Up & Coming Weekly

June 20, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 4 of 24

4 UCW JUNE 21 - 27, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MANAGING EDITOR April Olsen editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com ART DIRECTOR Courtney Sapp-Scott art@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isaiah Jones graphics@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITERS Alyson Hansen Kathleen Ramsey Chayenne Burns Katrina Wilson Aubrette Reid Laura Browne CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mike ter Maat, Margaret Dickson, Pitt Dickey, Dr. Shanessa Fenner, Sheila D. Barker, Jamie Bishop, Audrey Hasslocher MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister linda@upandcomingweekly.com SALES ASSISTANT Sheila Barker salesassistant@upandcomingweekly. com COVER Cover design by Courtney Sapp-Scott Cover images courtesy Cape Fear Regional Theatre Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: 910-484-6200- FAX: 910-484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Published weekly on Wednesdays, Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Army Airfield, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2020 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Association of Community Publishers PUBLISHER'S PEN The debt ceiling agreement revealed where the real power lies by MIKE TER MAAT, Courtesy Carolina Journal Was there ever really any doubt? is is the question being asked now that President Biden has signed into law an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, brokered among leading Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. According to politicians in Washington, no, there was never a doubt that they would eventu- ally agree to raise the government's borrowing authority, or, in the worst case, that the president would invoke the 14th Amendment to take unilateral action. is is the answer overwhelmingly proffered by every stripe of insider — liberals and con- servatives, lobbyists and reporters, lawyers and economists. Why? Could it be true that insiders understand that our leaders possess an acumen for strategic financial decisions that, though unappreciated on a day-to-day basis by simplistic rubes like us, can be trusted to always deliver the right answers in the end? Of course not. If that were the case, politi- cians wouldn't still be planning to vastly increase the already unprecedented ratio of government debt to national income over the next decade. Nor would they still be ignoring the dual threat of uncontrolled entitlement costs and an accelerating debt burden. I, Government e truth is that our politicians have not been making financial decisions in any strategic sense for at least 35 years, since Gramm–Rudman–Hollings legisla- tion imposed spending constraints on the federal budget in 1987. During the ensuing decades, our leaders have opted out of taking responsibility for exerting strategic authority over government budgeting. In exchange, they have ben- efited from an elastic view of a federal government that doles out rewards to its subjects of greatest fealty. rough this neglect-and-rewards mechanism, the government has evolved into a perpetual-motion machine. e legisla- tors, executives, judges and bureaucrats who built the machine have lost control over their progeny. e power of the machine, like a robot guided by rogue artificial intelligence, has eclipsed that of its creators. Having shed the constraints of human reason, the machine now is accelerating its expansion. e machine leverages a modern form of authoritarianism that arises in a democracy when politicians convince us that we should have more important fears than a compromise of our liberty or a loss of control of our government. Enter the wars: the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, the War on Poverty, the War on Terror and, of course, war. e wars know no parti- sanship, no philosophical father, no nurturing mother, because the wars are the progeny of the machine itself. ese perpetual wars are the second genera- tion of automation that is free of human reason. A bad relationship e government machine feeds off its citizens in a lopsided co-dependent relationship. at relationship was empowered by the 16th Amendment, which authorized a direct personal income tax, and was activated by New Deal legislation. is combination of en- titlement programs on the one hand and direct taxation on the other, fundamen- tally changed the relationship between citizens and government in America. Today that relationship looks more like indentured servitude than a citizen-con- trolled government of delimited powers. What is there to stop the machine? e government has been able to raise funds effectively while keeping tax rates low enough to remain politically toler- able by taxing the largest base possible, the national income. Ambitious politi- cians who dream of trimming entitle- ments are quickly marginalized by the machine in contrast to those politicians who support the machine and reap the benefits of government largess. A Gold New Deal We require a new relationship be- tween citizens and the government, a "Gold" (for liberty) New Deal, in which states are empowered to stand as our representative bulwark against the federal government. States exert- ing the authority to chart their own political destiny and to stand up to federal encroachment may be the only mechanism by which limits may be imposed on the size and scope of the federal government. Given the current situation in which the 10th Amendment has been retired de facto, a resurgence of state authority would have to take the form of a constitutional amend- ment ensuring the capability of states to opt-out of federal supremacy. is capability would mean states could assert their right to nullifica- tion in the form of settling in-state court conflicts that arise between state law and anything on the federal books. States would have the ability, through their own legislatures, to shed the effects of new federal legisla- tion, regulation, court decisions, or executive orders, except for what is explicitly assigned to the federal govern- ment by the Constitution. Particularly significant, the citizens of each state opting into such a new constitutional relationship would no longer be required to remain subject to federal taxation. Instead, each state effectively could ask to be billed by the federal government for its share of the defense budget. Each state could be free to raise revenue as it sees fit, effectively ending the role of the IRS in each state. Ending the IRS and decentralizing the federal government's taxing mechanism is the most effective way to starve the machine's appetite for our resources. Other changes are needed to advance liberty within each state, of course, whether a state were to opt into such a Gold New Deal or not. ese changes include ending public education, pro- tecting bodily autonomy, ending bail- outs, privatizing the way we hold police accountable, and reducing regulation of all types. But to be clear, the only path forward to these objectives is for states themselves to replace their subservience to the federal government with a more balanced relationship. Editor's note: Mike ter Maat is a former police officer and university economics professor running for President of the United States with the Libertarian Party. MIKE TER MAAT, Contributor COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 e Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence.

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