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By Nick Wukoson

There is no question that the party that has gone through the most changes falls on the left side of the aisle.  And some of them have been very good changes.   So let’s take a look at those changes and how today’s new democratic views of control compare.

To understand who the Democratic Party is, we have to look back to the beginning.   The party was once combined with the Republican Party and they were literally called the Democratic-Republic Party, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.   They believed in states rights, strict allegiance to our Constitution and opposed the national banking.  After the war of 1812, the party split over who would lead them and we were left with a Democratic Party and the now Whig Party.  The Whig Party would soon split up over the topic of allowing slavery.  Those who opposed slavery created the Republican Party and those who supported slavery joined the southern democrats.  We would see the creation of the Ku Klux Klan, composed almost entirely of white Democrats angry over poor treatment by northerners, both perceived and actual.  The Republican Party went on to fight for the freedom of slaves against the Democratic Party who fought to extend slavery into the new west.  This is seen in the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854.  Anti-slavery Democrats left the party during this period and joined the Republican Party in their fight to end slavery.  This fight, as we all know, led onto the battle fields and helped ignite the American Civil War.

Democrats found themselves divided during the American Civil War into 3 groups.  There was the War Democrats, the Peace Democrats and the Southern Democrats.  Most War Democrats found themselves supporting President Lincoln and the Republican Party while the remaining Democrats were known as the “Solid South”.    This Solid South represented mercantile, banking, and railroad interests while opposing imperialism and overseas expansion.  They fought for the Gold Standard and against corruption, high taxes, and tariffs.  They gave up on their public support for slavery and in 1910 they took control over the House and then elected their candidate Woodrow Wilson into the White House in 1912.  Wilson would soon introduce the first progressive laws as the first known Progressive President.   He is known as the father of the progressive tax system and sadly, Wilson is also known as the President of segregation.  He promoted and supported different lunch rooms, bathrooms and offices between whites and those who were not white.  He supported the dismissal or drop in rank for federal employees of color or as he called them, “Negro employees”.  He sacrificed the rights of African-Americans, for what he felt would be, “the more important longer term progress of the common good.”

The Great Depression occurred with a Republican in office and the Democrats took advantage of that fact and marketed their way into controlling the House of Representatives nearly uninterrupted from 1931 to 1995 and won most presidential elections until 1968.  The collapse of the economy was the answer that the Democrats needed to gain long-standing control in Washington.    It would not be until the near economic depression of 2007 that we would see such massive support of the Democratic Party again.

In 1932, Franklin D Roosevelt was elected into the White House and we soon learned of his “New Deal”.  New Deal liberalism promoted social welfare, civil rights, labor unions and regulation of business.  We then saw folks come out and call themselves “Conservatives” in opposition.  Conservatives supported long-term growth, support of business, and lower taxes.  The Solid South was not in favor of this New Deal and began to support the Republican Party in turn.  Southern Democrats soon joined in their support of the Republicans.  African-Americans found themselves in the middle of the parties with one who fought for their freedoms and equality and the other who was now offering them a “New” deal with stronger social welfare programs.  Programs that offered them more than what others received.  Martin Luther King himself was a Republican who changed to an Independent during this time between the New Deal and the Civil Rights movement.

The Civil Rights movement resulted in a turning point for the Democratic Party in terms of control.  The majority of the support has been primarily directed from Labor Unions up to this point but now they had the support of the minority vote.  Though the Republican Party voted as a party much more in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democratic Party took the credit and the minority vote away with the promise of increased social welfare programs and economic assistance.  66% of the Democrats voted in favor of the act while 81% of the Republicans voted in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Democratic Party changed its own identity on many occasions but did not change much since the Civil Rights movement.  The party still favors farmers, labor unions, and religious and ethnic minorities.  They have opposed companies going unregulated, but favor the progressive income tax while the Republicans have always favored a flatter tax rate for all.  But with the Republican Party controlling Congress, we saw Bill Clinton get elected in 1992 as a self-labeled “New Democrat”.  This new Democrat promoted a more centrist economic view but also a much more socially progressive view.  They believe in a “mixed economy” meaning much more government intervention mixed in with free enterprise.  They believe that the answers to our problems reside in the hands of the government more than they do in the hands of the people.

