A paradigm shift?

I didn’t watch Obama last night. I wasn’t interested in listening to his pontifications and lies. Listening to the top-of-the-hour news this morning, I was vindicated in skipping Obama’s brag fest.

Instead, I went to a small meeting to listen to a friend who is a political activist and heads a state-wide organization. I’d rather listen to him than Obama.

I’ve heard my friend speak before. He’s always been knowledgeable and has numerous inside contacts in Jeff City. He original topic was the upcoming legislative session in Jefferson City. I was particularly interested in HB 188, a bill designed to attack grassroots organizations, like the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, by forcing them to disclose their membership lists and donors.

That was his intent. And…he did cover a few of the items coming forth in Jeff City. We were a small group last night. Many of the usual members didn’t come. Some are snowbirds and were out-of-state in more warmer climes. When questions started from the floor how we, as individuals, could be more effective lobbying in Jeff City, his planned talk went out the window.

In retrospect, the diversion was good. He explained the legislative process that many did not understand. How opinions of legislators can be changed. He cited the successful veto-override effort for SB 523 in the last session. We discussed various techniques how individuals can influence legislators…and how some tactics, yelling at staffers over the phone, can back-fire.

The discussion spread far and wide and as I listened I began to hear an underlying concept, something I’d heard from others outside Missouri…the federal government is becoming irrelevant. Every new tyranny from Washington has an opposite and equal reaction within the states. The result of the reaction is more ‘nullification’ bills being filed in state legislatures. More states joining the Convention of States movement. More states resisting, and in many cases, succeeding, edicts being issued from Washington.

Prior to the Civil War, an individual’s primary loyalty was to his state. After that war, a person’s loyalty, supported strongly by the triumphant North, was to the country as a whole and to the central government. That viewpoint has continued until Obama was elected. (For some, it was earlier but I’ll not argue the point.)

What I am hearing from many across the country is a return to the primacy of state loyalty. The growing view that it must now be the states who defend their citizens from the tyrannical acts of the central government. It matters not the issue, be it education and common core, the EPA and water-rights, Obamacare and the forced expansion of medicaid, or the failure to secure our borders. Here, there, people’s loyalties are shifting and I don’t yet think the liberals have noticed. Yet.

I’m of two minds on this paradigm shift. I was born, as was my wife, in Illinois. I have relatives who live in the oppressive state, still. But, I’m glad my wife and I left over forty-five years ago. Missouri is now my state, my home, and I’m proud of it and our ‘Pub controlled legislature.But I’m still loyal to the nation as a whole—not the FedGov, but to the United States. I once swore an oath to defend the nation and the Constitution. I’ve not recanted that oath. But the Constitution no longer rules the federal government. Loyalty to the Constitution is not loyalty to the FedGov.

Note above, I said ‘Pub controlled state legislature, not conservative controlled. Not all of the ‘Pubs in Jefferson City are conservatives. It’s a work-in-progress to change them to conservatives…or replace them with conservatives.

I’m sure the libs will call those who have shifted their primary loyalty to their states racists, fascists, Nazis, the usual liberal diatribe. They overlook one central fact: conservatives can live quite well without the federal government in their lives. The liberals and social parasites, cannot. That, perhaps, may be the real divide within this nation.

Missouri: Managing the State Budget.

I ran across this article on the Heritage Foundation’s website. I was just scanning some titles when this one caught my eye.

I have a correspondence relationship with my local state representative. He’s a republican (note the lower-case “r”), a local small businessman and we’ve exchanged e-mails on a number of subjects. He’s also a strong 2A supporter as well. When I read this article, I sent him the link.

Outside the Beltway: Missouri’s Mission Impossible – Downsizing Government

Posted April 12th, 2010 at 4:30pm in Enterprise and Free Markets

Economic realities are slapping states in the face as they come to terms with the fact that they can’t afford costly government programs amid declining revenues. Though many states are on a path toward economic ruin, some legislators in Missouri are taking heed and cutting spending.

The Associated Press reports that a Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to eliminate state funding for several government programs, reducing state expenditures by $506 million.

