Over 60% of the 2011 Indiana budget is going to whatever politicians and their lobbyists call “education.” Over the past several decades, the percentage of those billions that gets to the classroom has dropped to less than 60%. Our embarrassingly high percentage of administrative buildings and personnel, and the absurd cost of sports programs that serve a tiny percentage of elite students is inexcusable as average students get fat and fall behind their overseas peers. American schooling is by far the most expensive, and among the least effective, in the world.
So it’s fine that there’s been talk of school funding, teachers’ unions, pensions, student nutrition and the taxation and spending rules that we’re told have something to do with learning. Yet amidst all the chatter over vouchers, Charter Schools, “investment in our future,” and of course, sports, I’ve so far heard nothing that is both workable, and legal.
It is suspicious that Article 8 of Indiana’s Constitution appeared on the last day of the 1851 constitutional convention without a word of debate. The person who transcribed the article (perhaps he wrote it himself?) was Robert Owen, Jr., son of the New Harmony commune’s founder, and ally of the “progressive” educator, Horace Mann. Yet commie plot or not, the Indiana Constitution’s Article 8, Section I, does now “provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.”
The constitution and historical context are unmistakable. “Common Schools” were the uniform (as in identical) system of tax-subsidized schools promoted by Mann as the “ladder of opportunity” to educate poor kids without religious influences. And Common Schools are not compulsory; parents are free to choose non tax-funded alternatives. And the phrase, “tuition shall be without charge,” has been clarified many times over the years as meaning only tuition. So legally, even poor parents must find money for books, lunch, transportation, and in fact everything but tuition. Sports were certainly not part of school. Besides, that’s what parks and public gymnasiums were for; so that even kids who weren’t in school had something to do.
Article 8, Section 2 mandates a Common School Trust Fund derived from corporate taxes and other statewide sources that forbid any local funding, like personal property tax, because we don’t need the brute force of politics to achieve inequality between rich and poor areas. In fact, Article 4, Section 22 says, “The General Assembly shall not pass local or special laws… Providing for the support of common schools, or the preservation of school funds.”
Of course Article 8 wasn’t necessary. There already was a rapidly-developing system of “Free and Fee” schools, but almost all of the tuition-free schools were run by churches. Churches had been America’s Department of Health, Education and Welfare before we gave everything unto Caesar and his non-voluntary collection plate. However, churches are, as you have no doubt heard, religious. And Article I, Section 6 of the new constitution decreed that “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.” So yes, Indiana legally gave at least something unto Caesar.
However, both state and federal constitutions forbid politicians and bureaucrats the monopoly power over education they now exert. And though many of us are opposed to any socialized education on moral, religious and practical grounds, Indiana’s original socialists came up with a far more reasonable scheme than what we’ve devolved to now.
Maybe online education from India and China could break our governments’ unconstitutional, monopolistic stranglehold, and drop the now crazy costs. I hope so. It would be the best thing to happen to Hoosier kids in decades. I wish I could be the one to sell it.
The Indy Star made some seemingly minor edits to my gubernatorial candidate submission, but I thought I’d better post the original here just in case you wanted to see what I’d actually sent them (or in case you don’t get the Star):
Nobody wants to shortchange kids. So it’s natural and common to deny the extent and nature of the problems with our schools. But our schools are literally a criminal shame.
I don’t have space to detail the problems with unconstitutional regulations and bureaucracies that sap teachers’ authority and initiative. I wish I could shed light on corruption like the Tremco/AEPA/Wilson Education Center no-bid jobs; or discuss the injustice of low teacher pay against six-figure salaries for school administrators, sports coaches and of course union officials. You can see the problems if you dare to look. What’s important is that we can fix the problems if only we’ll change the way we think, and vote, about schools.
A good start would be to examine what was originally designed, acknowledge what devolved, and then plan a fix.
Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution is the law respecting our tax-supported education system. The key words are “…and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.”
When our constitution was written, “Common School” meant the uniform and simple system of primary (not secondary) education promoted by Horace Mann as the “ladder of opportunity.” As opposed to the free church-run schools of the day, Common Schools were intended to give poor children a non-Christian education. They were to be state-funded with no disparity between rich and poor regions. And these uniform schools were meant to be rigidly focused on scholastic achievement, so that a Common School graduate would be ready to work in the real world with useful skills in mathematics, science, communication and technology. Colleges and universities were only for those who needed specialized, advanced training for academia, medicine or engineering. After all, real life (and drop-outs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Thomas Edison…) won’t wait through two decades in a classroom.
Article 8, Sections 2 through 7 lay out specific funding by an “inviolate” and “perpetual” Common School trust fund. Of course that fund was violated and is now gone. But the fund is still law, to be maintained through many specified sources including “taxes on the property of corporations.” What is excluded, and therefore not authorized, is personal property tax. So legally, half of your property tax bill is unconstitutional.
This is the law. If we don’t like it, then let’s talk about how we’d amend it.
But I believe the law is vastly better than what we’ve fallen into with our political chicanery. So here’s what I propose we do:
We’d de-consolidate toward a greater number of smaller schools where buses become obsolete in all but rural areas, so that parents and teachers can more easily collaborate; and kids would no longer be such tiny fish in such large oceans. Teachers would have authority to teach, to expect a high standard of performance, and to expel. No more “dumbing-down” or lowering standards to fit a curve. Teachers would be rewarded for performance, not just for paying union dues. We would spin off sporting facilities into community centers and gyms so that kids don’t have to be genetically gifted to play.
…We all know kids who need more opportunities to exercise.
And while there is no excuse for compromising necessities like music and art instruction, microscopes, and a clean, healthy environment; homeschool successes have demonstrated that education doesn’t have to be vast and expensive. And it wouldn’t be, if school money went solely to teachers, smaller-scale buildings, and education supplies.
Besides being an improvement on what we do now, this is the law.
Here’s the YouTube video of the positively brilliant (well, at least fun) “Stoopid Politics” taped in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 18, 2008.
John McCain says the media isn’t giving him a fair shake. He has no idea what it’s like to run as a Libertarian. But he also has no idea what it’s like to apply for a real job with a real interview.
What sort of press does any candidate (even Obama) get these days? When will we hear answers to the most basic, important questions that should be asked of every politician:
Are there any laws that politicians must obey without exceptions? Are there any rights that cannot be violated? Is there any property that cannot be seized? How much taxation is enough? What is the value of a human life, and who decides? What is the valid role of government? What is none of politicians’ business? And are your answers in writing somewhere?
How about we just stop that silly “two party system” fiction and start asking these critical questions? You know we need to.
In the 2008 gubernatorial race, there is only one candidate even running for the constitutional office of Indiana Governor. This man has already proposed overhauling state government. He has already proposed standing up to D.C. to demand federalism. Of course he’s proposed eliminating personal property tax. He has also already proposed eliminating CPS/DCS, phasing out public schools in favor of Common Schools (as is constitutionally required), stopping I-69, and in general, restoring what works and rejecting what’s failing in Indiana. And he also did this when he ran for Governor in 2000.
He was right on the facts and issues then, and he’s right on the facts and issues now.
Voters have heard none of this from their eyes and ears in the democratic process, the media. Voters rely on the media’s imprimatur of legitimacy, and yet all they hear about is Mitch Daniels’ money and incumbency, Jill Long Thompson’s “Green Jobs,” and that nebulous charge of “negative campaigning” that marks every race.
…The poor voters don’t know what they’re missing.
…Or what the choices actually are in November.
That’s just not right.
Let’s all do better this time.
I’ve been told that my platform (the Indiana Constitution) is too long to read.
I withheld my anger very nicely. Nobody got hurt.
But my friends, there is no shortcut. And the Indiana Constitution, flawed as it is, is a whole lot shorter than any bill written in the last hundred years. You can’t buy any prescription medicine without seeing a lot more legalistic mumbo jumbo than is contained in the laws that, by the way, protect you.
What follows are excerpts from the Indiana Constitution in red, with my comments in black. This constitution, along with the federal constitution to which the Governor also swears an oath of support, is the law that literally authorizes every aspect and level of government. No law can contravene it, and no politician can legally disobey it. It can be amended, but it is to be obeyed as written. No “interpretations” from the bench. No debating the meaning of the word “is.” No ifs, ands or buts.
