Skip to comments.What do we mean when we say small government, ie, constitutionally limited government?
Posted on 05/03/2012 3:05:31 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
Some of the areas/functions the federal government should not be involved in per the constitution (see enumerated powers of congress and the Bill of Rights, the 9th and 10th amendments, etc):
It's a never ending list and rapidly expanding as fast as our now virtually UNLIMITED unconstitutional BIG government is rapidly expanding, regardless of party in power.
Think about the thousands of areas where our federal government has granted itself powers to control and regulate, then compare them to the very short list of enumerated powers:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.
I just want to be left alone to make my own way in life without every cent sucked out of me.
Its a scary thing to be middle aged and getting poorer by the second and have no family to rely on as I get older. Its even scarier to know that neither political party has any intent of releasing us from the prison they’ve built.
I’m finished with listening to promises of the great GOP saving me in 4 more years.
That might mean freeloaders don’t get free stuff.
I’m still wondering where my chicks are at.
A Large Government and a Free People cannot peacefully Coexist.
Much like Big Government Republicans and The Tea Party cannot Peacefully coexist within the same party, one MUST be forced out.
"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
-- John Quincy Adams
Millard Filmore 1852! So we can keep Comprising with the Democrats while achieving little in return!
P.S. That is going to be my new Tagline.
I, personally may have been happier to retain the Articles of Confederation, but it, too, had inherent flaws...a malady common to all human governance.
We use General Welfare, the Commerce clause and Stare Decisis to reach the inevitable decline that all republics must suffer.
per James Madison:
"With respect to the two words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the "Articles of Confederation," and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted."
2) States no longer have a seat in congress: the House is people and Senate is states. Similar to English parliament: Lords(states) Common(people). This problem is related to #1, also.
3) Interstate Commerce and General Welfare did not provide a magic way out of enumerated powers; not lawful. To change USC fundamentally requires a USC amendment. USC is USG contract w/ states/people and it may be changed this way, only.
4) Fiat currency is tied to the Corporate Excise Tax of 1909, which unlawfully because individualized. USG has the power to _coin_ money, specie, all the Fathers knew exactly what this meant. USC means what it meant when it was created. Not what it means after wicked people change the meanings of words to bend USC to their illegal purposes.
5) Judges are not allowed to legislate from the bench, laws are created by the legislature and judged by courts: judges and the people in the jury!
Dude, preach it! I’m working for down ticket TEA Party candidates wherever I can support them. I tied myself in knots defending some of the “compassionate conservative” pieces of President Bush; I supported mccain when Sarah came on the ticket. I “came into politics” during Dole. NOW I have this Romeny idiot as my only choice? Screw that. No longer anything GOP here, I’m just a Constitutional Conservative and to all those out there that try and lay that bullshit line on me “not voting for Romney is a vote for Obama”; piss off, party hack.
In other words, congress can and should preserve the legal definition of marriage in the same way they are charged with insuring that all legal standards are clearly defined and uniform.
-- John Quincy Adams
I absolutely cherish that quote! Absolutely!!!
I'm BOOKMARKING this thread. Thank you JR, for making it so thoughtful!!!
Preferably, midgets in clown outfits.
And I thought weights and measures applied to the bathroom scales, which may regulate marriage to some degree.
We here at The Lollipop Guild are in total support (although we’re hearing rumblings from the dwarves and pygmies who feel they are under-represented)
LOL, I’m not going there.
Thank you very much. Great thread!
You cant even take a dump or turn on a “light bulb” without Government interference.
IM SURE THATS HOW THE FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED IT.
I grew so weary of people trying to sway FReepers that they were throwing their vote away if they didn't vote for Arnold Schwartzenegger in CA's historic gubernatorial Recall Election.
Why do so many wish to become king makers and try to stampede people into climbing on to their bandwagon, instead of voting on principle for someone who is principled???
So many have died defending our right to express our political preferences as individuals see fit, not as some supposed hot-to-trot political operative sheepherder tries to shame/indimidate one to do!!!
Sorry I had to truncate the quote to make it fit my tagline and wish I'd known about it some years ago. Bless you heart for bringing it to everyone's attention!!!
I don’t even want to talk about light bulbs, Fred Upton is the next district over from mine. Hopefully the little emperor will be primaried by the candidate with the funny name. (Jack Hoogendyk)
We may never see all of it turned back in our lifetimes but I would bet that we see Consitutional reforms take hold in our lifetimes... one way or the other... it will happen... and I pray for it daily.
We three are of like minds.
How about tossing out any law that has used the so called “commerce clause” to justify it’s constiutionality?
Absolutely. Especially any written in the last 100 years or so anyway.
Thank You SierraWasp for your Kind words
I would be happy if there was a general consensus within the population that “more freedom means you need more personal responsibility”.
Instead we (as a society) seem to think that “freedom MEANS freedom FROM responsibility”.
Take the Drug War. There is a reason we HAD to have a constitutional amendment to ban the sale of alcohol because back when it was passed enough people realized that just any old law passed in congress to ban alcohol nationwide would be un-constitutional and thus they had to MAKE IT PART OF THE CONSTITUTION to make it have effect. Of course it even violated the “Spirit of the Constitution” in that it was an Amendment that limited what the citizens could do and not the government like many other “Progressive Amendments passed around the same time”.
Because of the screwball intepretation of the “Commerce Clause” by the seditious FDR surepeme court over the decision of a farmer to raise wheat in the 70’s they were able to justify the “war on drugs” which while “having good intentions” has done a lot to erode the personal liberty of the large percentage of american who do no use drugs in the first place in the name of the “public good”.
