Indianapolis Archive

Georgia Street’s New Name Will Be…Georgia Street!

It appears that Mayor Greg Ballard can actually listen to public input on a topic. Well, at least he seems able to a mere 39 days before an election and when his side of things is horribly unpopular. Today, the Mayor kinda conceded to leave the name of Georgia Street unchanged when it reopens after its facelift. (See the Channel 6 Story here.)

Why kinda? Because the Mayor said he would leave to option open for name changes in the future. Ballard seems to think that, after seeing all the exciting awesomeness of the new Georgia Street, the public is somehow going to suddenly flip its opinion and want a name change put in place. He has even announced a press conference Friday to announce a “significant addition” to Georgia Street.

First Signs of a Possible "Were the CIB/Simon Bailouts Worth It?" Experiment: NBA Cancels Two Pacers Preseason Home Games

IBJ

Hotel Workers Flood Council for Tax Rebate Bill

I went to last night’s City-County Council Meeting. I wanted to see the Mayor introduce the budget and I wanted to see how the vote went on Prop 188. I never got to do the former.

See, it was standing room only at the meeting last night. Less than standing room only. A sea of red shirts completely flooded not only the council chambers, but also the entire second floor entry area to those chambers. The Fire Marshall’s capacity notice for the room, if I recall correctly, states the room can hold no more than 275. I’m pretty sure the chambers were well past that number. (In the wake of the State Fair tragedy, I wonder what the fallout would have been if something terrible would have happened in that packed room.)

The hundreds of red shirts represented a segment of the hotel workers in Indianapolis that were there to support the introduction of Proposal 242, a tax rebate for the city’s employees in that industry. Not just any of the employees, but just those making between $10,000 and $25,000 annually.

The hotel workers’ point is that many of these hotels are getting a tax break to make money in the city, and if the hotels get a piece then so should the hotel employees.

The tax break would come in the form of a rebate that would be somewhere between $200 and $250 per year. A decent little check for someone making less than $25,000. Abdul-Hakim Shabazz points out that this equals about 54 cents a day, and is thus not worth fighting for. His math is right, but when you make that kind of money $200 is worth fighting for.

You may think I’m saying I support 242. You’d be wrong. You see, I fully support lower taxes and the increased economic freedom they bring. But I also support economic freedom for all, not just some, as well as drastically simplified tax codes. Proposals like 242 carve out yet another exemption to a specific group and add another layer of confusion to an already multi-faceted mess of tax laws out there.

Hotel workers, you’ve got the right idea. Lets get the government to allow us to keep more of what we earn. You’re going about it wrong, though. We need to eliminate these carve-outs for specific industries, companies, and people and focus on a big carve-out for us all.

Rivera’s Proposal Attacks Indy’s Poor, Neighborhoods, and Private Property Owners so the City Can Kiss a Little NFL Butt