In 1999, Clinton decided that the “New Democrat” position should be inconsistent with their support of regulation by opening the flood gates to bad loans offered to millions of Americans who could never afford them.   He signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the “Financial Services Modernization Act“, which repealed the part of the “Glass-Steagall Act” that had prohibited a bank from offering a full range of investment, commercial banking, and insurance services.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be faced with less regulation and fewer inspections.  President Clinton said that it, “establishes the principles that, as we expand the powers of banks, we will expand the reach of the [Community Reinvestment] Act”.   This created an economic bubble that would eventually burst in 2007, bringing the American economy crashing down from record highs in 2006.

Much like the American Great Depression, the economic crisis in 2007 served up a great opportunity for the Democrats to regain a majority control over Washington.  Many argue that Clinton and the Democratic Party knew this bubble would burst and burst badly, thus creating this great opportunity for their party.  Many argue that Republican President Bush (43) did not try hard enough in 2003 and in 2004 to instill regulation into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and I am one of them.

In 2007, the great opportunity for the Democratic Party had an even greater opportunity with a charming young mixed-race Freshman Senator out of Illinois in Barrack Obama.  Sure, he was a very inexperienced Senator who came with many questionable people around him, who supported and even raised him, but he was the right man at the right time.   He could push the New Democratic agenda and if anyone were to question him, they could turn the tables on them and call them a racist.  The NAACP, who historically remained neutral, would come out to rally the black vote and 95% came out to vote for Obama.  Many can argue that voting for or against a person because of their race would indeed be racism.

Currently, President Obama and the Democratic Party in control are passing massive legislation into law as quickly as they can.  Bills that include mandated healthcare coverage and “mixed” government control that many claim only forces private carriers out of business.  Bills that include massive spending surrounded by special interest pay-offs and backroom deals offered to Congress for their support.  Bills that are thousands of pages thick and are passed as soon as they come of the printing press.  Bills that the people do not support but are passed regardless.   Serving the interest of the Party over the People!

This is your New Democratic Party of today!

Sources used:  Wikipedia, democrats.org, whitehouse.gov

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By Nick Wukoson

AP Photo

There I am, decked out in my comfy clothes with a pint of ice cream on my lap, ready to watch the second hour of American Idol last week when out of no where comes the State of the Union Address.  I mean, didn’t we just have one?  Seems like the President is on primetime television weekly.  I think Congress should pass a bill that would make it a crime to interrupt my shows!  My night quickly turned from watching bad singers flying in and out of the audition room to watching Nancy Pelosi standing up and down every 8 seconds.  Is it just me or is she extremely annoying?  And just how much can you stretch the human skin before it tears?  

So there stands Obama preaching to the minority in Congress about accountability and not giving into special interest.  And by the time I coughed up my blue-berry-crunch-cheese-cake ice cream in disgust of the amount of hypocrisy this man spews out, he was on to the topic of our national deficits and debts.  And of course he continues to claim he inherited it from the prior administration.  I thought to myself, “self!  I know I have heard him blame Bush on hundreds of occasions, but how true is it?”  So I got behind the keyboard and began my journey in understanding the truth behind the deficit and who Obama actually inherited it from. 

