Few things irk me more, than rightwing reactionaries fomenting government-takeover, based on incomplete or inaccurate understanding of our founding documents. And then go on to cite God (as in "endowed by their Creator") as the basis for their moralistic, get-rid-of government rants.
You know the rants:
Our rights come from God, not the Government.
We're Taxed enough already; Taxes are Un-American.
Liberals and their Socialist agenda are destroying the Country.
Liberals are a cancer; and unregulated Free Markets are the cure.
We don't need no Nanny-state.
The Founders died so that we can live free of Government control.
The Post Office is a bloated Government Service that should be done by Fed-Ex.
The Government should not be picking Winners and Losers. Let the Market decide.
The Government should not print money, without the Gold to back it up.
The Government should not be in the business of Education, Health Care, or R&D.
The Pursuit of Happiness -- does not mean the Guarantee of Happiness.
Rugged individuals -- don't need any Government handouts.
It is up to each American to 'sink or swim' on their own, by their own God-given talents.
The National Debt is our biggest problem as a country.
And since raising Revenues (ie. Taxes) is WRONG, our National Debt must be paid-for by cutting the rest of the Government's ill-conceived "social programs."
I'll give them this much -- their public education system with regards to American History -- and it's Founding Documents was obviously inadequate. (Assuming they showed up, that is.)
If they knew the half of it (the other half that they forgot) of what those Documents say -- they might recant their rhetoric and become Liberal Democrats overnight.
Flip the page, for a "brief" recap of what the small-government ranters conveniently "leave out" of their Founding world views ...
First a few founding words on the "purpose and powers" of our uniquely American form of Government. They seem to put an entirely different light on the topic of Taxes; and the well-being of the our general society, as well:
The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of 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 [...]
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
It is often said our Constitution is a 'Living Document' -- that it is by self-correcting. That it can change and grow over time -- whenever the vast majority of the American People, see fit to change it.
Without this course-correction mechanism,, America would likely have become the tyrannical task-master that today's wingers claim it to be.
This ability to respond to the American People and then change for the better, is a uniquely American trait, that the Founders left us, since knew they were far from perfect, themselves ... and that such change would be needed by future generations.
The Constitution: Amendments 11-27
Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.
Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.
Note: Article I, section 9, of the Constitution was modified by amendment 16.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.
Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Here's a few more 'founding words' that gave birth our uniquely American Government; and HERE is where the modern rightwing rhetoric tends to go off the rails. This was their call to arms. This was our America-founding rant -- this was their rant against an unelected King.
Yes, there was an American Revolution. Yes, the Founders were rebelling against a tyrannical King, named George, who ruled them from in another country -- entirely based on his undemocratic governing whims.
It a call to action against King George who levied Taxes and Duties against the American People -- without giving them a Voice in their own Governing affairs.
That's the rub. Today we DO have the Representation -- that they didn't. Today we can Vote; We do have our say in how we are governed.
Today our Constitutionally levied-taxes are not tyrannical -- they are democratically conceived.
Thing is the result of this Revolution, was the establishment of the self-correcting, Representative Government, we now have.
... Today's ranters are ranting against WHAT the Founders built and left us. Today's ranters are actually anti-Founders, when you break it all down.
Democracy is messy -- but it is not yet tyrannical.
The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,[...]
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
[... a very detailed list of their grievance against the foreign Crown ...]
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they [u]are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown[/u], and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. [...]
More than a dozen years later, after boldly declaring their Freedom and Independence from King George, the Founders established the system of Government to preserve and protect those newly-established, representative, democratic freedoms.
They hammered out a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that put the American People in charge of their own destinies; That would spell out the rights of what it means to be an American.
During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. [...]
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. [...]
The Bill of Rights: A Transcription
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution;
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.
The last item in the American Bill of Rights, clearly delineates that our governing "powers" come from the Constitution, or from each State, or from the American People themselves.
Our governing "powers" do not 'explicitly' come from God -- as much as today's self-righteous moral crusaders, will continually repeat, and say they do.
Like it our not, the Founders did not built a Country dependent on any religious faith -- even if it may have been their individual reliance on such faith in their Creator, that gave them the strength and the courage,
to first dare to Declare their Independence from foreign rule,
and then the ongoing courage and fortitude to actually win that Independence.
Although I suspect many that fought those battles -- did not rely on such faith. Except for maybe faith in their fellow patriots ... fighting alongside them.
This to is uniquely American -- it was a land designed for ALL faiths, or NO faiths. We each get to choose.
And what our Founders choose to do with that hard-fought freedom, was to design and build, and 'ordain for their Posterity' -- the uniquely American Government that we now have.
A government that enshrines the value of individual opinions, and protects our right to express them.
Even when those opinions, finally boil down to the expression of our votes.
Our American Government expresses the sanctity of that very basic American right. It's in the Constitution -- added after the fact, in several of those key self-correcting Amendments.
If only the wingers valued those American Rights, as much as their do, their "Don't Tax Me" rage; their own personal disdain for Government.
-- But apparently the "General Welfare" is not worth the cost in their view -- a phrase they'd delete from the the Constitution, if they somehow could;
Despite the fact, it is our uniquely American mission, as enshrined and empowered our uniquely American Constitution. And so proscribed for future generations, by the Founding Americans who penned it to paper; by the Founders who created it.