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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:41 PM
Original message
Stuff from the tea baggers - federalism amendments
I searched and didn't find this on DU. So just in case it hasn't been posted yet, this is something to be aware of. It's making the rounds pretty strong in wingnutery now: http://federalismamendment.com/
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. They need to MOVE to another country!
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Coffee and Cake Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. What exactly is "nutty" about those article of amendments?
In essence, people are trying to curb federal power and give more power to the states. Historically, that is a liberal concept, not "right-wing extremism".
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pepperbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. no, actually "states' rights" has been used to justify slavery, among other things....
...and it is hardly a liberal concept. it's hardly extreist either, but rather typical of their rhetoric. "States rights" was the stance of southern democrats prior to and during the civil war.

they don't want anyone to "interpret the constitution". funny, it's arguable that interpeting the constitution are how both roe v wade AND brown v board were decided.

they don't want a federal income tax or an "unfunded mandate". fine. pay for everything all by your lonesome, with absolutely no help from the fed. and seeing as how they're so scared of terrorist attacks, they might really miss that money if something actually happens.

they also want the power to rescind any federal law with which they don't agree. I can think of several laws which really need to remain consistent from state to state.

these people weren't screaming about states rights so much during the bush administration. when they did, it was only in defense of things like anti gay laws.

no estate tax. conservative mantra.

this is code for "OMG! A Black president, and we didn't think of it first!" Just like it was code for "They're trying to take our slaves away!" during the civil war.




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Coffee and Cake Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I share your concern about some of these people's motives, but
Edited on Sat May-02-09 07:11 PM by Coffee and Cake
State's rights is a liberal concept, unless modern day liberalism has completely detached itself from its predecessors. One of the earliest advocates for State's rights was Thomas Jefferson who thought that the common man was capable of ruling himself while Hamilton thought the common man was ignorant and better ruled by an aristocracy.

As for the Civil War, it was not all about slavery just like the Iraq War is not about liberating people. The Great Emancipator wanted to recolonize the "inferior race" since they couldn't get along with the more "superior race". He also entertained the Corwin Amendment, which would have barred the federal government from intervening on the issue of slavery.

I find it extremely distasteful when people advocate states right to push for slavery or segregation. I also don't care for repeal of the estate tax. As for anti-gay laws, how many of the 1,049 federal benefits has Obama/Biden extended to civil unions? I believe that certain rights should be applicable to everyone, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, or religious belief. I don't want to see states break free in order to curb those rights.

Either you believe in a tops down democracy which is conducted from an all-powerful, central government that is relatively immune to popular constraint or you believe in bottoms up democracy which begins at the community/state level in which people have more influence and control over.
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pepperbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. that's just it. it really isn't that black and white....
Edited on Sat May-02-09 08:00 PM by pepperbear
I don't agree with your premise that a strong federal government is de facto "immune to popular constraint." it's equally laughable that community government is completely accountable to its constituency. you see what's happening in TX and KS right with regard to text books and education?

Sorry, but I have a problem when a local entity wishes to bypass the first amendment. I wish we could have more control over local government, but that's a political ideal.

Some things states and localities do well for themselves, but there are some things for which they have their hand out. I love how people argue states rights, but it's clear that they mean "overrule the feds on things I don't like and things I feel threatened by."

I can tell you don't like Lincoln that much, you practically spat out "Great Emancipator" in quotes. Personally, I don't care what Apocrypha he entertained, I only care about what he did.

I still don't accept your premise that states' rights has ever been a liberal concept. By any definition, southern Dems were small government conservatives who favored a slave based economy because they made most of their money from cotton and tobacco production. Later, even Teddy Roosevelt was anti trust/pro regulation. edited to add: It was FDR's New Deal and Johnson's "Great Society" and civil rights record that made so many southern dems switch to the GOP.

as for anti gay laws, I don't know why you brought those up. To what "federal benefits" are you referring? Did Obama/Biden decree benefits for gays in civil unions, and in states where no such allowances exist? I missed that memo.

I don't accept your premise regarding the civil war. the civil war was about states' rights, chiefly the right to own slaves. secession became the mantra when slavery became an issue. We have yet to clear up the mess in Iraq left by the last administration, so I wouldn't even begin to compare the two. Iraq was about "liberating the people" when it became clear that "They got WMDs!" wasn't going to work.




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Coffee and Cake Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. The right to self-determination and voluntary association is a liberal concept
Which is supposed to be reinforced by the 10th Amendment, which is supposed to restrict federal power to enumerated powers. The concept of the whole Bill of Rights is a liberal concept and it doesn't grant rights, but protects the individual from government encroachment upon natural rights. I think that it is easier to change local politics than national politics, so therefore it is more responsive to the people. You can disagree, but to find it laughable is absurd.

