Friday, February 09, 2007

Walberg and the Role of Government

So, I was looking through Congressman Walberg's official House website earlier, figuring that, after receiving media attention, his office may have completed more pages, including his issue positions.

Unfortunately, while we can see which issues may matter to him, his positions on them are not clear. The one exception, as of this moment, is the issue titled "The Federal Government's Role". Here's what Walberg says:
The federal government has two primary roles. First, the government must protect our nation from foreign enemies. Second, the government must preserve the rights and freedoms in the founding documents so people can use their abilities, ingenuity and hard work to assist their families, community and nation.
Hmph. Two roles, eh? National security and preserve rights and freedoms.

There are a few important things he didn't mention, I think. First, straight from the Constitution, the powers of Congress:

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Now, it's true, Walberg did say the primary roles of the federal government. And, also true, national security gets a fair amount of attention-- declaring war, raising an army, etc. And, in the modern world, post offices and piracy on the high seas (Arr!) might not seem all that important.

At the same time, there are some pretty important things specifically mentioned as powers of Congress that I think ought to get a little attention from Walberg. Regulating foreign commerce, for example, should be a big one for any Michigan representative. And then there's "To promote the progress of science and useful arts." Walberg says he recognizes the need for promoting renewable energy, right? Well, what can and should the federal government do about it?

Incidentally, trade, the economy, and anything having to do with industry are all absent from Walberg's issues list, as are any mentions of science and the arts. But don't worry, "Life," the Second Amendment, and Tax Relief are all there. I bet those three are the issues you spend all your time thinking about.

UPDATE: 13 Feb. 2007-- As noted in the global warming post below, it looks like Walberg's website has a few new issues listed now, including "Economy." Still no content, but it's a start. Was it because of my little blog? Well, I doubt it, but it'd be nifty if it was.

And there are also the implied powers which the government exercises (for the strict constructionists out there, try here for starters).

I try to always build toward a point of some sort when I write these posts, but I'm afraid I don't have a clearly defined one tonight. Mostly, something about Walberg's view of the federal government struck me as wrong. Where's Social Security and Medicare? Where's regulating businesses for fair competition and honesty? He wants to protect you from foreign enemies and from infringing on your rights. Is that it? Does he feel no more compassion?

This is what Walberg writes:
The federal government has two primary roles. First, the government must protect our nation from foreign enemies. Second, the government must preserve the rights and freedoms in the founding documents so people can use their abilities, ingenuity and hard work to assist their families, community and nation.
But this is what he's really saying:

As far as I'm concerned, you're on your own.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Share your thoughts on Walberg, the Constitution, and the role of the federal government in the comments.

Labels: , ,

Very interesting discussion. I'm confused with his second role of Government:

"Second, the government must preserve the rights and freedoms in the founding documents so people can use their abilities, ingenuity and hard work to assist their families, community and nation."

Rights and Freedoms? Does that include the right and freedom of choice? The right to be free from intrustive government?

Hmm, he campaigned as a conservative. They usually demand limited government, but he wants the goverment to regulate wombs and has proposed a 23 percent sales tax and a new bureaucracy to collect it.

Walberg preserving our rights? I'd say he's actively trying to take them away!
I looked over his bio on the website. It look's like he cut and pasted from the campaign website.

There still is no such thing as a "Lifetime A+" rating from the NRA.
Thanks for keeping us informed.
I grew up in Battle Creek now living in Virginia.

Is there truth to the idea of recruiting former Mayor and Congressman Schwartz to switch to the Democratic Party and running against Walberg in '08?
I really doubt Schwarz would run as a Democrat. He's a Republican through and through, regardless of how Walberg has charactized him. He's a moderate Republican, but the party has moved so far to the Right he look's liberal and has raised speculation about party switching, primarly from hopeful Democrats who have no equal.

I think he would consider being an independent though. He appears to be throughly frustated with the Michigan GOP and their abandonment ment of the middle and moderates. By being an independent, he wouldn't have to fool with a primary again.

Here's something I found from another blog which summarizes the Michigan GOP's "accompolishments" in 2006. Although it's from a very bias site, it should concern ALL Republicans about the direction of their party:

- Unable to defeat a single Democratic incumbent in a state or federal election in 2006.

- Worst performance by a Republican candidate for Governor in 20 years, despite unlimited resources.

- Lost 6 seats in the Michigan House of Representatives to the Democrats, despite a Republican gerrymandered map.

- Lost 1 seat in the Michigan Senate to the Democrats despite a Republican gerrymandered map.

- Fewest Republicans and most Democrats in the Michigan Senate in 15 years.

- Lost control of Michigan House of Representatives to the Democrats, producing a Democratic Speaker for the first time in 12 years.

- Mailings to voters in Kent County helped Michigan Democrats send a second state representative to Lansing from Grand Rapids. Apparently Saul is even more effective at turning around Grand Rapids than Dick DeVos!

- Total Democratic sweep of all elected educational board seats for the first time in 20 years.

- Lost control of numerous county boards to Democrats.

- Endorsed Republican incumbent in 7th Congressional District defeated in primary.

- Urged the Republican National Committee to spend $1 million late on failed Senate campaign of Mike Bouchard rather than devote precious resources to defending Republican incumbents in Montana and Virgina, who in turn lost close races and swung control of the United States Senate to the Democrats!
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008