Last December I was privileged to work with Candy Carson as we sang together in Handel’s Messiah. Later she asked me to bring my guitar and help lead her church’s Christmas caroling at a local hospital. On both those occasions, I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Carson about our nation.
At one point I felt comfortable enough with him to share what I thought his real job as a Cabinet Secretary should be. I prefaced my remarks by saying I didn’t expect him to react to my remarks; he hadn’t even been confirmed to his post at that point, and he had to be careful. But when I finished he had a smile and a twinkle in his eye that told me he felt the same way as I did.
I said, “Ben, this is just my opinion as a citizen. I believe your responsibility as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is to start dismantling your department as soon as you get to Washington. You can’t dissolve it. Congress should, because it, along with most of the other Cabinet-level departments, is unconstitutional.
“But you can start to downsize HUD. You can halt its expansion and reduce the scope of its authority. You can start to reduce the number of employees. If they block you using civil services rules, you can refuse to fill vacancies left by retirements. Most important, you can ask Congress for a smaller budget, rather than begging for more money every year as virtually every Cabinet official has done for decades.
“If you, along with other patriotic cabinet officers follow this simple plan, we can start to rein in our out-of-control government.”
I am not going to put words in his mouth. As I said, I didn’t ask him to comment on my remarks, nor did he. We went on to talk about our nation and its new government in general terms. And, of course, I congratulated him on his new job and told him I would be praying for him.
But I am confident that he agreed with me, both because he didn’t disagree, and because of his facial expression. And, of course, there were his own words the first time I, along with the rest of the nation, “met” him when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 2013. He spoke strongly against government spending and waste. And, without mentioning his name, he spoke against Obama’s huge increase of the national debt, and of the folly of ObamaCare.
I strongly suggest you watch the entire 30-minute video below; especially at 18 minutes when he talks about Obama’s National Debt; and at 21 minutes when he mentions the ObamaCare death panels. Carson’s words are magnificent. But Obama’s stone-faced stare as Carson spoke truth to power is classic! At last, someone was telling him the truth to his face – and he couldn’t do a thing about it.
Another person who spoke the truth about the unconstitutionality of several departments of the government was former Texas governor Rick Perry. In a debate he said that the Departments of Energy, Education and Commerce should be abolished. In an ironic twist, President Trump has appointed him to be the Secretary of the Department of Energy. But he, too, can act on the strength of his convictions, even as he heads that department. He can cut the department’s unconstitutional rules and regulations that keep our nation dependent on oil produced by terrorists. And he can downsize his department.
I find it interesting that in the last week this concept has become a theme of Mr. Trump’s presidency. The budget he has proposed to Congress reduces the budgets of many of the unconstitutional departments, as well as that of at least one constitutional one.
He has pledged to increase our military’s budget, something that is badly needed. But in order to do that without increasing the budget, he needs to reduce the budgets of other parts of government. What better place to start than with Cabinet-level departments that are demonstrably unconstitutional?
Let’s take a look at the simple but powerful words of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, part of our Bill of Rights. “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
.” This is one of the shortest, yet most important, Amendments.
Remember that this Amendment, along with the nine that precede it, form the Bill of Rights. When the Constitution was agreed to and signed, many delegates felt that a Bill of Rights (which some of the States already had) was needed. Others disagreed. Ultimately some delegates agreed to sign the Constitution only on condition that a Bill of Rights would be the first Amendments to the document.
These first ten Amendments are different from all the others. The Amendments that were passed later (the 11th
wasn’t submitted for ratification until five years later) addressed either issues that came up later, or Constitutional issues that needed to be clarified. The ten Amendments that form the Bill of Rights are essentially one document. For reasons beyond the scope of this article, they couldn’t be included with the Constitution until three years later. But, unlike the other Amendments, the first ten are essentially part of the Constitution.
They address rights – or powers – of both the States and the People. The Tenth, especially, makes clear that all rights or powers not given by the States
to the federal government (called the Enumerated Powers) belong to the States, and to the People. Notice, that according to the Framers of the Constitution, powers are granted by the States
, to the federal government
– not the other way around. Unfortunately we as a nation have allowed a rogue federal government to gradually usurp powers that belong to the States and make a mockery of the intent of our Founding Fathers.
The Enumerated Powers mentioned above are vitally important, because they lay out what the Founders believed should be the proper – and limited – role of the federal government. They enumerated (listed) them in the very first Article of the Constitution to make it very clear that the federal government did not have unlimited powers. It only had those powers granted it by the States. Then, in the Tenth Amendment, they reiterated this important point, stating that all powers not listed in Article 1, Section 8 – or prohibited to the federal government by the States
– were the exclusive province of the States or the People.
James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, clarified the authority of the federal government in the Federalist Papers #45 (emphasis mine):
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined
. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite
. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."
