February 5, 2018

The Constitution responds to the State of the Union

What would the Constitution say if it could deliver a State of the Union speech? Retweet

NOTE: Due to technical issues, we did not launch our new Downsize DC Agenda campaign last week, as planned. See the P.S. for details.

We’ve written president Trump to tell him what he got right and wrong in his State of the Union address. We used the Constitution as our guide. If you agree with our letter to the President below, please go to our site and send it — or revise it to suit your needs.

Subject: My reaction to the State of the Union address 

The letter begins: I use the Constitution to judge the president’s actions and statements.

Remember, you can revise what we wrote…

It’s wonderful that the economy is growing. Yet it’s hard to tell when politicians help or hurt that process. So let’s focus on some details…

The tax cuts are good. But their impact will be blunted as you borrow more money to fund all the bloated spending you proposed in this speech. This spending competes with the market sector for resources. Stop it. Cut spending. Balance the budget!

It’s good that you want to appoint judges who will obey the Constitution, including the Second Amendment. But your own actions must also obey the Constitution.

Your deregulation efforts are outstanding, including your moves to deregulate energy production. The Constitution grants no authority for such regulations, so DO MORE OF THIS! On a related note…

Increased FDA drug approvals are good, and your “let them try” initiative for terminal patients is a very positive step. But the FDA is itself unconstitutional, so go further. Support legislation to make the FDA advisory rather than mandatory. Remove tax funding at the same time. Pharmaceutical companies that want the FDA seal of approval should pay for it.

Your promise to lower drug prices is welcome and exciting, but not if it involves federal agencies dictating or manipulating what those prices should be. Instead, in addition to making the FDA advisory rather than mandatory, reform the patent process which raises prices by creating pharmaceutical cartels and drug monopolies.

Your talk about fair trade sounds good. But your protectionist trade policies help the privileged few while raising the cost of living for everyone else. You have no Constitutional authority to manipulate the prices Americans pay to buy foreign products.

Skip the infrastructure spending. Transportation bills are notorious for being stuffed with unrelated pork-filled payoffs to special interests. Your priority should be reduced spending and a balanced budget.

Your promises about job training and paid family leave both violate the Constitution. Job training schemes are nothing new. Historically, they’ve undermined voluntary, market sector initiatives which do a much better job. Family leave reverses the course you’ve set on business regulation. Besides, there is no enumerated, constitutional power to do either thing.

Your proposal to rehabilitate criminals also sounds promising. But there is no federal authority for most things that are now federal crimes. If you really want to reduce the number of criminals then obey the Constitution by ending drug prohibition. In fact, this will also do more to solve any border crime problem than your immigration controls ever will!

With regard to immigration, there is no enumerated, constitutional power for the federal government to limit immigration in any way. The Constitution only provides power over naturalization. Your immigration proposals break the supreme law of the land. Stop it!

Your proposals for increased defense spending are likewise wrong. We already spend more than most of the rest of the world combined. Even worse, these military forces are used in ways that create more enemies than they destroy. Stop the madness. You had the right idea during your campaign when you talked about the need for less foreign intervention. Do that! It will save money, help balance the budget, and make us safer too.

And please, please, please drop the sanctions idea. Economic sanctions have a terrible track record. Increased cultural engagement is the path to follow because our culture is our greatest and most attractive asset.

In short, you’re doing some good things, but you can do far better. Adhere closely to the Constitution to perfect your performance.


Thank you for being an ACTIVE DC Downsizer,

Perry Willis & Jim Babka
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

P.S. Stuff happens. On Wednesday, we began noticing technical problems with the letter sending process. We postponed the launch of our new bill.

As we explained last week, it’s going to be the first addition to our Downsize DC Agenda since 2011 — right alongside the One Subject at a Time Act. This new bill will empower you, instead of bureaucrats, on how social welfare dollars get spent. And we’re working alongside another organization on this project.

We’re now scheduled to show you that bill on Tuesday. Be sure to open your Dispatch then!

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at feedback@downsizedc.org


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