Read it yourself. The whole constitution is at www.horningforgovernor.com. Read it in context. You judge.
The Indiana Constitution constitutes the entire platform for the Horning for Governor campaign. It is what, sadly, makes my campaign unique. It shouldn’t be so unique, but I am the only candidate standing for the law. Others advocate continued lawbreaking by politicians. It’s that simple, really.
You see, politicians have no interest in constitutions if you don’t. All constitutions are intended to govern politicians, not you. Just as you’d never expect a bad dog to beg for a leash, you’ll never get politicians to willingly accept limits to their power over you. It’s up to you to restrain their power with this law.
There is no shortcut. No other “solutions” will work. We must govern our government. We must make politicians obey written laws, as written.
Over the past hundred years our politicians have strayed so far from their legal boundaries that our servants have become our masters, and the history of that is well known, and very bad.
In reading the following, keep in mind that our ancestors knew that politics is inherently violent. Nothing related to “government” happens without at least the threat of violence. The IRS doesn’t pass the hat and say “please;” and you could get killed if you resist an arrest for a seatbelt violation. Don’t forget this. It is the reason we have constitutions …and make politicians swear to obey them.
One more note: Lots of people agree with my thoughts on the constitution. Yet I’ve been asked, “but how can we comply with the constitutions after drifting so far away from them?”
I know this is a paradigm shift, but the answer is staring you in the face. If our politicians decide to go to war, then we go to war in a sudden, outrageously expensive fit of violence. It doesn’t matter how much it hurts. So why is it so hard to imagine suddenly doing what is proven to work – proven to promote peace, justice, prosperity and civility?
We can enforce the constitution. It can happen in one Election Day. The first step is to want to.
Should God choose to put me in the Governor’s office, I would put legislators on notice as soon as possible after I take the oath “to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States.” I will enforce the constitutions as written. No more, no less. No fudging or cheating. No more of that.
ARTICLE 1. Bill of Rights
Section 2. All people shall be secured in the natural right to worship ALMIGHTY GOD, according to the dictates of their own consciences.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
Let us be clear and truthful. The freedom guaranteed in writing here is “to worship ALMIGHTY GOD”; well-understood at the time this was written to be the Judeo-Christian God of Abraham. We have no specified right to worship the sun, a flag, money, basketball, Horus, or politicians. We have no such enumerated constitutional rights.
Read the constitutions (state and federal) and you’ll see that have no enumerated rights to pledge allegiance to a flag, to wash our cars or to play baseball. These are rights nonetheless under our constitutions because, as you’ll see, government has no power over us not specifically granted by written constitutions.
I’ll repeat because this is important. We do have the right to worship statues and such because these rights are not specifically denied. We, the people, own all rights and powers not taken away from us in writing. You’ll see this written more clearly later.
This is a critical point. It is the whole purpose of constitutions to establish the written, guaranteed, absolute limits of political power, not to describe the limits of your rights.
ARTICLE 1. Section 9. No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print, freely, on any subject whatever: but for the abuse of that right, every person shall be responsible.
Note that there are no provisos or amendments related to speech in airports, “free speech zones,” or any allowable limitations on our right to speak, write or print freely. All limitations on our freedom to thus communicate are illegal usurpations of our rights.
ARTICLE 1. Section 11. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
Is there anything unclear about this? Ponder to what degree this is flouted daily. A wide variety of officials from IRS, BATF, child and fire protection “services” believe they can kick in your door and/or snoop on you without warrant or probable cause. These government agents are, according to this written law, criminals.
ARTICLE 1. Section 12. All courts shall be open; and every person, for injury done to him in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law. Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
A growing number of bureaucracies have their own legislative, executive and judicial powers like the IRS, DCS and, of course “Homeland Security.” These bureaucracies illegally trample this section every minute of every day.
Also note that “Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase.” The words and meaning are clear. Justice isn’t to be an arms race of money and influence. Justice is to be at least as free as the tuition-free Common Schools in Article 8, which doesn’t guarantee a free education (hence the extra cost to parents for books); it mandates only that tuition is paid out of the public purse. But justice is to be free! It is criminal how we’ve perverted this.
ARTICLE 1. Section 19. In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.
