The real national scandal: Clinton's legacy
By C. Grady Drago
The statement "The power to tax is the power to destroy" has been credited to Chief Justice Marshall. But, regardless of who you credit, the truth of the statement has proven prophetic throughout history and certainly carries forward to today. This is particularly evident with regard to the product of private property. Look what occurred in 1763, when the English Parliament announced they were considering imposing a series of taxes on the colonists. The uproar in the colonies at this announcement began the trip down the road to the revolution. Once the taxes were implemented, they not only impacted merchants in the colonies, but all land owners, including those in the frontier areas to the South and west.
It was a uniting force and provided the tools and adhesion that were key to the onset and success of one of the most improbable revolutions in the history of man. The American Revolution ultimately led to the establishment of a radical new idea -- a republic in which our founders intended the ultimate power of government to be in a majority of its citizens. Land ownership, the ability to protect family and property, and the freedoms that had evolved and were vested in state constitutions, established an energetic and dynamic society and a nation that became the envy of the world.
Americans' standard of living, accessibility to education, quality of health, abundance of food, religious freedom, and the ability to travel freely was and is not equaled anywhere in the world. We have had the ability to achieve to the maximum of our potential and effort. However, have you noticed the subtlety by which most of these things we have taken for granted are gradually being eroded by government, particularly in recent years? I cannot recall a time when individual rights and the Sovereignty of our country have been more under attack than at anytime in our history and, incredulously the attack is coming from within.
The growing fear and mistrust of government, particularly of this Administration, that is increasingly being expressed by individuals and community organizations is not based upon "paranoia," "wild imaginations," or on "conspiracy theories." This fear and mistrust is based on real, direct and indirect assaults on individual rights, self determination, property rights, outrageous acts by government agencies, and the surrender of domestic sovereignty by this Administration. The fact that the vehicles which have allowed these actions have been, for the most part, created by this Administration behind closed doors (through regulations, rules, and Executive Orders), out of the normal glare of public opinion, have provided the impetus for the mistrust. As more and more of this "backdoor legislating" by this Administration is brought to the public's attention and they see for themselves, the mistrust of the President and fear of government grows.
When confronted with the above for the first time, many Americans are initially stunned into disbelief -- "Oh, that couldn't happen, not in America!" However, more and more Americans have become aware that this is indeed occurring, and they become frustrated at what they believe amounts to the cannibalization of our culture. Not being able to control their own destinies or the futures of their children is a growing concern.
Many individuals that have come to rely on the federal government, or must rely on it such as small businesses, have also come to feel the political pressures of not disagreeing with those in power.
Enforcement methods of a growing list of new federal regulations has not only eroded our property rights, but is driving natural resource production and manufacturing out of America along with all of the good jobs, capitol creation, and standard of living that goes with them.
The environmental movement has provided a rich source of tools for President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and their army of environmental zealots. Phony environmental science and documents are being created and used as the excuse to attempt to return the US. to an agrarian society, put much of the US. coastal areas and inland waterways under the dictates of the UN, and make personal property rights and domestic land use planning subject to the jurisdiction of an agency of the U.N. Now, President Clinton threatens to implement the environmentally and economically discredited Kyoto Global Warming Treaty even though the Senate has refused to ratify it. These are only some examples of this Administration's actions which are subverting the rule of law and threatening the future stability of this nation.
Do you need more examples?
Thanks to President Clinton's crime bill, local law enforcement agencies were forced to work for the federal government (until a recent Supreme Court decision declared that action unconstitutional). In that same crime bill, more than 50 crimes that once were the jurisdiction of state government now put individuals directly under the criminal jurisdiction of the federal government.
On the education front, contrary to what the President Clinton had
promised parents, the Department of Education, through the Goals 2000
program, has taken more control away from parents and teachers and now
has the ability and tools to increase federal control of local schools,
as has occurred in many areas of Massachusetts and Illinois. Another
Presidential program of
Add to this the attempt to centralized and put under the control of the federal government all health care and related matters in the federal government, a pattern becomes evident.
President Clinton has demonstrated utter contempt for the rule of law and for the will of the people. He has outstripped all previous administrations in implementing through Executive Orders, rules, and regulations new programs that the American public or Congress would not approve.
President Clinton may, in fact, be doing more damage to individual and states' rights, the sovereignty of the U.S., and national security than any President or crisis in American history.
Every program this President has initiated or supported -- -- programs "for the children," "for the elderly," "for health care," "for the environment," have either been rejected or failed, or are now creating problems because the affect of the programs was to increase the power of the White House. How much control over our lives does the executive branch need?
Lets look at this from another angle.
During the past four decades there were vociferous complaints by the
public and their elected officials alike about the heavy--handed attitude
of activist federal judges. Because of this penchant of trying to rewrite
the Constitution, Judges handed down decisions that overturned elections,
created and instituted new taxes, and established new federal programs
Now, we have a President --one man-- that has picked up where activist federal judges, and an arrogant Congress off.
If you take the time to look at the record and check the facts for
yourself (the Federal Register, the Congressional Record, and court
records as examples), instead of accepting the pronouncements of partisan
political pundits and news forecaster from television networks, it will
become clear what is happening. Need more proof?
Why is the President's response to events, be it the development of a new program or an air crash, involves centralizing all control in the hands of the Executive Branch?
A logical explanation for these actions may be concluded from the statement made by President Clinton while out of this country in Argentina, "What I'm trying to do is to promote a process of reorganization of the world ...".
President Clinton is making some progress towards his goal (in a big part because of the help he is getting from his liberal friends in the media), and does not appear to be letting the Constitution slow him down.
President Clinton may, in fact, be doing more damage to individual and states' rights; the sovereignty of the U.S.; and national security than any President or crisis in American History.
There is one thing the President does not have to worry about, his legacy -- it is assured and of his own making.
C. Grady Drago is president of the Lincoln Heritage Institute.
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