  On June 27th, At-Large City-County Councillor Angel Rivera

Indianapolis Can Do Better Than The ACS Parking Deal

The City of Indianapolis is currently considering a proposal, being pushed by the Mayor’s office, that would essentially sell off to the private firm ACS (a division of Xerox) a government sponsored monopoly on downtown metered parking. One of the partners in this deal includes an operator of parking garages as well. The deal has been subject of considerable criticism due to its length, stiff penalties for early termination and lack of attempting to create a competitive market for parking. Despite attempts by city officials to try and improve the deal, it still, to use the modern vernacular … SUCKS.There is an appearance that the city is willing to do this woefully one-sided, monopolistic deal because of the substantial up front payment that ACS is willing to make. The city is hungry for money right now to make improvements in the city prior to the 2011 elections and hosting the Superbowl in 2012. Despite a lot of criticism, and some of it justified, of Mayor Greg Ballard the bottom line is that the average person in the street doesn’t perceive the city as being run poorly or having its priorities misplaced right now. I’m not saying this perception is or isn’t accurate, just that despite the wishes of some local pundits the Mayor is not as unpopular as they might want. This is true, even with the very public problems that have plagued IMPD lately and despite having badly disappointed a lot of more free market, small government libertarian leaning folks who at one time cheered his election. Local radio host and political commentator Abdul Hakim-Shabazz of Newstalk 1430 AM is fond of suggesting that if you’re going to throw rocks at a plan, at least bring your own ideas or alternatives to the table. There are a lot of different ways that management of the metered parking could be privatized, here is just one idea.Instead of granting monopoly control over all of the parking for decades at a time and with harsh penalties to the city for terminating the agreement, why not something like this?Divide the metered parking into sections, maybe even into segments a block long (or other appropriate metric) and lease (perhaps via auction) the parking rights in chunks. Assuming that the parking rates are going up, no matter what happens, let’s just use something slightly higher than the present cost, maybe $1.00 per hour as the lease rate and that lease holders could then build a margin into their rates. Parking downtown is hard to come by and most meters are occupied almost all day during the week. Let’s assume the lease is valid from 6 AM to 6 PM during regular weekdays but use 10 hours a day as the expected average occupancy.The lease terms could stipulate that no single lease holder can control more than some percentage of the parking, maybe something around 40%. It could also stipulate restrictions on how many consecutive blocks (or other grouping) could be controlled by one entity. The city could put other restrictions into the lease terms like that weekend and evening parking is still free. Rates for and management of each meter must be clearly marked. Early termination might involve just paying a pro-rated amount back to the lease holder for an remaining term and the city might just need to refund for days where it needs to close a section of street to parking. The lease term lengths could be for anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Shorter term length agreements might carry a premium, perhaps $12 to $15 a day instead of $10 just like how shorter term lengths in other industries carry premiums. Parking rates in excess of a certain cap (maybe $2.00 an hour just to randomly pull a number out of nowhere) might require a 50% premium back to the city. There are, according to an IBJ article I read, around 3,600 spaces and there are about 261 regular weekdays (holidays notwithstanding). Ten dollars a day X 261 weekdays X 3,600 spaces X 5 years = $46,980,000 … all paid up front. Insert your own lease rate, term lengths and other factors and come up with your own figures, this is just one example.Not only could the numbers work, but private operators could opt one day to replace more standard parking meters with meters that can also charge electric cars (for an extra fee) or who knows what else.The point is that as public, government owned property it could still be regulated while inducing privatization, competition and innovation. This is just one idea and I’m sure there are others; but, even as someone of a libertarian persuasion I’d rather the city just retain control than transfer monopoly control to a corporation. At least if it stays under city control the prospect of doing a good deal doesn’t disappear behind millions of dollars in early termination fees. Privatization is fine when properly done, the problem is that government rarely does it so.UPDATES:An article at New Geography regarding privatization is worth a quick read. Tip of the hat to Advance Indiana for posting.Also, it occurred to me to add that legal and administrative costs for managing the kind of system I propose above could be much less than the big, monopoly style deals governments typically engage in. For a small percentage of around 5 to 7% I’m sure an outside firm or consultant could be retained to manage coordinating the rules with city officials, creating basic legal agreements as well as segmenting, managing the bidding process, handling complaints if necessary and providing ongoing compliance checking. Click here for a photo of a solar-powered, multi-space parking meter.

Indianapolis Can Do Better Than The ACS Parking Deal

The City of Indianapolis is currently considering a proposal, being pushed by the Mayor’s office, that would essentially sell off to the private firm ACS (a division of Xerox) a government sponsored monopoly on downtown metered parking. One of the partners in this deal includes an operator of parking garages as well. The deal has been subject of considerable criticism due to its length, stiff penalties for early termination and lack of attempting to create a competitive market for parking. Despite attempts by city officials to try and improve the deal, it still, to use the modern vernacular … SUCKS.
There is an appearance that the city is willing to do this woefully one-sided, monopolistic deal because of the substantial up front payment that ACS is willing to make. The city is hungry for money right now to make improvements in the city prior to the 2011 elections and hosting the Superbowl in 2012. Despite a lot of criticism, and some of it justified, of Mayor Greg Ballard the bottom line is that the average person in the street doesn’t perceive the city as being run poorly or having its priorities misplaced right now. I’m not saying this perception is or isn’t accurate, just that despite the wishes of some local pundits the Mayor is not as unpopular as they might want. This is true, even with the very public problems that have plagued IMPD lately and despite having badly disappointed a lot of more free market, small government libertarian leaning folks who at one time cheered his election.
Local radio host and political commentator Abdul Hakim-Shabazz of Newstalk 1430 AM is fond of suggesting that if you’re going to throw rocks at a plan, at least bring your own ideas or alternatives to the table. There are a lot of different ways that management of the metered parking could be privatized, here is just one idea.
Instead of granting monopoly control over all of the parking for decades at a time and with harsh penalties to the city for terminating the agreement, why not something like this?
Divide the metered parking into sections, maybe even into segments a block long (or other appropriate metric) and lease (perhaps via auction) the parking rights in chunks. Assuming that the parking rates are going up, no matter what happens, let’s just use something slightly higher than the present cost, maybe $1.00 per hour as the lease rate and that lease holders could then build a margin into their rates. Parking downtown is hard to come by and most meters are occupied almost all day during the week. Let’s assume the lease is valid from 6 AM to 6 PM during regular weekdays but use 10 hours a day as the expected average occupancy.
The lease terms could stipulate that no single lease holder can control more than some percentage of the parking, maybe something around 40%. It could also stipulate restrictions on how many consecutive blocks (or other grouping) could be controlled by one entity. The city could put other restrictions into the lease terms like that weekend and evening parking is still free. Rates for and management of each meter must be clearly marked. Early termination might involve just paying a pro-rated amount back to the lease holder for an remaining term and the city might just need to refund for days where it needs to close a section of street to parking. The lease term lengths could be for anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Shorter term length agreements might carry a premium, perhaps $12 to $15 a day instead of $10 just like how shorter term lengths in other industries carry premiums. Parking rates in excess of a certain cap (maybe $2.00 an hour just to randomly pull a number out of nowhere) might require a 50% premium back to the city.
There are, according to an IBJ article I read, around 3,600 spaces and there are about 261 regular weekdays (holidays notwithstanding). Ten dollars a day X 261 weekdays X 3,600 spaces X 5 years = $46,980,000 … all paid up front. Insert your own lease rate, term lengths and other factors and come up with your own figures, this is just one example.
Not only could the numbers work, but private operators could opt one day to replace more standard parking meters with meters that can also charge electric cars (for an extra fee) or who knows what else.
The point is that as public, government owned property it could still be regulated while inducing privatization, competition and innovation. This is just one idea and I’m sure there are others; but, even as someone of a libertarian persuasion I’d rather the city just retain control than transfer monopoly control to a corporation. At least if it stays under city control the prospect of doing a good deal doesn’t disappear behind millions of dollars in early termination fees. Privatization is fine when properly done, the problem is that government rarely does it so.
UPDATES:
An article at New Geography regarding privatization is worth a quick read. Tip of the hat to Advance Indiana for posting.

Also, it occurred to me to add that legal and administrative costs for managing the kind of system I propose above could be much less than the big, monopoly style deals governments typically engage in. For a small percentage of around 5 to 7% I’m sure an outside firm or consultant could be retained to manage coordinating the rules with city officials, creating basic legal agreements as well as segmenting, managing the bidding process, handling complaints if necessary and providing ongoing compliance checking.
Click here for a photo of a solar-powered, multi-space parking meter.

2010 Liberatrian Results In Marion County

Remember, these are just Marion County votes.  The percentages do not reflect precincts outside Indianapolis.

Candidates in a TWO-way race
                                      VOTES   PERCENTAGE               
KEVIN VAIL (State Rep 90).  .  .  .   2,943    15.68%
JOE HAUPTMANN (State Rep 87).  .  .   1,345    17.40
KENT RAQUET (State Rep 93).  .  .  .  1,337    13.29
TERRIE A. CLOUD (FRANK Trustee) .  .  2,267    19.01

Independents & Libertarians: Vote for School Board

Tuesday, May 4, is Primary Election Day. Libertarians don’t waste taxpayer money with primaries, BUT THAT IS NO REASON TO STAY HOME ON MAY 4!

Everyone is given three choices when arriving to the polls on Primary Day: a Republican Ballot, a Democrat Ballot, or a SCHOOL BOARD ONLY Ballot. While voting Republican or Democrat is dirty and will go on your permanent record, School Board races are non-partisan and should be voted on by everyone (schools control 50% of your property taxes). Pike & Washington Twp’s will also have a public question that you’ll want to answer.

So go vote on May 4, 6am-6pm, and ask for the School Board Only Ballot. Then, come to the Liberty Election Night Party 6pm – 10pm at Claude & Annie’s (Pike Plaza) – 5162 Pike Plaza Road, Indianapolis, 46254, hosted by the Ogden/Maguire team for School Board.  Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106138229429464

The following candidates for School Board are endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Marion County:

Allison Maguire, Pike Twp School Board
Paul Ogden, Pike Twp School Board
Jo Coleman, IPS School Board

Indiana’s 5th District Republican Primary – Brose McVey Should Scare You

The Republican Primary is coming up and there are some interesting candidates in the field who desire to unseat long-serving 5th District Congressman Dan Burton. Certainly, many would say he has served far too long, has a tarnished image and maybe isn’t the kind of leader they would like to see. Those people may have some points; but, at the end of the day Burton’s voting record is far better than most other members of Congress and he often gets credited with having a pretty decent staff. Perhaps there is room for improvement; but, for those who are looking for another option, there MAY be a good choice in that race but Brose McVey does not appear to be it.Here are the main things that have led me to have concerns about McVey’s candidacy:Strike I:I had the opportunity to meet Brose McVey at a Washington Township GOP Club Meeting and asked him about his stance on restructuring the tax code from one based on income to one based more on consumption like The FairTax would do I was told that he (Brose) was concerned that the government might not have enough power to tax in that circumstance so he would support keeping some kind of income taxes while ALSO empowering the Federal Government to levy sales taxes. Seriously? Grant the government an additional power of taxation?The presumption here is that there would be some way to prevent the combination of these from being just as, or more, oppressive as the current system. Think about that, granting the government a power to tax your purchases without ensuring that its power to tax your income was taken away. Brose feels his idea is better than the one some Ivy League economists and $20 million in research developed leading to the sales to tax reform advocates of millions of books? I believe a sarcastic Dr. Evil, “Riiiiigggghhhhttt…..” is appropriate here.When pressed, his concern is for the government’s ability to forcibly extract revenue regardless of economic conditions with no consideration for ensuring that people have a right to their property and the fruits of their labors. So in essence, although he might not see it this way, he believes government has a “first claim” on what you trade your life for (wages after all are exchanging the best hours of the best years of your life in exchange for money). We need politicians who are on the side of the people not government.Strike II:A friend of mine is at a Carmel, Indiana business gathering and Brose McVey is there shaking hands and campaigning. My friend, who is in the real estate business, is engaged in a serious conversation when McVey interjects himself into their space and discussion to introduce himself while shoving his campaign card at my friend. I’m told the card was immediately handed back with the admonition of, “Hey, I’m having a conversation here buddy!” My friend was incensed and felt that it was rude and arrogant to not wait until an appropriate stopping point in his conversation to have a business card and handshake shoved at him. Strike III:Apparently, Brose supports the idea of a Constitutional Convention. He actually wants each state to pluck political appointees out of their partisan ranks and send them somewhere to open up, alter and re-write our Constitution? (we have a process for this – it’s called “amendments” and at least a few of them like the 16th, 17th, 18th and 23rd were really bad ideas)He posted this on a social networking site for professionals:”It’s time for a Constitutional Convention, called by THE STATES. Balanced Budget Amendment, Term Limits, reaffirmation of limits on federal” [the message ended there but presume he meant “power”?]Now, as a member of and participant in numerous political discussion and e-mail groups I can tell you that a lot of people in the conservative and libertarian political community are terrified by that idea. No one believes that very many wise men of great pro-liberty conviction like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Mason or James Madison would be sent to alter our founding documents in appropriate ways. Anyone appropriately plugged in to the pro-liberty movement in any number of libertarian or conservative forums would have already been privy to and able to engage in the arguments for and against this over the past year or two.A Constitutional Convention does not mean that just people you agree with would be showing up to participate! In Indiana, with the Democrats in charge of the State House what kind of representative do you think would get selected to represent us at such a Convention? In fact, many believe we’d end up with the same kind of circus we currently see in Congress and it would result in something granting the federal government near unlimited power to do whatever it wants. Sure, there are a few things that could be changed in the document (see below*) but for the most part, the document itself is fine – it is the courts, bureaucrats and the politicians that are the problem. I responded to Mr. McVey that opening up the Constitution to the current crop of big government Democrats and Republicans that stock our halls of government might not be the best idea. He responded with:”The risk of opening this sacred document to the people is now much less that allowing the tireless march of Washington politicians to continue unchecked. I regret that we may disagree on this critical point, but you can bet that my position will remain firm.“Instead of engaging in a discussion, instead of asking questions about why or what the concerns are, how he perceives it would really be okay and that our rights would be safe, I got a rather arrogant, “…my position will remain firm.” Really? No new facts, no input from others, no discussion on the subject could possibly alter your position? We may give politicians grief when they do a John Kerry “flip flop” but I don’t know many people who believe the exact same things at 40 that they did at 20. Being open to new ideas, information, wisdom and debate is what shapes and hones our understandings. The whole idea that a Constitutional Convention would end up with government more securely restrained than it was supposed to be in the original document is unbelievably naive. It’s kind of like folks who are increasingly calling for their state to secede from the Union. I understand where they are coming from; but, to assume that your state legislators and governor would suddenly put together some kind of libertarian government is also a little naive. Doesn’t mean it might not be a whole heck of a lot better than being under the thumb of the Feds (how could it not be better?) but don’t be deluded into thinking you’d get something you’re really probably not gonna. So, on the whole, in Mr. McVey I see no firm grounding in any kind of ideology that concerns itself with protecting the natural rights of individuals or restoring the rule of law under our current Constitution. Even if his intentions are good, the lack of consideration for the impact, potential harm caused by or likely future abuse of some of the things he would seem to support is frightening. We’ve got enough know-it-all bozos in Washington with bad, short-sighted, misinformed or under-informed opinions – we don’t need more. Oh, and on this you can bet that my position will remain firm. ;-)—*A few things in the Constitution that might be worth altering (by no means an exhaustive list):The commerce clause could be more specifically defined to meaning only what was originally intended, “making regular the free trade between the states”. (research: 1942 Wickard vs. Filburn Supreme Court case)We should just nuke the welfare clause out completely to avoid it being construed as an excuse to steal from one group of people on behalf of another. (significant usurpation especially the 1937 Steward Machine Company vs. Davis court decision)The power to raise armies should be strictly limited to ensure only voluntary induction to the military (as anything else is involuntary servitude and presumes that you are the property of the government to dispose with as they see fit). A requirement to use zero-based budgeting might not be a bad idea.Penalties for government agents (elected or otherwise) who pass laws, regulations or act in ways that violate the natural rights of people should be in place – otherwise the document itself has no power over those who would ignore it. The document needs claws. Congress will pass unconstitutional laws and then let the courts sort it out. But, the courts are partisan so what’s the point?Absolutely we would scratch the phrase, “A well regulated militia,” from the 2nd Amendment since the anti-self defense folks like to try and use that to disarm people.Congress should be equally subject to all laws, regulations, restrictions and programs that get passed and never allowed to exclude themselves. (this has been previously proposed over the years as one possible 28th Amendment)So, sure, there are some things that could be adjusted but the document really is not the problem. Politicians, judges and an apathetic population are really the problem when they have no respect for the natural rights of people and will interpret any document to mean whatever they want it to mean to serve their own agendas. Does anyone think if we have Constitutional Convention any of the above listed things are likely to make it through? Doubtful at best.[note: article originally suggested Brose was an attorney, he is in act identified as a “businessman” on his web site and has an degree from Purdue’s School of Agriculture]

