Monday, September 14, 2009

Washington DC - The Belly of the Beast

Washington DC is one of the most beautiful capitol cities in the world. The selection of what is now referred to as the District of Columbia was one of the first compromises reached by Congress between Northern and Southern states. Prior to that both New York City and Philadelphia had been used as the Capitol of our country. However, Washington's positioning was roughly half way down the eastern seaboard and central to all of the original 13 states. It probably did not hurt that Washington DC is only 14 miles from Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation home above the Potomac. Washington was originally a marsh land in what is the tidal basin of the Potomac River. It was bug infested and had to be drained in order to build there. John Adams was the first President to live in the White House which got it's name much later. The majestic dome of the Capitol Building was added during the Civil War when Lincoln was President. Washington is indeed a beautiful city combining Greco-Roman architecture with modern buildings.

However, Washington DC is also the belly of the beast. Our Founding Fathers could never have imagined the growth and size of the federal government we have today. Originally, the federal government derived most of its revenues from tariffs on trade. There was no federal income tax until it was permitted by addition to the US Constitution in 1913. The US Federal Government was originally put in place to provide for the national defense as its primary mission. A national currency and the postal system was added to unify the country. The country was doubled in size when President Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase. Our national boundaries from sea to shining sea fullfilling our "manifest destiny" happened as a result of the Mexican American War during the Polk Administration. Roads were built and finished under President Eisenhower to create a national highway system. The first national park, Yellowstone was established as the first reserve of its kind any where in the world by President Grant to be followed over the years by addition of 57 more national parks.

Governmental power was supposed to limited by the US Constitution. In fact, the 10th Amendment of the Constitution basically states that any thing not handled specifically by the federal government is a state responsibility. That was then and this is now. Over the years, politicians and the courts have stretched the interpretation of the US Constitution, as written by James Madison, to include governing all aspects of our lives. With the passage of the federal income tax, which originally was just a small percent of income, politicians have confiscated trillions of dollars to spend on all sorts of pork barrel projects to buy votes. Over the years, the progressive income tax has come to mean that 50% of the people pay no income taxes as all. In fact, the top 5% of earners pay the vast majority of federal and state income taxes.

Today, there are millions of people tied to the federal government in one way or another. There are several million people on the federal payroll. Then there are all the lobbyists on K Street and all over Washington that make their money feeding at the trough representing all sorts of companies and organizations trying to gain favor and monies from the federal government. As such legal and illegal corruption in Washington is rampant. We have moved so far away from the intentions of our Founding Fathers, that were all citizen politicians, that they would not recognize our country today.

It is so obvious that we need term limits for members of Congress the same as we have for the Presidency. Six two year terms, or 12 years in office for the House of Representatives and two six year terms, or again 12 years in office for the Senate are sufficient. We have many elected representatives in both parties that have been in office for 30 years or more. Though they are legal residents from the states they represent, they actually live in DC, Virginia or Maryland. These members of Congress live in a bubble. They have completely lost touch with the American people and no longer represent our interests.

I tried to get a meeting with my Senator Harry Reid from Nevada, the majority leader, and could not make that happen. I simply wanted to show him my tax returns for the last three years to demonstrate that I have been paying my "fair share" and for years. Senator Reid refused to meet with me. Senator Reid has to go in 2010. We will be raising money from all over the United States to defeat Senator Reid to send a message to the entire Congress. DON'T TREAD ON ME. Senator Reid and Democrat Socialists have referred to the Tea Bag Protesters as "evil, terrorists, astro turf and a Mob". The people I saw at the protest in Washingon on September 12 included young and old patriots from all over the country deeply concerned about our nation. Some were even in wheel chairs as we marched to the Capitol Building. Of course, Senator Reid does not have the guts to do a face to face town hall meeting because he knows it would turn into a riot given his very low poll ratings in Nevada.

But Senator Harry Reid is not unique. There are many members of Congress that are part of the Washington DC corrupt establishment. They live and work in the belly of the beast not the heartland of America. Our elected representatives wagged their fingers at corporate executives for flying in private jets, when all the government private jets used by members of Congress are parked at Andrew Air Force Base on the other side of the fence at Baltimore Airport. What hypocrites! We need term limits so that we will have citizen politicians once again that live in the real world because it is clear that career politicians have made a real mess of things. If necessary, we will have to get to our state legislators to call a Constitutional Convention to make this happen. This is a long, arduous process; but it may be the only way we can take back our country. Obviously, those politicians feeding at the trough in Washington DC in the belly of the beast will do nothing to limit their own incomes or power.

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