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One-Minute Videos on My Books

William L. Kovacs

June 2021

One-Minute Videos on My Books

http://blumberger.net/// To my readers:

In the last month, I was fortunate to have the Independent Press Awards produce a one-minute video on Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens, which was awarded its 2021 book winner in the category of Social/Political Change. It quickly captures the essence of the book in a format that can be easily distributed to others who may have an interest in reforming a massive, out-of-control federal government.

 

A second one-minute video was produced by my publisher, Liberty Hill, on The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic. It is amazing how much can be said in one minute through an editor’s language and production skills. Again, the video can be easily distributed to those with an interest in reading how the Left hates capitalism, humans, and truth.

 

I hope everyone takes the two minutes to watch these excellently produced videos.

 

Best wishes,

William L. Kovacs

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  • Independent Press Award to Reform the Kakistocracy

Independent Press Award to Reform the Kakistocracy

May 2021

Independent Press Award to Reform the Kakistocracy

The 2021 Independent Press Award for the category of Social/Political Change, was awarded to Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens. The full press release is below.

http://thebloodynerve.com/product/tbn-shield/ William L. Kovacs receives national recognition

through the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD®!

(Great Falls, VA) — The INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD recognized

purchase gabapentin 300 mg Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled

http://heathstreethealth.nhs.uk/sitemap-pt-post-2019-04.html.gz Citizens, by William L. Kovacs as the 2021 winner in the category of

Social/Political Change.

 The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers, and professional copywriters. Selected award winners and distinguished favorites are based on overall excellence.

Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens, by William L. Kovacs, winner of the Independent Press Awards, 2021 Social/Political Change category, sets out how the federal government transformed itself from one of limited powers to one of immense power without any constitutional changes. Kovacs states, “These changes in institutional power fundamentally affect the relationship of citizens to their government. Government is now the master and citizens the servants of government. The loyalty of today’s elected officials is to political party and ideology, not to solve problems for citizens.”

Unlike many books on government reform, Reform the Kakistocracy does not let the reader dangle with fuzzy proposals. It presents clear, thought-provoking ideas for reforming government to make it work for citizens, not politicians. Proposals range from electing officials who will function as fiduciaries to citizens, not as politicians serving interest groups; devolution of power to states; Congress reclaiming powers it delegated to the executive and courts; creative ways to reduce federal debt; mechanisms to ensure government transparency and many other innovative principles of governance.

In 2021, the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD had entries worldwide. Participating authors and publishers reside in countries such as Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and others. In addition, books submitted included writers located in U.S. cities such as Atlanta to Santa Fe; Chicago to New York; Boise to Honolulu, and others.

“We congratulate this year’s 2021 winners and distinguished favorites in the annual INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD. The quality and quantity of excellent independently published books hit a record. Independents recognized are thriving around the world. We are so proud to announce these key titles representing global independent publishing.” said awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.

For more information, please visit independentpressaward.com; and to see this year’s list of IPA’s Winners,

please visit the website page: https://www.independentpressaward.com/2021winners

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  • Articles Index for www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com

Articles Index for www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com

William L. Kovacs

April 2021

Articles Index for www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com

Articles Index: www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com

(Revd. Ap 6, 2021 -hyperlinks all active)

Dear Readers:

To make finding older articles much easier than searching though the Archives, I have prepared an index of all my articles by general category. All of the links are active. Several times a year I will update the index. At some time during the year, I will modify the landing page to provide a separate heading for the index. I hope the index makes searching for older articles much easier.

Commentaries on Presidents and presidential races

Joe Biden: Will he be the 21st c. James Buchanan?  (March 21, 2021)

Trump: “To Pardon or Not to Pardon Me, Is the Question”  (Dec 9, 2020)

The Limits on Governing in a Biden Presidency (Nov. 6, 2020)

Commentaries on the Electoral College and possibility of One-Party Rule

 What Democrat One-Party Rule in U.S. Looks Like (Part II) (February 18, 2021)

Democrats Maneuver to Enact One-Party Rule in U.S., (Part I) (February 10, 2021)

 Unity Not Possible When Government Is in Overdrive (Part I) February 3, 2021)

Election 2020: Tortuous Road Through Electoral College to White House  (Sep 24, 2020)

Presidential Succession Act: Can Congress Manage Chaos?  (Aug. 20,2020)

States Seek Permanent Democratic Presidential Rule  (March 27,2020)

Could the House of Representatives Select the Next POTUS?  March 2, 2020)

The impact of states on national elections

 Supreme Court Rules Some States More Equal than Texas (Jan. 16, 2021)

Not So Fast Pennsylvania: There are Limits on Judicial Power  (Nov. 10, 2020)

Georgia Don’t Let Socialism Happen Here (Dec. 18, 2020)

2021 GA Senate Runoff Election Is Second Battle of Atlanta  (Nov 18, 2020)

Devolution of Fed power to states; elected officials as fiduciaries, not politicians

