By Publius Huldah, guest columnist
All federal and State officials take an oath to support the federal Constitution (Art. VI, clause 3). When people in Congress appropriate funds for objects not listed in the Constitution [Art. I]; and when State officials accept federal funds for objects not listed, they violate their oath to support the Constitution. According to the PEW Report, federal funds provided an average of 30% of the States’ revenue for FY 2013. Look up your State HERE. Were those federal funds used to implement unconstitutional federal programs in your State?
Power over education, medical care, agriculture, state and local law enforcement, environment, etc., is not delegated to the federal government; those powers are reserved by the States or the People. Congress spends on objects for which it has no constitutional authority; and bribes States with federal funds to induce them to implement unconstitutional federal programs. It was the unconstitutional spending which gave us this crushing $19 Trillion debt.
How do we go about downsizing the federal government to its constitutional limits?
We stop the unconstitutional and frivolous spending one can read about all over the internet.
We begin the shutdown of unconstitutional federal departments and agencies by selecting for immediate closure those which serve no useful purpose or cause actual harm such as the Departments of Energy, Education, Homeland Security, and the Environmental Protection Agency. (1)
Other unconstitutional federal departments and agencies must be dismantled and their functions returned to the States or The People.
An orderly phase-out is required of those unconstitutional federal programs in which Citizens were forced to participate – such as social security and Medicare – so that the rug is not pulled out from American Citizens who became dependent. The phase-out could be funded by sales of unconstitutionally held federal lands.
According to Art. I, §8, cl. 11-16, the federal government is obligated to provide for service related injuries suffered by our Veterans.
The Constitution delegates to Congress the power to appropriate funds for “post Roads” (Art. I, §8, cl. 7). While there may be room for argument as to what is included within the term, “post Road”; clearly, some federal involvement in road building is authorized by our Constitution. State dependence on federal highway funds might be reduced by eliminating or reducing federal fuel taxes, and the substitution of fuel taxes collected by individual States. And there is nothing immoral about toll roads.
Since our Constitution was written to delegate to the federal government only the few and defined powers enumerated in the Constitution, we don’t have to change the Constitution to rein in federal spending. The Constitution isn’t the problem – ignoring it is the problem. Let us begin to enforce the Constitution we have.
(1) George Washington’s Cabinet had four members: Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of Treasury, and Attorney General.
Publius Huldah is an author, speaker, lawyer and strict constructionist of The U.S. Constitution. Read more at publiushuldah.com
The “Language of Liberty®” series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. They may be contacted at email@example.com