"Hypocrite of the Year" Nominee Nate Bell
Nate Bell (R) Mena - Don't you just want to hug him?
I know it is only January 2nd, but it looks like Representative Nate Bell has already separated himself from the field in the race for "Hypocrite of the Year". Last year's hypocrisy was bad enough, like his vote for the "Ethics Reform" measure which was unethically worded to fool people into believing that it was a measure to "establish" term limits when it really weakened existing term limits laws to the point that they are all but meaningless. But most legislators did that. Yet even in a group capable of passing off something sleazy as an "ethics" bill, Nate Bell stands out. His actions are so over-the-top ridiculous that I can't see anyone else passing him up for "Hypocrite of the Year", and that is with 362 days left.
Nate Bell ran for office telling people that he was against the "private" option- the version of Obamacare that Arkansas Republicans crafted which enabled the federal Medicare money to pass through an extra private set of hands, hands which donated to them. He later flipped and voted to spend the money on it anyway, all the while claiming he was still against it. He voted for it because he was against it? What helped him is that the money he voted to spend is mostly federal money. It will be borrowed federal money of course, because we can't fund all of the federal government we have now without debt, much less expand government without debt. But again that was last year's hypocrisy. Since then he has upped his game to a whole new level.
Nate Bell just filed a resolution calling for a convention for the purpose of adopting what he calls a balanced budget amendment to be added to the U.S. Constitution. Yes friends, that is correct. After voting last year to authorize spending FEDGOV money that FEDGOV does not have, Representative Bell urges an amendment to the constitution for the alleged purpose of stopping FEDGOV from spending money that FEDGOV does not have. Denial is not just a river in Egypt- its Nate Bell's attitude toward his own brazenly contradictory actions. The man has simply crafted himself into the Rembrandt of B.S. artists.
He is telling FEDGOV that they need to be made to stop doing something that he just voted for them to do! It is like lecturing people that they need to get their finances in order while using their credit cards to go on a buying binge! Bell and I have tangled on debt before, like when he wanted to borrow $575 million dollars for routine road maintenance (that one is worth a read for many reasons). This is a man who loves debt in practice. That is the truth about who he is. Yet he will look you right in the eye and proudly tell you that he is a "fiscal conservative".
But maybe he is consistent after all, the consistency being an elaborate facade of conservatism concealing a core of big-spending statism so long as its the next generation who will be stuck with the bills. A close look at the proposed amendment reveals it to be, much like its sponsor, mostly a fraud. For one thing the debt limit set by the amendment could be over-ridden by a two-thirds vote of the state legislatures.
Let's see, Arkansas has a budget of around $25 billion and our state taxes cover about $5 billion of that with most of the rest coming from FEDGOV. FEDGOV prints money out of thin air, lays the debt on our kids, then uses the money for various programs to bribe state government into doing what the elites want instead of what voters in the state want. In other words, just like they did with Medicaid expansion for able bodied adults with the "private" option. Do you really think state legislators are going to vote to cut what has become their own budgets? Not as long as we have guys like Bell himself in there. Bell was part of the super-majority who voted to spend that money, so how much of a deterrent will this be again?
But it goes on. While it does say it takes a super-majority of congress to raise income tax rates, a simple majority is all it takes to eliminate deductions under the proposed amendment. The deductions for children and homes will be prime targets when the money runs out. The other loophole it leaves open is the so-called "fair" tax or national sales tax. That would be a disaster for a whole different set of reasons which are beyond the scope of this article. Basically if you think its bad that the IRS can audit your income, wait until they start auditing your spending.
So the whole thing looks like a show so big-spenders like Nate Bell can beat their chests about how they want a "balanced budget amendment" while their own votes are part of the reason why FEDGOV's budget is not balanced. To cover for this they loudly offer a phony proposal with a good title. Normally this sort of preening is disgusting for its self-serving disingenuousness but otherwise mostly harmless. This time however, Bell is proposing messing with the U.S. Constitution as part of the ongoing effort to kid you, him, or both about what kind of legislator he really is.
What they are doing is calling for an Article V convention to amend the constitution. They think they can control and limit this process to a balanced budget amendment, but that's just their hubris talking. They can't and here are some reasons why, and also here. With the congress and courts we have now this process is extremely risky, and since the proposed amendment won't solve the problem it purports to solve there is no real upside, just a gigantic risk that those who get this ball rolling won't be able to stop it from running over the Constitution. That is too much to risk just so Nate Bell can continue to pretend to himself and some of you that he is a fiscal conservative.
Look changing the constitution is not the answer when the problem is they are ignoring the one we've got. You can't make enough rules to force rascals to use power justly, what you have to do first is quit electing rascals. With our current captured two-party system weeding out people of integrity who listen to the voters rather than the elites, that is very hard to do. That's why I advocate a return to self-government where local people recruit and nominate their own candidates to run as independents who don't answer to the system, who don't answer to the party, and who don't answer to the John Boehner's of the world.