It’s Time for State Legislatures to Take the Power Back  (Sep. 16, 2019)

The Kakistocracy Must Devolve Power to the States  (Aug. 16, 2019)

State Legislatures: Last Guardians of the Republic  (July 16, 2019)

The Constitution Mandates Government Officials Act as Fiduciaries  (June 1, 2019)

Separation of Powers Demands Congress Reclaim Its Powers  (May 16, 2019)

Political hypocrisy

Taming Political Hypocrisy: Modest Proposals v. Outrageous  (Nov. 30, 2020)

 Commentaries on Third Political Parties and the road to major party status

Libertarian Party’s Future is at Fork in Road (March 1, 2021)

Kakistocracy is Two Major Political Parties: Articles About

Using the Antitrust Laws to Open the U.S. Political System to Competition (Dec. 31, 2019)

Denial of Ballot Access: In Search of Meaningful Remedies to the Deprivation of Constitutional Rights  (Dec. 15, 2019)

The Republican and Democratic Suppression of Third Parties and Ideas  (Dec 1, 2019)

Hostile Takeover of US by Major Political Parties (Nov. 19, 2019)

Commentaries on the bureaucracy, teachers’ unions and the value of labor

Teachers Unions Treat Citizens as Commodities that Pay Taxes March 10, 2021)

Readjusting Value in light of COVID-19  (May 3, 2020)

Term Limits for Bureaucrats!  (January 15, 2020)

Big Tech and implications on democracy

 Big Tech Is a State Actor Having Constitutional Obligations (April 5, 2021)

Section 230 Unconstitutional Delegation of Power to Big Tech (Jan. 24, 2021)

Cable Reporters Should Register as Lobbyists  (April 4, 2020)

Climate Change, the Green New Deal and the Left’s Little Red Book

Green New Deal ideologies, fantasies and realities (Jan. 14, 2021)

The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic (Oct 13, 2020)

A Cautionary Tale on Climate Policy  (February 15, 2020)

Book Reviews

 Midwest Book Review: Reform the Kakistocracy by Diane Donovan (Nov. 17, 2020)

Readers’ Favorite Awards 5-Stars to Reform the Kakistocracy (Sep 29, 2020)

General Thoughts on the Republic

Dr. Franklin, You Will Soon Know If We Remain a Republic  (Oct 22, 2020)

Can Voting Really Change the Country?  (Oct 17, 2020)

Politics Will Destroy 200 Years of Expanding Voting Rights  (Sep 13, 2020)

Implications of WH Claim “The President Is Not A Civilian”  (Aug. 3, 2020)

The Decline of U.S. Leadership: Truman to Trump (June 29, 2020)

Out of 328 Million People, Can’t We Find Better Candidates?  (May 18, 2020)

How the Coronavirus Will Permanently Change Government  (April 14, 2020)

Impeachment and the Significance of Member Oaths  (January 30, 2020)

For Whom Did We Form a Government?  (Sep.1, 2019)

Reform the Kakistocracy: an essay  (July 31, 2019)

Congressman Amash: A Trustee, Not A Politician  (July 17, 2019)

Rule of Law

Hong Kong, Indian Tribes: Governments Rule by Force, Not Law  (July 23, 2020)

Mt. Rushmore, Broken Treaty: Trump Can Fix 143 year Wrong  (July 13, 2020)

Comparing Rights: Corporate Personhood vs. Human Personhood  (June 16, 2020)

Rule of Law or Different Rules for Us and Government  (Oct. 16, 2019)

Nationwide Injunctions – Judiciary Acting As Congress  (Oct. 1, 2019)

Affordable Clean Energy Rule: Determining the Rule of Law  July 22, 2019)

Debt, Deficits, Reckless Spending

 Brewster’s Millions Is Funny; Who Pays for Big Fed Spending (May 26, 2020)

 A Modest Proposal to Stop Congress from Giving Our Money to Private Entities  (May 8, 2020)

5 Easy Ways to Reduce National Debt & Shrink Government  (April 24, 2020)

Democrats Promise to Spend and Spend, But Republicans Spend More!  (Nov. 1, 2019)

Restructuring Must Include Everything the Kakistocrats Manage

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  • Midwest Book Review: Reform the Kakistocracy by Diane Donovan

Midwest Book Review: Reform the Kakistocracy by Diane Donovan

November 2020

Midwest Book Review: Reform the Kakistocracy by Diane Donovan

MBR Bookwatch

Volume 19, Number 11 November 2020

 Review by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

Direct Link to Review: Reform the Kakistocracy 

 

Reform the Kakistocracy
William L. Kovacs
https://www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com
Newman Springs Publishing
9781640965140 $12.42, Paperback
9781640965157 $9.99, Digital

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Reform-Kakistocracy-Least-Principled-Citizens/dp/1640965149

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Reform-Kakistocracy-Least-Principled-Citizens-ebook/dp/B08636M7

Author’s Website:
https://www.ReformTheKakistocracy.com

Reform the Kakistocracy: Rule by the Least Able or Least Principled Citizens defines the term ‘kakistrocracy’ as being “what our government has become, a government-controlled by “leaders” who are the least able or least principled citizens.” Keeping this definition in mind is intrinsic to understanding the driving force of a thought-provoking treatise dedicated to “the Dutiful Cog”, defined as “that person who keeps society running by getting up every day and going to work, taking care of family, paying taxes, contributing to community, and being continuously loyal to the nation.”

