May 24, 2021
Our May magazine published over the weekend, have you read it yet?
The feature story this month takes you behind the scenes of the recent billionaire battle between a gold guru and a crypto expert. Whether you’re a gold bug or a bitcoin buff, it’s a fantastic read…
We’ve got a powerhouse of writers for you this issue:
- Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz says To Hell With the Oscars,
- New York Times columnist John Tierney argues the COVID lockdowns did much more harm than good,
- RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny makes a compelling argument that deficits aren’t always a reason to panic,
- Car and Driver magazine writer John Phillips shares the latest about electric vehicles,
- And so much more.
And while we think our content is the best around, we’d love to hear your take! E-mail us at [email protected] and let us know your thoughts.
Today, we’re sharing Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke’s latest essay from the magazine…
America’s Worst Made Plans Come Home to Roost
The Biden administration has a lot of plans…
In his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden has already proposed “The American Rescue Plan” ($1.9 trillion), “The American Jobs Plan” ($2.3 trillion), and “The American Families Plan” ($1.8 trillion). That’s $6 trillion so far.
These plans… Do they mean families need to be rescued from jobs or your job needs to be rescued from you or you need to be rescued from your family? I can’t quite tell…
The Biden administration has a lot of explaining to do – as the planning continues and the $6 trillion of your money gets spent.
Six trillion dollars is about $18,000 for every person in the U.S. Hope you weren’t planning to do anything with that 18 grand…
I was planning on buying a used pickup truck and a new roof for the chicken coop.
But as the poet Robert Burns said…
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley.
(“Gang aft a-gley” being Scots dialect meaning “after taxes and inflation.”)
Certainly one of the best-laid schemes of men (mice really didn’t come into it, though I’ve got some in the chicken coop) was the U.S. Constitution.
And a notable feature of the Constitution is that it contains no plans.
The Constitution guarantees our freedom, but – on purpose – it doesn’t tell us what to do with that freedom. We wouldn’t be free if it did.
A leaky chicken coop and no pickup in which to haul away the old shingles aren’t making me feel more free than I felt before Biden was elected. (And I have a flock of wet hens who are also pretty mad at the Biden administration.)
The Constitution contains no plans, but it does have a design. The document is painstakingly organized to create a form of government that keeps certain parts of the nation from exerting undue power over other parts of the nation.
In 1788, when the Constitution was ratified, this was a matter of balancing the interests of big states with small states, northern states with southern states, and the original eastern 13 states with the nascent western states of the future.
Thus, South Carolina wasn’t allowed to plan New York’s Erie Canal so that it began in Albany but went to Charleston instead of Buffalo.
Today, when states themselves are of somewhat less importance, it’s a matter of balancing indignant urban self-righteousness with hinterland righteous indignation.
Thus the residents of Portland, Oregon, aren’t allowed to draw up the plans for my chicken coop… Which, if they had it their way, would be solar-powered, constructed from sustainable organic materials such as recycled cardboard bong packaging, cover six acres in order to meet minimum free-range poultry-raising requirements, and contain no chickens due to vegan concerns for the ethical treatment of animals.
There’s another, even more important aspect of the Constitution’s design. This is to keep certain parts of the government from exerting undue power over… the government.
The executive branch is supposed to saddle the legislative branch, which is supposed to keep a tight rein on the judicial branch… which is supposed to halter the executive branch, which is supposed to tie the legislative branch to the hitching post and so on.
This “separation of powers” political horse-wrangling was an attempt to prevent the federal government from stampeding.
As I mentioned, my chicken coop is rickety and a wild Biden/Harris/Pelosi herd galloping through my barnyard could trample it.
Amendments IX and X in the Bill of Rights are clear on the subject of “hold your horses:”
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
We can make our own damn plans. We don’t need the Biden administration to do it for us.
Indeed, it’s dubious on what grounds the Biden administration has the authority to take $6 trillion of our money and plan to do whatever it wants with it.
In my opinion, this violates the 4th Amendment clause ensuring “The right of the people to be secure in their persons [and chickens], houses [and coops], papers [including pickup truck title and registration], and effects [eggs] from unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Not to mention the 5th Amendment clause stating, “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
Eighteen thousand dollars of my private property is being taken for public use in The American Rescue Plan, The American Jobs Plan, and The American Families Plan. I’d say just compensation for that would be… $18,000 (plus, of course, another $18,000 for my wife and $54,000 for our three kids).
The man who made twenty-three 1,000% recommendations just unveiled his #1 stock live on camera right here.
But you may be thinking, “They’re going to get that $6 trillion by taxing corporations, soaking the rich, and borrowing money from sucker countries like China. The $18,000 isn’t coming out of my wallet.” Take a look in your wallet. See that dollar bill? What does it say in small print up above George Washington’s right ear?
LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
What happens when sucker countries like China quit borrowing? Or wise up and start charging the kind of interest rates that ought to be charged for a $6 trillion loan to a bunch of worthless nags bucking and rearing and busting out of their corral? Your legal tender is going to get tenderized and wind up about as valuable as a horsemeat sandwich.
And rich corporations? Where do they get the money to pay for a hike in taxes? By hiking the prices they charge you.
And those soaked rich? Think they’ll be hiring you to towel them off?
Maybe you’re under the impression that $6 trillion in government spending means you’re going to get $18,000. But as Abraham Lincoln pointed out in the Gettysburg Address, our government is “of the people, by the people, for the people.”
You are these people… The Biden administration’s plans are $6 trillion of your money, spent by you, for which you’ll have to pay.
When the Biden administration comes knocking on the door looking to get that $18,000 from each and every one of us, I hope you’ll join me while I take a seat on the egg crates dodging raindrops and saying, “Nobody in here but us chickens.”
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