Friday, March 24, 2006

A challenge for Congressman Duncan

Yesterday in the mail I received the quarterly mailing from Congressman Jimmy Duncan in the mail. People all over the Second District got this mailing, I am sure, and I am also sure that I am one of the few who took the time to sit down and throughly read Congressman Duncan's thoughts and give them some meditation. Since I agreed with much of what was said in the newsletter, I think it appropriate to begin with what I did not agree with.

Duncan is utterly obsessed with gambling. His anti-gambling tirade reminds me of the Temperance Union advocating prohibition-all symbolism, little substance-all emotion, no reason. I agree with Congressman Duncan about State-sponsored gambling such as lotteries because I do not believe that the State should be in the lottery business-that's just the sort of thing that should be left up to private individuals. However, unlike Congressman Duncan, I think if Indian tribes want to allow casinos on their reservations, more power to them-it is their reservation and their lands to use as they see fit. I am not suggesting we turn our State into Nevada insofar as gambling goes, but as I have said before, gambling laws in Tennessee are currently so strict that they hamper even legitimate charitable efforts.

Congressman Duncan is right on the money about the growth in entitlement spending, and he warns that if the growth in Social Security spending continues at its current pace that the only solution will be to print more money. That, of course, can lead to runaway inflation and, in a worst-case scenario, economic collapse.

Where Congressman Duncan and I really seem to see eye to eye is on the issue of the Federal Reserve, which is not "federal" at all, but is a private bank. Congressman Duncan rightly points out that we didn't have much of a problem with runaway prices in this country until the Fed was established in 1913 and began to control our money supply, despite the fact that Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants that power to Congress. When the nation was removed from the gold standard in the 1930's, that allowed the Fed free reign over every aspect of national economic life. So powerful is the Fed Chairman that John McCain said in a 2000 Presidential Primary debate that if then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan died, we should prop him up after the fashion of the movie Weekend at Bernie's. That is too much power for one man to have in America.

If Congressman Duncan really believes the things about the Federal Reserve that he claims to believe in his newsletter Washington Report, then I want to issue a challenge to him: Put forth a Bill to abolish the Federal Reserve. Do not do it as some symbolic gesture with no real effect, as some members of Congress have done in the past, but fight for it, keep pushing over and over again until it finally gets an up-or-down vote on the House floor. Let the truth come out before the American people about this Wall Street organism that is running our country. Do you have it in you? Let's do it-let's abolish the fed. For some inspiration read the words of another Tennessean-Andrew Jackson's Veto Message of the renewal of the Bank of the United States.

Come on Congressman, put your clout and your political fortunes where your mouth is-you'll have my support and as far as I am concerned, if you do this, I'd be in favor of you becoming the House version of Strom Thurmond. Will you do it?


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