…there always have been American Tories—people who chafe at restraints on central power and would prefer a British-style government. In recent years, as political “progressives” have gradually lost the scholarly battle over constitutional interpretation, some have stopped pretending the Constitution means whatever they want it to, and have begun to trash the document itself.
But the source of the claim is more shocking, because it comes from one who has taught constitutional law for 40 years. And who should know better.
Did the Constitution cause our present “fiscal chaos?” Quite the contrary. The crisis has arisen not because we followed the Constitution, but because we have allowed federal officials to ignore it. In the 1930s, the Supreme Court announced that it would stop enforcing the Constitution’s limits on federal spending programs. Without meaningful spending restraint, Congress became an auction house where lobbyists could acquire new money streams for almost anything—a redundant health care program; a subsidy for an uneconomic product; or a modern art museum in Indiana.
It is hard to believe there would be a fiscal crisis today if federal spending had remained within the Constitution’s generous but limited boundaries.
…Although it is true, as Professor Seidman states, that politicians have violated the Constitution, it is rarely true that we have been better off for it. The breaches have included incarceration of innocent citizens during World War II, ill-advised attempts to micro-manage the economy through monetary and regulatory policy, and unrestricted spending. We have lived to rue them all.
The thought of limited government is anathema to would-be tyrants. Read the whole thing, which demolishes the ad hominem arguments put forth by those who want to ignore our founding document.