Presidents from Monroe to Obama have used Signing Statements.

Presidents from Monroe to Obama have used Signing Statements.

For my last article I explored the issue of Executive Orders and the Executive Branch.  The bookend to this subject is something a bit more controversial: Signing Statements.  According to The American Presidency Project, Signing Statements are:

“Often signing statements merely comment on the bill signed, saying that it is good legislation or meets some pressing needs.  The more controversial statements involve claims by presidents that they believe some part of the legislation is unconstitutional and therefore they intend to ignore it or to implement it only in ways they believe is constitutional.”

Just as Executive Orders have not always been known as such, the same is true with Signing Statements.  In 1822 President James Monroe issued what we today call a Signing Statement saying that “he had resolved what he saw as a confusion in the law in a way that the thought was consistent with his constitutional authority.”

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Last weekend, over 5,000 people gathered in Cincinnati to protest the bailouts and multi-trillion dollar spending in Washington in a Modern Day Boston Tea Party. Michelle Malkin reports that this is the beginning of a growing revolutionary movement. “The tax-paying rebels are not going away. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, March 7, an estimated 500 protesters gathered for a Tea Party at Titletown Brewing. Similar Tea Parties have been held in Seattle, Denver, Mesa, Arizona, Olathe, Kansas and in other cities around the country but the Cincinnati protest is by far the largest one yet.

The Tea Party concept, of course, gets its name from the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773 when colonial Americans said to George III of England that the colonists would not accept any further taxes imposed by the Crown unless they had representation in Parliament and were able to speak on and vote on all issues. The colonists just wanted a seat at the decision table. When George III denied the colonists that seat, revolution was all but assured.

Strangely, as citizens of the United States with elected representatives in Congress, we find ourselves in a position very similar to colonial Americans almost 250 years ago. While we elect our representatives and senators and technically their votes reflect our wishes, increasingly they pass legislation and increase taxes without checking with their constituents.

Click to continue reading “Nationwide Tea Party”

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Politico reports House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) didn’t rule out the the idea of a second stimulus package and said Wednesday he would be willing to sit down with the White House and congressional Democrats to discuss any new emergency spending proposals.

Citing the current economic crisis, Cantor acknowledged: “You have to.”

The Richmond congressman said, though, that he would only support a bill that differed from the first stimulus and included additional tax cuts for small businesses.

Meanwhile, many others on Capitol Hill express ignorance when a second stimulus package is mentioned. Our question is: If there aren’t results from a first stimulus package, why try for a second? Won’t it only drop us deeper into the black hole of debt?

But while Congress is now throwing around the words “Billions and Billions” like Carl Sagan used to a quarter century ago when talking about the vast expanses of the universe, the new buzzword is Trillion. Already several trillion dollars have been authorized when you add up the TARP funds, the Citibank and AIG and Auto Bailout Money, and the Recovery Act of 2009. Unfortunately, Americans aren’t screaming about this as loudly as they should be, mostly because a trillion of anything is far beyond our comprehension as a species to understand. We’re discussing and throwing numbers around in our media like we understand them, but in reality the concepts a billion and trillion represent are so vast they are normally only used when discussing phenomenon out in space in our universe.

Click to continue reading “$1 Trillion in Perspective”

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Elizabeth Williamson of the Wall Street Journal reports that The travel industry is taking aim at Democrats’ efforts to limit luxury travel by companies that accept government bailouts with a new advertising campaign that says the attacks on travel are costing jobs. The article is important because it clearly explains the other side of the coin, or in other words, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, or to put it even more simply, consequences.

Certainly the media were correct to report the largesse of AIG’s top salespersons’ conferences and conventions where executives rung up thousands of dollars in alcohol after AIG received an $85 Billion bailout from the government. Spending like that was out of line and in poor taste as long as the taxpayers are footing the bill. However, business travel is legitimate and helps the economy as long as it’s within a company’s budget and the company is profitable and can justify the travel with a resultant revenue stream and return on investment for shareholders. Absolutely travel can be wasteful when travel decisions are made for the wrong reasons. If a company has the money to spend and it’s budgeted and it’s generating a revenue stream that pays for its travel expenses, the travel is fine. If a company is in bailout or bankruptcy and its purpose is a business perk, maybe not so much. Like any other, it’s a complex issue.

Click to continue reading “WSJ Reports Travel Industry Slams Obama for Limits on Business Travel”

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President Obama made a pledge to the American people that there would be a transparent website to track and calculate where the funds being spent on economic recovery were going to and how they were being allocated. The site: Recovery.Gov has been developed and has a section that provides an Accountability and Transparency tab, the ability to view financial disbursements per each individual state, and many other features that will be incorporated into the site as it continues to develop.

Click to continue reading “Recovery.Gov is Up and Running”

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