James Madison: Savannah port funding by feds is unconstitutional

When the U.S. House convenes next month under GOP leadership, one of its first pieces of business will be the reading aloud of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, every bill introduced in the House will be required to cite the specific provision of the Constitution that allows Congress to pass such a law.

The goal, Republicans say, is to remind our elected officials that under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government are to be “few and defined,” as James Madison put it.

That proper division of powers between state and federal authorities will be a recurring theme in the 2011 General Assembly as well. Republican leaders in Georgia, including Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, say they are intent on reasserting the rightful, constitutional role of states against an overly intrusive federal government.

In case you’re not getting the message, Republicans are serious about the Constitution.  Unlike the Democrats, who treat the nation’s founding document as a mere series of suggestions, Republicans see the Constitution as sacred writ to be followed as originally intended.

Except, not really. Not when put to the test.

For example, the top priority of Georgia’s political and business establishment in the upcoming Congress is to acquire at least $400 million in federal funds to deepen Savannah’s port. With bigger cargo ships coming on line by 2015, the project is critical to expanding Georgia’s role in global shipping. State Republican leaders take the project so seriously that they have even recruited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to serve as an emissary to the Obama administration to help get the project funded.

But strictly interpreted, the Constitution does not allow the federal government to spend money on such projects, a fact that was a recurring feature of political debate in the early days of our republic.

In 1822, for example, President James Monroe vetoed a bill funding road construction and repair. The Constitution, he wrote, gives the federal government no authority to fund such “internal improvements,” which instead were traditionally funded by states or private investors.

In 1831, President Andrew Jackson issued a similar veto. “If it be the wish of the people that the construction of roads and canals should be conducted by the federal government,” he wrote, they must amend the Constitution to allow it.

However, the most telling testimony comes from the man cited so often as a champion of limited federal power. In 1817, President Madison, “the Father of the Constitution,” vetoed a major public works bill.

Even though he recognized “the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses,” Madison wrote, “the legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers.”

In other words, if deepening the Savannah River is as important to Georgia as our state leaders claim — and it probably is — then a strict, Madisonian reading of the Constitution requires that the taxpayers of Georgia pay for the project.

And if state leaders are serious about independence from federal intrusion, if their talk about enumerated powers is more than mere bluster designed for partisan advantage, they will cease petitioning Washington and appropriate the money themselves.

On the other hand, if they fail to do so, if instead they press ahead with demands that federal taxpayers foot the bill, they will in effect be acknowledging what they claim to reject, that time and necessity have quietly altered the meaning of Madison’s Constitution, and that their protestations to the contrary are mere cynical theater.

– Jay Bookman

383 comments Add your comment

Normal

December 28th, 2010
7:15 am

Normal

December 28th, 2010
7:21 am

Hammer hit nail…solidly. There’s nothing to discuss here. Can you say “Hypocrite,” GOP?

Normal

December 28th, 2010
7:21 am

BTY, Good essay Jay!

Keep up the good fight!

December 28th, 2010
7:24 am

The first whine of defense from Republican governors seems to be to have their hand out to the federal government.

Aside: Normal…. great photo!

@@

December 28th, 2010
7:25 am

Will all shipments going out originate from Georgia only? Will all shipments coming in remain in Georgia?

carlosgvv

December 28th, 2010
7:28 am

The U.S. Constitution is nothing more or less than what Congress and The Supreme Court say it is. If the majority of lawmakers and justices want it to say something, no matter what, then that is what it will say. The same holds true for all of our other “sacred” documents.

Jay

December 28th, 2010
7:30 am

@@, you’ll have to take that up with James Madison, who wrote:

‘”The power to regulate commerce among the several States” can not include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.”

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
7:37 am

Oh joy.

Th reading of the constitution in the house, citing the appropriate provision for each bill, Scalia teaching GOTeaP freshman AND a rules change from Pay Go to Cut Go (so tax cuts don’t need to be paid for)…the next 2 years are going to be very interesting.

TaxPayer

December 28th, 2010
7:43 am

Will all shipments going out originate from Georgia only? Will all shipments coming in remain in Georgia?

