Let's get in the Gately Time Machine and go all the way back to Friday afternoon.
I went to the UVU Senatorial debates on Friday afternoon. First off, there was a gridlock of cars trying to find a parking space. This was compounded on normally labyrinthine college parking. Fortunately I called Sarah who happened to be an expert on the campus layout and found me a free parking space across the street. She is just amazing. I can't believe my good fortune to work with someone so competent.
Once on the fourth floor of the college library it was standing room only. Old ladies had to stand while young college students got front-row seats. I took matters into my own hands and carted a chair through the crowd for this particularly elderly woman. The debates were pretty un-enlightening, giving only two minutes per response, an almost useless soundbite. I feel for the lone democrat who was actually boo-ed at one point (for suggesting that Congress can enact any law it likes and it's up to the supreme court to worry about constitutionality). Since I'm a Delegate I have to act with more circumspection (a lot more) than I normally would. Otherwise while going by to shake hands I would have asked him if they clanged around much when he walked.
I think a candidate needs at least an hour to even give a rough sketch of his views. I've been to a total of about four hours of Mike Lee talking (and hope to give due diligence to the other candidates as well, just they haven't really had much within reasonable driving distance).
The one thing that stood out to me at the debates was that out of ten questions there were none about foreign policy, but plenty about debt/budget. The two are inextricably linked.
I have made a short and rough video of my various experiences. Please note that this does not include the hours of footage and many pages of notes of actual observations and sorting of issues. This is only the icing; the shaking hands and meeting people.
Saturday morning I got up at 6am for another Mike Lee thing, this time out at Ivory Ridge something-or-other club. That place is how the other half lives for sure. Then again to the Lee's palatial estate up in the hills. That was an eye-opener and I have a lot of comments on that, but not a lot of footage. It seemed a bit direspectful to get out the camera in someone's house, but his wife said it would be just fine. But still...
OK, well it's 5:30am and sleep is unlikely so I'll give you my impressions.
First off, it was a nightmare to find a babysitter. I even called Renn as a desperation move (ladies?). My wife and I headed off around 7pm for Alpine. We had a minor quarrel en route as she wanted to stop off at her sister's to drop something off and I thought we didn't have time for that. But as usual Tamie had her scheduling down straight and it was not hardly a detour at all. We arrived about ten minutes early and walked up to the absolute hugest house I've ever seen in my life, like a mansion. At that same moment we ran into a couple from our ward, the Wrights, the wife of which is a delegate as well. We were greeted at the door by a cherub-cheeked girl of about seven or eight years, their daughter. Waved in by Sharon (the wife) we sat down and chatted for while until enough guests had gathered. The overwhelming impression of the Lees is that they are regular folk, unassuming and unpresumptuous. Polite but not pretentious. They are about our age in fact.
Their house was not ostentatious, like a mansion from the movies with marble and chandeliers, but by far the most spacious and well-appointed home I've ever been in.
Then into the living room where Mike Lee gave his regular remarks, most of which I have heard before. He is not bombastic or preachy, but rather very straightforward with no dissimulation or dodging. He comes back often to the Constitution and clearly knows his stuff. His mission? Reduce the size of the federal government, all the way to pre-1913 levels if possible. This includes doing away with the Federal Reserve (starting with an audit). I won't go any further into the details, as that is a topic for another day, and will be on this blog only as a link-able reference for other delegates and interested parties.
Republicans expanded government for eight years. I think this November you're going to see a cleaning of the house, and a virulent strain of constitutional type republican is going to emerge. They do not want to build an empire or force their way of life on others, but rather return the rights to the citizens of various states to build a way of life as they see fit. That's part of the key: they are not utopians willing to use force of law and force of arms to mould the world into their image, but rather they are yoke-breakers. Dare I say a return to the original American way of life.
I dream of a world where I will get out a roll of $100 bills and they will have a note on them indicating that they are backed by a commodity. And then I will peel off those bills and pay my workers in cash. I won't have to keep track of my spending or indeed keep any records because the income tax and the IRS will be abolished
The topic of re-distribution of wealth keeps coming up. Typically this is in reference to welfare and social programs. Here are some of my thoughts. Some of them are heretical and not wholly formed. Some are devil's advocate type ideas that I don't really believe but they must be looked at.
What is wealth? It's the goods and services provided by human labor and ingenuity.
What about the opposite of re-distribution of wealth? Concentration of wealth. This needs to be addressed as well. I am not interested in a candidate that does not address entitlement programs AND the Federal Reserve. The latter allows for the greatest concentration and confiscation of wealth ever. To abolish the Federal Reserve is to abolish the charter of all banks to amass the resources of the local population by means of fractional reserve banking.
Then there's just plain old distribution of wealth. How does that happen? Would it be fair if every man ate only the fruits of his own labors, how would that be?
There is a difference between voluntary and involuntary distribution of wealth. Verizon Wireless may be a mega-corporation but in the end they don't have high-powered rifles and SWAT teams. Humans should be allowed to decide for themselves what to do with their resources.
Military spending can be re-distribution of wealth too! Payroll taxes are collected ostensibly to provide social services. But then the money is re-directed to pay a private contractor 15 billion dollars who then makes a 10 billion profit. That just transferred wealth from one person to another in a big way and used government force to accomplish it.
Re-distribution can also take place in the most hideous fashion: through time. By going into debt one generation sucks the wealth away from the next one. It should be criminal.
Re-distribution of wealth is the ONLY thing that government can do. It makes nothing on its own. In order to get "free" services, resources must first be stolen from the local toymaker.
Last thought: just because the federal government isn't doing something doesn't mean it won't get done. The states are quite capable of handling themselves.
Posted by Blue Table Painting at 4:45 AM