What has happened to our government? Many of you should have studied the founding fathers – maybe? I know if you attended high school or college lately you may not have considered a government course, at least not one that portrayed the founding fathers as the ingenious men they were. We cannot imagine the foresight these men had to create a document as profound as the Constitution. Now many want to change or entirely do away with our constitution.
How has this all occurred? If you a look at our history, you can see this argument has been going since our founding. The fight over power started with the drafting of our constitution in the 1770s. There were those that desired total control by the Federal Government and those that wanted the power to be invested in the states with a very small Federal Government. As we can now see the limited Federal Government people have lost the argument; our government in Washington DC has become so massive, overburdened, and the most extravagant bureaucracy in the world. Would the founding fathers would be proud?
Federal Vs State Power
The argument about Federal and State Power started at the founding of our nation in the 1780s. There were those that wanted more control given to an all-powerful central government and those that argued for more authority granted to the states. The United States Constitution originated from the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an arrangement among the 13 independent states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. Founded: November 15, 1777, and Approved: March 1, 1781, this from Wikipedia.
The Defects of the Articles of Confederation were:
- Individual states only had one vote in Congress, despite the size
- Congress did not have the authorization to tax, or to regulate foreign and interstate trade
- There was no executive branch to execute any acts passed by Congress
- There was no national court system
- Amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote
- Laws required a 9/13 majority to pass in Congress
There were two sides to the Great Debate: the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.One of the significant issues these two parties debated involved the inclusion of the Bill of Rights. The Federalists felt that this addition was not necessary, because they thought the Constitution as it stood only restricted the government, not the people. The Anti- Federalists claimed the Constitution gave the central government too much authority, and without a Bill of Rights the people would be in danger of oppression.
As you can see the debate for a big government started at the onset of the creation of our constitution and had been going on since. Many say it is a Republican Party or Democratic Party issue, but if you look closely, both parties are guilty of too much government, over-taxation and not enough control given to the states. At our founding, the people held all the power and were expected to hold our elected leaders accountable. Over the years, the people paid less and less attention to the politicians, and the bureaucrats have learned how to take that power from the people and transfer it to a larger government. The transfer of power goes on in the city, county, state and federal level, little by little, day by day.
Yes, every intention of our constitution was for the power to control our nation be principally in the hands of the people. How have we deviated from this over the years? We can agree that it has been a long slow process, year over year to the point that no one notices it.
In their efforts to get re-elected politicians over the years have created several large hand out programs to say they are giving the people more power. In reality, these programs harm our economy in many ways and give the government more control over peoples lives. But they do get politicians re-elected, and this goes on all the way down to our city governments. A typical politician starts their legislative career and utilizing a series of handouts, donations from large corporations or political action groups work their way to the Senate or Presidency, all this enveloping a lifetime. It seems we have many bureaucrats and judges who have dementia or some other memory problem, among others related to old age.
Being in the political limelight for such a long period gives a person a lot of time to figure out how to get elected and re-elected. It also has a way of putting some out of touch with the people who chose them and in bed with others in big government and big corporations. The big corporations want them re-elected for more favorable deliberations, and the other politicians work together to see to it that they all stay in office.
In recent years they have all become affiliated with the big media corporations. In an effort for more air time and favorable press, some in government attend fancy media and cocktail parties, which are almost a weekly occurrence in Washinton DC. It is imperative to associate with prominent political and entertainment personalities, to become known as an elite reporter or commentator. What we end up with is crony capitalism, in which everyone is doing everyone favors to maintain power, and the ordinary working people that keep this nation on the track become an unknown.
What has come about is more government control over our lives, more rules, and regulations to limit our freedoms, and more government handouts to keep the populace in poverty. What is created here is a slow road to Socialism; getting faster with each passing day.