I don't think people should bypass the first amendment either. Establishing a theocracy is not an exercise in liberty. As for anti-gay laws, I believe that you brought them up and I have yet to see Obama/Biden extend the complete list federal benefits to gay marriages or civil unions. Even with "liberals" in power, gays do not have the same federal rights as heterosexual couples. It is only within individual states that they may share the same benefits. Obviously, the federal government is not a bastion of individual liberty. Heck, they are even rolling back on "don't ask, don't tell".

I don't think the Civil War was worth it. It was a blood bath and if it was strictly about slavery, then the Federal Government could have easily compensated the Southern Plantation owners. It would have been much cheaper, more efficient, and less costly in human lives. Was slavery wrong? Absolutely, but the war was not about being noble and freeing the black man, it was to exercise federal authority and that is the day that our union became involuntary. America was a country built of of self-determination and voluntary association. The tension between the North and South was building up decades before, probably even before the tariff of abomination 1828 which to crippled the Southern Economy. The North still practiced slavery and it was the Northern Merchants who brought the slave over.

As for Johnson's Great Society Program, it invited severe inflation because he coupled it with fighting the Vietnam War. The "guns and butter" strategy is a dangerous mix. Thanks to Johnson asking Congress for extraordinarily flexible and wide ranging powers to wage war in Vietnam and Congress granting them to him, we now have an all powerful executive branch that can wage war without a declaration of Congress who are representatives of the States.
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pepperbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. .....
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:06 PM by pepperbear
"The right to self-determination and voluntary association is a liberal concept"

why are these only achieved through states rights and a weak Fed? I'm all for the rights of the individual vs the state, but this has nothing to do with the issue at hand, which is fed vs states rights. we're supposed to have a representative government, getting back to that would suit me fine. fear of a strong fed is paranoid, and pretty much the province of teabaggers. Sorry, I still don't accept your premise.

I do disagree and find it laughable to think we have much control over local government. You should see how primaries run in local precincts. You should see how it's always the big money developers who get in with the mayor and council. I accede that a stronger fed won't help that situation. It's another point of view and it's not absurd.

Just because the fed is slow to recognize gay rights doesn't mean that leaving it in the hands of the states is the answer. And please check your facts: at press time, repeal of DADT, though not a priority, is still on the books. It sounds like you're saying that, in order to achieve a true liberal agenda, the states must be autonomous. Now that's absurd.

Sorry, but I am still not buying your take on the civil war. When you talk of Northerners who profited from slavery, you're speaking only of individuals. "Cheaper and inefficient" to compensate? Maybe so. Was the idea ever seriously entertained by the South? Not in any books I've ever read.
"it was to exercise federal authority and that is the day that our union became involuntary".
Right, because the South just freed their property of their own volition.

It's your comments about Johnson's program that are of real interest. Oh, the timing of the GREAT SOCIETY could've been better, but it was still a good idea. However, that wasn't my point, and you know it. My point was that the GOP became the party of conservatives during that time and during the FDR new deal era. I find it interesting that you point out it's supposed failure, yet that wasn't what was at issue, which means you're argument, though eloquent, is made of straw. In fact, it seems to me that you're spending alot of time shooting down liberal ideals, not just the idea of a strong fed.

If I were to guess, I'd say you're more of a libertarian. Your arguments haven't convinced me. To be honest, I don't like the idea of a Big Brother government, but I think a local government can be just as intrusive and doesn't always act in the best interests of its constituents.

I do not accept your premise that states rights is a liberal position, or that individual rights are better served by a stronger states rights and a weaker fed.














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Coffee and Cake Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. Maybe you are right that state rights are not a liberal concept
I could be wrong. I thought limited government where men are able to govern themselves in their daily affairs instead of being dictated by a central government was a liberal concept. That states did not come together and form a union on the principle of unlimited submission to the federal government, from the Alien and Sedition Acts to the case of Charles Lynch. Instead of states answering to the people, who are sovereign, the states instead answer to the federal government, which is not sovereign. By not bending to the federal government's wishes, they are jeopardizing millions, if not billions, in federal aid.

There is more flexibility in local governance than in federal governance. If the religious right ever got their wish to amend the Constitution to define marriage as one man, one women, then it would have been much more difficult to override it on the federal level than on the local level. When we liberalize laws at the federal level, we must be very careful, because if we get it wrong, then we all get it wrong. Allowing politics to work on the local level is not only more flexible, but it is insurance in case democracy fails.

