……………………..Limits are for governments.

James Madison: Protecting the Rights and Possessions of the Minority from the Passions of the Majority

Hancock.JamesMadison Hancock via portrain sculptors org

Walter Hancock, 1901-1998. Image via The Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas or portraitsculptors.org



“[I]n all cases where the majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger.”

~James Madison




Comment:  Today we consider the words of James Madison on the subject of minority and majority rights. James Madison is known as “the Father of the Constitution,” because his Virginia Plan provided the basic framework and guiding principles of the Constitution. He was also, as an elected Representative in the House, sponsor of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

Madison’s words serve as a guiding light in times of doubt and uncertainty about the role of government in our Republic. Today, it would seem that those who believe government should be used to provide all manner of services and “standards of living” for its citizens are on the side of the angels. They are “are united by a common interest or passion” to expropriate more of the earnings of its citizens in order to institute social programs for all. However, as the majority gains the unimpeded ability to confiscate the income of some of the citizens, who are defined as “wealthy,” in order to pay for these services, a very basic principle is violated. The government ceases to protect the rights and possessions of a certain group of people, who are called “rich,” and begins to use its force to seize more and more of what they have. This is a problem, because as soon as this is done to the “rich,” the argument is effectively made – and won – that government may seize half (or more) of the possessions of all citizens.

One potential solution to the problem of allowing an unrestricted majority to pluck the rights and possessions of a minority is to move toward instituting a flat tax. This would bring simplification of the tax code and the protection of upper income couples, while introducing neutrality into the tax system towards the earnings and rights of both the minority and the majority.

A flat tax would introduce simplicity and neutrality to the tax code. Read more here: http://www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/2012/01/the-new-flat-tax-encourages-growth-and-job-creation

A flat tax would introduce simplicity and neutrality to the tax code. Source.

8 responses

  1. references: The Saturday Evening Post, Oct 8, 1949; Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas featured sculptor Walter Hancock 1901-1998; Steve Forbes Dec 2012; and Heritage.

    December 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

  2. It is very difficult to get through to people that the US is suppose to be a Republic, not a Democracy. Democracy is MOB RULE, the will of the majority at the expense of the rights of the minority. When people demand their “rights” and democracy, they don’t realize that you can not have both. To protect my “rights” I must protect yours, even if I don’t like the way you use them. Liberal Progressives don’t understand this, they only want rights and freedom for themselves, only. Mob rule! “My way or The highway” If I win an election then I rule totally and you have no say. This is what creates Civil Wars and Dictators. Democracy always fails in chaos and strong man rule. The Republic must be restored and be fortified. pg

    December 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

  3. Hi PG, yes direct democracy has nothing to commend it!

    A lot of this is manifesting not just in the unequal taxation of our citizens, but in finding all of these new “rights” that now trump the actual Constitutional rights. I was just looking at the Montana Bill of Rights, and found that there is supposed to be a “right” to an healthful, unsullied environment, or to a controlled population level. It’s the invented rights that come up in order to overturn our existing rights. Invented “environmental rights” or “rights” to this service or that service, “rights” to get married, or even “rights” to hear other opinions when one person shares his point of view (Fairness Doctrine) are then used as murder weapons to extinguish the actual rights given to individuals in the amendments.

    The essential rights are still freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and to peaceably gather, the right to bear arms, etc..

    These unscrupulous scientists and politicians sure keep us busy peaceably gathering (blogs)! :)

    December 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

  4. This all has me thinking. The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    “The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is somewhat of an enigma. It provides that the naming of certain rights in the Constitution does not take away from the people rights that are not named. Yet neither the language nor the history of the Ninth Amendment offers any hints as to the nature of the rights it was designed to protect.” I disagree.

    I think this means that just because the Bill of Rights did not specifically say, “The right of the people not to be compelled to buy health insurance that is Federally Regulated, or to be forced to purchase renewable energy” does not mean that right does not exist, and it does not mean to disparage that right. It is all to be viewed in light of the Tenth Amendment. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” These two amplify one another emphasize the limits of government. So Obamacare and the EPA is out on the Ninth!

    December 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

  5. The Supreme Court has stated that “Obama Care” and “Social Security” are general taxes that go to the Treasury, the citizens have no say as to that moneys use, That the government could end those programs payout at any time. You don’t have to buy health insurance. If you don’t buy acceptable insurance there is a tax that the IRS must collect.

    As to the Constitution, Justice Roberts said that we had a limited government, but, he did not know what the limit was. Lawyers of the last 80 years are taught that the Constitution is a living instrument that could be changed to fit the needs of the time.

    What we need is an independent agency that has the sole task of enforcing the terms of the Constitution contract, as “written and enacted”. At present we have no “controlling authority” to defend the terms of that Contract. The Supreme Court is a part of the party that is supposed to be controlled by the contract. Since when is the controlled party allowed to interpret the contract terms and there is no real consequence for violations of the contract terms.

