Diana West

Dear Members of Congress,

Here's an assignment for you: Watch the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" and pay particular attention to the part in which Dorothy realizes that in her ruby red slippers, she had the magic power she needed all along.

You do, too. Not in fancy footwear, of course. It's called the power of the purse.

You don't like what's going on where the border used to be before Barack Obama eliminated it? I realize you are probably not equipped to deliver the Constitutional remedy of impeachment, but how about this: When Barack Obama's multi-billion-dollar "supplemental" budget request for the "unaccompanied children" crisis comes knocking on the door of the Appropriations Committee, put your hands in your pockets and whistle. You do not have to fund it. And why would you? As Texas Gov. Perry points out in USA Today, "out of $3.7 billion in President Obama's request, only $68.4 million -- or 1.8 percent -- is directly dedicated to border security efforts." That "supplemental" request, by the way, which initial reports pegged at $2 billion, has now grown to $4.3 billion.

Just say no. You can tell the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: "Not good enough, Mr. President. Up here on Capitol Hill, we are persuaded by our Senate colleague Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that there is a cheaper, better option. As Sen. Coburn says, $20 million will fly all of these aliens home -- first class! Even if we agree to spend the $68.4 million more of taxpayers' money that you have designated to secure (read: attempt to reinstate) the border, we will still rack up savings of well over $3 billion!"

That's real power -- and it's all yours. Get used to it. Remember, absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely, too. Think of this way: You are useless to your bosses (constituents) if you are nothing more than a bunch of rubber-stamping, executive branch yes-men. And speaking of the power of the purse, that's just not what we pay you for.

To be sure, there's much more financial flexing to do. Not to alarm anyone unduly, but it is a fact that in this immediate and truly existential crisis, the federal government is seizing more dictatorial powers than ever. Look at the way the feds are blocking journalists and you, democratically elected representatives, from even seeing what is going on at the holding centers for the "unaccompaned alien minors," aka (according to federal fiat) "unaccompanied children," soon to be known as "unchaperoned debutantes."


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).