Kopp Column: America’s Checks Do Not Balance

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Yes, Washington needs more tax revenue to do the job it is doing, and that’s the problem. It’s doing too much. The Federal Government is operating beyond its “job description” or its “scope of work.” There are some who believe President Obama does too much and often operates outside the law. For example, he enacted by executive order what he could not get in the Dream Act. Recently, Mr. Obama says he can order Americans killed without due process.

“The accumulation of all power, legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same hands…may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny,” James Madison wrote in Federalist 46.

Congress and only Congress has legal authority to create and enact laws, to “legislate.” It has shirked its duty and handed off law-making to agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food and Drug Administration. These agencies or bureaucracies are doing too much.

The court is to determine if these laws are constitutional. Instead it’s gone beyond its work of interpretation to shape society and in the process has become a law-making body. The courts are going too much.

Conservatives believe our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they formed a government that balanced itself. Adopted from the British principle of checks and balances, America was founded to avoid tyrannical rule with a balance of power as the three bodies of government were to check each other. Today, lines and definitions of the three branches of government have been blurred. The system of checks and balances has been lost or ignored.

Here are three results of this loss of checks and balances.

America’s government has become too complex. As the lines defining the three branches of government are blurred, our nation’s government has become increasingly undefined. We loyal subjects of the government of the United States argue about where government has gone wrong and what is the best remedy. It’s too late. It will not be found. American government is too complex.

You no longer have a say in the affairs of governing. Republicanism – the act of being governed by someone whom you elect — has been lost. You are not represented. You have lost the ability of self-governing. You have lost power.

We have given up the right to administer our own affairs as we have voted to allow the growth of an unchecked bureaucracy, an unbalanced administrative state.

It is our own fault. We have become an immature blame-shifting society. “It’s not my fault.” We’ve passed the buck, and we have a government that does exactly the same thing, assigns fault to others and passes the buck. It assigns duties and responsibility to unelected officials and has abdicated accountability. Elected officials refuse to be accountable and they do not hold each other accountable.

We’ve become lazy or distracted and no longer demand representation. I do not consider myself a member of the Tea Party movement (it is not a political party nor an organization but a movement) and only once, out of curiosity, attended one of its functions, but I admire the movement and believe it is a valid and valuable movement. Yet, liberals attack the Tea Party for believing in self-government. It is vilified for believing government should govern as a representative government, balanced and accountable.

Ask yourself, do you want a government that rules by the consent of the governed through representation or will you continue to delegate your power of self-government to a bureaucracy that is unchecked and unbalanced?

Mike Kopp has exercised his political muscle as a media director to two statewide campaigns, a television political reporter, a lobbyist, and staff assistant to the Senate Majority Leader. He is currently a communications contractor working from his home in Wilton, ND.

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