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Jewish World Review July 9, 1999 /25 Tamuz, 5759

Walter Williams

Walter Williams
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State sovereignty --
READING AN ARTICLE in this April's Chronicles magazine, "Cajuns Uncaged," made my day.

Last October, by nearly a 60 percent majority, Louisianans approved Amendment 1 to their state constitution. Amendment 1 declares: "The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free and sovereign state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."

Louisiana's amendment would be entirely unnecessary if the White House, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court didn't have disdain for the U.S. Constitution. What the citizens of Louisiana seek is already part of the protections found in our Constitution. The Ninth Amendment reads, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The 10th Amendment reads, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Both the Ninth and 10th Amendments are held in the deepest contempt and disrespect by the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. Why? Because these Amendments, were written to protect against consolidation of power by the federal government. Dismissal of the Ninth and 10th Amendments allows Congress to control our schools, mandate speed limits, and require employment and college admissions quotas, as well as other forms of Washington tyranny. Today, little states can do nothing without Washington's permission. That was not the Framers' vision.

What would Williams do if he were Louisiana governor with such a mandate from the people? I would write Congress, stating that Louisiana citizens are reclaiming their rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Respecting the Constitution and disobeying Congress would surely invite retaliation. Congress might threaten to cut off Medicaid reimbursements and highway- construction funds if Louisiana didn't follow their dictates.

Faced with congressional threats, I would go to the state legislature to establish a law enabling the state treasurer to establish a federal tax escrow account. All Louisiana citizens and businesses with federal tax obligations would be required by law to make those payments to Louisiana's federal tax escrow account. From that account, Louisiana citizens' federal obligations (income, profit and excise taxes) would periodically be sent to Washington.

Then I'd send Congress another letter, informing them that if they retaliate against Louisiana citizens for obeying the Constitution by cutting off, say, $10 billion worth of Medicaid reimbursements or highway construction funds, we're simply going to reduce by $10 billion our periodic payments of tax obligations to Washington.

You say, "Hey, Williams, things could get pretty nasty after that!" You're right and Congress might use armed force. "Governor" Williams would ask Louisianians just how far they are willing to go and what they're willing to sacrifice to protect those precious rights the Framers sought to guarantee by our Constitution.

You say, "Williams, have you lost your marbles, challenging a powerful federal government?" I haven't lost my marbles anymore than James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others lost theirs. After all, in 1776 -- when our Founders handed King George III the Declaration of Independence -- Great Britain was the mightiest power on the face of the earth. They knew that if they lost they'd be hung as traitors.

Of course, all of this would be irrelevant if Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court followed their oaths of office to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


07/02/99: America's theater of the absurd
06/25/99: Corruption of language
06/18/99: Asian excellence, American mediocrity
06/11/99: Reining in the EPA
06/07/99: Minimum wage, maximum folly
05/27/99: An armed citizenry and liberty
05/19/99: Blaming the past
05/14/99: General principles
05/06/99: Confronting unpleasantries
04/29/99: Permissiveness costs
04/23/99: South Africa: after apartheid
04/19/99: A time for truth
04/12/99: Population and poverty
03/31/99: Moral hazards
03/24/99: Right to be left alone?
03/17/99: Why Congress can't be trusted
03/10/99: Racial profiling
03/03/99: Equality before the law
02/24/99: Population control nonsense
02/17/99: Congressional contempt
02/11/99:Blooming fur tyrants
02/05/99:More money, better education?
01/27/99:Absurdity, brazenness and hypocrisy reigns
01/20/99:Economics 101
01/13/99:A wrongful celebration
01/06/99: Economics of predation
12/30/98: Things I wonder about
12/23/98: Unseen crime costs
12/21/98: How to become rich
12/09/98: Advancing national decadence
12/02/98: The Civil War wasn't about slavery
11/24/98:What's happened to us?
11/20/98:Tragedy in black neighborhoods
11/11/98:Family debasement
I11/04/98: Is it them or us?
10/28/98: Where are the poor?
10/21/98: The budget surplus hoax
10/15/98: Where union power lies
10/08/98: Race and sex in the military
9/29/98: Can Clinton run the economy?
9/25/98: Liberals and the constitution
9/17/98: Clinton and future presidents
9/11/98: Donate or sell organs
9/03/98: Common Sense vs. Experts
8/26/98: Mother Nature's unfairness
8/24/98: The pretense of superiority
8/13/98: Yours or mine?
8/05/98: I do my job well, so that means I can....
7/29/98: Education production

©1999, Creators Syndicate