In the US today we have approximately 160,000,000 adults, divided between men and women, divided again among 50 States, divided again between employment in the public or the private sectors, divided again between hundreds or thousands of professions, careers and duties. These millions separate themselves again by personal interest, hobbies, and different activities physical and mental. Additional diversity manifests itself by political division (Rep. Dem. Lib. Grn. ETC.) Additional diversity arises from attitudes toward each issue, (Conservative, Liberal or Libertarian).
The diversity that I have so inadequately tried to describe above does not even scratch the surface of the diversity that exists within the borders of the US. We are a nation of peoples that are so freethinking, that no two individuals have the exact same total agenda. Talk about people as snowflakes, with no two alike. Is it any wonder that with all that individuality and diversity with its accompanying multiple cross purposes that is built into our system that grass roots efforts to change or divert the bulldozer of government expansion has failed. We need a way to coral all of this individual diversity regardless of their far-flung self-interest, to somehow move in the same direction.
There are two ways to bring us this seeming impossible end. The first being, “To educate enough American voters so, that will then take an active role in legislative selection, so as to vote out the tax and spend law makers, in favor of economically conservative lawmakers.” Gentle reader that is a process that started in the 1950s. Let me ask, how that has that approach worked out for us? The answer is that, while we have been working tirelessly to reduce the size of government for sixty years, there is no indication that we have slowed the process one iota. From Liberal Presidents like Johnson, Carter, and Clinton through Moderate Presidents like Eisenhower, Ford and Daddy Bush, to Conservative Presidents like Reagan. The growth in the size and intrusiveness of government has remained unchecked. You know all about the “Continuing the same steps of the past, and expecting different results.”
The second way is IF, and it is a gigantic IF: We have been suggesting this as your mantra for the last five years.
“If we reduced the size of the Federal Government to its constitutionally limited size, it would create a vacuum in the taxing and regulating departments. (The Constitution does not grant the National Government many taxing and regulating powers.) The 50 State Governments would quickly fill these vacuums, separately. With the 50 separate States, tinkering with taxation and regulation some State would stumble onto a formula that would produce a bump upward in prosperity. Other States would see and begin to imitate the prosperous State, modifying their taxing and regulating slightly to better accommodate their unique location and their unique population which produces even better results, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth” (You have my permission to freely use that mantra, even have it printed on your business card. )
Frankly, I am not sure the second step can ever be accomplished. But, let me quickly say, it is the shorter of the only two routs toward prosperity.
Today there is no clear distinction between tax and spend Democrats. who never saw a social program they didn’t like, and the borrow and spend Republicans. who never saw a war making program that they didn’t like. Sixty years of that effort has not produced a single Administration that successfully reduced the size and reach of government. This second way is to educate enough people to somehow put the “toothpaste” of government back into the “toothpaste tube”. As impossible as that sounds, it is far easier than the first choice that we have been engaged for sixty years.
Toward being able to accomplish the second method, remember we have a road-map, to a small National Government, we have a blueprint for small National Government; we have clearly defined guidelines for a small National Government. The document to which I refer is the Declaration of Independence. Within the Declaration of Independence, in the second paragraph we have a clear description of man’s proper relationship relation to his National Government. If enough could accept this paragraph, that is just one paragraph, as the “Mission Statement” for our National Government, we could easily use that blueprint to create a National Government of a size that would fit into the Constitution.
The job of educating enough people to accept the Declaration of Independence as the Mission Statement for our National Government is infinitely smaller than trying to educate the entire voting population to choose fiscally conservative lawmakers that were not poised to bomb any nation that was causing problems in their part of the world.
In just a few paragraphs, one can show clearly, the definition of our National Government. Using the highly respected and much supported Declaration of Independence, to achieve this clarity. Direct your attention to just the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. This advice has been available for 233 years. A carefully thoughtful reading of that simple sentence can provide the understanding necessary to fashion a small National Government. Please remember we are only dealing with a National Government.
The Declaration of Independence says, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness... [There is no major disagreement here, among a very large section of out population.]
What powerfully insightful words. First, it establishes that the truths are “self-evident” and confirmed by observation of natural law. Then it goes on to reveal, that man’s rights, (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness) are “unalienable, with the dictum that these rights are granted by the Creator or nature, called natural law, or the Rule of Law, this means they cannot be taken way. Not even by the government that was soon to be created.
Looking closer, you have three and only three RIGHTS. Simply by being born you have the right to LIFE. Moreover, you have the RIGHT to do with that LIFE anything you want to do. That is LIBERTY. You have the RIGHT to plan and conduct that LIFE in a way that you think will maximize your happiness. These are all yours ostensibly without any interference from the National Government, so long as what you do does not interfere with another’s RIGHT to do what he/she wants to do with their LIFE. I make a distinction between National Government and State Government because we have a blueprint for a National Government, but not a blueprint for State Governments. State governments will be molded and modified not by a blueprint, but by “Free Market” competition. We will in effect turn our States into K-Marts and Wal-Marts competing with the other States for populations.
