AMAC Magazine: Volume 17, Issue 3 - May/June 2023

Explosive Federal Growth Must Stop

T he growth of the federal government since the middle of the last century has been stag- gering. As shocking is the accelerat- ing pace of power concentration  as if individual liberties and sovereignty were not affected when the govern- ment grows. Obviously, they are. In a zero-sum game, more government means less liberty. Before looking at the data, consider our republic’s founding ideas, what defines us  individual liberty, indi- vidual sovereignty, and equal oppor- tunity assured to all citizens. Our pathbreaking Constitution guides self-governance, while our Bill of Rights articulates specific, inviolable individual guarantees. Why? The Magna Carta (or “Great Charter”) of 1215, amplified by people such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and our Founding Fathers, put words to a core notion: the government must be limited to

protect the rights of the individual. That is it, in a nutshell. Put differently, if the law is to mean anything, if governments are to be held accountable to the people, if people are to be viewed as owning their own decisions, property, bodies, and destiny, that all comes back to keeping government limited, not letting it grow to the point where it crushes the individual. So, having set that baseline, and recognizing that the size of govern- ment bounces around a bit based on population growth, geographic reach, wars, and crises, the repub- lic’s future still depends on keeping government limited. Have we done that? Have we kept our eyes on the ball, things in proportion, government limited? No. We have failed miserably at keeping govern- ment limited  and now need to turn into the wind and get it done.

Said James Madison in June of 1789: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.” Said Jefferson, if the Republic is to survive, the central government must be “rigorously frugal and simple.” Have we done that? Laugh or cry, but no. Reads the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohib- ited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.” Have we kept faith with that core understanding, that assurance, that firmly held conviction? What do you think? So, let’s look at the data, the numbers that track vertical federal growth, starting back mid-last-century. We could look at a thousand points, but here are a few. continued on page 20

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