    Depending on the Honor of Politicians and Bureaucrats, that take the oath to defend the Constitution, does not work well enough to preserve the Republic. So a Controlling Authority is needed with TEETH. Maybe EMSmiths third rail! pg

    December 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

  6. I love the thinking and brainstorming and cooking going on there. (: It is a good tricameral idea EMSmith wrote about, which would involve representation directly from counties – however, it would constitute and expansion of government! And that is to be avoided. (:

    We have very few powers left and it would seem not enough protection from an oversized Executive and a Rogue Court and many unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies and departments.

    But we have some remaining defenses within our system as it is, and as unlikely as it seems, the separation of powers may still deliver us. There are governors in 25 states who will not institute exchanges, and a few who have rejected Obamacare outright, because it was not written as a tax – Justice Roberts wrote that, so he could rule it Constitutional. The court cannot write legislation.

    We have a small Republican majority in the House, who might reject Beohner(R) and refuse to raise taxes. We have a new challenge to Obamacare in the Supreme Court. We had a lot of local silliness and absurdity and new taxes defeated. So there is good at the local level.

    So I think it is time to look at what little we have left and assume in the wisdom of the Republic, it will be enough.

    December 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  7. Ben Carson put in a good word for the flat tax at at the National Prayer Breakfast.

    ~Archived Article~

    Ben Carson: US Like Ancient Rome; Obama Not My Target

    Friday, 08 Feb 2013 10:05 PM

    World-renown pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told conservative radio and television host Armstrong Williams on Friday that his attacks on the nation’s ills in his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this week were not directed at President Barack Obama.

    In his first interview since upstaging the president at the event on Thursday, Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said his comments were “directed at the situation that is going on in our nation and how we can solve it.”

    “It’s not an attack on anybody, but it’s saying there are logical solutions for our problems and there are things that we can all get behind — be we right wing, be we left wing,” Carson said Friday on Williams show “The Right Side.”

    “It doesn’t matter, because we need to do the things that will benefit the entire society and get us moving in the right direction. We need to be able to have open discussions.”

    Opening his remarks with quotations from the Old Testament books of Proverbs and Second Chronicles, the neurosurgeon blasted the nation’s $16.4 trillion debt, its cumbersome tax system — and its “inefficient” health care system.

    President Obama showed no reaction to Carson’s attacks, simply sitting stoically at the dais table. First Lady Michelle Obama also was in attendance.

    “Our deficit is a big problem,” said Carson, who last spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1997. “Sixteen-and-a-half trillion dollars. You think that’s not a lot of money? Count one number per second. You know how long it would take to count to 16 trillion? 507,000 years. More than half-a-million years to get there.”

    “What about our taxation system?” he continued. “So complex, there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and tittle of our tax system. If I wanted to get you, I can get you on a tax issue.

    Latest: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

    ‘It doesn’t make any sense. What we need to do is come up with something that’s simple.”

    He then discussed the biblical principle of tithing.

    “God has given us a system. He didn’t say, “If you crops fail, don’t give me a tithe.’ He didn’t say, ‘If you get a bumper crop, give me a triple-tithe.’ So, there must be something inherently fair about proportionality.

    “You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10, you put in $1,” he said to applause from the audience.

    “But some people say, ‘That’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made $10’ — but where does it say that you have the hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don’t need to hurt him.

    “It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands,” Carson said. “That money needs to be back here — building our infrastructure and creating jobs. We’re smart enough to figure out how to do that.”

    As for health care, he began, “We need to have good health care for everybody, but we have to figure out efficient ways to do it.”

    Carson’s solution: “When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account (HSA) to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die.

    “When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you’ve got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything,” he added. “You’re happy to pass it on and there’s nobody talking about death panels.”

    He added: “For the people who are indigent who don’t have any money, we can make contributions to their HSA each month because we already have this huge pot of money. Instead of sending it to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now, they have some control over their own health care.”

    In his interview with Williams on Friday, Carson said likened the United States to the ancient Roman civilization.

    “The Roman Empire was very, very much like us,” he told Williams. “They lost their moral core, their sense of values in terms of who they were. And after all of those things converged together, they just went right down the tubes very quickly.

    “When you look at America, it’s not too hard to see great similarities. We’ve spread ourselves all over the place. We have incredible expenses. We don’t adjust — and, consequently, we expand the deficit and the debt and entitlement programs, and not living within our means and not adjusting programs and not adjusting people’s expectations.

    “When it comes to wanting things, people don’t really care about the national debt,” Carson said. “They don’t really care about the future; they just care about, ‘Give me my check so I can eat next week.’

    “That’s understandable, but we have not created the right kinds of expectations — and we really need to start doing that or we will face a similar fate.”

    © 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

    Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newswidget/Ben-Carson-Prayer-Obama/2013/02/08/id/489602?promo_code=F492-1&utm_source=Test_Newsmax_Feed&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1#ixzz2KYAedMV4
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    February 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm

  8. Doug Allen

    A flat tax would definitely simplify the tax code and solve some problems,but create others. Read why and how the Greek tyrants solved the problems of increasing Greek asset and income inequality, something occurring here which would be accelerated by a flat tax. Do we want the “Greek tyrant” solution? No, I didn’t think so.

    December 23, 2013 at 6:31 pm

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