“That’s Crazy!!!” – More Chronicles from the VA – Chapter 2

I-CareAs bad as the last several months have been, I hate adding more bad news; but the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) keeps reporting, and I keep summating.  Due to the absolute overabundance of incredible bureaucratic insanity, today’s article format will necessarily shift to report more and comment less.  Don’t worry, I will still comment on the more egregious examples, for some of these VA-OIG reports are scarier than Joe Biden dressed as a mall Santa at a Fourth of July celebration feeling up little children!

  • 2020 Pre-award reviews of contracts totaled $81 million; guess what:
      • 24 of the 31 contracts awarded contained conflicts of interest.
      • 25 of the 31 contracts had problems with overcharges for hourly rates of services rendered.
      • 6 of the 31 price gouged Medicare.
      • 25 of the 31 contracts, if they had adequately followed the contract process, would have saved taxpayers $16 Million. – Would it shock anyone to hear this is just the “tip of the VA-OIG” report iceberg?

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  • Financial Efficiency Review of the Southeast Louisiana VAHCS in New Orleans; guess what:
      • The VAHCS in New Orleans scored 75% out of 90%. The VA does not try to get a 100% because they regularly fail financial audits as a fact.
      • Actual costs are difficult to relate in dollars and cents because the leaders intentionally hid costs from the VA-OIG, then blamed the new medical center director.
      • Avoidance costs, Purchase card abuse, prime vendor program abuse, and more were employed to avoid proper fiscal practices.
      • Audit, FAILED! No accountability, no person held responsible, and the taxpayer is left holding the bill!

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  • Followup to VAHCS Ozarks Pathology Failures From Dr. Levy Scandal; guess what:
        • Levy Scandal for those who do not remember. – Intentional misdiagnosing, VA coverup, refusal to discuss with patients affected. The report is ghastly!
        • 5% of the patients have now been contacted, and the VA-OIG considers this a “success.” I sure hope you are not part of the 24.5% patient population.
        • Here’s the rub in the 76.5% notification, “an absence of a clearly defined process for clinical providers to alert the Clinical Review Team if later changes in a patient’s health required reconsideration of institutional disclosure.” Does the VA-OIG still want to cheer about that notification rate?
        • Less than 5% of the severely sick patients have been notified of the scandal and the problems created by Dr. Levy. Is this how the VA admits culpability, waiting for the patient to pass?
        • Now, here’s the real kick to the balls; “The VA-OIG determined facility processes related to disclosure of the pathology errors and amending patients electronic health records generally met Veterans Health Administration policy requirements, but opportunities for improvement existed.” – Are you KIDDING ME?

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  • Speaking of fiscal inefficiency and audit failures. The VA continues to overspend and under-deliver on prosthetic devices, especially for shoe inserts.
        • In the fiscal year 2019, such items—artificial limbs, shoes, shoe inserts, and compression garments—accounted for about $318.8 million, or about 9 percent of prosthetic spending.
        • Oversight of prosthetic spending was ineffective, resulting in medical facilities sometimes reimbursing vendors at unreasonable rates.
        • Medical facilities spent about $10 million more than reasonable rates in the six months from October 2019 through March 2020.
        • Rates and data in databases remain unreliable, no oversight, and those in charge of oversight are missing in action. Yet, the VA continues to spend pell-mell.  Does this sound like fiscal responsibility to you?

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  • VA-OIG double-speak lives, and is blatantly observable in the following report, the “Contracting Officer Warranting Program.”
        • For those unfamiliar, a simple explanation: “A warrant gives federal contracting officers the authority to obligate taxpayer dollars. VA’s contracting officers help serve our nation’s veterans by procuring the goods and services required for their care and support.”
        • Never forget – There have been long-standing concerns (Never Resolved) with VA’s contracting officer warrant program. Since 2015, the VA Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) has issued multiple reports [describing how] warranted contracting officers exceeded their authority and made decisions that put veterans and VA facilities, resources, and information systems at risk.
        • Never forget – The VA-OIG has documented multiple times, and the VA has never resolved, that the VA’s acquisition management has been included on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) high-risk list for fiscal impropriety and poor contractual adherence.

BUT…

        • The VA-OIG found that while VA’s contracting officer warrant program complied with Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, opportunities exist to strengthen the program and that the VA lacked assurance that all contracting officer warrants were justified and necessary. – Essentially, this is bureaucrat double-speak for, continue to lie, cheat, steal. We like our job and want to continue, and since Congress doesn’t care, neither do we!

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  • The VHA continues to suffer from employee shortages. I have written about this shortage until I am blue in the face and my fingers ache.  I am fed up telling the VHA how to fix this problem.  If they want answers, call me!

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  • Nurse Bethann Kierczak of Southgate, Michigan, was charged with theft of government property and theft or embezzlement related to a healthcare benefit program. She allegedly stole authentic COVID-19 vaccination record cards from a VA hospital—along with vaccine lot numbers necessary to make the cards appear legitimate—and then resold those cards and information to individuals within the metro Detroit community. – Frankly, with the way the Federal Government is acting, this theft is almost understandable and acceptable.
          • No! I am not condoning an illegal action!  I am simply stating that Pelosi and her ilk do 10-times worse hourly by Congressional standards and get away with those crimes!

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  • Donald Peter Auzine of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Bonnie Jean Lawless Diaz of Slidell, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to misprision (or knowing concealment) of the commission of a felony. From March 2014 through October 2016, Auzine, the marketing manager at Prime Pharmacy Solutions, defrauded TRICARE and other benefit programs. Diaz concealed the fraud by knowingly submitting compounded medications for which there was no medical necessity. Both will be sentenced on January 4, 2022.

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  • Amanda Dawn Rains of Fayetteville, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and healthcare fraud, obtaining federal employees’ compensation fraudulently, and paying kickbacks. Rains, a former executive with a Rogers medical supply and billing company, participated in 2013 to 2017, defrauding the US government and private insurance companies.

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  • Robert Seifert of Utica, New York, was sentenced to two years in prison for making telephonic threats to Albany Stratton VA Medical Center employees. He admitted that on January 14, 2021, he made successive calls to three separate employees and left each of them threatening voicemails in which he used demeaning and offensive language. Seifert’s threats caused the employees to fear for their safety and property. He will also serve one year of post-imprisonment supervised release.

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  • Patsy Truglia of Parkland, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of making a false statement in a matter involving a healthcare benefit program. From January 2018 through April 2019, Truglia and other conspirators generated medically unnecessary physicians’ orders via their telemarketing operation for orthotic devices like knee, back, and wrist braces. Truglia, co-defendant Ruth Bianca Fernandez, and other conspirators caused approximately $25 million in fraudulent durable medical equipment claims to be submitted to Medicare, resulting in approximately $12 million in payments.

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  • Larry Ray Bon, 62, was sentenced to over 16 years in prison for shooting a firearm inside the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida. Bon brought the firearm to the emergency room, and after becoming frustrated with medical staff, he retrieved it from his wheelchair and fired several shots. In March 2020, he pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding federal employees and one count of possession of a firearm in a federal facility with the intent to commit a crime. At that time, Bon was committed to the custody of the US Attorney General for 25 years of mental health care and treatment at a suitable medical facility. However, Bon was determined to no longer need psychiatric hospitalization and was recently sentenced accordingly.

