The 17th Amendment's short-circuit of the chain of command, combined with the Federal Reserve's Cosmic Credit Card, are ruinous:
At first, Mr. Nelson defended his Medicaid buy-off as a service to his constituents, two-thirds of whom tell pollsters they oppose the overall bill. But the lucre was denounced by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and Republican Senator Mike Johanns.The Senator should represent the interests of the individual State, and the funding for entitlements should be derived from a level of government exhibiting fiscal sobriety.
"Nebraskans don't want a special deal," said Mr. Johanns. "The special deal for Nevada was wrong, the carve-outs for Louisiana, Vermont, and Massachusetts are wrong, and the same applies to the backroom deal for Nebraska. All of the special deals should be removed. If the bill cannot pass without carve-outs, what further evidence is needed that it is bad policy?"
Entitlement programs that are not funded from a balanced budget are simply theft. It's a game of musical chairs where the participants, across time, stand still and rip the chair from the hands of the next generation.
This is an not an argument that there would be less corruption without Amendment 17. No, if you could measure it, the net corruption would be equal. However, instead of a positive feedback loop:
And, sure enough, Mr. Nelson admitted yesterday amid a defensive near-meltdown on the Senate floor that "Three Senators came up to me just now on the [Senate] floor and said, 'Now we understand what you did. We'll be seeking this funding too.'" Mr. Nelson now says "it's not a special deal for Nebraska. It is in fact an opportunity to get rid of an unfunded federal mandate."...keeping the corruption at a State level would spare 95% of the country from outbursts of Nelsonism, and, possibly, allow federal oversight to review processes.
The vampire that is the Federal Reserve desperately needs a stake in the heart. However, the combination of the 17th Amendment and the Federal Reserve has us on the ropes. The Federal debt alcoholic will not give up the bottle. It will just keep chugging until the public liver explodes.
The Progressive Left seems to think this situation all jolly good. The Progressive Right joins in mute support of the problem. I would like to see Senator DeMint speak out for something along the lines of the Federalism Amendment. The status quo is an unsustainable crock of compost. While I applaud and support the tactical efforts with the Congress at hand, the strategic vacuum grows depressing.
Progressivism will wait, undead totalitarian zombie that it is, until the Tea Parties run out of gas, and just continue the economic warfare of using debt to kill this country. If the Tea Parties don't gel around reform ideas that remove the systemic drivers that have put us in this full Nelson, then the signs and the yelling and the blog posts and the slogans were all fun, but really just so many dying gasps of democracy.
Update: Blogprof, "We are now functioning under a parliamentary form of government"
Update II: Andy McCarthy says it well:
The Dems have already factored in that likelihood and are betting — over the long haul — that even if the GOP cuts deeply into Dem majorities or takes over Congress (and even takes over the White House in 2012), Republicans will lack the commitment (and perhaps the numbers) to roll back what the Left is accomplishing now.No kidding. Swapping out names is moot. If you haven't explained the strategy for restoring the three-branch/three-tier government, you haven't explained much. The Progressive GOP must destroy itself to preserve itself.
That is, our guys are focused myopically on a battle the Democrats have already figured they can afford to lose. The real battle is: What do you do when you get back in power? Do you have a plan for how to undo what is being done? Do you frame the coming elections in a way that converts victory into a mandate not only to stop what Obama is doing but to undo what he has done?
I'm hearing a lot from our side about making big gains in the upcoming elections. That's not strategy or victory. You have to have a plan for what those gains would translate into. Democrats, by contrast, have a real plan for how what they're doing today will sustain Big Government, and themselves, over the long term, regardless of occasional electoral losses.
Failing that, let's just have a national Prozac entitlement. This 'Brave New World' is not why I have served my country these years.
Update III: Having said all that, Moe Lane rocks.