Friday, August 05, 2011

Guardians of the Public Purse

I called the Mark Levin Show last week in the heat of the debate about raising the debt ceiling. I asked:
"Why is there no call for an accounting of all the Stimulus and TARP funds? Why is Obama asking to raise the debt ceiling when it appears that he has sequestered funds?"
When his screener hung up -- without any comment as far as I could tell -- my heart sunk. I'm not even sure he heard me in full because I heard nothing from him after I finished this little introduction.

The facts of the matter regarding, the House of Representatives, is that all spending bills must begin there. Had the House not passed the initial bill then Senate would have nothing to vote upon and amend. Then there could be nothing for the conference committee to compromise over. Then there could be no conference bill for the few Democrats to put the bill over the top.

By passing the initial bill in face of the fair warning that the Democrats gave that they would not cut spending in the Senate, John Boehner abandoned his obligation to the clear majority of 2010 voters that he defend the public purse from further deficit spending. His party became dominant, allowing him to become Speaker, all for the purpose of reducing the size of government and reducing its burdens on us. With his hidden back room deal ironed out between Harry Reid and the administration, John Boehner worsened the lien on America's future. With that deal, John Boehner abandoned his duty to guard the people's purse. He gave into the demands for compromise where there was no movement from the other side, making meaningless the meaning of compromise. Thus, without hyperbole, this was simply his abandonment of our position.

And then there was the media's role in all this. How many times did you read or hear words to the effect "The House is only of three branches responsible for passing laws. There's nothing they can do by themselves." It was sickening once you realize that all these entities were acting as if the government being able to do what it wants -- the people's wishes be damned -- is the way America is supposed to work.
And absolutely nothing I heard reminded readers and listeners that the House of Representatives being the "Guardians of the Public Purse."

Do a Bing search.
It reveals for "guardians of the public purse" 2011: About 14,500 results.
The number of times that it came up during the debt ceiling "crisis" of last week was scandalously non-existent.

However, I did find the following video from a Canadian broadcast from February of last year in which a former Congressman explains Congress' fiduciary role regarding oversight of the Executive branch.

[In case Blogger screws up the embed at some later date again,  this is the link.]

I'd like you to hear what no "conservative" radio talker permitted to be discussed last week or this. The meat begins at 3:37.
"The constitutional responsibility of the Congress to look into all activities of the Executive Branch is very clear.  And when the Congress begins to conduct vigorous oversight, things happen in the Executive Branch. People know somebody is looking over their shoulder. And when they know somebody is looking over their shoulder, they behave themselves.

If they know that somebody is not looking over their shoulder [Czars and their aids], that's when things go amiss." -- Former Congressman Lee Hamilton.

"The Congressional committees in Washington are all about constraining the power of the executive. Because, after all, that's what the genius of the United States Constitution was designed to do: to stop the kind of tyranny that is implicit in a British Parliamentary system -- at least as it has evolved since the years there was a real tyranny there." -- Kim Richard Nossel, Queen's University.

This is a good taste of this short video. There's even more in the presentation that makes my major point. The Congress, by itself, can stand firm if it so chooses. Otherwise, every American will be enslaved by the bad notions of previous bad choices for Congress, and even voting the rascals out will not save us.

And my second point is not to be forgotten. Even "conservative" talk radio DID NOT BRING THIS UP WHEN IT MATTERED.


  1. Most people seem uninterested, bored or baffled by the whole business, Pascal.
    Thus do we slide into serfdom.

  2. Well, you and your contributors understand my last sentence quite well KG.

    You know Quislings first hand. You know what Kiwiblog, for example, insists on omitting and deleting from its pages. Furthermore, Farrar continues to provide a platform from which you and the true Right are verbally barraged daily with nonsense while they carry the water of Leftists and Statists. The saddest part is that the performance is not new, but it works. In many ways they are the worst enemy of freedom. Claiming to be FOR something while working AGAINST it. Wittingly or unwittingly, they are the worst enemies of liberty.

    The job of "moderates' -- if they indeed were assigned such a role -- has been to marginalize the true opposition to policies of enslavement. The accomplished it by providing a buffer that is always willing to compromise. But WHAT have they compromised for?

    The Left wants the death of the West; the Right wants her fully alive and vital; the moderates arranged the compromise wherein the death of the West has been handed to the Left piecemeal.

    This has been the role of the Ferrars of the world -- be they witless (useful idiots) or guileful (Quislings) -- since the first days of the [s]"Progressive"[/s] Incrementalist movement.

  3. Spot-on, as usual. :) Again, I'm reminded of Barry Goldwater's "extremism in defense of liberty is no vice".
    By the same token, moderation when faced with collectivists and statists is suicidal. Or simply dishonest.


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