Do you think the 1913 Constitutional Amendment allowing the people to vote for Senators was wrong?
Before 1913 Senators were appointed by the states. The House was controlled by the people, The Senate by the states. Our founders set it up this way, so that the states could hold the reins on the Federal Government. Before 1913 there was no Federal income tax. Since 1913, the Federal Government has instituted well over 100 Federal Taxes including: income tax, death tax, Social security, Medicare, Obamacare etc. and is now approaching 17 trillion in debt, with no sign of stopping.
There was an income tax before 1913. One was instituted to pay for the civil war. There was also a variety of other taxes that existed from the very beginning, so it isn't like the notion of the government levying taxes to perform its duties is somehow new.
The major difference between now and then is that the government is now given a larger list of duties to perform that requires a larger tax base. The argument about the size and role of government has always been going on and will continue to go on, but it wasn't won in 1913, nor was it won only at the federal level. It was won and continues to be won at every level. Look at state and local governments, for example, and they will look much the same as the federal government: relatively large bureaucracies with an expansive set of duties and a substantial tax collection apparatus (sizable debt problems in many cases as well).
It sounds like what you would really like is a libertarian government (small, limited, low taxation), but there aren't any libertarian state governments either, so even if that tug-of-war had more action (due to state elected Senators) neither side is libertarian, so I don't see how there'd be a libertarian outcome.
It might shift some of the size and taxation from the federal to state level, but I am skeptical that it would diminish the overall size and taxation of the total government.
In fact, it is entirely possible that a greater tug-of-war between states and the federal government would actually make things worse. The notion that states would hold the reigns more effectively or responsibly is a pretty major assumption, in my opinion. Fifty horses or one giant elephant doesn't necessarily matter. Ultimately it is the people who need to have the reigns by being active and informed (we tend to be neither).
I don't know if it was wrong in theory, but the results have proved to be a major burden on average tax-paying citizens. Frankly, I would love to see the whole process reversed to the way it used to be.
The founders knew that the states had to provide a strong check on federal power. I believe we should have left the founders design intact, as this amendment has led to a dangerous concentration of power at the federal level.
Many bad Ideas foisted by the federal government could have been avoided because the states would have the incentive to improve their lot without looking to the federal government for help. Job crippling regulations and taxes would likely have been blocked by a Senate accountable to their own state legislatures.
Absolutely, to give so much power to a central government is insane & to date no one has surpassed the wisdom of the founders in creating this great experiment. But I do advocate term limits, two terms for senators, one in office and one in priso
Term limits may be necessary to avoid creating career politicians, I agree.
The old way is better. Because senators were elected by the states there was a check between what the people want and what the government wants. Senators were supposed to represent the government, not the people, which is why there are 2 senators for every state regardless of the population. Now the senators are just glorified representatives.
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