Not Yours to Give: Limited Federal Powers

Guest Commentary by David Smith

The concept of the Constitution of the United States is not to award unlimited Powers to the Federal Government or to Congress. See also the ideas expressed in Col. Crockett’s speech from my blog, “Not Yours To Give” from a few days ago. The idea is that the States were free and independent States that were ceding Power, but only what Powers were enumerated within the Constitution.

Remember the Declaration of Independence?

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The Root of the Problem

Reports from the UK are talking about a British General lambasting US policy failures in Iraq. From the Guardian:

The bitter transatlantic row over Iraq intensified as another key British general lambasted the US for bungling the aftermath of the invasion.

Major General Tim Cross, the most senior UK officer involved in the post-war planning, said Washington’s policy had been “fatally flawed”. He also insisted he had raised serious concerns about the possibility of the country sliding into chaos with Donald Rumsfeld – but the then-US defence secretary “dismissed” the warnings.

Once again, the personalities and the media are concerned with the symptoms of our problems in Iraq – rather than the cause.

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Understanding Limited Government

Kevin Gutzman’s new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, might be the best available overview of the principles of limited government as espoused by the Tenth Amendment.

After reading this book, you’ll see quite clearly that the original constitution has very little in common with how this government is run today (if you haven’t noticed already!) The 10th Amendment has been pushed aside and the federal government runs rampant – exercising powers that the founders would never have dreamed of giving to any politician.

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The Constitution and the Powers of War

The framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power…

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