In response to your questions, they could and they could especially after Georgia subsequently offers up this new competitive advantage, in addition to tax cuts, etc., to any Detroit businesses, for example, that care to relocate. They could even impose additional fees to transport material across the state to other borders. Perhaps even work out a trade with Alabama for water rights. The possibilities, if only all those nasty rules and regulations and constitution could be interpreted as one wishes, strictly speaking of course.

jt

December 28th, 2010
7:43 am

Seize all federal tax monies derived from the sale of alchohol, tabacco, and gas within the state.

Put a special income tax on all Federal workers within the state.

Bring our State National guard home from overseas.

And start looking for other ways to stop sending money to the District of Crooks. Problem solved.

Jimmy would approve.

@@

December 28th, 2010
7:45 am

jay:

@@, you’ll have to take that up with James Madison

Is he listed in the phone book?

Ideally…I would prefer it be as Madison argues. Georgia would be rollin’ in dough. All shipments to and fro could be held hostage until somebody pays.

Aye-UP, I would love that.

Off to the track.

Keep up the good fight!

December 28th, 2010
7:46 am

@@– James is not listed but Dolly Madison is. Feel free to give her a call.

Jay

December 28th, 2010
7:48 am

and our friend jt wants to refight the Whiskey Rebellion. That one he’ll have to take up with George Washington.

TaxPayer

December 28th, 2010
7:50 am

I suppose Oklahoma needs to get in their request for a fed-funded port capable of handling all possible cargoes, just to be fair.

@@

December 28th, 2010
7:53 am

One more thing before I go. Can’t ports be seen as essential to national security?

I’ll check back.

Keep up the good fight!

December 28th, 2010
7:54 am

Deal is proposing tax cuts for business, laying off teachers and emergency service providers and then has his hand out for the Savannah port. Would it not make more sense to skip the tax cuts and the federal hand out, and spend the money on the port?

Jay

December 28th, 2010
7:55 am

@@, you once again run afoul of Mr. Madison, who anticipated your argument:

“To refer the power in question to the clause “to provide for common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. “

Leon

December 28th, 2010
7:58 am

Jay- You forgot to mention that the mother of all road projects is the National Interstate Highway system. It was passed by a Republican- Dwight Eisenhower. The constitutional excuse was national defense. You never know where the Taliban and Iraqi insurgentss may be hiding in our borders ans we need troops to speed in their Hummers to wipe them out!

TaxPayer

December 28th, 2010
8:02 am

The constitutional excuse was national defense. You never know where the Taliban and Iraqi insurgentss may be hiding in our borders ans we need troops to speed in their Hummers to wipe them out!

Oh No. The answer there is to play a zone defense. As long as the enemy is not in your state, they’re not your problem.

stands for decibels

December 28th, 2010
8:02 am

time and necessity have quietly altered the meaning of Madison’s Constitution

Yep. Well, I’m not sure about the “quietly” part.

BlahBlahBlah

December 28th, 2010
8:09 am

I now see how Mr. Bookman’s going to spend most of the next 2 years. What is the over/under on the number of “Republicans R Hypocrites” columns in the next 700 days?

ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Bob

December 28th, 2010
8:11 am

Everyone one knows the founders were clueless compared to Pelosi. Is it constitutional ? Are you serious ? But seriously Jay, were Monroe and Jackson correct ? I think Monroe had more of a handle on what the founders intentions were than Pelosi or Boehnor. Let GA sell bonds to cover the cost and hold the other 56 states to the same standard.

Michael H. Smith

December 28th, 2010
8:13 am

The goal, Republicans say, is to remind our elected officials that under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government are to be “few and defined,” as James Madison put it.

I do detect a certain suggestion that says not everything that the Federal government is doing is being done under the “authority” of the Constitution (SMILE) and that the powers of the federal government given to it under the “authority” of the Constitution are being exceeded by our present BIG FEDERAL GUB’MENT that is doing things or acting without any real “authorization” by the Constitution (SMILE).

Very well said “Little Jimmy”, the powers of the federal government are to be “few and defined”.