William L. Kovacs believes the tenacity of these ‘cogs’ will prevail over political battles and corruption. Reform the Kakistocracy offers the ‘how to’ manual for this process.

In some ways, this theory is akin to The Peter Principle, but without qualified people. In a Kakistocracy, the cream doesn’t rise to the top until it sours, but is placed at the top irregardless of its strengths and abilities.

Chapters provide both a political and social history of the raise of this too-complex national control system and comments on who runs it, how people respond to it, and how it’s rewritten the US Constitution for its own special interests and gain.

Philosophy, history, and political inspection blend in an arena where the moves of leaders are closely examined and critiqued: “The most disconcerting aspect of these changes is that by using massive executive power to change laws without Congress, the next president using the same executive power can also change the laws without Congress.”

It questions: “For whom did we form a government?” We, the people seem to have left the original equation. Politicians will be the least likely readers of a book which lambastes this system. But, the Dutiful Cog will.

This isn’t a general treatise, but offers specifics on the methods and approaches that least-qualified leaders use to circumvent political process, freedoms, and moral and ethical ideals of behavior.

Reform the Kakistocracy isn’t just a condemnation of the system, or a history of how it came to be. Chapters offer “A Few Modest Proposals for Restructuring” which range from reversing regulatory complexity to the federal government divesting itself of unnecessary assets and returning control of lands to states that ceded them to the federal government.

The proof of the success of this treatise lies in these and other specifics. This is where Kovacs excels, placing his work head and shoulders above the usual approach to critiquing the federal government and its processes.

By making its examples specific and linked to daily life and familiar political process and results, Reform the Kakistocracy provides Dutiful Cogs with more than a bit of hope for a more effective future, including a blueprint for enacting real change.

From income tax revision to citizen management of the Kakistocracy, this is a thought-provoking, action-oriented blend of history, philosophical, and political inspection. It is highly recommended reading for readers who would understand the process of change and how America got to where it is today, in the first place.

We’re standing at a fork in the road and hold the opportunity to remake the nation using a smaller government structure as a blueprint for success. All that’s needed to complete the formula for success is action, understanding, and more books like Reform the Kakistocracy.

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  • Readers’ Favorite Awards 5-Stars to Reform the Kakistocracy

Readers’ Favorite Awards 5-Stars to Reform the Kakistocracy

Readers' Favorite

September 2020

Readers’ Favorite Awards 5-Stars to Reform the Kakistocracy

For immediate release:

Author’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Non-Fiction – Gov/Politics book “Reform The Kakistocracy” by William L. Kovacs, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1640965149.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite

In Reform The Kakistocracy by William L. Kovacs, the author describes what the government and those in power have evolved into. An elite, self-serving minority who lack the morals and principles to care for those who elected them. Over the last forty years, there has been an incredible rise in wealth and social inequality, leading to the American people feeling mentally defeated and with no will to improve their circumstances. The Kakistocracy uses the rule of law to control and manipulate its citizens, drowning them in debt, inadequate healthcare, and the future, whilst they feather the nests of the most wealthy and powerful. Throughout this analysis of the current situation of the government, we uncover the corruption, mismanagement, and bureaucracy that threaten the future of generations of citizens to come. How can the American people take back control and demand change from those who decide whether we are free, wealthy, or safe? America finds itself at a historic crossroads. Discover the many strategies and solutions that are available to us which can totally change the direction of government and silence the hidden elites that whisper their demands behind closed doors.

The overwhelming content of Reform The Kakistocracy is so thought-provoking and definitely inspires change and action. The description of the Kakistocracy is very accurate but a frightening reality at the same time. William L. Kovacs is exceptionally well researched on his subject and the changes he outlines are extremely empowering. There are so many interesting points made, such as the regulatory structure and how it is used against its citizens, ‘the Dutiful Cogs’. The ten Governance Principles were fantastic, realistic, and totally within our reach to change the current status quo of inequality. There are many shocking statistics throughout this incredible book such as the way the US tax, healthcare, and social security systems are run. The way the elderly and those most vulnerable are ignored while the top 1% gain the most financially. The section on restructuring our relationship with the Kakistocracy and the twelve proposals to do this was my favorite part of the book. I loved every chapter of this book and it would make an absolutely perfect gift for those who feel neglected but lack direction or knowledge to demand change.”

