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LWW
03-16-2011, 10:24 AM
Class is now in session:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Within the past decade, I've written three columns titled "Deception 101," "Stubborn Ignorance," and "Exploiting Public Ignorance," all explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority. How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens get away with statements such as "Reagan's budget deficits," "Clinton's budget surplus," "Bush's budget deficits and tax cuts" or "Obama's tax increases"? Which branch of government has taxing and spending authority is not a matter of rocket science, but people continue to make these statements. The only explanation that I come up with is incurable ignorance, willful deception or just plain stupidity; if there's another answer, I would like to hear it.

Let's look at the facts. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills." <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Our Constitution grants the president absolutely no authority to raise or lower taxes.</span> The president is permitted to propose tax measures or veto them. Congress can ignore proposals and override vetoes.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The Constitution grants Congress the final and ultimate say on taxes. The same principle applies to spending. A president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate. Therefore, statements such as "Under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent," and "Under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent" are just plain nonsense, if they are suggesting that Obama has increased spending. Credit or blame, whether it's a balance budget, budget surplus, budget deficit or national debt, lies with the U.S. Congress.</span>

Knowing where constitutional authority for taxing and spending is vital to our nation. No matter how we feel about President Obama, if we buy into the notion that it's he who's doing the taxing and spending, adding to our debt and deficits, we will focus our attention on trying to restrain the president. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>That will leave Congress less politically culpable for our deepening quagmire. Of course, if you're a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want.</span>

Adding to the political deception in Washington is the notion that nearly 60 percent of the federal budget is off limits for spending cuts, the so-called non-discretionary spending such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Congress has the constitutional authority, through a simple majority vote, to change whatever laws associated with those "nondiscretionary" spending programs.</span>

As an example, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Flemming vs. Nestor (1960) there are no "accrued property rights" to a Social Security check. <span style='font-size: 11pt'>That means Congress can do anything it wishes with Social Security and that includes means-testing payments, raising eligibility age, reducing payments, increasing "contributions" or eliminate the program altogether.</span> The same applies to any of the other so-called non-discretionary spending programs.

By the way, thinking about the looming Social Security disaster, I believe that a person who's 65 years old and has been forced into Social Security is owed something. But who owes it to him? Congress has spent every penny of what he put into Social Security. Any check he receives comes out of the hide of young workers in the labor force. I think that's unfair. The young worker has no obligation to that senior citizen, but Congress has.

I have a one-time fix to give us some breathing room to make reforms. The federal government has huge quantities of wasting assets -- assets that are not producing anything, 650 million acres of land -- almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. It owns 80 percent of the land in Nevada, 70 percent in Alaska, 60 percent in Idaho and 50 percent in California and Oregon. I would be willing, and I suspect many others, to make a deal with Congress whereby I forsake all Social Security and Medicare benefits for, say, 50 acres of land in Alaska.</div></div>

Ignorance must be fought. (http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2011/03/16/continuing_stubborn_ignorance)

Soflasnapper
03-16-2011, 01:14 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Therefore, statements such as "Under Barack Obama, government spending has increased 21 percent," and "Under Barack Obama, welfare spending has increased 54 percent" are just plain nonsense, if they are suggesting that Obama has increased spending. Credit or blame, whether it's a balance budget, budget surplus, budget deficit or national debt, lies with the U.S. Congress.

Knowing where constitutional authority for taxing and spending is vital to our nation. No matter how we feel about President Obama, if we buy into the notion that it's he who's doing the taxing and spending, adding to our debt and deficits, we will focus our attention on trying to restrain the president. That will leave Congress less politically culpable for our deepening quagmire. Of course, if you're a congressman, not being held accountable is what you want. </div></div>

This is somewhat true, but of course, when a president comes in having campaigned on one or another spending/taxing platforms, comes in with an larger majority of his party, and then that party in control of a majority of Congress substantially passes what the president requested in his proposal to them, it is entirely fair to mainly credit or blame the president, if Congress is rubber-stamping his proposal, as well crediting or blaming the Congress to a lesser degree.

So, for example, O's stimulus bill was his own creation and proposal, and he worked his majorities hard to get it through. It would be absurd not to think O was primarily to blame or credit for that, as he was both its author and its chief advocate.

