America's Founders and Founding Principles

Limited Government

Our Government was created for one purpose alone: to protect the individual liberty of man.  In order for it to be able to do that, the government was given LIMTED POWERS by our founders through the constitution.

Many in power often complain that the constitution is a document of "negative liberties".  That is true when viewed from the stand point of the government. The constitution limits the power of those elected to office.

This was done by our founders because they were breaking away from an arrogant political class that was headed by a king.  The king had nothing to justify his position of power over men, other than to be born to a certain family and then to be granted the right to wear a crown.  In other places in the world de facto kings are "elected" by majorities but their constitution places no limits on their power.  Usually such governments with full power are designed to serve what is mischaracterized as "the common good".  Unfortunately, what really happens is that a small group of powerful elite generate benefits for themselves and those in the "political class" willing to play along.

Our founders knew that men were fallible and that greed and corruption were common place among men.  They sought not to eradicate greed and corruption through the action of government, but to prevent those in the government itself from enriching themselves or acting in corrupt ways to harm others.  They knew, as Friedrich Hayek taught in "The Road to Serfdom" that the "worst rise to the top".  Thus they should be given as little power as possible over private citizens who could then seek prosperity on their own with no government help and no government interference.

They created a judicial system that would help ensure justice and remedy the acts of greed and corruption that occurred in society by enshrining the protection of individual liberty above all.  They created a system of checks and balances so that no single branch of government could be more powerful than another. They ensured that the President could not unilaterally declare war by granting that power to Congress - a power that has been forsaken now for decades in our country.  They ensured elections of representatives - a republic - but not direct democracy that often could create a "tyranny of the majority". 

In short, they knew that no government could cure all or many or even few of societies ills.  They knew that large governments were more likely to cause harm to societies and individuals.

So they gave us our constitution and millions have fought and died to protect it over the years.  It is now our turn to stand up and claim our freedoms using the peaceful means our forefathers gave us: speech, press, assembly, petition of government and elections.

"We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic
provide for the common
promote the general
Welfare, and
secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our
ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America."


Of all these clauses, most are self explanatory: "domestic tranquility", "Justice", "common Defense". Sadly "general welfare" is often misconstrued to mean that it is the job of the government to create entitlement or similar programs to promote equal status and outcomes among all Americans. 

In fact, that clause referred to the "GENERAL" welfare - the welfare of all society. It does not refer to the welfare of individuals or individual groups within society.  When the General Welfare clause is abused in this way, special interests form together into a "political class" to protect their government granted special benefits - all at the expense of others in the minority who must sacrifice to elevate another group. 

America must remember that the "General Welfare" is best promoted by a very small government with limited powers where a free market operates and allows more people to reach their full potential while generating peace and prosperity for all.