Secure America’s            

Future Economy

 

                                                                                                  
 

           Newsletter 57

   

 Spring 2010


 
                                              Healthcare debacle       Think nuclear
                                              CSP       Liu nomination
                                              Feds in the classroom       Legal challenges to GovCare
                                              Legates talk       And more

 

Editor’s note - This issue is dedicated to SAFE members, both in Delaware and elsewhere.  We hope you are all doing well, paying attention to what the political elite is doing, and (to borrow a term from commentator Glenn Beck) questioning with boldness.  In the continuing quest for a smaller, more focused, less costly government, SAFE will need the support of each and every one of you.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge several SAFE members in this issue.  Better read every article; you might find your name mentioned. And going forward, I urge one and all to stay connected. 

If you write a letter to the editor, have an interesting interaction with a politician or staffer, read a good book, or would simply like to express a thought, please e-mail me (ww3@atlanticbb.net) or call me (302-464-2688).  We value your inputs, and look forward to publicizing them via the Website and/or newsletter.

If an entry in the weekly blog or other content on the Website resonates with you, share it with others (via personal contact, letter, e-mail, Facebook, etc.).  You can also submit comments to us, whether pro or con, which are always appreciated.  If any of you are not on the weekly update list and would like to be, send me an e-mail and I’ll take care of it.

Like any organization, SAFE needs members and money (witness those long-winded fund raising appeals some other groups send out).  Therefore, if the number after your name on the mailing label is less than 10, we would appreciate it if you would fill out the join/renew form on page 5 and send it plus a check to SAFE Treasurer Ed Fasig.  You might also give this newsletter to a family member or friend when you are done with it, with the idea of recruiting a new member, or forward a link to the electronic version. http://www.s-a-f-e.org/safe_newsletters.htm

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Healthcare debacle – The healthcare bill (aka GovCare) was rammed through Congress despite the opposition of a majority of Americans.  This “kill the bill” picture, was taken at the “Code Red” rally in Washington on March 20.

GovCare is fiscally irresponsible (the alleged reduction of the deficit reflects tax increases +  arbitrary Medicare cuts that Congress is unlikely to make in practice), in our opinion, and will accelerate rather than slow the rise in healthcare costs.  We stand by SAFE’s proposals to empower healthcare consumers and doctors instead of government bureaucrats. http://www.s-a-f-e.org/healthcare.htm

The best way to clear the way for real healthcare reform would be to repeal the GovCare bill.  This can happen if enough people keep up the fight, as was pointed out in a SAFE letter to the editor published on April 10. http://www.s-a-f-e.org/letters.htm

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Charter schools – On March 19, SAFE member Spear Lancaster and principal Fatih Kandil talked to the Retired Men’s Luncheon Club about the award-winning charter school (Chesapeake Science Point or CSP) they have started in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  It is an inspiring success story, which illustrates the real secret to improving the performance of the U.S. school system: get the right people, put them in charge, and stand back.  In contrast, a school system run by a centralized bureaucracy will produce educational mediocrity.  4/5/10 blog entry: K-12 education, are charter schools the answer? http://www.s-a-f-e.org/blog.htm

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Feds in the classroom – Federal intervention in the school system over the years has inflated costs, diluted accountability, and done little to improve educational results.  Currently proposed initiatives (overhaul “No Child Left Behind” program; award “Race to the Top” funds to state school systems) will not improve matters. 4/12/10 blog entry: “Centralized control of education may be overrated.” 

 “The U.S. Department of Education must be abolished,” writes SAFE founder Bill Morris, “for the sake of children's education, and to show evidence that the federal government is serious about doing what is necessary to save the economy.”  

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One for our side – SAFE director Jerry Martin arranged a talk by Delaware State Climatologist David Legates at the Academy of Lifelong Learning on March 15.  The subject was “climate change,” which Dr. Legates addressed in a straightforward manner without going into the gory details of “Climategate” or exposing all the over the top claims of Al Gore et al.

The talk was well received, Martin reports, and Jeff Dayton from Congressman Mike Castle’s office requested a copy of the charts.  Possibly this effort changed some minds, which is never easy.  Well done!

What’s my number? (answer near bottom )

• I have three digits.

• Their product is 16.

• Their sum is 11.

• The digit in the ones place is four times the digit in the tens place.

 

Hot thermometers – Richard Timberlake, a SAFE member in Georgia who holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, likens some of his boyhood “experiments” with thermometers to measurement techniques that scientists seeking to prove global warming have used.  The write-up did not fit any of our established categories, but it was too good to pass up so we posted it as an essay on the “Outreach” page.   http://www.s-a-f-e.org/essays.htm

The drilling ploy – SAFE member Harry Kenton writes great letters – short, punchy, and on target.  His latest one, published on April 16, explains that the Administration’s limited approval of offshore oil exploration is tied to support for the “cap and tax” energy bill.  For this and other letters and columns written by SAFE members, see  http://www.s-a-f-e.org/letters.htm.