This section gives citizens the power to judge laws. Judges, you’ll note, are never granted that power over the constitution. Don’t let anyone tell you, as a juror, what you can and can’t do. You, as a juror, have more power over the case at hand, the law, and the facts, than does anyone else in the courtroom.
ARTICLE 1. Section 21. No person’s particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation. No person’s property shall be taken by law, without just compensation; nor, except in case of the State, without such compensation first assessed and tendered.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
There’s a good argument that income tax violates this section (and also the prohibition against forced testimony against yourself). But the “just compensation” clause here is, without any doubt, important when considering eminent domain and tax seizure practices.
ARTICLE 1. Section 22. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale, for the payment of any debt or liability hereafter contracted: and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.
Lots of people do prison time for tax debt though no constitution allows this. An uncountable number of residences are taken for taxes, though no constitution allows this. And beside the aforementioned principle of many citizen rights and few government powers, this section of the Indiana Constitution specifically prohibits such abuse of citizens and their property.
How can there be “just compensation” (Section 21) for taking a home; particularly when the taking itself is illegal? How do we justify taking taxes for the Colts/Pacers/foreign corporations/endless whatevers when people lose their homes and life-time (in prison) to taxation? What a crime!
ARTICLE 1. Section 23. The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
…So how come so many people and corporations get special privileges and immunities? We use tax policy, in ugly particular, to give special people special deals all the time. We use subsidies and handouts to discriminate between those we favor, and those we do not favor. This is all illegal!
ARTICLE 1. Section 25. No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.
“…except as provided in this Constitution.” This one is absolutely critical, so let’s deconstruct the wording a bit for clarity.
“No law shall be passed…except” means that there cannot, legally, be any law written excepting the proviso of this law, “authority…as provided in this Constitution.” This is an unusual linguistic construction, so I’ll rephrase this in what I think is an accurate summary: For any law to be itself legal, its powers over us must be restrained to only the authority granted by this constitution. Another way to say it could be, No law can be written that depends upon authority not specifically granted by this constitution. Compare this to the federal Tenth Amendment: “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.” In essence, both laws affirm, once again, that constitutions allow only the powers specifically granted in writing, and deny all others. There is, in other words, no authority outside of what has been authorized by the constitutions, as written.
Constitutions are the written warrants of violent power. If they are to have any effect at all in securing our lives, liberties and property, they are to be obeyed, as written. That is the law. It is law that protects us from tyranny. Breaking that law is a very serious crime.
ARTICLE 1. Section 26. The operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by the authority of the General Assembly.
This further clarifies the above, again, that the constitution is the law, and remains in effect, whole, unless entirely suspended. Either we have Rule of Law, or we have Rule of Tyrants, in other words. The General Assembly wrote in its authority to become tyrannical, but it must be done legally! In still other words, either you’ve got all your legally guaranteed rights, or you’ve got none of them.
ARTICLE 1. Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.
“The people shall have a right to bear arms...” This is unequivocal. No limitations are stated anywhere in this constitution; therefore none are allowed.
ARTICLE 1. Section 37. There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, within the State, otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
This use of “involuntary servitude” preceded the existence of income tax and even child support rules, so therefore means exactly and literally what it says. There was a time when our founders considered income tax/ garnishment as, in fact, involuntary servitude. After all, one literally submits one’s labor to the state through direct income taxation. Do we need to amend this section? Be careful. As ever-more taxation is forcibly extracted from us (some estimates put the total cost of politics to be over 60% of our GDP), our place in the spectrum between serfdom (where serfs paid one day in seven to their masters) and slavery (total submission) is heading the wrong way fast.
ARTICLE 2. Section 6. Every person shall be disqualified from holding office, during the term for which he may have been elected, who shall have given or offered a bribe, threat, or reward, to procure his election.
Oh my. Special favors are the fuel of the major parties. It’d be hard work to chase down and prosecute all of these criminals. But it would be wholesome fun.
ARTICLE 2. Section 9. No person holding a lucrative office or appointment under the United States or under this State is eligible to a seat in the General Assembly; and no person may hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as expressly permitted in this Constitution. Offices in the militia to which there is attached no annual salary shall not be deemed lucrative.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
In other words, you can’t be a member of the General Assembly if you’ve got a side job anywhere in government. However, lots of public school teachers, police and paid fire department employees (government employees) hold office and thus have inherent conflicts of interest related to their power and position. And while Indiana does not mandate an integrated bar (requiring that lawyers be members of a Bar Association), lawyers are agents of government with special privileges and immunities (see Article 7, Section 4).