The very first thing that needs to be addressed is the difference between our annual budget deficits and national debt.  Many of you know this already but many don’t, so here it goes.  When you spend more money on your credit card than what you earn in a given month, then you have a deficit in that month.  In other words, if you take home $4500 this month but spend $6000 on your VISA, then you have a budget deficit of $1500 for that month.  In Congress, they commonly compare deficits on an annual basis opposed to the monthly example I just gave.  Now if you had to borrow $5,000 from your uncle Bob for the money you owe Vinny the Shark after losing your wager on the Jets game, then that loan amount becomes debt.  Unless Uncle Bob is generous with his money, you will pay interest on that loan.  Hey, it is better than Vinny knocking your knee cap into the next zip code!  Now if your budget deficit doesn’t get paid off right away, you would be forced to get a loan for that difference as well.  Everyone time you have a deficit, you are going to have to find that money somewhere and it usually comes in the form of a loan with interest.  This is exactly what our government is doing.  The deficits keep coming and we are borrowing every time with interest on top of it.  Eventually, the interest payment becomes bigger than anything else we pay out.  And we are basically at that point right now.  They are also printing more money, but every time they do that, they lower the value of the dollar.  It is kind of pointless after you print too much.  

The President and most of the talking heads out there constantly claim they inherited over a trillion dollars of debt.  I have heard everything from $1.1 trillion to $1.3 trillion passed on from the “republicans”.  So is it true?  Not really!  Hear me out. 

In 2008, we saw the TARP bill pass as Bush was exiting the White House.  How this bill played out with Bush’s signature on it was a disgrace to the conservative history of the GOP.  But at the end of the day, it was a loan for the banks and not actual spending.  To date, almost half has already been paid back.  However, the Obama administration and many folks on the left have added the total $700 Billion loan to the actual 2008 deficit numbers of $458 Billion to come up with a number over a trillion.  It is merely a play of the numbers to not only water down the huge deficit they were building up for 2009 but it also gave them an opportunity to blame someone else.  The bought-media did their part in helping them point the finger at Bush and the Republicans and did an amazing job.  Think about it, it is in the best interest of big business to “invest” millions and millions into a candidate and party who will turn around and spend like mad men on a bill that will favor the businesses bottom line.  They have literally stolen the interest away from the people.  And Obama is king of special interest favors handed and still being handed out.  But back to the deficit.  

Below is the year-by-year chart of deficits including estimated numbers for 2010 and 2011 (based on the recent announcement of $3.8 Trillion of spending next year.)   

Graph by Nick Wukoson, Sources: usgovernmentspending.com, the CBO and Bloomberg.

In 2009, President Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress ran up the bill higher and faster than Cheech and Chong could go up in smoke!  They really believe that we must spend our way out of debt and spending they are.  I think only my sister can spend more (at Target) than what Obama and the 111th Congress did in 2009.  Oh man I really hope she doesn’t read this!  They ended up spending so much that they ran up a deficit of $1.84 Trillion dollars.  Now the Stimulus bill is a huge chunk of that but the 2010 and 2011 deficits are still way off the charts compared to prior administrations.  

So I guess the whole “the trillion dollar deficit I inherited from the prior administration” might be true to some degree.  I mean, there was a $458 Billion deficit that Obama did inherit as a President but there still is one problem with this.  Last time I checked, Congress is the one who passes spending bills.  Sure, the President signs them and could veto them if he wished, so some blame is on the President.  But shouldn’t the deficit itself be much more reflective of what Congress is doing?  

You see Obama didn’t inherit a “republican deficit”, he inherited a deficit created from a Democrat-controlled congress that took over in 2006. And Obama, last time I checked, was a part of that Congress.  Wait, did I just say that?  So he inherited a deficit from himself?  Well I guess it is safe to say he was a part of it.  Right?  Lets look at that same graph but this time by party-control over congress.  

Graph by Nick Wukoson, Sources: usgovernmentspending.com, the CBO and Bloomberg.

Under a Republican-controlled Congress, it makes sense why we saw the deficit peak in 2004 because that year reflects our first full year in Iraq.  Combined with the complete War on Terror expense and yes, some wasteful spending that I have pointed out in other articles, it explains why we saw a surplus flip over to a deficit under that Congress.  After the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, the “change” began to happen.  TARP, a bi-partisan bill signed by Bush, forced a larger deficit but nothing near the amount we hear from our leaders today.  Ironically, it was the Democrat leadership, in both Dodd and Frank, who fought so hard to defend Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, while the Republicans fought so hard to put regulations on them.  So when the market fell flat due to all the bad loans the Democrats fought to keep loaning, it serves as justice that it happened under the watch of a Democrat-led Congress.  You wont hear this stuff on NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS or ABC.  That’s for sure.  

So as it turns out, Obama did inherit a mess.  He inherited a mess that he and his party played the largest role in.  He inherited a deficit that was primarily affected by a war and poor spending by a Democrat-controlled Congress that he himself was a part of.  He can stand there and point his finger at the Republicans all night, and he did, but he is doing that in hope you take his word for it and not research the truth on your own.  He wants you to stand against the Republicans and not stand for something as an American.  That’s how he wants your vote! 

Folks, lets face it!  A real stimulus should have been about putting money back into the hands of the people and not the companies with special interests.  Tax cuts immediately leaves the money in the peoples hands so they can spend more, pay off debts and invest more.  Tax freezes don’t do much and don’t cut anything, only freezes the amount being spent on a program.  In both 2009 and 2010, we have and are still seeing record amounts of spending on different departments and groups.  Kind of makes since why Obama wont freeze anything until 2011 doesn’t it!  Gives him time to pump as much in before he has to campaign again in 2011.  It is such a pathetic game played by Obama and his progressive cronies.  Lets just hope that what happened in the very blue states of Massachusetts and New Jersey are signs that people are starting to wake up in an effort to stand for something and not against!  Lets forget left vs. right, let’s forget Republicans vs. Democrats.  Because many Republicans have lost their way too and play their own games.  So we need to stand up as Americans first and vote in the right people for the job.  Lets vote out the progressives and vote in the folks who will represent our needs over those of special interest and give us back the government we were once proud of!  A government of the people, by the people and for the people! 

God Bless You and Yours!

The State of Obama!

By Nick Wukoson

Tonight will be the first State of the Union for President Obama and considering all of the recent in-party fighting and public disapproval, we are bound to see a President desperate to regain any support he can by telling us anything we need to hear. This will be a speech packed with sales pitches, promises and misleading information.

The topic for tonight’s speech will be very focused on healthcare reform and the ongoing efforts to cover those who need coverage and lower rates. He will showcase a local Florida woman, who will be sitting next to Michelle in the balcony, and talk about her coverage pains in our current system. He will again talk about the true reform needs we all agree on with healthcare reform and lie to us all by insinuating how this plan is the only option out there. What he wont talk about is how he will force all Americans to have insurance or they will pay heavy fines and possible be jailed if they don’t. He won’t mention how he bashed Hillary Clinton, in a primary debate in 2007, for supporting the same unconstitutional mandate on Americans nor will he mention how there are so many other plans out there that will reform our healthcare system properly while protecting individual rights and freedoms. He wont talk about how he promised to open up the borders for folks to purchase prescriptions in other countries, but then changed his mind only after the big pharmaceutical companies paid him off with many millions of special interest funding and support. He wont talk about why he is pushing this monster bill so fast and hard, without the very publicized promise of transparency, when 97% of the bill will not go into affect until 2014. He won’t talk about why the Democrats are literally locking Republicans out of the healthcare meetings and discussions while writing this ongoing and changing-by-the-day bill. No, he won’t talk about that at all!

President Obama will also stand strong against special interest favors and abuse in our government in an obvious attempt to win over all those Independents he so clearly lost in the polls nationwide and vividly seen in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Problem is that President Obama is the king of special interest favors and he thinks he can convince millions to believe he is not. When he talks about the need to eliminate special interest and lobbyist abuse in our current government, he wont mention the huge favors he has and still is paying out to those groups and companies who paid him millions as a candidate for Senator and President. Obama won’t talk about he is in the top 10 of recipients of environmental special-interest cash from 2000 to 2008 nor will he mention how he is the #2 All-Time recipient of special interest funding from Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. The agencies his party so proudly defended against Republicans who wanted more regulations on them while they abused millions of loans that ended up crushing our market. He also won’t mention how Obama later appointed a former member of Freddy Mac in Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. He wont talk about how he promised that there would be no lobbyist in his administration who work on anything related to their prior employer for 2 years, but on the first day on the job, he appointed Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn to the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense. No, he won’t talk about any of that at all!

We saw something very similar happen to President Clinton after he was forced to be much more moderate after his healthcare reform attempt failed. President Obama will be trying to do the same thing. Problem is he has already passed that point of no return with all the massive-record-breaking-wasteful-special-interest-filled spending already passed without any promised transparency. Probably why he is trying to push this spending freeze that really doesn’t freeze much at all and really only locks in the record high payout rates of 2009 into place for those being frozen. It is merely smoke and mirrors and the great Obama will have all the tricks out tonight!

A real change we need from our elected officials is HONESTY! Something we haven’t seen in a while from either side of the aisle. Where is that “government reboot” button?

God Bless You and Yours!

 

REUTERS/Jason Reed

“It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions”
Ronald Reagan

As many of you know, I am a voice of accountability. When I ran for office, I stressed the need to restore accountability in all walks of life from how our children act in our schools and homes to how our public officials perform their jobs. On many occasions, I have spoken on how important it is to restore, or reform, accountability and it begins with campaign reform and ends with responsible representation from our elected officials.

Just last week, the US Supreme Court overturned law that now eases the limits on campaign spending by corporations and labor unions. President Obama came out, in an attempt to market himself as on the side of the people and not special interest, stated, “I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest.” and “The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.” Sounds like a very desperate President saying anything to regain as much support from Americans as he can. This is a President who broke contribution records, appointed lobbyist to his staff and in turn has record numbers of special interest groups and favors to return. This is a President who knows he needs uncapped contributions, especially from unions, but yet thinks we will believe his now reversed opinion on what put him in office. So what does this all mean? How can we learn from this example and what does it tell us we need to do if we want real change?

Over recent decades, companies and unions have discovered that they can buy votes and bills by pushing the right candidate into a seat with heavy contributions and support. They do this through selfish and greedy needs to grow their business or cause at the expense of the American people. At first, it was swept under the rug and hidden. Over time, people began to speak out on it and now it is obvious. We even saw a majority of current Republicans, in office, put hundreds of millions of dollars of earmarks into the most recent OMNIBUS bill. This is a Republican party in desperate need of regaining the conservative label but yet had no choice but to pay out special interest favors to those who elected them over our needs as Americans.

Campaign contribution reform is a must if we want to bring the right folks into office. These are the folks who will represent us as our Constitution dictates and in a selfless manner. And it starts in limiting the influence that special interest groups currently have over candidates and public officials. Until then, those in office will always have to repay the favors before they could ever think about serving our needs and interests. Until then, we will never be able to hold them accountable to their sworn duties and responsibilities.

There are many great candidates out there wanting to run for the right reasons. They are noble and great Americans who want many of the same things we want. They are great people who will have to face that choice to be part of the campaign game or stay true to their loyalties to the American people. They will see how they will need such huge support from such groups if they even want a chance to win the seat over other candidates who will play the game or stay in office. With the massive corruption and games played at our expense by members from both major parties, we are left with no choice put to change the rules of that game. Instead, we very conveniently see a huge reversal of law that will now allow a President, who was elected with record breaking amounts of special interest funding, to collect even more special interest funding. What is wrong with that?

It is easy to see the lies and games played at our expense and until we start holding folks accountable, we will continue to see them played. They will continue to stay in office by telling folks what they need to hear, what we all know needs to be fixed, but then turn around after they are elected and do something totally different. And it gets worse with every President we elect.