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Finally, if you want a really good reading, you can visit the VA-OIG page and see the lowlights of the VA-OIG’s reports for yourself by visiting the page here.  Excluded from this list are the usual reports of malfeasance and misfeasance captured in the comprehensive healthcare inspection (CHIp) reports, where we find the exact carbon-copied hits from report to report.  We find moral distress, problems in staffing, continued refusals by leadership to train staff, and the ever-present refusal to attend disruptive committee meetings.  Also omitted from this summation were the inspection of veteran centers and the myriad of failures, bureaucratic ineptitudes, and abysmal behaviors.  Frankly, I could not stand being depressed more by writing and analyzing another moment’s detestable and criminal behavior.Angry Grizzly Bear

What curdles the food in my stomach, this is just the VA.  What about all the other official and unofficial government agencies in the alphabet of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of what we collectively call “the government.”  To all the freedom-loving people in America, please awake and arise; we need you!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

 

Do We Understand – Important Truths From President James Madison

Exclamation MarkSometimes revisiting a topic is required to help promote urgency in learning.  Other times revisiting a subject helps to broaden the mind to more of the problem.  My intent in reviewing the topic of understanding is for both of these reasons.  President Madison provides counsel that every American should be adhering to, regardless of political flavor, as the first policy in being a responsible citizen.

We begin with an absolute from President Madison, stated two different ways, with the same meaning:

      • The trust is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”
      • All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.”

To those who would like to be female apologists and excuse women just because President Madison used the term “men” here, the President spoke of “men” as in all humankind.  As in, when power is invested in any person, they should be mistrusted.  They should be carefully watched, monitored, and scrutinized.  Not blindly trusted to act and never called out for their actions.  Hence the role of the media, the role of laws, the role of three co-equal branches of government.  Yet, what do we find today?

Honestly, take a look around, and take off the political glasses of partisan politics for a moment.  Can you honestly claim that the media is representing fairly both sides of the partisan political spectrum?  Can you honestly trust the co-equal branches of government not to be intimidated, cajoled, browbeaten, or unduly influenced by another branch?  Is the military following their civilian leaders without political influence and acting in the best interest of all Americans?  Is each of the co-equal branches of the government pulling their weight and acting in accordance with the law?

Now, look closer to home.  How about the school board, the mayor, the governor, the state legislature, the county board, the city council, the town council, and every other bureaucrat vested with public trust.  Are they obeying the duties and honoring the roles of their office and deserving of the public trust?  What about the teachers in classrooms who the school board officials directly supervise? Are your children taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, or are they being taught wokeism, sexism, and being groomed for sexual perverts?

“Public office is a public trust, the authority and opportunities of which must be used as absolutely as the public moneys for the public benefit, and not for the purposes of any individual or party.” ~ Dorman Bridgeman Eaton

Public trust remains the single most important and least discussed aspect of American culture and American politics, mainly because public trust is the most misunderstood concept.  Public trust has been intentionally misunderstood (plasticized), so it can be perverted and challenging to understand.  Yet, public trust comes down to one thing and is revealed through an easy test in its most simple form.  Would you leave your home and children alone, under the supervision of any person holding public office?  If the answer is yes, they hold your public trust.  If the answer is no, why are they in office?

Using President Madison’s quotes above, no one in a position of public trust should be “trusted” without verification, scrutinization, and they should be held accountable for their decisions made while in office.  Missouri is the “Show-Me State!”  I possess a “Missouri Mindset,” show me you have done the job correctly.  Show me; you are transparent in doing the job you were elected to perform.  Show me you can be trusted.  I am willing to give anyone a chance at leadership, but they had better show me they can do the job!Daniel S. Lamont Quote: "Public office is a public trust." (9 wallpapers) - Quotefancy

Under the heading of trust and show me comes an important principle, and President Madison elaborates this principle simply, eloquently, and precisely.

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

Find me that article of the US Constitution.  If you cannot find that, then the Federal, State, and City governments need to get out of taking money through taxes and giving money to people who have not earned it.  Welfare belongs to charity groups and religions, not governments!  Pork barrel spending is anathema to good order and discipline and should be shunned and shamed.  Consider with me the plethora of laws that have been invented to control society just because of the government welfare programs.Soulful Musings: Don't Tell Me, "Show Me"

Food controls, including price controls, control what, when, and how much a farmer can grow, how a farmer can grow, and much more.  These controls include legalized theft of a farmer’s goods which the supreme court has upheld.

Dairy, farm, and rancher controls for grain, meat, and milk.  Then when the government has too much in store, they force price-controls, forcing dairy and ranchers out of business in support of large commercial production facilities at the expense of smaller and medium-sized operations.  Labeling laws that unfairly punish smaller and medium-sized establishments.

Larger governments manage programs through bureaucrats and bureaucratic inertia that are abused at every potential opportunity and are not scrutinized adequately for waste, fraud, and abuse.  Where systems and operations are regularly gamed to keep the benefits rolling in at the expense of society, taxpayers, and those needing assistance cannot receive assistance due to the gamesmanship and fraud of others.Show Don't Tell - Working Writers

I am all for helping people learn how to help themselves, using charity programs and religious outreach.  But, taxpayer dollars should NEVER be spent in helping one person at the cost of another person!

The following has caused many a discussion in my home.  I hope it will cause many a conversation in your homes.  May those discussions be heated, be full of lovely disagreement, and be full of fiery opinions.  For in the spirited debates come ideas and solutions that work.  Invite people who disagree with you to dinner, and may the food and conversation be a delightful experience and a gustatory wonder!

In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty is this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

What is the discussion in my home centered upon, “How does a citizen ‘oblige a government to control itself?’”  I will offer a couple of suggestions here.  Feel free to refute my recommendations with your own in the comments below.  Better still, suggest more ideas for topics of discussion.  I am not the only person with ideas, and we need every person to help “oblige” the government to control itself!

      1. Be an informed electorate! – The one thing a politician fears or should fear more than a ballot box is an informed electorate. Do you know why the politicians preferred Dewey’s system of functionally illiterate stooges to the informed electorate of the early 1900s?  They could get away with robbing the citizens blind!  When the citizenry is not informed, they become property, bought and sold as chattel (cows, goats, sheep).  Doesn’t this make you angry that your elected leaders and the unelected Hollywood elite think of you this way?Andragogy - LEARN
      2. Scrutinize government and demand transparency! – It is your government. Tell me something, if your neighbor went across town and graffitied buildings, broke windows, burned property, and defecated on private property, then told the authorities that you had paid him to do these acts, would you be a little concerned?  If your neighbor did these things and used your hard-earned money to pay for these crimes, would you want revenge and a criminal charge levied against your neighbor?  These are the actions of your government; why does the government get a pass?  Your name is on the check, right beside mine, claiming full financial responsibility for the actions of our intermediaries, the government.Quotes On Government Control. QuotesGram
      3. Gather with like-minded people, teach each other, learn from each other, and teach your children WHY! – Every tin-pot dictator in history has captured children, taken them from hearth and home, and “educated” them away from parents to influence the next generation. Today, we call this “education,” “state-run schools,” using “laws,” and obligations as “good parents” to shame and force parents to send their children into re-education camps.  Want to freak out the government; change the next generation!Patriotism

Finally, President Madison provides two pieces of advice for living in the American Society worthy of knowing and on-boarding.

      • Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.”
      • The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.”

Consider a parable.  Give a person a fish, and he eats for a day.  Teach a person to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.  Teach a person to fish and sell his wares, and his children build a prosperous society.  Knowledge will always govern ignorance, but knowledge and confidence build nations!  I do not want to build small communities; I want to rebuild the American Nation, a free nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.  I cannot do this alone; our forefathers did not undertake this task alone.  It took every member of the 13-original colonies to shake off tyranny and oppression and then build America.

Knowledge Check!It will take every single American citizen, and every single person desiring to be an American citizen to rebuild America, after all the damage intentionally done to her by the political leaders, secret societies, and bitter haters who have abused American generosity and then wanted to protect their pile by destroying America.  America has been abused by countries foreign, and enemies domestic, corporations foreign and domestic, and individuals who have paid large sums to watch America burn.  Do you understand better now?  Is the mission clearer in your mind?  Is the task ahead more urgent and more desirable?  What are your next steps?