You can learn more about William L. Kovacs and “Reform The Kakistocracy” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/reform-the-kakistocracy where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

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  • The Kakistocracy Must Devolve Power to the States

The Kakistocracy Must Devolve Power to the States

William L. Kovacs

August 2019

The Kakistocracy Must Devolve Power to the States

Since the inception of the New Deal programs in the 1930s to address the Great Depression, the federal government has continued to impose its will on more and more aspects of American society.  It has accomplished this power grab by expanding interpretations of the Constitution’s spending and welfare clauses and using its taxing powers to raise the amounts needed to “incentivize” states to adopt and implement federal policy through grants. While the federal government made grants to the states starting in 1900, those grants generally subsidized existing state programs. From the 1960s forward, Congress enacted many new programs, and it needed help to implement them. It found a creative solution – raise taxes to generate sufficient funds to provide grants to states as an incentive for the states to implement federal programs. There were around 132 state grant programs in 1960. Today they number over 1,300. 

Due to a variety of factors, the “heady” decades of federal aggrandizement of power will likely be coming to an end. The states are resisting implementation of specific federal programs they do not want to administer or are not fairly compensated for administering. At the same time, the federal government has amassed debt of almost $22 trillion and annual trillion-dollar budget deficits, thereby making continuing payment for these programs questionable.

Without compromise, capitulation or the continuous printing of money, it is difficult to imagine the current federal-state relationship continuing. If there is a break-up what will happen to the federal programs? What will happen to the federal-state relationship? Could a breakup be the start of a shrinking federal government that devolves powers to the states?

States Returning or Refusing to Implement Federal Programs Has Already Started

The warning sign of state frustration with implementing federal programs is the conflict over “sanctuary states and cities.” Over three-hundred states or cities have refused to enforce federal immigration laws requiring the deportation of unauthorized immigrants, even though they have accepted federal grant monies for law enforcement and other local activities.

The President is frustrated with these challenges to federal authority; however, there is little that can be done other than eliminating the grants. The limits arise under several U.S. Supreme Court decisions which hold that the Tenth Amendment forbids the federal government from commandeering states to implement federal law. Moreover, even when the federal government conditions receipt of federal monies on the implementation specific federal programs, the grant monies can only be withheld when a state or local government agrees to a contract provision that is clear enough for it to decide whether or not to accept the funds. The Supreme Court further limits federal control over grants to state or local governments by forbidding funding conditions in grants so coercive that the circumstances amount to a “gun to the head” situation.

In addition to the outright refusal of states to implement federal programs, not of their liking, there are federal programs, e.g., environmental, that states want to implement but the federal grants only cover a fraction of the cost of implementation. According to a 2016 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Growing Burden of Unfunded EPA Mandates on States, https://www.uschamber.com/report/the-growing-burden-unfunded-epa-mandates-the-states the states implement approximately 96% of federally delegated environmental programs but only receive 28% of the cost of implementation.

Complicating the debate will be the long-festering issue of state grant inequality. Naturally, that while every federal program is paid for with the tax dollars citizens send to Washington, not every state receives a dollar for dollar return on the money its citizens send to Washington. According to a March 8, 2017 article in The Atlantic, “Which States Are Givers, and Which States Are Takers”, the amount of money given the respective states varies dramatically. South Carolina receives $7.87 for every dollar its citizens send to Washington in taxes. Other states are not so lucky. Fourteen states receive less grant money than they send to Washington in taxes, i.e., Delaware, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, New York, Colorado, Utah, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Massachusetts, and California. Then comes the realization that off the top of every dollar states send to Washington, the federal government takes a percentage cut of the state tax money for having its bureaucrats oversee a state grant program the federal government wants to be implemented.

In each situation, (state not wanting to implement a federal program; the federal government under-compensating the state for its efforts; or the unequal distribution of federal funds), tensions arise over the implementation of these federal programs. These tensions place federal programs at risk of the state refusal to administer them.

The Feds Might Also Pull the Funding Plug

According to a May 7, 2018 study by the Congressional Research Service, Federal Grants to State and Local Government: A Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issue, the federal government is expected to provide state and local governments about $728 billion in grants in FY 2018. More than half of the monies ($400 billion) goes to health care (Medicaid), and the rest to highways, environment, child nutrition, disaster relief, tenant rental assistance, education for the disadvantaged, children’s health insurance, and urban mass transit, among other programs.

These federal funds comprise 1,319 grants, and according to the Tax Foundation, the awards represent between 26% – 49% of state spending, depending on the state. For example, federal funds to Indiana represent 35% of its total state spending. Federal grants to Texas represent 40% of its state’s spending. Federal grants to Virginia only represent 27% of its state’s spending. The amount of these grants has more than doubled from FY 2000, going from $286 billion in FY 2000 to $728 billion in FY 2018.

