Skip to comments.'Limited government' is dead
Posted on 07/04/2004 7:33:03 AM PDT by Mikey
It's popular to talk about limited government these days. Paying lip service to the idea of a smaller federal government is not revolutionary anymore. Everyone talks about it now, but no one follows his or her rhetoric with action. Everyone from Tom Daschle talking about fiscal responsibility to Constitution Party presidential nominee Michael Peroutka, talking about a government that could function in a moral way, is using the monster of a federal government as a means to submit his or her politically beneficial solution.
We've got to face reality and see that the term "limited government" has been worn out and no longer holds power, emphasis or really any meaning.
There are at least two reasons why this term is dead. First, those who stand for a perceived smaller government have committed adultery. I'm not talking about a random liberal who spouts off about fiscal responsibility. I'm talking about conservatives who make a commitment to smaller government and talks the talk about such things, but doesn't actually do anything. Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest orators and supporter in favor of limited government, but his administration didn't greatly decrease the size of the federal government. Another example is the Republican takeover of Congress during the Clinton administration followed by their failure to eliminate countless, wasteful federal departments.
The second reason the "limited government" term is dead goes hand-in-hand with the first. "Limited government" has yet to be defined. Thus, anyone can talk about fewer taxes, eliminating government waste and limiting government, but they can't be called on the carpet about their statements, because no one really knows what limited government is. Or maybe politicians don't want to admit the real definition of limited government in this nation.
Limited government is a constitutional government. This is plain and simple on the federal level, because the nitty-gritty services of government are done on the state and local level. The federal government was expected to be small and limited.
Still, we can talk about the Constitution all day long and it won't make a difference. Conservatives, if they want a shot at real limited government, need to quit talking.
Thus, conservatives need to stay united on at least on issue: limited government. But the biggest question is this: How do we return to a constitutional government? There are countless things wrong with our federal government, and they can't all be tackled at the same time which, I believe, is one of the reasons our task of reform in America seems to be impossible.
We need to concentrate on taxes. The flow of money into the beast of the federal government allows for the funding of all the socialistic and immoral departments we gripe about.
Further, we need to do more than just cut taxes; we need to eliminate some taxes altogether. Cutting taxes is good, but all it does is eventually increase the budget when the economy is spurred.
The battleground for conservatives is in true fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, neither presidential candidate will push this agenda.
Politicians can speak heavy rhetoric and activists can reiterate the need to decrease the size of our federal government and pay off the national debt, but the only way do to anything about it is cut off the flow of cash into the budget, thus requiring extensive elimination of federal departments and programs.
Yes, education reform is needed, we should leave the United Nations, foreign aid should be eliminated, Social Security and Medicare must be reformed, and various other issues must be resolved, but we're going nowhere if we're still funding the beast.
Limited government is about eliminating taxes. That should be the focus of conservatives.
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Even the private Christian schools teach little or nothing about our constitutional representative government.
It does my heart good to see a 15 year old who goes beyond the class room to learn the truth and has the guts to print the truth. This young man inspires me to continue the fight for liberty.
We started out as Free and Independent states (each having a Constitution prior to the Federal government. But we needed prior a National Army, a National Monetary system and a National Court and National Powers. But the states came a beggin' and the thing blew up. So now mucho money goes to the Fed and BACK to the states. It would be nice to go back to go!!
I'm a RINO because I still believe in limited government, and the republican party clearly doesn't any more.
The so called money your referring to isn't constitutional money. Its not even evidence of wealth, its evidence of debt.
The Constitution for the United States says 'No state shall make anything but gold and silver a tender in the payment of debts.'
The Coinage Act of April 2, 1792
(1 Stat. 246)
Mint established at the seat of government.
Chapter XVI.--An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the coins of the United States.
Section I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That a mint for the purpose of a national coinage be, and the same is established, to be situate and carried on at the seat of the government of the United States, for the time being; and that for the well conducting of the business of the said mint, there shall be the following officers and persons, namely, --a Director, an Assayer, a Chief Coiner, an Engarver, a Treasurer....
Section 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined at the said mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the following denominations, values and descriptions, viz.
Eagles --each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold.
Half Eagles--each to be of the value of five dollars, and to contain one hundred and twenty-three grains and six eighths of a grain of pure, or one hundred and thirty-five grains of standard gold.
Quarter Eaglesc--each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain sixty-one grains and seven eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of standard gold.
Dollars or Units--each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.
Half Dollars--each to be of half the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain one hundred and eighty-five grains and ten sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or two hundred and eight grains of standard silver. Quarter Dollars--each to be of one fourth the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteen sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver.
Dismes--each to be of the value of one tenth of a dollar or unit, and to contain thirty- seven grains and two sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or forty-one grains and three fifths parts of a grain of standard silver.
Half Dismes--each to be of the value of one twentieth of a dollar, and to contain eighteen grains and nine sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or twenty grains and four fifths parts of a grain of standard silver.
Cents--each to be of the value of the one hundredth part of a dollar, and to contain eleven penny-weights of copper.
Half Cents--each to be of the value of half a a cent, and to contain five penny-weights and a half a penny-weight of copper.
It continues as to shape of coin, what's to be imprinted on it etc.
Then may I assume that you will make the only moral choice and vote for Michael Badnarik for President?
Surely Bush is not a small government president and Kerry is the biggest govt guy around. There is no lesser evil here among the big 2.
It is just too dangerous to let another 4 years go by with a big government president, even if the congress is of the opposite party. A true small govt person MUST win this time. We cannot allow the freedom loving vote to be split up among 2 or 3 candidates. Every freedom lover should overlook the small differences and vote for the candidate with the best ballot access position, the Libertarian.
As I stated many many times before and will continue to state, the republicans and democrats have merged into one party which I call the Republicrats.
Theres little difference between them anymore.
All I ever heard when I was growing up is how the democrats and / or repub's would moan and groan and such about how they'd love to change gov if only their party had complete control of both the presidency and the house, then things would get done. Well the republicans have complete control of the house and a republican president. So what gives here?
the real problem is as follows. Instead of applying republican or democrat agenda's, why doesn't each party follow the rule book (i.e., the Constitution for the United States)
The government isn't supposed to have an agenda at all. Its supposed to follow and uphold the Constitution, that's it.
LOL, I'm glad you didn't put this under "Breaking News".
I might even be willing to stomach big government if it was CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT!!!!
Limited Government, in concept, has been set aside ever since the Civil War.
There are some obvious limits to government, but apparently we just haven't reached them yet, or circumstances have not occurred that have led the electorate to express them.
When limits are again put on Government, if they ever are, it will be a traumatic event that will once again define our nation.
Merely limiting taxes does not prevent excessive Government. The Bush Administration has succeeded in limiting taxes--at least for the moment--but is totally out of control, both on extending Government and in squandering money.
Nor should our past failures dissuade us from future efforts. The oaths that we take--at various times in our lives to uphold the Constitution--do not contain an escape clause which gives us the out to say it is just too hard too do. Those of us who have pledged to Almighty God that we will uphold the Constitution have acknowledged a duty that does not dissolve because this generation of political mountebanks do not choose to listen, nor obey their own oaths.
As a conservative libertarian, I would like to believe that Badnarik is an option. I voted for Marrou in '92, Browne in '96 and 2000. The fact is that 80% of Americans will not have even HEARD of Badnarik by November 2. And even if there were awareness of his candidacy, he would not win, since the majority of people in this country want big government. I have come to believe that our only hope is to reform the GOP from within, getting libertarian policy (such as moving to a NST, or SS reform, or deregulating the FDA drug approval process) enacted through GOP legislators.
I think the differences between Bush and Kerry are small, but significant, and I support Bush this time, both politically and financially. I consider my support of the corporatist Bush a rear-guard action against Kerry's outright socialist domestic policy.
This is the all-defining statement of the discussion. Politicians will always go where the votes are. It makes no sense to rant against politicians who are simply trying to get elected -- because there is no point at all in being a politician if you are going to lose every election. You will just lead a wasted life (! that's meant to be a touch of humor, there).
The big point, that everyone ignores in their drive to "recruit" to third parties, or in their drive to "reform the G.O.P. from the inside" is that both efforts are pointless. Maybe 5% of the electorate (tops, absolute tops) is interested in limited, smaller government as defined by "libertarians" or "Constitutionalists". Why create or reform a party so that you lose every election from now until doomsday by huge margins?
As our society gets more and more urban -- and as people get packed closer and closer together (geographically), the desire for big government that inserts itself into the personal lives of the voter's neighbors is going to get greater and greater. As we live closer and closer together (physically), the desire for a big government to control your nasty neighbors (who do things you disapprove of) and take care of the human refuse squatting under your bridges and living in your urban dumpsters gets greater and greater. Extremely busy people living in urban settings want someone to call to take care of their nasty problems, because they don't have the time or means to.
That's why so many cities vote overwhelmingly socialist. And that's where most people live nowadays. Limited, small government works wonders in rural or low population settings, where life is a bit slower and time not quite so crunched -- and where the people are less stark-raving-mad. But that's not how the great majority of voters live anymore. And that's why the great majority doesn't go for limited government any longer.
