Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nebraska is a nice country

Nebraska is one of a handful of States without debt. Why? Nebraska Constitution, Section 13, Part 1; emphasis added:

    The state may, to meet casual deficits, or failures in the revenue, contract debts never to exceed in the aggregate one hundred thousand dollars, and no greater indebtedness shall be incurred except for the purpose of repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, or defending the state in war, and provision shall be made for the payment of the interest annually, as it shall accrue, by a tax levied for the purpose, or from other sources of revenue, which law providing for the payment of such interest by such tax shall be irrepealable until such debt is paid

The State is forbidden to incur debt, except for a very small amount, unless there is an extreme need, and the need is clearly stated. I have been advocating this at the federal level for a very long time.

Much of our federal constitution (and States) was written specifically to protect the people from government. Read it here, and you will agree with this immediately. Powers are deliberately limited, checked and balanced. This is a safeguard against tyranny. People from antiquity through the modern era have recognized this all-important requirement, and whenever limits weren't in place, there has been tyranny -- no exceptions.

We desperately need a Nebraska-style amendment to the federal constitution to protect ourselves from politicians -- the well-meaning and the corrupt.

The current president is the well-meaning sort. When he became President-Elect, he didn't lie down in his bed and scheme about ways to enslave The People. Some on the far right say this is precisely what he did, but they're wrong. Well-meaning or not, Obama is a tyrant, and to a lesser degree the previous president was, too. To an extreme degree, Obama is enlarging the federal government, and increasing and centralizing its power. What happens when we get a president who isn't so well-meaning? He'll sit down in the center of a massive control apparatus and do some things a genuine tyrant would do.

In the time of Julius Caesar (1st century BC), there was a Celtic tribe in Gaul (now France) that was so wary of centralized power that the elected leader of the tribe could serve only one year, and after that he could never stand for election again, nor could anyone in his family. Why do you suppose this was? Rome itself, in its Republic days, had two co-consuls who constituted the executive power, and they also served for only one year.

Do we want to be a kingdom or a republic? Do we want a limited and decentralized government except in times of war or other great need, or do we want the soft tyranny of the current administration? It's our choice. I'm tempted to say the people made the right choice in our elections, but Republicans have a mostly bad track record.

The USA is a true hybrid country -- independent nations united by a federal constitution. And we're not a pure democracy, nor are we completely free. Whenever government takes from some people and gives to others, tyranny is present. Yet many of the receivers of this forced generosity really need it. Who isn't compassionate and willing to help a family that is temporarily unable to put food on the table? The fact is, long before Obama came to power, every person in the USA who can't afford to feed himself gets free food. The socialism extends to housing, health care, and college tuition. We simply don't need to switch from a hybrid socialist nation to a fully-fledged European socialist state.

It would be comforting to think that if the federal government or that of my home State of California became too oppressive, I could pack up and move to another country -- such as Nebraska. Unfortunately, Obama's policies are eroding States' rights. He's determined to make them weak provinces, subservient to Washington, when they are, in fact, countries that not only deserve to be able to rule themselves, they have a right to.

No comments: