How Did Being In Congress Become A "Profession" Versus "A Calling" To Serve Our Nation?


In the times of today we have persons in Congress who have been or had been in office upwards of 50 years.

That length of tenure today combined with how often Congress is in session do not seem to speak well of the Founding Fathers' ability to convey their wishes via the US Constitution.

Originally, it was felt that a single annual meeting would be sufficient to "do the Nation's business". Some even argued that once a year was too often as it was not foreseen that Congress would have that much to do:

[James Madison was in favor of annual meetings, but of leaving the date to "be fixed or varied by law." Gouverneur Morris and Rufus King believed yearly meetings were not necessary, for there would not be enough legislative business for Congress to deal with annually.] - From: David F. Forte, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

"...Not enough legislative business for Congress to deal with annually". How could this be? Why not?

Actually, the reason for this position is fairly easy to deduce. Of course, our country today is much larger and more complex than back in the late 1700s - by a long shot. However, if one looks to see what the US Constitution proscribes by law for Congress to do, the notion of "annual meetings, etc.", may become a little less unclear and somewhat reasonable.

Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution specifies the ONLY powers delegated to Congress. Go ahead, read what it says:

Again for emphasis, the above are the only responsibilities, by law, that Congress may address.

If one takes the time to read the above list, it will become readily apparent that the vast majority of the responsibilities, once executed, need not be revisited except on a very rare instance. By only addressing the scant issues that may arise now and again, the list of ongoing needs would lessen significantly, leaving the need for a "professional Congress" moot.

With that in mind, how is it even feasible that such a short list of responsibilities could have resulted in the vast number of governmental departments and agencies, spawned by Congress overreaching its defined responsibilities, which exist today? In fact, it is not precisely known how many such departments and agencies exist - but, it is in the hundreds by all estimations.

Of course this growth of the federal government did not happen over night - it took a long time. By some who liked to view the US Constitution as saying what they would like it to have said versus what it actually says, a slow but steady "Growth Creep" resulted.

"Growth Creep" may be characterized as small things happening over long periods of time resulting in something not desired. For example, you gain 1 pound a month. Not to worrisome for that one month gain. But, in a couple of so years you have gained 25 - 30 pounds of unwanted excess. And, as we all know, it's much harder to lose than to gain. The same type of example holds true for credit card use. Also, as we all know, it's much harder to pay off than to charge.

I'll offer one example of such unwarranted governmental "Growth Creep".

The third item on the above list, To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes, is commonly referred to as the "Commerce Clause".

The original view of this clause was described as "a modest little power". This linked article goes on to say, "Many of the things now said about the Commerce Clause are not viable descriptions of the original meaning.

The original meaning of the "Commerce Clause" was to restrict duties being applied to goods being transported across State lines. It said NOTHING nor implied ANYTHING about what could or could not be transported, how such transportable goods were to be used, nor to whom they could or would be sold.

Over time this single clause has been (mis)used to justify just about everything - to our overall detriment, This point includes the president's initial offered view of "obamacare". Obamacare was rendered "constitutional" only by the Supreme Court, itself, directing changing the words of the bill.

OK, but what does "obamacare" or any other such law have to do with "Growth Creep"? Consider, the "obamacare" bill was a thousand or so pages long. But, the bill spawned over 20,000 pages of rules and regulations not specified in the bill itself. With that number of rules and regulations more governmental oversight and enforcement is required. This, of course, requires people to administer such. More rules to follow = more complexity = more people to manage = more Congressional involvement = more "Growth Creep".

Now, that was just one clause and just one bill. Consider the myriad of governmental departments and agencies issuing rules and regulations all over the place, upon which none have had a vote by We The People. With all this going on the shear size of the federal government today is understandable - not correct, but understandable.

It seems fully plausible that such growth has little to do with making our lives better; but, rather, establishing the need for a professional Congress - those who's livelihood depends on an ever increasing size in government.

And remember, over these many years such growth has not been the fault of Congress alone. All 3 branches of government are and have been complicit - almost since the beginning of our Nation. No president has been forced to sign into law a bill that goes beyond Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution. No Supreme Court justice has been forced to offer a positive opinion on a law that goes beyond Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution. No, they all are complicit.

The United States was founded with the best structure and Constitution the world has ever known. It is not the structure that is at fault; it is the guardians of that structure, the government.

Remember, with every rule or regulation that is put in place without the vote of We The People at least one freedom we had has been erased. This is all about power and control of We The People; nothing more.

If you feel I am exaggerating, Click Here.