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Thursday, February 07, 2019


When in session, congress inserts itself into the life of every American. This is inevitable despite the wishes of the people. So much for the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

That’s not to say some Americans haven’t enjoyed the lucrative relationship between congress and various special interests. To be sure they have.

On the flip side of the coin, it is equally correct to say that congress poses the least threat to American life, liberty, and wealth when not in session.

Americans are most safe when congress is in recess. That is when congressmen and senators are not passing laws by trading votes, cutting deals behind closed doors, and currying favor with special interests. Plus, they are not exempting themselves from the same laws they impose on the rest of us.

When it comes to federal finances, the President of the United States can only spend what the congress authorizes. The president proposes and congress disposes.

Consider the congressional track record by noting a few points of interest.

The U.S. Postal system was established in 1775 by the Continental Congress. In 244 years congress has driven it into the ground. It’s broke.

Social Security was put in place in 1935 by act of congress. With continuing congressional oversight and mismanagement it is now broke and there is no “fix” insight.

Fannie Mae was established by act of congress in 1938. Congress continues to tweak and dabble in Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. In 49 years congress has driven it into the ground. The Treasury Department continues to lose money under congress’s conservatorship of the mortgage giants and, nevertheless, it will continue to provide unlimited assistance.

President Johnson proposed the “War on Poverty.” Congress authorized funding in 1964. After transferring trillions of dollars to the “poor,” the “poor” are still poor with no end in sight.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 and now they are broke. In 54 years congress still has not got it right. Instead of taking corrective action, congress wants to take over management of everyone’s health care.

The Department of Energy was established in 1977 to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Today the department employs 16,000 people with a budget exceeding $32 billion even though we now approach oil independence. Furthermore, our oil independence had nothing to do with the Department of Energy. It came about through private enterprise leading the fracking revolution. Forty-two years later the Department of Energy is another example of congressional failure.

Even with repeated infusions of cash, congress cannot ensure AMTRAK runs efficiently.

In order to keep spending money that they don’t have, congress continues to raise the federal debt ceiling. The ceiling is now a whopping $21 trillion with another raise on the horizon. Why so? Because, the latest budget proposes to spend an additional $800 billion which America does not have. This proposed deficit spending adds to the cumulative debt.

Congress has bankrupt America and driven unborn generations into economic slavery. Our senators and congressmen have obligated our kids and our kid’s kids to a life of debt they can never repay.

At least one Democrat presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, offers a solution to the money shortage. She would impose, for the first time, a wealth tax on individual net worth.

We, the people, trusting those we elected to congress, have been led over the cliff like lemmings. We were led by those we elected to believe theirs was “good government.” In fact, it was nothing less than a chimera. No wonder people have lost confidence in the elite who rule us.

The representatives we elected -- and re-elected -- have played us for fools all the while convincing us they would “get things done.” Maybe that was the last thing we needed was to “get things done.” How many laws do we need to live under?

Somewhere, hidden in the details, there is a lesson to be learned. Maybe that lesson is this. Our Founding Fathers had the wisdom and vision to advocate against an overarching centralized government. Their contention for limited government was well conceived.

It’s a sad commentary but true. America is most safe when congress is in recess.


Dennis M. Patrick can be contacted at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Click here to email your elected representatives.


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