UPDATE 6/2/2020: Donald Trump is America’s “States Rights president.” During COVID-19 and the current George Floyd riots, President Trump has encouraged states to find solutions, only stepping in to assist if necessary. The states are the laboratories of Democracy, and Trump gives them ample opportunity to try solutions that work for them, rather than applying broad federal mandates to every state equally.
Originally posted on April 15, 2015.
Constitutional Convention of 1787.
Dramatically slashing the Washington bureaucracy and turning vast powers over to the states is the only way to dig America out of the hole we are in today. The original Articles of Confederation laid out the Founder’s framework for a decentralized states rights form of weak central government, a true federal republic. If every American were to read the original Articles, we all might be able to lay down a foundation for progress.
As a country, we are going nowhere but down until such time as the federal monstrosity in Washington is dismembered, dismantled and distributed to the states. Many departments and agencies need to be shuttered. The modest number of remaining central government outposts must be dramatically downsized. (See Cato Institute’s Downsizinggovernment.org for ways to make that happen.) The Department of Education, the EPA, the Fed, and the IRS would be front-line candidates for demolition.
- Our tax code should be junked in the entirety. The IRS would no longer be needed after a prompt switch to a 10/10/10 flat tax system. All corporate and personal taxes would be filed on postcards.
- The Department of Defense would be dramatically downsized once re-configured to be an operation designed to defend America’s shoreline rather than acting as the world’s police force.
- Abusive class action lawsuits and punitive damages would be terms that would immediately disappear from the legal lexicon. And America’s justice system could immediately morph into a far smaller and streamlined states-centric system.
- The “Swiss Way” of cantonal decentralization and weak central government could act as the perfect model for America. Included here would be the elimination of our unconstitutional standing army (explicitly prevented by the constitution) replaced by a militia form of national defense (as opposed to offense) as practiced today in Switzerland and envisioned by the Founders.
- A nationwide states competition would emerge with all states competing for business relocation and workers. The most business friendly states with lowest taxes and least onerous regulatory structure would surge to the forefront.
- Term limits would be introduced further reducing the intrusiveness of Washington bureaucrats.
- The federal government would be 100% out of the education business. And Washington would be relieved of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid responsibilities, all of which would transition to the private marketplace.
- Obamacare would be an early casualty of the reorganization guillotine, replaced by a market-based system as advocated by Cato Institute scholars and FreedomWorks. Rand Paul has a simple answer for Obamacare replacement here.
Not a Washington bureaucrat is going to champion such a common sense government restructuring, as most would soon be out of work. And it is unlikely the military, accountants and lawyers are going to find much to cheer in such a small business owner, skilled Artisans, and entrepreneur friendly structure. So “America first citizens” are going to have to create the grass roots movement to ensure that America begins to reverse the catastrophic damage inflicted on the U.S. economy by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations.