Washington spends too much, taxes too much, does too much. That’s because of the Constitution, not in spite of it.
Thinkpieces lamenting the state of constitutional government are a dime a dozen. If only we embraced a correct reading of the Constitution (the various schools of originalist thought seem promising), we could get America back on track: “The Constitution has not failed; the Constitution has never been tried!”
But it has been tried. The Constitution did exactly what some of its most ambitious proponents hoped it would: It laid the foundations for an imperial fiscal-military state. Conservatives and libertarians rightly bemoan excessive centralization under a ravenous Leviathan. If they realized that’s a feature, not a bug, of the constitutional system, perhaps we could finally do something about it.
Categories: History and Historiography