At this point, I’m honestly not sure it can be saved.
I’m not sure it should be saved.
There are some ideas I have been playing with the last few years or so. I’ve tried to talk these out with people I trust. And now I am putting them here. All are Constitutional amendments.
Remember that the Constitution was designed to restrain the actions of government, not citizens. Remember too that many of the checks and balances have been removed over the years. And finally, the Federal government was never intended to run smoothly and efficiently. The checks and balances were designed to protect freedom.
Liberty is the goal, not democracy.
• Repeal the 16th AmendmentThe income tax is one of the biggest threats to freedom ever enacted. With it, the Federal government assumes you are guilty unless you can prove that you are not. This is a complete reversal of the rule of law prior to the amendment.
With the 16th, the Federal government is not restrained by the need for a warrant. Your employer, your bank, any financial company that you do business with, all are required by law to report transactions over a specific amount or any “suspicious activity.” There are “rewards” if other citizens turn you in. Effectively, everyone around you is required to spy on you and penalized if they do not.
Tax cases are heard in an administrative court run by the Internal Revenue Service with it’s own rules of evidence. Your money and property can be seized and the only way you can get it back (less interest) is to prove that the IRS is wrong by it’s own regulations. Regulations that are so complex that it is literally beyond the ability of any one person to understand.
The “progressive” tax system is designed to foster envy and “class” disruption. The income tax is one of the most despised Federal laws in American history. The only thing that keeps Americans from hanging IRS agents is that citizens think the “system” hits someone else worse. It fosters scapegoats so it seems “fair.”
An income tax system inevitably leads to political corruption. Unpopular groups find themselves under extra scrutiny. Politicos use it to keep their enemies and rivals in line.
There are technicalities that I could spend pages and pages examining. For example, if there is a “standard deduction,” then by definition taxes are too high.
The income tax took away your freedom. You have to acknowledge this every year by signing a Federal form. Under penalty of law.
• Repeal the 17th AmendmentBrought to you by the same merry madcaps who gave us the 16th, the 17th Amendment reduces freedom in the name of popular democracy. The 17th has made Senators political bosses in their own states, with control of the Federal money spigot and a guaranteed spot high up in the political parties.
The popular election of Senators took away some of the oversight the state legislatures were supposed to have on Congress. But since Senators no longer answer to their state legislature, they have become tools of their party.
This does not serve freedom.
This part of popular democracy destroys freedom. It’s an illusion designed to expand the major political parties while fooling the voter into thinking that they have influence.
There’s a place for popular democracy, but not unrestrained popular democracy. The Bill of Rights is the best example.
• None of the Above and Alternative VotingEvery election should have a None of the Above choice. If NOTA won, then those candidates on the ballot would be barred from serving in that office for that term.
One choice that people should always have is the choice to walk away.
We should never assume that the default is to elect someone. Especially if the voters aren’t picking who gets to run.
Alternative voting just means ranking the candidates in order of your favorites. The biggest advantage is that the minority candidates have a better chance of being elected and major parties are forced to pay closer attention to all the voters. Instead of voting against a bad candidate, voters could choose someone closer to their beliefs and priorities.
• Laws and RegulationsAs things stand now, there will always be more laws and regulations unless Congress takes direct action. Think about that carefully.
The default state of the American Federal government is more government.
That is not freedom.
I suggest a three pronged attack.
First, ALL government regulations would sunset within three years unless made law by Congress and the President.
Second, state legislatures would approve Federal regulation before it applies in that state. This approval could be withdrawn at any time. Congress has the power and authority to pass laws for the nation, but it can’t delegate that power. Every single Federal regulation that governs individuals and states is unconstitutional.
This would reduce Federal regulation to it’s proper scope and shift coercive power away from millions of unelected technocrats.
I know this seems excessive, but it is actually well within Constitutional principles. There’s nothing in the Constitution that provides for regulatory agencies except the much abused and overused commerce clause. Certainly there is nothing that provides for administrative court systems outside the Federal courts.
Third, each state legislature could choose one Federal law annually for referendum at the next Congressional election. Each Congressional election, there could be up to 100 Federal laws on the ballot. And if a law does not get a national majority voting to retain it, it would be gone.
Practically, this would effectively be automatic repeal. Unless it was a very good idea, I can’t see a majority voting to keep a law. But the possibility is there. The automatic repeal means that Congress would have to convince voters of the worth of each and every law. And if the state legislatures are canny, one carefully chosen law could defang dozens of others.
In other words, this proposal gives the states direct oversight of Congress.
There are other things that I would love to see done. But these four would do wonders. I welcome your comments and ideas.