James Madison wrote in The Federalist #45:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”
So now, let me see… the federal government’s powers are to be “few and defined.” While the “numerous and indefinite” states’ powers extend to “all the objects.”
For about 100 years we have forgotten (or worse, never learned) the original intents of our founding fathers and allowed the federal government massive, almost unrestricted growth. Here is just a sampling of the “few and defined” powers we’ve granted it:
- Department of Education (hmmmm… wonder why this department didn’t see to it that we learned of Mr. Madison’s intent?)
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- National Endowment for the Arts
- and on and on…
This is a mere drop in the bucket. Check out the A – Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies for a complete (if not overwhelming) list of federal departments and agencies. Do you think the agencies and thousands of unelected bureaucrats inherent within these agencies fall within Mr. Madison’s definition of “few and defined … external objects?”
The far-reaching and numerous tentacles of the federal government must be removed and restrained if we are to truly realize and retake our freedoms. Awareness of and implementation of states’ rights and powers are critical in this current political era of the greatest experiment in history.
Few and defined…
Election 2010 couldn’t be more critical. Let’s get ready for the election battle of our lives and get this country back to original intent.