all people.

The re-definition of marriage is being seen as a Civil Right by the Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Bi-sexual crowd. Trouble is that there is nothing in Natural Law or Civil Law that states anyone has the Right to marry another person(s). Unfortunately, over the past 200 plus years we have allowed our Government to incorporate marriage into the lexicon of law where simple contract law should prevail.

Those looking to keep the definition of marriage as between a man and woman are trying to use the very government that they rail against in the re-definition of marriage. Why are these same people not understanding that allowing Government in the equation is a loss of freedom?

So, as one sits celebrates the day with those that carried them think about the cycle of life and the happiness it can bring. As one focuses on the happiness, ponder a thought: Is my happiness better achieved privately or is my happiness better achieved with the assistance of Government?

If you are under the belief that happiness is better achieved with the assistance of Government; God help you. If you are under the belief that happiness is better achieved privately then join the effort to reduce the impact Government has on achieving that happiness.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Marketplace Fairness Act passes the Senate

Today the United States Senate, on  a 70-24 vote, passed the Marketplace Fairness Act. Here is a link to the bill: The MFA will make anyone selling anything on the internet to collect the taxes from the locality that the buyer is from. Current law states that internet retailers only have to collect the taxes in States that they have a brick-and-mortar store in. Also, under current law, we as consumers of e-retailers are suppose to remit the proper taxes to our own locality if tax is not collected.

Amazingly, is one of the major businesses pushing the MFA. Some feel the need for MFA is to level the playing field between e-retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses. If the House passes the bill and President Obama signs it into law it will be an overreach by the Federal Government since the Supreme Court decision in  Quill Corp vs. North Dakota, 1992, where it was determined that States could only collect taxes on e-retailers if that e-retailer had a physical presence in the State.

In citing the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, the Supreme Court struck down North Dakota's attempt to collect taxes via Quill Corp on North Dakota customers. Copy of the SCOTUS decision can be found here: Based on this and other cases cited in the 1992 decision is remarkable that Congress would pass a law that clearly violates the Constitution. Then again they did pass the Affordable Care Act that was only deemed Constitutional because it is consider a tax not to have health insurance.

Hopefully the House of Representatives have read SCOTUS and understand the Commerce Clause and Due Process Clause or we may see yet another piece of legislation passed that violates the Constitution.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Minnesota Dream Act takes another step forward

This past week the Senate voted, 41-23, to approved legislation that will allow illegal residents of Minnesota to go to school while paying in-state tuition. Not only that, illegal residents will also be able to apply for state and federal aid to go to school as well. I am not against anyone obtaining additional education nor making that education pursuit achievable but what is lost on the DFL led Legislature, and not just in Minnesota, is the work ILLEGAL!

If it is illegal for a felon to vote, which some do, and own a weapon, which some do, why is it legal for illegal residents of Minnesota to pay in-state tuition and receive taxpayer aid to go to school? The University of Minnesota is reporting that the legislation will result in lost revenue. Early numbers suggest $175,000 a year loss to the U of M. Granted the number is not staggering but is this something we need to be doing when revenues are scarce in the down economy?

Now this amount is just for the U of M, what about the other state institutions - how will they fair - what will be the final financial impact on the taxpayers of Minnesota? According to the financial footnote in the bill there are roughly 750 students this will impact at a cost to grant programs of $540,000 and $100,000 is one-time set up costs. That is $640,000 less dollars that will go to legal resident of Minnesota that are wanting a higher education.

Again I harken back to the word ILLEGAL. Why is it okay for illegal residents to break the law? In the end, what message are se sending to our kids and the rest of the world. If this legislation is passed and signed by Governor Dayton the financial footnote of only 750 students being the impact will be a drop in the bucket as more people will come to Minnesota to siphon off Minnesota taxpayer money without contributing to our society legally.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A women's right to privacy

In the aftermath of the Affordable Care Act debate a lot was made of the objection by Catholics, and other  Christian groups, as to being forced to provide contraception in their health insurance coverage despite their moral objection. The moral objection by the Catholics was painted by the media and Liberals as a war on women. Recently, North Dakota enacted some of the most restrictive abortion rules in the nation by making it illegal once a heartbeat is detected.

Yesterday the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that Plan B One-Step morning after pill can be sold over the counter to girls as young as 15 years of age. While the morning after pills does nothing to stop a pregnancy, it must be taken with days after unprotected sex takes place. Whether or not any woman decides to use contraception, have an abortion or kill a baby from a botched abortion is a choice that should be left to that female regardless of my own belief. Although I'd argue that if that child is born of a botched abortion, or induced as Dr. Gosnell does to abort fetuses, has the same right's of a child of 1 year or 16 years of age.

But I digress. In the case of Catholic institutions, anyone employed there ought to know and respect the moral objection while knowing full well that contraception and abortion coverage will not be part of the health care package. At the same time no law of the land, even a tax, should require the Catholic institutional to violate their moral objection. But if the Catholics moral objection and restricting the time frame of when a woman may abort a fetus are considered violations of a women's privacy then why do trample on their privacy in other ways?

If a woman is really in control of her own body and have the right to privacy of that then why can't a woman use her body to earn a living or enjoy any vice that she wishes?