- Tom C
We the People
Consider the opening words to the preamble of the Constitution of the United Sates: We the People. And consider the Tenth Amendment: 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.
Can anyone argue that today 'We the People' are in control or that the federal government has limited itself to enumerated powers, leaving everything else to the states or us as individual citizens? I was inspired to write on this subject after hearing Ben Carson speaking on how regulations have stifled much of the can do spirit that made America great. And then consider the rancher who has been fined millions by the EPA for building a small pond to water his stock – and this after being granted all the necessary permits. Does this not make your blood boil?
The Congress of the United States has turned over to the executive branch and to unelected commissions and bureaucracies vast swaths of power. These commissions and bureaucracies, hereafter referred to as 'parasites', are totally insulated from 'We the People'.
The Federal Register is a measure of how much these parasites impact our lives. The Federal Register is a publication that contains government agency rules, proposed rules, and public notices – in short, it contains all the things that the parasites are imposing on We the People. Beginning in 1936, when 2620 pages marked the inaugural year, the Register has grown like topsy with an average of approximately 200 pages added every single day over the last 20 years.
The parasites have a set of goals that far outweigh whatever goals were assigned when they were established. These goals are to perpetuate their existence, get increased funding and finally, if I may be blunt, to impose their will and be unaccountable to We the People.
Many years ago in New Jersey, I was appointed to complete the term of a member of the local Planning Board. It was an experience I do not want to repeat although it would be far better that these boards be composed of people like myself. One board member liked sidewalks, so if someone needed a variance and didn't have a sidewalk in front of their house, he wanted to make putting in a sidewalk a condition of getting the variance, even if the neighboring houses had no sidewalk. Half the town was zoned 'historic' allowing for all sorts of expensive requirements for people trying to repair their property. In our case only a fraction of the town was really historic, the rest was merely old – and in many cases, badly in need of repair. You couldn't replace clapboard with siding, you had to replace a slate roof with slate – at 4 times the cost. In short, major costs were imposed on people who merely wanted to fix up their house. The obvious result was than many simply couldn't afford it and let their 'historic' house go to seed.
My Planning Board experience showed me that there are a lot of people who think they know what is best and who love to be put in positions where they can impose their will on others. And if this is a problem at the petty level, think of how much of a problem is can be – and is – at the national level.
There is a solution, and Congress does have the power to do something about it. It is Congress that delegated all this power and it is Congress that can take it back. Congress can simply require that all rules and regulations proposed by the parasites must receive a majority vote in Congress before they can take effect, with any Member able to demand an up or down vote on any specific item.
Not perfect, but We the People have a lot more influence and authority over Congress than we do over the faceless parasites that inhabit Washington.