Finally, a Conversation About Limiting the Federal Government


ObamaCare is a dreadful law. Every day we find out more about what’s in it. It’s more expensive than advertised. It tramples on religious freedom. It has a board of bureaucrats that can limit treatment options. It’s awful in every way, including how it expands the power of the federal government to the point where, if it isn’t struck down or repealed, they can force you to enter into a contract and purchase a product whether you want to or not.

I’m not a constitutional scholar, but unlike certain elected officials, I never claimed to be. I have read the document on numerous occasions. Unlike ObamaCare, it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s in the Constitution, seeing that it’s only a few pages long.

Anyway, if there’s any good to come of this mess, it’s that there’s finally a national conversation about the expansion of federal power. Of course, there are quite a few on the left worried that federal power may be limited if ObamaCare is truck down. If we’re lucky, enough people will begin to start really thinking about it. Maybe they’ll even read Glenn Reynolds’s piece (AKA Instapundit) in the Washington Examiner. He’s a law professor, so I suppose he qualifies as a “constitutional scholar.” He wrote about how the poor guy tasked with defending ObamaCare is getting a raw deal, seeing that he’s defending the indefensible.

The Constitution of the United States was supposed to create a federal government limited to the comparatively few powers specifically enumerated therein, mostly in Article I, Section 8. The idea was that the federal government would address subjects that really needed to be handled on a national level. The states would do the rest, or people would take care of matters on their own.

As James Madison wrote in the Federalist No. 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

To underscore this arrangement, the Tenth Amendment provided that “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.”

This division of powers was intended to protect freedom by limiting the scope of the powerful national government. It was also intended to reduce the extent of corruption in the federal government. The powers most likely to encourage corruption were left to the states.

Go and read the whole thing, and share it with your friends. Please. It’s important. Our kids aren’t learning these things in school. Heck, I’ll bet most of you didn’t learn it in school. We need to educate ourselves, and our kids, on the proper role of the government. If we don’t, who will?