Constitutional answers to current problems
Having gone through another campaign season and experienced all the talk about issues, positions, problems, and proposed solutions to those problems, don't your just yearn to hear someone state that the platform he is running on is the Constitution. Yet, with all the so-called debates and speeches we've had, we have hardly ever heard the Constitution mentioned.
Lest this season pass without hearing Constitutional answers to current problems, let us review a few. Howard Philips, who ran for President in 43 states on the Constitution Party ticket, has thought through some of these ideas. These explanations show, once again, that the Constitution really has answers for our day.
Sanctity of Life
The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God's image. The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood. It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born. To that end, the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established for "ourselves and our posterity." Under no circumstances may the federal government fund or otherwise support any state or local government or any organization or entity, foreign or domestic, which advocates, encourages or participates in the practice of abortion. We also oppose the distribution and use of all abortifacients.
In addition, Article IV of the Constitution guarantees to each state a republican form of government. In a republic, the taking of innocent life, including the life of the pre-born, may not be declared lawful by any institution of state or local government - legislative, judicial or executive. The right to life should not be made dependent upon a vote of a majority of any legislative body.
Strong Local Self-Government
The closer civil government is to the people, the more responsible, responsive, and accountable it is likely to be. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution makes clear that the federal government has only those powers which are explicitly delegated to it. All other powers are reserved to the states and to the people.
We stand opposed to regionalization or grouping of governments at any level, which results in removal of decision-making powers from the scrutiny of the people.
Cost of Big Government
The only legitimate purpose of civil government is to safeguard the God-given rights of its citizens; namely, life, liberty, and property. Only those duties, functions, and programs specifically assigned to the federal government by the Constitution should be funded. We call upon Congress and the President to stop all federal expenditures which are not specifically authorized by the U. S. Constitution, and to restore to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has usurped.
We call for the systematic reduction of the federal debt through, but not limited to, the elimination of further borrowing and the elimination of unconstitutional programs and agencies.
We reject the misleading use of the terms surplus and balanced budget as long as public debt remains. We oppose dishonest accounting practices such as "off-budget items" used to hide unconstitutional spending practices. Until the Social Security and Medicare functions are privatized, we call for an end to the raiding of their funds.
We call for the abolition of the Civil Service system, which is perceived to confer on government employees a "property right" regarding their jobs.
Crime, in most cases, is to be dealt with by state and local governments. We favor the right of states and localities to execute criminals convicted of capital crimes and to require restitution for the victims of criminals. Federal involvement in state and local criminal justice processes should be limited to that which is Constitutionally required.
All who are accused of crimes, petty to capital, shall have a trial by jury upon request, and the jury shall be fully informed of its right to nullify the law.
All teaching is related to basic assumptions about God and man. Education as a whole, therefore, cannot be separated from religious faith. The law of our Creator assigns the authority and responsibility of educating children to their parents. Education should be free from all federal government subsidies, including vouchers, tax incentives, and loans, except with respect to veterans.
Because the federal government has absolutely no jurisdiction concerning the education of our children, the United States Department of Education should be abolished; all federal legislation related to education should be repealed, including but not limited to "Goals 2000," "Outcomes-Based Education," "School-to-Work," "Success by Six," and other similar programs. No federal laws subsidizing or regulating the education of children should be enacted. Under no circumstances should the federal government be involved in national teacher certification, educational curricula, textbook selection, learning standards, comprehensive sex education, psychological and psychiatric research testing programs, and personnel.
Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution states, in part: "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no senator or representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector." This established our Electoral College.
Although the Constitution does not require the states to adhere to any specific manner in electing these electors or how they cast their votes, it suggests, by its wording, that prominent individuals from each congressional district, and from the state at large, would be elected or appointed as electors that represent thatdistrict. Under this arrangement, a voter would vote for three individuals, one to represent his district and two "at large" representatives to represent his state. These electors, in turn, would then carefully and deliberately select the candidate for president. Under this system each congressional district could, in essence, select a different candidate. The candidate with the most electors nationwide would become the next president.
The only Constitutional purpose and basis of foreign policy is to serve the best interests of the U.S., not to police the world. We pledge our allegiance to the American Republic. We say "No!" to any so-called New World Order or to any one-world government. Not one whit of American autonomy may be given up to any international organization or group of nations.
We oppose entangling foreign alliances. NATO no longer serves a defensive purpose and the U.S. must withdraw from it. We call on the United States to withdraw from the United Nations and to require the U.N. to move out of the United States.
The United States must withdraw from all international monetary and financial institutions and agencies, e.g., the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, WTO, NAFTA, GATT, etc
Congress and the President have a duty to provide for the defense of this country, but the American people have no similar duty to provide for the defense of any foreign nation. Further, the U.S. Government has no Constitutional authority to tax the American people to provide aid of any kind to foreign governments.