Indiana’s 5th District Republican Primary – Brose McVey Should Scare You

The Republican Primary is coming up and there are some interesting candidates in the field who desire to unseat long-serving 5th District Congressman Dan Burton. Certainly, many would say he has served far too long, has a tarnished image and maybe isn’t the kind of leader they would like to see.
Those people may have some points; but, at the end of the day Burton’s voting record is far better than most other members of Congress and he often gets credited with having a pretty decent staff. Perhaps there is room for improvement; but, for those who are looking for another option, there MAY be a good choice in that race but Brose McVey does not appear to be it.
Here are the main things that have led me to have concerns about McVey’s candidacy:
Strike I:
I had the opportunity to meet Brose McVey at a Washington Township GOP Club Meeting and asked him about his stance on restructuring the tax code from one based on income to one based more on consumption like The FairTax would do I was told that he (Brose) was concerned that the government might not have enough power to tax in that circumstance so he would support keeping some kind of income taxes while ALSO empowering the Federal Government to levy sales taxes. Seriously? Grant the government an additional power of taxation?
The presumption here is that there would be some way to prevent the combination of these from being just as, or more, oppressive as the current system. Think about that, granting the government a power to tax your purchases without ensuring that its power to tax your income was taken away. Brose feels his idea is better than the one some Ivy League economists and $20 million in research developed leading to the sales to tax reform advocates of millions of books? I believe a sarcastic Dr. Evil, “Riiiiigggghhhhttt…..” is appropriate here.
When pressed, his concern is for the government’s ability to forcibly extract revenue regardless of economic conditions with no consideration for ensuring that people have a right to their property and the fruits of their labors. So in essence, although he might not see it this way, he believes government has a “first claim” on what you trade your life for (wages after all are exchanging the best hours of the best years of your life in exchange for money). We need politicians who are on the side of the people not government.
Strike II:
A friend of mine is at a Carmel, Indiana business gathering and Brose McVey is there shaking hands and campaigning. My friend, who is in the real estate business, is engaged in a serious conversation when McVey interjects himself into their space and discussion to introduce himself while shoving his campaign card at my friend. I’m told the card was immediately handed back with the admonition of, “Hey, I’m having a conversation here buddy!”
My friend was incensed and felt that it was rude and arrogant to not wait until an appropriate stopping point in his conversation to have a business card and handshake shoved at him.
Strike III:
Apparently, Brose supports the idea of a Constitutional Convention. He actually wants each state to pluck political appointees out of their partisan ranks and send them somewhere to open up, alter and re-write our Constitution? (we have a process for this – it’s called “amendments” and at least a few of them like the 16th, 17th, 18th and 23rd were really bad ideas)
He posted this on a social networking site for professionals:”It’s time for a Constitutional Convention, called by THE STATES. Balanced Budget Amendment, Term Limits, reaffirmation of limits on federal” [the message ended there but presume he meant “power”?]
Now, as a member of and participant in numerous political discussion and e-mail groups I can tell you that a lot of people in the conservative and libertarian political community are terrified by that idea. No one believes that very many wise men of great pro-liberty conviction like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Mason or James Madison would be sent to alter our founding documents in appropriate ways. Anyone appropriately plugged in to the pro-liberty movement in any number of libertarian or conservative forums would have already been privy to and able to engage in the arguments for and against this over the past year or two.
A Constitutional Convention does not mean that just people you agree with would be showing up to participate! In Indiana, with the Democrats in charge of the State House what kind of representative do you think would get selected to represent us at such a Convention? In fact, many believe we’d end up with the same kind of circus we currently see in Congress and it would result in something granting the federal government near unlimited power to do whatever it wants. Sure, there are a few things that could be changed in the document (see below*) but for the most part, the document itself is fine – it is the courts, bureaucrats and the politicians that are the problem.
I responded to Mr. McVey that opening up the Constitution to the current crop of big government Democrats and Republicans that stock our halls of government might not be the best idea. He responded with:
“The risk of opening this sacred document to the people is now much less that allowing the tireless march of Washington politicians to continue unchecked. I regret that we may disagree on this critical point, but you can bet that my position will remain firm.
Instead of engaging in a discussion, instead of asking questions about why or what the concerns are, how he perceives it would really be okay and that our rights would be safe, I got a rather arrogant, “…my position will remain firm.” Really? No new facts, no input from others, no discussion on the subject could possibly alter your position? We may give politicians grief when they do a John Kerry “flip flop” but I don’t know many people who believe the exact same things at 40 that they did at 20. Being open to new ideas, information, wisdom and debate is what shapes and hones our understandings.
The whole idea that a Constitutional Convention would end up with government more securely restrained than it was supposed to be in the original document is unbelievably naive. It’s kind of like folks who are increasingly calling for their state to secede from the Union. I understand where they are coming from; but, to assume that your state legislators and governor would suddenly put together some kind of libertarian government is also a little naive. Doesn’t mean it might not be a whole heck of a lot better than being under the thumb of the Feds (how could it not be better?) but don’t be deluded into thinking you’d get something you’re really probably not gonna.
So, on the whole, in Mr. McVey I see no firm grounding in any kind of ideology that concerns itself with protecting the natural rights of individuals or restoring the rule of law under our current Constitution. Even if his intentions are good, the lack of consideration for the impact, potential harm caused by or likely future abuse of some of the things he would seem to support is frightening. We’ve got enough know-it-all bozos in Washington with bad, short-sighted, misinformed or under-informed opinions – we don’t need more.
Oh, and on this you can bet that my position will remain firm. 😉

