Posted on | July 30, 2011 | 11 Comments
Volokh has links to a debate on the repeal of the 17th Amendment. Let me take a broad, general swipe at lawyers and say that they often stand too close to the problem. If you consider the 16th & 17th Amendments, plus the Federal Reserve act in isolation, you can come up with one set of arguments. That’s the mathematical combination of three things, one at a time.
Now, if you blow away all three of these federal zombies in one one shotgun chorus (great name for a band there), then you can undo the 1913 Progressive triumph of Woodrow [censored] Wilson. He may have emoted well about the need for Progress, and the imperfections of the Founding Fathers, but his ideas have proven ruinous.
Let’s get some conservative candidates in 2012 who will ‘do the deed’ for the centennial of Wilson’s dubious achievement. What would be the effects? Well, if DC is no longer the Pockets of Infinite Federal Reserve Depth, then we could have, you know, forthright spending. States can pick up the tab for the social programs for their citizens that they feel like funding. Granted, this may not be so much as under the current vote buying scheme.
Having the states control their senators in a regime where the federal government isn’t a cornucopia would shift the balance of power away from DC. When a change of party in the governor’s mansion means that the same old tools will not be sent back to DC if their stint is up, the incumbency rate may well plummet to reasonable levels, retaining statesmen* of actual value, and affording the Reids more time to suck elsewhere.
Finally, having the income tax removed would let states be a blast shield for their citizens from federal financial overreach. The virtue of the 10th Amendment, currently hovering down around that of a slut in Toronto, could begin to recover.
What’s not to like? Well the crappy half of the economic distribution of these United States are going to look really, really crappy. They already kind of are, but stripping off the redistributionist veneer is going to front load the crappiness.
Then there is the huge, older demographic that is going to find out just how big a ripoff all this Progressive nonsense has been. Legitimate problem. I say, delegate it to the states. Not that that is going to lower the overall suction of the situation. Nothing will. The magic wand no worky-worky, sahib. Give it up.
However, consider this: our problems, in general, are the result of the substitution of Progress for liberty. I submit that any courses of action that don’t favor liberty over all else are just variations on the theme of suck.
Full circle, then: let’s consider repeal of the 17th Amendment, but also consider the broader systemic implications. Otherwise, we’re merely fannying about. Isn’t a century of fannying about a sufficiently worked example of suck?
* In the sense of ‘humans’, for the sexists out there.