WASHINGTON - In honor of Constitution Day, Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict released the following statement today:
"Tomorrow, September 17, is Constitution Day: the anniversary of the agreement on the U.S. Constitution by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.
"When I think about that anniversary, I am saddened by how far we have strayed from our original respect for the Constitution. But I am hopeful for the future.
"The value of a constitution is that it binds government and prevents pure majority rule. Without it, government tends to grow without bounds as political majorities find ways to constrain and take money from political minorities.
"Fortunately, the American Founders were well aware of this problem. They created a Constitution to limit the federal government's powers to just a few narrow functions.
"But unfortunately, over the last 224 years, all three branches of government, and most of the American people, have often decided that the Constitution can be ignored if it's too inconvenient. Our attitude has been that, if we really want something, then we say 'times have changed' and the Constitution doesn't apply anymore.
"Instead of amending the Constitution, we have chosen to ignore provisions the majority doesn't like anymore. That has led to an explosive growth of the federal government. It now interferes deeply in education, health care, retirement planning, employment, and a variety of other areas that would have been unthinkable 100 years ago.
"This unconstitutional growth of government has caused many new problems in our society, and aggravated many existing ones.
"Instead of a government described as 'islands of power in a sea of rights,' our government now functions as a 'sea of power with islands of rights.' And those islands are shrinking.
"If we are to have a government that respects and protects individual rights, we must return to the Constitution. We must recover the principle that the federal government is limited to the enumerated powers of Article I, Section 8. We must accept that the General Welfare clause does not mean the federal government can spend money on whatever we want; and the Interstate Commerce clause does not mean the federal government can impose whatever regulations we want.
"If -- and only if -- we return to the Constitution, America's future is bright."
The following six sentences in the Libertarian Party platform mention the Constitution:
"We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused." (1.3 Crime and Justice)
"We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution." (2.4 Government Finance and Spending)
"We support the passage of a 'Balanced Budget Amendment' to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes." (2.4 Government Finance and Spending)
"We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies and unconstitutional legal tender laws." (2.5 Money and Financial Markets)
"Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself." (3.0 Securing Liberty)
"The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war." (3.2 Internal Security and Individual Rights)
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
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