Politics in 1830/the issue of public funding/Henry Clay takes on Andrew Jackson


Every now and then, I find vain and failed and limited looking contemporary politics, you know, of the perilous times, and wringing wrong magic, and I change the channel to the speeches of Henry Clay, another awkward Kentucky senator, in 1830, finding Andrew Jackson, the president, over the common issue we go through today, funding projects with federal funds; back then the entire principle of the issue was debated. Many thought the federal government simply should not fund any public project; and others thought this was key to a greater economy.

American Politics, just may be, formulaic. Yet seeing the same formula, in a different era, gets more nielsons than today‘s version. The political stars back then, maybe through history’s luster, seem a little brighter. It’s still executive v. Senator and cagey politics, failed efforts and relevant issues, but nearer their origin.

For instance, one of the logical reasons for some central, ie federal government, for united states, is to provide a post office. This keeps the transmittal of information honest, and actually a near legitimate reason for a federal government.

So there’s a thoroughfare in Kentucky wanting improvement, connecting vital roads in that central state to the nation as a postal route. President Jackson says no. And Clay, wanting that pork, or if you truly believe in the postal system, thinking funds highly appropriate and beneficial to the nation, gets angry. And Jackson, says its just to benefit your state with contracts. And Clay, of course, can’t get angry, because Jackson is a general, and known tough guy; so he does what we wily people do; be smarter. And also Generals are so high purview, they sometimes fade out, fair, and dignified.

Anyway, Clay, blames it on Jackson’s advisors, saying this is not you, it’s your stupid advisors: which actually is a highlight reel political move. And then of course, as he is like going for the dunk, he taunts; “Ha Ha Ha.”

Because, Clay goes on to say, just yesterday, or a short while ago, Jackson approved funding for a 7 mile waterway clearance from Ohio to Lake Erie; and around then, also a 14 mile clearance for a waterway around the Chesapeake. For one thing, Clay cites; postal roads are written into the constitution; what helps the post office, is implicit in the post office clause. Helping waterways, isn’t specifically in the constitution. It may be under regulating interstate commerce, but it is not specifically endowed; and this issue of whether regulating interstate commerce intends the taxpayer dredging rivers and waterways is a fair issue; because one may think the economy is based on itself; if grounded in a federal government, it gets weaker; because the citizens could work out this need themselves, in honest surge, and strengthen economic resources.

But you see, the “ha ha ha” is Clay saying, “if you approved those waterway improvements, then you must be for postal road improvement and it must be your advisors whose fault it is.”

But the fair assumption Senator Clay fails to understand, is that river travel is far more traditional, than postal routes. Trade along rivers, is very European, and natural to earth. Postal routes are a little wimpy in comparison. AND, postal routes just increase the fluidity of populating the land and taking it more from the Indians. I mean there are greater and more moral concerns than what the post office is known for. Postal Service, in the age of the kingdom of god, is more morally ambiguous than trade routes along rivers.

Then I see all political sides of America characterized by a weakness. Almost as if America is a fated and flawed country, owned by the universe, because rather than holding back American expansion in tasteful respect of the barbaric nomads to the west; the way Rome loved the Gauls, chillin in the Swiss Alps, and northern Italy to the Po River, and they later became good buddies, uniting against Cathaginians, and Macedonians, etc; Jackson spent a lot on public works, much to the dismay of sustainability. And Clay never seemed to realize the issue of the greater import to water routes, than postal service. Thus Jackson, the democrat, did not hold firm to sensibility; And Clay, the republican, missed what this was all about; wrapping himself in the post office flag so to speak; while not recognizing the famous epochs of European history grounded in trade facilitated by rivers.

Indeed, in the federalist papers, in several instances, the river trade between German towns and cities is cited as an influence on which way to mold America. The song Hamilton and Madison are singing, is that you need a federal government, otherwise the states or regions will begin imposing tariffs if you want to traverse them with trade, but with a good ole federal government, no tariffs between states impeding trade allowed. This actually is against sustainable growth, as it allows regions to rely on others, rather than cling to moral values of using what you produce: The tariffs of river trade in a not unified Germany cited regarding this issue.

