Saturday, August 14, 2010

Couldn't Think Of One

The Unconstitutional Congress | Hoover Institution: "In 1800, when the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., all of the paperwork and records of the United States government were tightly packed into 12 boxes, and then transported the 150 miles to Washington on a horse and buggy. That was truly an era of lean and efficient government.

In the early years of the Republic, government bore no resemblance to the colossal empire it has evolved into today. In 1800, the federal government employed 3,000 people and had a budget of less than $1 million ($100 million in today's dollars). That's a far cry from today's federal budget of $1.6 trillion and workforce of 3 million.

Since its frugal beginnings, the U.S. federal government has come to subsidize everything from research into Belgian endives to maple-syrup production to the advertising of McDonald's french fries in Europe and Japan. In a recent moment of high drama before the Supreme Court, during oral arguments involving the application of the interstate-commerce clause of the Constitution, a bewildered Justice Antonin Scalia pressed the solicitor general to name a single activity or program that our modern-day Congress might undertake that would fall outside of the bounds of the Constitution. The stunned Clinton appointee could not think of one."