Calvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

Amity Shlaes
Author, Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge and the Moral Case for Economy

WITH THE FEDERAL DEBT spiraling out of control, many Americans sense an urgent need to find a political leader who is able to say “no” to spending. Yet they fear that finding such a leader is impossible. Conservatives long for another Ronald Reagan. But is Reagan the right model? He was of course a tax cutter, reducing the top marginal rate from 70 to 28 percent. But his tax cuts—which vindicated supply-side economics by vastly increasing federal revenue—were bought partly through a bargain with Democrats who were eager to spend that revenue. Reagan was no budget cutter—indeed, the federal budget rose by over a third during his administration.
An alternative model for conservatives is Calvin Coolidge. President from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge sustained a budget surplus and left office with a smaller budget than the one he inherited. Over the same period, America experienced a proliferation of jobs, a dramatic increase in the standard of living, higher wages, and three to four percent annual economic growth. And the key to this was Coolidge’s penchant for saying “no.” If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Coolidge was the Great Refrainer.
Enter Coolidge
Following World War I, the federal debt stood ten times higher than before the war, and it was widely understood that the debt burden would become unbearable if interest rates rose. At the same time, the top income tax rate was over 70 percent, veterans were having trouble finding work, prices had risen while wages lagged, and workers in Seattle, New York, and Boston were talking revolution and taking to the streets. The Woodrow Wilson administration had nationalized the railroads for a time at the end of the war, and had encouraged stock exchanges to shut down for a time, and Progressives were now pushing for state or even federal control of water power and electricity. The business outlook was grim, and one of the biggest underlying problems was the lack of an orderly budgeting process: Congress brought proposals to the White House willy-nilly, and they were customarily approved.
The Republican Party’s response in the 1920 election was to campaign for smaller government and for a return to what its presidential candidate, Warren Harding, dubbed “normalcy”—a curtailing of government interference in the economy to create a predictable environment in which business could confidently operate. Calvin Coolidge, a Massachusetts governor who had gained a national reputation by facing down a Boston police strike—“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he had declared—was chosen to be Harding’s running mate. And following their victory, Harding’s inaugural address set a different tone from that of the outgoing Wilson administration (and from that of the Obama administration today): “No altered system,” Harding said, “will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system.”
One of Harding’s first steps was to shepherd through Congress the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, under which the executive branch gained authority over and took responsibility for the budget, even to the point of being able to impound money after it was budgeted. This legislation also gave the executive branch a special budget bureau—the forerunner to today’s Office of Management and Budget—over which Harding named a flamboyant Brigadier General, Charles Dawes, as director. Together they proceeded to summon department staff and their bosses to semiannual meetings at Continental Hall, where Dawes cajoled and shamed them into making spending cuts. In addition, Harding pushed through a tax cut, lowering the top rate to 58 percent; and in a move toward privatization, he proposed to sell off naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming to private companies.
Unfortunately, some of the men Harding appointed to key jobs proved susceptible to favoritism or bribery, and his administration soon became embroiled in scandal. In one instance, the cause of privatization sustained damage when it became clear that secret deals had taken place in the leasing of oil reserves at Teapot Dome. Then in the summer of 1923, during a trip out West to get away from the scandals and prepare for a new presidential campaign, Harding died suddenly.
Enter Coolidge, whose personality was at first deemed a negative—his face, Alice Roosevelt Longworth said, “looked as though he had been weaned on a pickle.” But canny political leaders, including Supreme Court Justice and former President William Howard Taft, quickly came to respect the new president. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, after visiting the White House a few times that August, noted that whereas Harding had never been alone, Coolidge often was; that whereas Harding was partial to group decisions, Coolidge made decisions himself; and most important, that whereas Harding’s customary answer was “yes,” Coolidge’s was “no.”
The former governor of Massachusetts was in his element when it came to budgeting. Within 24 hours of arriving back in Washington after Harding’s death, he met with his own budget director, Herbert Lord, and together they went on offense, announcing deepened cuts in two politically sensitive areas: spending on veterans and District of Columbia public works. In his public statements, Coolidge made clear he would have scant patience with anyone who didn’t go along: “We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation.”
If Harding’s budget meetings had been rough, Coolidge’s were rougher. Lord first advertised a “Two Percent Club,” for executive branch staffers who managed to save two percent in their budgets. Then a “One Percent Club,” for those who had achieved two or more already. And finally a “Woodpecker Club,” for department heads who kept chipping away. Coolidge did not even find it beneath his pay grade to look at the use of pencils in the government: “I don’t know if I ever indicated to the conference that the cost of lead pencils to the government per year is about $125,000,” he instructed the press in 1926. “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy,” he told voters.
Coolidge in Command
“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones,” Coolidge had once advised his father. And indeed, while Harding had vetoed only six bills, Coolidge vetoed 50—including farming subsidies, even though he came from farming country. (“Farmers never had made much money,” he told a guest, and he didn’t see there was much the government could rightly do about it.) He also vetoed veterans’ pensions and government entry into the utilities sector.
Perhaps reflecting his temperament, Coolidge favored the pocket veto—a way for the president to reject a bill without a veto message and without affording Congress a chance to override a veto. Grover Cleveland, who Coolidge admired, had used this veto in his day, as had Theodore Roosevelt. But Coolidge raised its use to an art form. The New York Times referred to it as “disapproval by inaction.”
Gaining public acceptance of having a Scrooge as president required playing the role of Scrooge consistently. Coolidge took care to do so, visiting his saving habit on everyone around him. It was at the White House dinner table, for instance, that Coolidge’s attack on “pork” became literal: At one point the housekeeper proudly showed the President the spread for a big dinner, and instead of receiving praise she was scolded for serving “an awful lot of ham.” She departed soon after.
The Hurricane Katrina of the Coolidge years, the great Mississippi River flood of 1927, wiped out many areas of the South. Yet Coolidge pointedly chose not to visit the devastated areas—sending Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover in his place—out of concern that a presidential visit might encourage the idea of federal spending on disaster relief, for which there were already advocates in Congress. This triggered resentment, which Senator Thaddeus Caraway of Arkansas expressed in personal terms: “I venture to say that if a similar disaster had affected New England the President would have had no hesitation in calling an extra session. Unfortunately he was unable to visualize the situation.” But soon thereafter floods tore across Vermont, the state where Coolidge had spent his childhood, and calls for him to visit grew loud—to no avail. “He can’t do for his own, you see, more than he did for the others,” as one Vermonter explained. Vermont, like Arkansas, would have to recover without federal intervention.
In doing research for my new biography of Coolidge, I reviewed his presidential appointment books and found a clue as to why he was able to be so consistent: sheer discipline. Coolidge and his budget director met every Friday morning before cabinet meetings to identify budget cuts and discuss how to say “no” to the requests of cabinet members. Most presidents give in after a time—Eisenhower being a good example—but Coolidge did not, despite the budget surpluses during his presidency. He held 14 meetings with his budget director after coming to office in late 1923, 55 meetings in 1924, 52 in 1925, 63 in 1926, and 51 in 1927.
In a conference call with Jewish philanthropists, Coolidge explained his consistency this way: “I believe in budgets. I want other people to believe in them. I have had a small one to run my own home; and besides that, I am the head of the organization that makes the greatest of all budgets, that of the United States government. Do you wonder then that at times I dream of balance sheets and sinking funds, and deficits and tax rates and all the rest?”
The Purpose of Tax Cuts
Speaking of tax rates, in December 1923, Coolidge and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon launched a campaign to lower top rates from the fifties to the twenties. Mellon believed, and informed Coolidge, that these cuts might result in additional revenue. This was referred to as “scientific taxation”—an early formulation of the Laffer Curve. And Coolidge passed the word on: “Experience does not show that the higher rate produces the larger revenue. Experience is all the other way,” he said in a speech in early 1924. “When the surtax on incomes of $300,000 and over was but 10 percent, the revenue was about the same as it was at 65 percent.”
Mellon and Coolidge did not win all they sought. The top rate of the final law was in the forties. But even this reduction yielded results—more money flowing into the Treasury—suggesting that “scientific taxation” worked. By 1926, Coolidge was able to sign legislation that brought the top marginal rate down to 25 percent, and to do so retroactively.
Today’s Republicans tend to take pleasure when the Laffer Curve is vindicated and more money flows into government as a result of tax cuts. Indeed, this idea of “scientific taxation” is often used to attempt to get Democrats to go along with tax cuts, as if those cuts are an end in themselves. By contrast, the specter of increased federal revenue rendered Coolidge anxious, personally and politically—so much so that he considered foregoing the rate cuts: “While I am exceedingly interested in having tax reduction . . . it can only be brought about as a result of economy,” he said at one point. He would not put tax cuts before budget reduction, insisting on twinning the two goals. To underscore the point, twin lion cubs given to Coolidge by the mayor of Johannesburg were named “Budget Bureau” and “Tax Reduction.”
In short, Coolidge didn’t favor tax cuts as a means to increase revenue or to buy off Democrats. He favored them because they took government, the people’s servant, out of the way of the people. And this sense of government as servant extended to his own office. Senator Selden Spencer once took a walk with Coolidge around the White House grounds. To cheer the President up, Spencer pointed to the White House and asked playfully, “Who lives there?” “Nobody,” Coolidge replied. “They just come and go.”
This view of government and his attendant insistence on economy made Coolidge few friends in Washington—a fact illustrated by notes kept by White House usher Ike Hoover. These notes record the excuses given by lawmakers for not attending breakfasts hosted by Coolidge at the White House: “Senator Heflin: Regrets, sick. Senator Norris: Unable to Locate. Senator Pittman: Regrets, sick. Senator Reed, of Missouri: Regrets, sick friend.” But as unpopular as he was in Washington, Coolidge proved enormously popular with voters. In 1924, the Progressive Party ran on a platform of government ownership of public power and a return to government ownership of railroads. Many thought the Progressive Party might split the Republican vote as it had in 1912, handing the presidency to the Democrats. As it happened, Progressive candidate Robert LaFollette indeed claimed more than 16 percent of the vote. Yet Coolidge won with an absolute majority, gaining more votes than the Progressive and the Democrat combined. And in 1928, when Coolidge decided not to run for reelection despite the urging of party leaders who looked on his reelection as a sure bet, Herbert Hoover successfully ran on a pledge to continue Coolidge’s policies.
Unfortunately, Hoover didn’t live up to his pledge. Critics often confuse Hoover’s policies with Coolidge’s and complain that the latter did not prevent the Great Depression. That is an argument I take up at length in my previous book, The Forgotten Man, and is a topic for another day. Here let me just say that the Great Depression was as great and as long in duration as it was because, as economist Benjamin Anderson put it, the government under both Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, unlike under Coolidge, chose to “play God.”
* * *
Beyond the inspiration of Coolidge’s example of principle and consistency, what are the lessons of his story that are relevant to our current situation? One certainly has to do with the mechanism of budgeting: The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 provided a means for Harding and Coolidge to control the budget and the nation’s debt, and at the same time gave the people the ability to hold someone responsible. That law was gutted in the 1970s, when it became collateral damage in the anti-executive fervor following Watergate. The law that replaced it tilted budget authority back to Congress and has led to over-spending and lack of responsibility.
A second lesson concerns how we look at tax rates. When tax rates are set and judged according to how much revenue they bring in due to the Laffer Curve—which is how most of today’s tax cutters present them, thereby agreeing with tax hikers that the goal of tax policy is to increase revenue—tax policy can become a mechanism to expand government. The goals of legitimate government—American freedom and prosperity—are left by the wayside. Thus the best case for lower taxes is the moral case—and as Coolidge well understood, a moral tax policy demands tough budgeting.
Finally, a lesson about politics. The popularity of Harding and Coolidge, and the success of their policies—especially Coolidge’s—following a long period of Progressive ascendancy, should give today’s conservatives hope. Coolidge in the 1920s, like Grover Cleveland in the previous century, distinguished government austerity from private-sector austerity, combined a policy of deficit cuts with one of tax cuts, and made a moral case for saying “no.” A political leader who does the same today is likely to find an electorate more inclined to respond “yes” than he or she expects.

