Skip to comments.Fail Safe (Checks and Balances, Federalism, 10th Amendment)
Posted on 05/22/2010 4:03:21 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Many of todays debates between statists and libertarians are argued on the grounds of efficiency. The libertarians say that when you let the government do something, you invariably get the DMV or the post office. Statists argue that a centralized public service provides better results because it can gain efficiencies of scale and because the lack of a profit incentive eliminates greed. They cite examples like NASA and the Internet to claim that government can do things that would be impossible in the private sector.
I am sympathetic to the libertarian argument on this topic, but in this essay I will argue that efficiency is not everything. Even if the statist point of view on efficiency is correct, there are still good reasons for enforcing Constitutional limits on the scope of government.
Fail Safe: The design principle that requires that the failure of part of a system will not result in the failure of the rest of the system
One thing is clear about most systems of government. When they fail, they fail catastrophically. We can see this in tyrannies around the globe and throughout history. Unique at the time, the checks and balances of our Constitutional system of government provided for fail safe protection from tyranny. Any branch of the federal government can be checked by two other branches. In the case of the federal government, the fail safe design against tyranny is described in this table.
(Excerpt) Read more at pennsylvania.tenthamendmentcenter.com ...
Argue as you wish, but if the ability to create money resides with the Federal Reserve it’s all moot.
>> They cite examples like NASA and the Internet to claim that government can do things that would be impossible in the private sector.
I’ve never heard any progressive cite the Internet as an example of the gummint doing something better than the private sector. The gummint internet was newsgroups, IRC, FTP, and very primitive HTTP. Once the private sector got ahold of it, it turned into the Internet we know today.
A very good start, but he mentioned problems without mentioning their resolution. To begin with, he correctly points out the error of the 17th Amendment in unbalancing the power between the national government, the States, and the people. But this cannot be addressed with the 10th Amendment, only with the repeal of the 17th Amendment.
He could have gone on to point out that the 16th Amendment, the Income Tax, is just as bad, in its way. Going back to the founding of the United States, it has always been a problem to fund the national government. But the Income Tax is an inappropriate solution, because it directly involves the national government in the lives of the people, as individuals, with no buffer of the States to protect us. This is a terrible problem, which can only be addressed by repealing the 16th Amendment, and replacing it with a new form of taxation as well. One that does not involve a direct tax from the national government to the individual person.
The next issue is an organizational issue. The federal government has become so immense that it is unwieldy. Nobody truly controls it, or can reduce its girth, from *within*. Many unconstitutional agencies and offices, enormous debts and promises of even greater debts, military deployments around the world, to over 100 countries, with little or no purpose except in a tiny handful of cases. 17 separate spy agencies, and 40+ federal police agencies, with little oversight. A bloated bureaucracy, making laws on its own. Federal judges ordering States around, ordering them to appropriate monies, ordering them to obey judicial whims.
And on top of it all, a US president who since James Madison, has been effectively “above the law”, answering to no one. This has bred government agencies based on presidential memos, Czars, and the clearly unconstitutional presidential signing statements, declaring how the president interprets the law, and what parts he will enforce, and what parts he will ignore.
As I said, this cannot be corrected from within, or just by restoring the power of the States. But it *can* be corrected *by* the States, if they choose to do so, and 38 States agree to the changes.
By convening a constitutional convention.
If the first thought that crosses your mind is “A constitutional convention is unthinkable. It would be controlled by radicals”, then you are the victim of progressivist propaganda that was incorporated into the public schools at the start of the 20th Century, and has been taught ever since.
It is not true. It is a lie. A constitutional convention is, first of all, constitutional. Second, it is inherently conservative, the only agreement is that the power of the States must be increased, while the power of the federal government must be diminished.
That is, as the States are doing right now. Trying to reassert the 10th Amendment. This is how it is done. And this is likely the *only* way it can be done.
And most importantly, this is how it *must* be done. Because if things continue as they are, our nation, the United States, faces a terrible decline. In power, in prosperity, and a terrible decline in freedom and liberty.
Without a constitutional convention, we are likely to have a horrific depression, that does not end even after a decade or more. Our government loses control over the law completely, becoming much like a “corporatocracy”, run by lobbyists, Hill rats, foreign powers, and financial speculators, like the people who ran Enron.
It cannot continue to exist as a republic, as such. Unless the States assert their constitutional authority, it will be taken away from them through perfidy, and the States will be relegated to administrative districts. US law will be absorbed into international law, and our military will be mostly disbanded. The depression will break much of the popular spirit, and political power will go only to those who promise to give largess.
It is an ugly, evil future. But it only exists if the individual States do not carry out their duties, and return the national government to order and balance, within a constitutional framework.
A major problem with the Sixteenth Amendment is that while it may have been intended as a narrow means of funding, the way it is written allows the federal government to tax anyone and anything whatsoever limited only by the fact that the tax on a particular individual is limited to 100% of what the government can regard as income.
Its true insidiousness is that it gives the federal government access to our personal lives and fortunes. This was never, ever, supposed to be.
Another suggested constitutional amendment is to reiterate that the census is solely for an actual enumeration, and that it is prohibited of the federal government to collect personal information on its citizens.
The very good logic here is that, with the exception of State and federal criminal felons, there is no valid reason for the federal government to have such information. Even in the case of a military draft, they should have to appeal for citizens to become soldiers through their State governments and State draft boards.
Federal agencies currently lust for personal information on citizens, even with the most minimal justification. They compile massive databases, create enormous dossiers, etc. This needs to be prohibited.
I reacted to the claim of the Internet being a government success too.
You have described the reason for it’s success perfectly!