West Suburban Patriots

an independent Tea Party group in DuPage County, IL

Federalism: Case for Reinvigorating State's Rights

Federalism: Case for Reinvigorating State's Rights

There is an ongoing battle over the proper size and role of the federal government, especially as it relates to conflicts with state governments over legislative authority. Conservatives believe that state and local governments should be empowered to handle local issues such as healthcare, education, immigration, and many other social and economic laws.

Original Constitutional Roles

There is little question that the current role of the federal government far exceeds anything ever imagined by the founders and has clearly taken over many roles originally designated to individual states.

The founding fathers, through the U.S. Constitution, sought to limit the possibility of a strong centralized government and in fact gave the federal government a very limited list of responsibilities. Simplified, the founders thought that the federal government should handle issues that it would be difficult or unreasonable for states to handle such as the maintenance of military and defense operations, negotiating with foreign countries, creating currency, and regulating commerce with foreign countries. Ideally, individual states would then handle all most matters that they reasonably could. The founders even went further in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights to prevent the federal government from grabbing too much power.

Benefits of Stronger State Governments

One of the clear benefits of a weaker federal government and stronger state governments is that the needs of each individual state are more easily managed. Alaska, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Florida are all very different states with very different needs, populations, and values.

A law that may make sense in New York might make little sense in Alabama. For example: Some states have determined it is necessary to prohibit the use of fireworks due to an environment that is highly susceptible to wild fires. Other states have no such problems and have laws that allow fireworks. It would not be valuable for the federal government to make one standardized law for all states prohibiting fireworks when only a handful of states need such a law in place. State control also empowers states to make tough decisions for their own well-being rather than hope that the federal government will see the states’ problem as a priority.

A strong state government also empowers citizens in two ways. First, state governments are far more responsive to the needs of the residents of their state. If important issues are not addressed, then voters can hold elections and vote in people they feel are better suited to handle the problems. However, if an issue is only important to one state and the federal government has authority over that issue, then they have little influence to get the change they seek as they are but a small part of a larger electorate. Second, empowered state governments also allow individuals to choose the state that best fit their own personal values. Families and individuals are able to choose states that either have no or low income taxes, or states with higher ones. They can opt for states with weak or strong guns laws, with restrictions on marriage or without them, and so on. Some people may prefer to live in a state that offers a wide range of government programs and services, others may not. But just as the free market allows individuals to pick and choose products or services they like, so to can they choose a state that best fits their lifestyle. An over-reaching federal government limits this option.

Continue reading full article at http://usconservatives.about.com/od/conservativepolitics101/a/The-C...

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Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:35pm

Michigan Bill Would Restrict ALPR use; Help Block National

License Plate Tracking Program

‎Today, ‎January ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎8 hours ago | Mike MaharreyGo to full article

LANSING, Mich. (Jan. 29, 2016) – A bill filed in the Michigan legislature would put limitations on the storage and sharing of information collected by Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) by law enforcement in the state, and place significant roadblocks in the way of a federal program using states to help track the location of millions of everyday people through pictures of their license plates.

Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:31pm

Virginia House Committee Votes 22-0 on Bill Expanding Health Freedom

‎Today, ‎January ‎29, ‎2016, ‏‎4 hours ago | Mike MaharreyGo to full article

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 29, 2016) – A Virginia bill that would help facilitate healthcare freedom and set the foundation to nullify Obamacare in practice unanimously passed out of committee Thursday.

Rep. R. Steven Landes introduced House Bill 685 (HB685) earlier this month. The legislation specifies that direct primary care agreements (sometimes called medical retainer agreements) do not constitute insurance, thereby freeing doctors and patients from the onerous requirements and regulations under the state insurance code.

The bill unanimously passed out of the Commerce and Labor committee yesterday. The vote was 22-0. It is now eligible for a debate and vote on the full House floor.

According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, by removing a third party payer from the equation, medical retainer agreements help both physicians and patients minimize costs. Jack Spencer writes:

“Under medical retainer agreements, patients make monthly payments to a physician who in return agrees to provide a menu of routine services at no extra charge. Because no insurance company stands between patient and doctor, the hassles and expense of bureaucratic red tape are eliminated, which have resulted in dramatic cost reductions. Routine primary care services (and the bureaucracy required to reimburse them) are estimated to consume 40 cents out of every dollar spent on insurance policies, so lower premiums for a given amount of coverage are another potential benefit.”

This represents the kind of cost control Obamacare promised, but failed to deliver.

Under Obamacare, regulations define such programs as a primary care service and not a health insurance plan, and current IRS policy treats these monthly fee arrangements just like another health plan.

Several states including Idaho, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri passed similar bills in 2015.

Continue reading at Tenth Amendment Center  http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/01/virginia-house-committ...

Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:29pm

Illinois Bill Would Help Block Federal Militarization of Police

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Jan. 29, 2016) – A bill filed in the Illinois Senate would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from obtaining certain types of military hardware from the federal government, and would require public notice before they acquire authorized equipment. Passage of this legislation would represent a big step toward stopping the federal militarization of state and local police.

Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) introduced Senate Bill 2256 (SB2256) on Jan. 27. The legislation would prohibit local police and county sheriffs from procuring the following military surplus equipment from any federal program.

