3 ladies on commission looking out for taxpayers

The three ladies on the commission Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe are looking out for the taxpayers and the best interests of everyone in the community.  All three spoke against jail expansion at the Blount County Correction Partnership (BCCP) meeting Thursday and against housing federal inmates in the local jail.

Housing federal prisoners has been a financial drain to the taxpayers of Blount County for many years.  The jail study, which the political machine tried to bury after spending over $94,000 of taxpayer money, said that the only way the Sheriff could claim to make money on housing federal inmates is to overcrowd and understaff the jail.  This creates a dangerous situation for everyone: the officers in the jail, the inmates and the taxpayers.

It may also be creating an unconstitutional jail.  The jail study says our jail is bordering on unconstitutional.  Deliberately housing discretionary inmates in an overcrowded facility, sounds willfully indifferent to me.  Whether a judge would see it that way, I don’t know.

Alarmingly, the Sheriff’s employees on the BCCP don’t seem to care.  They continue to support the practice of housing federal inmates, to the determent of our wonderful community.

The officers working in the jail should pay close attention to this matter.  The Sheriff has created a dangerous situation by crowding the jail with federal inmates and their supervisors (BCCP members Chief Deputy Jeff French and Captain John Adams) defend the practice of a crowded jail that is understaffed to “make money” housing federal prisoners.  And why not?  Both of these men are well paid while the corrections officers are not.

The sheriff makes $117,835.  Jeff French makes $84,824.  John Adams makes $63,278.  Plus, have you seen the fancy cars that the Sheriff and his choice, top deputies drive around in?  Corrections officers in the jail, those without rank, are making in the low to mid thirties.

While the sheriff has convinced some of his employees that the three women are against them, they aren’t the ones drawing big salaries and riding around in fancy cars.  Furthermore, its the sheriff who unilaterally continues to overcrowd the jail with federal prisoners, putting more on the staff than they should handle all in the name of making money.  It’s the three ladies who are speaking out and trying to stop this money losing, dangerous and possibly unconstitutional practice; thereby, looking out for the safety of the officers and protecting the taxpaying citizens.

Bob Bass of TCI tells press and citizens to turn cameras off: Shows them video already on YouTube

As a shining example of trashing openness and transparency in government, Bob “the Bully” Bass, County Corrections Partnership Coordinator and Detention Facilities Specialist with the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) told the press and citizens present at an open public meeting to turn their cameras off.  His reason?  The presentation contained law enforcement sensitive information.

That might have had some validity had Bob “the Bully” Bass not said later in the meeting that the video he showed was available on YouTube.  Yeap, that’s right.  You can watch the video online on YouTube.

Now back to that open meeting thing.  It’s an OPEN MEETING BOB.  You know, the kind where the public is invited to attend so that they can see what their government is up to.  Oh that’s right, you and the machine don’t want the people watching you.

Even the press didn’t show up to the last Blount County Corrections Partnership (BCCP) meeting.  The paper watched the recording available online and reported on it two days after the meeting.  What’s the press going to do when they don’t show up and the meetings haven’t been recorded?

The investigative journalist providing the video told me that the meetings of the County Corrections Partnership, in the county where this video was recorded, are held in a restricted area.  Yeah, that’s right.  The meetings open to the public are held in a restricted area.  Just exactly how many people are going to make an effort to get through security and into a restricted area to attend an “open” public meeting?

That reminds of the meeting here in Blount County last June when Bob “the Bully” Bass gave the same presentation to the Blount County Corrections Partnership.  That meeting was held at the Justice Center not the courthouse.  The IT Director had made arrangements to record that meeting but Bob “the Bully” Bass stopped that recording as well.

The rule makers want it this way.  The meetings are “open” to the public but they don’t have to be convenient or recorded.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Except that it is your wallets they are emptying.  Remember the jail study which said that Blount County needed to totally rethink the use of its jail?  Remember the $1 million plan with a plan for another million?  Now Bob “the Bully” Bass is pushing to build after his off the video camera presentation.  A member of the TCI Board of Control said that Blount County could use a nice 100,000 person jail.

Do you want Blount County to be the location of the next Brushy Mountain prison?  If not, show up Thursday at 5:30 in room 315, where there isn’t a video camera rolling and the machine hopes you aren’t present and watching them.

Where do you want to cut the budget?

What budget(s) would you like to see cut?

Library
Mayor’s Office
Parks and Rec
Schools
Sheriff’s Office
Something else
Cut it all
Don’t cut anything

Poll Maker

State law limits what can be cut. However, please express where you would like to see budget cuts.

March 2016 Commission Report

Special called meeting to appoint Blount County Clerk
Commission Chairman Jerome Moon called a meeting to appoint a replacement for former Blount County Clerk Roy Crawford who passed away last month.  Former Deputy Clerk Margaret Flynn was chosen unanimously by all members present.  Ms. Flynn will serve until a new office holder is elected and sworn in.

There was at least one good person interested in the position who did not seek it after they learned that there would be no primary election.  State law allows the Parties to choose their nominees for the county general election in August since there is no time for a primary election.

Ms. Flynn is probably a good choice for the position because she worked in the clerk’s office for many years.  However, the commission was not given any information prior to the meeting and only told who she was and what her experience was at the meeting.  At the very least we should have been given a resume a few days in advance of the meeting.

Agenda Committee
Chairman Jerome Moon pulled a resolution that he had sponsored and voted for the day before in the Budget Committee that would have allowed General County office holders and their employees to lease new cars.  This may come back in the future.

Commission meeting
I was unable to attend the commission meeting because my husband suffered an injury and spent the afternoon in ER.  He is doing well, all things considered.

Commissioners Mike Caylor, Tom Cole, Dodd Crowe and I were absent.  The meeting was really short, primarily because I wasn’t there to ask questions.

Mike Caylor added to Budget Committee
The commission approved adding City of Maryville employee and Blount County Commissioner Mike Caylor to the Budget Committee, to replace commissioner Tom Cole who resigned from the committee.  Commissioner Karen Miller was the only no vote.

I can count on one hand the number of spending questions that Caylor has asked since I’ve been on the commission and still have fingers left over.  He will make a great government of the government, for the government and by the government member of the Budget Committee.  There is no one on the Budget Committee who will look out for the taxpaying citizens.

Commission votes on all new business in one motion
The other reason the meeting was so quick, besides my absence, is the commission voted on all 8 items under new business in one motion.  Cramming as many items as you can under one vote is the Washington DC approach to government.  Local government politicians appear to be learning the tricks of the trade from Washington DC.

Commissioner Jamie Daly was the only commissioner to ask any questions related to any of the items.  She inquired about the $65,000 that the commission was being asked to approved to pay a consultant for renegotiating the rate paid to the county to house the federal inmates awaiting trial.

No one from the Sheriff’s Office was at the meeting to answer questions.  The commission packet didn’t even name the consultant being paid.  See pages 18-21 to see what the commission was given regarding the budget amendment request.  The commission never voted to approve housing federal prisoners.  I’ve written about that in the past.  Furthermore, the commission was never told that the rate was being renegotiated, although I did learn about it and posted it along with more jail information.  (See Summerhill Group)

Taxpayers paying for legal agreements to be written
One of the items under new business that was rubber stamped without discussion was renewal of a lease agreement for a community club.  Community clubs have historically been important parts of the community.  It would be wonderful to see them grow again.

My only concern is that the taxpayers, for the second month in a row, are paying to draw up legal agreements for organizations who are getting something for nearly nothing.  Lawyers usually aren’t cheap.

Last month when I asked what the costs were to the taxpayers of Blount County, the mayor and finance director didn’t know.  However, the company benefiting from the agreement said they would pay the legal costs to prepare the agreement.  I had hoped to see the same thing this month.

At the Agenda Committee meeting, I asked the finance director to provide the commission with the cost of preparing the lease agreement.  However, nothing was provided in the packet and no commissioner asked for that information.  The county needs to adopt a policy that will reimburse the taxpayers for the costs of the legal fees for preparing these legal documents.

Conflicts of Interest
Commissioner Karen Miller abstained on the vote for all 8 items because she has a relative who works for one of the companies doing work for the county.  That is the only time that she has ever had any conflict of interest and she did what someone in her position should do: abstain.  However, another commissioner, Andy Allen, works for a man who owns a company who was awarded a county project that was included in the 8 items.  However, he voted for the budget increase rather than abstaining.

Blount County Corrections Partnership – rush to get bids to build
The most alarming thing of the month was the push to rush through a bid process to look at the costs of building another jail pod or new facility.  If you haven’t been paying attention to this issue, now is a good time to start because this could get expensive, quickly.  If you are new to the website, please read some of the history on the jail overcrowding and much more here.  There are several articles to read.

The Blount County Corrections Partnership (BCCP) was finally given some important numbers related to Recovery Court, which was previously called Drug Court.  The information wasn’t joyfully provided.

I’ve asked for more information on Recovery Court for over a year.  Circuit Court Judge Tammy Harrington, who serves as the judge of Recovery Court, was curt, telling me she didn’t have time to gather the information.  What I had actually wanted was for the Program Director to gather the information and present it to us.  However, the Director did not attend the meeting, or any since I’ve been on the BCCP.

At the Budget Committee Workshop last week, Budget Committee member Mike Lewis asked for more information related to the staff costs for Recovery Court vs incarceration costs.  His requested information was included in the information given to the BCCP.

Harrington’s demeanor before the Budget Committee was more pleasant than it has been before the BCCP, probably due to her request for another budget increase.  The increase would be used to fund more staff and training to accommodate more participates.  In general, I support providing more financial resources for Recovery Court but it not responsible to just throw money at something without proper planning.  This was the first time that we were given anything in writing about Recovery Court.

The BCCP was presented with this information after it was presented to the Budget Committee, not before.  The BCCP has been treated as a formality rather than a place to work to reduce the overcrowding in the jail and thereby improve society.

Very few citizens attend the BCCP meetings.  However, a few that have attended have spoken to me after the meetings about Tammy Harrington’s behavior at the meetings.  After the meeting a citizen described her as hostile.  After a previous meeting a citizen described her as condescending.

Harrington told the BCCP that we were dysfunctional because we didn’t immediately settle on a meeting date.  The people of Blount County should be questioning whether someone with that kind of impatience should be sitting as a judge with authority to make life altering decisions.

The Chairman has traditionally announced a date to the BCCP to see if it is agreeable to the members.  No one said they couldn’t attend but the date was rejected because it wasn’t soon enough to ram through a process to seek bids for building estimates.  The BCCP settled on a meeting date after consulting with the members, as it usually does.

She pontificated that she didn’t want to be a part of the BCCP if we weren’t going to take action (while we were talking about seeking an architect to build) but then spoke out of the other side of her mouth saying later that it shouldn’t be assumed that she wanted to build.  Of course, she hasn’t offered much in the way of solutions, so what else is there to conclude from her pompous lecture?

Early into my commission term, I reached out to her to invite her to attend the BCCP to share what she does as a judge and what her goals are for the future.  I also supported adding her as a non-voting member to the BCCP.  However, given how little she has actually brought to the table and her overbearing attitude, it may be best if she does step aside and just occasionally attends.  Perhaps then we might actually hear from the Director of Recovery Court.

Judges Tammy Harrington and Robert Headrick have never faced opponents in contested elections.  Both judges were appointed to their positions.  Headrick was appointed by the county commission to replace judge David Duggan when he vacated the General Sessions judgeship.  Judge Harrington was appointed by Governor Haslam to replace judge Dale Young.

These two are in their positions because they were good at convincing politicians to choose them rather than the people choosing them.  It would be healthy for these two to face opponents in our democratic process rather than remaining in office for life because people are afraid to challenge incumbent judges.

Bob Bass of TCI pushed seeking architect
It became clear to me last year that Bob Bass of the Tennessee Corrections Institute (TCI) intended to push the BCCP to expand the jail.  He popped off that he would have our jail shut down if we didn’t toe the line.  However, he is more mouth than authority.  He doesn’t have the authority to shut a jail down.  He also doesn’t have authority to make us build.  He toed the line at the January BCCP meeting after I spoke with his supervisor about what authority he actually has.  However, he was back true to form this month.

After the meeting a citizen said to me, I didn’t understand what point Bass was making when he spoke.  At the heart of his rant is a bully pushing to build.

Bass knows that he can’t order the county to build and he knows that I know that.  His tactic was to tell us that if we get some estimates on building that the jail may be recertified.  He implied that the jail will lose its certification if we don’t get bids.  That was enough for sheriff’s minions, commissioners Mike Caylor and Rick Carver, to jump on board and proceed full steam ahead without asking the many necessary questions that should be asked. The first question that should be asked, regarding building is build what exactly?  That important detail was not discussed.

The one thing that stopped them from rubber stamping a recommendation to seek building proposals was that that I pointed out that seeking bid proposals wasn’t on our agenda and we couldn’t vote to do something that wasn’t on our published agenda.  That’s the only thing that stopped them from sending that recommendation forward to the commission.  However, that won’t stop them for long.  A meeting has been scheduled for April 7th at 5:30 in room 315 at the courthouse.

The machine has wanted to move the meetings back to a smaller room, where the meetings aren’t video recorded and there is less space for the public to attend.  The only reason they haven’t all been moved downstairs away from the cameras is because I have insisted that the meetings remain in the commission chamber with the cameras rolling.  However, Bob Bass wants them in smaller rooms away from cameras as well, because he doesn’t like being on cameras either.

BCCP is dysfunctional – 5 of 6 voting members are Sheriff’s pals or employees
In her impatience about setting a meeting date Harrington said the BCCP is dysfunctional.  She is right, but for the wrong reason.  The BCCP is dysfunctional and unproductive, as I have written in the past.  The BCCP is dysfunctional because most of the members are closely affiliated with the Sheriff.

There are 6 voting members:
Chairman Jeff Headrick – married to a relative of the Sheriff
Vice Chairman Rick Carver – Sheriff donated to his first commission campaign
Jeff French – Chief Deputy of Sheriff’s Office
John Adams – Captain in the jail
Commissioner Mike Caylor – City of Maryville employee who serves on Boards with the Sheriff.
Commissioner Tona Monroe – no affiliation with the Sheriff

Minions or a couple of Blount County Corrections Partnership members?
Photo: www.designbolts.com

The BCCP is dysfunctional because it was never designed to work in the first place.  The BCCP was originally an ad hoc committee to study jail overcrowding.  This was the second time a committee had been created to look at the matter.

The first ad hoc committee recommended building but the economy tanked; therefore, jail expansion didn’t happen.  The second ad hoc committee was chaired by Tab Burkhalter who actually wanted to explore all options before building.  That threw a kink in the machine’s plan to build.

Rather than getting a quick recommendation to build, a study was commissioned to look at all our options.  That has been buried.  Furthermore, the TCI wanted the ad hoc committee to continue under the new name, the Blount County Corrections Partnership.  It has continued to exist to appease the state and because it can be used as a tool to achieve the goal of expanding the jail.

The machine has been working behind the scenes to make building happen.  The powers that be succeeded in getting Bob Bass to do for them what they lacked the guts to do themselves: push the BCCP to recommend seeking quotes to build.

The political machine really shows what gutless cowards they are on this matter.  The sheriff controls the mayor.  He controls the commission.  He controls the BCCP.  He is good friends with the judges.  He is well connected with the feds.  There has been no groundswell of public opposition against expanding the jail.  Yet, despite being well connected and firmly in control, the sheriff can’t pull the trigger (figuratively speaking).

What the sheriff and his minions have done is get Bob Bass and William Robert Kane to come in and issue a tough sounding, empty fiat, that we need to do something (build).  It is just that, tough sounding talk from bureaucrats, but the sheriff’s minions are treating it as though it has the force and effect of law.

The sheriff, mayor and the commission could have indebted the citizens of Blount County several years ago with a jail expansion but their political cowardice has been what has stopped them.  It is not because they are good stewards of tax money.  It is because they are afraid that the people will unite and throw them out of office.  Therefore, I say it is time to unite and do just that.

Summary
A study was done that said jail expansion wasn’t necessary.  That study was buried with the false threat of a lawsuit by the mayor, to silence discussion on the matter.  There has never been a meeting to hear the conclusions, findings and recommendations of the final report.

The Finance Director and sheriff intentionally cut their budget revenue projections on federal inmates so that money would accumulate and could be used to build, without telling the commission or the public about their plan.

The county has been losing money on the federal inmates for many years.  Costs are higher than the Sheriff’s Office has been saying.

The Tennessee Corrections Institute does not have authority to make Blount County expand its jail.  Bob Bass of the TCI is a bully and his words mean little or nothing.  He has no vote on the Board of Control.  Neither does the Detention Facility Manger William R, Kane, who is actually recommending to the Board of Control that the county’s formal Plan of Action be updated and approved by the TCI Board of Control.

There is more to cover on this matter.  I will write more about this in the future.

Should Blount County expand its jail?  Vote now.

Rick Carver acts as dictator
The Chairman, Jeff Headrick, was absent from the BCCP meeting because he was attending the Republican Party Executive Committee meeting, where he was chosen as the Republican Party’s nominee for Highway Superintendent.

Vice Chairman, Rick Carver, chaired the meeting.  He used the meeting to practice his skills as a dictator.  I requested that discussion and possible action of housing federal inmates be added to the agenda.  Rick Carver said the BCCP couldn’t do anything about it so he wasn’t going to allow it on the agenda.  I asked him if he had authority to stop me from putting anything on the agenda.  He said he didn’t know.  That was a cop-out.  He knows that he can’t stop a commissioner from putting an item on the agenda.  However, the public notice was issued with the agenda item that I requested.

If you would like to tell the BCCP members that the Chairman is not a dictator, here are the email addresses for the BCCP members.

“Jeff French” <jfrench@bcso.com>, “Jeff Headrick” <jheadrick@blounttn.org>, “John Adams” <jadams@bcso.com>, “Michael Gallegos” <mgallegos@blounttn.org>, “Mike Caylor” <bmcaylor@maryville-tn.gov>, “Randy Vineyard” <rvineyard@blounttn.org>, “Richard Carver” <rcarver@blounttn.org>, tharrington@blounttn.org, “Tona Monroe” <tmonroe@blounttn.org>

The bottom line
The only thing that can be done to bring accountability to this matter is YOU.  I am shining light on the matter but I need your help.  If you don’t want your wonderful community to become the next Brushy Mountain prison then you need to rise up and say no to turning the beautiful mountains into the Smoky Mountains mega jail.

Up next
Annual budget hearings are underway.  The next one is April 1, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM at the Blount County Public Library.

Where do you want to cut the budget?  Vote now.

BCCP meeting April 7, 5:30 in room 315 – to ram through a request for cost estimates on building

Is a tax increase coming?
People are asking that question.  Politicians in Blount County can’t keep wasting money the way they have been doing without eventually treating the people as nothing more than ATM machines to withdraw money anytime they want.  I don’t know if there will be a tax increase this year or not.  There have already been several tax increase and there will be more in the future if you don’t get involved.

Please get involved.  That is the only thing that can truly let freedom ring!

Remember when there was a “natural interest” in National Enquirer stories?

by Horatio Bunce

Remember when stories about presidential candidates merely being in the same hotel building with a woman who was not their wife was a big deal to the GOPe? How the GOPe operatives wrung their hands about “double standards” and how “different it would be if this was a Republican”?  Unless of course you mentioned John McCain because then the GOPe became unglued. Watch as alleged Cruz Cuban Mistress Crisis player Amanda Carpenter discusses the merits of National Enquirer journalism when John Edwards was the target:

Funny, now she calls them “tabloid trash”. Note how CNN quickly squelches the conversation after trying the pre-emptive strike to divert the discussion altogether.

Now, if you still believe in the conservative vs. liberal “news” facade, ask yourself where are all the CNN/MSNBC/Salon/Huffington stories on the #CruzSexScandal? Shouldn’t they be attacking a “conservative” when they have the chance?

If Cruz really is a “tea party darling” “outsider” to the GOPe (despite endorsements from Rick Perry, Romney & Jeb!, working for G.W. Bush, etc.), it seems that they would be on top of this  over at Fox/Townhall/ConservativeReview too. But, you say, what if they are making sure the stories are really true first? You mean like they did the non-existent “endorsement” of Donald Trump by David Duke? It’s the same “news” organizations after all.

Over at Planet Kolob, Glenn Beck has already fabricated an excuse to stay behind Cruz (and/or save face as a false prophet): as long as it wasn’t five women – during the campaign. He gives three reasons why he doesn’t think the scandal is true:

Here are the things that I came up with…

First is Ted Cruz. He doesn’t have enough game. We’re not talking Tom Cruise. It’s Ted Cruz, have you watched him?

He’s like that in real life, what you see in the debate is how he always is…

He’s exactly the same. So A, the game. I just don’t see it…

PAT: Maybe during the campaign, you could theoretically see how people are like–

GLENN BECK: Okay, I don’t believe it.

So, number one, no game. Two: I have spent a lot of time with him on the campaign trail. My wife has too. Women especially, and how many times has he been here in the makeup chair with the makeup ladies… That’s where all the dirt comes from, they always have radar because they are always sitting there. I’ve never seen it, my wife has never seen it, women..

If you are going to be a sexual predator –and that’s what you would have to be for five women in four years– a sexual predator. You would see signs of it.

You would hear people say: Oh man, I get a funny feeling from him, you know he said something werid to so-and-so, right?

We’ve had that happen… There’s never been anything said about [Cruz].

Third, This guy is driven… Ted has known that he could be the president from the beginning.

STU: Preparing for this for his whole life.

BECK: I think so. You are not as driven as he as, you are not as smart as he is, and then go in for your last four years before you’re going to run for president, you don’t get to 2012 and say you want to run for president, and think you can get away with it. All recently…

There’s absolutely no way this guy, so buttoned up, knowing that he could be president of the U.S. is that stupid…”

Well, did you notice anything missing from Glenn’s reasoning? What about listening to his god? Didn’t his god tell him Cruz “was anointed for this time”?

“But then he [Dr.Kidd] says, ‘But God has not revealed Ted Cruz as the divinely anointed alternative either.’

To you, Dr. Kidd. To you. To you God hasn’t revealed Cruz as divinely anointed. I understand that. And I respect your opinion on it.

But here’s mine: I have seen this man’s life. I have watched this man. I have prayed about this man. I have prayed about it by myself, out loud, in quiet, with my family, with my staff, and I happen to believe that Ted Cruz actually was anointed for this time. Would there not be someone that was in the pool that might have the right qualifications for God?

Is he that disinterested in all of us? Or is it perhaps possible that just like in the Bible, people were raised from birth for a specific time? Are we that inconsequential, Dr. Kidd? Are we really not that important enough for him to raise someone up, at this critical juncture?”

Or is this going to be another “If that’s what I had said, but that’s not what I said,” moment from the Planet Kolob camp? I’ll answer Glenn’s question “Would there not be someone that was in the pool that might have the right qualifications for God?” with another question:

When did God (the Lord Almighty, the Great I Am, Creator of the universe – not Elohim from Planet Kolob) ever instruct his people to select a man to rule over them?

Deuteronomy 18:22

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

New rabies guidelines

“On March 1, 2016, the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control Committee, under the auspices of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, published revised recommendations for the handling of pets overdue for a rabies re-vaccination in the event they’re exposed to the virus.

The new guidelines, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, recommend that cats and dogs exposed to rabies who are overdue for a vaccine be given a booster shot (re-vaccination) followed by an observation period rather than be quarantined or euthanized.

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/04/06/overdue-rabies-vaccine.aspx

Can’t wait to see how Senator Doug Overbey votes on this one

Apparently several of the Tennessee House Democrats don’t think any international authority should infringe on the gun rights of Tennesseans.  The Tennessee House voted 88-2 to pass legislation sponsored by a Democrat that will prohibit state and local government employees from enforcing international laws and treaties that restrict gun rights protected by the Constitution of Tennessee.   It will be interesting to see how Republican Senator Doug Overbey votes on this one, since he infringes on the gun rights of law abiding Tennessee citizens.

One 629 page example of federal gov’t insanity

This article discusses a recent rule issued by the EPA that is 629 pages.  This is just one rule for one pet project of one agency.  Most Americans have probably never read 629 pages of government regulations in their entire lives.  How could anyone be expected to comply with anything when ONE rule is 629 pages?  The insanity is overwhelming.

Congress should grow a spine and take rulemaking authority away from the bureaucrats.  Congress is suppose to write the laws, not the bureaucrats.

Beltway Conservative Budget Plans Are Big Spending and Anti-Liberty

by Ron Paul

According to a recent poll, 73 percent of all Americans oppose increases in federal spending. Since this anti-government spending sentiment is a major reason Republicans control the House and Senate, one would expect the Republican Congress to hold the line on, or even cut, government spending. Yet, despite the Republican leadership’s rhetoric about “fiscal responsibility,” this year’s House Republican budget spends $104 billion more than the GOP’s 2013 budget.

Some conservatives, most notably the Heritage Foundation, have criticized the GOP budget. Heritage and the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC) have both prepared conservative alternatives to the official Republican budgets. Unfortunately, neither Heritage nor the RSC budgets meaningfully reduce federal spending.

Conservative efforts to reduce the size of government are handicapped by their love affair with the military-industrial complex. Since the Pentagon’s budget makes up the largest category of “discretionary” spending, it seems logical that a serious balanced budget plan would reduce spending on militarism.

Yet many of the same conservatives who (rightly) criticize the Republicans for refusing to cut spending not only oppose cuts to the Pentagon budget, they actually call for increases in military spending! These conservatives refuse to admit that the trillions spent on “regime change” overseas have not only failed to turn the targeted counties into Jeffersonian republics but have actually empowered groups like ISIS.

Conservative support for ever-increasing spending on militarism undercuts their efforts to end corporate welfare. Much of the so-called defense budget is wasted on boondoggles like the F-35 fighter that only defend the lifestyles of defense contractors and their lobbyists.

Despite insisting on increased military spending, the Heritage and RSC budgets both, at least on paper, eliminate the deficit in less than ten years. These budgets contain some other positive elements. For example, the RSC budget calls for an audit of the Federal Reserve. Both budgets repeal Obamacare and provide the American people with much needed tax relief.

The good features of the conservative budgets do not cancel out their flaws. For one thing, neither of the conservative budgets actually cuts spending. Instead, they both use the old DC trick of cutting projected increases in spending. Only in DC could budgets that increase domestic spending be considered a “radical attack on the welfare state.”

The fundamental flaw in the conservative budgets is philosophical: like much of modern American conservatism, the budget accepts the notion that that the American government is both constitutionally authorized to, and capable of, running the economy, running our lives, and running the world. Hence the “conservative” budgets do little or nothing to scale back the federal role in education, housing, welfare, or commerce.

Conservative budgets reform welfare programs by giving the states more authority and flexibility in administering the programs. This may make marginal improvements in the programs, but it does not make the welfare state moral or constitutional. It also does not make government welfare more efficient or compassionate than private charity.

Similarly, while conservatives promise entitlement reforms that give individuals greater control, they refuse to grant young people the option to care for themselves by opting-out of the government entitlement system.

If America is going to avoid a major economic crisis, government spending and debt must be reduced. However, budgets that merely tinker around the edges of the welfare-warfare state, or only reduce the rate of spending increases, merely postpone the day of reckoning. Only a budget that brings the troops home, shuts down unconstitutional agencies, ends all corporate welfare, and begins unwinding our welfare and entitlement programs will ensure future generations enjoy liberty, peace, and prosperity.

Copyright © 2016 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.  Read online

Maybe Beck’s false god, Elohim of Kolob, made him do it

beck-and-cruz-2

photo: theconservativetreehouse.com

by Horatio Bunce

In my theory, the establishment shills are fatally flawed – because they are designed to fail when and if necessary. Also, indiscretions are kept as leverage. And as Fox News chief Roger Ailes admitted to “do[ing] the Rubio thing”, the GOPe game has changed to doing the Cruz thing.

“Beans”? – National Enquirer Runs Story of Multiple Ted Cruz Affairs…

The list of ladies includes CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter:

Amanda Carpenter is the conservative activist, CNN contributor, and writer for Mark Levin and the Conservative Review who recently published a “BLACKLIST” targeting anyone who supports Ted Cruz’s primary opponent, Donald Trump.”

Also pictured is Donald Trump’s campaign national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson. Wow, if that is true, Cruz has to have been sweating bullets since she came on the campaign scene.

So, what to make of Glen Beck’s accusations of southern voters?

But all throughout the South the Evangelicals are not listening to their God. Let us raise a standard in Utah. Let us do this one thing perfectly right….So here’s what I’m saying to you — the reason why I’m bringing this up, and I’ve been wanting to say this for a very long time: Where the hell are the priesthood holders? Where are you? Thank you. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to stand up. You know what time it is. The priesthood is supposed to rise up and restore the Constitution. Now is that time. Period.”

I am not sure what god we were supposed to be listening to. See Glen, unlike your Planet Kolob gospel from those gold plates nobody ever saw, the Lord Almighty has already sent a Great High Priest, a priest after the order of Melchisedec – AND THERE IS BUT ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN – and it ain’t no stinking earthly king. I am sure good evangelicals know where to find that in Hebrews.