Rep. Steve King at times is the king of wingnutopia. They'd like to erase the last 250 years. Aren't tea party politicians supposed to be constitutionalists?
In a Judiciary Committee hearing on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) used his allotted time to daydream out loud about an era of American history when only male property owners were allowed to vote. King pondered whether we should go back to a similar system of allowing only people with "skin in the game" (i.e. people with jobs) to have that right.
Halfway through his remarks, King made the disclaimer that he was only making "a historical observation" about the era of property-owner-only voting, but the rest of his dialogue made it seem as though he thought the Founding Fathers might have been on to something.
KING: As I roll this thing back and I think of American history, there was a time in American history when you had to be a male property owner in order to vote. The reason for that was, because they wanted the people who voted — that set the public policy, that decided on the taxes and the spending — to have some skin in the game.
Now we have data out there that shows that 47 percent of American households don't pay taxes, 51 percent of American wage-earners don't have an income tax liability. And it's pretty clear that there are a lot of people who are not in the workforce at all. In fact, of our unemployment numbers — that run in the 13 or 14 million category — when you go to the Department of Labor Statistics and you look at that data, you can add up those that are simply not in the workforce of different age groups, but of working age, add that number to the number of those who are on unemployment and you come up with a number that was just a few months ago 80 million Americans. Just over a month ago that number went over 100 million Americans that aren't working.
Now I don't think they're paying taxes. But many of them are voting. And when they vote, they vote for more government benefits.
Back at home he probably takes out his snuff box and dreams about the time when plantations littered the south and women were chained to the kitchen. Um, Steve, the House of Representatives is supposed to represent the "people." It was called The People's House. Not the "Landowners House." That's one of the reasons we have the Senate.