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Foolish to think ‘It can’t happen here’

by Thomas Lucente

As the gun control debate rages on, I have taken some flak for stating, quite correctly, that the sole purpose of the Second Amendment is for the citizenry to protect itself from the government.


End of debate.

Of course, that leads to nothing but derision from leftist gun-grabbers.

The government, their argument goes, is not going to kick in your door. I suspect a few million German citizens were making that same argument in 1936.

But we don’t need to resort to Nazi analogies to make this point. Let’s just look at some developments here in the good old USA in recent years to determine whether the possibility of government agents kicking in doors is a real threat.

In March [2012], the attorney general of the United States, one Eric Holder of Fast and Furious fame, told students at the Northwestern University Law School that the president could kill any American citizen so long as he and his secret advisers determined the person was a threat.

In Holder’s opinion, the president and his advisers making a considered decision to kill an American citizen is a satisfactory replacement for the Constitution’s Due Process Clause.

I assume Holder was talking about American citizens overseas. However, two days later, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, appearing before a congressional committee, could not answer a simple question from U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, that asked him if the president could kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

Let’s be clear here. The head of the FBI did not know if it would be legal for the president of the United States to kill American citizens on U.S. soil.

I’m pretty sure that I read somewhere that the government is not supposed to deprive anyone of life or liberty without due process, i.e., a trial. Yet, our president has an actual kill list of people he wants dead and last I checked, the prison at Guantanamo was still open and military tribunals were still a go.

In 2011, the Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, a law that gave the president unprecedented powers to detain American citizens on American soil indefinitely and without charges based purely on the president’s orders.

In 2011, Obama actually ordered the execution of an American citizen overseas, Anwar al-Awlaki, via a CIA-operated drone. The attack was in Yemen, where the United States is not at war. A month later, An American drone killed his teenage son, who was born in Colorado.

There was no trial, just a decision by the president that this American citizen, because of his speeches and sermons, must die.

Now, drones have been authorized for domestic use within the United States.

Then there were the CIA’s secret detention facilities and its program of torture.

And who can forget President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretap program? Under that executive order, American citizens could be spied on without a warrant.

Now where did that pesky Fourth Amendment disappear to?

And any talk of the dangers of our modern-day U.S. government would be remiss without a hat tip to the Patriot Act. In 2011, Obama extended three of its most infamous provisions for four years: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves” – individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.

Finally, because I am running out of room, not because I am running out of examples, a quick Internet search will provide you with case after case of the government charging common criminals with terrorism, just so they can get bigger sentences.

That is life today in the USA, land of the free, where our government imprisons more people than any other country in the world. That includes places such as China, Cuba, Russia, Iran, etc.

But, hey, we don’t need a gun to protect ourselves from the government.

So the next time someone asks me why I “need” an AR-15 with a 30-round magazine, instead of my usual response of, “Why did Rosa Parks ‘need’ to sit in the front of the bus,” (answer: It is a fundamental human right) I will simply point to the above examples.

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Why Many Conservative People Can’t see What’s Wrong

September 26, 2011

If you’re like me, I listen to talk radio whenever I can. My wife and I just came back from a five-day trip to the coast of Georgia. We have a three-month trial of Sirius Satellite radio in our car. We listened to hours of people calling into shows on numerous political topics. I want to say that a lot of people are stupid, but it’s not true. There are a lot of intelligent people who are ignorant. They haven’t studied an issue in depth.

A good number of them have been brainwashed by academic gobbledygook similar to the scene in Back to School starring Rodney Dangerfield. Dangerfield’s character is sitting in a business class where the professor is setting up a fictional company that makes widgets. Dangerfield, a prosperous businessman, asks, “What’s a Widget?” The exchange between Dangerfield and the professor is priceless. You can read it here (start with “There are two kinds of people in business today…”) and see it here. Notice the response of the students. Being book-smart does not make a person wise.

Then there’s the self-interest group. Smart people know enough that a policy might affect them personally, so they vote, not out of principle, but out of how they can benefit from a program even if that program is unconstitutional. We often wonder why millionaires vote for liberals. They know that liberal policies through money at certain sectors of the economy. They want a piece of the action.