To the federal government, these grants represent about 18% of its $4 trillion annual budget. The present federal debt carries interest payments of around $250 billion annually. The historically low-interest rates between 2009 – 2107 kept interest payments manageable, but still consuming about 7.4% of the federal budget. The Office of Management and Budget is projecting that interest rates will rise to around 3.6% by 2028, consuming 12.2% of the federal budget and drain the treasury by $761 billion annually, an amount that exceeds the total amount of grants made to states. This deficiency means the federal government will need to find an additional $511 billion annually by 2028 to service the increased debt or it will need to find other budget reductions such as state program grants, to remain at the same fiscal position as today.

Could This Be the Start of Devolution?

The conflicting trends of states not wanting to implement specific federal programs and the federal government not having sufficient money to fully compensate the states for implementing them will start the debate over which programs must be administered and by whom? Therefore, while the federal government becomes more irritated at states that resist administering federal programs, the states that receive less federal funding than needed to implement federal programs or receive an inequitable return on their tax dollars sent to Washington, also become irritated with federal management of the grant programs.

This situation will force states to decide what programs they genuinely want to administer. States will have to balance the impact on their budgets of the loss of federal funds against the cost to the state of administering the federal programs. It might seem that the loss of any federal funds would be a substantial budget impact on states; however, that may not be the case since many states supplement the federal grants with state funds to achieve full implementation of specific federal programs or send more money to Washington than it receives back in grants. 

On the federal side of the equation, the federal government is forced to determine what are its priority programs and to recognize it will have to provide sufficient amounts of money to incentivize full state implementation of priority programs. The selection of priority programs means the federal government, due to budget deficits, will have to reduce or eliminate some state program grants.

Eventually, however, the federal government will have to stop printing money it does not have. State resistance will merely give the federal government a reason to revise or defund certain state grant programs. Once this occurs, the devolutionary process will play out, which means the federal government will stop expanding its authority through incentives to states to implement federal programs. Conversely, States will decide which federal programs they want to continue. In many cases, the states will pay for current federal programs they wish to administer with the dollars saved by eliminating the cost of administering unwanted federal programs and by keeping the tax dollars of their citizens in their state, rather than sending the dollars to Washington for redistribution.

As with any Hobson’s Choice, there is no choice at all. The federal government will shrink, and the states will implement the programs wanted by the citizens of their state. This devolutionary process will restore sovereignty to the states while shrinking federal power to that given the federal government by our Constitution.

Follow Bill  @WilliamLKovacs  

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  • State Legislatures: Last Guardians of the Republic

State Legislatures: Last Guardians of the Republic

William L. Kovacs

July 2019

State Legislatures: Last Guardians of the Republic

The federal government is unable to control its printing of money. The nation has accumulated massive debt.  Wars have continued for years without Congress declaring war. Congress ignores pressing issues such as immigration and health care and fails to enact budgets or appropriations regularly. We need to ask ourselves; can we stop the runaway train before it crashes causing significant injury to the nation?

Our Constitution has many braking systems in place to stop a runaway government, but so far, they have all failed. Primarily, our system of checks and balances which was devised to ensure each branch of government operated as a check on the other branches. As our elected representatives give more and more loyalty to the political party, they are a member of, than to the institution in which they serve, the power of the institution of Congress dwindles leaving only the power of the political party to check the overreaching activities of the opposing political party.

The Executive branch aggressively seeks to increase its power through Executive Order and the issuance of regulations to carry out the intent of the Executive rather than the intent of Congress, thus further diminishing the powers of Congress and the checks and balances so necessary restraining the powers of the federal government.

Our courts affirm the delegation of legislative authority from Congress to the Executive through the passage of broad and vague laws that require the Executive to fill in the legislative blanks. Moreover, when the blanks are filled in, the courts give deference to agency action, viewing the agency as the expert, notwithstanding congressional intent.

The other mechanisms in our Constitution to control a massive federal government have also failed. Every year Congress has the opportunity to control spending through appropriations, yet every year appropriations and our debt increase. In 1970 our debt was $371 billion; in 1982 our national debt reached $1 trillion for the first time, and today we are reaching twenty-two trillion dollars. It is projected that we will add a trillion dollars to our debt every year going forward. If Congress can’t utilize its absolute control over spending to keep the nation living within our means, and the Executive refuses to veto expenditures we cannot afford, then the checks and balances established by our Constitution are useless.

Another possibility is for the people of this nation to control Congress through a common activity that can regularly be utilized – voting. If our present government is failing us, we can change our entire government over six years. Our founders provided us a legal form of peaceful revolution at the ballot box. Unfortunately, it appears that the citizens of this nation are just as split and angry as the politicians in Congress, thus leaving us without the ability to control the federal government.

Fortunately, there is one final option, but one never utilized, to put the brakes on an out-of-control federal government. Article V of the Constitution places such power in the hands of the fifty state legislatures. Under Article V, upon application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, (34), Congress must call a Convention to propose Amendments to the Constitution. The Amendments adopted by the Convention become part of our Constitution if ratified by three-fourths, (38), of the state legislatures or by Conventions of three – fourths of the several states. The method or ratification is up to Congress, and that is the only power Congress has if thirty-four states submit similar applications to Congress.