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

The Proper and Improper Role of Government – Part 2

QuestionThe following is the second part of the series on the proper and improper role of government. First, imperative to the discussion is a quick recap on the purpose of a government, and then we will discuss the actual role of government.  Second, the following cannot be stressed enough, America was founded upon a Judeo-Christian understanding and philosophy.  Other representative governments have removed the influence of religion globally, but America, thankfully, continues to keep it around.  Third, nothing herein is to be misconstrued as supporting any single religion, including atheism and agnostics.  My religious beliefs are not your business, just as your religious beliefs are not my business; we are not here to debate theology, philosophy, or anything but the government’s proper and improper role.

What is the purpose of government?

The second sentence of The Declaration of Independence is long but powerful:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

The purpose of government is to “secure these rights… deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  The rights the government is to secure are “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  When talking about securing, we are not inferring that those rights come from the government, are tools of government, or can be dispersed by the government.  When discussing securing, we are talking about the government protecting against threats to, harm from, or the need to make safe from those who would do the collective body of citizens harm.  The government securing rights does not mean affixing those rights to an individual, as the individual already owns these rights.  The government’s purpose is to protect the body of citizens by making the body of citizens safe.quote-mans-inhumanity

The etymology of secure is vital to understanding the purpose and proper role of government. “Mid 16th century (in a sense ‘feeling no apprehension’): from Latin Securus, from Ee- ‘without’ + Cura ‘care.’”  Hence, without care for an individual, the government secures, protects, and defends the individual’s inalienable rights.  Not deciding what is good for the masses, not selecting winners and losers based upon the whims and wishes of a bureaucrat, but considering the entire mass of citizens without preference and defending their inalienable rights is the purpose of government.

What is the proper role of government?

Government LargessFrom many Judaic and Christian sources, one can find various systems of government in place throughout history.  From despots of the most vile to the judges of Israel, which brought liberty and freedom instead of kings, one can find just about any form of government represented in historical texts of ancient date.  More specifically, one can find the proper role of government, which is stated most simply in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, specifically Section 134:2.

We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”

Is the proper role of government clearer? For example, suppose the government is only focused upon securing the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of [private] property, and the protection of life. In that case, that government is fulfilling its proper role.  Did you notice what is missing from the strict interpretation of the proper role of government?  Social services, arbitration, buying support through forced taxation, and much more.  Except, America was established as a Constitutional Republic with democratically elected representatives.  Thus, does America’s government have a different interpretation of the proper role of government?

Ziggy - IRS AuditThe founding fathers, and several of the first presidents in America, were considered statesmen. However, statesmen are not merely politicians, and politicians are never statesmen!  A statesman is a person who is well versed in the principles or art of government, actively engaged in conducting the business of government or in shaping its policies.  The statesmen are respected for their skill, diplomacy, power to communicate ideas, and being principled.  Thus, the statesmen are morally upright and can be trusted to understand why they are morally principled and why the law should be morally centered.  It cannot be stressed enough. The true statesmen values principles over popularity and works to create popularity for political principles in government operations that are morally sound and bring the most freedom to the most people.

Consider the following from Albert E. Bowen:

Right and wrong as moral principles do not change.  They are applicable and reliable determinants whether the situations with which we deal are simple or complex.  There is always a right and wrong to every question which requires a solution.”

The Duty of AmericansNow, returning to the proper role of government, any form of government instituted by man, we find the following as guidance in measuring said governmental role.  From D&C 134;1-2, 5:

1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

5 We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.”

From the US Constitution’s Preamble, a person will find why the government was instituted.  “… in order to form a more perfect Union (government), establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  Between the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the offered verses, we find similar language discussing the purpose and role of government.

Thus, the proper role of government remains simple and easy to understand.  The proper role of government is to secure man’s inalienable rights, protect private property, and ensure each citizen may pursue their path of happiness.  A citizen’s path of happiness cannot infringe upon another citizen’s pursuit of happiness, steal their property, damage their property, or destroy public property.  Hence, the government must balance the inalienable rights of a person to commit crimes against the acceptable restriction to hold people accountable to socially acceptable laws while never infringing upon an individual’s conscience.  Therein lay the seeds of the improper role of government.Apathy

What is the improper role of government?

Ziggy - NSAThe improper role of government begins with refusing to accept that government power is limited to only those powers the citizens grant the government.  Thankfully, there is a simple test for understanding what powers the government has or does not have.  The test: Can you order your neighbor to pay for welfare for another person?  If not, the government does not have this right or power.  Can your neighbor call you to pay subsidies to them for keeping their lawn and home maintained?  If not, the government does not have the right to spend taxpayer money to subsidize another person’s housing.  This simple test relates the power of government, the government’s improper role, and reasonable government restrictions.

The line between the proper and improper role of government is thin but very distinguishable using the simple test described above.  Claude-Frédéric Bastiat was a French economist, writer, and prominent member of the French Liberal School. A member of the French National Assembly, Bastiat developed the economic concept of opportunity cost and introduced the parable of the broken window.  We present Bastiat as providing the logic behind the simple test.  “Nothing can enter the public treasury for the benefit of one citizen or one class unless other citizens and other classes have been forced to send it in.”  Hence, the simple test regarding a neighbor forcing you or forcing your neighbor is justified as the test for the proper or improper role of government.Patriotism

Forced taxation is a form of legal plunder, and since payment is the test for which powers are proper or improper for government, we must return to Bastiat for a delineation of legal plunder.

When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it – without his consent and without [just] compensation, whether by force or by fraud – to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property was violated; that an act of plunder is committed. … How is legal plunder to be identified?  Quite simply.  See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong.  See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

Government Largess 3Legal plunder is theft through the misuse of the power of government.  Consider the following example, your paycheck.  On that paycheck, the Federal and State governments demand money from you, not earned but forced through jurisprudence and legislative fiat, and those funds are given to another person.  As a private citizen, if I took your wallet and removed money from it, I would be guilty of theft and liable to the penalties of criminal and civil law, even if I did not keep your cash but donated it to a charitable organization.  Remember, the simple test that details the difference between the proper and improper role of government.

One additional piece of knowledge where the improper role of government is described and dictates that government cannot create wealth.  No government, at any time throughout history, has produced wealth.  The government takes from the citizens to survive, and the proper role of government would see every cent of forced taxation as a precious resource, needing to be accounted to the citizens forced to pay.  People create wealth, and if you desire a full explanation of how money is created, please see the following link.

Plato 2Why does it matter?

The government cannot exist without the consent of the governed.  Your inalienable rights should be the only concern of any government form, type, or methodology.  Yet, what do we find; legal plunder to buy other citizens’ support.  We find legalized plunder without transparency, without accountability, and without regard for those struggling to pay the forced taxation (legalized plunder).  We find Trillions in missing money in every government, where the representatives are not concerned, or even aware, of the money lost.  We see government spending above and beyond its intake, creating debt penalties for many future generations to pay for the benefits of the current generation, all because the government refuses to live on a budget.  We find bureaucrats treating citizens as property and abusing that property worse than any corporate polluter of the 1970s.

Knowledge Check!Look carefully, dear citizen; government only exists by the will of the governed.  Do you think it is time for a change in government?  Do you feel your government is fulfilling its purpose and proper role or is your government abusing its rights and powers as granted through the consent of the governed?  You must answer these questions and then decide where you stand.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

The Proper and Improper Role of Government – Part 1

Several years ago, I tripped across a paperback book and felt to read the book.  It was written by Ezra Taft Benson, who was the 15th US Secretary of Agriculture, whom I respected for his keen mind; I felt compelled to read his book.  Mr. Benson, writing about the proper role of government, providing a running commentary about the founding of the United States of America, is worthy of study by every student as a part of social studies.  Before reading this book, I had not thought about the role of government, proper or improper. However, after reading this book, I came to understand why America is in such trouble and how the government is the perpetrator of the crimes against the citizen of America.

