Issue Profile: Unconstitutional Federal Agencies

The third installment of our Member of the Week series continues with an issue profile as discussed by the Congressman. Yesterday, we presented Rep. Jeff Duncan’s answers to five questions, including one about what aspect of government he would reform. His response centered around the looking into federal agencies that are not constitutional, and specifically mentioned the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “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.”

Those who claim the Department of Education is Constitutional say that it promotes the general welfare of the United States, however, this phrase appears in the preamble of the Constitution does not grant or prohibit power to Congress, that is not its purpose. The preamble simply describes the Constitution and what the document itself was designed to do, and is not actually a binding decree of the Constitution.

The Department of Education was founded using the preamble as the basis for its Constitutionality, but due to what’s stated above, it is clear that it is not. Thomas Jefferson considered the federal government’s involvement in education to be unconstitutional. In 1862, James Buchanan warned that giving education to Congress would create a vast and irresponsible authority. Both he and Jefferson were right.

President Obama requested a $48.8 billion budget for the Department of Education, and an additional $28.6 for Pell Grants (both increases from previous years) in his first 2012 budget. Despite all the spending for education, test scores do not improve. Because of this failure of the department, and its inherent unconstitutionality, it should be devolved back to the states.

The Department of Energy should suffer the same fate. Nowhere in the Constitution does the federal government have the right to control a specific industry. The elimination of this department was something Ronald Reagan greatly desired, but was unable to do with Democrats controlling Congress. The department was created from components of existing agencies in 1977. By 1982, the agency’s budget has doubled. President Obama’s 2011 budget request for the department was $28.4 billion, a 6.8% increase from 2010.

Now remember, the Department of Energy is responsible for the crony loan program which gave taxpayer dollars to companies like Solyndra, Beacon, Evergreen Solar and many more which have all gone down the drain. This department, which has been using taxpayer funds to invest in highly risky companies (I thought risky investments was the reason the Occupiers hate Wall Street?) based solely on political reasons is clear grounds for elimination.

The NLRB…where to begin. This agency has been trying to bolster union support since its inception. Union membership actually only totals about 9% of the national workforce, yet this agency would prefer that be 100%. We’ve seen that with their lawsuit against Boeing. They want Boeing to shut down a plant that employs over 1000 people just because it’s not unionized. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) even agreed that the government force the plant to shut down, but she would prefer it simply become union.

Is this kind of government overreach Constitutional? Remember, these are not the only agencies that don’t get their power from the Constitution, and are just a small example of departments in our federal government that should not exist.

Please Share Your Thoughts

11 thoughts on “Issue Profile: Unconstitutional Federal Agencies

  1. I am VERY glad that these useless and downright HARMFUL agencies are being put into the spotlight. If we could get rid of these parasitical unconstitutional departments, that would lift a huge debt burden from the American people’s shoulders.

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  3. Nice piece, Ashe.

    Many Liberals also rely on the “Necessary and Proper” clause to justify the improper expansion of government into areas not authorized by the grants of power in Article I. A visit to Heritage’s “Guide to the Constitution”, and in particular to Article I, section 8 will quickly refute their argument.

  4. I believe that in order to become a prosperous country we must abolish/privatize all federal agencies created since 1850 starting by the IRS and gradually moving towards the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, etc… all of those departments created since 1850 must be abolished and privatized. Also all land owned by the federal government that is not used for military bases of constitutional functions of the federal government should be sold and also property taxes as well as income taxes should end. All foreign military bases should close and we should bring our troops back home in order to save money and stop all unconstitutional wars. In order to protect our jobs we must do away with the WTO, NAFTA, United Nations and all agreements that undermine our sovereignty. Therefore we must impose a tariff on all imported goods (not protective tariff either just a small tariff which will make foreign goods less competitive with our domestic goods and since income as well as property taxes will be abolished our citizens will be able to spend more money on domestic goods therefore balancing supply and demand while at the same time helping our economy grow exponentially.

  5. Also the money collected from tariffs which is constitutional according to Article 1 Section 8 in the enumerated powers of the Constitution which says Congress is allowed “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations”. Also the money collected from tariffs can be used to fund the proper role of the federal government instead of using property and income taxes.

    • “New England”:
      The “original understanding” of “regulate” was: to make smooth.
      Ever seeking self-empowerment (liberal minds ALWAYS seek to rule others) Congress bastardized the term to mean what it means today: make endless rules and restrictions and fines and penalties.
      Then the judicial eliminated “interstate” and “commerce” from the clause in Wickard v. Filburn….so now Congress can “regulate” ANYTHING. (SEE: deceitfully entitled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Also Moochelle’s “Happy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” [yes…it’s a law])

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  7. “general Welfare” also appears in Art.I, Sect.8….which DOES list empowerments.
    BUT…..the clause has a modifier: “…of the United States.”….NOT ‘of the People’. So the intent was to promote the strengthening of the “union” of the States. Perhaps an interstate road system to link them together and promote commerce (also in Art.I, Sect.8).
    Bastardizing the intent empowered Congress OVER the People by creating our present “welfare” system…accurately described as ‘urban plantations’.

  8. What is, or is not constitutional is not determined by opinions, but by the Supreme Court. As far as I know, these departments still exist and the SCOTUS have made no such determinations regarding their constitutionality

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