The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Budget-Barfing, Hungry Power-Grab Act of 2010

On Thursday, the House voted 264-157 (mostly along party lines) to pass S. 3307, a 220-page, $4.5B monstrosity so-named "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010", the brainchild of Michelle Obama and last May's congressional conceiver, now lame-quack Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

The bill--expected shortly to be signed into law by Michelle's husband--is clearly unconstitutional as it expands grasp of federal government into the domain of the states through funding of school lunches. Nowhere in our Constitution is the federal branch of government granted the right to meddle with our kids' education; indeed the 10th Amendment allows these non-enumerated powers to be reserved to the States:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

S. 3307 was first passed in August by unanimous consent in the Senate rather than a floor vote. For Utah, this means that neither GOP Senators Hatch nor Bennett stood up to voice any objection to yet another unconstitutional power-grab by the federal government. While Bennett is scheduled in January to be replaced by Mike Lee ("I will not vote for a single piece of legislation that I can’t reconcile with the text and the original understanding of the U.S. Constitution," NBC quote / C-SPAN full video of speech), the consent vote certainly leaves Hatch open for just criticism as he prepares to run yet again in 2012.

Rep. John Kline (MN-02), Senior Republican on the House Committee on Education and Labor, took a courageous stance against S. 3307. One of the truths he points out in his widely-underreported Floor Statement was in debunking the myth that S. 3307 was "fully paid for" as touted by the media. While much of the money for S. 3307 comes from cuts in the Federal Food Stamp program, this was additional unused one-time monies coming from the Stimulus bill and will leave us long-term further indebted (emphasis mine below):

...The majority claims this bill is “paid for.” They want us to believe we can grow government with no cost or consequences. But the American people know that is just not true.

More spending is more spending, whether or not those dollars are offset elsewhere in the massive federal budget. But one offset in this bill is particularly questionable.

The truth is, at least some portion of the billions in new program costs is deficit spending. This money was borrowed from our children and grandchildren in 2009 when it was put in the stimulus; that borrowed money is simply being redirected today.

This bill – with its so-called “pay for” – is merely a stalling tactic. It obscures
government expansion in the short-term so this bill can become law and its spending can become permanent.
So here we stand, playing a shell game with the federal budget and hoping the American people do not notice that government continues to grow, spending continues to expand, and our children continue to fall deeper and deeper into debt.

In his statement Rep. Kline further highlights that S. 3307:

  • Nets opposition from local school leaders responsible for implementing these new requirements because of rigid mandates and higher costs
  • Creates or expands 17 separate federal programs
  • Implements dangerous federal price controls, as highlighted by the National Governors Association
Utah's Representatives fell in line as one would expect with Matheson voting along with the Democrats to expand government and indebtedness while Bishop and Chaffetz opposed.

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