We Should All Be Our Own 'Micro Governments'
This Fourth of July, watching people fight over what the Constitution means, I ask people, if you could change the Constitution, what would you change? "The forefathers knew what they were doing," said one woman. But the Constitution originally accepted slavery. It's good that we can amend it. So what should we change?
"Add a balanced budget amendment," suggests Glenn Beck.
David Boaz of the Cato Institute recommends 18-year terms for the Supreme Court. "Maybe confirmation fights would be less bitter and partisan."
Others suggest term limits for Congress. Stossel TV's Mike Ricci takes the idea further. "If your father, mother, siblings, uncle, cousins were elected to federal office, you can't be." That would curb Kennedy/Bush-like dynasties.
Several people said they want to eliminate the Commerce Clause. It gives government virtually unlimited power over the economy, complains tech journalist Naomi Brockwell, "forcing people to participate in federal pension programs ... enabling the War on Drugs."
Some want an amendment to stop the growth of Washington regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Communications Commission. Economist Don Boudreaux calls them "a grave threat to Americans' liberties and prosperity."
The Supreme Court took a small step in restraining their power last week when it ruled that EPA bureaucrats can't set emission rules all by themselves. Congress has to vote on that.
Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif, proposes overturning Citizens United. He says that would stop those who "spend millions of dollars corrupting elections (and) would return our democracy to the town halls and citizen involvement that our founders envisioned."
I doubt that. Limits on political speech increase insiders' power.
Christina Martin of the Pacific Legal Institute wishes the Constitution did more to protect the rights of the individual. "How about a right to earn a living? How about a right to not have the government steal from you?"