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Think nuclear – “Thankfully, Copenhagen Failed” by Bill Morris, a column published by the [Wilmington] News Journal and our last newsletter, has since appeared in the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune (on 2/13/10, thanks to SAFE member Dwight D. Reed) and perhaps elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a new column by Morris presents evidence that low-level nuclear radiation is relatively safe.  This point could be helpful in countering proposals to impose unreasonably stringent regulatory requirements on nuclear power plants.  We encourage you to read the column and pass it on. http://www.s-a-f-e.org/letters.htm

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Liu nominated to 9th Circuit: Jerry Martin – President Obama has nominated a 39-year-old Associate Dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Goodwin Liu, to the Ninth Circuit Court.  If confirmed, many speculate Liu will be in line for a future vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court (albeit not the seat of Justice Stevens, who will retire this summer).

 

 Liu’s experience consists primarily of clerking at the Supreme Court and teaching law at Cal Berkeley. He does not meet the minimum standard of the ABA, which includes substantial courtroom and trial experience and at least 12 years practicing law. Never-theless, the ABA rated him “well qualified.”

 

The nominee is on record that the Constitution is a living document and should be interpreted based on life experiences.  For too long, liberals [and/or] progressives have been defensive about how the Constitution is interpreted.  But an examination of the document itself [Really?] and the way its principles have been applied over time reveals that the progressive view is in fact the one that has prevailed.

 

Liu testified against the nominations of Justices Alito and Roberts, placing Alito at the margin of the judicial spectrum (not in the mainstream) and attacking Roberts’s views on property rights. He has also publicly criticized opinions of Justices Scalia and Thomas.

 

Issues affecting the SAFE agenda might come before the Supreme Court during Liu’s tenure, e.g., challenges to GovCare (see next article).  And remember that the Supreme Court (in a 5-4 decision, majority opinion written by Justice Stevens) directed the EPA to consider whether CO2 is a “pollutant” for purposes of the Clean Air Act, an idea that would probably have amazed the drafters of that legislation.

 

Appellate judges often serve for decades, so let’s remember Thomas Jefferson’s warning about the Constitution becoming “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” 

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Legal challenges to GovCare: Daniel Kerrick, Esq. – States, private entities, and individuals will challenge several aspects of the healthcare bill.  Notably, where in the Constitution does it say Congress may compel individuals to obtain specified healthcare insurance coverage? Nowhere, so the power to regulate healthcare, etc., being neither delegated to the federal government nor forbidden to the states, is “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” under the Tenth Amendment.

The federal government will point to Congress’s power “to regulate commerce . . . among the several States,” which was included in the Constitution so Congress could prevent the states from imposing duties, etc. on interstate commerce (as they had done under the Articles of Confederation). 

More recently, it has been established that Congress may regulate economic activities having a “substantial effect” on interstate commerce.  Thus, in Wickard v. Filburn, 1942, the Supreme Court upheld production quotas on a farmer who was consuming the grain on his own farm.  Under such an interpretation, Congress may arguably regulate any kind of economic activity – including healthcare – reducing the Tenth Amendment to a truism.

Federal statutes have been stricken, however, if deemed to invade state sovereignty.  See New York v. U.S, 1992 (Congress may not direct states to provide for the disposal of radioactive waste generated within their borders); Printz v. U.S., 1997 (local law enforcement officers may not be required to perform prescribed background checks on applicants for handgun ownership). 

As for the rights of individuals, mandatory automobile insurance requirements have long been upheld.  But the states impose these requirements, not the federal government, so this precedent will not necessarily be controlling.  Stay tuned for an interesting battle.

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What’s my number answer: 128

 

SAFE Board:

John Boughton, (302) 475-6718

Barry Dorsch, (302) 478-0676

Edgar Fasig, treasurer, (302) 999-0611

Dan Kerrick, (302) 658-7101

Steve McClain, (302) 998-3910

Jerry Martin, (302) 478-5064

Bill Morris, (302) 475-7060

Ryck Stout, (302) 478-9495

Bill Whipple, president, (302) 464-2688

For e-mail addresses see:

http://www.s-a-f-e.org/contact_us.htm

 

Secure America’s Future Economy (SAFE) is a non-partisan, all-volunteer organization.  We advocate smaller, more focused, lower cost government, to be achieved primarily by cutting wasteful spending and restructuring Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid so they will be sustainable over the longer term.  Other goals are to simplify taxes and rationalize regulations.

 

Our organization publishes a quarterly newsletter for members and maintains a Website (s-a-f-e.org). We network with like-minded organizations, and reach out to political leaders, media contacts, and the general public.  Dues are $10 per year; we also accept contributions (SAFE is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization).

 

If you would like to join SAFE or renew your membership, please complete the form and mail it with your check to 214 N. Spring Valley Road, Wilmington, DE 19807. Thank you!

 

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