AGENDA FOR THE NEW CONGRESS
We have witnessed a national referendum on the Obama Administration’s big government policies. The nation has rejected those policies and has called for a restoration of constitutional government. Voters seek massive reforms. They want to be freed from high taxes, barriers to market entry, and oppressive regulatory enforcement. They want Congress to take back governing power from the unelected bureaucrats and restore the constitutional order, with those they elect being responsible for all laws created by the federal government. In short, they ask that government respect them as sovereign and humbly represent them as the Constitution requires.
Few members of the new Congress likely comprehend the enormity of changes needed to restore American greatness. Each new member must come to appreciate that our designedly limited federal republic in which the individual was sovereign has been transformed since 1930’s into an unlimited bureaucratic oligarchy in which the unelected heads of federal agencies are sovereign. The Constitution vests law-making, law enforcement, and adjudicatory powers in the Congress, Executive, and Judicial branches respectively. The founders forbad delegation of those powers outside of those respective departments and forbad a unity of any two of the powers into single hands whether in or outside of the constitutional departments. Since the New Deal, Congress has delegated away the nation’s governing power to over 183 federal regulatory agencies that are largely unaccountable to the courts, the Congress, and the American people, giving them combined legislative, executive, and judicial power. The unelected heads of the agencies rule like absolute monarchs. Their regulations impose extensive prior restraints that deny Americans freedom and opportunity, impose high costs on start-up, small, and mid-size businesses, and provide anticompetitive protection for large industry. Indeed, agency heads are often patsies for the largest firms because those firms provide the most lucrative, post-government employment for them.
The founding fathers predicted that violations of the non-delegation and separation of powers doctrines would replace liberty with tyranny, and it has. As John Adams put it in his Thoughts on Government (1777): “I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one assembly . . . [b]ecause a single assembly possessed of all the powers of government would make arbitrary laws for their own interest, execute all laws arbitrarily for their own interest, and adjudge all controversies in their own favor.” The FDA views the drug industry as its client and maintains bans on speech and market entry that ensure anti-competitive protection for that industry. The FCC serves the major broadcast interests and keeps in place “must carry” rules that are nothing more than mandates to pressure cable companies into ensuring premium channel space for the major broadcast networks. The DEA is drumming out of existence all independent sources of competition to Pfizer and Wyeth in the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine cough and cold remedy market. The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services does not cover and considers abusive physician resort to innovation in medicine, such as integrative medicine (combining the best of alternative and conventional services), favoring instead a de facto orthodoxy in medicine, a one-size-fits-all regime that conflicts with physicians’ independent professional judgment.
Repeatedly, those who rule the agencies feather their own nests by creating anti-competitive regulations under a thin “public interest” veneer that they sell to the public and the media as “in the public interest.” There is no “public interest;” it is a fiction. There are only private interests which are best served by a free market that performs with exactitude to ferret out and satisfy each peculiar want and need through what Adam Smith called the “invisible hand.” Government planning is always too late and too inexact in its estimation of the highly variable wants and needs in a dynamic market.
The electorate wants to dismantle this corrupt system and restore the Constitutional republic. To achieve that end, new members of Congress must:
1. Enact Congressman Ron Paul’s Congressional Responsibility and Accountability Act. That bill would prohibit the regulatory agencies from enforcing any regulation unless it had been codified into law by Congress as the Constitution requires.
2. Repeal the Health Care Reform law. The Health Care Reform law violates individual liberty by forcing all Americans to have health insurance, thus forcing some forty million Americans to buy health insurance at $5,000 to $15,000 per year whether they want it or not. The effect is to create another massive government-sponsored monopoly out of select insurance companies who are given a guaranteed market. The same rife problems that now deprive those on Medicare from quality medical service will become ubiquitous along with doctor shortages and rationing of care and equipment if we do not reverse this government takeover of medicine. In its place, we need to enact legislation that will open the health care market to more competition.
3. Eliminate the Department of Education. President Reagan called for the elimination of the federal Department of Education. That action is long overdue. The Department is a massive, bloated and unnecessary bureaucracy. We need decentralization in education, not greater centralization. No child left behind reduces all to a common level of mediocrity and should be eliminated in favor of state-sponsored and private initiatives to favor excellence and achievement.
4. Eliminate the Individual Income Tax. The greatest way to restore economic growth is to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and eliminate the federal income tax. The $1.4 trillion per year retained by the people from this move would produce the greatest expansion in the market we have ever seen. It would catapult the nation out of recession and enable the most productive members of our society (those who earn taxable wages) to save, invest, and spend that money in ways that would transform the marketplace and uplift the standard of living. If we trust the American people with their sovereignty, we must leave with them the fruits of their labors so they may exercise that sovereignty as they think fit, not as some government planner thinks is best for them.
5. Eliminate all tax on interest income from savings and investment. A second great wave of economic expansion would occur were we to eliminate all tax on interest income from savings and investments. We can inspire growth in the market through this simple mechanism and restore the power of the American people to chart freely their own financial futures.
6. End all bailouts of failing private enterprise. If banks, hospitals, car manufacturers and dealerships, or other institutions fail because consumers are not purchasing the services or products they offer, that choice must be respected and the market must evolve free of government interference. Bailouts can never succeed because propping up failing enterprises cannot cause consumers to buy services or products they do not want.
7. End FDA and FTC censorship of truthful health information. Congressman Ron Paul has introduced two bills, the Health Freedom Act and the Freedom of Health Speech Act, that would end federal censorship of health information and open the market to scientific information concerning the health enhancing effects of foods and nutrients. It is high time the federal government got out of the business of protecting the drug industry from claim competition and permitted the market and freedom to work their wonders, uplifting the health of the American people. While government has a proper role in prosecuting those it can prove have defrauded the public, it has not proper role in imposing a prior restraint on those who would speak truthfully about the potential disease risk reducing or curative effects of foods and nutrients.
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The new Congress has been given a tremendous opportunity to prove itself. It has been elected by an intelligent and deliberate electorate, people who have rejected Obama’s big government agenda and want to see a restoration of the constitutional republic. Some, perhaps most, of those newly elected members may not appreciate fully what is expected of them. If they are to avoid the wrath of the electorate two years from now, they must educate themselves quickly and embrace legislative initiatives to eliminate government departments and agencies. It is not enough to halt moves to expand an already bloated federal government by stopping President Obama’s big government plans, the new Congress must reverse the course of this government, greatly diminish its size and scope, and return economic and civil liberty to the people at the expense of those in power.
© 2010 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved