We are only a week into the new Trump Administration. “The Don” has come swinging out the gate, like a pre-Robin Givens, Mike Tyson back in his prime. And He’s giving Conservatives plenty to cheer about. He’s opening up his first 100 days in extraordinary fashion, in order to set a powerful tone. So far, he has removed all climate change data and references from the White House website. He has removed the federal funding for foreign funded abortions. He froze all federal agency hiring, with the exception of those hired by the Military. He has authorized the building of a Southern Border Wall. He’s made an executive order declaration to repeal and replace Obamacare. He’s removing funding from Sanctuary Cities and ending the “Catch and Release” program. He’s looking to strip billions of federal funding from the United Nations. His appointments, although somewhat a mixed bag, have been fairly decent overall. The possibility of Neil Gorsuch as the next Supreme Court Justice is extremely promising. He has even authorized the advancement of the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines, to the chagrin of the Progressive Leftists.
But, his lack of Conservative grounding illustrates just how contradictory his governing style may just be toward conservatism in the future. It seems to be starting to rear its ugly head, especially as it relates to the recent Pipeline Executive Order. For the Federal Government to mandate that private businesses use only American Made Raw and Refined Materials into the building, re-fabricating, or repairing Pipelines in America is a bit of an overreach in my opinion:
SUBJECT: Construction of American Pipelines
The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with all relevant executive departments and agencies, shall develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law. The Secretary shall submit the plan to the President within 180 days of the date of this memorandum.
“Produced in the United States” shall mean:
(i) With regard to iron or steel products, that all manufacturing processes for such iron or steel products, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.
(ii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured abroad from semi-finished steel or iron from the United States are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.
(iii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured in the United States from semi-finished steel or iron of foreign origin are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.
The Secretary of Commerce is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
DONALD J. TRUMP
If it were a Government Agency doing the actual construction of the Pipeline and using materials made directly from American Steel and Iron Companies, I would have no problem with this Executive Order. It would be their contract to award and their expense to incur (but at our expense via tax revenue). With the current waste of tax revenue, over frivolous studies such as the effects of Mountain Lions running on Treadmills, I could look past purchasing only American Steel and Iron for a project that is fully developed by a Government Agency. Now, would I want a Government Agency to be responsible for actually building the pipeline? Probably not. We would most likely be constructing this energy solution for the next 30 years, if a Government Agency were solely responsible for its Construction. But, when you look into who is actually being tapped to build theses pipelines, and how this order relates to Pipeline construction overall within the United States, it seems a bit outside of the Constitutional role of the Government.
Some of these pipelines are being built by Private energy firms. The Dakota Pipeline, in particular, is being built by Texas based Energy Transfer Partners. This is where I call into criticism the new President’s basis for decision making. It’s why we Constitutional “Conservatarians” wanted someone with a strong constitutional foundation to be leading the movements necessary in repairing the Republic from eight years of Progressive Sabotage. Take the Carrier Co. deal. This was the “canary in the coalmine” to Trump’s handling of the economy, and to how he plans to bring business home to America. The Deal, mostly allowable due to Mike Pence’s role as Indiana Governor at that time, was to make individual tax breaks available in order to incentivize Carrier Co. to stay put and not flee the country due to the company’s economic sustainability. Most notably as of late, there have been a plethora of various businesses proclaiming that they will remain in America. Did they each receive customized deals and incentives indicative specifically to their desires by Federal Government Promises?
This is not the role of Government. It’s not their role to harness domestic business through coercion, via individual deals towards businesses on a case by case basis. We tend to call this “Crony Corporatism”. The role of government is simply to create an enticing environment. Why not provide a lower corporate tax rate? This will lead to businesses into reevaluating the risks and rewards of operating overseas. Do we headquarter in a country that will let us keep more of our revenue? If we decide to look at other countries for conducting operations, we have to address some other outside questions:
- What if that country is politically unstable?
- What if the country is in the crosshairs of another nation’s aggression?
- What if they confiscate our property or overthrow our operations?
- What if the country is susceptible to an uprising of its citizens?
- What if, as in the case of China, their Government demands they be a must be a shareholder with a percentage of ownership in our business in order to be able to enter into their market to grow our customer base?
- What if we have to bribe government officials to facilitate our operations in these new markets?
- What if we can foster a relationship with their leadership financially, in order to operate at a level that’s more cost effective than being taxed at the rate of operating in America?
ALL of these questions are typically hedged against the calculated costs of labor, regulation compliance, and taxes for operating in America. Think of it in like this: If operating in a volatile nation could lead to a meager 5% increase in revenue, is it worth risking operations over the 1% revenue increase that could be earned due to the financial burden of higher costs of operating in America? It may Sound ridiculous, right? Well, think of this: What would be the result of a meager 5% overseas revenue increase vs. a 1% American revenue increase, as to how it relates to revenues earned of about $100 million? Yeah, I’d probably risk it too!
There’s another way to think of this situation on a personal level. Take the example of blissfully enjoying the comforts of home. Think of having the ability to be able to set your thermostat to 72 degrees, run all of your electronic devices, and light up your home the way that you see fit. Think about if you can consider all of this, without the consideration of the economic expense? Complete comfort at your every whim. If the Government subsidized your electrical bill, you’d probably even run the Hot Tub and leave the windows open with your heat on in the middle of February! Now, if it’s not economically viable to your income and expenses, you may think about dealing with a cooler temperature in your home. You may not want to run all of those electronic devices, in order to financial conserve and possibly save money. Businesses think of all of these factors in the same manner as well. And not every bottom line is a bloated, gross hording of revenue, as Liberals always assume. Sometimes, expenses add up to barely making any revenue. Assessing the tax implications of operating in the United States could force them to move out of the country. Everything is viewed as a hurdle. Continually assessing these obstacles is a regular action for a business to take, in deciding where to operate.
Ultimately, it is the role of government to provide a competitive and comfortable environment in order to entice businesses to reside and operate in America. You can do this easily, without the mindset of the last eight years. Instead of acting as though America is the “Burbank, CA. of the world” and the Government is doing these companies a favor by letting them operate in America, taxing them as such, we should cultivate a favorable economic environment for business retention.
Additionally, Trump displayed another action that makes me question his Constitutional grounding. We all understand the out of control crime and violence that is occurring in Chicago. Local police have had their hands tied. The progressive regimes have wielded toxic policies over decades of consecutive liberal dynasties, fostering this crisis. Generations of broken families, sanctuary city allowances, and an economically declining metropolis due to governmental inefficiency, has led to increasing violence and widespread murders. Drug gangs and drive by shootings have steadily increased year after year. It is an issue that the City of Chicago must eradicate.
So, Trump decided to weigh in on this phenomena. He sent out a tweet on twitter Tuesday night, Jan 24th. It stated, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘Carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016). I will send in the Feds!” Ok, if this was sent by Trump in 2015, I could look past it as simply heavy criticism. If it was some Hollywood actor, I could justify that critique as well. And this could be typical “Trump chest pumping” in a motion to show his positioning. He was very masterful at doing this throughout his campaign, whether it be brash or not. But this is now coming from the President of the United States! On the surface, it may sound reasonable. We all understand something must be done in Chicago. And to be honest, it’s entirely legal for the President to do so! Technically, Trump could deploy a commandeered National Guard into Illinois in order to quell the inner city violence that’s ever increasing, under the vague sections of legislation that’s already on the books. But, I think that Trump’s tweet actually sends a disturbing message.
Yes, the President has legal authority to intercede over domestic violence. But, he also currently has the legal authority to uphold Obamacare, even though we are all clamoring for its repeal. The problem again comes from his views as to the role that the Federal Government should play. Even though it isn’t in the “Top 5 Laws to Repeal”, a Constitutionalist would have addressed this issue and called for its removal. What should the Federal Government’s role be in relation to State law enforcement? How does it relate, at the very least, to Municipal and State Government performance? Should the Federal Government intercede in every State with a Locality that has a high crime rate? Is a State’s Sovereignty even crucially important of a factor as to how it relates to the makeup of our Republic? Keep in mind, this isn’t a criticism of Trumps or even his Tweet. This is actually a criticism of the expanded role of the Presidency going back to even George W Bush.
Now, I live on the east coast, about a few minutes away from the beach. We encounter severe weather on a regular basis. One of the oddest occurrences for people, who don’t live in an area such as ours, will note from time to time is the practice of preemptive declarations of State of Emergencies before an extreme weather event. The Governor will usually make this declaration in advance of the 1st rain drop! They do this in order to allow the Federal Government to aid in the efforts of the State Government. They “invite them in” to provide assistance with protection, medical assistance, and even help with clean up ahead of a severe weather event. Usually, this is preemptively ordered to begin the painstaking logistics of setting the assistance effectively in place. Think about Hurricane Katrina. Kathleen Blanco, the Governor of Louisiana was urged by the President of the United States to declare a State of Emergency. She failed to do so. The Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, didn’t even deploy the necessary measures to have evacuations ready. He failed to have essential city service employees ready to assist in covering the impending disaster. That’s why dozens of buses were underwater. No State of Emergency was Declared until it was extremely too late. This tied President Bush’s hands on providing Federal Assistance. They weren’t invited in to the State to assist by the sitting Governor. Whether or not this was done to inflict political damage to the President at the expense of their citizens is another argument altogether. But the mechanics of this example are as such to show the role of how the Federal Government interacts with the State Governments. George W Bush didn’t force the Federal Government into Louisiana, even if he wished to do so. A respect for States Sovereignty was never trampled upon by our Executive Branch of the Government.
So, in response to this quandary, the N.D.A.A. of 2007 was one of the few actions taken by the Bush Administration in order to remedy this issue. The N.D.A.A. of 2007 states:
“On October 17, 2006, the President Bush signed into law the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation amends the Insurrection Act to allow the President unilaterally, i.e. without the consent of the States involved, to deploy Federal troops, to respond to natural disasters and other major domestic emergencies, which was signed over the bi-partisan objection of all State governors, who claimed it trampled upon State Sovereignty”
This from the University of Maryland Center for Center for Health and Homeland Security:
“Perhaps the primary reason for the delayed federal action was the President’s perceived lack of constitutional and statutory authority to assume command of the response by the National Guard or to override Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco’s refusal to allow a unified command structure for active duty federal troops and the National Guard. That perception resulted from a narrow interpretation of both constitutional principles and the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the use of the federal military to enforce domestic laws in most cases. In 2006, to resolve this lingering uncertainty, President Bush urged Congress to enact the Warner Amendment to the Insurrection Act. This Amendment granted the President explicit authority to employ federal troops to “restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States” without the consent of the affected state to respond to a major disaster or emergency. The Warner Amendment was subsequently repealed in 2008, as it faced much opposition having arguably represented an unjustified expansion of presidential power.
Despite the ultimate repeal of the Warner Amendment, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, leaders in the field recognized the military’s potential to play a critical role in providing response support in major disasters and emergencies. The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act already authorizes federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, to provide a wide range of assistance in order to save lives and protect property, including providing federal supplies, personnel, and other resources or performing various emergency management services. In 2012, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the Secretary of Defense to involuntarily activate any Reserve units or individuals under federal authority to provide assistance in responding to a presidentially declared disaster or emergency. A state governor must first request federal assistance, but need not consent to the activation of Reserve troops. The passage of this Act streamlined the process for the Reserve to mobilize in order to support local communities. The Act’s purpose was first realized in November 2012 when the Army Reserve activated three tactical water distribution units to affected areas in response to Hurricane Sandy.
In stark contrast to the criticism of slow federal action in response to Katrina, the federal government received much praise from the states and local communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy seven years later for its quick response and minimal bureaucratic red tape. Despite a few challenges over the last ten years, including the enactment and repeal of the Warner Amendment, the federal government has made and continues to make significant progress in its involvement in disaster and emergency management through carefully considered legislative reform.
Now, justification for Trump’s Statement is found within the section entitled: “Or other condition”, which refers to “Subtitle H: Other Matters”. It’s a very critical action. The president can send the National Guard into any community for any—even frivolous—reasons. The Founders were anxious to never have a national police force, for fear it would be used to centralize power at the federal level and weaken the role of states. Many times in the Federalist Papers, it addresses the natural tendency for a powerful central government to gravitate to great control over the several states. It emphasizes the necessity for the importance of State Sovereignty. In Federalist 46, The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared from the NY Packet, James Madison mines this territory. He states, “I proceed to inquire whether the federal government or the state governments will have the advantage with regard to the predilection and support of the people. The federal and state governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers, and designed for different purposes”. ”. He goes on to address those who were against the proposed Constitution at that time as saying, “These gentleman must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone”. He continues by stating that, “The first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective States”.
Going back to the roots of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act takes you to the Insurrection Act of 1807. This act is the set of laws that govern the ability of the President of the United States to deploy troops within the United States to put down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion. The general aim is to limit Presidential power as much as possible, relying on state and local governments for initial response in the event of insurrection. It was coupled with the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. That was passed to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. It reads: “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the military ‘as a posse comitatus’ or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than two years or both.”
Now, the 2007 section was repealed under the 2008 in the HR 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, SEC. 1068.
SEC. 1068. REPEAL OF PROVISIONS IN SECTION 1076 OF PUBLIC LAW 109–364 RELATING TO USE OF ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES. (a) INTERFERENCE WITH STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS
Sec. 333. Interference with State and Federal law
`The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it–
(1) So hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
(2) Opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.
In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.’
(2) PROCLAMATION TO DISPERSE- Section 334 of such title is amended by striking `or those obstructing the enforcement of the laws’ after `insurgents’.
We all know that President Obama had absolutely no regard for the boundaries between State and Federal jurisdiction. He continually displayed this throughout his exhausting, eight year tenure. Federally Militarizing Municipal Law enforcement, through using the Department of Justice as his weapon, was normal fare for Obama. They continually undermined local internal affairs investigations, even down to conducting independent ones that prop up their agenda. It was a normal occurrence. But that was a Progressive President. We expected a disregard for Constitutionality from him and his party. But we should never settle for the same standard from a Republican administration. Especially, since the Constitutional grounding was something many of us were clamoring for in the primaries! So, to see this tweet posted by a sitting President was a bit unnerving. Truthfully, the N.D.A.A. should actually should be on the repeal, “1st 100 days” Chopping Block. Let’s return to constitutionality. Hopefully, the Conservative council that’s helping us win back all of that lost ground from the Democrat regime, will roll back this over extension of powers.