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1913 – A Very Bad Year for Liberty.

March 17, 2013

We are marking the anniversary of 100 years since three critical events helped to change the shape of our federal government. As many including myself would say, 1913 began marking  the slippery slope of Americas decline towards bigger governent and socialistic trends.  The 100 year mark does not call for celebration on the part of any American who cherishes the liberties enumerated  by our Constitution.

The “progressive” era of President Woodrow Wilson and his Secretary of State William Jennings Bryant strove to create an ever growing Leviathan federal government that goes unchecked today.  1913 saw the ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution, as well as the birth of the ever more oppressive Federal Reserve, or the “Fed”.  These three actions started the decline of America that has continued for 100 years, making the country today unrecognizable to what the Founders envisioned.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution reads: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Higher costs of living and expanding government demanded higher tax revenues and the adoption of the 16th Amendment.  This allowed the floodgate of revenues to open and allow for more and more government expansion.  However, raising taxes does not directly lead to raise in revenue, as the chart below from the Heritage Foundation shows.


However, the ability to directly tax individuals without limit gave the Congress and Federal Government powers never seen before against the citizen.

The Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution reads:  The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

As originally created by the Founders in the Constitution, the Senate was elected by the various states legislators, in contrast to the House of Representatives which was elected directly by the people of the various states.  The purpose of this was to put a check on federalism, and to assure that the states had advocates in the new federal government who would look out for them.  It also ensured that the senators, seen as a more “serious” branch than the House, would not be exposed to the excessive politicking common to direct elections382px-17th_Amendment_Pg1of1_AC

According to the Heritage Foundation Guide to the Constitution

The Seventeenth Amendment was approved and ratified to make the Constitution more democratic. Progressives argued forcefully, persistently, and ultimately successfully that the democratic principle required the Senate to be elected directly by the people rather than indirectly through their state legislatures. By altering the manner of election, however, they also altered the principal mechanism employed by the framers to protect federalism. The framers understood that the mode of electing (and especially reelecting) Senators by state legislatures made it in the self-interest of Senators to preserve the original federal design and to protect the interests of states as states (see Article I, Section 3, Clause 1). This understanding was perfectly encapsulated in a July 1789 letter to John Adams, in which Roger Sherman emphasized that “[t]he senators, being eligible by the legislatures of the several states, and dependent on them for re-election, will be vigilant in supporting their rights against infringement by the legislative or executive of the United States.”

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created a private-public system to monitor financial markets, trade, and regulate money and credit in America.  The “Fed”, headed by Ben Bernanke, sets policy that affects credit and interest rates, as well as oversees all of the printing of currency even when it’s not tied to any “standard” such as gold.  The Federal Reserve System has faced various criticisms since its inception in 1913. Organiztion_of_the_Federal_Reserve_SystemThese criticisms include the assertions that the Federal Reserve System violates the United States Constitution and that it impedes economic prosperity. Critics contend that the twelve regional Federal Reserve banks (as opposed to the entire Federal Reserve System) consider themselves to be private corporations with private funding. The movement to audit the Federal Reserve System has gained national traction; a bill related to the movement was passed through the House of Representatives in 2012. Many critics see auditing the Federal Reserve System as a means of gaining insight into an institution they contend has historically had little to no transparency, that has acted without congressional approval or oversight, and that has the power to create and loan U.S. dollars based on a monetary policy determined by its own interests.  Dodd-Frank is one of the most recent regulatory hammers stifling the economy that comes under the “Fed”. 

All of the above changes to our Constitution and acts of Congress have done much to further the Progressive growth of the Federal government, while at the same time putting a stranglehold on the liberties of the American people.  It’s time to start turning the hour glass upside down, and making changes that start to restrain the iron grip of the Federal government on the people.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    March 24, 2013 1:54 pm

    It should be noted that although he is no longer in office, Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill was re-introduced in the 113th Congress by Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10). It currently has 137 co-sponsors including our very own Congressman Chris Gibson. In the Senate, Rand Paul has re-introduced the companion bill.

  2. Mike permalink
    March 24, 2013 2:45 pm

    Excellent writing.

    Here is a somewhat related writing, a book review.
    But not a full article online…

    An excerpt from the magazine —

    “Of all his cabinet members, Coolidge’s closest collaborator was Andrew Mellon, who had convinced him of his theory of “scientific taxation” – that when taxes are lower the economy is more productive, and revenues would go up because more economic activity would be generated…”

  3. Rad permalink
    March 25, 2013 4:23 am

    The above comments are well researched, but way out of here and now, We are just simply living a losing cause, in my opinion, the enemies of Capitalism are gaining ground as the good men are doing nothing to stem the barrage of the demagoguery.

  4. Nonny Moss permalink
    March 27, 2013 6:16 am

    Rad – living a losing cause? Then why are you wasting your time even reading about this? Attitudes like yours are worse than doing nothing.

    As far as your comment: “the good men are doing nothing to stem the barrage of the demagoguery.” – these are not “good men,” for if they were, they would be optimistic and prove it by their active participation and tireless labors

    Go back to the couch with your potato chips, can, and remote. That will inoculate you for what is going on outside your window.

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