Limited Federal Government
The 10th Amendment makes it extremely clear that the powers of the Federal government were intended to be limited.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Increasingly, it appears that those in Washington do not agree with this Amendment. As time has passed, more and more powers have accrued to the Federal government as it has twisted almost any issue to be within its jurisdiction, even though it crystal clear, that the Founding Fathers intended that the Federal government has limited powers and the sense is that definition of “limited” was to be broadly interpreted and rather than the broad interpretation of its powers historically asserted by the Federal government.
So a question for readers of this post, which powers do you think are beyond those delegated to the Federal government? What can’t it legislate? At what point, would the Federal government break the “contract” (the Constitution) from which its powers are derived by asserting powers it does not have?
Is it time to convene another meeting of the states to issue their own clarifications regarding what powers the Federal government has and which powers are reserved to the States and their citizens? It seems much of the strain our country is under these days is the result of the polarization of regional values and the attempt by specific regions of the country to use the Federal government to impose those regional values on the country as a whole. But is that a “power” delegated to the Federal government?
This thought is not entirely my own, but relates to the recent debates about the Constitutionality of so many decisions being imposed on the country by our recent Presidents and our Congress regardless of which party is in power, though Democrats seem more inclined to do so than Republicans are more often just want to be left alone. Why not simply allow states to do what ever they can afford to do?
This gets to the second part of the Limited Federal Government issue. It appears to me that the main reason political parties have abused the powers granted to the Federal government is because the Federal government has an almost “unlimited” checkbook. While individual states cannot afford many of things, they believe government should do… the Federal government with its access to debt and printing money can do whatever politicians want it to do…
If the Federal government had no power to spend beyond its revenues except in time of war, how would impact the Federal government’s tendency to abuse its powers? Would Biden really be proposing the trillions in spending, if we had to collect the taxes first before we could spend the money? While the Constitution is suppose to be the “source” of the Federal government’s power, more and more it appears to be its control of “money” and the “military”.
Now one final thought on the subject. I read in an opinion piece recently, that decentralized societies innovate more and grow faster simply by virtue of competition… Competition breeds innovation and that is the key to societal and economic growth. Some would argue that the competition between say Texas and California benefits the country as a whole and thus Federalizing anything stifles innovation and growth. That leads to the obvious question of whether limiting Federal power is not only a political strategy but an economic one designed to prevent the bureaucracy that develops in time in any monopoly including a “political” one?