The state convention process cannot be denied, vetoed or regulated by Congress or the governors of the respective states. The selected delegates would control the Convention. While there have been over four hundred applications to call a Convention of the States, there has not been a sufficient number of states making the same or similar applications.

The point of raising the Article V, Constitutional Amendment process, is not to promote a Convention of the States, a group of the same name is actively pursuing that. My point is to remind all members of the state legislatures that they have taken an Oath that binds them to support the Constitution of the United States as currently constituted. If the state legislatures believe that the massive, debt-ridden, federal government that presently runs our nation is not operating it within the framework of our Constitution, the state legislatures must act for the citizens of the country.

While members of these state legislature may view their duties solely as state functions, the oath they have taken to the Constitution obligates them to ensure the federal government works according to the Constitution. If the federal government operates outside of the Constitution, the state legislatures have been given the constitutional responsibility to save the Republic with a Convention that hopefully restores common sense to the operations of our federal government. If a consensus on Amendments comes out of the convention, the convention delegates will have to persuade the American people and their state legislatures that controlling the federal government is essential to the nation. Reaching a consensus on one or more Constitutional Amendments to control the federal government will be our best chance to reflect not only what we want the country to be, but it will also tell us if we can save the nation.

Follow Bill @WilliamLKovacs  

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  • Affordable Clean Energy Rule: Determining the Rule of Law

Affordable Clean Energy Rule: Determining the Rule of Law

William L. Kovacs

June 2019

Affordable Clean Energy Rule: Determining the Rule of Law

June 19, 2019, is a day of infamy for advocates of the costly and complex federal regulations to address climate change issued by Obama era regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). On that day, the Trump EPA announced that it was replacing Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (“ACER”).

The contrast between the two rules could not be starker. Obama’s Clean Power Plan used the federal rule-making process to set strict emission standards on America’s power and manufacturing industries, imposed rigid state plan requirements that mandated the reduction of the use of certain forms of energy, e.g., coal, and subsidized other forms of energy like wind and solar. The Clean Power Plan empowered EPA to restructure all of American life from the types of energy used, to the products that could be manufactured, to the location of industry.

The legality of Obama’s Clean Power Plan was challenged in court by 28 states and hundreds of U.S. businesses. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the law, and it never went into effect.

When the Trump administration took office one of its first deregulatory efforts was to initiate a rule change to replace the Clean Power Plan. Under the new rule, legally effective around July 18, 2019, the energy industry would still be required to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by thirty-five percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The International Energy Agency however, believes a 74% reduction is needed to address the impacts of climate change.

ACER moreover, eliminates the mandates on states to meet federal emission targets. States are now free to determine how energy efficiency can be improved. Finally, ACER is an armistice between the federal government and the coal industry. Effectively, President Obama’s war on coal is over.

While the environmental community is likely to aggressively challenge the new rule in court for not doing enough to address climate change, that challenge will raise a far more significant issue concerning the rule of law in this country. Specifically, the Obama administration viewed the Clean Air Act as a broad grant of authority that allowed it to regulate the economy in ways never envisioned by Congress.

The Trump administration viewed the Obama Clean Power Plan as more than regulatory overreach, and it viewed it as an illegal power grab to shut down economic growth in the name of environmentalism. What is striking in this conflict between two administrations, is that the same law, the Clean Air Act, without any changes by Congress, was thought by the Obama administration, to be a massive source of executive power, while, a few months later, the Trump administration viewed it as an excessive use of executive power that placed illegal restrictions on the entire economy.

In a similar conflict concerning the application of the Clean Water Act, the Obama administration viewed the law as authorizing power to regulate almost all waters in the United States, no matter how small, including water in ditches. Again, the Trump administration viewed the same law as only regulating water bodies that had an impact on interstate commerce. Again, two diametrically opposed positions taken as the law of the nation within a short period and without any congressional action.

This dramatic conflict over the power of the Executive to change the scope, meaning and intent of a law passed by Congress, in a short time, raises a fundamental question about executive power and the meaning of the rule of law.  While the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act are high profile environmental regulations, similar regulatory U-turns regularly occur many times, in many areas of law, when new administrations take office.

This conflict over the scope of executive power to regulate (or what legislative powers can Congress delegate) must be resolved to avoid this nation becoming a banana republic. In the likely event the environmental community challenges the Affordable Clean Energy Rule; the U.S. Supreme Court will have the opportunity to provide guidance on the extent of legislative power (discretion) Congress can delegate to federal agencies. The court had the opportunity this term in Gundy v. U.S. to clarify this issue, but it left in place the eighty-five-year-old principle that as long as Congress can point to an “intelligible standard” in its delegation of power to agencies, the agencies have the discretion to legislate. Unfortunately, the term “intelligible standard” is just as vague as the congressional statutes being relied upon by the agency to issue regulations.

