Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – If you’re a new listener, I just want to catch you up on this. I am not being partisan here. I don’t care for, as a matter of fact I despise, partisan politics. If I could do anything with the rest of my life, if I had a choice, it would be to not talk about partisan politics forever. Let’s just get that out of the way here. If the Democrat Party were doing the same thing that the Republican Party is doing right now, in other words, I would be in their corner. I would be yelling and screaming and jumping up and down and setting my hair on fire and saying they are correct, that they are morally and constitutionally in the correct position. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Daniel Larison at American Conservative Magazine is also apoplectic over this. Here’s the headline: “Small-Government Conservative Self-Sabotage.” What does that mean?
It would be bad enough if small-government Republicans were merely being short-sighted and committed to a losing strategy, but what makes these tactics more harmful to the cause of small-government conservatism is that they reflect no sense of prudence or consideration of unintended consequences.
Mike: You know where the unintended consequences come from? We expect them in the real world. We expect them in the material world. We expect them in our personal lives. We expect them in our family lives. We expect them in our business lives. We write things down and ask government to deal with the ones that we don’t expect. That’s what a government is supposed to do, enforce the laws, keep the cheaters and looters from being able to legally profit from their activities, and just a few other assorted things, should we be invaded, raise enough money to raise an army, and defend us. What is this business here about unintended consequences?
This is not just a question of making the right political calculation. It is also a question of matching means to ends, and making a correct assessment of the risks and costs involved.
Take the recent claims from many conservatives in Congress that there won’t be a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. Even if it were technically possible to prioritize payments in the way that they claim . . .
Mike: Daniel, I love ya, brother, but it is technically and legally possible to prioritize payments because all spending bills, all bills for raising revenue originate in the House of Representin’. You can originate the bill, which I believe has already been originated and already passed. What they’re talking about here is the CR, the continuing resolution, that the authority of it has expired. This is what has led to the shutdown. I marvel at this. This is just marvelous here, and I don’t mean marvelous in a good sense. Congress can always prioritize what it is going to spend and how it is going to spend it. There is no constitutional edict that says Congress has to spend any money, nothing. It can, this is why we have a legislative process, but it doesn’t have to. Remember, if we listen to the words of the preamble of Article I, Section 8, you get a pretty good idea of what the framers of the Constitution — if the Constitution is still in force or matters, which I think to most people it doesn’t, so I don’t know why I bother to ready this stuff — it says: “The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” This is the preamble. There’s no force of law here. What it’s saying is you can raise an army, tax in order to pay for it, and if you run up any debts while you’re raising the army, then you can raise taxes to pay them back, too.
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Notice in the order of the preamble to Article I, Section 8, we find the two things we’re talking about these days. One is “The Congress shall have the Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” So Congress is authorized to pay the debts. This is a principle job. What were they talking about? There were war debts from the Revolutionary War, the war for independence from Great Britain. There were war debts that had to be repaid. They knew that if they ever got into another war with a country like Great Britain, you’d probably ring up more debts. You’d have to borrow more money. So Congress had to be authorized to repay it. This is a principle enumerated power, that there is no option, if it is out there it has to be repaid. To say there’s damage being done and to imply that Congress can’t prioritize, “even if that were technically possible,” not only is it technically possible, it is constitutionally demanded. There’s an edict here. There’s a precedent.
Again, this is the preamble. It doesn’t have any force of law. It’s just setting up what the enumerated powers are meant to do. “Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” That’s not the only time in the Constitution we find the word uniform or equally apportioned. What are they saying there? They’re saying if you pass any taxes, they have to be uniform. In another clause in the Constitution, they must be, if a capitation or direct tax is laid, it must be equally apportioned. Is an Obamacare tax that is laid on the heads of the people where some people are allowed to cash in an exemption, is that uniform throughout the United States? No, it is not. Were some people who were allowed an exemption, is that equally apportioned? No.
To me and to you, we should view the interruption of unnecessary government services and transfers of wealth payments, we should view this as the necessary course of action since we’re talking about the latest not-equally-apportioned or non-uniform excise, duty or impost (tax) imposed on the United States. The Congress therefore has a constitutional duty to abolish that part of the Affordable Care Act. Yes, I can hear you screaming, I can hear you. That means they would have to abolish most other parts of the tax code. We’re not dealing with that. We’re dealing with this particular bill and the people that are haranguing the Republican leadership in the Congress about it.
If you’re a new listener, I just want to catch you up on this. I am not being partisan here. I don’t care for, as a matter of fact I despise, partisan politics. If I could do anything with the rest of my life, if I had a choice, it would be to not talk about partisan politics forever. Let’s just get that out of the way here. If the Democrat Party were doing the same thing that the Republican Party is doing right now, in other words, I would be in their corner. I would be yelling and screaming and jumping up and down and setting my hair on fire and saying they are correct, that they are morally and constitutionally in the correct position. Why does it seem like it’s just me and Wilkow out here on this island? I haven’t heard anyone else.
If you turn the radio or television on, or if you have the displeasure of opening up your favorite website, you’re going to be regaled with people going [mocking] “Throw the white flag up. For God sakes, don’t default, our economy depends on it!” If our economy depends on the government of the United States borrowing more money than they’ve already borrowed, then what kind of an economy is that? Is that a fiscally sound one? Does it sound like an economy that’s going to actually turn a profit? Does it sound like a productive and fruitful endeavor or does this sound like a suicidal one? It sounds suicidal to me. I don’t know, maybe I’m just whacked in the head.
In any event, looking at these things and trying to not be partisan about them, I find myself in agreement with those that are holding the line in the Republican-controlled House. Do not surrender that debt ceiling. I know that they are. They’re going to surrender that debt ceiling. They’re going to borrow more money, there’s no doubt, but we have a teachable moment and a great civics lesson here if we would just take advantage of it.
End Mike Church Show Transcript