Overburdened Overtaxed Populace
We all know we are overtaxed, maybe not by our Federal Government, but when a person ads Federal, State, County, and city taxes into the mix, it turns out to be an astronomical number. No to mention fuel, property, and all the other government fees we face daily. Most are overburdened because we have to work a lot longer to pay all these taxes and have enough left for our families to live. The authority to levy taxes was very limited by the original constitution. The founders thought taxes should only be collected if needed, such as a time of war.
The original Constitution contains 4,543 words, including the signatures and has four sheets, 28-3/4 inches by 23-5/8 inches each. These do not tell what the Constitution means today. For that, you must purchase or download the 3000+ pages of the U.S. Constitution, Analysis and Interpretation, which shows you what the Supreme Court thinks the sparse words of the initial document mean and how they should manage the actions of the government.
When we think about taxes and how they have progressed think about these numbers in 1913 when the federal income tax was executed to help pay for World War I, the limited tax rate was 1% on incomes of $0 to $20,000, 2% on a salary of $20,000 to $50,000 and progresses to 7% on revenue of $500,000 and up. There was no filing status, and there was no distinction between single taxpayers, married taxpayers filing together, married taxpayers filing individually and heads of household. By 2009, tax rates had increased considerably, with a top tax rate of 35%.
There used to be a lot of talk about term limits, and we can see how when people start talking about it, it is instantly put on the back burner. Of course, a bureaucrat is not going to vote themselves out of the cushy jobs they have, and the media is not going to talk about it; they have too much at stake with all their senator and congressional cronies. Never the less it was something that was discussed a lot about for some time, and we somehow need to get the interest in the subject ignited again.
Thomas Jefferson and many others at the Constitutional Convention supported and had concerns about the people in government staying in office for all of their lives. In 1800 Thomas demonstrated that a government by representees, elected by the people for short periods, was the intention of the Constitution. He felt that when the annual election ends tyranny starts. Several of the other founders were concerned that there was no provision in the draft Constitution for mandatory term limits.
We have talked about how the politicians have found ways through the media and large donors to stay in office forever, and it is a complicated process get another amendment to our constitution. The majority of the people in two-thirds of the states must vote to create another change. So my question is how do we convince others to vote their favorite congressperson out of office?
What we have learned over the years; the media, big corporations, government employees, and politicians are not going to talk about or try to get legislation enacted for term limits. A government by the people for the people is and remains the intent of our Constitution. It is the duty as a free citizen of this great nation to be involved in our government, so it remains that we are the only ones that can get term limits into law. So you may ask “how can we get term limits enacted”?
My answer is everyone needs to get involved and vote in every election; City, County, State, and Federal. It does not matter if you are Republican or Democrat if you find an official who has held office for several years, vote for the other candidate. We have a ton of elected officials who have held office for way too long, and in the primaries, they have others running against them. It should not matter what office they own, but if we find an individual who has maintained any office in Washington DC for over twelve years, it will make a lot of difference if we all got together and voted for the challenger in the primaries.
The IRS rules and regulations have become so voluminous that we debate about how many pages are actually in it; many claim the first regulations started with a little less than 527 pages. I am a little skeptical of that because the tax code was straightforward at the beginning. No matter it has grown to over 70,000 pages now according to Business Insider The expansion of these regulations over the years is far away from what was intended by our founding fathers.
As this pertains to the trucking industry, we all know the many rules and regulations we face every day. The FMSCA was created in 2000 to enforce all the laws out Senators and Congressmen could invent. The FMSCA has expanded in just these last few years with more power and added controls.
Taxes affect us all in our nation, especially truck drivers; when you factor in all the regulations we must follow, this makes it very difficult for our pursuit of happiness, that is confirmed in our Constitution. There are several reasons a person feels like they have to work more and more to make a living, but taxes and regulations are two of the most substantial impediments to our well-being. That is why it is critical to pay attention to what your elected officials do, take the time and vote anyone who has been in Washington DC in any government position out of office. The longer they stay in office, the more out of touch they become with the people they were elected to represent. They will keep passing laws that hinder the progress of this nation and hamper your pursuit toward happiness.
Thank You, and please leave Your Comments!!