"Over the 20th century, the federal government has assumed a vast and unprecedented set of powers. Not only has the exercise of those powers upset the balance between federal and state governments; run roughshod over individuals, families, and firms; and reduced economic opportunity for all; but most of what the federal government does today -- to put the point as plainly and candidly as possible -- is illegitimate because done without explicit constitutional authority. The time has come to start returning power to the states and the people, to relimit federal power in our fundamental law, to restore constitutional government."
by:
Roger Pilon
Vice President for Legal Affairs for the Cato Institute
Source:
Restoring Constitutional Government, Cato's Letter #9, p. 1, published by the Cato Institute (1995).
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Clear, concise, to the point, and accurate !
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    This quote sums it up. When sworn in, Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the gang raise their right hands and swear to uphold the Constitution. As soon as this is done they commence to ignore and destroy the Constitution. They all deserve another term, 25 to life sounds about right.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    An accurate analysis of exactly what is wrong with our form of government as it stands. jim k you are exactly right about the Oath to uphold the Constitution, but let's not forget it is more than just today's group of White House morons that are guilty. Wasn't George Jr. who said "The Constitution is just a damned piece of paper" ?.... They've all been guilty for a long time now.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    I have a better and simpler idea: drop a bomb on the Cato Institute. Sorry ass quotes like this have existed since the birth of the republic, during the Civil War etcetera etcetera. Like the income tax was to high when it was first inacted at 2%. Guys like Pilon, Mike, Jim and J above will forever be with us, and we can forever ignore them.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    My experience to those that claim THEY have the correct interpretation to the Constitution is .... get on the Supreme Court which apparently all these years has disagreed. What! You say you disagree with the Supreme Court! Well I guess you are not a true "Constitutionalist" then. That is the problem with organizations such as the CATO institute and the Tea Party - they want to cherry pick the constitution.
     -- Popeye, Wichita Ks     
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    Popeye...The supreme court is as corrupt and politicized as the White house itself and can not be relied on to preserve our founding documents. The intention and spirit of the Constitution is unmistakable and requires no interpretation whatever. And waffler, ever the statist sycophant is not worth responding to, as Socialists have no standing in America.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    "...start returning power to the states and the people..." Yes! But it absolutely must be done in a way so huge corporations are brought to heel, regulated and taxed. Anything less leaves us with an ever-worsening economic mess, with real wealth, property and accompanying Power flying to the top one-half of one percent. Jefferson was well aware of this potential when he spoke of "the selfish spirit of commerce (that) knows no country, and feels no passion or principle but that of gain." Multinational corporations 'personify' Jefferson's comment. I live in a nation that has spent roughly half of Planet Earth's total tab on military/security outlays, every year for at least the past 25 -- yet am told endlessly how much danger my country is in, and must submit to being irradiated or sexually groped in order to board an airplane. Every time I go to the store my cash money doesn't get the respect a piece of plastic does -- where the card issuer normally hacks 2% right off the top of every transaction. My cash doesn't get a 2% discount. I end up involuntarily subsidizing the banks, who don't allow their cards to be accepted at any location merchants offer a discount for cash. Just imagine how people commenting regularly in these spaces would (quite correctly) howl if a 2% national sales tax were instituted -- one that if specially earmarked would result in social security coffers overflowing abundantly in perpetuity. It mystifies me why Americans seem to be fine with such a transference of wealth to institutions that can never (TARP) get enough. I submit that this is not fine. I feel that central banks and huge multinational corporations more closely resemble royal satrapies than anything at all democratic -- and they rule utterly in America through their iron fisted control of politicians, hence their control, ownership really, of US currency and policy. And they've sold us on the lie that it's government that's the problem. Is it not apparent we're boxed into a cage we paid for, and the fruit of our labor is earmarked? They're the ones with all the numbers. We get to Pledge Allegiance at basketball games -- and call it freedom.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Much of the Cato Institute I disagree with but on this comment they some good points - basically they want the Federal Government out of the picture so that Corporate America can rape the workers more than they are already doing. THEY WANT CONTROL...