Let the games begin, Jay. It is going to be a real comedy show to watch the “two liberals” i.e. “the socialist liberals” and “the classical liberals” convolute what they are sure to call the real meaning or intent of our Constitution in order to justify their moving beyond the boundaries of the Constitution.

Bob

December 28th, 2010
8:14 am

Granny, you still don’t believe in paygo do you ? Dems in congress do not, and they passed it.

Karl Marx

December 28th, 2010
8:16 am

Well stated but you forgot to add to your list Democrat pet projects like the health care bill, social security, medicare, grants to study the sex life of the fire fly, etc, etc, etc etc etc etc……. I’m sure that was just a simple omission and a mistake on your part.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
8:16 am

President Abraham Lincoln nullified the
US constitution when he by force prevented
the Confederate States to remain under the
authority of the US Government. Since then
it’s basically not worth the paper it’s written on.
Lip service and referral are given only when
convenient to the federal government.

@@

December 28th, 2010
8:17 am

The Brit called to say it was “too fresh” to hit the track. Wuss!

jay, I’m not a constitutional scholar, nor have I ever claimed to be. What about Article I, Section 8?

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

If I’m reading that right, it’s almost as though the federal government positioned itself to confiscate anything they “needed”.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
8:20 am

My 8:16 ‘prevented’ should be ‘required’ and can anyone
actually believe that the airport searches are ‘reasonable’.

jconservative

December 28th, 2010
8:24 am

The Constitution the Republicans will read starting next week is the “Living Constitution” that allows the Constitution to change with the times. Not one single bill will pass the House based on a 1791 “original” interpretation of that document.

Stimulus funds anyone?

stands for decibels

December 28th, 2010
8:28 am

Scalia teaching GOTeaP freshman

Gran, I admit, I thought you were indulging in hyperbole. Alas:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/12/antonin-scalia-tea-party-/1

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has accepted Rep. Michele Bachmann’s invitation to address the Tea Party Caucus next month.

Bachmann, R-Minn., said that Scalia will take part in the first Conservative Constitutional Seminar.

Bachmann told USA TODAY in an interview last month that she wants the caucus to focus on constitutional issues, in part because the anti-tax,small government Tea Partiers drove home their importance during the midterm elections.

“Justice Scalia has distinguished himself by his ‘originalist’ approach to constitutional interpretation,” Bachmann said.

crikey.

Pennsylvanian

December 28th, 2010
8:30 am

Interesting. How would Mr. Madison feel about the TSA groping crotches? Federal mandate for individuals to purchase health care insurance based upon impact to interstate commerce? Does the port at Savannah have any impact on interstate commerce?

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
8:30 am

OT, but I wonder when Jay will get around to discussing how the administration is doing in Afghanistan? We don’t hear much about it lately–criticizing the president is sooo two years ago, eh?

TH

December 28th, 2010
8:33 am

Today is December 28.

WEEPER OF THE HOUSE, WHERE ARE THE JOBS CREATED FROM THE BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY?

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
8:35 am

TH: Remember when the Idiot Messiah blowing through $800 billion borrowed from China was going to keep unemployment from going above 8%?

james

December 28th, 2010
8:35 am

Oh- our far left little friends are out early to play-

this morning from a real news source:

Foreign banks were among the biggest beneficiaries of the $3,300bn in emergency credit provided by the Federal Reserve during the crisis, according to new data on the extraordinary efforts of the US authorities to save the global financial system

enjoy your play time and remember nap times is at 11

Lil’LarryBailout

December 28th, 2010
8:38 am

Has anyone seen my twin brother Barry. He has escaped from the asylum again. He may be going by the name Idiot Messiah. I’m not sure, but he keeps repeating that over and over.

I don’t see how he escaped. He got out the window somehow, but the window is only 2 foot wide and Barry is 5 foot 3 inches 475 pounds.

Me and his brothers Lil’Terry and BigAIGBailout are worried about him. He can’t take care of himself and has never worked a day in his life. He has always had the bottom bunk in momma’s 2 bedroom singlewide and don’t know how to do anything.

BigAIG says he can move into the shed with him (since he lives alone and is the rich brother). He even has a 2 holer for when he has company.