Similarly for W's tax cutting. He authored the plans, made the proposals, and pushed it through over the objection of even some Republicans in Congress like Sen. McCain for one, who voted no.

As for parsing the blame that inures to Congress, you'd need to break that down by partisan lines if that was the nature of the vote. If 90% of one party votes one way, and 90% of the other party votes the other way, the prevailing side would be culpable, whereas the dissenting and losing side would not be.

LWW
03-17-2011, 02:49 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, for example, O's stimulus bill was his own creation and proposal ...</div></div>

Actually, the stimulus bill wasn't O's creation.

He did use the bully pulpit of the office to ram it through ... but I seriously doubt that he even knew what all was in it.

Research who wrote the bill and then let me know what you think.

Here's a couple of hints ... Van Jones of Marxism in the WH staff fame, and Jeff Jones of "THE WEATHERMEN" fame were key players in the group that actually built the stimulus bill.

Qtec
03-17-2011, 09:33 AM
Oh Boy.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">who wrote the bill and then let me know what you think. </div></div>

Oh. So now its about who WROTE the bill, not the Pres who might have suggested it or congress who passed it?

Make up your mind.

Q

Soflasnapper
03-17-2011, 04:24 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, for example, O's stimulus bill was his own creation and proposal ...</div></div>

Actually, the stimulus bill wasn't O's creation.

He did use the bully pulpit of the office to ram it through ... but I seriously doubt that he even knew what all was in it.

Research who wrote the bill and then let me know what you think.

Here's a couple of hints ... Van Jones of Marxism in the WH staff fame, and Jeff Jones of "THE WEATHERMEN" fame were key players in the group that actually built the stimulus bill. </div></div>

A difference without distinction, in my view.

Yes, O had his executive branch staff develop the legislation, which he then took to make it all his proposal.

That's probably more how a 'presidential' proposal is done than not. If there is presidential involvement in promulgating the proposal, it would likely be big picture, while leaving staffers to come up with the details.

LWW
03-18-2011, 03:15 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, for example, O's stimulus bill was his own creation and proposal ...</div></div>

Actually, the stimulus bill wasn't O's creation.

He did use the bully pulpit of the office to ram it through ... but I seriously doubt that he even knew what all was in it.

Research who wrote the bill and then let me know what you think.

Here's a couple of hints ... Van Jones of Marxism in the WH staff fame, and Jeff Jones of "THE WEATHERMEN" fame were key players in the group that actually built the stimulus bill. </div></div>

A difference without distinction, in my view. <span style="color: #3333FF">But you just said it was his own creation. Now that you learn it was simply spoon fed to hime you change and say that it's a difference without distinction.</span>

Yes, O had his executive branch staff develop the legislation, which he then took to make it all his proposal. <span style="color: #3333FF">NO, he didn't do that either. And, you obviously didn't dare to research who actually penned the bill.</span>

That's probably more how a 'presidential' proposal is done than not. If there is presidential involvement in promulgating the proposal, it would likely be big picture, while leaving staffers to come up with the details. <span style="color: #3333FF">But, again, the staffers didn't write the bill. The congress didn't write the bill. The POTUS didn't write the bill. So, who did?

And we wonder why nobody in the regime read the bill?</span></div></div>

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 04:51 PM
I'm AGREEING that the blame/credit for the stimulus bill belongs squarely on Obama, whatever its genesis, which is immaterial. It certainly was promulgated out of the executive branch, not out of the Congressional branch (although the latter group eventually handled it and changed it somewhat, probably).

Are you now reverting to your prior position, that O (like all presidents, you claim, aren't responsible for their own key initiatives after they pass) had nothing to do with it, and it is all the Congress' doing? And therefore letting O off the hook?

LWW
03-22-2011, 02:19 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm AGREEING that the blame/credit for the stimulus bill belongs squarely on Obama, whatever its genesis, which is immaterial. </div></div>

Why is it immaterial?

LWW
03-22-2011, 02:20 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Soflasnapper</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Are you now reverting to your prior position, that O (like all presidents, you claim, aren't responsible for their own key initiatives after they pass) had nothing to do with it, and it is all the Congress' doing? And therefore letting O off the hook? </div></div>

No.

I'm, claiming that Obama is nothing but a sock puppet.