If they were missed, I have written articles about the US Constitution, the US Bill of Rights, the role of the “Rule of Law,” and other founding documents.  All these and more are essential or fundamental principles of understanding for discussing the government’s proper and improper role.  Please note, when talking about the proper and improper role of the government, I am not explicitly discussing The United States of America; but all non-Communist governments and many of the principles should be applied to communist governments to improve the situation for the citizens.

Private Property Produces Liberty and Freedom

Unfortunately, to fully appreciate all Mr. Benson is discussing, one must first understand the role of private property.  Charles Reich, an American legal and social scholar and an author while also a Professor at Yale Law School, wrote a paper every American citizen needs to read and be concerned over.  With the US Government changing the definition of private property and selecting winners and losers for government investment, the US Government radically changed and fundamentally destroyed the basic fabric of American law!  “Property is not a natural right but a deliberate construction by society. Like the Bill of Rights, property represents general, long-range protection of individual and private interests, created by the majority for the ultimate good of all” (Reich, 1964, p. 771-772)

Starting in the 1930s, during the “Great Depression,” changes were made to America’s methods of governance by the President, a willing media, including sycophants in the Senate and House, continuing a trend that began under President Woodrow Wilson (D).  Thus, establishing the Federal and State Government’s ability to rule by largess, picking winners and losers based upon obeisance to a bureaucrat’s whims, wishes, and will.  Reich lays out this history, walks the reader through the laws, and makes the case that because of democratic rule, America’s Republic has been reduced to a feudal system where the government decides who gets the largess and who does not.  With the Federal and State Governments making these decisions, businesses do not compete fairly upon their own merits but upon how much taxpayer money they can bamboozle from Uncle Sam.  Unfortunately, the entire system hinges upon reducing private property ownership and the freedoms private property allows feeding the ever-hungry beast of Government consumption.

The United States of America and every representative government can only provide freedom to their citizens if that country allows ownership of private property.  From private property principles comes every freedom and liberty enjoyed, as even the government must bow to the will of the people owning private property. So how did the government hijack your personal liberties and freedoms; well, there are a couple of wrongheaded Supreme Court cases, several Federal Court Cases, a complicit Congress with supermajorities, and a couple of presidents who were forward-looking and planning on stealing for personal gain.  The judicial interpretations opened judicial activism, released judicial restraint, and Congress stepped into the vacuum to protect itself from the people’s will.

One of the scariest ways personal freedoms have been stolen has been through owning a home but not owning the property under that home.  Homeowner’s Associations and the United Nations Agenda 21 actions have stripped personal property and made the homeowner pay ever-increasing homeowners association fees for the privilege of losing liberty and freedom.  All these actions, and many more, originated in the government actions under President Woodrow Wilson and were compounded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Many will try and claim WWI and the Great Depression, and WWII triggered taking “bold action” through the legislative process.  What they mean was the Legislative Branch kowtowed to the Executive Branch, while the Judicial Branch twiddled their collective thumbs and began to legislate from the bench.  Never forget, the two presidents with the most executive orders are Wilson and Roosevelt, and this was even with a complicit media and friendly legislative branch.

Reich (1964, p. 773) implicitly details that the power to change the culture and definitions of private property and liberty started with judicial activism that led to government intrusion.  “During the first half of the twentieth century, the reformers enacted into law their conviction that private power was a chief enemy of society and individual liberty. Property was subjected to “reasonable [emphasis in original] limitations in the interests of society. The regulatory agencies, federal and state, were born of the reform. In sustaining these major inroads on private property, the Supreme Court rejected the older idea that property and liberty were one and wrote a series of classic opinions upholding the power of the people to regulate and limit private rights.”  Continuing, Reich (1964) detailed relevance and the conflict of having government contractors and bureaucrats inventing the rules to provide services or grant largess.  Concluding that “many agencies take action which is penal in all but name,” and how these penal actions are punishing the citizen through adjudication without a judge, jury, or trial.

To review, the US Government stole private property, abused the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights, and fundamentally changed America.  Private property is the source of freedom and liberty in a representative government.  By choosing to limit private property, many have never been able to possess the most basic of human rights and liberties.  Worse, the deck has been stacked to keep the average citizen from owning private property.  When the US Government used statehood to strip constitutional authority from the states to own their own land, America started a decline where private property produced liberty and freedoms.  These are crucial steps in the journey to understanding the proper and delineating the improper role of government.

Finally, Reich brings us to the summum bonum of the problem where the government, Federal and State, have been leading the citizen, the “Welfare State” as a “Right.”  Consider, “It is time to recognize that “the public interest” [emphasis in original] is all too often a reassuring platitude that covers up sharp clashes of conflicting values and hides fundamental choices. It is time to see that the “privilege” or “gratuity” concept, as applied to wealth dispensed by government, is not much different from the absolute right of ownership that private capital once invoked to justify arbitrary power over employees and the public”  (Reich, 1964, p. 787).  Who is smart enough to “know” “the public interest?”  Honestly, which political party, politician, business leader, or influencer would you select, always to know the “public interest” and work for the “common good?”

Without private property, the citizen will not find a secure place to consider how to vote and who to vote for properly. This has been designed into government to facilitate single-party rule.  I agree with Reich (1964, p. 787), “Above all, the time has come for us to remember what the framers of the Constitution knew so well-that “a power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” We cannot safely entrust our livelihoods and our rights to the discretion of authorities, examiners, boards of control, character committees, regents, or license commissioners. We cannot permit any official or agency to pretend to sole knowledge of the public good.”  Hence, before we can understand the government’s proper and improper roles, we must have liberty derived from private property!

References

Benson, E. T. (1995). The proper role of government: The Improper Role of Government. H. V. Andersen (Ed.). Heber City, UT: Archive Publishers.

Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. (1964). Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylj/vol73/iss5/1

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Come, Let Us Reason Together – Chapter 5

Bait & SwitchIn Chapters 2 and 3 of this series, the discussion regarding money and the $350 Billion dollars COVID relief monies were discussed.  As this is a continuing discussion, I would encourage you to read those missives as well for a fuller understanding of the principles being discussed.  Regardless, several facts remain pertinent:

      1. The states accepting this money will be bound to spend it in a manner the Federal Government specifies.
      2. The money being given to the states as a “stimulus for COVID economic growth,” will not spur anything but inflation and poor fiscal policies.
      3. The strings attached to this money are a noose on individual state economic growth long after the deadline to spend the money (31 December 2026) comes and goes.

Doherty (2021) writing for the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) provides some clarity on the Treasury Department’s rules and regulations regarding this $350 Billion albatross being forced down the state’s throats.  The funds being discussed originate in the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Act, and the Treasury Department has released operational guidance to the states and cities receiving the funds.  Never forget, while the Treasury Department claims there is an algorithm for sharing the money, politics and political connections will be the final determinant in who receives how much of the funds being doled out.

The Duty of AmericansPensions are the first point of discussion as to where these funds can go; never forget, pensions remain the largest single expense for states in the United States.  Those bloated governmental salaries, negotiated by unions, and put in place by legislative fiat, keep the taxpayer on the hook for poor financial planning long after the initial beneficiaries of the union retirement pyramid scheme and dead and buried.  Read carefully the pension data provided by USAToday for a full and detailed discussion on just how big the pension problem is for the states of the United States.