You want change? Start with campaign reform. You want accountability? Lets change the rules of the game and force them to be accountable.

God Bless You and Yours!

We Want Change!

By Nick Wukoson

People often see greener grass on the other side of the fence. People often expect things to be better when they cross over it. But why do they want to cross over it? What makes them desire “change” so badly? What makes them swing the power from one political party to another? And what are the real changes we need?

In the biggest reality show on TV, the political world has learned to use the media to influence voters to come to their side of the fence or aisle. Both parties have offered various versions of “change” including Bush’s “Yes, America Can” bus tour which is obviously where Obama’s folks got their “Yes We Can” slogan from. Reagan slogan was “It’s Morning Again in America” and we saw Clinton use “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow!” Bush (41) used “Kinder, Gentler Nation” and Carter used “A Leader, For A Change!” Obviously, selling “change” is needed if you want America to swing the majority of the votes to you and your party, but somewhere along the way, the follow-through on their promise of “change” was lost. And it has only gotten worse!

The people of America really do want “change”! Many saw the change needed during the Bush (43) administration but so many more can see it much clearer now after just one year of the Obama machine at the wheel. So what is the “change” people really want?

The Senate election in Massachusetts told us a lot about the real “change” America wants to see. In the prior election there, roughly 20% of voters showed up to vote but over 50% showed up on Tuesday to turn a very blue state red. Now does that mean we just swing back over to the Republican side of the fence again? Yes and No. The American people want a much more responsible and conservative government compared to what we have now. We dont want this progressive approach of leadership constantly seeking more control and power. We want to see jobs in the private sector to grow and not government jobs, which is the only thing growing today. We want to see “sweetheart deals” for the People and not for special interest groups, unions and pay-offs for votes in Congress. We want actual transparency and not just the promise of one. We want to stop all the wasteful spending and apply those monies into education, the sick, the environment, public works and rebuilding our own cities and towns. We need to hold our representatives accountable and make sure they know that their role is limited and clearly outlined in the Constitution. We need government to believe in and represent the interest of the people again!

The jury is still out on the GOP to provide those needs of ours but there is real hope in some of the newer faces stepping up today in the party. That is why we need to show up at the GOP primaries to vote in the true conservatives over those on the ticket serving their own selfish needs and agendas. Yes, they are still around running as conservatives. So we need to read up on who we are voting for and pay close attention to why someone is running. We need to get others to pay attention and bring them out with us to vote. We also need to know that we can’t force our views onto others but we should be there ready to answer any questions they might have. And outside of the radical views, we need to remember the majority of us are American’s First! We are American’s before we are party members and we want a very similar America to live in and raise our families in.

That is the real Change America needs!

God Bless You and Yours! God Bless America!

By Nick Wukoson
 
Democratic leadership has played a “cash-flow trick” on us which allows them to take more out of our checks.. They are doing this as they stand behind a tax credit called the “Making Work Pay Tax Credit”. Like so many other “changes” this current party in power have made, they use a smoke screen to hide the real changes. They buried an increase in federal withholding taxes for all income categories, thus giving the government an interest-free loan until current year taxes are filled in April of 2011. Kind of like how they are pushing a Nationalized Pension Plan forcing all state pensions into one universal pension plan. It’s about control and interests earned on our money.

This Democratic Congress changed the actual threshold to capture more wages that qualify to owe taxes in all brackets by lowering it. For example, in 2009 a single income earner had a withholding tax threshold beginning at $138 a week. They lowered that to $116 in 2010. And for married couples, it went from $303 a week in 2009 down to $264 in 2010. And yes, this proves that this President and Democratic party has raised taxes on the lower class. Many wont want to accept this nor hear it, but it is reality.

They also went from 7 wage categories to 9 for 2010. They are actually going after the middle class on this with the category ranges shrinking. Similar to what they have in the healthcare bill when determining rate brackets for healthcare insurance rates (going from a 4 year age window down to a 3 year window forcing people into more expensive rate brackets earlier). But back to taxation.