Health Care and Government
We oppose the governmentalization and bureaucratization of American medicine. Government regulation and subsidy constitutes a threat to both the quality and availability of patient-oriented health care and treatment.
Hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers should be accountable to patients - not to politicians, insurance bureaucrats, or HMO Administrators.
If the supply of medical care is controlled by the federal government, then officers of that government will determine which demand is satisfied. The result will be the rationing of services, higher costs, poorer results - and the power of life and death transferred from caring physicians to unaccountable political overseers.
The federal government has no Constitutional provision to regulate or restrict the freedom of the people to have access to medical care, supplies or treatments. We advocate, therefore, the elimination of the federal Food and Drug Administration, as it has been the federal agency primarily responsible for prohibiting beneficial products, treatments, and technologies here in the United States that are freely available in much of the rest of the civilized world.
We favor a moratorium on immigration to the United States, except in individual hardship cases or in other individual special circumstances, until the availability of all federal subsidies and assistance be discontinued.
We also insist that every individual group and/or private agency which requests the admission of an immigrant to the U.S., on whatever basis, be required to commit legally to provide housing and sustenance for such immigrants, bear full responsibility for the economic independence of the immigrants, and post appropriate bonds to seal such covenants.
We demand that the federal government restore immigration policies based on the practice that potential immigrants will be disqualified from admission to the U.S. if, on the grounds of health, criminality, morals, or financial dependence, they would impose an improper burden on the United States, any state, or any citizen of the United States.
We oppose the provision of welfare subsidies and other taxpayer-supported benefits to illegal aliens, and reject the practice of bestowing U.S. citizenship on children born to illegal alien parents while in this country.
The United States Constitution does not provide for lifetime appointment of federal judges, but only for a term of office during good behavior. We support Congressional enforcement of the Constitutional rule of good behavior. Furthermore, Congress must exert the power it possesses to prohibit all federal courts from hearing cases which Congress deems to be outside federal jurisdiction pursuant to Article III, § 2 of the Constitution.
Article I of the Bill of Rights reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Our Constitution grants no authority to the federal government either to grant or deny the religious expressions of the people in any place. Both the First and Tenth Amendments forbid such tyranny.
We call upon all branches of government to cease their attacks on the religious liberties of the people.
We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is prohibited by the Constitution and must be halted.
We assert that private organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their oaths and creeds.
Reform of the Senate
The U.S. Constitution as originally framed in Article I, Section 3, provided for U.S. Senators to be elected by state legislators. This provided the states direct representation in the legislative branch so as to deter the usurpation of powers that are Constitutionally reserved to the states or to the people.
The Seventeenth Amendment (providing for direct, popular election of U.S. Senators) took away from state governments their Constitutional role of indirect participation in the federal legislative process.
If we are to see a return to the states those powers, programs, and sources of revenue that the federal government has unconstitutionally taken away, then it is also vital that we repeal the Seventeenth Amendment and return to state legislatures the function of electing the U.S. Senate. In so doing, this would return the U.S. Senate to being a body that represents the legislatures of the several states on the federal level and, thus, a tremendously vital part of the designed checks and balances of power that our Constitution originally provided.
The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to require working citizens to participate in Social Security. Individual citizens should have the right to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently. We support the right of those entering the labor market to elect to participate in private plans as an alternative to the federal Social Security program.
In Article I, Section 9, the original document made clear that "no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." It is moreover established that "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."
We will propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and will veto any authorization, appropriation, or continuing resolution which contains any funding whatsoever for that illicit and unconstitutional agency. We are opposed to the flat-rate tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system. Moreover, it is our intention to replace entirely the current tax system of the U.S. government (including income taxes, Social Security taxes, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes).
To the degree that tariffs on foreign products are insufficient to cover the legitimate Constitutional costs of the federal government, we will offer an apportioned "state-rate tax" in which the responsibility for covering the cost of unmet obligations will be divided among the several states in accordance with their proportion of the total population of the United States, excluding the District of Columbia. Thus, if a state contains 10 percent of the nation's citizens, it will be responsible for assuming payment of 10 percent of the annual deficit.
We endorse ratification of the Liberty Amendment, which would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment.
Charity, and provision of welfare to those in need, is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government. Under no circumstances should the taxpayers of the United States be obligated, under penalty of law through forced taxation, to assume the cost of providing welfare for other citizens. Neither should taxpayers be indentured to subsidize welfare for persons who enter the United States illegally.
The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right. In many cases, welfare provisions by the Federal government are not only misdirected, but morally destructive. It is the intended purpose of civil government to safeguard life, liberty and property - not to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution is contrary to the Biblical command against theft.
We encourage individuals and families to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need through tithes, offerings, and other acts of charity.
Should we not make these concepts our constant talk and teaching to a nation which is floundering in ignorance?
Earl Taylor, Jr.