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceJust as important, look at the total number of government workers as a share of the total workforce, and you will discover just how big your state and local governments have become.  For example, two states selected at random from the 50-state list, New Jersey, and New Mexico are displayed below, and sourced from the article:

New Jersey

  • Funded ratio: 38.4%
  • Total pension shortfall: $130.7 billion shortfall (3rd largest)
  • Gov’t workers as share of total workforce: 13.3% (20th lowest)
  • Avg. annual payout per public retiree: $32,148 (9th highest)

New Mexico

  • Funded ratio: 61%
  • Total pension shortfall: $18.2 billion shortfall (18th largest)
  • Gov’t workers as share of total workforce: 18.6% (4th highest)
  • Avg. annual payout per public retiree: $20,907 (15th lowest)

ApathyConsider New Jersey for a moment, if you met 100 new people in one day, more than 1/10th of those met will work for the state or local government in some capacity, and those 11 people are earning $32,148 taxpayer paid dollars a year for being retired.  Worse, New Jersey is kiting checks on your children’s future to the tune of $130.7 Billion dollars every year.  Raising taxes cannot help closing the funding gap in the pension.  Want more news, the majority of those retired are not living in New Jersey, so all those taxpayer monies are not being recouped in sales taxes, property taxes, and other taxes.

Yet, the Federal Government just borrowed $1.9 Trillion to give the states $350 Billion, and the monies provided will not even pay a years’ worth of pension payments in most cases.  Let alone pay for all the other accounts that have been stripped to pay for the pension gap.  For example, infrastructure (Roads, Bridges, Highways, Broadband Internet, the Electrical Grid, etc.), Teachers, Community Colleges, Unemployment Insurance, Water and Wastewater Treatment facilities, and Health and Human Services, just to name a few cash strapped state programs.

Plato 2A few days ago, I was discussing broadband Internet grids, and there susceptibility to failure with people who work for a major Internet Service Provider.  In Umatilla County, as an example, the Internet either currently, or previously, went down nightly for 5-6 hours at a time.  Read the outage reports and you will find regular large geographic areas of the country suffering with Internet latency and connectivity issues.  Yet, your state legislators must focus not upon the potholes damaging your car, not upon shaky bridges and overpasses prone to failure, but upon pensions for retirees.  All due to labor unions and promises that should never have been made in the first place!

Pensions are the number one reason I, personally, think that government workers should not be able to unionize, and that the government pensions should be as rigidly controlled as the private sectors pensions.  Yet, the inverse is true, unions growing in the public sector, shrinking in the private sector, and the taxpayer is left with the bill.  Since the government can continue to kite checks, our children’s great grandchildren are already up to their necks in debt that is unsustainable.

Plato 3Come, let us reason together for solutions that actually work.  I offer below the following suggestions, feel free to agree, disagree, add more, and discuss openly in the comments.  We, the owners of government, must re-take control of the government, and to do so, we must communicate and act.

      1. Reduce the size of government immediately to the size posted on 31 December 1999. This is an immediate and interim step.  To be followed by a position by position, value discussion, where technological solutions to replace workers is decided.  Eventually culling government size back to a Pre-1930’s level.
      2. Automate as many functions as possible. The processes of how government function are necessarily complicated to justify a jobs program.  This culture of complication must cease forthwith, the processes cleared of unnecessary complications, and streamlined to allow for automation of the processes.
      3. Take the pensions and eradicate the unions. Privatize pensions should be the letter of the law for all, public and private sector employees.  Thus, creating a new market and investment industry.
      4. Privatize public maintenance of roads, the fuel taxes are sufficient to pay for this and improve road maintenance immediately.
      5. Privatize wastewater and water generation and distribution.
      6. Privatize and deregulate all utilities, allowing for maximum competition, and ending the private geographic monopolies the tech companies and Internet providers have established.
      7. Privatize K-12 and Community Colleges changing the pay structures for teachers and reducing the “staff” positions. Get focused on delivering a product, the product is an educated student who can read, write, and do math, thinking logically, and critically.  This means ending the surplus of standardized tests and putting the teacher in charge of the classroom.

PatriotismNever Give Up!Not every child should be forced into college.  Not every job requires a college degree.  Opening the community colleges produces certified, trained, and non-debt laden students that are workforce ready.  Workforce ready means able, willing, and skilled in working, be that in academia for a degree, or in the workforce as a tradesman the requirement is the same and the distinction needs removed from the leaders of K-12 educational leadership.

The aim and the intent of all government programs is to get out of the way and let people act as they think best for themselves and their families.  Not pushing children to college for a degree and a life of debt payments.  Not forcing them into the military because you are too lazy to teach them how to read, write, think, and speak.  Not forcing them into poverty to support a government jobs program.  The government will not go “quietly into that dark night.”  But, with enough insistence the government we currently know can be cut, reduced, and forced to retreat.  We, the citizens, need to take back our government through the ballot box, through the judicial branch, and through demanding change in the legislative and executive branches at all levels of the government.

Knowledge Check!First step, believe it is possible; live like it has already occurred.  Second step, join others to raise the cry and demand the changes.  Third, support only candidates who already live fiscally proper, morally upright, and ethically dedicated.  Fourth, never give up!  Never lose focus, and never relinquish the moral high ground for a bowl of pottage or 30 pieces of silver.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Come, Let Us Reason Together – Chapter 2

Bird of PreyAs American state, city, and county governments, begin to become greedy little children over the $350 Billion the Federal Government is “handing out for COVID relief” to “spur a national recovery from the economic toll of COVID-19.”  I wanted to take a minute and speak some reality to the situation.  Let us logically review what has happened since November 2019 in the light of a non-partisan, apolitical review.  I urge you to take what is said, conduct your own research, and come to your own conclusions.  As Dumbledore said, “I could be as wrong as Humphrey Belcher, who believed  the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron.”

    1. COVID-19 started in Wuhan Province, China. It was delivered around the world by the Chinese Government’s intentional decision to allow travel while infectious.  The virus was further enhanced by the political nature of Government, the intrusion of Government, and the mass hysteria whipped up by the global media.  Power-hungry people looked upon a virus with a 99.02% survivability rate and saw a golden opportunity to seize power from those who elected them to office.Apathy

These are basic COVID-19 facts that have never been refuted, and the adults in the room have recognized the power-mad politicians and the media usurpers from the beginning of the “pandemic.”  While politics continues to play an over-sized role in COVID, while people are still suffering, and while some “normality” is breaking out, the money spent to date will eventually need to be repaid, and no one is discussing this problem.  Worse, more money is being printed and pumped into the economies of the world to “spur growth,” and this is never good fiscal policy!

    1. Printing money causes inflation. Too much money, not enough goods, raises prices beyond sustainable limits to rebalance the economy; hence inflationary prices will continue until excess money is absorbed.  This is a fundamental economic fact everyone should know.  Money is created through several processes, but printing it to throw at a problem, does not resolve the issue; it only prolongs the misery of the original problem.   The original problem was not COVID-19 but a runaway government from the Obama reign, where the economy stalled, the money pumped in did nothing, and a recession dragged on artificially due to the political hands in the economy.  The same problem from Obama’s reign will lead to the same economic issues under the fraudulent president.Plato 3
    2. Fiscal insanity is not fixed by Federal impropriety and investment. Too many states, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Maine, and so many others, are in dire financial straits.  However, their fiscal health was already failing before COVID-19.  Investment by the Federal Government will not change the underlying issues and make a fiscally insane state fiscally sane.  In fact, the opposite will occur; the funds being handed to the states under the auspices of “spurring growth” will exacerbate fiscal problems.  More to the point, the excess money in the markets will mean more financial problems for the rest of the United States, which will bleed into the global economy!Plato 2

You cannot buy your way out of fiscal problems!  The only answer to spur growth is to reduce Government!  Reduce regulations!  Reduce the intrusion of Government!  Eliminate taxes!  Instead, the same tired act is being performed, print money, give it to the states, complain about inflationary prices, blame the rich, and increase taxes!  The only thing the Trump Presidency proved, without a shadow of a doubt, if America can get the millstone of Government off her neck, her economy BOOMS!  Yet, what has Washington and too many state capitals done, doubled down on policies that do not work and try to call this “progress.”

