The USA was founded with a government composed of three branches, each designed to keep the other two in check. The Congress or legislative branch composed of the House and the Senate was given the task of formulating law, regulating the money supply, and raising revenue. The House of Representatives was supposed to represent the people, and the Senate was supposed to represent the States. The Executive branch consisting of the President and Vice-President, was given the task of commanding the Army, and providing for the execution of laws passed by Congress. The Judicial branch consisting of the Supreme Court was tasked with being the final arbiter of what is right and lawful. That was then.
The Senate’s role changed however with the passage of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The purpose of the Senate was to represent the State as a whole and protect the rights of the individual states. Originally, Senators were appointed by each State’s government. However, the 17th Amendment, ratified in 1913, changed that to direct election of Senators by the voting population of the State. The result has been a major erosion of states rights over the last century. The founding fathers envisioned the states as being the major power structures, not the Federal government. This has been debated over the decades of course, but its easy to see that individual states have mostly lost their sovereignty to the Feds.
The duties, obligations, and powers belonging to the House and Senate are well described in the Constitution, and limits of power were set on each body. Likewise, Presidential powers and limits were spelled out describing those actions which the Federal government was allowed to do and which they were not. For instance, the House of Representatives is charged with the responsibility for the budget, and regulating the value of the currency. These stipulations created a balance of power within government so as to prevent any one branch from becoming all powerful.
But now, everything seems upside down. Instead of the House representing the people, it seems to be representing the President. That is not their job, and it is not the President’s job to make law. Nowhere was this more apparent than when the Congress recently considered amnesty for illegal aliens. The people bombarded Congress asking them to say NO to amnesty, with public sentiment showing 74% of the populace against amnesty yet Congress completely ignored the people whom it is charged with representing. Recently, it seems Congress has turned a deaf ear to the populace, and listens only to the President.
Government has only a few basic actions it can take. It can spend money, levy a tax, or create a law. These actions then become all important, and should not be taken without proper knowledge of the issues, and proper debate with input from the populace. When the Congress becomes a rubber stamp for the President, this does not happen, and the people whom the government is supposed to represent are locked out of the process.
In matters of the budget, the President has no Constitutional authority to draft a budget for the country, yet every president does so. It is the House’s responsibility to regulate and control the value of our money, but they have abnegated their responsibility letting the Federal Reserve Bank take charge. Most of the people in Congress probably cannot even balance a checkbook let alone the Federal Budget and few seem to understand the simplest basic principles of the economy. The House and Senate have acquiesced to just about every demand made by the President and ignored the general input of the electorate. The bank bailout was a good example. This has set up a defacto dictatorship. The balance of power so thoughtfully worked out by the founding fathers is now broken.
Congress routinely passes legislation without even knowing what they are voting on. From an outsiders view, they vote on the title of the bill instead of whats in it, which is sometimes much different. How many in Congress actually read the original Patriot act before voting on it? How many congressmen read the entire 1000 pages of the economic stimulus package? Here’s what John Boehner had to say about it:
“The reason for passing legislation we don’t understand is because we passed legislation we didn’t read,” said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). “Who knew what and when did they know it?” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) demanded on the floor. “This language was air-dropped into a conference that occurred behind closed doors involving very few members.”
This inversion of representation did not happen overnight, and probably goes back to 1913 with the creation of the private banking system which was misnamed the Federal Reserve Act. At that point, Congress gave up its role in the issuance of currency and the regulation of its value. As a result, bankers are now in control of the country. Its an example of the golden rule: He who has the gold rules.
1913 seems to have been a very bad year for the country with the 17th amendment, creation of the Federal Reserve, and passage of the 16th amendment allowing the creation of the personal income tax. We should have skipped 1913 and gone directly to 1914!
So, We The People are essentially left without effective representation, and stuck with a government that is essentially upside down. I fear for my country, while hoping that everything turns out right. I wish I could suggest a solution, but alas I cannot. Maybe if I stand on my head, it will look right again.
As a result of this inversion, we have lost much of our freedoms. We live in a time where asking our government to do the right thing tags us as an enemy of the state instead of being a co-creator of a better country. We live in a time where fear is winning out over reason. We live in a time where the country is terribly divided when we should be coming together to create a better tomorrow. We live in a time where science has become politicized. We live in a time where State’s Rights are being squashed by the Federal government.
This is not a Democrat vs Republican issue, or a Liberal vs Conservative issue. This is a creeping disease which has infested the entire Federal government, and will eventually kill our country,
It is my hope that reason wins out. In the end, we all want the same thing, a better America, peace, prosperity, freedom, justice, and security; the principles this country was founded on. At least I hope that’s what we all want.
The question is: Will the America we love and fought for still be here tomorrow?