I’ve said that lawyers are to law what firemen are to fire, and I believe that’s typically true. But it is even more true that lawyer-lawmakers are inherently the “fox guarding the henhouse” when it comes to conflicts of interest and dual office within government.
Voters don’t seem to care; but legally, this is a problem.
ARTICLE 2. Section 10. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public moneys, shall be eligible to any office of trust or profit, until he shall have accounted for, and paid over, according to law, all sums for which he may be liable.
In other words, you can’t benefit from political largesse and hold office. As with Section 9, this section is very problematic. Since government has grown into such a tentacled behemoth, we have lots of officeholders who collect and hold tax money in the form of corporate subsidies/tax privileges/immunities. This creates inherent conflicts of interest, obviously. I wish voters stopped this, but it is also unconstitutional, and Indiana Governors swear an oath to act accordingly.
ARTICLE 3. Section 1. The powers of the Government are divided into three separate departments; the Legislative, the Executive including the Administrative, and the Judicial: and no person, charged with official duties under one of these departments, shall exercise any of the functions of another, except as in this Constitution expressly provided.
Each of the three (only three; no bureaucratic branch) branches therefore has legally limited, unique powers and is divided against the others such that no branch gains too much power. We’ve certainly messed up this one. Our judges and Governors make law, our legislators and judges take executive power, and our Governors don’t execute the constitutions at all. And bureaucracies transcend all branches. As Governor I’d fix this on Day One.
ARTICLE 4. Section 19. An act, except an act for the codification, revision or rearrangement of laws, shall be confined to one subject and matters properly connected therewith.
(As Amended November 8, 1960 November 5. 1974).
“An act… shall be confined to one subject…” Do you suppose any legislator, or any Governor, has read this preceding law? Have you read a bill lately? Almost all bills become trundling dreadnaughts laden with unrelated pork, power and privilege such that you can hardly tell what the original law was supposed to do. I would never sign such criminal nonsense into law, nor would I allow enforcement of such lawless law.
ARTICLE 4. Section 20. Every act and joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding, as far as practicable, the use of technical terms.
Ditto much of my preceding comment. “Plainly worded” means understandable without lawyers, decoder rings or judges.
ARTICLE 5. Section 12. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
This is clearly not as we’ve been taught since the “federal” government stole so much power from states. The Governor has real power! We must keep it on a leash.
ARTICLE 5. Section 16. The Governor shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed.
(As Amended November 6, 1984).
This is what I am all about. I will do Section 16 vigorously, and to the letter, in frustration of the wicked.
ARTICLE 8. Section 1. Knowledge and learning, general diffused throughout a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government; it should be the duty of the General Assembly to encourage, by all suitable means, moral, intellectual scientific, and agricultural improvement; and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all.
When this constitution was written, Common Schools were well understood to be the uniform (identical; same quality everywhere) and simple system of education promoted by Horace Mann as the “ladder of opportunity” putting poor kids on the same level as rich kids. Ergo the state, non-local funding of such schools (see below). Only by making identical schools funded equally across rich and poor areas would this make any sense at all given the generally bad nature of political education. Now, as you know, we have a local/state hybrid that’s anything but equal and/or uniform. Rich kids obviously get better schools; only now it’s with poor folks’ tax dollars; and all schools are now run by politicians and unions, making them an international embarrassment.
And perversely, we make parents pay for books, yet we make taxpayers pay for exotic sporting facilities, cafeterias and other non-educational claptrap that’d make Horace Mann spin in his grave.
This is all so terribly criminal, with such grave, lasting consequences, that I’d make righting this wrong a very top priority.
ARTICLE 8. Section 2. The Common School fund shall consist of the Congressional Township fund, and the lands belonging thereto;
The Surplus Revenue fund;
…The Bank Tax fund, and the fund arising from the one hundred and fourteenth section of the charter of the State Bank of Indiana;
…Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.
No personal property tax allowed.