In the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration expanded a complex statute that Congress intended for the regulation of the most harmful air pollutants, into a statute that regulated the most ubiquitous of air emission, carbon dioxide. This regulatory action, if upheld by the court, would allow the executive to regulate the entire economy, a power never intended by Congress. While the Trump administration is attempting to pull back the regulatory overreach, there is still a fundamental question that the court must address – how an agency determines the scope of the legislative authority delegated to it by Congress?

If this issue reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, its decision will be momentous as to how the federal government regulates climate change. But the decision will have a much greater impact on the power of the executive in using regulations to change the policy of the nation.

If the court sets clear limits on the expansion of agency power through regulation, it will limit radical policy swings, especially those occurring between administrations. Conversely, if the court ignores this issue, it is allowing policy swings between administrations that will denigrate the Article I, lawmaking power of Congress.

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  • Restructuring Must Include Everything the Kakistocrats Manage

Restructuring Must Include Everything the Kakistocrats Manage

William L. Kovacs

June 2019

Restructuring Must Include Everything the Kakistocrats Manage

Complex societies collapse. Massively indebted nations collapse.  Countries with their military deployed throughout the world collapse.  Highly regulated states collapse. Governments that are torn by distrust and hatred between various groups of its people collapse. The United States is all of these risks combined and the kakistocrats, contently sitting on the bubble, claim they are addressing these risks.

The kakistocrats delude themselves that it can’t happen here.  It has happened to every major empire in the history of the world. Sometimes the collapse happens by war. Other times, by nature. Sometimes it happens by political decisions made to harm an opponent. As long as these many risks continue to linger our country is exposed to significant harm that could last decades or centuries.

We need only to look at the history books to appreciate this lesson. The world power centers of the 16th century include the Aztec, Inca, Ottoman, Persian, Mogul, and Ming empires. In the 1750s the European Colonial empires included the Portuguese, French, Spanish, British, Danish and Russian empires. In the 19th century, the great empires were French, Spanish, Austrian, and Russian. All these countries were diminished by war, excessive centralization, debt, or a failure to adapt technology to changing times.

Like all empires before us, our society will live with the risk perhaps for decades but then some sudden event will force dramatic change, and the kakistocracy will be helpless to address it.  At that point, the entire society goes into the abyss.  Once in the abyss, it can take centuries to reemerge from the darkness as chaos rules.

To quote the introduction of my book, “There are times in the history of nations when the citizens of the nation need to act before those entrusted with the control and resources of the nation cause it harm.”  Now is the time for action!  We must immediately demand that the kakistocrats act as fiduciaries, not politicians, and address the structural risks to our nation. 

What would be sufficient structural reform of our government?  Everything must be analyzed as if they were putting a puzzle together: taxes, spending, the sale of assets, elimination of excessive laws and regulations and the devolution of programs to the states when the states are more capable of implementing them than the federal government.  Entities facing systemic risks do this all the time. It is now time for the kakistocracy to do it for the nation. The federal government has undertaken successful but very limited, restructurings many times, e.g. the reorganization of the Penn Central Railroad into Conrail to preserve commerce in the eastern parts of the nation; reorganizing New York City and Chrysler Corporation to prevent bankruptcy and in 2009 the bailout and restructuring of the nation’s banking industry to prevent financial collapse.

It is now time to restructure a government that has not restrained itself since World War II. Massive amounts of debt and hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations are on the books, regulating everything from national defense and the conduct of war to the treatment of animals. The federal government owns thirty percent of the nation’s land and does not have anywhere near the cash needed even to maintain the structures it built, let alone develop more technologically advanced ones to compete in the world. Paying to sustain this massive structure is a printing press that prints dollars as long as it has ink.  We have a tax system that has been captured by special interests since the first time it was amended by Congress in 1918. 

Starting the reorganization begins with a simple question – What do we want our nation to look like in 10, 20, or even 50 years? If we continue on our present path, the view of the future is burdened with debt, centralization of government and conflict within society. If these issues remain unaddressed, we will not be a functioning nation for long. I assume not even the kakistocracy wants to face that bleak outcome, which is what we will get if we do nothing.

The restructuring process must all start with the federal government recognizing it is not capable of managing, and cannot afford, the massive government it has created. It must immediately identify essential programs and fund those programs to the extent of available revenues. If borrowing must occur, then it must only be for the essential programs.

Concurrent with prioritizing spending, Congress must review every program in the federal government and repeal all non-essential federal programs or devolve programs essential to the states to the states.

Next, the kakistocracy must compile a list of real assets (e.g., buildings, land, and mineral rights). Again, the assets should be prioritized, and only the assets needed for running the nation should be kept. Low priority assets should be sold, and the proceeds used to pay off the nation’s debt.

Every federal program that gives, grants, loans or subsidizes private entities should be quickly eliminated.