Knowledge Check!Agree or disagree, your choice and your consequences.  I have made my case; the money being pumped into the states will lead to inflationary prices, above and beyond a sustainable level.  The states all have sticky fingers and wet lips looking for these funds.  Sure, there are many promises regarding how these funds will be spent. Still, I guarantee most of the promises are empty. The politicians will have their special interests fed first—leaving the citizens to pay exorbitant fees for food, clothing, housing, services, and products until the extra money is consumed, which might occur sometime in the next 5-years at a minimum.  Who benefits, nobody!  Who loses, everyone!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

No MORE BS: A Worthy Resource and Government Funding

VirtueI am a nerd; when it comes to data, I am a sponge.  I tell dad jokes because they make me laugh.  I have many resources for these articles, and I generally do not share my resources, as I find many people are not as nerdy as I am when it comes to the issues surrounding America.  I also find abbreviating stories fun and hope they are helpful for others who need information but do not have time to track all the data sources I follow as a  nerd.

I am going to recommend the following resource and getting on their email list.  The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is an organization that works to help state legislatures work better.  The NCSL Mission is all about increasing independence and integrity in state legislatures, and I have been very happy to gather and use data from this source.  When I found this resource, I immediately signed up for their email list and occasionally receive state legislature news that is considered “local” or not “worthy” of corporate media reporting.

Ziggy - How Government Should Have to RunA critical activity of the NCSL is training state legislators to operate in their elected roles more fully.  Training has been a concern of mine for many years due to how America selects its elected representatives.  I do not want more bureaucracy, but junior legislators need mentoring, training, and having a network dedicated to watching, reporting, and offering help in training is a critical niche market for Americans to produce more trust in government and those elected to scrutinize the government.  I do not want, and I think America could use, a lot less, lawyers as elected representatives.  Thus, I promote the NCSL’s efforts to help.

My congratulations to the Executive and Legislative Branches of Indiana, you appear to be working well together, and I hope this trend continues.

“The revenue forecast Indiana received is good news and comes on the heels of a decade of fiscal discipline that is paying off in a big way for Hoosiers,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, in a statement [emphasis mine].
House Speaker Todd Huston said the legislative leaders hope to use the extra $2 billion to pay off state debt, give public and private schools funding, and make one-time investments.
Just one year ago, the pandemic entered the ring and seemed to deliver a knockout punch to our booming economy. Our near-record-low unemployment of 3% skyrocketed to a record-breaking high of 17% in a short period. Now, Indiana is not only bouncing back but winning the fight,” said Huston, R-Fishers, in a statement.Government Largess

Now, here is the bitter pill in the good news posted above by the NCSL.  A question has been percolating in my head since writing the series of education articles, Here, Here, and Here, “Where do states get their money?”  With the continuing changes to state tax law, where the state is stealing county and city government tax revenue for school budgets controlled at the state level, more questions continue to percolate.  I do not like the answers I am getting.

Hence, we introduce the information gleaned to inspire action in a more informed manner and understand the relationships between funding government on the state level and the incestuous relationship on the federal level.

Detective 4We find the following article from PEW: “Where States Get Their Money: FY 2019.”  The report contains a graphic that spells out the problems quite well, and I encourage you to visit, find your state, look at the sources, and ask questions!  Averaging all the states, 49.1% of a state’s funding arrives as tax dollars directly.  31.4% arrives as funding from the Federal Government.  However, this is not a good indicator of the incestuous relationship between the federal and state levels of government.  Not all states are equal in receiving federal funds or the reasons for acquiring those funds.  11.3% arrives in state coffers as service charges for teachers’ licensure, building permits, and other executive branch-controlled service charges.  7.4% originates in a miscellaneous category (discretionary funds), which is a problematic category, as political payoffs are paid out of many a miscellaneous fund.  Finally, 0.8% arrives from local funds, or the cities and counties are forwarding funds to the state for various reasons; for example, taxes on homes meant for local public schools but have to be filtered through the state coffers.

Thankfully, no single state is 100% funded by the federal government.  However, FY 2019 definitely should raise some eyebrows and questions in Alaska, Louisana, Montana, and Wyoming, as to why these states top the list for receiving federal funds.  The top 10 receivers of federal funding are Mississippi, Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama.  The states receiving the lowest funds are Hawaii, North Dakota, Virginia, Kansas, Utah, and Iowa.  Also, a category needing more questions asked, scrutiny, and a lot more answers using audits and third-party auditing to explain.

ApathyPlease note, I am only using PEW reported data; I do not know how these numbers were collated, I do not have access to the raw data, or see the bias built-in by humans when reporting numbers through statistics.  I can only report the numbers and hope people take action by asking questions.  FY 2019 needs examined quite heavily as the past is a prelude to the future.  Unfortunately, the past being a prelude to the future is especially true where government funds arrive and depart in any level of elected representation.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Ugly Face of Government Largess – The Bureaucrat!

Boris & NatashaCharles A. Reich, an American legal and social scholar and an author who was a professor at Yale Law School, in his paper “The New Property,” writes about how government largess created the bureaucrat.  The same bureaucrat who invents rules to exercise authority creates problems to stop work and generally acts like a feudal lord over the taxpayer, to pick winners and losers through government altruism, rather than specific individual bureaucrat’s magnanimity.  Well, the bureaucrat has one thing correct, their enmity is destroying America!

Calvin & Hobbes - EnmityThe bureaucrat’s mind looks for every opportunity to thwart a citizen interacting with the government, that citizens hired through the ballot box, where the bureaucrat can then pick winners and losers in receiving government largess.  Why; enmity, the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Enmity’s legal definition describes the bureaucrat, perfectly; a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism.

Convoluted ProcessesAmerica has a significant problem with the government. It started in the 1930s when the government took advantage of a catastrophe, which they caused through tariffs and trying to control the stock market to seize power from the citizens.  This problem has only increased over the 100-years since.  The bureaucrat that works in serving the public is an extension of the officers elected through the ballot box.  Thus, I implore; please hold those elected accountable for the drones, the power-hungry, and those who consider their work on the public’s behalf as executing government largess, responsible and, liable.

Ziggy - How Government Should Have to RunNever forget, our Constitutional Republic’s legislative branch has two jobs, write laws that are good for all, and scrutinize government.  Only those elected can positively influence the bureaucrat’s hiding in their cubicles, lording their power over citizens.  Only those elected can be held accountable and responsible for what the workers and staffs do in the name of those elected.  We, the legal citizens of America, are the government we elect, and I advocate the position that I am not a peon, serf, or “huddled mass” beholden to the government.  From the local dog catcher, school board, and judge to the President of the Republic of these United States, the government is beholden to you and me.  Those bureaucrats hiding in offices that make your life so difficult are obligated to us as well.

Non-Sequitur - GovernmentI refuse to be the property of the government, standing like Oliver Twist, begging for slop from fat and repugnant government officials.  America, we deserve a more responsive government; our Constitutional Rights declare that the power over the government is ours to hold, and the government must come to us to ask for more.  Let us use the control we have and demand accountability and responsibility from those elected.  Those elected need to require compliance and keep those working in public service accountable for the abuse and mistreatment the citizen receives at bureaucrats’ hands.

Detective 4Some have told me this is “too idealistic” that our government can never shrink and become more responsive and accountable.  I declare that position is a defeatist position, and I oppose defeatism!  How do we know something cannot be done if we do not first try?  Originally it was believed that a train track could not connect one end of America to the other, yet the train track was laid, and America prospered.  Critics have claimed space flight was too expensive for the private sector, and only the government could put people and machines into space; well, those critics were wrong again.  Defeatists have always taken paths anathema to the doers in American Society, and it is time to put the defeatists to shame again.  We, the citizens of America, can and need to retake our government, using laws and processes established to thwart the bureaucrat and remove the craven and cowardly elected officials!