No personal property taxation is authorized for these Common Schools. There goes half of your property tax bill. But this also refers to a State Bank of Indiana, an artifact of Andrew Jackson’s defeat of the central, national bank. We really should discuss central banking sometime…but not just yet.
ARTICLE 8. Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, and to no other purpose whatever.
There was to be an inviolable trust (Section 7) to pay for all this, and we don’t have one.
ARTICLE 10. Section 1. (a) The General Assembly shall provide, by law, for a uniform and equal rate of property assessment and taxation and shall prescribe regulations to secure a just valuation for taxation of all property, both real and personal. The General Assembly may exempt from property taxation any property in any of the following classes:
This article is awful and should be scrapped. It’s almost unenforceable (uniform and equal rate of property assessment can only be zero), and the “just valuation” clause renders the tax impossible because of the state’s illegal spending. As Governor I could enforce only a property tax rate of zero. Only that would fit the letter of this law.
ARTICLE 10. Section 5. No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense.
Deficits in revenue are not the same as deficits in desired spending! And bureaucracies do not transcend this law! Most of our government debt is therefore illegal, no matter how it is described. See Article 13.
ARTICLE 11. Section 3. If the General Assembly shall enact a general banking law, such law shall provide for the registry and countersigning, by an officer of State, of all paper credit designed to be circulated as money; and ample collateral security, readily convertible into specie, for the redemption of the same in gold or silver, shall be required; which collateral security shall be under the control of the proper officer or officers of State.
It would require legislation, of course, but I’d love to see a debt-free currency issued in competition/replacement of Federal Reserve Notes. I can only suggest, however, as the Governor has no power to create such an alternative currency.
However, I could insist upon citizens’ right to barter using whatever unit of barter it chooses (such as the “Liberty Dollar” which was illegally banned and stolen in Indiana by our “federal” government agents).
ARTICLE 11. Section 12. The State shall not be a stockholder in any bank; nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association.
(As amended November 6, 1984).
“…Nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation…” Read that a few times until it sinks in that all the credit, perks, loans, subsidies and tax breaks given to foreign corporations, sports teams, mall builders, politicians and the like…are illegal!
ARTICLE 11. Section 13. Corporations, other than banking, shall not be created by special act, but may be formed under general laws.
Most people don’t know that corporations are government (not business) entities created to oppose the inherent accountability of a free market. I make this point because when you hear the phrase “unregulated free market” you’re hearing ignorant blather. Regulations (including licensing) are almost always created to favor the politically connected, not the meek, poor and underserved. It is political regulations, not the lack thereof, that cause havoc and crime.
ARTICLE 13. Section 1. No political or municipal corporation in this State shall ever become indebted, in any manner or for any purpose, to an amount, in the aggregate, exceeding two per centum on the value of the taxable property within such corporation, to be ascertained by the last assessment for State and county taxes, previous to the incurring of such indebtedness; and all bonds or obligations, in excess of such amount, given by such corporations, shall be void: Provided, That in time of war, foreign invasion, or other great public calamity, on petition of a majority of the property owners in number and value, within the limits of such corporation, the public authorities in their discretion, may incur obligation necessary for the public protection and defense to such amount as may be requested in such petition.
(As Amended March 14, 1881).
This would be a joke if it weren’t so sad. The phrase, “to an amount, in the aggregate,” apparently has no meaning to the increasing number of bureaucracies, each of whom believe they’re entitled to encumber taxpayers with their own 2% debt load. Well, such obligations are void, and I would be quick to act on this. Day one.
ARTICLE 15. Section 4. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.
“…take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States…” I’d be the first Governor to honor this oath in a very, very long time. Please look again at the preceding. The oath is to both state and federal constitutions. This is no typo. It is serious and very important. To the state’s chief Executive, the phrase “to support” does not mean wave pom-poms and throw confetti. It means to defend, enforce, to execute as law.
There’s nothing in the constitution to grant the state any authority over businesses (in licensure, rules, etc.) or individuals (our consumer choices, property, behaviors) that amount to so much cost, hassle and lost liberties as we now endure. You may have been surprised by the detail in matters of school funding or banking policy…but there is no mention at all of DCS or roadblocks or wiretapping. There is a reason for that. Such powers are prohibited by law.
Whatever is not specifically granted is completely denied.
So, when your money is taken for spending never allowed by the preceding constitution, it’s theft. Your rights are taken without any legal basis at all. Most of what government does to us is illegal. That is crime committed against you, the State of Indiana, the nation of the United States of America, and against the ideology and wisdom of our wisest predecessors.
All of that would stop should you choose to enforce the constitutions and Rule of Law for which so many Americans fought and died.
If you choose to vote for any other candidate, you will not get the benefits of law and order under this constitution. That is fact. If you vote for me, you would at least have a chance to live under the constitutions, with the peace, prosperity and liberty proven to follow.
It is your choice. Choose wisely.
I wrote a piece for the Winter Journal of the Indiana Policy Revew Foundation. You may need to register (for free) in order to read it, but here it is.
It starts on page 17.
Please, start writing yourself. Send letters to the editor; they’re usually much more powerful than the letters your public servants throw away. It’s better to let politicians learn about protests in the newspaper, if you know what I mean…
It’s time to hold more than just their feet to the fire. If they don’t obey the laws that protect us from them, why should we honor the laws that protect them from us?
I’ve written a lot on Rule of Law, but perhaps I’ve not properly laid out the picture of what life would be like if we had it. So, while I’ve already written down all the facts and laws in this posting elsewhere, I’ll now try to sum it up.
I confess that most of my sturm und drang is directed to federal policy. But that’s only because we don’t have federal policy. There is no law or custom, no property, no rights, no anything claimed in Indiana that isn’t routinely stolen by the goons of The Beltway, or New York, or the Hague.
How far from the constitutions have we strayed? Well, after reading this, you tell me:
Article 1, Section 12 of the Indiana Constitution says that “Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.”
In other words, your legal needs are supposed to be paid for by your taxes. We shouldn’t have legal arms races in the courtroom where the most money wins. Imagine that. “…Without purchase.” Truly equal standing before the law. No special deals for special people. Poor people could actually seek justice. Imagine that.
“Article 1, Section 19. In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts.”
No politician, no lawyer, no judge can tell you what to do as a juror. This written law means that citizen jurors determine what the law means, and how it applies to the case at hand. This is the opposite of what you’ve been told, right?
“Article 1, Section 22. The privilege of the debtor to enjoy the necessary comforts of life, shall be recognized by wholesome laws, exempting a reasonable amount of property from seizure or sale, for the payment of any debt or liability hereafter contracted: and there shall be no imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud.”
A home is obviously one of the necessary comforts of life. So, your home cannot be legally seized and sold to pay for any state tax. This means that an awful lot of Hoosiers have had their homes stolen by politicians breaking the laws that gave them their jobs. That should never, ever happen again. We should be very, very sorry that it ever happened at all.
Article 8, Section 1 mandates “…a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall without charge, and equally open to all.”
Some argue that if government did nothing, rich people would send their kids to expensive schools, and only charities would provide schooling (of probably inferior quality) to only some of the poor. Homeschoolers have proven a better way exists. Nevertheless, it’s true that in the 1850s, the wealthy sent their kids to the best schools they could afford, and the poor or otherwise disadvantaged often went without any “proper” schooling at all (like Thomas Edison, who had only three weeks of formal schooling).
So starting in the 1840’s, Horace Mann argued that “Common Schools” (Prussian-style government school system) should be the “Great Equalizer,” and that politics must intervene to provide this identical “ladder of opportunity” to rich and poor alike. What Indiana law mandates, in other words, are lots of identical schools all across the state; nobody gets a palace, nobody gets a dump. Even before the law was written, small community-based schools were already being built at an astonishing pace, and locally funded Community Centers, typically built with private funds and never built by the state, were popping up everywhere to fill a need for sporting facilities that served all residents, whether in school or not. Kids were to bring their own lunch to school, and it was starting to work in those years before the War Between the States.
While I have strong feelings against government schools, the constitutional way would be much, much better than sending your kid on long bus rides to be a tiny fish in a huge ocean without the opportunities (in both education and sport) that kids had in years past.
And it should be paid for by state money alone, not some freakish hybrid of local, state and even federal money that ensures that nothing is fair or equal.