There were many good ideas regarding the Great Society Program initiated by Johnson. I agree with many of them, even though I am skeptical of them being carried out by the federal government since it will only extend federal powers into other realms. As for FDR there were Constitutional concerns regarding AAA, NIRA, and the TVA which he got around by threatening to stack the Supreme Court.

I am not sure what liberal ideas I am shooting down. They only thing that I am shooting down is a strong central government. It is too strong, and out of control. Combined with a Central Bank (another product of central government), we can wage wars indefinitely, erode people's labor via inflation, and practice unsustainable consumption patterns thanks to deficit spending. I do see people and our government living beyond its means thanks to federal government monopoly on the money supply.

So perhaps may statement that state rights is a liberal ideology was wrong, but I don't see anything wrong with those proposals posted in the OP, except the death tax which I support.
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. well there are the caucuses...and when a central government is stripped of it control over its
states in other parts of the planet is it called balkinazation?
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. so we would not longer be a super power. Oh noes!
Edited on Sat May-02-09 06:43 PM by Warren Stupidity
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. This is beyond states' rights,
This is about bringing about RW/libertarian nuttery on a wholesale basis. Please, funding the national government via a national sales tax? Eliminating the estate tax? Article one effectively repeals Roe v Wade in many states, while Article 10 essentially means that we can revert back to slavery.

Furthermore this sort of states rights nonsense has already been tried and found lacking, by our Founding Fathers. That's why they ditched the state-centric Articles of Confederation and adapted the Constitution instead.

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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
22. What's nutty?
Well, for starters, this immediately eliminates social security and Medicare. It would also abolish AFDC, food stamps, welfare, public housing assistance, federal student aid, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, Fema, the Comsumer Product Safety Commission, the FDA, the Peace Corps, Americorps, the Agency for International Development (ironically, the EPA, that most hated of federal agencies, would stay, but be toothless since it could not issue regulations without paying for compliance, which it wouldn't have funding for)

Then strip the Feds down to just the military, foreign affairs and interstate commerce, and you'd still need about 1.5 trillion to run, including current debt service. That's about five thousand dollars from every American. Given that the median income of individuals working in the US (about 155 million people, there are another 160 million or so who don't work, either due to unemployment, disability, choice, retirement or being a child) that means a randomly selected person in the US has an individual income, on average, of just over $14,000. Assume that person spends ten thousand dollars a year on food, housing, healthcare, basic transportation and other absolute neccesities. You would then need a 30% federal vat (if you tax every cent of every transaction at the individual level to fund minimal federal expenditures. On top of that, you'd pay state taxes, including a sales tax. Figure that's going to be another fifteen percent, minimum. Taxes on everyone except the rich (who, by definition are required to spend a smaller percentage of their income just to live at the same level)

Now for the perverse incentive problem: when states assume the entire financial burden of caring for those who need help, they actually have an incentive to spend as little as possible, this encouraging those who cost money to leave, and you have a race to the bottom. If you can get poor people to leave, then you don't have to support them anymore. Same with sick people. That's simple economics.

Now for the debt idea. We can have a rational discussion about federal spending, but let's not pretend that all debt is a bad thing. There are a lot of reasons to incur debt. Imagine having to live your life literally having to pay cash for everything. Many people do, but save the very wealthy, those people never own houses, go to college, have a decent automobile, or are able to handle medical emergencies. So you would cripple the government's ability to respond to emergencies especially since states mostly can't assume debt. Say a natural disaster hits, maybe a hurricane, an earthquake or a tornado. Or maybe an outbreak of swine flu. Now what?

So we have managed to raise taxes on most people, reduce services and
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. It would also eliminate the 600B+ annual MIC budget
And the entire PIC budget. It is an interesting trade off. On an ethical basis I have to support a change that would eliminate our ability to march our armies around the planet causing death and destruction even at the cost of the remaining good social institutions provided by our federal government. Regional progressive state coalitions could pick up where the feds would be forced to leave off.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. first off
why would you expect it to eliminate military spending? that's one of the things that the constitution specifically authorizes the Federal government to spend money on. in fact, it gives the feds the responsibility for it.

second off, why do you think there would be 'regional progressive caucuses' of states that would fund civil services?
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. no income tax no deficits no 600B+ war budget.
1) It really isn't that complicated. By effectively cutting off federal revenue and prohibiting deficit spending they would, intentionally or not, end the 60 year reign of the MIC.

2) What would stop the more progressive blue states from pooling their resource and creating a 'republic within the republic' that provided universal health care, universal education through university level and other basic social services?

No longer forced to pay for the fundaloon states, as we are now, no longer crippled by an insane military budget, as we are now, and no longer stalemated in the Senate, as there effectively would no longer be a central government to control our actions or demand all of our revenue, the Northeast, the West Coast, and the Great Lakes regions would be free to go their own way and make some progress on the New Deal/Great Society programs roadblocked and ransacked by 40 years of republican malfeasance.

None of this is going to happen of course as there will be no constitutional convention, but as I said, just on the basis of the fact that this set of amendments would effectively abolish the MIC, I would have to support it.


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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Only if they banned immigration
Into that 'republic inside a republic' would that work. Otherwise, anyone who needed such services would flood that region and crash the system, as those who don't need it and don't like the higher taxes will just move across the border to the next state. And they system would collapse user it's own weight. Plus, you'll notice the amendment that allows for a national sales tax?

The whole reason why the Feds do so much of this is because states won't, historically. As a basic rule, states didn't address civil rights until the Feds made them. States didn't address environmental issues until the Feds made them. There's a long list of things states should have done, but didn't, until the Feds made them.

So are you proposing just letting half the country sink? Or succession?
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I disagree
The same argument about competitive disadvantages is made to explain why we currently can't afford to pay decent wages and benefits or afford healthcare for everyone or decent pensions etc. We can't compete with the Chinese or the Indians or the Mexicans or whatever. Competing for lowest wage on the planet is not a game we should be trying to win.

To 'flood into the progressive states' you would have to establish residence here, pay taxes here, etc. You can't just visit to pick up a welfare check. You have to live here.

Our educated happy self motivated workforce would continue to compete with the rest of the world. The fundaloon ratholes would continue to devolve. Oh well. Their choice. They can always join back up with us.

"The whole reason why the Feds do so much of this is because states won't, historically." - well yes that was the history of the end of the 19th century and up until the counter-reformation of the Reagan era. Since then the federal government has done less and less for the common people of this republic every year, and become more and more corrupt by the corporate establishment. Political paralysis has taken hold, the status quo of pouring 60% or so of our revenue into the MIC appears inalterable and we are left squabbling over the remainders, sternly lectured on why we cannot afford what our European cousins have taken for granted for generations now, while the elite of the new gilded age continue, arrogantly, sneeringly, even in the midst of a staggering economic collapse, to even put Gordon Gekko to shame with their mindless avarice. We have elections that seem of great import, but then nothing much changes. The system, I think we all can honestly admit, is stuck on stupid, and cannot seem to change.

The proposed amendments would devolve the republic into quasi autonomous states in a confederation with an emasculated central government. Succession would not be needed. It isn't going to happen, but once again, as it would end the current impasse, and end our reign as a super power- I am all for it.

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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. Notice that the page style is very similar to freerepublic.com. I'll bet it's the same web designer.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not all that nutty. I expected much worse.
The first four would effectively divide our republic up into a fundaloon region and a progressive region, with draconian fundaloon idiocy ruling those poor states, and I do mean poor, while the more prosperous progressive states could shed the baggage of the stupid and, through regional coalitions, build a more progressive union within the shell of the former USA.
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Democracyinkind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Basically a rich man's dream brought to you by the have-nots. Gotta love it.

nice tax plans. wonder how that will work out.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. Now they want to amend the constitution?
Edited on Sat May-02-09 07:23 PM by AllentownJake
Dimwits don't even have the political clout or power to mount a senatorial filibuster and their goal is to do the hardest thing politically there is to do in this country.

I guess they can get credit for ambition, not much else.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. No, actually what they're wanting is to exercise the Constitutional provision
To call for a Constitutional Convention. They're hoping to pack such a convention with representatives of "real 'Murkans" and ram this POS through.

It's the same tactic that the left has thought about before, about forty years ago.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. You still need 2/3 of the states to propose such a measure
It has about the same necessity of political clout that the common used amendment process uses.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Oh I know that, you know that,
The left now knows that, but the right is just now starting to toy with the bright, shiny object. They'll get no further than anybody else who has considered this path.

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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Maybe they can start by reading the existing Constitution
The entire thing and than get back to us :rofl:

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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. ugh, the country went over this in 1787! then again, there's libertarian wank-fiction
where the Whiskey Rebellion executes Washington and Congress, and the country becomes "Great"
they're brain-dead: give them a mule or a watermelon
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. Wouldn't Amendment 10 cripple the court system?
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Greedy little boys don't like anyone to say no! to them.
Courts might make them pay for their crimes.
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