* Congress cannot be exempt from any law imposed upon the people of this country, and they cannot have separate laws which benefit themselves financially or with greater legal protections than all Americans. [e.g. no government-provided pensions other than Social Security; no pensions or special benefits for having served in Congress]
* Congress cannot vote on their own pay raises. Pay will increase/decrease by the COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment.)
* The government is bloated. Instead of the usual presumed annual increase in size of all departmental or program budgets, the basis going forward is an automatic presumed budget decrease of at least 1% each year for the next 10 years, in all federal government departments/agencies/programs. Congress must vote for there to be any less of a reduction, or for any increase in the budget, as a separate bill for each department/agency/program. They can only decrease individual cuts if the overall reduction remains at least 1%.
* Eliminate or significantly reduce some/all federal agencies which provide services not delineated as a federal function by the constitution. [e.g. Federal Reserve (not technically a federal agency); Department of Education; IRS — once The Fair Tax becomes law.] The Federal Reserve was created to protect the banks. The Federal Reserve keeps the free enterprise system from working efficiently, resulting in the creation of bubbles and distorting the economy. We know that free markets beat manipulated markets — especially when the banks manipulate markets for their own benefit. The Department of Education performs functions belonging to the states, and uses blackmail-like tactics (threatening to withhold funds) to manipulate the states. States should be competing to have the best school systems. Competition promote innovation.
The IRS, the most feared institution in America, wields too much power, and becomes unnecessary once The Fair Tax replaces the income tax.
There are clearly many other failed/inefficient federal programs. We need to replace Obamacare — healthcare is a state function. We need to defund any abortion clinics who use or pretend-to-not-use federal funds for abortions (e.g. Planned Parenthood). We need to privatize Amtrack. We need to eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank. These entities give loans to politically favored companies, but more importantly, put taxpayers at risk for all loans that go bad — and they WILL go bad. This is not a federal government function.
The Heritage Foundation has researched extensively the programs where de-funding should occur, and the programs that should be completely eliminated. Here is that website: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/08/tight-budget-congress-can-save-42-billion-by-eliminating-bad-government-programs They estimate that by eliminating certain failed programs, and defunding others, there would have been a savings of $42 billion/year in 2014.
* Only Congress can make the laws … not government agencies or Presidents. Unfortunately, when congress passes a law … the law often goes to an agency which decides how to interpret and carry out that law. Those agency-created “rules” then carry the weight of law in most cases. This is unconstitutional. Agencies cannot make laws. I propose that if any rules or regulations made by governmental agencies, to give clarity and detail to the law passed by congress, but which actually result in carrying the weight of “law” (rather than guidelines or clarifications), such regulations must return to congress to be voted upon before being enacted. [e.g. EPA regulating the coal industry into extinction without congressional approval is unconstitutional]
* We need a basic “Environmental Protection Law with Human Protection Priority” to govern/control/pre-empt all other such laws in that category. That new law must make clear our interest and concern for environmental protection, but never at the expense of harming currently living humans. [e.g. protection of the tiny fish — the delta smelt — at the expense of worsening the drought in California, damaging/destroying family farms, in order to divert fresh water into the ocean to protect a non-critical species]
* Executive Orders: Executive Orders were never intended to re-write law — that is the job of Congress alone. We must have oversight of all three branches of government. All Executive Orders must therefore undergo an expedited judicial review (e.g. a 24-hour review by a 3-judge federal court) solely to determine that the executive order is not a likely violation of law or the creation of a new law. If the decision is not unanimous, in either direction, and if the President refuses to re-word or withdraw the executive order, it must be given expedited judicial review by the Supreme Court (e.g. 3 days), before the order can be carried out. None of these expedited reviews will supersede the normal path to eventual constitutional challenge/review by the court system.
For the sake of length … we will pause here. The next blog will continue discussing needed changes in laws. This will include: Banking Laws (Too Big To Fail); a National Right-To-Work Law; a Law imposing consequences on government employees invoking the 5th Amendment for work-related issues; Sanctuary City Law — a Law restricting Violation of the Law!
Give me some feedback … comments that support the constitution, individual freedom, and returning America to greatness.
– NATHANIEL ADAMS MARTIN, M.D.