Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

18 January 2009

Pelosi's Version of Change in the House of Representatives

The 1994 GOP "Contract with America" changed the seniority system that often left committee chairman in place until they were quite senile. Pelosi and the Democrat leadership of the House have changed the rules to return the seniority system. The younger, more conservative Democrats who have been essential to the Democrat new majorities, will have no say in how the House is run. John Fund wrote an interesting article on this and the other changes I will summarize and discuss below in the Wall St. Journal on 9 January 2009 called "Pelosi Turns Back the Clock on House Reform."

According to the House Rules, you have no right to any of your income or property at all. The minute some robber baron of the House puts together a bill which is designed to take your income or your property, no opponent in the House can offer a simple motion to remove the proposed tax increase without making up for the "lost revenue." Offering a spending cut as an offset to the proposed tax increase is not even allowed. Thus, the House Rules now mandate tax increases and basically will not allow any tax cuts, except those that increase taxes in some way to offset a decrease in taxes elsewhere. As I said, any proposal to take your income or wealth is now essentially guaranteed success. You will have no effective champion for your rights in the House.

This is one very dramatic refusal to recognize that the way to increase government revenues in this overtaxed world has been to decrease tax rates so that people will increase the number of transactions per unit time which are subject to taxation and so economies will grow. Throughout the world, it is now recognized that tax cuts are bringing increased revenue to governments and most nations have been busy cutting their tax rates. But our idiocentric House Democrat leadership has a dinosauric view of taxes and with their new seniority favoring rules, we will stupidly remain one of the world's most highly taxed people. This is punishing both to our economy and to our freedoms.

Medicare is one of the fastest growing expense items among Federal programs. This House Democrat leadership has decided to suspend all cost containment measures for this program in this Congress. How can this be wise? This is a very well-known highly wasteful program.

A century ago, Democrats were given the motion to recommit, which provided them a procedural safeguard after a period in which GOP Speaker of the House Joe Cannon had railroaded bills through the House. In the last Congress, Republicans used the motion to recommit to send 50 bills back to committee for reconsideration. This often required Democrats to take responsibility for items in the bills which they wanted to get passed before anyone had time to read the bill and publicize what was in it. Of course, much of what they wanted to railroad through on these bills was clearly not in the public interest. This was often documented by the fact that many recommitted bills were never brought back out of committee. Too many eyes were by then aware of what was in the bill and too many minds now knew what the consequences of the bill really were.

The Democrat idea of "change you can believe in", is clearly to make our gargantuan, bloated, incompetent, rights-violating government ever larger and ever less subject to the oversight of the people. It is clearly intended to primarily feed those special interests which will in turn be most gracious in bed in with the Democrat politicians. Of course, the Republicans have not proven to be very substantial foes to this same process. They are just a little less committed to the same outcome with a slightly different set of preferred special interests. It is way past time that we Americans remember the principles of limited government and why they are essential to our retaining our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I for one am not happy with having Nancy Pelosi dictating what my happiness should consist of and how I can pursue it. I am constantly amazed that so many other Americans want to put her in charge of their pursuit of happiness. This clearly implies that they believe they are incompetent to live and manage their own lives.


Steve Hamann said...

Hi Charles,

I am a also a physicist and I enjoyed this article of yours which I stumbled upon. I have a read a few different articles about this "motion to recommit" issue and whether it has been used in a reasonable way by the minority party (currently GOP).

Your article (and others) suggest that Democrats want to limit the "promptly" version because it forces them to take a clear stand on unpopular issues -- which sounds like greater transparency. I am much in favor or transparency.

Other pro-Democrat sites (such as Mother Jones and Pelosi's website) claim that Republicans use this "promptly" rule to attach a new amendment and then send bills back to committees which are 'bogged down' and where Republicans know they will be buried due to huge backlogs of bills in these committees.

This is the first time I have read about this issue - so please forgive my lack of knowledge. I wonder if you can point me to information that would clarify which of these viewpoints is more correct or truthful.

If I take your meaning correctly, you appear to believe that bills do not make it out of committee because they contain politically unpopular stances (for Democrats) and NOT because they are simply 'bogged down' as rep. Pelosi claims on her website.

I thank you for your article and would be interested in further input on this issue.

Best Regards,
Steven Hamann, Ph.D.
Tucson, AZ

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for your comment Steve.

First, I am more likely than not to be happy when a bill is not passed by Congress, since it is my conviction that the proper functions of the Federal Government are very limited. Our Federal Government has lost all focus and has become an unmanageable monster which largely deprives individuals of their sovereign rights. So bills recommitted are a good thing, usually.

However, I have little doubt that there have been abuses by Republicans as well. It is clear that they also have special interests to satisfy, such as those who wish to use the government to use force to maintain certain religious morality viewpoints in society. They may then attach the occasional additional improper mandate against our freedoms. In some cases this improper mandate causes the socialists to abandon their improper mandates, which is great.

When the Democrats have controlled the Presidency and Congress, the results have been a disaster historically. When the Republicans control the Presidency and Congress, the results are almost as bad. The best case has been when there is an impasse brought on by split control. Under those conditions, the powers of the Federal Government are commonly expanded less rapidly. This is a very good thing to my mind.

Most legislation these days has the purpose of taking from the competent, the producers, the responsible and giving unearned gifts to the incompetent, the destroyers, and the irresponsible. This is exactly the direction of the change that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are promising. They wish to speed up the theft process and make it more efficient. Efficient, speedy robbery is not at all a good thing.