Even after completing this right-sizing trauma, the restructuring will only be just beginning. The kakistocracy will still need to address social security, reducing health care costs by twenty – five percent, and developing a tax system that eliminates complexity, unfairness and tax-avoidance schemes while collecting sufficient revenues to run the government. For suggestions on how to accomplish these changes see Part IV of my book.

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  • The Constitution Mandates Government Officials Act as Fiduciaries

The Constitution Mandates Government Officials Act as Fiduciaries

William L. Kovacs

June 2019

The Constitution Mandates Government Officials Act as Fiduciaries

A fiduciary is a person who has a duty, created by a voluntary undertaking, to act for the benefit of another in matters connected with such effort. Government officials voluntarily seek and assume positions in our government. They freely take an oath to support the Constitution. When they voluntarily assume the responsibility of managing our government, we entrust them with our money, our property and liberty, the fair implementation of our laws, and the defense of our country.

Government officials must never act for personal benefit or the benefit of the political party that supported them. Such actions are a breach of fiduciary duty. These are significant responsibilities that, if not correctly executed, can create massive abuses that inflict great harm on our people and nation.

Government officials having fiduciary obligations is a controversial topic. There are more than a few well-crafted law review articles that argue the fiduciary duty standard cannot be easily transferred from trust or corporate law to the public law. These scholars argue in the public arena there is simply no way to determine who is the beneficiary of a government officials’ duty of loyalty. There are too many beneficial interests and legal relationships that are qualitatively different, for a rational trust policy to be constructed.

These law review articles provide excellent straw-men examples of the unworkability of imposing a fiduciary relationship between government officials and diverse laws to be administered, constituents, institutions to be served, and political parties since there is no consensus on what interests are to be protected. The reasoning seems to be that since validly enacted laws, regulations, and orders are constitutional, the exercise on a fiduciary duty must encompass all actions of the government, or the fiduciary duty cannot be imposed on the government official.

This “too much complexity argument” misses the critical point by jumping to the conclusion that to be a fiduciary the government official must be a fiduciary to every constituent for all validly enacted laws, regulations, orders, and other government actions.  That is not what our Constitution mandates. Our Constitution is clear; the Oaths Clause refers to the operation of the framework of the Constitution. As such, all actions must be consistent with its structure of limited government held in check by the separation of powers between the three branches of government. Therefore, the fiduciary duty merely reaffirms what the Oaths Clause imposes – loyalty must be to the operation of our Constitution and the institution in which one serves.

To ensure a limited government, each branch must continuously operate as a check on the other branches. For this to occur, the fiduciary duty of each member of our government is to the branch in which they serve and not to a political party that may have helped them achieve their employment.

When this system of checks and balances fails, it is a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of those officials in our several branches of government. This breach of fiduciary duty occurs when members of the government are more loyal to the political parties supporting them than to the branch of government in which they serve. Our Constitution establishes institutions of government to protect us by having each branch check the powers of the other branches of government. Unfortunately, today members of our government work as Republicans or Democrats and not for the institution in which they serve. The goal of these Republicans or Democrats is to achieve the overall interests of their political parties. Just look at Congress and the large number of party-line votes and how each party connives to best the other. Look the Executive who usually only works with the political party of which he is a member to deliver the votes needed to carry out the Executive’s wishes. Alternatively, look at the courts and all the judge shopping that goes on to ensure that the court where the filing occurs agrees with the political position of the party filing the lawsuit.

When political parties so control the power structure that they replace the functioning of the institution with the goals of a political party, we citizens have our rights greatly diminished. We are then only protected by political parties, and cannot depend on the respective institutions of government for protection.

We citizens need to continually remind ourselves that political parties are nothing more than special interest organizations created for one purpose – to control the government of the United States. Political parties have so successfully organized that one of the two political parties many times, controls all aspects of our government. When in control they make whatever laws or regulations they wish to enact, subject only to whatever political power the opposing party may have to limit the majority’s power. In this instance, the institutions of our government are irrelevant.

If a president wants an illegal war and his party controls Congress, then it is war; notwithstanding the War Powers clause of the Constitution. If the president wants to create laws by regulation instead of going through Congress, and the opposing party in Congress cannot stop it, then the rules become law even if Congress never intended its law to be so expansive.

While their many examples of how political power trumps institutional power, what is clear is that if members of Congress were operating as fiduciaries to the institution that checks presidential or judicial overreach, rather than as a political machine, Congress would check the executive or judicial branches of any constitutional overreach. Also, vice versa for the other branches. Such checks are not available when our institutions operate to achieve the goals of a political party rather than functioning as an institution that checks the powers of the other branches.

When our government officials work to help the political parties control our government instead of working to protect the constitutional powers of the institution in which they serve, our government officials breach their fiduciary duty to the Constitution and the citizens of the nation. Our government officials cannot have divided loyalty between a political party and our Constitution. Such divided loyalty does not provide citizens the same protections as if the members of our government remained loyal to the institutions in which they serve.

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