First Name:
Last Name:

Click a Topic to Read and Research and then scroll down

Meet Senator Thompson

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

War-Funding Puzzlement

War-Funding Puzzlement
By Fred Thompson

The House’s emergency war-funding bill contains several conditions on how the
war should be run. They’ll never become law but they “send signals” they say.
They’re big on sending signals in Washington. But what I was really surprised to
find in the bill was what looked like $25 billion in pure pork. Since a lot
of the people who voted for the bill campaigned against pork, I was
I’m puzzled there’s $283 million for dairy farmers in an emergency
war-funding bill. But there’s also $74 million for peanut farmers so, I figured
our soldiers are eating a lot of peanut-butter sandwiches; they need more milk
to wash them down with.Hey, I’m trying to keep an open mind, here, okay?But I
also wondered why the bill gives $25 million to spinach producers. Our troops
should certainly eat their vegetables, but unless it turns out that there’s a
scientific basis for that Popeye spinach thing, I don’t get it.I’m also trying
to figure out what $400 million for rural schools has to do with the war —
unless that money produces students smart enough to explain why this bill
includes over $300,000 for the widows of two ex-House members, and $80
million for low-income rent subsidies.There’s a lot in the bill I don’t
understand, but this sort of makes sense. There’s $50 million for repairs to the
plant that supplies electrical power to the Capitol — where Congress works. To
fund and win the war, Congress does need electricity at least to do its job.Ah,
I get it. This bill isn’t just about funding the war for democracy and freedom
in Iraq. It’s a political statement. And it’s about buying enough votes with
pork in order to make that statement. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if
Congress did have its power cut off every once in a while.

Fred Thompson is an actor and former United States senator from Tennessee.© PAUL HARVEY SHOW, ABC RADIO NETWORKS


Fred Talks Federalism

This man has had a lot on his mind the last few days. He posted this one two days ago. This article outlines his ideas on how the federal government can overstep it's boundaries:


April 23, 2007
Talking About Federalism

"My friend, Ramesh Ponnuru, over at National Review and I had a little disagreement over the issue of Federalism (you can read the original article here). It might seem a little like "Inside Baseball" but, actually, it deals with something that is of importance to everyone who is concerned about the expanding power of government. Our government, under our Constitution, was established upon the principles of Federalism -- that the federal government would have limited enumerated powers and the rest would be left to the states. It not only prevented tyranny, it just made good sense. States become laboratories for democracy and experiment with different kinds of laws. One state might try one welfare reform approach, for example. Another state might try another approach. One would work and the other would not. The federal welfare reform law resulted from just this process.
Federalism also allows for the diversity that exists among the country's people. Citizens of our various states have different views as to how traditional state responsibilities should be handled. This way, states compete with each other to attract people and businesses -- and that is a good thing.
Everyone in Washington embraces Federalism until it comes to someone's pet project designed to appeal to the voters. Then, oftentimes, even the most ardent Federalist throws in with the "Washington solution" crowd. I fought this for eight years in the Senate. I remember one vote (I believe it was 99 to one) when mine was the only vote cast for Federalism. The bill would have created a federal good Samaritan law.
Now I can assure you that I have nothing against good Samaritans. If a person stops to help someone in distress on the highway and something bad happens, generally, the good Samaritan should not be sued by some overly ambitious trial lawyer. But states are, and have been for years, perfectly capable of handling this burning issue -- as well as all of the sub-issues that are raised, such as who should be protected as a good Samaritan. What if he was intoxicated and made a slight misstep while applying medical relief? What if he was not impaired, but made a gross error and turns a minor problem into a significant one? You get the idea. This is traditionally state law stuff. Is this really something the federal government should involve itself in?
I thought not, but even some of my conservative colleagues (as well as writers) get caught up in the desire to federalize an issue if they could help a "good guy" or stick it to a "bad guy." This may be a desirable goal in the abstract but I don't think our Founding Fathers had this in mind. Adhering to basic principles that have served our country well is much too important. That's why I suggested to Mr. Ponnuru that if conservatives use Federalism as a tool with which to reward our friends and strike our enemies, instead of treating it as a valued principle, we are doing a disservice to our country -- as well as to the cause of conservatism."

For the record, Mr. Ponnuru supports a Thompson candidacy.



Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson
Former U.S. Senator (R-TN)