     -- RBESRQ     
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    For Christ sake, enough about the evil corporations -- you probably work for one! Creating a fascist state is the ultimate in corporatism, you numbskulls. What do you think a political party is? A corporation. What do you think the Federal Reserve is? A corporation. What do you think a school is? A corporation. You guys will only be happy when the workers take over the corporations and then the mafia unions will control the corporations. Idiots. Watch the jobs flow out of the country. Watch your retirement funds crash. Watch what is left of the American economy bust. It is the money system that allows for the wholesale theft of all labor and property in this land. Taxing this and taxing that is not a problem solver -- it is legalized theft. It is like saying, 'OK we have the power, let's take money from these guys, they can't stop us.' You have no right to steal from someone you arbitrarily pick out because you have the government power behind you -- not even lawful constitutional power just power. Is socialism really so great? Where did it work out so well, please remind me? You are a bunch of lazy whiners, the lot of you lefties that know NOTHING about the nature of coin, credit and circulation. Your ignorant bliss is enslaving your grandchildren.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Don't look now, Waffler but you're following the man with the flute.... The only way to rid the world of the Corporations control, is to eliminate them.
     -- Jimmie B., Poulan, NH     
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    Waffler, "drop a bomb on the Cato Institute". Do you mean you want to destroy an institution that wishes to preserve the rights guaranteed to you by the U.S. Consititution? Say it aint so! The reason people were against the income tax when it was first enacted at 2%, is because they knew it wouldn't stop there. They realized, unlike many people today, that if we allow the government to slightly step across the Constitutional Line, it will continue to cross it until that Line, that boundry of power, no longer exists. If we allow the government to levy unconstitutional taxes, what is to stop it from taking your freedom of speech, your right to a trial by jury, your right to an attorney, etc? There is no halfway; you are either for the Constitution or you are against it. You are either a friend and advocate of liberty or you are a hindrance and an enemy. Read the Constitution and you'll see that the line is drawn. If you choose the side of the Constitution, the side of liberty, I welcome you as my fellow countryman. If you choose the other side, there are numerous socialist oppressive totalitarian governments throughout the world in which you may take refuge and call home.
     -- Publius     
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    Publius the side of the Constitution that I am on and you are against (and thus you make yourself an enemy of me and every true Constitutionaly believer) is the side that says We The People can amend the foundational document. It has been amended and may be amended again. You are an ENEMY if you claim in effect that the Constitution is unconstitutional. The thing was amended to enable direct taxation. It was once was amended for prohibition and then repealed. If you wish to amend and repeal direct taxation, go for it. Until then quit lying and saying that direct taxation or Income Tax is or was unconstitutional. You da one that needs to read and study.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, the 16th amendment did NOT give Congress the power of direct taxation. The Constitution says that all powers of direct taxation are to be apportioned to the states. This 16th amendment gives Congress the "power to lay and collect taxes on incomes." The argument lies in whether the income tax is a direct or indirect tax. It has been ruled by the Supreme Court that a tax on property is a direct tax. Income is nothing other than property gained. In order to tax income, the government had to form an institution that zeroes in on each individual, keeps track of their income, and calculates how much they owe. You can't get anymore direct than that. Also, the reason for establishing this republic and ratifing the Constitution was to protect each individual's rights. The right to property was one of the first rights declared by this country in its first sacred document, and that right was later guaranteed by the Constitution. To take one's property based on how much property they've gained is a direct violation of their individual rights. If we allow Congress to amend the Constitution to ignore these rights, then we actually have no rights, and the Constitution becomes just red tape that the government can cut through anytime it pleases. And by the way, the first time this amendment was passed, it was ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court. So an amendment can be ruled unconstitutional.
     -- Publius     
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    Personal for Mr. Archer, NYC: Sir, you are in fact correct in your use and various applications of the term 'corporation.' Please be aware my previous use of the term was strictly limited to giant corporations that exist only in self-interest, for the exclusive purpose of pursuing profit and gain. I live in Michigan and have for decades "watch(ed) the jobs flow out of the country." Not only from out of the country but from all around me, for hundreds of miles in every direction, MILLIONS of them. My congressman, Fred Upton, is the grandson of Frederick Upton, who with his brother Louis founded what became the Whirlpool Corporation in St. Joseph, Michigan. Whirlpool is still headquartered there, still dominated by the Upton family and controlling 70% of its niche appliance market inside the US. But all the manufacturing jobs and research and engineering positions, thousands of them once in the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area, have been sent abroad. Whirlpool's latest manufacturing facility closure is occurring right now, in Evansville, Indiana, where 1900 more jobs are shipping out to Mexico -- all subsidized by tax breaks approved in legislation voted for by guess who? And he was just reelected for his 11th or 12th consecutive term -- on a platform of bringing jobs back to Michigan. Whirlpool Corporation is exactly the kind of destructive, societally corrosive octopus I previously intended. One that resembles a royal satrap, complete with hereditary conveyance of power, more than anything else. These entities need to be regulated firmly and taxed at a minimum in proportion to WHATS LEVIED ON THE LEAST AMONG US. You say: "It is the money system that allows for the wholesale theft of all labor and property in this land." Again you're correct, but in the end you somehow seem to blame "lefties" instead of the capitalist bankers, righties to a person who absolutely control "the money system" and even the very currency itself. On another note altogether: You have a very colorful and presumptuous way of referring to those with whom you disagree. May I gently point out it's generally understood the more fanatically a position is defended and defined in absolutist terms, the larger the internal doubt within the defender is. For those you would presumably try to sway it also makes your argument much harder to grasp. Who would want to try?
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Mann, at Kalamazoo, thanks for your more detailed explanation. I am glad we agree on some issues, but here is the thing: it is not Whirlpool's responsibility to employ you or anyone or provide for anyone other than their shareholders (those who have invested in the business) and their own employees according to the terms of their employment. If Whirlpool wants to leave for China because the union demands are too high, that is its right. Now if the Uptons use their political office to grant special treatment to Whirlpool, that is not an issue with big bad corporations but with corruption in government. It sounds to me your issue is with term limits rather than corporations, and I am all for that. As well by introducing the concept that the government can arbitrarily tax whomever in whatever percentage they want without limit, then they wield a destructive power they have granted themselves in which they may threaten any person or business with higher taxes if they cannot be coerced into following the the dictates of the state, or more accurately, the politicians. This is the fruit of socialistic (if you prefer the term to 'lefties') policies, i.e. 'progessive taxation' -- progressive meaning that someone decides how much more one will pay compared to the others. Further, this is not capitalism -- far from it, as the word capital implies something of substance, something real, property, gold, oil, water, etc.. In a socialistic economy, we do not use real capital to trade, we use IOU's, promissory notes, fiat currency for trade THUS those that 'qualify' for these 'loans' have the power -- more power than those with real capital as it takes decades, maybe generations to acquire true capital and but merely a flick of the pen to write a check to equal the capital the 'borrowers' wish to buy. Considering Obama just wrote himself a check for 1 trillion dollars, he can buy up 1 trillion dollars worth of real capital with nothing but a promise -- a promise that he and the government will surely renege upon (look at Social Security -- there is no Social Security fund, the government spent that money as soon as it got it -- they are liars and thieves). This is socialism through and through and is the means to an end: utter servitude to the state. The Rockefeller's are America's branch of the banking elite that have this power to create out of nothing 'money' to buy up real capital. They are not 'capitalists,' they are fascists, a form of socialism that treats the corporations which are beholden to the central bank as giants while the People are but peons to keep the whole con going. And the Rockefellers are not right-wing -- they are Democrats. The Nazis were not right-wing, they were social democrats. Sorry to burst the bubble, but the only thing that makes a capitalist 'right-wing' is that compared to socialism, capitalism is 'right-wing.' As far as trying to change ANYONE'S mind on this list, I am afraid that few are willing to expose their sacred cows to the light lest they discover they have been duped and lied to for most of their lives. Few can face the fact that they have been conditioned and programmed -- just listen to their arguments, they merely repeat what the TV tells them. Few think for themselves, and even fewer will reevaluate their beliefs until finally the hot potato lands in their lap and they are targeted by the monster they have helped to create. Those of us who have been victims of the system, who will not go quietly into the night, who stand up against all this legalized plunder, know very well what we are fighting because sooner or later the devil shows his cards. And THAT is why I am so vehement about the evils of socialistic ideology and the con of fiat currency. The evils of today's economic depression are INTENTIONAL -- it is how central banking works, how it is designed, and how it grants corporations super-powers -- and how the baking cartel has acquired the rights to ALL REAL CAPITAL, the goal: The World. Capitalism in America has been dead for a century -- what we have now are the fruits of treating (empty) promises as the real thing and when the bubble pops, we inherit the wind.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The supreme court was never meant to be an active court, but to be an umpire. If there is no rule about the situation then they shouldn't make a call.
     -- cal, Lewisville, Texas     
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     -- Ronw13, Oregon      
    And Waffler again proves that he is an idiot.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    It's hard enough getting screwed against your will but when you don't even know who's screwing you so you can thank them for the privilege! Well, Mann Kalamazoo has it right - tax avoiding multinationals and international merchant banks creating debt and misery for all but the top 0.5 % while the mechanisms and institutions for wealth distribution are eroded. I'm off to the woods to whittle spoons and trade beans until E Archers predicted "bubble pop".
     -- Mick, Manchester     
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