View Full Version : McCain wants king with line item veto powers!

03-04-2009, 06:28 AM
McCain, Ryan Push for Line-Item Veto (http://www.newsmax.com/politics/line_item_veto_mccain/2009/03/03/187877.html)

Well, Senator ignore-our-Constitution McCain is at it again and looking to subjugate the delicate balance of power our founding fathers created between the Legislature and Presidency. Mr. McCain pretends to us that line item veto power being exercised by President Obama is in our best interests and will lead to ending pork barrel spending. But the truth is, if line item veto were available to President Obama or any president, special interest projects and pork barrel spending favored by the president would prevail over projects and pork disfavored by him.

But let us take a look at the intentions and beliefs under which our Constitution was adopted and is what McCain is looking to overturn.

Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution contains a specific procedure for the president to follow regarding a bill having passed both houses of Congress

''__if he approve, he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated__''

No allowance has been granted to the president by the Constitution to alter a bill to his own liking by striking some parts and leaving others, and attempting to have a bill so amended enacted into law.

Likewise, no provision can be pointed to in our Constitution granting power to Congress to overrule the specific procedure stated in Article 1, Section 7 and vest in the president a power favored by McCain..

Madison`s Notes on the Convention of 1787 informs us that only three of the original 13 states allowed their executive to exercise a veto power (Massachusetts, South Carolina and New York), And, in discussing veto power, Benjamin Franklin, on June 4 (http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/debates/604.htm) of the Constitutional Convention, reminds the delegates how the veto power had been exercised by royal governors and why the convention should not grant such power to the president:

''The negative of the governor was constantly made use of to extort money. No good law whatever could be passed without a private bargain with him. An increase of salary or some donation, was always made a condition; till at last, it became the regular practice to have orders in his favor on the treasury presented along with the bills to be signed, so that he might actually receive the former before he should sign the latter. When the Indians were scalping the Western people, and notice of it arrived, the concurrence of the governor in the means of self-defense could not be got, until it was agreed that the people were to fight for the security of his property, whilst he was to have no share of the burdens of taxation.''

The Convention finally did reach a compromise, and granted veto power to the president, but only in the limited fashion as detailed in Article 1, Section 7, which preempts the kind of presidential blackmail which line-item veto most assuredly would resurrect and which McCain supports!

If McCain is sincere in wanting to control reckless spending and borrowing, and encourage Congress to start practicing sound fiscal policy, he ought to be promoting our Founding Father’s plan, and in particular, the founder’s method of extinguishing deficits created by Congress’s pork barrel spending. This method would make every member of Congress immediately accountable to their State Governor and Legislature should Congress borrow to finance its pork during the course of a fiscal year!

Under the founders plan, if insufficient revenue was raised by Congress from its normal taxing powers, and Congress borrowed to pay for its pork, Congress was then intended to lay a direct tax among the states for the total sum of the deficit created.

To insure protection against the abuse of the direct taxing power found in our Constitution , our founding fathers provided a [I]fair share formula to be followed which determines each State`s share when Congress decides to call upon the people of the various States to extinguish a deficit created by Congress.

Considering subsequent amendments to our Constitution, that [I]fair share formula may be represented as follows:

State`s population
-------------------------------X SUM TO BE RAISED = STATE`S SHARE
Total U.S. Population

The theory of the founder`s fair share formula is very much part of federalism and is based upon a conservative idea ___ Representation with proportional obligation,___ an idea which socialists and the friends of big government dread with a passion!

After determining each state`s share of the total sum to be raised using the fair share formula, each State`s Congressional Delegation is to return to their own state with a bill for their State`s share of the sum being raised and the various state Governors and Legislatures are to be left with the responsibility of transferring their State`s share from the state treasury into the treasury of the United States, or, raising additional taxes within the state and then transferring that money into the treasury of the United States. For documentation of this tax being practiced see: Act laying a direct tax for $3 million (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=003/llsl003.db&recNum=94) August 2, 1813, and each state`s share of the tax. Also see:Section 7 of direct tax of 1813 (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=003/llsl003.db&recNum=112) allowing states to pay their respective quotas and be entitled to certain deductions.

Those who claim to want fiscal accountability from Congress ought to ask themselves what would happen to the king of pork, the pride and joy of Pennsylvania, Representative John Murtha, if he should have to return home with a bill for his state Governor and Legislature to pay to finance the millions of pork barrel earmarks he now channels to his district by plundering the federal treasury?

The point is, our founder`s plan provides a very real moment of accountability when Congress finds it necessary to borrow and yet, not one of our Republican members of Congress including Senator McCain, dares to promote our Constitution’s solution to pork barrel borrowing and spending.

Maybe this is because there are no loopholes and no manipulation if Congress decides to borrow, and, those state congressional delegations with the biggest mouth in Congress, who would dare use their large voting strength to squander federal revenue, create big government or send our money to distant lands through a “United Nations” money laundering machine are to bring home to their State Governor a bill for the largest share of the apportioned tax which the Governor and State Legislature would then be responsible for raising and then depositing into the treasury of the United States.

Bottom line

We don’t need a line item veto power being exercise by the Executive branch of our federal government which merely allows the president to determine which pork he/she may favor, and may also be used by the president to blackmail Congress to adopt special interest legislation which the president may want.

What we need is for our Republican members in Congress to start supporting and defending our existing Constitution and the solutions our founding fathers wrote into that instrument to make members of Congress the servants of the people rather than the masters they now believe they are.



Those who reject abiding by the intentions and beliefs under which our Constitution was agree to, as those intentions and beliefs may be documented from historical records during our Constitution‘s framing and ratification process, wish to remove the anchor and rudder of our constitutional system so they may then be free to “interpret” the Constitution in such a manner as to mean whatever they wish it to mean.

03-04-2009, 08:34 AM
mccain is asked by obama to "go it along" with him, recently... so... mccain is into line item veto?

Truth Warrior
03-04-2009, 12:52 PM
McCain is a douchebag, with apologies to Kludge. :D

03-04-2009, 01:05 PM
thanks for the explanation.

03-04-2009, 01:13 PM
I tend to favor a line item veto but the courts rejected it saying that the President was changing bills sent to him and that power is supposed to be in the Congress. A line item veto with the ability of Congress to override it could be used to help control- not necessarily promote- pork. Any president who is seen as misusing the veto could find himself voted out of office. A president can have some specific control over spending right now by refusing to release funds for a program. This is effectively a line item veto without override capabilities. It has not been used much.

03-04-2009, 01:18 PM
The sheer stupidity of all of this is that every President (and State Governor) actually already HAS a form of a line-item veto... if they have the guts to use it.

It's called the "bully pulpit."

All a President would have to do is give a speech and say:

"You know I really would like to sign this bill, but I cannot sign it, and therefore I am vetoing it for the following reasons:

1) Specific provisions 'X, Y, and Z' have no relevance to what this bill is about -- a subsidy to an wooden arrow manufacturer does NOT belong in a bill about military spending (maybe it did in the Middle Ages, but not now).

2) On top of that, the $50 Million in funding for a "bridge to nowhere" is unacceptable and must be removed...


99) The bill is insanely long -- at 10,000 pages I couldn't even read the dang thing; from here on out, I will sign NO bill that is more than 10 pages long. (The entire Constitution was on one piece of paper for crying out loud!)

So, if they want me to sign, Congress must remove all the garbage -- we are asking the local TV stations to list the phone numbers and email addresses of your Congressmen and Senators -- please call them and tell them what YOU think they should do.

Thank You."

End of story. Congress would not DARE to override a veto like that.

The reason it DOESN'T happen is that all elected officials are bought-and-paid for politicians -- and they have all become corrupt and have learned how to stuff their own local "pork" into bills (and yes, Virginia, that includes our dear beloved, Ron Paul); that's simply how the game is played, and NO ONE (at least no one who reaches an executive office) will actually go against it to that extent and call the "bluff".

UPDATE, Short/sweet version: Basically the President (and/or Governors) ALL already have a "line item veto" -- they could simply VETO the bill, and then send an "Edited" copy back to the legislature (with lines through the everything BUT the parts that are necessary -- probably 10% of a bill would survive, if that) -- then put out a press-release with the edited document attached. (BTW, that's what the original "concept" of a veto was supposed to be anyway).

03-04-2009, 01:24 PM
GW Bush always said he would veto any bill which included pork. It took him six years to find his veto pen. He nearly became the first president to never veto a bill.

03-04-2009, 03:48 PM
The sheer stupidity of all of this is that every President (and State Governor) actually already HAS a form of a line-item veto... if they have the guts to use it.

It's called the "bully pulpit."

All a President would have to do is give a speech and say:
"You know I really would like to sign this bill, but I cannot sign it, and therefore I am vetoing it for the following reasons:

1) Specific provisions 'X, ..... [I](BTW, that's what the original "concept" of a veto was supposed to be anyway).

Excellent post! And in addition to what you posted, I am one who also supports our founding father’s solution (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/ratnh.asp) which makes each state’s congressional delegation immediately accountable to their state’s governor and legislature should Congress create pork barrel deficits.

Fourthly That Congress do not lay direct Taxes but when the money arising from Impost, Excise and their other resources are insufficient for the Publick Exigencies; nor then, untill Congress shall have first made a Requisition upon the States, to Assess, Levy, & pay their respective proportions, of such requisitions agreeably to the Census fixed in the said Constitution in such way & manner as the Legislature of the State shall think best and in such Case if any State shall neglect, then Congress may Assess & Levy such States proportion together with the Interest thereon at the rate of six per Cent per Annum from the Time of payment prescribed in such requisition-

Liberals and the friends of big government want to avoid our founding father’s solution to irresponsible spending which is the requirement to extinguish annual pork deficits with the apportioned tax among the states! How nice our Washington Establishment to want to allow our big socialistic Congressional Delegations in Congress [New York, California, Pennsylvania, etc.] to squander our tax dollars and return home without a bill for their constituents to pay via the apportioned tax.

Fact is, socialists and the friends of big government are great at spending other people’s money and always demand their one man one vote part of the Constitution when it comes to spending from the federal treasury. But when it comes time to fill the national treasury to pay for pork they run and hide from the one vote one dollar part of the Constitution, which is also part of the apportionment formula which gave them their one man one vote.


"In matters of Power, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution"--- Jefferson