Cap and Balance: A Chicken Tale
by Karen Kwiatkowski: Metaphors
for a Post-Federal America
It is hilarious
to observe the most recent preening and fluffing behavior of the
national bird in Washington. No, itís not the bald eagle, or the
alleged choice of Ben Franklin, the survival-oriented wild turkey.
bird of the federal government, wholly dependent upon a system that
feeds it, conveyor-belt style, all the precious fruit of the shrinking
American working class it can eat, is the chicken.
And not just
any chicken, mind you. The federal government, the elected class
in particular, is like the chicken grown in the poultry houses all
over the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. These guys and gals look
all grown up, but are amazingly immature, inexperienced and ill-informed
about the real world. They spend their entire lives closely shielded
from the outside world, exposed to little more than others like
themselves, with a water drip they take for granted, and a never-empty
all-you-can-eat free lunch dispenser. These helpless yet blissfully
unaware chickens are a testament to the predictable tendencies of
applied central planning, and they are the perfect icon for the
government of the United States of America today.
out running and chirping, but before a few months pass, these guys
are crippled by their own weight. By design, these chickens must
be harvested early, before they die of heart failure, or fall down
and never get up, trampled and pecked to death by their compadres.
the Congress of the United States, analogy courtesy of Perdue, Tyson,
and Pilgrimís Pride.
spectacle of the chickens who run our country comes from the so-called
conservatives in the House Ė who are currently pushing for a Constitutional
Amendment to "balance the federal budget," as part of
Cap and Balance" package that doesnít cut, raises the borrowing
cap, and continues the ongoing and unsustainable imbalance in government
spending. Little of what these Congressmen are doing today, or have
been doing for the past twenty years has been even remotely constitutional,
so it isnít clear why amending the Constitution is ever necessary.
Most Congressmen havenít completely read it, donít understand what
they did read, and believe it is a prop best used during election
campaigns. Most donít believe it is the law or binding in any way
on their votes and actions.
One side of
the Janus-state Ė the so-called left side, is angry that the Cut,
Cap and Balance may interfere with their political base and agendas,
while failing to raise tax collections on that part of the country
that they do not claim. The so-called right side of the Janus-state
believes that as long as defense spending for the corporate empire
is nurtured, preserved and expanded, their proposal will appear
"conservative" and be welcomed as titillating foreplay
for the November elections.
It seems like
they take us all for fools, but as usual it is the genuflecting
Congress and the emperor who are fooling themselves. While the
United States as a functional value has been calmly downgraded (again!)
to a C-minus and Americans rapidly seek alternative home bases,
passports, ways of making a living off payroll and out of sight,
conservatives recall the "glory days" of 1994 and 1995,
and as the strutting
feather-headed duo of Eric Cantor and Bob Goodlatte proclaim,
it might have been so different, if only.
The crux of
the Cantor-Goodlatte position is that, in March 1995, if only the
Congress had sent a federal balanced budget amendment to the states
for ratification, all of their congressional overspending, their
lack of personal and institutional principle, their paucity of restraint,
their blatant inability to comprehend basic economics, their obsession
for power over the less worthy, their obscene vote selling and incessant
influence whoring all of these sins would have been washed
away, instantly and permanently.
The whole debate
is moot, because it has been demonstrated from the beginning that
Congress has never met a law that it couldnít ignore, modify, or
break, starting with the original Constitution.
It is also
moot because these congressmen assume that ĺ of the several states
would approve such a balanced budget amendment, then, now, or in
the future. The states well understand their fundamental relationship
to the federal government, that unwritten law of federalism. States
exist to bring home the goodies, ideally paid for by other states
or by a collective accumulation of shared debt owed by future voters
and future taxpayers, again mostly residing in other states. The
very idea of a demand to pay the federal bill in a given fiscal
year (even 18 months later, as the proposed language has it, allowing
time to "measure" the GDP) would be simultaneously laughable
and repulsive to state governors and to the people, because they
intuitively understand that it would mean both fewer goodies and
higher taxation, for the wealthier states first and eventually for
even the poorest and smallest of states.
would overwhelmingly reject this amendment, even if it had teeth
and claws, which it does not. This proposal is the rohypnol in the
Constitutional martini, following the tradition of federal government
boorishness of the 16th Amendment and the 1973 War Powers
Act. Cap, Cut and Balance should be nicknamed the Roofie Amendment.
most prudent states would immediately just say no, I can envision
a contrarian movement among some states to consider the risk and
actively support the Balanced Budget Amendment. Counting on staying
competitive for business and productivity as people flee ever more
federally "owned" states, certain governors might support
the Roofie Amendment in order to eventually weaken the DC loyalists
and set the stage for real secession. North Dakota, with
its questionable legal statehood status may want to go slow
in correcting their constitution. A balanced budget amendment, if
passed, would bring economic slavery to the more federally integrated
states of the union, and place North Dakota in a super-cool position
of pre-existing independence from Washington. Republic of Texas
flag wavers, Hawaiian revolutionaries, and Vermont secessionists,
of course, cannot print their own money. A smaller group of states,
with interests in allowing alternative hard currencies, or even
those with a tradition of creative community currencies, might join
with the hopeful independents in supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment
as a means to ultimate monetary freedom from D.C. Utah's sound money
movement and upstate New York community business vouchers, gold
and silver holders everywhere, upon ratification of a Balanced Budget
Amendment, would become even more valuable, reasonable, popular,
There are many
ways to critique and chuckle at the proposals by Cantor and Goodlatte
to somehow rein in federal spending by making a law, but there is
one staring God-awful gap in the proposed amendment. No version
of the law, past of present, deals with or even mentions the existence
and processes of bank of the federal government, the Federal Reserve.
For the liars in Washington, D.C., both on the left and right, this
failure to address the Federal Reserve is a very good thing. Running
out of money? Weíll "do you a favor" and print more!
1994, the Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
Greenspan was the bankís Bifrons.
Feared and powerful, moving corpses here and there, scaring all
the chickens. It is unthinkable that a balanced budget amendment
in 1994 would have addressed the Fed. Only Ron Paul, writing of
gold and liberty and transparency, boldly spoke of the Bifrons,
then and now. Today, a less impressive Bifrons exists, and Dr. Paul
chairs the financial services subcommittee. He routinely takes
on the corpse carrier Ė but still, Cantor and Goodlatte and
the rest of the chicken-hearted, bird-brained "conservatives"
in Congress cannot bring themselves to address the Fed in the language
of the Cut, Cap and Balance Amendment.
friends in Congress do enjoy their water drip and their never-ending
free lunch. There is a solution, and it starts by not listening
to dim-witted chickens trying to buy you one more drink before the
bar closes. End the Fed and its interest rate fixing, repeal the
16th Amendment, repeal the 17th Amendment,
bring the troops home, end the empire. Start with just these things,
and watch the countryís economy and its attitude soar, the young
delighted that they actually have a hopeful and peaceful future,
the old embraced and cared for, the middle generations employed
and empowered. In parts and pieces, we can take back our country,
and most of us will survive when the empire ends. I find myself
oddly reminded of Hooverís purported campaign promise, and FDRís
I, too, see chicken on the menu.
columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send
her mail], a
retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty
and Power and The
Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles,
here or join her Facebook page. She
is currently running for Congress in Virginia's 6th district.
2011 Karen Kwiatkowski
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