Thursday, June 23, 2016

Government Power Spectrum

"Why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? An elected legislature can trample a man's rights as easily as a king can."
--Benjamin Martin (The Patriot)

Responding to some comments made by a House Democrat that the intent of the Constitution was NOT to severely limit federal government power, Dan Mitchell includes this spectrum of government power.

Not bad on a relative basis. The Constitution indeed expanded central govt power beyond boundaries set forth by the Articles of Confederation. And, indeed, that power expansion and where it might head over time worried many people, particularly the Anti-Federalists. The Bill of Rights was amended to the Constitution in large part to ease such concerns.

As Mitchell observes, however, it is difficult to argue that the framers did not intend to carefully limit what the federal government could do--as evidenced in part by the enumerated powers of Congress listed in Article 1. That intent is also clear from direct quotes from many of the framers.

The Constitution reflects a design aimed at minarchy, or toward the left side of the scale above. Toward the right side of scale are various forms of monarchy.

Of course, the Anti-Feds might suggest that those comments by the House Dem were easy to anticipate and help validate their 200+ year old concerns.

No comments: