When I studied the U.S. Constitution in school, I learned that for a bill to become law it first had to be introduced in either the House or the Senate. Today, a cynic might say for a bill to become law a member of Congress must first be introduced to a lobbyist.
Much of government's dysfunction, cost and overreach can be traced to the abandonment of the constitutional boundaries the Founders put in place for the purpose of controlling the lust for power.
In his new book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, Mark R. Levin asserts the U.S. government isn't performing up to standards established by the Founders because, like a flooding river, politicians have breached their constitutional limits.
Levin, who graduated with honors and a law degree from Temple University and who hosts a popular syndicated radio talk show, believes "The nation has entered an age of post-constitutional tyranny" resulting in this attitude by our leaders: "The public is not to be informed but indoctrinated, manipulated and misled."
Before this is dismissed as the ranting of a far-right extremist, consider the case Levin builds: The executive branch has assumed for itself "broad lawmaking power," creating departments and agencies that contravene the doctrine known as separation of powers; Congress creates monstrosities like Obamacare that have no constitutional origin, spending the country into record debt and making America dependent on foreign governments, especially China; the judiciary consists of men and women who are "no more virtuous than the rest of us and in some cases less so, as they suffer from the usual human imperfections and frailties." And yet they make decisions in the name of the Constitution that cannot be defended according to the words of the Founders, who believed the judiciary should be the least powerful and consequential branch of government. In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the judiciary branch would be the weakest of the three because it had "no influence over either the sword or the purse. ... It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment."
Who can credibly disagree with Levin when he writes: "What was to be a relatively innocuous federal government, operating from a defined enumeration of specific grants of power, has become an ever-present and unaccountable force. It is the nation's largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer, contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider and pension guarantor."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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