German river trade is cited as providing many an excuse for violence, as low life less industrious places along the river charged people to pass; and as Germany was not united, this hindered trade; Of course if they could have all agreed to river trade, and shown the blessings of limiting federal government to as few specific uses as possible; our founders wouldn’t be citing them as a reason for a federal government that takes on enough, and leads so, citizens don’t and are weak.

However, because The President, vetoed, the approved funding of the Maysville road; Clay makes the direct and curious argument; that our country, has caused the majority, to place their power in a minority; which is what happens when a president vetoes senate legislation; And Clay says this is wrong. And that’s another thing you don’t get on Bill O’Reilly; Senators claiming the division of power amid branches of the federal government is fundamentally skewed. Love him, hate him, Clay is honest and direct enough to call the proposition of the president vetoing the senate, flat out wrong.

Yet the one reason Jackson cites for not funding the road; is that the money is needed to pay off the national debt. How close to the issues of today is that; Does the Senate today ever remind you that each pork they cancel, conceivably could be spent paying off the national debt. Indeed, there is a quaint belief, that the true things a federal government can do; do not require money; and taxation the foolish carrot on a stick leading the federal government astray. And yet the media of the post office, as strictly media is never questioned.

States rights advocates loved the veto. Clay’s ideal of improving America just seemed wimpy homogenization to them, and they had parties in the street. However, by 2010, there is a long history of federal funds improving the country, the “American System” as Clay promoted it, and Jackson, who spoke out against the politics of funding America’s System, actually funded it over 50% more than his predecesor, Quincy Adams, who ran on funding federal projects.

 This notion that the federal government should fund projects across the states oversteps the boundaries of a federal government designed to prevent negatives, into a version of federal government hoping to create positives. Really, the prime reason for Uniting the States with a federal government was to keep the states from warring each other, thus providing the peacetime prosperity, Europe, too rarely knew. And to provide a common defense (against Europe and the tragic indians). These are both negatives, that were said to justify a federal government and its homogenizing influence.

 Is a post office about averting the negative of a complicated perhaps slapdash system of communication; or promoting a positive of transmission of information? Is the former concern valid, or another responsibility to tack onto the federal government. In my mind, the key and missing point to this debate, and the debate of federal projects, (as opposed funding from state or joint state resources, which would increase the responsibility of state governments) is the issue of direct taxation.

As the educated reader should know, the problem with the loose confederation of states that existed and reasoned between liberation from England, and the incorporation of a federal government, was that whatever central government existed, primarily a military, and debts from the war, was to be funded by the states, not individuals. The states would collect from its citizens, and pony up to the federal government. But that didn’t work out. States notoriously didn’t pay up their agreed share. So the federal government took on the idea of directly taxing individuals, to pay for itself.

Yet one can argue that is THE problem with the federal government: their right to directly tax you. First of, the federal government was constructed by states and leading figures, and not all of them, and not the people. (please read The Anti-Federalist papers, a compilation of the remarkable and diverse speeches against the federal government and its ways). Secondly, a federal government was unpopular with the people, because while many wanted the debts of the war forgiven and a tableau rasa; the federal government empowered a judiciary, frankly calculated for the collection of debts; in stark contrast to the Lord’s Prayer, I might add.

The argument I wish to make here, is if you think about it; stopping states from competing with each other or taking advantage of each other, economically, or shiftily; and providing a common defense, are very much issues for the states, and their senates that govern their people; not the people and individuals themselves. Defense and peace are state not individual concerns; and providing more power to the states to allow them to collect money to pay for federal services, would provide a valuable outlet for the people to weigh in their opinions on the needs and deeds of the federal government. And it would stop the current spending attitude of the federal government by allowing a check of the states upon spending, and ending the direct pipeline of funding flowing to the federal government from the individual.

Yet I must add that given the Kingdom of God; the will of the people, and the government, the laws themselves, human nature, are artifices; and the way of the people in extraordinary or spiritual concurrence is a more classical bet; than these political speculations.


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