Iffn anyone sees him please call animal control, they know how to catch him and will call us after he calms down.

Daltry

December 28th, 2010
8:39 am

Just deepen the Savannah Port to prepare for the coming boom and stfu. How Dazzling is Bookman’s understanding of founding intent!!! He really dredges up some trollbait when he wants to, don’t he? Bookman quotes the Fathers oh-so-expeditiously, yet he understands none of their expedience. He’s just another googler, relying on the lazy writes of another hack for his foundations.

Pennsylvanian

December 28th, 2010
8:40 am

We certainly would not want to discuss “Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/us/politics/26death.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&sq=Obama%20Institutes%20End-of-Life%20Plan%20That%20caused%20Stir&st=cse&scp=1

Won’t need no ‘death panels’ once we get NHS style QALY assessments.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
8:41 am

Bookman had to hide his copy of the Constitution from himself during the debate on Obamacare.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
8:43 am

james

December 28th, 2010
8:35 am
———————————————–
We are not only the world’s policeman, we are
also the world’s financier. The english furnished
the world a language. We furnished it a currency.

SpaceyG

December 28th, 2010
8:44 am

If you squint at a cheap, pocket version of the Constitution long enough *freedom* becomes *pork*!

TaxPayer

December 28th, 2010
8:44 am

I suppose none of the Republicans are going to give us a preview of their interpretation of the Constitution in this matter. We’ll just have to wait and see how it really plays out. I think there will be many a disappointed Republican once they see their newly elected ones in action.

Michael H. Smith

December 28th, 2010
8:44 am

The Constitution the Republicans will read starting next week is the “Living Constitution” that allows the Constitution to change with the times. Not one single bill will pass the House based on a 1791 “original” interpretation of that document.

Was it possible under the “original” 1791 Constitution as written to amend that “original” document?

I hold serious doubts in respects to a “Living Constitution”. On the other hand however, it is an amendable Constitution.

If we don’t like what our Constitution says then we should amend it. That was the “original” intent. We shouldn’t attempt to move beyond the confines of the Constitution through “interpretations”, when the founders gave us the means and “authority” to enhance the boundaries of our Constitution as we feel necessary to provide for our present circumstance. I firmly believe in an amendable Constitution. A Living Constitution? LOL

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
8:46 am

Bob

“Granny, you still don’t believe in paygo do you ?”

Whatever would lead to to such a goofy conclusion? Perhaps you just want to be a contrarian today. Ok with me.

Do you support Cut Go? Do you believe tax cuts don’t have to be paid for?

RW-(the original)

December 28th, 2010
8:47 am

Funny how this…. which instead were traditionally funded by states or private investors.….morphed into this…..then a strict, Madisonian reading of the Constitution requires that the taxpayers of Georgia pay for the project.…in the course of this column.

Where did the private investors go between paragraphs 8 and 12? Is it possible that Monroe believed in private investment while Madison didn’t or is this just the simple-minded thinking that everything must be done by government?

Oh well, the track might be “too fresh” but the forest isn’t. Later y’all.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
8:47 am

Well the Peace on Earth Goodwill toward Man was fun while it lasted Jay

Keep up the good fight!

December 28th, 2010
8:49 am

Interesting that so far, no real explanation of the continued contradictions between the claims of the right wing and the actions. Maybe if we call it the “Port to No Where” or would “Death Port” be better? The Republicans are all about labels and names and ignoring reality.

See the left does understand the Constitution, the commerce clause, the necessary and proper clause. Its not arguing the impossible and silly “strict interpretation” of the Founding Fathers. If the ideas and concerns of the right wing are some persuasive and logical, then surely they can apply it to a simple example and show us how this works in actual practice.

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
8:49 am

Stands

I was just amazed by the Scalia thing…..

TaxPayer

December 28th, 2010
8:50 am

Why do roads have to line up at county lines.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
8:51 am

GG – what are they going to do about Scalia Vote him out of office LOL

SpaceyG

December 28th, 2010
8:52 am

Oh and here’s Mayor Reed trying on his new Georgia Republican Party Water Hauling duties:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iIdHkVHg_M

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
8:52 am

TaxPayer: Why do roads have to line up at county lines.
—————–

TaxPayer would vote for local politicians who can’t get the roads to line up? He voted for the Idiot Messiah, so I guess it’s possible.

