Re: Outlawing drug speech - EEK!

From: Ross A. Finlayson (raf@tiki-lounge.com)
Date: Mon Feb 14 2000 - 04:28:15 MST


What the question is is if the government should have any say about what anybody
says, the answer to which is no.

The obvious next question is if the government should have any say about what
anybody does. The answer is less obvious. As the representative of the
citizenry, the government can outlaw murder, for example. It has done so,
although the large majority of killings outside of the United States by U.S.
citizens are part of government sanctioned actions. War is hell, as it were,
and not necessarily representative of the citzenry.

Given the fact that the Constitution with Bill of Rights exists and is the legal
foundation for the entire government, can the government legislate drug, or for
that matter, any other private expression? Abso-frickin-lutely not, and any
attempt to do so is nothing less than an attack on your and my rights. To the
extent that it has ever done so, it (the government) is out of line and should
check itself as the standard penalties for the infringement of rights should
apply to government officials as they do to anyone else.

Now I turn the recent 2001 proposed budget of the U.S. Federal Government. The
issue: it is not who watches the watchmen but who pays them. The United States
is benefitting from unheralded state of productivity growth which rises,
explicitly economically, from investment in research and development, and more
vaguely Alan Greenspan, and very minorly, any politician. I am thinking that
most people make more money than me, thus paying more taxes, yet I am still
interested in where my 1/3 of total monetary productivity given to the
government does go.

Here's where it should go: paydown of the national debt. The younger
generation didn't make it and doesn't want it, and the baby boomers will be
living long enough that it would be bad for them if Social Security crashed.

So this document is a PDF file from the GPO web site. Here's a good excerpt:

Appropriations Subcommittee
1999 Enacted | 2000 Estimate | 2001 Proposed | Change: 2000 to 2001
BA(budg. auth.) | Outlays | BA | Outlays | BA | Outlays | BA | Outlays
Agriculture and Rural Development ............................
14.6 14.5 14.6 15.8 14.8 15.1 0.2 0.7
Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary ...............
35.9 32.7 39.7 37.7 37.8 39.3 1.9 1.6
Defense
...........................................................................
265.7 253.1 272.7 269.8 284.3 270.1 11.6 0.3
District of Columbia ......................................................
0.7 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 * 0.1
Energy and Water Development ..................................
21.8 21.6 21.2 21.6 22.6 21.7 1.5 0.1
Foreign Operations ........................................................
15.2 13.2 15.8 13.8 14.8 15.2 0.9 1.4
Interior and Related Agencies ......................................
14.4 14.4 14.8 14.7 16.4 15.8 1.6 1.1
Labor, HHS, and Education .........................................
89.5 80.1 96.6 90.8 105.8 97.8 9.2 6.9
Legislative
......................................................................
2.6 2.3 2.4 2.6 2.7 2.8 0.3 0.2
Military Construction ....................................................
9.0 9.2 8.4 8.5 8.0 8.6 0.4 0.1
Transportation and Related Agencies ..........................
12.8 39.7 12.5 43.7 13.9 46.8 1.4 3.1
Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government ..
14.6 13.3 13.8 14.1 16.3 15.4 2.5 1.3
Veterans Affairs, HUD, Independent Agencies ..........
74.7 80.4 78.6 82.6 84.4 86.4 5.8 3.8

So, Defense and Military Construction are budgeted 390,100,000,000.00 dollars.
Forecasted government on-budget receipts from table S-11 (receipts) are 1519.1
billion, so directly apportioned defense related spending amounts to at least
%25.7 of forecasted receipts. Besides itself, if it comes across anyone
spending 1/4 of their income on weaponry related materials and not paying taxes,
the government would not be happy about that. Also, it might as well be
honestly termed Attack.

There is speech about debt reduction. One quote: "If [administration] had not
changed the [previous administration's debt] policy, with the same trajectory of
growth, in 2001, the publicly held debt would exceed $6 trillion, or 67 percent
of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), draining 17 cents from each Federal dollar
to cover interest costs. Instead, the publicly held debt is projected to be
$3.3 trillion, or 33 percent of GDP, and declining." So, currently, 9.35 cents
of each dollar that is given to the federal government is going to pay
interest. The budget picture presented is a rosy one wherein the entire public
debt is removed by their target date of 2013. That would be great. I wonder
how exactly this happens. Here's a leading quote:"The [] plan to save Social
Security would protect the entire Social Security surplus and dedicate it to
debt reduction, and would extend the solvency of the program to mid-century."
Questions on that particular statement: q) why not pay off all debt with any
current Social Security "surplus" and then have the goverment pay back the debt
to itself sans interest, ie, consolidate its debt to itself. a) Social
Security "surplus" is already sold to T-bonds. Uh-oh. To whom is the
government paying this interest on its debt, anyways? If the Social Security
"surplus" is dedicated to paying off the debt, which is a good idea, is it still
a "surplus" or rather "money paid and gone." Either way, it should be paid, very
simply to avoid interest. So, this plan is not clear here. More about that
later.

Well, the subject of this e-mail list thread was started in discussion of some
things about drugs, and about how one provision would outlaw talking about
drugs. In relation to the budget, government proposed 2001 budget for federal
law enforcement, "criminal justice assistance", corrections, and
"litigation/judicial" is about twenty-seven billion dollars, this not being
state or local. Sixty percent of those incarcerated federally are there for
drug-related charges. Also, the budget proposes 19.2 billion dollars for "drug
control programs". On a separate note related to the Medicare prescription drug
proposal, the prescription drug companies would largely be happy about that.
The budget also proposes giving $1.6 bil, a $1.3 bil increase, to Colombia.
More about this proposal and drugs, it proposes $3.8 for rehab centers, $2 bil
for propaganda, a $2 bil payoff to the communities for outreach education, and
$9.8 BILLION dollars of drug money for law enforcement.

So, legalizing drugs and bringing the industry into this country instead would
save all the monies spent on interdiction, not to mention the outrageous prices
paid for drugs, could raise a large tax base, remove the government-enforced
criminal culture from drug use, leave law enforcement to fight actual crime,
keep inner city kids out of prison, and otherwise generally be better.

After the abolition of Alcohol Prohibition, did the use of alcohol, suddenly
legal, rise? Not particularly, no.

About the U.S. budget, I am not a financial expert but it appears that some
numbers are missing. More about that later.

> ...

Have a nice day,

Ross F.



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