Ziggy on GovernmentWe, the citizens of America, must embrace a “Liberty FIRST Culture” as a motivation to action and change the government!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: President Abraham Lincoln on Welfare

The following remains a critical point regarding the government.

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” – President Thomas Jefferson

Do we understand the principle President Jefferson is trying to convey?  Government actions can only injure.  Governments cannot build, cannot pick winners and losers, and cannot improve the human experience.  Governmental activities, taxes, fees, licenses, regulations, etc., are all designed to injure those governed.  Thus, the need for smaller governments to reduce the potential for injury among the citizenries.

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. – Speech at Clinton, Illinois, September 8, 1854.” – Abraham Lincoln

Taking President Jefferson’s principle and President Lincoln’s conclusion together, we have reached the problem.  Since the government can only injure and forfeited trust and confidence of the citizens is at stake, we must discuss the principles upon which the Welfare State in America has ballooned.  Back in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, a common theme was found among politicians; there must be a work mandate for receiving government largesse through the Welfare Program.  Unfortunately, the work mandate was never fully adopted by all the states, and the fundamental principles that built the Welfare State were never addressed.

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.” – President Abraham Lincoln

Yet, this is the exact purpose and goal of the Welfare State, to “permanently do for them what they should be doing for themselves.”  As the first fundamental principle in the Welfare State bureaucracy, we do not help citizens become free but chain them to live as slaves.

The second fundamental principle of the Welfare State is to replace god, gods, and God, with the government.

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” – President Abraham Lincoln

By replacing god, gods, and God with the government, people can be taught to live miserably and never leave the Welfare Plantation, which supplies job security to those who administer welfare programs.  Hence, the Welfare State plantation is a jobs program for government employees, not a helping hand to lift the person to greater achievement. In the Welfare State, the only person greater than the recipient is the government’s bureaucratic gods.

President Abraham Lincoln makes two more connected points where the government’s largesse through the Welfare State bureaucracy and the American Citizen cross.

  • “If this country is ever demoralized, it will come from trying to live without work.”
  • “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”

Work, the effort applied to a task, where time is traded for money, has redemptive qualities, and builds independence and initiative.  I have traveled through enough government housing projects to know that by not requiring work, the citizenry is demoralized, the people are miserable, and the result is generations of corrupted drones who will not act independently and do not understand the need for individual initiative.  Both of which were stolen from them for a “mess of pottage!”

President Trump was correct. Some people come to America just for Welfare Benefits because living on Welfare in America is better than working back home.

    • “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”
    • “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
    • “That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built.”

In this instance, labor is the work performed where time is traded for money and the experience of performing work.  Yet, how often is work denigrated and derided by government employees, even as they show up to work at their jobs; too often.  How often is work lamented by Hollywood types who are trying to keep people on the Welfare Plantation; too often.  Why; because the second a person learns initiative and gains independence, that person will curse the time wasted living on the Welfare Plantation, be unsettled about politics, find a god, gods, or God different from government, and exercise their rights and freedoms under the US Constitution.

Government Largess 4In the Welfare State, America’s governmental largesse steals products from growers to give to those who, after the second generation on welfare, no longer understand work or can perform work.  America’s Welfare State is the envy of the lazy people the world over.  I have been bankrupted through decisions I thought were right at the time but were not good at all.  I tried to gain some temporary assistance through the welfare program and was ineligible because I made too much money the year before.

After spending three years rebuilding, I hit a snag.  I tried to apply for welfare again, only to be told that I do not qualify for welfare because I receive money for my disability from military service.  On both visits, the waiting area was full of non-English speaking single mothers with children.  A key point because continuing to have children increases welfare benefits.  One must conclude there must be a male person living in the home to help keep making welfare payments go higher.  Yet, every application has no spouse and no male person residing in residence.

Government Largess 2Hence, welfare leads to promiscuity, moral degradation, and lying.  As an operations manager, I had several hard-working people who hired on as day laborers; I asked them if they wanted to come on full time, and was refused because if these hard workers got a full-time position, their girlfriends’ welfare would be cut.  I was invited into these workers’ homes; their parents owned the home, three younger couples live in the house and the combined children.  Grandma gets welfare for latchkey kids; each mother receives welfare rent assistance, food assistance, clothing assistance, school assistance for themselves and their children, and WIC.  The amount of assistance for the same kids is received by four different people living in the same home.  The grandmother said she was trained on obtaining maximum assistance for welfare and has taught her friends and family how to milk the welfare system.

An isolated incident; not quite.  I have seen versions of this behavior practiced in a number of states, in multiple families, and every time it breaks my heart to see all this potential chained to the Welfare Plantation, but don’t forget the fraud.

President Abraham Lincoln makes two more critical points for consideration.

“You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”

Yet, this is precisely what happens when government vilifies the wage payer to obtain votes.  Look to any election, and you will see rhetoric that vilifies wage payers, but even with all the vitriolic messaging, the wage earner never is raised up.  Remember the $15.00 minimum wage media frenzy, how many states who adopted the $15.00 minimum wage have the same or better employment; none!  Because at the heart of the minimum wage is a government injuring wage payers and interfering with the market.

“You cannot have the right to do what is wrong!”

If ever there was a need for a motto to be chiseled in the stones of every government-run housing development, this is the motto!  The Welfare State breeds dependence, which opens doors for time on a person’s hands.  Time on a person’s hands, who is already dissatisfied, depressed, and disillusioned, equates to violence, riots, looting, crime, drug and alcohol use and abuse, and worse.  All because a government allowed the “right” to commit crimes!

Where did the Welfare State begin?

The Summum Bonum of the roots of Welfare in the United States lies: in the following also from President Abraham Lincoln:

“The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation is the philosophy of government in the next.”

Why are the professors in college so important; because what they teach today becomes the people’s actions tomorrow.  Therein lies the problem; too many professors know this and continue to preach, teach, and expound upon principles anathema to America’s health, growth, and future.  The colleges get rich on government largesse, turning out the future, full of righteous indignation and no common sense.  Who then proceed to influence government policy, which is emotionally satisfying but ruinous and nonsensical.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God cannot retain it.” – President Abraham Lincoln

The professor teaching lies does not deserve the students’ admiration, the pay from the college, or the respect of position.

President Abraham Lincoln also provided the solution to the Welfare State:

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

In the current state, America is in, finding the “real facts” is made difficult because of the media, Big Tech, and Hollywood’s complicity and collaboration.  Yet, the truth remains, and the seekers for truth will find absolute truth.  America cannot continue to have the current Welfare State, nor can America long survive having citizens and immigrants, including illegal immigrants, draining the Welfare State, vilifying the wage payers, and causing destruction at the slightest whim or fancy.  Work is an eternal principle that must be re-enthroned as the method and means of qualifying for government assistance.

Government LargessBetter still, return the powers of helping people to religions and non-profit organizations.  Thus, releasing the government from stealing from farmers, illegally and immorally regulating prices, and interfering with the market as injuries to the productive class of citizens to benefit the few who refuse to work.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

The Ugly Face of Government Largess – The Bureaucrat!

Government LargessCharles A. Reich, an American legal and social scholar as well as an author who was a Professor at Yale Law School, in his paper “The New Property” writes about how government largess created the bureaucrat.  The same bureaucrat who invents rules to exercise authority creates problems to stop work, and generally acts in a manner conducive to a feudal lord over the taxpayer, to pick winners and losers through government magnanimity, rather that specific individual bureaucrat’s magnanimity.  Well, the bureaucrat has one thing correct, their enmity is destroying America!

