This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
According to the Wall Street Journal on June 14, 2010 (full article available on-line)
Concern over the nation's mounting debt could snarl the passage of President Barack Obama's proposal to provide more aid to state and local governments.
Mr. Obama on Saturday sent a letter to lawmakers calling for swift action to help small businesses and state and local governments facing budget cuts following the economic downturn. He didn't specify in the letter where funds would come from, but he said he had called for a three-year freeze in non-security discretionary spending.
The letter said budget cuts at the state and local levels were leading to "massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters," and that 84,000 jobs in state and local governments had already been lost this year. Mr. Obama said "hundreds of thousands of additional jobs" could be lost if action wasn't taken, according to the letter.
The issue poses a quandary for policymakers, who want to boost the economy and create more jobs ahead of midterm elections in November, but who worry about increasing the federal government's record budget deficits. Polls have suggested that voters are concerned about both issues.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, speaking Sunday about Mr. Obama's letter, criticized the "spending spree" in Washington. "It's just putting more debt on the backs of our kids and our grandkids," Mr. Boehner (R., Ohio) told ABC News's "This Week."
So far this fiscal year, the federal government has spent $935.61 billion more than it made, with four months left to go. The U.S. ran a record $1.42 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2009, which began Oct. 1, 2008.
In response to falling revenue from sales and income taxes, states have reduced spending and lifted taxes and fees during the past two budget years. Unlike the federal government, all U.S. states except Vermont have at least a limited requirement to balance their budgets.
Federal actions vs Legislative and Executive branch Authority
The US Constitution, The tenth amendment:
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 the People:
We have allowed politicians to manipulate employment for votes and have therefore invited them to place their political careers above the long-term best interest of the country. Such short-sightedness will surely harm our children. Such conflicts-of-interest are why that authority is not granted in the Constitution.