Pennsylvanian

December 28th, 2010
8:54 am

Why do roads have to line up at county lines.

Google Maps made them do it that way?

Taxing Times Inc., a Limited Reliability Corporation

December 28th, 2010
8:58 am

If the ideas and concerns of the right wing are some persuasive and logical, then surely they can apply it to a simple example and show us how this works in actual practice

One would certainly hope that they are indeed capable of as much especially given their claimed expertise on such a diverse range of subject matter including climate change and the Laffer curve, etc. Then again, I do not recall them actually demonstrating an understanding of said subject matter, only a willingness to whine about anyone else’s words.

Cherokee

December 28th, 2010
8:59 am

Sadly, my state Senator is Chip Rogers, who may be one of the dumber occupants of the dumber than a bag of rocks GA Legislature.

All last year he wrote and spoke of the evil federal government and their violations of the constitution, including out of control spending. Then of course, he happily accepted $3 billion from the feds to help Georgia balance its budget.

Can we say hypocrite?

If the powers that be in Georgia want the port deepened, then they should raise Georgia taxes to pay for it.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:00 am

U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan:

2001 12
2002 49
2003 48
2004 52
2005 99
2006 98
2007 117
2008 155
2009 317
2010 497

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
9:00 am

TTI – that’s definitely a LAFFER

Mary Elizabeth

December 28th, 2010
9:01 am

barking frog @ 8:16

I had been thinking of how the U.S.S.R. was dissolved in 1991 and the states within it received their own automomies as separate governments. One wonders, as the American citizens are led to interpret the U.S. Constitution by the “letter of the law” rather than the “spirit of the law,” if the U.S. unwittingly is headed in the same direction.

I have thought, by analogy, that those who interpret the Bible by the “letter of the law” rather than by the “spirit of the law” have missed the basic point of the Bible. The “Holy Spirit” springs from within one’s soul, and guides one more broadly in vision in matters of humanity than specific commandments do. Jesus said, “I come not to deny the law, but to fulfill it.” (paraphrased)

Likewise, those who insist upon “letter of the law” being followed in the U.S. Constitution are perhaps missing the basic “spirit of democracy” of the Constitution, which should guide the U.S. government more profoundly than more specific, and more limiting provisions within it.

Perhaps the GOP is not interested in “fulfilling” the spirit of the law of the U.S. Constitution, but in simply giving states more rights relative to the federal government so that more local powers dominate the populace.

From Wikipedia:

“Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government. The USSR’s trade gap progressively emptied the coffers of the union, leading to eventual bankruptcy. The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991 when Boris Yeltsin seized power in the aftermath of a failed coup that had attempted to topple reform-minded Gorbachev.”

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
9:01 am

LLB – and that list proves what?

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:01 am

Why does the state of Georgia own a port? Sell it and let the new owner worry about it.

jt

December 28th, 2010
9:02 am

.Jay states————

“Except, not really. Not when put to the test.
For example, the top priority of Georgia’s political and business establishment in the upcoming Congress is to acquire at least $400 million in federal funds to deepen Savannah’s port.”

Consider this—from BusinessWeek—————

“Opposition to the dredging project has been focused on environmental concerns. Conservationists have said the project would transform freshwater wetlands into saltwater, in essence destroying habitat for several endangered or threatened species including bald eagles, wood storks, manatees and shortnose sturgeon.
However, the project took a step forward last month when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a draft saying that acquiring wetlands and taking other protective steps could offset the environmental damage caused by dredging.”

Maybe our Republicans are smart. It will probably only cost about a coupla million to actually dredge the river. The other 398 million will be spent on stupid make job Federal regulations preserving alligators, feral pigs, and other things that EAT people. Kinda like the brilliant federal idea of introducing KUDZU. It is only fair.

Why not have Illinois finance Federal hoop-jumps for Georgia?

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:02 am

Just thought you’d like to know, since the media lost interest on January 20, 2009.

cosby smith

December 28th, 2010
9:02 am

Stop the Federal government’s confiscation of the citizens and states money and the governors would not have to depend on Washington. also, the Constitution does allow for the Federal Government to become involved in Defending the borders – which it does not do – as well as trade with foreighn countries. That being said, to provide trade, perhaps a deeper channel would be in natural interest. Better than running up the cost of health care, giving money to the UN, providing heat for those who spent their money on wide, flat screen TV’s, I-phones, big wheels on old vehicles and eating a fast food restaurants and then crying I can’t pay to heat my residence…don’t you think!!!

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
9:03 am

Common Sense

maybe we’ll get around to term limits or reviews of supreme court judges….

we could hope he slips up and reveals something criminal like Porteous of LA…

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
9:04 am

Sell the port of Savannah to Oklahoma LOL

Pennsylvanian

December 28th, 2010
9:05 am

“If the powers that be in Georgia want the port deepened, then they should raise Georgia taxes to pay for it.”

Absolutely correct. Georgia will then charge a tariff for every load of cargo that originates or terminates in other states.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
9:05 am

Less tax more revenue, More tax less revenue.
o.k. Less tax has been extended thus more
revenue has been extended. Deficit reduction
inaction.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
9:06 am

Rent the Port of Savannah to the Arabs.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:06 am

It’s the spending, stupid.

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 28th, 2010
9:07 am

well he could end up like Reagan and have Alzeheimers and not realize it.

Southern Comfort

December 28th, 2010
9:08 am

Just thought you’d like to know, since the media lost interest on January 20, 2009.

Complete, wholesale, hot, steamy, fresh out of the colon bullsh*t!! This Week on ABC lists the names, rank, hometowns and ages of all soldiers who are kia the week before. If you want to see the media report on soldiers in Afghanistan, all you have to do is listen when they report it.

paleo-neo-Carlinist aka Joe the Plutocrat

December 28th, 2010
9:08 am

JB wrote; “For example, the top priority of Georgia’s political and business establishment”. in the interest of Holiday Cheer, I will not insult you with a “fixed your typo” jab. but less is more. replace “political and business establishment” with PLUTOCRACY and those of us who are not part of the “political and business establishment” will have a better understanding of the Constitutuion. with respect to jconservative, while the the Constitution is a remarkable, “living” document, like the slaves (not protected in 1791), it has become the “property” of the plutocracy; the “political establishment” sells access to “the law” and the “business establishment” buys the legislation necessary to grease the skids of whatever commercial interest (what Ayn Rand foolishly refered to as “rational self-interest”) it embraces. so pick your poison, folks; warfare, welfare (social or corporate); if Uncle Sam can levy taxes, and use the funds to pay for harbors to be dredged, healthcare, Section 8 housing, food stamps, farm subsidies, wars, etc., THERE IS NO PRIVATE SECTOR. any chance Congress might read the “preamble” to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense?

Michael H. Smith

December 28th, 2010
9:09 am

Granny, Justice Scalia never ceases to amaze me. In fact, he once said much the same thing as Jackson in regards to the Constitution… If you don’t like it, change it.

To tell you the truth, we need a number of amendments to the Constitution.

Bachmann told USA TODAY in an interview last month that she wants the caucus to focus on constitutional issues, in part because the anti-tax,small government Tea Partiers drove home their importance during the midterm elections.

However, some wrong ideas in this snippet amaze me for different reasons, ones I wish Rep. Bachmann should clarify as seems Dick Army appears to have corrected and that correction really should be the focus of the Tea Party movement on this anti-tax business when rightly it is the anti-spending, small government message that was driven home. The first item on the agenda should be spending, not taxes. Congress has a spending problem not a revenue problem.

Just A Grunt

December 28th, 2010
9:12 am

The game changer in all of your arguments was the passage of the federal income tax. Before then states kept the revenue and therefore had the funds for such projects. All of the presidents you cite were hampered by limited federal dollars and therefore had to toe the line on the budget unlike today’s free spenders who think they have an endless supply of our money to spend. Maybe if the feds returned all of the tax dollars we send to them we could fund the project.

barking frog

December 28th, 2010
9:13 am

Mary Elizabeth

December 28th, 2010
9:01 am
——————————————–
I read somewhere that a prominent Russian
has predicted that the USA will break into
seven Regional governments in the near future.
Who knows?

