By Dr. Kermit Staggers
Most Americans would probably agree that the 6,700 words in the U.S. Constitution provide for a limited national government. After all, the Tenth Amendment explicitly declares that all power not given to the national government is reserved for the state governments or to the people. By taking this amendment seriously, it becomes obvious that the amendment give the states an enormous amount of power while greatly restricting the power of the national government.Unfortunately, the Supreme Court and the lower courts by their rulings have generally ignored the Tenth Amendment while consciously allowing more and more power to be centralized in Washington, D.C. Instead of having a limited government, the country continues moving in the direction of having an unlimited national government. The most recent example of this trend is the passage of the so-called Health Care Reform Bill which further centralizes decision making power in the federal bureaucracy. Many people, including judges, do not realize that the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is simply to serve as the rule book for how our national government is to operate. In establishing the rules, the Constitution delegates eighteen powers to the national government and establishes the structure of the national government with its legislative, executive, and judiciary branches. This is what our Constitution (rule book) is all about. The Constitution establishes limited government.During the process of ratifying the Constitution, critics of the Constitution argued that there were no protections for the people in the event the national government violated the rule book. In an attempt to remedy this problem, the remaining nine amendments were added to the Constitution to protect the American people from an oppressive and arbitrary national government, plus the Tenth Amendment to protect the powers of the fifty states.Unfortunately, these protections were not enough because over the course of 221 years judges, presidents, legislators, and bureaucrats have been very creative in their fudging on the Constitution (rule book). As a result, some people have concluded that for all intents and purposes we have unlimited government in the United States of America by asking the question: Is there any area of life that is beyond the reach of the federal government?
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