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A common sense approach to government functions

Updated on March 3, 2014

Common sense within the functions of government both at the state level and federal level needs to be energized. When our country began common sense in reference to decisions made by elected individuals was recognizable through the actions and decisions they made. Today however it is hard to find the philosophy of common sense within many state government functions and the functions of our federal government.

The first thing which needs to take place is cutting the size of government with respect to the agencies and departments in existence. Governments at the state level and our federal government seem to create new agencies to handle specific issues for our country and our individual states. Within the federal government not all problems are the responsibility of the federal government. The responsibilities of the federal government are specifically defined in the Constitution which requires certain departments and agencies be created. Common sense would dictate that no agency or department should be created which is not specifically defined in the Constitution.

Today there are many government agencies, departments and organizations which do not specifically have the authority identified in the Constitution. The size of government at the federal level needs to be such that the departments, agencies and organizations should be either restructured or eliminated given a lack of authority for their existence. To some this may seem harsh but with the growing federal deficit functions which have no ties to the Constitution should not exist. Along with this come the regulations which these functions generate. It must be understood that there may be exceptions to this common sense approach. There are a number of functions within the federal government which it has absorbed and is the right decision. This is not the case with all functions within the government.

Another common sense aspect is not creating regulations for the simple reason of creating regulations. Regulations are necessary to provide guidance and sometimes instructions so the public understands the requirements of laws which have been passed by Congress. Regulations are often vague in their content and require a lawyer to understand them. A common sense approach would be to write them in clear language so any individual understands the actions required to ensure compliance.

Regulations along with government structure at the federal level lack a common sense approach in the way they are managed and even why they exist. Regulations should only be generated when they have a basis for their existence not someone’s opinion that they are needed.

As part of regulations there is often opinions contained within them but opinions should not be part of the content. A common sense approach would be to connect the content to law to which they are associated.

The functions of Congress is the biggest area where there needs to common sense engrained in the processes in place. Congress in its wisdom creates a number of legislative proposals many of which never make it out of committee. This is not to say that proposals at the committee stage do not have some merit in their purpose but the volume of proposals generated leaves little chance for all proposals to be considered for a full vote in either legislative organization and/or both. It is also a well-known fact that many proposals have as their purpose the same objective and should be consolidated into one legislative proposal. This sadly is not the case in the current culture in Congress.

Every aspect of our federal government structure needs to generate new processes associated with generating legislative proposals and the regulations associated with them. Legislation which becomes law needs to have clear content as to the purpose and intent thereby eliminating interpretation by the agency/department tasked with monitoring and enforcing the requirements.

In terms of state governments and their structure the same conditions apply with regards to legislation and regulations. State governments have responsibilities to their citizens as defined in their Constitution and the Constitution. Responsibilities not given to the federal government are the responsibility of the states as identified in Article 10. As defined in the Declaration of Independence each individual has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the responsibility of the federal government and each of the state governments to ensure that these rights remain in place. Any restriction of these rights identified in the Declaration of Independence when our independence and our rights under the Constitution is unacceptable. We as voters have the right to remove elected officials who do not take care to ensure these rights are not violated. This is what elections are about. Government at all levels should be efficient in their processes to accomplish their responsibilities. We expect nothing less than this from those which we have elected to serve us.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago


      You are so right

    • profile image

      Jayfort 4 years ago

      The Founding Fathers felt the role of the Federal government was to:

      1) Provide for the common defense from outside threats.

      2) Resolve issues involving multiple states.

      3) Forge treaties with foreign governments.

      4) Regulate commerce between the states.

      5) Deliver the mail.

      Everything else was the responsibility of the States or the Individuals.