Ivan W. Parkins

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About Ivan W. Parkins:

Dr. Parkins is a retired professor of Political Science from Central Michigan University.  He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  Dr. Parkins served as a naval officer during WWII aboard the battleship Alabama.  He is a recent widower with three daughters, 3 grand children and 2 great grand children.  Dr. Parkins has written extensively, having authored 3 books and a newspaper opinion column for many years. 

Front Page

In This Issue: Partisan Inequality!

Þ Partisan Inequality and Irresponsibility for fiscal policy

Þ Congressional Extortion

Þ Fifty years of National Budgets

Þ Naked Emperors

Text Box: CONGRESS 
THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE, YES,
BUT NOT THE PEOPLE’S 
BUSINESS

DID YOU KNOW?

Comments on the  Side

 

NOT ALL PARTIES

SERVE TEA...

    On August 1, 1946, in Athens TN, the local Sheriff, also known as Boss, took all ballot boxes into the court house, protected by scores of armed deputies.  They were soon surrounded by hundreds of armed WWII veterans.  After losing the porch of his “fortress” to dynamite, the sheriff surrendered. A veterans’ slate won the election and not much more that was newsworthy happened. 

 

….. According to Wikipedia, a March 2009 atmospheric measure of CO² showed 387 parts per million (p.p.m).  At 10,000 p.p.m. people get drowsy.  At 70,000 to 100,000 they get ill or die.  10,000 p.p.m. can be reached in a poorly ventilated auditorium.
Where are EPA and the Obama Administration's priorities?
 

 

….. At the time that Congress ordered a halt to all financial, air, and military equipment support to our allies in South Vietnam, it appeared the South Vietnamese were successfully and willingly holding off the attacks of the Communists, without support from American ground forces.

 

….Both of the major presidential impeachment efforts of recent Congresses, Nixon’s and Clinton’s, were subsequently denounced as improper in books by the Chief Investigative Counsels chosen by the House Judiciary Committees to pursue them—and those Chief Investigators were both Democrats.  In Nixon’s case the charges were drawn by the Judiciary Committee in such a way as to exclude evidence of any similar behaviors by earlier Presidents; in Clinton’s case they were drawn so as to exclude Clinton’s most obviously official and illegal acts, grants of citizenship to persons not eligible and severe campaign finance violations.

 

….. Since the Korean War, the trend of military spending, as a portion of this nation’s gross domestic product , has been downward to a little less than half of what it was in 1951-52.  Meanwhile, spending for education, health, and other welfare have all taken increasing portions, and together have taken much more than spending for defense.

 

…..One hasty act of the Environmental Protection Agency, joining with the World Health Organization in the ban on DDT, resulted in more deaths (of Blacks from malaria) than all the deaths from all ethnic conflicts and American military engagements in our nation’s history.

   PARTISAN INEQUALITY

AND IRRESPONSIBILITY FOR

FISCAL POLICY,

1961-2010

THE FAULT FALLS  AT THE DEMOCRAT’S CONTROL OF CONGRESS

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

The frequent suggestion that our political parties are equally responsible for our present fiscal crisis is mostly nonsense. It can be checked in almost any almanac or other factual record.

 

Of course both parties have held some offices at all times. But, only by narrow margins, recently, and for a brief period, the Republicans have held the
Presidency
, House, and Senate at one time.  George W. Bush, for part of his time at the helm, was the exceptional one—can that have been why Democrats and their media accomplices hated him so?

 

Actually, the Republicans have had 28 of the 50 years in the Presidency, and have done so twice by record or near record popular margins. Only Johnson did similarly.  (Which party got rid of him?)  Johnson had some of the largest partisan majorities in Congress in our nation’s history.  Although he was succeeded by Nixon, it was pretty much the same heavily Democrat Congress that provided Nixon’s ordeal.  That kind of situation was unprecedented in America history.  Prior to 1952, every President who won a popular majority got a Congress of this own party to go with it.  And, that still holds for Democrat Presidents.

 

The next Democrat to win the Presidency was Carter, with 50.1% of the popular vote.  That “landslide” gave him one of the largest Democrat majorities in Congress in our entire history.  Now, President Obama’s majority in Congress is larger than any partisan congressional support for a Republican since Herbert Hoover was elected in1928.

 

The Constitution of the United States gives the power to initiate all taxes to the House of Representatives. Budgeting was left largely to the Executive Branch and was consolidated under the President, by law, in the early twentieth century. Additionally, in 1974, with Nixon struggling to avoid impeachment out, the Congress gave itself more time and power to compete with the President in budgeting.

 

Too much of the blame for budget outcomes has been  assigned to Presidents who faced hostile and spendthrift Congresses.

 

 

FIFTY YEARS OF OUR

NATIONAL BUDGETS

Only five have balanced!

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

In only five of the last fifty years have the Congresses and Administrations in power produced budge surpluses.

 

The first, for Fiscal 1969, was enacted in the last part of Democrat President Lyndon Johnson’s Administration and carried over into the Administration of Republican President Nixon.  Both Houses of Congress were controlled by Democrat majorities throughout that time period.

 

All four of the other budget surpluses occurred late in the Administration of Democrat President Clinton.  That was after Newt Gingrich had won control of the House and the Senate had turned Republican, fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.  Fiscal 2001 extended until a few weeks after 9/11/01.  

Naked Emperors

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

             Newt Gingrich’s revolution, taking over the House of Representatives in the elections of 1994, can not be appreciated unless one first understands that for an unprecedented time, 40 years or twenty Congresses, the Democrats had held firm control of the House.  They took it from Eisenhower’s Republicans in 1954 by a margin of 29 votes, and 29 votes was the smallest margin of their control for 40 years.  In seven Congresses the Democrats controlled the House by 100 votes or more.  None of the Republican advantages in the six years (1995-2001) following the Gingrich’s victory was by a margin as large as 29 votes.

             Scot Faulkner’s book Naked Emperors details his effort as first-ever chief administrative officer of the House to correct the management problems left by 40 years of Democrat majorities.  Faulkner had no legislative authority; his job was to oversee  how 800 million dollars was spent and how 13,000 employees served the needs of House Members.  For starters, a private accounting firm called in to do an audit quit, the records were simply too few and poorly kept for auditing.

             The reform met with strong resistance.  Why should any Member not be happy with a bank where his checks would be cashed and no one had authority to demand that he make deposits?  Recent media stories had forced release of names of the 303 Members (both parties) who were taking advantage of that.  The largest such individual indebtedness totaled nearly $600,000.

             Contracts for services and supplies were often missing.  Apparently, they were let as political favors and evidence had been destroyed.  Thousands of lobbyists and journalists had passes to enter the Capitol Building after the hours available to mere citizens.

             Faulkner’s book is very specific about persons, times, places, and other details.  Obviously, he is presenting his report of his work.  Not so obviously, because poorly publicized, that work attracted dozens of foreign officials, including at least one Russian, anxious to learn of how to provide better services to a legislative body.  He and his management team achieved at least one real First, The first reduction of a House budget in the twentieth century. 

             Some of this makes dull reading.  But, it is worth at least a quick skim by any citizen serious about voting in the 2008 elections.  Some of the Congresspersons involved are still there, and they have more seniority and power.

             Should we now trust the party that had 40 years of solid majorities in the House prior to 1995, and now is in control again, to oversee the management and budgets of our government’s other branches? I.W. Parkins

CONGRESSIONAL

EXTORTION

   

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

President Ford, advised by his medical experts that a very dangerous flu season was coming, approved expenditures and legal protections to assure adequate flu vaccine.  In order to get that, he had to approve a bill that also included a larger expenditure for job training, one that he had recently vetoed.

 

    President G.H.W. Bush, trying to counter Saddam Hussein’s seizure of Kuwait, was faced with Democrat resistance, not only to war, but to enacting the annual budget without substantial increases of social spending and taxes.  Bush gave up his “no new taxes” pledge, won the Gulf War, and lost his chance to be reelected. 

 

    All of the above is very much a matter of public record.  Too little of it has been given much notice by our “old mainstream media.”  The internet provides official estimates of the financial cost to us of the Gulf War.  Apart from the usual costs of maintaining our military; most extras were picked up by our allies, especially those in the Gulf and Japan.  For that we owe considerable thanks to President Bush and Secretary of state Baker.