New Mexico is facing a severe teacher shortage, Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) is facing not only a significant teacher shortage but also remains completely clogged with bureaucratic drones that thwart efforts by people to help meet the teacher shortage and improve education in New Mexico’s largest public school district.  With a regular need for 300+-substitute teachers and pages of teacher openings, logic would say, “Let us innovate, create, and participate actively in alternative teacher licensure programs to fill this teaching gap.”  Herein is the mind of the bureaucrat most obvious; APS refuses to participate, sponsor, host, or help those seeking a teacher license a path forward to obtain a teaching license through alternative licensure.

Government Largess 2The APS bureaucrats did three things this Summer, they hired Kelly Education Services to attempt to improve the substitute teaching pool.  Except, the contract with Kelly does not go into effect until October 14th, the better part of two months after the school opened for a new year. The bureaucrats over substitute teaching, never changed the convoluted and insane practices to reduce costs and help those seeking licensure to afford to become substitute teachers.  The school board approved a much-needed pay raise for fully-licensed teachers; while minimizing the opportunities for alternative licensure, and increasing the paperwork and procedures to become a licensed teacher. As well as making the current teachers suffer more under onerous district mandates.  The mind of the bureaucrat is entirely on display, and APS’ actions constitute child abuse!

APS is also suffering from a school principal and other administrative staff shortage.  Between NM State and APS, the bureaucrats have created a system of public education geared to keep those students in poverty, as far away from education as possible.  To continue to actively seek ways to prevent students from learning, by providing lower student standards, less emphasis upon reading, writing, and arithmetic, all the while continuing to rely upon “magic-bullet” expensive programs that cannot deliver, due to the bureaucratic interference, by APS.  The NM State Professional Licensure programs are replete with hurdles to stop, thwart, and actively protect the APS bureaucrats.  Hence, NM State is guilty of child abuse, by protecting bureaucrats who keep students from becoming educated.

Today, I drove from Albuquerque, NM to Santa Fe, NM, specifically to the New Mexico Professional Licensure Bureau, to have a conversation with the state officials regarding alternative licensure for teaching, and to renew my substitute teachers license.  My conversation lasted less than five minutes, with a bureaucrat who represents the epitome of a useless bureaucratic drone.  The bureaucrat fell back on answers using policy, blame-shifting tactics, that included answers that provided no information and was intended to frustrate the applicant; all while acting like I was an interruption to her day.  The cubicle secured room behind the “service-window” has piles of work laying in dusty dormant heaps throughout the office walkways.  The office ambiance resembled a sleeping cave, where the lights are turned low, and with tall cubicle walls; thus, it is apparent the bureau is not home to efficient work.  The office has a “service-window,” where the applicant can approach and attempt to conduct business.  But, to contact this State Office, you must first run the gauntlet through rent-a-cops with Schutzstaffel (Nazi-Germany SS Para-military troops) wannabes standing “guard” in the front of the building.

Department of Homeland Security, you have created a monster, and the blame is all yours!  SCG, no website found, is the current contractor to Homeland Security for the Federal Buildings in Santa Fe, NM.  These Rent-a-Cop Bureaucrats think that they can judge how a person is feeling, and deny access to a Federal Building based solely upon their discretion, and personal opinions of the citizen entering the building.  I have now had this same issue at three Federal Buildings in NM.  While I was very disgruntled the first time this occurred, by the 15th time, I can only say, “Department of Homeland Security, please cease hiring snowflakes, rent-a-cops, and thugs as “security” for Federal Buildings.”  Better still, train them in professionalism, dignity, and how to do the job you have hired them to perform, without hassling the citizen trying to conduct business in a Federal Building.  Security at a Federal Building should not be the first hurdle a citizen must navigate to reach the bureaucrats.

I asked for a supervising officer when the “security officers” began hassling me, and was told, “You can be detained for trespassing in a Federal Building.”  I asked them, “Under what charge?” Then was told a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo, that was not accurate!  One officer pulled out a cell-phone and supposedly called the officer in charge (OIC), and related a bunch of lies to inflate his reasoning why he was hassling me, and refusing to allow me entrance.  I asked again for an OIC and was provided a lecture in a wild attempt to justify their continued unprofessional behavior, for my attempting to enter a Federal Government building.  I was threatened, again, with being detained, and then they “mercifully allowed” entrance, provided I was escorted to the NM Professional Licensure Bureau, to ensure I was not going to “cause an unprofessional scene.”  I was followed to NM Licensure Bureau, and one of the officers entered into the bureau to report me as a “difficult person” to the staff in the office.

Government Largess 3The mind of the bureaucrat looks for every opportunity to thwart a citizen in interacting with the government, that citizens hired through the ballot box, where the bureaucrat can then pick winners and losers in receiving government largess.  The best line of this interaction, “We are here to protect the workers in the back, from people like you.”  I was then told how disgruntled people, frighten, scare, intimidate, and disrupt a “professional” workplace.  Upon exiting the building without any answers or receiving assistance, I saw the woman who kept popping her head up on the second-floor atrium where the elevators let you off, who witnessed this interaction, talking in hushed and hurried tones with the single officer remaining in the front, as the officer that “escorted me” was still not back on duty at the security checkpoint.

To recap, a “security officer” considers it his duty to be off-station, at a two-man security post, to attempt intimidation of a citizen needing to conduct business.  Two “security officers” harass and hassle a person entering the Federal Building because they collectively decided the citizen’s attitude was not “sufficiently professional” to obtain entrance.  The “security officers” do not know the law, and cannot execute the law faithfully and without bias.  The only recourse available to the citizen is to swallow this abuse, harassment, and profiling, to rescue their day and complete the work they need to accomplish to obtain employment.

Department of Homeland Security, you are directly responsible for the wasted time, energy, and the idiocy of the two “security” officers at 120 S Federal Place, Santa Fe, NM on duty on 19 September 2019, at 1300.  Just as I hold you in contempt and responsible for the continued actions of bureaucratic “quasi-security officers” in Albuquerque, and I have filed more complaints against the unprofessionalism and ridiculous disregard that oozes from the pores of every single rent-a-cop in Federal Buildings experienced in New Mexico.  I cannot fathom how or why I have these access problems only in the Federal Buildings in New Mexico.  I have not had a single issue in Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and a host of other places across America.  I will congratulate, and thank you, for the attempt at correcting the issues at the Federal Buildings in Albuquerque, as that situation has slightly improved; now fix the rest of the bloody Federal “security officers” in the state of New Mexico.

America, we have a significant problem with the government, it started in the 1930s when the government took advantage of a catastrophe to seize power from the citizens, and this problem has only increased in the almost 100-years since.  The bureaucrat that works in serving the public is an extension of the officers elected in the ballot box.  Thus, I implore; please hold those elected accountable for the drones, the power-hungry, and those who consider their work on the public’s behalf as executing government largess, responsible and, accountable.

“We may define a republic to be … a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behaviour” [Emphasis added].  – James Madison

Only those elected can positively influence the actions of the bureaucrat hiding in their cubicles lording their power over citizens.  Only those elected can be held accountable and responsible for what the workers and staffs do in the name of those elected.  We, the legal citizens of America are the government we elect, and I advocate the position that I am not a peon, serf, or “huddled mass” beholden to the government.  The government, from the local dog catcher, school board, and judge to the President of the Republic of these United States, is beholden to you and to me.  Those bureaucrats hiding in offices that make your life so difficult are obligated to us as well.

Image - Eagle & FlagI refuse to be the property of the government, standing like Oliver Twist, begging for slop from fat and repugnant government officials.  America, we deserve a more responsive government, our Constitutional Rights declare that the power over the Government is ours to hold, and the government must come to us to ask for more.  Let us use the control we hold and demand accountability and responsibility from those elected.  Where those elected are requiring compliance, and keeping those working in public service accountable for the abuse and mistreatment the citizen receives at the hands of bureaucrats.

Reference

Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. (1964). Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylj/vol73/iss5/1

 

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.