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:15 am

Where are the “peace” activists, SoCo? Where are the protests?

They were almost all just Bush haters. They didn’t give a damn about our troops, or peace.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:17 am

There’s no need for the US to split up. Just have everyone sign up for the Libbtard Plan or the Conservative Plan. Libbtards pay the tax rates necessary to fund libbtard programs, likewise for Conservatives. Switching plans would be no problem, since libbtards just want to help people, and conservatives welcome anyone willing to pull their weight.

Haywood Jablome

December 28th, 2010
9:18 am

Being a republican who is serious about America and the rule of law, I carry a copy of the constitution everywhere I goes. I read it every night before bed. Anyone who doesn’t know the constitution should be prosecuted for treason!

BULLSEYE

December 28th, 2010
9:19 am

Grunt, Jawja takes in 1.01 of every 1.00 “sent to the Feds”
Just another socialist loving Red State.

scrappy

December 28th, 2010
9:19 am

Somehow the GOP has convinced its followers that things like this are only hypocritical when the Democrat’s do it… I guess not hard to believe, considering the base of the GOP.

Mick

December 28th, 2010
9:19 am

Looking forward to the new congress, if obama plays his cards right, the new constitutional repubs will cannibalize themselves and then he can sit back, watch, and eat their dessert.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:20 am

Thanks for pointing out the rounding error, BULLSEYE.

paleo-neo-Carlinist aka Joe the Plutocrat

December 28th, 2010
9:23 am

Lil’ Barry Bailout @ 9:15. your observation is accurate, but please explain the difference between a “Bush hater” and an “Obama hater”? I think it is a given that NO politician (executive or legislature) “gives a damn about our troops, or peace.”

BULLSEYE

December 28th, 2010
9:24 am

Jawja loves Fed money. So do the rest of the small government southern states. Closet socialists.

jt

December 28th, 2010
9:25 am

2010 census- House of Reps.————–

New Jersey, Illinois,Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania have lost one apiece.

Ohio and New York have each lost two seats.

Where are the Democrats going? To Republican states?

I prefer illegal Mexicans over the above.

Mick

December 28th, 2010
9:27 am

bullseye@9:24

Right on brother…the hypocrisy is a damn joke..

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
9:27 am

Oh Barry!!!

So nasty so early. Perhaps you should change your morning routine so you aren’t so cranky every morning. Maybe it’s as simple as irregularity….a prune might help.

As far as the antiwar movement currently, it’s simply a matter of you expanding your base of knowledge and sources of reference. Remember just because Lil Barry doesn’t know it does not mean it does not exist.

May I suggest the websites Veterans for Peace or Cost of War?

If you had done this you might have known that Daniel Ellsberg was arrested early this month after chaining himself to the White House
fence during an anti-war protest.

Mary Elizabeth

December 28th, 2010
9:29 am

barking frog 9:13

And here I will be – stuck in the heart of conservatism – when I am a liberal.

I will definitely have no voice if that scenario takes place. :-) And, no, conservatives,
I won’t be able to move for my beloved family is here. Otherwise. . .

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:29 am

paleo, seen any Obama haters protesting the Afghanistan war lately, or disrupting Congressional hearings, or wishing for our troops to fail?

Me either.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:32 am

Granny Godzilla: May I suggest the websites Veterans for Peace or Cost of War?

If you had done this you might have known that Daniel Ellsberg was arrested early this month after chaining himself to the White House fence during an anti-war protest.
—————

Back in the good ol’ Bush-hatin’ days, this would have been front page news.

Bottom line, it was never about peace, or Iraq, or bringing our troops home, it was about stoking the Bush hatred.

DB17

December 28th, 2010
9:32 am

“Obama calls Eagles owner to congratulate him for signing Vick.”

Well a president has to have his priorities I suppose. Vacations, sports, vacations, sports, vacations, vacations & sports………………

Great role model that Vick is too……

John

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am

Hmm… This is a complicated situation. I hope Redneck Convert comes along to clarify the issue.

nation of wussies

December 28th, 2010
9:33 am

bring the democrats back in.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

December 28th, 2010
9:34 am

Well, us Tea Party folks think guvmint is too big and shouldn’t get involved in state projects. That is, unless it’s a state project we support. Now we support the pork port project. We got good Conservatives that can’t make much money if all the big ships pass us by. Including our worthless, shiftless guvner Sonny that’s about to be a private citizen and needs to make money soon while he’s waiting for the state to buy up the land he has to build a lake. He can’t make a living off of the money his buddies are going to get from selling that Oakey Woods place to the state at double what they paid for it.

So let’s get the feds out of shoveling money to Those People and other bums on welfare and the old geezers on SS. But we need close to half a billion to dredge that port. Besides, the federal guvmint shouldn’t be holding on to our money that way.

I hope things are alot clearer now. Have a good Tuesday everybody.

deegee

December 28th, 2010
9:35 am

“State Republican leaders take the project so seriously that they have even recruited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to serve as an emissary to the Obama administration to help get the project funded.”

Seriously??? The repubs couldn’t find one african-american emissary from Savannah or all of Georgia? I can only speculate on the conversation that took place over that decision.

“Hey, Bubba, we need the money but Obama’s not going to give it to us considering the way we talk about him. Who are we going to get to go up there and get the money?

“I don’t know, don’t we have somebody like Michael Steele that we can send up there?”

“Nope, the closest thing we got is the mayor of Atlanta.”

“Well, what would make him wanna go up there and get the money?”

“I don’t know but lemme ask him.”

“Okay, see what it’ll take and we’ll send him up there.”

DB17

December 28th, 2010
9:36 am

“paleo, seen any Obama haters protesting the Afghanistan war lately, or disrupting Congressional hearings, or wishing for our troops to fail? me either”

Bailout: you won’t see any but the most extremist left wingnut jobs like Code Pink(o) continue to do that. On the other hand, I haven’t heard any Obama supporters whine about the 10% plus unemployment rate and $3+ gas prices either. However they sure did whine about 6% unemployment under Bush and $3+ gas prices under Bush.

Jay

December 28th, 2010
9:36 am

C’mon, lil Barry, surely you can do better than that.

The liberals’ disagreement with Bush was never about going to war in Afghanistan (Senate vote 98-0; House vote 420-1).

It was about the war of choice he launched in Iraq.

Granny Godzilla

December 28th, 2010
9:38 am

Barry

Then perhaps your whine is more appropriately addressed to the media.

U.S. Media Blacks Out Coverage of Anti-War Protests at the White House

This is something you could positively affect by contacting your favorite network and chastising them a bit….

AS to it never being about war, that’s nonsense.

Bush took us to war in the wrong country and that’s just another part of 43’s long term legacy. Own it.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 28th, 2010
9:38 am

Yes, $3 gas used to be a sign that the President was just trying to enrich his oil buddies.

Hypocrites.

paleo-neo-Carlinist aka Joe the Plutocrat

December 28th, 2010
9:38 am

Li’l Barry Bailout, again your “liberal plan” vs. “conservative plan” (like the Constitution itself) makes sense on paper, but in reality, there is only one plan; the “plutocratic plan” and unfortunately, taxpayers (regardless of political leanings) do not, and perhaps have never had a “choice”. I’m gonna give this one more try; how is the TARP money that flowed through AIG and ended up at Goldman Sachs any different than the Section 8 monies that flow through some unemployed single parent and his/her landlord, but end up at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or SunTrust (mortgage lenders)? ALL Americans are both “producers” and “moochers” because the “illegally confisctaed wealth” of working Americans ultimately ends up in the coffers of a handful of private sector corporations (the proverbial 2% who “own” 85%). I have asked this many times; do you think ADM, Coca Cola, Kroger or Anheuser-Busch (InBev) care about food stamps? Corporate America does not make a distinction between “producers” and “moohcers” (or as you like to say; parasites). to Corporate America, we’re all consumers.