Friday, August 21, 2015

August, 2015, Will The Center Hold - Protecting Second Amendment Rights, Fighting The EPA, and Cracking Down on Welfare Abuse At The State Level

On a periodic basis we do a series themed around the idea of “will the center hold?” The basis of this series is that at no time in recent memory have we seen local and state governments, along with individual citizens, pushing back against the overreaching and unethical, immoral, and often illegal actions of the Washington political class and the government bureaucracies they oversee. 

From Obama Care to gun control to school lunches to government spying on citizens to a multitude of other issues and actions, we have a Federal government monster that is out of control, trampling freedom and lives in the process. But many in America are striking back against this out of control monster and those stories are what we have discussed in this series over the years. 

To review previous discussion in this series, simply type in “will the center hold” in the search box above. After reading these examples of grassroots rebellion against Federal overreach, ask yourself the following fascinating questions: what happens when the Federal government issues a new law or dictate and the rest of the country simply decides to ignore it? Does the center hold or does the country splinter into who knows what? Interesting times we live in.

1) According to a recent Associated Press article, a group of Idaho citizens lined up outside of the home of a U.S. Navy veteran after hearing that the Federal government would be sending people to confiscate the veteran’s weapons. Included in the 100 or so people in the group lined up around the home were state government politicians and the Bonner County Sheriff.

This situation arose after the veteran received a letter from the Veteran Affairs office notifying him that he cannot possess or buy firearms. After pressed on the situation, a Veterans Affairs spokesperson, Bret Bowers, stated that Veterans Affairs does not have the authority to confiscate weapons, that they are only about providing healthcare to veterans. 

Whether or not this veteran should be able to have firearms is a separate issue. The real issue we are discussing in the context of will the center hold is that individual American citizens are now much more willing to band together and react and protest against a Federal government that they feel is intruding into their lives and liberties.

2) Fifteen state attorney generals havefiled lawsuits against the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claiming that the government’s extensive and likely illegal carbon regulations need to be stopped. The fifteen states are West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

According to reporting by the Blaze, the EPA will "regulate the electricity industry and require states and utility companies to meet goals, providing rewards and penalties." But many states and citizens do not buy into the EPA’s reasoning. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said, "This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation's history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out. With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states' energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution."

Of course, this action by Obama’s EPA is an attempt to control how American’s get and use electricity under the guise that global warming and climate change are about to end humanity and ruin the world’s environment. Two big things wrong with this view of reality. First, as we have discussed for years under our “I am a global warming doubter and believer in science” series of posts, there is now much more science available to show that manmade global warming and climate change do not exist or do not exist to any degree that will be dangerous to mankind or the world's environment. Thus, this effort to manage the country’s carbon footprint, that has already shrunk considerably over the past two decades, is an exercise in futility.

And second, the EPA does not have the Constitutional power to issue such overriding and overreaching regulations and impose them on the country. That is why states are fighting back against the center.

3) The Obama administration has done two critical things that has caused welfare and food assistance programs to skyrocket in costs. First, the Obama administration ignored current law and dropped the work requirement from certain welfare programs, allowing deadbeat citizens to leech off of the taxes collected from other working citizens without the inconvenience of looking for and getting themselves a job. 

Second, despite being years away from the end of the last recession, there are still more than 45 million Americans drawing food assistance money from the government each month. Which can mean only one of two things: the economy is doing fine, as Obama says, and he just runs a very poor food assistance program that is rife with fraud and inefficiencies. Or, the economy is doing far worse than he says it is and 45 million Americans rightfully need government food assistance each month.

Six and half years into the Presidency is enough time to safely conclude that the Obama administration is not going to fix what is wrong with welfare and government food assistance in this country. Which is why about a dozen states are taking their own actions to fix what Washington has broken. The states that are cracking down and taking action include Maine, Arizona, West Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, New York, Oregon, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky and Hawaii. And some of those states are very liberal, historically controlled by the Democrats. 

Some of these states are requiring welfare and food assistance recipients to take and pass a drug test, just like many of the taxpayers who support these types of people, are often required to do. Some states are limiting the time that able bodied welfare and food assistance people can actually get assistance before getting cut off. Other states are requiring that able bodied people search for and find jobs before they can get government assistance. 

All becuase the Washingotn political class conitnues to hand out freebies to able bodied people to curry favor with them at voting time but crippling state budgets in the process. Finally, states, both liberal and conservative states, are saying enough is enough and taking the issue into their own hands, ignoring what Washington says they should be doing.

That will do it for today's “will the center hold” discussion. States that are fixing the welfare mess that Washington created, state attorney generals telling the Federal EPA to pound sand, and ordinary citizens protecting the Second Amendment rights of a neighbor from a Federal bureaucracy that wants to take those rights away. More pushbacks and rebellions tomorrow.

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