The committee’s actions are incredibly significant, given the difficulty that comes with eliminating government programs, once enacted. The AP notes that some of the Republican Missouri senators “have resorted to quoting an observation made nearly a half-century ago by Ronald Reagan”:

“Government programs, once launched, never disappear,” the future president said in a 1964 speech in support of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. “Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

Other states, though, aren’t finding as much success in addressing their budget shortfalls.

New York has a $9.2 billion budget deficit and is passing a series of emergency spending bills this week to keep the government running, according to Buffalo Business Reports. It doesn’t have funds to pay for union salary increases or construction projects, and the state is considering a mix of “sin tax” hikes for cigarettes and sodas, new borrowing, and cuts to education.

Massachusetts might bet on resort casinos and slot machines to solve their budget woes, despite gambling being rejected there seven times in the last 14 years. And some 2,500 miles away, Arizona is witnessing a bare-knuckle fight over a plan to raise sales tax from 5.6% to 6.6% to cover the state’s massive budget gap. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is campaigning for the tax increase and telling crowds, “The checkbook is overdrawn, we’ve maxed out the credit cards, we’ve mortgaged the house.”

It’s the same story across the fruited plain. What’s causing the problem? The Pew Center on the States cites symptoms including: major drops in revenue, growing budget gaps, increasing unemployment, high foreclosure rates, a supermajority requirement for state legislatures to pass budget bills (which includes making budget cuts or raising taxes), and troubles managing long-term fiscal matters and budgetary processes.

The good news for Missourians is that some of their legislators have the willpower to make the cuts they need to get the state’s budget on track. Other states might not be so lucky.

I will continue to support our state representatives as long as they do represent us. I will, however, keep them all under close scrutiny.

Missouri: Managing the State Budget.

I ran across this article on the Heritage Foundation’s website. I was just scanning some titles when this one caught my eye.

I have a correspondence relationship with my local state representative. He’s a republican (note the lower-case “r”), a local small businessman and we’ve exchanged e-mails on a number of subjects. He’s also a strong 2A supporter as well. When I read this article, I sent him the link.

Outside the Beltway: Missouri’s Mission Impossible – Downsizing Government

Posted April 12th, 2010 at 4:30pm in Enterprise and Free Markets

Economic realities are slapping states in the face as they come to terms with the fact that they can’t afford costly government programs amid declining revenues. Though many states are on a path toward economic ruin, some legislators in Missouri are taking heed and cutting spending.

The Associated Press reports that a Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to eliminate state funding for several government programs, reducing state expenditures by $506 million.

The committee’s actions are incredibly significant, given the difficulty that comes with eliminating government programs, once enacted. The AP notes that some of the Republican Missouri senators “have resorted to quoting an observation made nearly a half-century ago by Ronald Reagan”:

“Government programs, once launched, never disappear,” the future president said in a 1964 speech in support of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. “Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

Other states, though, aren’t finding as much success in addressing their budget shortfalls.

New York has a $9.2 billion budget deficit and is passing a series of emergency spending bills this week to keep the government running, according to Buffalo Business Reports. It doesn’t have funds to pay for union salary increases or construction projects, and the state is considering a mix of “sin tax” hikes for cigarettes and sodas, new borrowing, and cuts to education.

Massachusetts might bet on resort casinos and slot machines to solve their budget woes, despite gambling being rejected there seven times in the last 14 years. And some 2,500 miles away, Arizona is witnessing a bare-knuckle fight over a plan to raise sales tax from 5.6% to 6.6% to cover the state’s massive budget gap. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is campaigning for the tax increase and telling crowds, “The checkbook is overdrawn, we’ve maxed out the credit cards, we’ve mortgaged the house.”

It’s the same story across the fruited plain. What’s causing the problem? The Pew Center on the States cites symptoms including: major drops in revenue, growing budget gaps, increasing unemployment, high foreclosure rates, a supermajority requirement for state legislatures to pass budget bills (which includes making budget cuts or raising taxes), and troubles managing long-term fiscal matters and budgetary processes.

The good news for Missourians is that some of their legislators have the willpower to make the cuts they need to get the state’s budget on track. Other states might not be so lucky.

I will continue to support our state representatives as long as they do represent us. I will, however, keep them all under close scrutiny.