Then there are the Ostriches with their heads in the sand. They want to know why we’re “attacking the president.” They whine that we should “give him a chance.” These people, who are generally conservative, believe a problem will go away if we don’t make trouble. “Can’t we all get along,” they ask. “If we’re nice to people,” they reason, “they’ll be nice to us.” These people have no cultural awareness. They live in a fantasy land of their own making where they can’t make distinctions.

Their way of thinking is illustrated by an old Chinese proverb that goes like this: “If you want to know what water is, don’t ask a fish.” Never having experienced another environment, a fish lacks the ability to see differences in his environment; it has no knowledge of an alternative world; the fish’s only reference point is water and what swims with him.

It’s possible that some people are too close to our culture to make the necessary distinctions to bring about changes. “Culture is like the air with breathe,” Charles Sherlock, author of The Doctrine of Humanity, argues. “Unless we are ill or are making a deliberate attempt to concentrate on it, breathing is something we take for granted. So it is with culture; unless we deliberately focus upon it, or move to live in another culture, we are largely unaware that we are ‘cultured.’”

Cornelius Van Til had two apt illustrations to explain the difficulty to see how we have become part of a corrupting culture. He said that it was like a man made of water who tries to climb out of a pit of water using a lad­der constructed of water. He used a similar illustration to make the same point. It’s like a man with yellow glasses cemented to his face — “all is yellow to the jaundiced eye.”

Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920), theologian, statesman, journalist, and Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1901–1905), directs Christians to stand against the pull of the modern culture to make us a willing partner to its attractive lure:

“When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, that battle is your calling, and peace has become sin. You must at the price of dearest peace lay your conviction bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.”

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I must study politics and war that my sons may have
liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
- John Adams

When we stood up together as Patriots, to fight for America’s founding principles, we knew that we were in a war. Not a war of our choosing. A war of necessity, against those on the left who want to erode America’s founding principles.

Now, we find ourselves in a two-front war to defend America’s founding principles: against the left – and now against the so-called right.

Our second opponent is the Republican Party establishment and their pundit-class enablers in Washington DC.

In just a few short weeks since the Republican establishment’s hand-picked candidate led the Republican Party to defeat, the establishment has turned its sights on you – to blame you for their loss and for the weakness they have shown since their loss.

They have accused you, and millions of your fellow grassroots Patriots, of being what’s wrong about America. Why? Because we want fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally limited government, and free markets. That’s not what’s wrong about America. That’s what has been historically – and uniquely – right about America since our founding.

Not according to the Washington DC power establishment of elected officials, political staff, consultants, media pundits, and even some former “friends.” They have declared war on us, in a desperate attempt to hold on to their shrinking slivers of power and influence.


We are in a war for the heart and soul and Constitution of America. It is a war we must fight, and a war we must win.

This week, Speaker John Boehner purged three fiscally responsible Representatives from budget related committees. We melted Boehner’s phone lines. There were long waits on hold, and some of our fellow Patriots were hung up on by Boehner’s office, in a show of disdain for We the People.

We also called the three Congressmen who were purged from their committee assignments by Speaker Boehner, to let them know that we have not abandoned them like Boehner did, and that we will stand with them as they keep standing up to fight for our shared values and principles.


Today we need to know if you are with us. We, the People, will not go away. We will not give up. We are here to fight this war, not to surrender. If our next battles have to be against those who are sitting in leadership and Speakership positions because of the majority we handed to them, so be it. We did not choose this war. We did not choose our opponents. They chose to wage war on us – and on the principles we hold dear as Americans.

We are marshaling our forces for the battles ahead, and we need to know if you will fight for what’s right about America, or will you surrender?


PS: We want to give a special hat tip to our fellow Americans who have not surrendered, and who are helping us get the word out, including:, RedState, and TheBlaze. We know that ForAmerica, FreedomWorks, American Commitment, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, and American Majority, among others have all had special calls to action this week, and we appreciate their commitment to our cause as well. We are in this together and we appreciate those who are willing to stand up and fight against those who are fighting against us.

PPS: In case you find it hard to believe just how bad the establishment has been toward us, you can check these links to see what is happening in the news.

Boehner – new revenue:

Saxby Chambliss on Revenue Increases

Peter King backing down on revenue increases

Conservative Purge:
Secret Purge list

Boehner pulling Amash, Huelskamp, and Schweikert from their committee assignments as punishment. Amash and Hueslkamp were 2 of 22 who voted against Boehner on “Boehner Bill” which was after Cut, Cap, and Balance and before the ultimate debt ceiling deal.

Members behind the purge and those who say there was no purge

Boehner and the Tea Party
Boehner says No tea party caucus

John Boehner: ‘No daylight’ between tea party and me

General Battle for the Soul of Conservatives and Blame the Tea Party Mentality

Give Up Ghost of Ronald Reagan

Lugar won’t campaign for Mourdock and this one on Lugar not campaigning for Mourdock

Not once was “tea party” mentioned at RNC Convention. One link more from Mediate.

Ann Coulter saying Romney was the perfect candidate and attacking Jenny Beth and the tea party by name. If Romney was so perfect, why’d he get a million less votes than McCain Palin did in 2008?

David Frum blaming Tea Party for Romney’s loss before Election Day. While all of the volunteers were working hard to win for Romney his supporters were not working hard but looking to blame you the volunteers for the loss. And, David Frum has written a book for sale on iBooks only 2 days after Election Day so he could profit from his jibberish. Did you have time to write a book to profit from Romney’s loss 3 days after Election Day or were you trying to recover from the sleepless nights, countless phone calls and doors knocked, and still putting Band-Aids on the paper cuts from he campaign?

Former Republican Research Director saying we need to be called out as conspiracy theorist as William F. Buckley did to John Birchers years ago

Incestuous spending, contracts, positions with Crossroads, Romney, and Bush Campaigns

Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.


Ann Coulter saying Romney was the perfect candidate and attacking Jenny Beth and the tea party by name. If Romney was so perfect, why’d he get a million less votes than McCain Palin did in 2008?

David Frum blaming Tea Party for Romney’s loss before Election Day. While all of the volunteers were working hard to win for Romney his supporters were not working hard but looking to blame you the volunteers for the loss. And, David Frum has written a book for sale on iBooks only 2 days after Election Day so he could profit from his jibberish. Did you have time to write a book to profit from Romney’s loss 3 days after Election Day or were you trying to recover from the sleepless nights, countless phone calls and doors knocked, and still putting Band-Aids on the paper cuts from he campaign?

Former Republican Research Director saying we need to be called out as conspiracy theorist as William F. Buckley did to John Birchers years ago

Incestuous spending, contracts, positions with Crossroads, Romney, and Bush Campaigns

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Agenda 21

(Content “adopted” from the OLC website.)

Agenda 21 is a global comprehensive plan of action being implemented in every facet of government and business. Do you know the language of sustainable development and is it being implemented in your community?

The Knox County 912 Project will begin a group project in 2013 to research little known ramifications of Agenda 21 which result in loss of liberty and usurpation of private property rights through the vehicle of a worldwide agenda with tenets in the dogma of globalism and environmentalism.
Social justice and redistribution of wealth on a worldwide scale are key – it’s about inventory and control of land, humans, and natural resources.
Agenda 21 is the product of the 1992 Earth Summit held by world leaders in Rio de Janeiro who came together to discuss environmental concerns on a global scale. It was decided that sustainable development must be implemented by developed and developing nations. To be effective, nations must work together collectively – and at the local level.
In June 2012, Alabama became the first state to preserve state sovereignty against the United Nation’s Agenda 21 through passage of its Anti-Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 Law.
With the 2012 presidential election in the rear-view mirror, ongoing issues continue to pop up on the radar screen. Agenda 21 has come to the forefront as an issue of concern and is rapidly taking front and center in public awareness.
The purpose here is not to proselytize. Information on Agenda 21 speaks for itself. There is evidence of bi-partisan interest on this topic.
An internet search will yield more than enough information to take you down the rabbit hole of research indefinitely. A trip to the United Nations website is well worth the visit.
The goal of sustainable development is to incorporate world, national, state, local, and municipal governments along with the business community in implementation under the guise of “sustainability” and earth friendly objectives.
Surveys have yielded little knowledge on the topic. Most were unaware of Agenda 21 or its implications for U.S. sovereignty – including a local member of the media, a politician, community leaders, and presumably well-informed individuals.
These are highlights from a recent Don Casey’s presentation:
• Alabama was the first state to enact Agenda 21 legislation
• 13 other states are looking into passing similar legislation
• Australia has over 7,000 treaties with the United Nations, including a fishing ban in the Coral Sea
• Agenda 21 is a well-documented Progressive-Socialist agenda, not a conspiracy theory
• Agenda 21 is being implemented at all levels of government and business, most successfully on the local level
• Nokia, L’Oreal, Proctor and Gamble, Toyota and others have implemented sustainable development
• Differentiated Agenda 21 as “a self-regulating governance system”, not government
Agenda 21 has a code language of its own. According to Casey, talking points or Agenda 21-friendly language includes:
• Sustainable development, smart growth, social justice, regional planning
• Sustainable farming, STAR sustainable communities
• Open space, conservation easements, Green Building Codes, free trade, public/private partnerships, preservation, environmental protection, stakeholders, land use, development, redevelopment, comprehensive planning
• Community service, diversity, visioning, heritage
• Wildlands Project (50 percent of the land to be set aside for non-humans through cores, buffers, and corridors)
Some of Agenda 21 unsustainables include:
• Freedom to travel, own a gas-powered car, live in suburban or rural areas
• Freedom to determine the number of children you may have
• Determine the “rates of harvest” of farms and fisheries
• Eliminates private property rights through eminent domain
• Increases the price on goods and services through artificial shortages and new consumer taxes
• Golf courses, ski runs
• Grazing of livestock, plowing soil, building fences
• Dams and reservoirs
• All industry
• Single family homes, paved roads
• Power line construction
• Economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment, such as capitalism, free markets, and more
Other information and resources:
• [UN Website on Agenda 21]
• Don Casey’s full Agenda 21 presentation in Virginia on You tube
• Articles by Don Casey, Vice-chair of ACR
• Alabama Takes A Stand Against Soros-Backed “Agenda 21″ (The Blaze)
• World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
• Alabama Adopts First Official State Ban on UN Agenda 21 (New American)
• Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 (Sodahead)
• “Agenda 21-The U.N. plan for Sustainable Development” A conversation with Alliance For Citizens Rights Vice-chair, Don Casey (Campaign for Liberty in Alabama)
• Maps of Agenda 21 in the United States
• Agenda 21/Sustainable Development -Warm and Fuzzy Words
• Durham Region Food Charter – May 28, 2009


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Are States Sovereign in America?

Are States Sovereign in America?


Reading through many postings I kept seeing recurring themes of disobedience, division, and a movement bent on secession and civil war. It became obvious that despite many Internet political readers being more rooted in our history there is a representative voice echoing the belief of a large number of citizens. Sparking the discussion were legislatures in Arizona, New Hampshire, Washington, and Oklahoma introducing a general warning the 10th Amendment still applies. (In June of 2008 Oklahoma actually passed the legislation by a 92 to 3 margin while most of us slept.) Montana and Missouri are two examples of specific claims under the 10th Amendment with their focus on firearms and abortion.
There should be no surprise by those who believe this is a good movement others see it as a bad movement. In our lifetime states have not appeared to be sovereign nations unto themselves but merely a sub-category of government between the federal and city levels. Just as many believe we are a democracy the way history is taught combined with the changes we’ve instituted through Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court rulings it is easy to understand why opponents to this movement are confused.
The 16th Amendment created a system where the federal powers took money directly from the people and a funneling back to states began to occur. The 17th Amendment stripped the Legislative Branch from a true bicameral system of a Senate representing the states and a House representing the people to the facade of bicameralism as both chambers now represented the people. Even further back were the 14th Amendment alterations weakening the states sovereignty. Supreme Court cases over the past 60 years have given little credence to the 10th Amendment. However, we must remember the Supreme Court has given little credence to any of the founding principles since the 1930s. (For an analysis of SCOTUS assault read “The Constitution in Exile” or “Who Killed the Constitution.”) When we consider Constitutional Law classes in our country focus more on modern events than any attempt to first embrace the original intent of those founding the United States of America it is easier to understand the confusion over the sovereignty question.
Combine this with what many mayors across the country asked President Obama to do this past week and we cannot blame any citizen for believing we are one nation and states are merely a sub-category. Articulated during news appearances by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, the mayors traveling to Washington D.C. did so to encourage the Stimulus Bill’s quick passage and funds for cities are sent directly to the city without being filtered through the states. When mayors bypass governors while citizen watch without batting an eye who is to believe states are sovereign?
We’ve had this debate before when Federalist supporters (those actually wanting one nation) clashed ideologically with Anti-Federalists (those wanting recognition of states as sovereign nations). Would it surprise you to learn states, in the language of the day, were considered nations rather than a sub-category within a nation? In the Treaty of Paris King George III did not recognize one independent nation but 13 sovereign nations. According to Dr. Kevin Gutzman, “[b]ut sovereignty lay in the states. That was the first principle of American government.” (Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, p. 16) When this was last debated the words of the 10th Amendment were crafted to protect the power and sovereignty in the states as the Anti-Federalist clearly understood the tyrannical nature of a single, federal level control.
Are we to clearly abandon, once and for all, the key principles that helped in making us a great United States of America? Many of us have grown to accept two very dangerous ideas already. As this recent movement points out too many believe states are not now, nor should they be, sovereign. Also, as we will discuss in another article, too many believe we are a democracy. As keystones for securing our grand experiment are abandoned we crumble. Pause long enough to study our history and attempt to clearly understand your beliefs so you more clearly understand the direction you support.
Remember our history, not our modern traditions that are moving us toward representative democracy. Here is some recommended reading to help begin the stirring of our memory. Study these with friends and family as if you were studying the scriptures of your religion or the stats of your favorite sports team.
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson’s Account of the Declaration
Independence a Solemn Day by Richard Henry Lee
U.S. Constitution and Amendments
Federalist Papers
Anti-Federalist Papers
1828 Webster’s Dictionary (learn the language of the founders)

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The long-awaited election is finally over. Half the country is elated, and the other half is numb. During the weeks leading up to the election, Republicans had been encouraged by pollsters and political analysts, who confidently announced that no President in recent history won re-election with a national unemployment rate over 7.2 percent. They showed poll after poll indicating that a significant majority of Americans believe we are on the wrong track. They pointed out that uncommitted voters inevitably break for the challenger in the final moments. They said it’s all about voter turnout, and concluded Republicans were much more likely to show up at the polls.

This should not have been a close election. All things considered, Barack Obama should have been easily defeated, especially by a challenger so experienced and imminently competent as Mitt Romney.

Now that the contentious campaign is over, there will be calls for reconciliation and unity, but they will fall on deaf ears. The divisiveness fueled by four years of class warfare and petty politics is not likely to heal anytime soon. And now that Obama has been given four more years, unencumbered by political considerations, he is free to impose his radical ideology with reckless abandon. It will only expand the schism. Any hope of reuniting the country vanished with Tuesday’s election.

We all want a prosperous America, but there are dark days ahead for the country. Obamacare remains intact, and most Americans will be stunned at the resulting higher costs and lower quality of care. Small businesses will curtail hiring because of its impact. Scandals like Solyndra, Fast and Furious, and Benghazi will remain buried. More will occur. The national debt will continue to skyrocket, as entitlements expand, and our country cannonballs toward bankruptcy. More liberal justices will be appointed to the Supreme Court. Congress and the Constitution will become less relevant as Obama imposes more of his will on the country through Executive Order. The country will be flooded with illegal aliens as our borders disintegrate, and the Democrats will have established a solid voting bloc and dream constituency – a majority of Americans totally dependent on government.

And something else has escaped the attention of America during this heated campaign. Like the Democrats, Iran is undoubtedly ecstatic about the election results. Ahmadinejad has heard Obama’s empty threats over Iran’s nuclear ambitions for four years. He knows that the use of force by this country, contrary to Obama’s endless warnings, is off the table. As he continues to develop a nuclear weapon, unimpeded by the United States, our closest friends in that region are coming to understand that they are on their own. A confrontation between Iran and Israel is almost a certainty, and Iran has already promised to retaliate against America in that event. Despite Obama’s best efforts to hide from this issue, America will be drawn in.

Obama’s election in 2008 might have been attributed to a naïve electorate that saw a new kind of politician, one filled with inspiration and hope. Or perhaps it was nothing more than mindless enthusiasm generated by America’s first African-American President. With this election, we now know that the country has fundamentally changed. It’s been remolded by Socialists and Communists who have wormed their way into our government, the news media, and our education system. The younger generation has been particularly influenced. One poll shows that 60 percent of the youth vote went to Obama.

This election suggests that the America of past generations is gone. The Obama supporters have forgotten, or never learned those values that made the country great, like hard work, personal responsibility, and selflessness. They have long ago forgotten the inspirational words of John F. Kennedy, Democratic leader from a bygone era, who called for some of that selflessness when he proclaimed, “Ask not what your country can do for you…” That’s exactly what today’s voters are asking. They are inspired by promises of free contraceptives, free health care, and free education. In fact, they demand nothing less than cradle-to-tomb care guaranteed by the government, and funded by the taxpayer.

There was another world leader from Kennedy’s era who comes to mind. He said something not particularly inspirational, but just as memorable. In 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, predicted the demise of Capitalism and free enterprise, announcing to the West, “We will bury you.” Fifty six years later, his prediction has come to pass.

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Teacher Unions destroy education

America’s education system is in crisis. Test scores show us that students across America are performing at levels far below their peers overseas. In addition to test scores that aren’t up to par, graduation rates are shamefully low. There is no doubt that America’s students deserve better. In a rapidly changing world, our students are not being taught the basic knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It’s time to get to the root of the problem that no levy can fix.

America’s teachers unions — particularly the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — are one of the most organized and powerful voices in politics. These unions continue to block reforms needed to improve our nation’s schools by putting their focus on teachers rather than on the students they teach. Why? For money and power.

Education unions are perennial political powerhouses, nationally and locally. Fortune magazine has consistently ranked the National Education Association in the top 15 of its Washington Power 25 list for influence in the nation’s capital. Over the last 20 years, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has given more than $28 million in campaign contributions; the National Education Association (NEA) has given almost $31 million. That’s almost $60 million, more than any other organization. At the state level, The Ohio Education Association (OEA) promoted Barack Obama’s campaign with cover features in every issue of its “Ohio Schools” magazine since the start of the school year, and did the same in 2008. OEA claims to represent the interests of all Ohio teachers, but many educators who disagree with OEA’s politics are required by state law to pay hundreds of dollars in dues even if they opt out of the union.

Inside the front cover of the August 2012 Ohio Schools was a note that the magazine’s annual publication costs are $6.51 per member. With 124,000 members, this means OEA spends more than $800,000 each year producing a magazine designed to preserve the union’s power. Plus, teachers unions spend millions more on uncoordinated expenditures and get-out-the-vote efforts. Due to their massive base, and dues that they charge, teachers unions can both mobilize voters and spend huge sums of money to defeat ballot initiatives and candidates that they don’t like.

If you’ve ever wondered why education reform is slow in coming, now you know: Politicians have real reason to fear crossing the unions. When all is said and done, the power of the unions to block change is the single most important thing that anyone needs to know about the politics of American education.

Our education system is in desperate need of reform and it’s time we stop letting teachers unions stand in the way.

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Food for Thought

No Change by Chuck Baldwin, November 8, 2012

As everybody on the planet knows now, Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States. Democrats retained control of the US Senate, while Republicans retained control of the US House of Representatives. In other words, the national elections produced no change. But, in reality, we haven’t had any significant change in a national election in many years.

The last significant national election that produced dramatic change (at least temporarily) was the congressional elections of 1994, when Republicans swept both houses of Congress and denied President Bill Clinton’s Democrats control of the legislature. It was dubbed the “Conservative Revolution.” The other election that could be regarded as a national coup against the established political order was the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

However, within a year of the 1994 congressional elections, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott had successfully fought off attempts of rank and file GOP congressmen to truly reduce the size and scope of the federal government, and by 1995, it was business as usual once again. And after Mr. Reagan was shot shortly after taking office, much of the conservative agenda that he had campaigned on seemed to quickly fade away.

But ever since Reagan, republicans have routinely rejected legitimate freedomists and have nominated pseudo-conservatives. The result has always led to a resounding defeat for republicans at the polls. Since the defeat of George H.W. Bush after one term in 1992, due to his blatant big-government and globalist policies, Democrats have dominated the White House. The lone exception was the election of G.W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. But, Bush, Jr., ran as a Reagan-conservative. He wasn’t, of course, but he was perceived as one. But it was Bush, the Big-Spending-Warmonger, that doomed the GOP’s future failures. Bush’s out-of-control deficit spending, coupled with his preemptive wars of aggression, and the implementation of a burgeoning police state/surveillance society made the name “Republican” something dirty to the American electorate. As a result, the GOP is in complete disarray and without principled leadership.

Mitt Romney was just the latest attempt by the GOP establishment to force a big-government “moderate” upon party faithful. The true freedomist Ron Paul was treated in much the same way that Pat Buchanan was treated back in 1996. By hook or by crook, the GOP was not going to let a principled freedomist win the Presidential nomination. They wanted a controlled big-government toadie. They got what they wanted, and they lost! In fact, every time the GOP nominates a “moderate” as their Presidential nominee, he loses. Every time! One could almost get the feeling that the party establishment would rather lose with a moderate than win with a conservative. After all, why would the American people want a Wall Street moderate who will implement 85% of the Democrat agenda when they can elect a blue-collar Democrat and have the real deal? At least the Democrats are perceived as being compassionate. The GOP’s refusal to listen to their grassroots, to advance populist causes, and to disconnect themselves from Wall Street continues to cost them elections. In short, the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., is completely out of touch with average Americans.

The same scenario played out here in the State of Montana. The GOP candidates for Governor and US Senator (both pseudo-conservatives) lost to Democrats. (At the time of this writing, the race for governor is very close with only 7000 votes separating them; but the Democrat has held the lead all yesterday and today, and it is doubtful that the Republican can overtake him.) This is actually a good thing for the Montana Republican Party, as it removes from leadership the two most powerful neocons. These are men who had steered and manipulated the State party away from freedomist principles in much the same way that both Bush I and Bush II had done nationally. Now, true freedomists within the State GOP have an opportunity to rise to positions of leadership and begin steering the party back to its conservative roots.

But as I predicted earlier, the Presidential election did not provide long coattails. In DC, Republicans ended where they started, with control of the House of Representatives. Neither did Democrats increase their advantage on Capitol Hill at all. So, let’s not forget that the GOP controls the US House of Representatives. This means that the GOP controls the purse strings for ALL federal spending. If the Republican Party is serious about reducing spending, they have the power to do it. All monies appropriated for federal expenditures must be authorized by the House of Representatives. So, Republicans should quit crying in their milk and start demanding that House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the House Republican leadership start growing some man-stuff and stop funding all of these big-government, unconstitutional expenditures-including all of these foreign wars that are sapping both our freedom and our prosperity.

Here in Montana, Republicans maintained a significant majority in the State House of Representatives (my son, Tim, ran as a Republican in a predominantly Democrat district, and appears to have lost a close race) and picked up the attorney general’s office. Furthermore, there were five ballot initiatives, all of which had to be regarded as Republican issues. All five passed overwhelmingly.

Republican propagandists can complain all day long about principled freedomists who choose to vote for a third party or not vote at all for a given race. But they shouldn’t blame the voters; they should cast blame where it rightly belongs: at the feet of the GOP leadership. I no more owe allegiance to a political party than I would owe allegiance to a retail store. If the business does not convince me by its product, service, and price to shop there, I am under no obligation to do so. I will go down the street. It’s laughable to think that I owe my business to one store. What a joke!

It is equally laughable to suggest that I owe my vote to one political party. Each candidate has an obligation to convince me that he or she is worthy of my vote. When he or she does, my vote is given them. But when a candidate doesn’t earn my vote, they are not getting it–regardless of party label. That’s the way most Americans vote. Oh sure, you have the party loyalists who would vote for their party’s candidate if a baboon was nominated. Thankfully, the numbers of these types of voters are quickly shrinking.

And in truth even the party loyalists who condemn people who won’t vote for the “lesser of two evils” (meaning someone from their party) are blatant hypocrites, because they won’t do it either. The only difference is whether the “lesser of two evils” is defined by either principle or party. Let me explain.

Here in Montana there was a two man race for Clerk of the Supreme Court. One was a Democrat; the other was a Libertarian. There was no Republican in the race. The Democrat won by 14 percentage points. Pray tell, why didn’t all the Republicans vote for the “lesser of two evils” and give the Libertarian the victory? Why? Because party loyalists refuse to vote for anyone who is not a Republican, meaning the “lesser of two evils.” In other words, they behave in exactly the same way that many freedomists behave: they refuse to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” The only difference is the definition of “evil.” To freedomists, “evil” is the abandonment of constitutional, freedom principles; to party loyalists, “evil” is the abandonment of the Republican Party.

Here is the bottom line: Republicans don’t win elections when they nominate pseudo-conservatives. They crash and burn. And they have been crashing and burning for decades now. If Romney had any coattails, it was to taint true Republican conservative candidates with his brand of neoconism. When will they ever wake up and realize that they are perceived as being an out-of-touch, elitist, money-driven party that doesn’t give a darn about average people? Furthermore, when will they stop treating principled freedomists like toilet paper?

All over America, in State after State, the GOP leadership bullied, harangued, and stomped on Ron Paul and his supporters. The way Ron and his followers were treated in many State GOP conventions and in the national GOP convention was nothing short of criminal. Had Mitt Romney behaved as a gentleman and not like a vengeful tyrant, had the GOP leadership treated Ron and his supporters with the respect and dignity that they had earned, this election might have turned out differently.

Frankly, Mitt Romney deserved to lose, not only due to his big-government, liberal track record, which is out of step with rank and file freedomists, but also due to the shameful treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters, which he either knowingly tolerated or may have even orchestrated.

Furthermore, for the Republican Party to ask principled conservatives to support candidates who routinely trample constitutional government, who routinely support bigger and bigger government, who routinely aid and abet a growing police state, who routinely finance more and more unconstitutional wars of aggression, who routinely vote to bankrupt America with deficit spending, who routinely provide bailouts for their banker-buddies, and who routinely treat honest, hardworking freedomists like doormats, is to ask for more and more disaster at the polls.

So, the net result of the 2012 elections was NO CHANGE. And the reason there was no change in the elections is because there was no change in the Republican Party. What was the definition of insanity again?

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“2016: Obama’s America” is Now Playing in Mt. Vernon

Obama’s America 2016 is playing in Mount Vernon, now through Sep. 6th.

This is a must see movie!  Bring all your family and friends.

The link to the local movie site is below:

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