Most modern countries were created with a strong central government. For many, that power became absolute, with multiple regions of the country having little say in the overall governing of the population.
Our country was first created as a loose confederation of thirteen colonies, then turned into states once they declared independence from the rule of England’s monarchy. Our forefathers strongly felt the need for a central government for protection from foreign powers, and to solve trade and economic problems. Over a decade or so, representatives of a confederation of these states hammered out our original Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Until later amended, the Federal Government’s powers were quite limited. That was an intentional choice by our founding fathers. The colonies, united together as one, had just overthrown the very powerful rule of an indifferent King who’d given them no say in local policy nor administration.
Over the next two hundred-plus years we’ve seen the power of the Federal Government grow enormously, while the states have forfeited most of their power originally held. This wasn’t a sudden power grab by the Feds, but happened over quite a long period of time. It was precipitated by more than one crisis.
The American Civil War was righteous and just, in that it freed all slaves on American soil. It was such a great accomplishment for human rights, that no person in their right mind would gainsay the matter. Yet, one of the collateral effects of the Civil War was an increase in Federal power over every individual state, to keep them in line.
Other crises followed – World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. As each state lost more individual control, other events such as the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War allowed the Federal Government opportunities to increase it’s power.
Some of those events could be justified as unavoidable, but the failure of states and local communities to act to remedy those problems as they arose, brought us to a centralized government holding power similar to that the King of England.
Many of the dictates of our federalized government could be more efficiently and properly handled on the state and local level, as was originally intended. How is it reasonable to send money to the central government to have it then disbursed back to the local level after a large portion of the funds are absorbed by the bureaucracy, or spent in other states?
The federal government, as laid out by our founding fathers, has an important and vital role. Defense, protection of our freedoms and rights, but it should not include micromanagment. Like the chain of command in the military or any other organization, the general or president of the company does not directly deal with individuals, but by an assignment of responsibility to the levels of leadership they employ. The individual states could collect and pay taxes to the federal government, having been collected from counties to the state, and from the cities and towns upward.
From my point of view, representatives from the federal government should never come knocking directly on any citizen’s door. They should be like an umbrella that only is needed when it rains, but should never sit directly on top of our heads.
I do understand that because many of you were born later in this century, and may not having an intimate knowledge of our country’s history that you may not share my view.
Let me hear from you. I’d love to know what you think.