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Government

2012-01-05

Government
Whenever I think about government, the first thing that comes to mind is the Preamble to the Constitution. The intent of the Preamble was to establish what the government (that was being established by the Constitution) was for. Among other things, to begin with “To form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence” there follows another phrase which I would like to emphasize here: “promote the general Welfare.” I do not wish to seem to ignore the final purpose of government enumerated here: “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”
Some people will be surprised to know that I have just enumerated all of the purposes of government named in the Constitution. I am doing this to make it clear that there are specific purposes for government, and they are limited. It is important to remember that we all believe in limited government, or else we would not support the United States.
We have so far set out a few of the most basic thoughts about what we want our government to be: “a more perfect Union” that is limited in its total extent yet supplies certain basic needs: justice, tranquility, defence, welfare, and liberty.
We quickly see that some of these purposes are very close to the names of current departments of government: justice and defence. At one time, there was a “Department of Health, Education, and Welfare” (with the understandable assumption that Health and Education are essential to Welfare) but because of the negative connotation of “welfare”, the name was changed to “Health and Human Services.” It would be more honest, and more effective, if we had seperate departments of “Health”, “Education”, and “Welfare” as well as a Department of “Liberty.” I don’t know just what a Department of “Tranquility” would do.
The Constitution does not specify any of the Executive branch of the government other than the President and Vice President; all the inferior “officers” of this branch are to be appointed by the President. The highest “officers” such as judges of the Supreme Court, ambassadors, and public ministers and consuls, are subject to the approval of the Senate, but otherwise he/she is free to install anyone that seems appropriate in any department of executive government.
It appears that the power to create the separate departments of the executive is vested in Congress, with its power to make laws, and specifically: “to lay and collect taxes…borrow money…regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes…coin money…punish piracy…declare war…raise and support armies…no…longer…than two years…provide and maintain a navy…” but most importatntly: “To make all laws which shall be necessary…for…all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government…”
In other words, Congress is vested by the Constitution with the power to make laws which execute all the powers in the Constitution. The President is empowered to ensure that the laws are “faithfully executed.” Unfortunately, the Congress has not carefully read the Constitution and they neglected to vest some of the powers granted to the government. They did alright with Justice and Defense, but they’ve been very fickle with Welfare, and they’ve forgotten Liberty and domestic Tranquility altogether.
It may be that “domestic Tranquiltiy” just means the absence of civil disturbances such as riots, but I would like to expand on the word “Tranquility”. Let us say that it means “Happiness” and “Contentment.” How the government would ensure this state of affairs is somewhat of a mystery.

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