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Make the Shutdown of Undesirable Federal Departments and Agencies Permanent
Raymond Richman, 10/4/2013

A Continuing Resolution is an abomination. The House of Representatives under the Constitution of the US was established by the first article of the Constitution. The Constitution provides that “All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

The Senate under Harry Reid has been acting unconstitutionally as it pretends to have equal authority on spending and revenue matters with the House of Representatives. If that were so, why does the Constitution give exclusive power to initiate revenue measures to the House, the federal body closest to the people?

Senators in the original Constitution were “chosen by the Legislature” of each state. The Senate was intended to act on behalf of the States to prevent the federal government's encroachment on its powers and legislation harmful to the States. While the 17th Amendment provided for the popular election of Senators there was no change in the powers of the Senate. The States’ legislatures in passing this amendment abandoned the ability to prevent the encroachment of the Federal Government on the powers of the States. Witness the establishment of the Federal Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education; formerly the exclusive concern of state governments.

The House passed a budget each year for the past five years but the Democratic Senate refused to consider them – which was unconstitutional behavior. The House has been sending bill after bill on the budget and the Senate has been tabling them without consideration. The Senate has been in effect vetoing the budget bills of the House of Representatives.

Clearly, the Senate has become the elitist body the founders feared it could become. When it comes to the budget, the Senate is not co-equal to the House of Representatives. The House originated the budget bill and the Senate has not even debated it.

Nor is the President co-equal with the House. He is chosen by Electors appointed by the States. They may take their cues for whom to vote for by a popular election but there is nothing in the Constitution that requires them to do so. There is nothing in the Constitution, original or amended, that provides for the president to be elected by popular vote.

The President asserts that Obamacare was confirmed by his re-election but in the same election, the people elected a House of Representatives of the opposing party. It is the House through which the people speak and rule. The House of Representatives should not acquiesce in unconstitutional behavior by the Senate or the President and should withhold funding for all the agencies and programs it considers undesirable. It should fund only those it considers appropriate and none it considers undesirable.

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Comment by Larry Walker, Jr., 10/6/2013:

Very well put. I concur.




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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

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  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

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  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]