On this Thanksgiving Day, as we pause to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, I want to take a few moments to urge us to reflect on something we usually take for granted. And that is the remarkable system of limited government, with its many checks and balances, that our Founding Fathers established for us.
It has worked so well for more than 200 years that today, despite all of the efforts to subvert that legacy and create an all-powerful government here at home, we still possess all of the freedoms we need to defeat the SOBs who would enslave us.
Yes, I know; it sometimes seems that nothing can stop the monstrous expansion of the federal government. Back when our country was founded, one of the accusations against King George in the Declaration of Independence was:
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
Man, if the Founders thought it was bad back in 1776, think of what they would make of the situation today! There are now more than 70,000 pages of rules and regulations in the Federal Register, with millions of bureaucrats swarming all over the country with the power to enforce them.
And talk about a government that will “eat out their substance.” Today, government seizes nearly half of every dollar we earn — and spends most of it on entitlement programs that are nothing more than vote-buying schemes and massive redistribution of wealth.
Faced with all of this arrayed against us, do I really believe we can somehow not only keep government from expanding further, but somehow begin to reduce its size, power, reach and cost?
Yes, I do. Because thanks to the genius of our Founding Fathers, the people’s representatives — that is, the House of Representatives — still have the power to make the necessary changes.
Those brilliant people who created our system of government wisely gave “the power of the purse” to this branch of government. That means if we will elect enough men and women who agree with us — and who have the courage of their convictions — they can cut off every penny to those parasitic programs.
Of course, this can’t be done overnight. After all, it’s taken more than a century of expanding government’s powers (and cost) to bring us where we are today. It’s going to take a long time to undo much of the damage that’s been done.
Some things we may never change. For example, the Founding Fathers were passionate believers in states’ rights. They intended that the Senate would represent the various states in Congress. That is why they decided to have the various state legislatures determine who their representatives to Congress would be.
I think this country made a mistake when it approved the 17th Amendment in 1913, changing to the direct election of senators. Over time, the Senate stopped being a bulwark for the states against the federal government’s growing powers.
Granted, the other amendment approved in 1913 has done even more damage to this country. That was the passage of the 16th Amendment, which allowed the creation of the graduated income tax.
We may never return to having each state legislature appoint its two senators or eliminate every government program that’s been established in the past 100 years.
But with just a few more legislative victories, we can begin chopping back the federal behemoth. We still have all of the rights, powers and prerogatives we need to reverse the incredibly damaging and dangerous course we’ve been on.
So this Thanksgiving Day, please join me in giving thanks to those inspired geniuses who created the marvelous system of government we inherited. And vow with me to do everything possible to preserve it, protect it and restore it.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.