President Obama proclaimed that he was going to “fundamentally change” the nation. He did not. The nation was already “fundamentally changed”.
In 1913, the 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified.
The 16th Amendment allowed the central government to tax without regard to any census or enumeration. Article I, Section 9 paragraph three of the Constitution says; “No Capitation, or other direct tax (income tax) shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” Gone is the linkage between taxation and representation.
The 17th Amendment changed the method of electing Senators. It might seem that the direct election of Senators by the citizens of a state would be good. But, it allowed the national political parties to directly influence Senatorial elections and thereby own the candidates. The Senate became another partisan debate forum like the House with no obligation on behalf of the states to constrain the expansion of the central government power.
The final blow to the Constitutional structure created by the Founders was the Supreme Court Decision in United States v Butler regarding the 1933 Agriculture Adjustment Act. “( the ) Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. … It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.”
So much for the limited “enumerated powers” of the central government and the 10th Amendment.
Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society completed the “Fundamental Change”.
We have failed Benjamin Franklin’s challenge; we were unable to keep the Republic.
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