“Article 8, Section 3. The principal of the Common School fund shall remain a perpetual fund, which may be increased, but shall never be diminished; and the income thereof shall be inviolably appropriated to the support of Common Schools, and to no other purpose whatever.”
We’re supposed to pay for Common Schools with an endowed fund. Our politicians spent it all years ago, of course. There is no Common School fund now; but legally there is supposed to be an inviolable one. And in all the specific maintenance funding mentioned in Article 8, Section 2 you’ll see that personal property tax is not mentioned. Only “…Taxes on the property of corporations, that may be assessed by the General Assembly for common school purposes.”
So only corporate property tax is to be used for the Common School system. Since most of your property tax is to pay for “public schools” (which aren’t public at all; they’re government schools), this law should wipe out a huge part of your bill.
And Article 10, Sections 5 and 6 would lop off a lot more income, sales and property tax:
“No law shall authorize any debt to be contracted, on behalf of the State, except in the following cases: to meet casual deficits in the revenue; to pay the interest on the State Debt; to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or, if hostilities be threatened, provide for the public defense.” “Section 6. No county shall subscribe for stock in any incorporated company, unless the same be paid for at the time of such subscription; nor shall any county loan its credit to any incorporated company, nor borrow money for the purpose of taking stock in any such company; nor shall the General Assembly ever, on behalf of the State, assume the debts of any county, city, town, or township; nor of any corporation whatever.”
No more money to the Colts, Pacers, mall builders, foreign auto companies or any other campaign contributors. In other words, much of what government now spends your money on is illegal spending.
If that isn’t clear enough, how about Article 11, Section 12?
“The State shall not be a stockholder in any bank; nor shall the credit of the State ever be given, or loaned, in aid of any person, association or corporation; nor shall the State become a stockholder in any corporation or association.”
Indiana’s original constitution was really quite good. It was replaced in 1851 only because the state went broke investing in the public transportation craze of the early-mid 1800s (canal building). Hoosier politicians carved into law some very clear prohibitions against what today’s politicians are doing to your wealth.
“ARTICLE 15., Section 4. Every person elected or appointed to any office under this Constitution, shall, before entering on the duties thereof, take an oath or affirmation, to support the Constitution of this State, and of the United States, and also an oath of office.”
Every politician, policeman and soldier in this country has sworn to submit to the authority of constitutions, both state and federal. This is unequivocal. They cannot break the laws that authorize their powers, or those powers are null and void.
But this brings me to some “federal” issues. I’ll go back to Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.”
So both the federal and state constitutions would have to be amended to allow the searches and seizures that happen by the minute at the Indianapolis International Airport, or the searches of email or phone calls now acknowledged to happen all the time. Ditto the right to arm and protect yourself, ditto the right to religious expression, ditto many, many other rights we once cherished and protected.
I say we follow the law instead.
Article 1, Section 25, which is something like the federal constitution’s Tenth Amendment, inarguably limits the power of politicians to written law:
“No law shall be passed, the taking effect of which shall be made to depend upon any authority, except as provided in this Constitution.”
This means that no law can contravene the constitution. No authority exceeds it. No state authority exists, in other words, outside what’s written into the constitution. So it doesn’t matter what a judge or Governor or Mayor says about the law. The constitution can be amended, but the constitution is to be obeyed, as written.
I’ve already made lots of arguments over many years on “federal” law. I think I’ve presented the key parts of the Indiana Constitution above.
So here’s the summary of what our life is supposed to be like, but isn’t now:
Do what you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with anybody else. Be what you want to be. Say what you’d like to say. Buy what you want to buy, sell what you want to sell, eat what you want to eat; even if it’s bad for you. You may leap off of things in unsafe contraptions as long as only you bear the consequences. You can take your case to court. You can build whatever you want to build, and live in it, if you’d like, and protect it by any means that doesn’t harm the innocent.
If you harm another, you will be responsible. If another harms you, then you aren’t the one in trouble.
We have rights that can’t be taken away by anybody for any reason. We can own things that politicians may not touch.
We keep the fruit of our labor, and we can pass what we save to whomever we choose. Our money is ours, our property is ours, our bodies are ours and our precious, limited time, is ours.
Oh yes, and our politicians do what we say, not the other way around.
This is called Freedom, and I want it back.