Next, the framers make a vitally important assertion. “That to secure these rights”, (notice here, that these are rights that we had even before we had governments to "secure" them.) “Governments are instituted among Men”. Please note exactly what is taking place here, the people of the thirteen Colonies (States) are going to engaged in a contract with our (soon to be formed) National Government to “secure” (that is to protect) our rights. It is also important to note that men make National Government, and therefore precede National Government. This means that The National Government is the agent to and servant of man, and not the reverse. A reminder is necessary here. We are talking about our National Government, State Governments are not held to this high standard. Remember the State governments were established before these criteria were laid down. Some States had State religions, other States allowed slavery. It was clear that the National Government was not brought into existence to “fix” the State Governments.
Now the framers are going to designate from where our National Government gets its just powers, and at the same time put an important limitation on that governmental power. The Declaration of Independence says, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” There you have it. If our National Government gets its powers from the governed, it would naturally follow that man cannot create a National Government and consent to give to that government powers that man himself does not have. Let me say that again. If government gets its powers from the governed, then the government being created cannot have powers that individual man does not have.
A question or two are in order here; does man have the right to defend his own life and property? YES is the answer. Therefore, man can institute a National Government and share with that government the power to protect life and property. In fact, the ability to share these powers is the justification for a military and a judicial system.
Now, do you as an individual person, have the right to take money from others and give that money to someone else that you think needs it more? The answer is NO. Therefore, it would follow that if man does not have that right to do it as an individual, then he cannot create a National Government, and consent to give to that National Government the power to take money from others and give it to someone else that the Government thinks needs it more.
This means our National Government can have no power to extract taxes from you to educate children. Our National Government can not be empowered to educate children, no matter how badly the population may think children need educating. It means that our National Government can have no power to extract taxes from you to fund social welfare, no matter how needy the population may think some people are. It also can have no power for health care providing, business promoting, Park building. The National Government should not be involved in educational standards setting, régime changing, weather reporting, democracy spreading. The National Government should not be spending tax monies on database keeping, farmer saving, speed limit setting or toilet designing. No matter how large a budget surplus our government may have it should never spend taxes on E-Mail reading, phone tapping, corporate bailouts, or the dozens of other things that the National Government is either financing or regulating.
Let me mention just one natural result of this change. If the Declaration of Independence is adopted as the “Mission Statement” for our National Government, and if all of those broad powers, and many many more too numerous to mention, were to be removed from our National Government, would there be a need for an IRS? I think not.
By creating a National Government that is limited to the powers that individuals had before he had a National Government, would in effect divide all of that power that is exercised by our National Government among the 50 State Governments, as it was originally intended. The National Government would still have the power to maintain a DEFENSIVE military. You may be asking why I emphasized defensive? It is because DEFENSIVE is the only power YOU have to share with the National Government. The National Government would still have the power of the Judicial Branch to settle disputes between States.
This would in effect turn our States into Wal-Marts and K-Marts competing with each other for populations. The unintended consequences of this move would automatically end those dastardly “earmarks” Our National Government would not have the money (Power) to bribe or coerce States Governments into compliance with the desires of the National Government. Would we have to pass laws to stop those “Horrible” lobbyists? What would happen if you took away DCs Power Peddling? Then Corporations that had been paying the lobbyist to lobby for a corporate advantage would begin to spend that money on actual product improvement, or increase dividend payouts or paying higher wages, or perhaps a little of all three.
Right now, there are approximately 4.5 million state employees. The main concern for most of those 4.5 million is to have a job next year, that gentle reader is a formula for inefficiency. There is no real thought on the part of most of those 4.5 million State employees to deliver “Betterment” to the citizens of their respective States. There is no real eye toward efficiency in State Government. However, if States had to compete with 49 other States for populations it would convert most of those 4.5 million State employees into machines of efficiency, always seeking lower operating cost, always striving to become more efficient, always thinking of ways to deliver “betterment” to the populations of their State. The efficiency learning curve would be so steep as to astound lawmakers, and point them toward efficiency. This would turn our State lawmakers into writing and passing laws (often times repealing laws that created inefficiency) that would benefit the populations of their State. Moreover, if the lawmakers of one State were slower to move than the lawmakers of a competing State they would find their tax base dwindling. Lawmakers that were slow to move or continued to propose laws that were contrary to the wishes of the people, he would be looking for a new job after the next election. In addition, the questions about term limits would become moot.
Another unintended consequence would begin to surface would be the knowledge that the voter within a State could affect their governments through the voting process. This would make interest in governmental matters higher on an individual’s priority list, likely way ahead of knowing the scores of the last sporting event, or who the starting pitcher or quarterback will be in the big game.
PS I am very interested to know what you think about this article. Do you think it has merit. Do you have thoughts on how to recapture our liberty? If yes, please share your thoughts with us. We are specifically asking for your thoughts.