  • Tracked armored vehicles
  • Weaponized aircraft, vessels or vehicles
  • Firearms of .50 caliber or higher
  • Ammunition of .50 caliber or higher
  • Grenade launchers
  • Bayonets
  • Camouflage uniforms

The legislation would also require a local police agency or sheriff’s office to give public notice within 14 days after requesting allowable military surplus equipment.

This type of public disclosure could lead to public pressure to stop militarization at the local level before it happens.

The law would not only apply to equipment available through the federal 1033 Program, but also to gear available for purchase using grants offered by the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies.

FEDERAL SURPLUS AND GRANT MONEY

Through the federal 1033 Program, local police departments procure military grade weapons, including automatic assault rifles, body armor and mine resistant armored vehicles – essentially unarmed tanks. Police departments can even get their hands on military helicopters and other aircraft.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) runs the “Homeland Security Grant Program,” which in 2013 gave more than $900 million in counterterrorism funds to state and local police. According to a 2012 Senate report, this money has been used to purchase tactical vehicles, drones, and even tanks with little obvious benefit to public safety. And, according to ProPublica, “In 1994, the Justice Department and the Pentagon funded a five-year program to adapt military security and surveillance technology for local police departments that they would otherwise not be able to afford.”

Local agencies almost never have the funds needed to purchase this kind of equipment, and federal money is the only way they can afford it. By banning purchases with federal funding, SB2256 would effectively nullify the effect of such federal “grant” programs.

COMMAND AND CONTROL ...... Read more at Tenth Amendment Center

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/01/illinois-bill-would-he...

Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:23pm

Governor Abbott Signs Legislation To Establish State Bullion Depository

Friday, June 12, 2015  •  Austin, Texas  •  Signature Statement

Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Bill 483 (Capriglione, R-Southlake; Kolkhorst, R-Brenham) to establish a state gold bullion depository administered by the Office of the Comptroller. The law will repatriate $1 billion of gold bullion from New York to Texas. The bullion depository will serve as the custodian, guardian and administrator of bullion that may be transferred to or otherwise acquired by the State of Texas. Governor Abbott issued the following statement:

“Today I signed HB 483 to provide a secure facility for the State of Texas, state agencies and Texas citizens to store gold bullion and other precious metals. With the passage of this bill, the Texas Bullion Depository will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation, increasing the security and stability of our gold reserves and keeping taxpayer funds from leaving Texas to pay for fees to store gold in facilities outside our state."  http://gov.texas.gov/news/signature/21038/

Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:14pm

Oklahoma Bill Would Establish Bullion Depository, Help Facilitate Transactions in Gold and Silver

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (Jan. 29, 2016) – A bill prefiled in the Oklahoma House would create a state gold depository, an important first step toward establishing gold and silver as commonly used legal tender in the state.

Sen. Nathan Dahm prefiled Senate Bill 1296 (SB1296) earlier this week for official introduction when the regular session begins on Feb. 1. The legislation would create the Oklahoma Bullion Depository. The depository would serve as the custodian, guardian and administrator of gold, silver and other precious metals transferred or acquired by the state, or an agency, political subdivision or other instrumentality of the state. The depository would also accept deposits of gold and silver by private individuals.

Most significantly SB1296 establishes a mechanism for individuals to engage in transactions with using precisious metals including gold and silver.

“In accordance with the rules promulgated under this act, a depository account holder may transfer any portion of the balance of the holder’s depository account by check, draft, or digital electronic instruction to another depository account holder or to a person who at the time the transfer is initiated is not a depository account holder.”

The legislation creates a regulatory structure for the depository and all transactions facilitated through it. It also establishes criteria for depository agents.

SB1296 is based on a similar bill that was passed in Texas and signed into law last year.

GOLD AND SILVER TRANSACTIONS

In short, a person will be able to deposit gold or silver – and pay other people through electronic means or checks – in sound money. Doing so has the potential to open the market to sounds money in day-to-day transactions.

By making gold and silver available for regular, daily transactions by the general public, the new law has the potential for wide-reaching effect. Professor William Greene is an expert on constitutional tender and said in a paper for the Mises Institute that when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes).

As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people.

While SB1296 won’t nullify the Fed’s monetary monopoly on its own, it represents an important step forward in that direction.

THE CONSTITUTION

Currently, all debts and taxes in Oklahoma must either get paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars), authorized as legal tender by Congress, or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.

But the United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

The creation of the Oklahoma Gold Depository would take a step toward that constitutional requirement, ignored for decades in every state. Such a tactic would undermine the monopoly the Federal Reserve System by introducing competition into the monetary system.

UP NEXT

SB1296 will be assigned to a committee once the regular session gets underway next week. It will have to pass that committee by a majority vote before moving on to the full Senate for consideration.

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/01/oklahoma-bill-would-es...

Comment by SJ on January 29, 2016 at 7:13pm

Uncommon Sense: "It's The States Stupid"

The exquisitely balanced governmental system is lopsided and failing primarily due to changes in the U. S. Constitution and Congressional law. The challenges, much to the chagrin of all 21st Century popular movements, from Organizing for America to the Tea Party Express, are not correctible by a populist movement unless the Republic's cancer, a constitutional amendment and a simple public law, is CUT OUT. They are a plague on America and the cancer in the tri-partite system.

The government of the people, by the people and for the people can only be restored by the repeal of the 17th Amendment that stripped States of their U.S. Senate stewardship and ability to check the Federal Government.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRQtqW5HQiA

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