I do not think drugs are good, but I think it is the states responsiblity to deal with it and not the federal governments.
I would be happy if we took the what the average person pays to the state government and what they pay to the federal government and “Flip it around” and then split every federal program except the millitary and national security into 50 pieces and hand them back to the states.
Bring the federal government back to what is prescribed in the constitution and only use Federal millitary assets against foreign powers and NEVER use the Federal millitary against ANY United States citizen.
Also make funding the newly limited federal government on a limited tarif of no more than 10%like it used to be in the “good olde days” before there was the horrible class warfare inciting thing called a “federal progressive income tax”.
Then the liberal states can choke on all their wonderful programs while the states with common sense lead the way in growth and prosperity by cutting all they would like.
I would also give back over 95% of the “federal land” in the western states back to the states themselves. (Federal Millitary bases can stay owned by the Fed, or even better reneted from the states by the federal government in some sorta arrangement).
This is no passing fling. This is a once-in-a-lifetime love.
I am SPEECHLESS with this honor.
Love you, Laz!
Here is what it means to me: Leave me alone. I have work to do, a family to raise, and a G_d to worship. I manage my affairs with justice and forbearance. I don’t need a blasted government except to execute real criminals and control our borders. Go away.
(Best Antonio Bandares accent) No no no.... do not speak... do not spoil this moment.... just kiss me....
That would be terrible! The Declaration of
Independence guarantees us free stuff and more. It is our Human Right not to have to work to enjoy our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. How can we pursue happiness if we have to work for stuff?
Catherine, Laz will love you and then leave you. I know of some of his conquests. You should see all the dead bodies he's left behind over these years.
Run Catherine, run!
Yup. The inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, free of government interference or intervention. Self-governance.
In The Rights Of Man, Paine begins his discussion on the creation of the United States Constitution by examining the process that Pennsylvania followed for creating their state constitution.
Paine concludes his review with this description of the behaviors that followed.
Here we see a regular process a government issuing out of a constitution, formed by the people in their original character; and that constitution serving, not only as an authority, but as a law of control to the government. It was the political bible of the state. Scarcely a family was without it. Every member of the government had a copy; and nothing was more common, when any debate arose on the principle of a bill, or on the extent of any species of authority, than for the members to take the printed constitution out of their pocket, and read the chapter with which such matter in debate was connected.
That was in 1791. In 2010, we have Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi incredulously questioning "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
You had to do Antonio, right? Because I love him.
Well, at least I did before he went all saggy.....
Well, what do I care, I was first in a line of five wives, so I’m used to it.
Ignore Mr. Kehoe. He’s just upset because he din’t get to kill em first. He buries very well, though. I have to give him credit.
Yeah, you FR men....all alike
Laz, you know that 10's of thousands read FR every day. Why would you give away my secrets?
Now I definitely have to go Galt...
The first step of correcting this mess is to understand how we got in the mess and became debt slaves.
Surely you wouldn’t want gummint chicks....
Anyone who knows me knows I oppose homosexual marriage, and this probably has to be handled at the federal level because even one state allowing homosexual marriage can probably force every other state to accept it, under longstanding precedents.
The contracts clause is in Article I, Section 10, which reads as follows: “No State shall ... pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts...”
The alternative to considering marriage to be a contractual obligation covered by this clause would be chaos with people not knowing if their marriage performed in one state would be valid in another state to which they might move. Less than half a century ago, this became an issue when some more conservative states didn't want to recognize the “no fault divorce” granted by states with looser laws. The stricter states were forced to recognize divorces granted in more permissive states. Also, states which prohibited interracial marriages were first forced to recognize interracial marriages performed in other states and then forced to perform interracial marriages themselves.
This is not a new issue — there are multiple reasons why Utah could not be allowed to enter the Union before it outlawed polygamy, one of them being that every other state probably would have been forced to recognize polygamous marriages in Utah. Even apart from that extreme case, this came up in the early 1800s with questions about the legitimacy of marriages to first cousins or states having to decide whether to allow remarriage of people who had been divorced under the laws of a different jurisdiction where divorces were granted on grounds that other states refused to accept.
Personally I can see some wisdom in letting this get handled as a states’ rights issue, but I see no way to do so because of the contracts clause and court precedents relating to marriage that go back long before modern judicial activism. Much will depend on what the Supreme Court does, but I'm afraid this is probably going to end up being an “all or nothing” issue with homosexual marriage allowed in all states or no states.
I'm not advocating this, but I've read about some Conservatives and Libertarians pushing for a third way which goes down the privacy path. Basically, it would forbid the government from asking for or tracking anyone's sex or sexual orientation. It basically tells the government it is none of your business. Thus, gay marriage or whatever wouldn't be expressly forbidden because the government could not ask either party what their sex is, it would be a blind contract between two individuals.
It also sounds like it would be a complete cluster the day after it is implemented when you then put into the mix religious ceremonies and people trying to carry forward that 'blind' rule to religious institutions as well.
It seems, the definition that has crossed almost all cultural, religious, and national lines for thousands upon thousands of years is the easiest to manage and maintain. You can't just go say a foot is 13 inches any more than one can change the definition of fundamental legal terms without a butt load (no pun intended) of unintended consequences.
With the sincerest of apologies to my revered ancestors, I'd have to anglicize that name, if it were mine.