This is a listing of the Enumerated Powers (slightly condensed and edited for brevity). Compare it with the powers that the federal government currently claims belong to it…
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes from the States;
To pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts through the use of copyrights;
To constitute courts lower than the Supreme Court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies and to provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the State militias;
To exercise exclusive legislation over the District of Columbia (as it came to be known);
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.
Do you see any power to regulate education among the Enumerated Powers listed in the Constitution? It’s not there. Thomas Jefferson said that the federal government’s involvement in education would be unconstitutional. James Buchanan warned that giving Congress authority over education would create a vast and irresponsible authority. They were both correct.
Since the Department of Education was established, in addition to Trillions of dollars being wasted, the quality of education in our nation has declined severely. A smaller percentage of students who enter both high school and college are graduating. And half of all students who do graduate high school are functionally illiterate.
Most important, since the Department of Education, acting in concert with the Socialist teacher’s union, took over US education, we have gone from the top in education internationally, to below mediocre. Last December the results of the 2015 evaluation of 500,000 teens from 65 nations were published. The US ranked at number 35. That means 54 nations – including Russia, Korea, and Slovakia – educate their kids better than we do.
What about the Department of Energy? Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the right to control a specific industry. Ronald Reagan tried to abolish the Department because it was unconstitutional, but was blocked by the Democrats who controlled Congress. As a result, Obama was able to block the drilling of millions of barrels of oil domestically, keeping us dependent on oil sold to us by nations who hate us. These nations use our own money to finance terrorism against the West.
I could go on. Why do we need a Department of Commerce? We have the US Chamber of Commerce – funded by private dollars – to promote US business to the world. Why do we need a Department of Agriculture? Surely farmers were able to sell their products without government control, until the Department was created in 1889. The Department of Labor? What a joke. Its main function has been to promote unions, to the detriment of the nation, other workers, and our economy.
One interesting note is that Trump’s budget takes money away from a constitutional department – which is acting unconstitutionally. The State Department gives away billions of dollars every year to countries whose citizens hate us. In many cases, such as Palestine, those funds are used to fund terrorism. Good for you, Mr. Trump!
So what happened? Why has the federal government been able to dramatically expand its powers, while unconstitutionally taking those powers away from the States? The answer, in a word, is ignorance. Ignorance of the Constitution among everyday citizens, but also among our elected officials who have sworn an oath to defend and protect that Constitution.
How many times have you heard a senator, congressman or governor make statements that even a rudimentary knowledge of the Constitution would refute? I hear such assertions practically every day. How about your friends who say, “That’s unconstitutional,” or “This would be the constitutional way to proceed.” When you ask them where in the Constitution they find support for their position, nine times out of ten they can’t answer you. And when you ask when was the last time they read the Constitution, if they’re honest 90% will answer, “Never.”
So, in summary, those who have studied (or at least read) the Constitution know that the federal government was intended to be small, and its powers strictly limited. They know that only certain (again, limited) powers were given to the federal government. And they know that all other powers
are rightfully held by the States and the People
So, what can the People and the States do to get our country back? Well, assuming all the folks reading this are people, for a start you can pick up the phone, call your two State senators, and tell them to vote for the appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court – or they can make alternate plans for employment after the next election. Gorsuch is a strict constitutionalist, and he will help stem the tide of progressivism and revisionism that threatens our Republic.
You can also tell all your representatives (Senate, House, and your state and local officials) that you expect them to read the Constitution and follow it. Tell them to do what several states have done – sue the federal government when it gets out of line.
Most of all, be aware. Pay attention to what’s happening in this nation. Don’t listen to your stupid friends who tell you, “Don’t pay attention to politics. You can’t do anything about it anyway!” That is a lie from the pit of hell. That is what the evildoers want you to believe. If you shove your face into your big screen TV and ignore the danger our nation is in, you deserve the consequences you will suffer.
In the video I suggested you should watch, Ben Carson tells a parable…
A man wanted to get his mother a really special gift. He learned about some birds that could sing, dance and converse. Even though they were very expensive – $5,000 each – he decided to send two of them to his mother. When he asked how she liked them, she said they were mighty tasty.
The horrified son said, “Mom, why did you eat them? Those birds could sing, dance and hold conversations.” His mother replied, “Then they should have said something.”
Well, I don’t know if you can sing or dance. But I know you can talk. So don’t wait for someone else to stand up for your rights. Say something. Otherwise you might find yourself eaten up by the system the Liberals have built to take away your rights and liberties.
Remember Thomas Jefferson’s words – and warning, since it works both ways: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
VIDEO: Dr. Ben Carson’s Speech at the National Prayer Breakfast
Unconstitutional Federal Agencies
State’s Rights: How They Were Lost
American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math