Like Obama, Romney Abandons The Constitution

Mitt Romney’s criteria, for deciding which government programs to eliminate is a meaningless sham.

His editorial in USA Today says a lot that should please liberty loving people who long to diminish the power and cost of the federal government.  He is appropriately critical of President Obama for “one of the most dramatic expansions in Washinton’s power in our nation”s history.”  He reminds us that the 2012 election will be “of great moment.”  Voters will decide if America is to be “an Entitlement Society” or an Opportunity Society.”

In an Entitlement Society, government provides every citizen the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to innovate, pioneer or take risk. In an Opportunity Society, free people living under a limited government choose whether or not to pursue education, engage in hard work, and pursue the passion of their ideas and dreams. If they succeed, they merit the rewards they are able to enjoy.

So far, so good. Obama’s drive to implement the progressive movement’s dream if an Entitlement Society has culminated in the current, intractable economic crisis.  The 2012 election may indeed be our last chance to reverse the trend.  But in what is perhaps the most important paragraph, Romney’s action plan is a deep disappointment.

The first step in returning to an Opportunity Society is scaling back our vast federal government. I will put every single government program to a simple test: Is this program so critical to our nation’s future that we should borrow money from China to pay for it?

Romney hopes to appeal to the reader’s emotions with what seems like bold and decisive criteria for sorting unworthy from “critical” programs.   Unfortunately it’s a trick.  It’s the same trick Barack Obama used to win the support of millions of voters who are now appalled by his Presidency.

In the prologue to his second book Barack Obama wrote what would become the conceptual foundation of his Presidential campaign:

“…I am new enough on the national political scene that I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”

Candidate Obama went on to exploit his blank screen concept with promises of undefined “change.”  Thus, Millions ended up projecting their own views upon his blank screen and then voting for those views without realizing Obama had not disclosed his views or plans for controlling our lives from Washington.

If the Romney version of the trick succeeds he’ll pick up primary votes from people who don’t realize their list of non-critical programs to defund comes not from Romney, but from inside their own heads.

Romney’s critical-for-our-nation’s-future criteria is meaningless because Each one of hundreds of federal programs has a lobbyist, a constituency of dependents, and friends in Congress who will summon up compelling, emotion-driven reasons why it’s critical to our nation’s future.  Thus, Romney’s criteria will not shrink government, and will not result in any significant change from Obama’s policies.

The Founders vision, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, is that The People, not the government or its bureaucrats, are “the nation.”  The People decide for themselves, as individuals, what is critical to their future.  This is how liberty works!

The founders gave these matters a lot of thought and wrote a Constitution limiting the powers of government to a very few that were “enumerated” in Article I, Section 8.  After the Constitution was ratified by the states and became the law of the land many citizens expressed fear that the government would overreach and take on powers not enumerated.  So the founders followed up two years later with the Tenth Amendment to make sure there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that…

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The problem today is that over the past century the government has assumed upon itself myriad powers and functions not authorized by the Constitution.

The best campaign promise Romney or any candidate could make would be to start phasing out or canceling  Unconstitutional programs in an orderly fashion, shrinking government back to it’s core Constitutional functions within a specified number of years.  Of course we won’t hear that promise because each candidate is afraid of the inevitable blow-back from the media and his adversaries as soon as he mentions any specific program by name.

Even Ron Paul, who tries to sound like a true believer seems to favor hanging on to some of the largest programs that are clearly Unconstitutional.  For example, instead of offering a plan to wind down and phase out Medicaid and Medicare over time, Paul promises that taxes collected for those programs won’t be spent elsewhere.  This promise is utterly meaningless because no tax is collected specifically for Medicaid, and Medicare already spends every dollar of its dedicated tax plus billions more from the general fund.

If Romney or any other candidate were serious about liberty and smaller government he/she would hold up the Constitution as the criteria for deciding which programs to eliminate.

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