Here is the direct change they made to the brackets:

2009 Biweekly, Single, Payroll Period, after subtracting withholding allowances

Over $2,559 – $6,677: $452.95 plus 28% of excess over $2,559 (Notice the large salary range)

2010 Biweekly, Single, Payroll Period, after subtracting withholding allowances

Over $2,604 – $3,248: $468.95 plus 27% of excess over $2,604 (Notice the large salary range is gone)

Over $3,248 – $3,373: $642.83 plus 30% of excess over $3,248 (Notice the substantial increase and 30% tax rate on these wages)

Over $3,373 – $6,688: $680.33 plus 28% of excess over $3,373

So again, this proves that the lower class and middle class will be facing tax increases along with the upper class. They have to with all their spending and growth of government.

Many of us had to face reality in how the GOP had changed over recent years to a much larger government filled with earmarks and wasteful spending, but now it is time for others to see how the Democratic party has changed too. Only when these blinders come off, can we come together. There will always be extremist out there on both ends, but the majority of us can come together. We might be left leaning or right leaning, but most of us want the same safe, fair and prosperous country with elected officials who represent the people first! So lets stop trusting the media and not trust what a politician tells us alone, but actually take the time to look into whats really in it. Obama was right about one thing, we do need transparency. Too bad there is literally none now.  It is one big smoke screen and they don’t want you to know whats behind it.   Thus one huge reason I write what I do.   

God Bless you all!

Stat Source: Biggovernment.com

Power to the People!

By Nick Wukoson

Somodevilla/Getty

Our founding fathers rarely said anything positive about the system and theory of democracy.  James Madison argued that a democracy grew weaker as it grew larger, especially in The Federalist No. 10.   So what is democracy and is it what we have today in America?

The term ‘democracy’ is derived from the greek word dēmokratía, meaning the “power of the people.”   Today however, there are many different versions and views people share when defining democracy.   But there are 2 principles that never vary, and those are equality and freedom.  Our very Constitution protects such principles in outlining how all citizens are equal before the law, equal freedoms and access to power.  So does that mean we live in a democracy in the United States?  Well when a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, soon after he finished writing the U.S. Constitution, “Sir, what have you given us?”  He replied, “A republic ma’am, if you can keep it.”

So is it a Democracy or a Republic?  Well in the days of Benjamin Franklin, there was a more of a direct democracy to compare to.  The principles of democracy refer to a government chosen by the people, whether it is direct or representative.  But when you add in a elected head of state, serving limited terms, then the system becomes a republic.  That does not mean we do not have a representative democracy in place, but so do many other countries who dont have elected leader but rather have hereditary monarchs.  So the election process and limited terms of office define our system as a republic.  “A republic in which we stand!”

So how is the representative democracy system fairing today?  To answer that, we can go back to 1787.  Yeah, thats right.  We have to go back 222 years so we can put everything into perspective.  In those days, a history professor at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) by the name of Alexander Tyler wrote about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier.  Through his research and study of this Athenian Republic, he concluded the following:

‘A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.’

‘A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.’

‘ From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.’

‘The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years’   ‘During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1.  from bondage to spiritual faith;

2.  from spiritual faith to great courage;

3.  from courage to liberty;

4.  from liberty to abundance;

5.  from abundance to complacency;

6.  from complacency to apathy;

7.  from apathy to dependence;

8.  from dependence back into bondage’

So where do you believe we are today in the United States? Of course this is based on opinion, but many feel we are somewhere between complacency and apathy.  Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline  University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota is one who feels this way.  He also feels that forty percent of the nation’s  population has already reached the ‘governmental dependency’ phase.

It is so important to maintain a level of responsibility in our government and to protect the individual liberties our Constitution outlines from democratic power.  Without it, it is realistic for the people to be oppressed by the “tyranny of the majority”.

God Bless You and Yours!