*A few things in the Constitution that might be worth altering (by no means an exhaustive list):
The commerce clause could be more specifically defined to meaning only what was originally intended, “making regular the free trade between the states”. (research: 1942 Wickard vs. Filburn Supreme Court case)
We should just nuke the welfare clause out completely to avoid it being construed as an excuse to steal from one group of people on behalf of another. (significant usurpation especially the 1937 Steward Machine Company vs. Davis court decision)
The power to raise armies should be strictly limited to ensure only voluntary induction to the military (as anything else is involuntary servitude and presumes that you are the property of the government to dispose with as they see fit).
A requirement to use zero-based budgeting might not be a bad idea.
Penalties for government agents (elected or otherwise) who pass laws, regulations or act in ways that violate the natural rights of people should be in place – otherwise the document itself has no power over those who would ignore it. The document needs claws. Congress will pass unconstitutional laws and then let the courts sort it out. But, the courts are partisan so what’s the point?
Absolutely we would scratch the phrase, “A well regulated militia,” from the 2nd Amendment since the anti-self defense folks like to try and use that to disarm people.
Congress should be equally subject to all laws, regulations, restrictions and programs that get passed and never allowed to exclude themselves. (this has been previously proposed over the years as one possible 28th Amendment)
So, sure, there are some things that could be adjusted but the document really is not the problem. Politicians, judges and an apathetic population are really the problem when they have no respect for the natural rights of people and will interpret any document to mean whatever they want it to mean to serve their own agendas. Does anyone think if we have Constitutional Convention any of the above listed things are likely to make it through? Doubtful at best.
[note: article originally suggested Brose was an attorney, he is in act identified as a “businessman” on his web site and has an degree from Purdue’s School of Agriculture]

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