When it comes to Cuba, the left exists in its own unrealistic bubble.

 

Policies of the last 50 years haven’t worked, so let’s just open up trade and diplomacy and everything will be all right, say the left.

The fact is that the naive policies of the Obama administration haven’t helped the Cuban people; they have simply propped up the Castro regime. If anything, the regime has become more repressive in recent years.

Several recent events tell the story.

More than 20 U.S. diplomats have been hit with mysterious illnesses, such as hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, vision problems, headaches, fatigue, balance and sleeping issues. The cause may be due to sonic attacks that were revealed 10 months ago.

The Washington Post reported that specific Americans were targeted and that they occurred in at least one Havana hotel. Meanwhile, some American visitors have reported similar symptoms.

Therefore, the U.S. issued a travel warning that urges American tourists to stay away from Cuba, The Associated Press reports. Cuban authorities claim ignorance, though in their police state they know everything.

At the same time, the embassy cutbacks mean that traveling to the U.S. for Cubans will be more difficult.

Rightly, the State Department has taken action to provide for the safety of our diplomats. Nonessential personnel and family members are going to be moved from Cuba as well as over half of the embassy staff.

The second news story involves Cuban physicians who are being cynically used by the government. They are being sent to Brazil in a kind of sharecropping device. Brazil makes payments to the Cuban government in return for the services of the physicians.

The physicians are making more than their pitiful wages in Cuba but far less than if they were Brazilian doctors. As a result several of the Brazilian physicians have bravely sued for better pay and working conditions.

They are seeing what freedom means and are rebelling. That’s a dangerous move in one of the least free nations on Earth.

The third item involves Cubans who seek to set up businesses in a nation that tightly controls them or uses foreign tourist revenue for its military.

The Miami Herald reported that the Cuban government is cracking down on entrepreneurs. For instance, a restaurant can’t accept payment in dollars.

That’s illegal in Cuba.

It’s also illegal for the restaurant to purchase its liquor through any but government channels.

And if your business becomes too big or prosperous, the Cuban government will crack down.

It has even cracked down on taxi drivers.

Given such open oppression, President Donald Trump has been right to take a hard line on Cuba.

BALANCED BUDGET?

The idea of a constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget is moving from the halls of academia to state legislatures.

The issue involves the nation’s $19 trillion debt, or $57,000 per American. The left will contend that debt is not an issue in government spending, but there have to be some limits.

The real possibility is keyed to the fact that Republicans now control so many.

So far 27 state legislatures have passed resolutions calling for a balanced budget. It takes 34, or two-thirds, to make it a reality.

It’s possible that the additional seven states could be in play by 2019, reports The Economist.

This device is in the Constitution, but it has never happened since the first Constitutional Convention.

It was called to reform the weak federal government of the Articles of Confederation and come away with a much stronger federal government.

Nevertheless, states would not approve of the new Constitution without the Bill of Rights.

The same applies to the possibility of a runaway convention. Any amendments passed by the convention would require a super majority of 38 states to ratify it.

In addition, it is unlikely that Republicans would have enough power to control the entire process.

There is speculation about a grand bargain in which Republicans get their balanced budget amendment and Democrats get campaign finance reform.

In short, Republicans would reduce the amount of money in government, and Democrats would reduce the money in elections.

Experience shows that Congress will not act on its own.

It’s too easy to spend money it doesn’t have.

It will take the people to step in with a rarely used device, a constitutional amendment and the even rarer setting of a convention.

Congress is more likely to act once a convention is about to take place.