Peroutka is a libertarian with a religious flavor. He will scare away people who will consider him a christian Ayatolla. It is very foolish for him to run with a nearly identical platform as the Libertarians and split the vote. We need a single clear freedom loving candidate to get all the freedom loving votes.
Why the Libertarians, because we have the organization and the BALLOT ACCESS to do this.
If you love this country, you must vote for Badnarik. Bush has made a lot of progress toward making this a police state and in a second term, he will not have to worry about reelection and will be able to finish the job.
If Bush would get on national TV and admit that he made a mistake by signing the CFR bill, the medicare prescription drug plan, and the "Patriot Act", I might vote for him again after all.
In effect, he's already admitted he screwed up by federalizing the airport screeners.
Again, you efforts to split the Conservative vote across a bunch of loser Third Parties is very transparent.
When I entered County public office, one of the first things I did was head to the building dept. to ask for a review of ordinances to see if we could pare down regulations. I found out we have no local ordinances. We implement the minimum State codes.
Our County has some serious poverty and health issues. (Almost 54% of total population in low income households (below 200% of FPL. 39% of low-income parents living with food insecurity. Mental Health/Alcohol & Drug at 40 per thousand population.)
I was instrumental in establishing a network of nonprofit family resource centers to shift assistance from government to the community. We have all these retirees, surely they could volunteer. Nope, they have raised their kids, worked their jobs and want to be left alone. Funding for rural social non-profits - very little, foundations want more population impact for their buck.
How does one match social policy with moral beliefs? Do we get used to the fact that some people will live in luxury and some in poverty and illness and write it off as fate like third world countries? Do we drag everyone down to the median level to take care of everyones needs like socialists where there is no excellence? Or do we try and mix something in between?
What is scary is that the biggest employer in most rural counties is government. Union government employees become a large voting block.
IMHO the primary effort should not be on taxes (although important) but in getting rid of 'activist' judges. If the 9th and 10th amendments were enforced as written, probably one-half of everything the federal government does would be declared unconstitutional.
I believe that your plan is self defeating. Bush has advanced the police state way too far in his first term to be trusted with a second. He will not have to be worried about reelection so all bets will be off.
A second Bush term will include a spreading war and a draft to supply that war. This will probably result in significant terror attacks in retribution. You can't go around the world making enemies without consequences. Unfortunately it will be American civilians that will pay for Bush's evil.
Before anyone thinks I will vote for Kerry-no way. That is why I think that we should all vote and support Badnarik, no matter if you think he can't win. You are not wasting your vote since it matters little to the nation whether Bush or Kerry is elected. It is disaster either way.
....also....one of the reasons we don't have "limited government" is that the non-Liberals (including Conservatives...) allowed the Left to almost totally dominate academia, the legal profession, the courts, big government/bureaucracy, labor, entertainment, etc. If Conservatives dominated big government (instead of running away from it a crying about it) and then practiced what they preach, then big government would shrink from within. Remaining on the outside (bitching and moaning) isn't working. Yes? No? Third Parties are third rate.
You seem to have the matter backwards. I am trying to prevent the third party vote from being splintered. Please don't waste your vote on Peroutka, vote for Badnarik. I think that, with the seriousness of the problem we are facing, Peroutka should withdraw and ask his supporters to vote for Badnarik.
There are two reasons. However, the two reasons were not directly included in the article.
The two reasons are the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution. These two amendments, combined with human nature, virtually insured the failure of the framers of the Constitutions vision of a free people and a limited central government.
The 16th Amendment gave the government the power that history had warned against and that the original constitution forbid; the power to directly tax the citizen.
The 17th Amendment caused both houses of congress to become directly beholding to the voters.
A review of the effect these two Amendments had on the nation reveals why the vision of a limited government failed. A few basic facts regarding the creation of the Constitution are required.
First Fact: We the People established a Constitution to define the creation of a government.
The Preamble to the Constitution
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Second Fact: Congress was only granted specific enumerated powers.
Article I Section 1 of the Constitution
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
We the people had fought a revolutionary war. We the people were not in the frame of mind to establish a central government with unlimited powers over we the people. To that end, we the people established a government with only specific enumerated powers. Those powers herein granted are the only powers granted government. If the Constitution does not specifically grant a power then the power does not exist.
Third Fact: Members of The House of Representatives are elected by the people.
Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States
The reason the members of the House of Representatives are elected by the people is because they represent the people. It was intended that the members of House of Representatives be beholding to the people for their votes.
Fourth Fact: Members of the Senate are elected by the state legislatures.
Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Note: modified by Amendment XVII
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof
The reason the members of the Senate were elected by the state legislatures is because the Senators represent the state, not the people. It was intended that the members of the Senate be beholding to the state legislature for their votes and not the people.
Fifth Fact: The government did not have the power to directly tax the citizen unless in proportion to the nations population.
Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
Note: modified by Amendment XVI
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Consider: If the government were contemplating an expense of $100 million and the population were 100 million then each state would tax its citizens $1 each.
Our Constitution now grants the federal government the unlimited power to directly tax the citizens and the Constitution now requires that all those seeking election must appeal directly to the people for their votes. I dont want to connect dots that you do not see connected so let me close with these quotes for your consideration.
"The Roman Republic fell, not because of the ambition of Caesar or Augustus, but because it had already long ceased to be in any real sense a republic at all. When the sturdy Roman plebeian, who lived by his own labor, who voted without reward according to his own convictions, and who with his fellows formed in war the terrible Roman legion, had been changed into an idle creature who craved nothing in life save the gratification of a thirst for vapid excitement, who was fed by the state, and who directly or indirectly sold his vote to the highest bidder, then the end of the Republic was at hand, and nothing could save it. The laws were the same as they had been, but the people behind the laws had changed, and so the laws counted for nothing."
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
The Purse-Seine Robinson Jeffers Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark of the moon; daylight or moonlight They could not tell where to spread the net, unable to see the phosphorescence of the shoals of fish. They work northward from Monterey, coasting Santa Cruz; off New Year's Point or off Pigeon Point The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color light on the sea's night-purple; he points, and the helmsman Turns the dark prow, the motorboat circles the gleaming shoal and drifts out her seine-net. They close the circle And purse the bottom of the net, then with great labor haul it in. I cannot tell you How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible, then, when the crowded fish Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall to the other of their closing destiny the phosphorescent Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body sheeted with flame, like a live rocket A comet's tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside the narrowing Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls of night Stand erect to the stars. Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light: how could I help but recall the seine-net Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible. I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together into inter-dependence; we have built the great cities; now There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable of free survival, insulated From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all dependent. The circle is closed, and the net Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet they shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters Will not come in our time nor in our children's, but we and our children Must watch the net draw narrower, government take all powers--or revolution, and the new government Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls--or anarchy, the mass-disasters. These things are Progress; Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria, splintered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are quite wrong. There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew that cultures decay, and life's end is death.
Mr Peroutka will get my vote. GWB and the Pubbies have been profoundly disappointing in almost everything they have done in the past 31/2 years.
Besides, Al Qaeda is probably targeting the Federal Triangle as we speak. With the bonus that after their first nuke goes off, there will be a bounty on all Muslims.
Immigration will stop being a problem when we end the welfare state. Then the self selection process of immigration of the early 20th century will return.
What is at stake in getting rid of Bush and Kerry and returning freedom to this land is worth all sorts of compromises on lesser issues. Would you accept the domestic police state that is being created before your eyes rather than accept a less active foreign policy?
Great post Scott, sad that it was ignored by all but a few.
Bush isn't the most conservative choice. But he's the most conservative choice that is actually ELECTABLE. And whose fault is that? It's not the fault of the politicians. It's the fault of the electorate.
A lot of Freepers really seem to overestimate their fellow Americans. They spend hours in this online echo chamber and they truly believe that most people share these opinions.
Don't attack Bush, he's the symptom, not the cause. Have to change the hearts and minds of the people.
If that is truly what you believe, I have nothing further to say. Poor Ben Franklin must be turning over in his grave.
He that would give up freedom for security deserves neither.
Your right young man and their are movements about getting rid of the income tax and stopping the flow of money into the federal government to supply the socialists programs and the need to get past.
Also we need more young people like this who want LIBERTY and FREEDOM. Limited government is not dead because we won't let it be. People need to start understanding that we are the government and the elected ones are supposed to do what we say. We are the government they are just elected to conduct the business and if we just let them do what they want we have no one to blame but ourselves!
Not really. The Democrats and Republicans fight HARD to keep any third party candidates for MANY offices out of televised debates.
very interesting... I'm still trying to figure out why Alan keyes was arrested that one election year.
And you didn't come to me first? I suppose my mastery of the English language and extensive diplomatic experience don't qualify me to answer a simple question involving my own exclusion from the Republican Party, presidential primary debates. Well, if that's the attitude you're going to take... Harrumph!
First off I don't know about YOU, but I don't wear panties.
Second, what's your problem.?
I (by Myself) may not be able to "control" it, but with the help of a few million patriotic Americans willing to fight the fight against tyranny, we all might be able to destroy tyranny or at least stop it for now.
To throw up my hands and say oh well sounds more like the youth of today.