04 February 2009

Interesting Constitutional Commentary

Interesting commentary on the office of the President of the United States from the National Center for Constitutional Studies:

It is interesting that when the oath of office was administered there was some confusion and it had to be administered again. The thought, apparently, was that if one is committing to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” it had better be done as perfectly as man could do it, lest there be any one say the Constitution was not being meticulously followed.

But if we are making every attempt to be true to the Constitution, why stop with the oath? ...

In Washington's day there were 350 civilian employees serving a population of 3 million. Today there are around 300 million or one hundred times more people, so if Washington were President today he would have to have at least 35,000 (350x100) civilian employees to provide the same level of service today that he maintained in the 1790s. But let's assume that our modern society is ten times more complicated, necessitating ten times the number of federal employees. That would be 350,000 employees today.

Since we have around 3.5 million federal employees, that makes the ratio of government workers over one hundred times greater in our day than in Washington's era. The question needs to be asked: Are we still just trying to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution as the oath requires? ...

The concentrating of all this power in the executive department may have been done with the best of intentions and with glowing promises. However, experience is demonstrating that this theory of "problem solving at the center" has turned out to be as counter-productive as the Founders warned it would be. Not only has it failed to fulfill its promises in the United States, but similar experiments have failed all over the world.


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4 comments:

Anne Bradshaw said...

Interesting. Thanks for making me think. Watching history unfold with this whole new President is fascinating.

I'm just dropping by to let you know I have a super give-away contest running this week (and every week) on my blog at Not Entirely British

Featured today is musician Sara Lyn Baril, from Alberta, Canada. The prize is a copy of her debut CD of sacred music - Thy Healing Hands—Songs of Comfort and Peace, produced by Greg Hansen and distributed by Sounds of Zion.

Ritsumei said...

Glad it made you think! I think that there is a great deal of non-thinking about the Constitution when it comes to how we deal with our government. I called one of my Senators the other day and asked them for the Constitutional authority for that Consumer Protection Act that's causing all the uproar about the kids' stuff. They must not get that kind of question very often: the staffer couldn't even figure out what I was talking about until I asked about 3 times.

We have to educate ourselves about the Constitution, or we will never even know it when our representatives, who also don't know their proper role, do well-intentioned things that take away our freedoms.

Eema-le said...

"We have to educate ourselves about the Constitution, or we will never even know it when our representatives, who also don't know their proper role, do well-intentioned things that take away our freedoms."

This is so true, but it's one of the most difficult things to try and explain.

Ritsumei said...

Isn't that the truth! I've even heard people, smart people that I love & respect, argue against teaching the Constitution in public schools because it's too political and "how would you decide what side to take?" I never did feel like I was really expressing myself well in that conversation. It was so frustrating. It's not really about politics, except to note that the politicians are all so far out of line that it's not even recognizable as a constitutional government. At least, not if you're looking at our constitution. I want my freedom back!! All those extra people represent extra regulations and limitations that are not Constitutionally justifiable. Give 'em the boot! (And don't tell me about the negative impact on the economy: private is better than government any day of the week & they'll find something to do with themselves. And we can probably take a sizable tax break while we're at it since we won't have to pay all those salaries & benefits.)

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