Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Size Matters: The Beginning Of America’s End Can Be Stopped

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, October 24, 2020

When in the history of our nation have you EVER heard of ANY President denigrating the FBI and other agencies of the United States government – for ANY reason whatsoever?

So, what’s the endgame for the far right?

Total anarchy & chaos, or are they actually going for an authoritarian state?

What’s the difference between “Big Government” and autocracy?

The derisive term “big government” is one used by anti-government anarchists, even though they’d NEVER call themselves that. But then again, White Supremacists don’t call themselves anti-Constitutional terrorists, either.

Frankly, I have long maintained that, contrary to the numerous assertions we’ve heard spouted, our government is NOT “too big,” but rather is TOO SMALL to be either effective, or efficient.

Think of it in restaurant terms.

Go to a 5-star Michelin restaurant, and you’d expect to find only one cook, and one wait staff… right?

OF COURSE NOT!

For such a fine dining experience, with a patronage seating of 100 or so (minus bar space), it would be REASONABLE to have AT LEAST 25, or likely even more, staff of all kinds – ranging from maître d’hôtel, to sous chef, to chef de cuisine, to line cooks, kitchen porters, to wait staff, to sommelier, to bus staff, dishwashers, and others – including bartenders, runners, housekeepers, and more.

The beginning of America’s decline began in earnest with Ronald Reagan, who, in his grandfatherly-like tones, and “aw, shucks” disarming humor, won American’s hearts, and their minds followed. That included Democrats who voted for him in almost unprecedented numbers over incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter who introduced America to Energy Independence, Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, and placed solar collectors/solar hot water heater panels atop the White House… which were promptly removed by the Reagan administration.

In his first Inaugural Address, “the Great Communicator,” as he was monikered, stated bluntly that “government is the problem.” It never occurred to anyone that if government was the problem, the obvious solution that problem is the elimination of it. And that’s precisely what he and the GOP set out to do. But it wouldn’t be called treason.

Of course, as a VERY skilled orator, having traveled across America on GE’s dime years earlier, he frequently gave talks that were very much sympathetic to BIG BUSINESS interests, all couched in patriotic language.

With his blessing, and encouragement, and the insidiousness of Newt Gingrich of Georgia as Speaker of the House, and their misguided fallacious “Contract With America” the GOP began to enact their plan to deconstruct (tear down) America, bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece, beginning with the “evil” social programs which were Reagan’s straw man punching bag for all that he said was wrong with America. And believe it or not, in his estimation there was PLENTY that was WRONG with America.

So he and the GOP turned budgets into block grant programs to allow the states to play with the money as they saw fit, which began their course of discrimination, to deny help to those who needed it most. Their block-grant programs to states allowed states to change or modify the plans as they saw fit, rather than adhering to the rules and regulations of the agencies under which auspices the funds were administered. The strategy was simple – divide and conquer. And they did.

Next on the GOP chopping block were taxes, because taxes are evil, you know, and Federal revenues were the food upon which their “monster” fed. So, “starve the monster” was their objective, and they did. Beginning with tax rate reductions or eliminations such as the Inheritance Tax couched as the “Death Tax,” which was countered as the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts,” the GOP began their slash-and-burn, take-no-prisoners approach to governance. Never mind that not even 1/10th of 1% of the American general pubic would ever have faced such taxes, they were convinced they would by POTUS Reagan, Speaker Gingrich, then Bob Dole, Trent Lott, and Bill Frist all three whom would become Senate Majority Leader, in order, who ushered in Mitch McConnell – all Southerners, with the exception of Dole, who is from Kansas, a hot bed of anti-slavery forces during our nation’s history.

As the GOP has continued their ill-fated course of tax reductions upon the wealthiest Americans, feigning that they benefit the Average American, Joe the Plumber, and Barbara the Baker, by treasuring the GOP’s wealthy sacred cows – the proverbial “job creators” by whose beneficence we all exist, and who desire nothing more than to throw scraps to us all for us to fight over, like starving dogs in a fight – they have also significantly reduced governmental agencies’ sizes, most notably the Internal Revenue Service, which is the assessments and collections branch of the Federal government. And that despite our nation’s continued growth.

According to agency officials, there are now FEWER revenue agents than in 1953, when our nation’s economy then was 1/7th of its present size. The result is that not only are there more tax cheats, and non-filers who neither file nor pay, but there are also significantly fewer audits, and those whom are audited are not the wealthy, but the poor. And according to the IRS, in 2010, $482M was uncollected because it lapsed under the 10-year statute of limitations for collection. A mere 7 years later, it was $8.3B – over 17x more than in 2010. As well, criminal investigations suffer. Of course, the BIGGEST beneficiaries of such practices are the wealthy and their corporations who increasingly flout America’s revenue laws by hiding money in offshore accounts, and other nefarious practices such as international money laundering in which many well-known banks have been complicit.

As further evidence of that fact, that our nation’s government is too small to be either effective or efficient, consider the matter of our Congressional representation in the House of Representatives. Following the 1910 Census, the House passed the Apportionment Act of 1911 which established the size of the House of Representatives at 435, which was permanently effectuated in 1929 with the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929. In effect, it permanently aborted (as much as permanent can be in government) growth of the House. At the time, in 1911, the preceding year’s census found 92,228,496 people in the United States, which at the time, was a People to Representative ratio of 212,020 to 1.

Fast forward 110 years to 2020. Current Census estimates show at least 330,500,000 people in the United States. The ratio of People to Representative is now 759,770 to 1 – an increase of 258%. So if you feel like your interests are not being represented, guess what? They’re probably not.

Representative Edgar Crumpacker of Indiana, a Republican who chaired the House Committee on the Census from the 58th to 61st Congress (1903-1911) said, “Members are . . . supposed to reflect the opinion and to stand for the wishes of their constituents. If we make the ratio [of persons per Representative] too large the idea of representation becomes attenuated and less definite. The personal interest of the voter in his representative becomes less important to him, and we may lose something of the vital strength of our representative form of government.”

Our nation’s Constitution calls for a REPRESENTATIVE government, and up until 1911, the size of the House of Representatives was periodically increased to adequately reflect the nation’s population increases. That all came to a screeching halt in 1929.

If we had the same ratio now as in 1911, the size of the House would be 1559 – a size most cannot fathom, simply because of the “frog in boiling water” approach. If a frog was dropped in hot water, the theory goes, it would immediately jump out, but if the water temperature was gradually increased, it wouldn’t notice, and thereby would be boiled to death – so goes the theory. And that’s what’s happened to America – we’ve ignored the relatively minor, almost insignificant changes until we’re in crisis because of our blithe ignorance.

Again, our nation’s government is MUCH TOO SMALL to be either effective, or efficient.

If we established a ratio, and a compromise on size/proportion to be somewhere halfway between then, and now, and wrote law so establishing a ratio, that would be rational, reasonable, and logical. For example, if we established a People to Representative ratio of between 400,000 and 500,000 to 1 (a 25% difference, the upper point at which redistricting would occur) we could enjoy improved representation, and Congress size would be 826, an increase in size of only 89.885%. Recall again that since that time, our nation has increased in size 258.3491%, so increasing the size of the House to 826 – not even doubling it to 870, which also would be reasonable – is modestly and conservatively reasonable.

As well, Congressional redistricting should not be done by partisans, but by disinterested 3rd parties, a commission whose membership would rotate, and be comprised of nonpartisan statisticians, demographers, ordinary citizens, and other nongovernmental officials whose job it would be to “draw the lines” for the Congressional Districts in our United States.

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