Just empty offices in Washington


An often repeated complaint of the political left is that our Constitution is broken and doesn’t apply to present times. In truth, there’s nothing wrong with the Constitution. It’s as valid a prescription for preserving human freedom, justice, and dignity, as when our founding fathers forged its wording.

What is broken, however, is the federal government. It has become an aristocratic monstrosity, embodied in an overbearing and overreaching bureaucracy that’s crushing the spirit of our people and sucking the life out of our country.

Another complaint is frustration in redistributing wealth, from people who are successful to those who are less fortunate, along with the simply indolent. Good news: There is a way to address both of these issues – empty out Washington.

Regarding the first issue, for years Washington has been doing nothing but demagoguery and delay dealing with matters critical to the health of our nation. During the last election, does anyone recall a genuine, fact-based debate, regarding substantial problems confronting this country? What we get is pabulum, posturing, and endless partisan bickering. Even worse, when a bill passes, we learn that not one representative actually read it, or can credibly recount what’s in it.

Since Washington is so dysfunctional, providing little honest discourse or meaningful deliberation, our elected representatives can do that, far more cheaply, from their home districts. With the Internet enabling secure communication and virtual presence, they only need to be in Washington three or, at most, four times a year to conduct hearings and carry out official functions requiring face-to-face meetings.

States should recall their senators and representatives and direct them to conduct their business within the districts they were elected to represent, as well as under the scrutiny of their constituents, who pay the bills.

As for the second issue, confiscatory taxation of “rich” citizens can only produce, at most, a few billion dollars; however, redeploying Washington’s federal bureaucracies to the 50 states would redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars. For example, when was the last time a commercial crop was harvested in Washington, D.C.? Shouldn’t the Department of Agriculture be located in Iowa and Kansas, where they actually grow wheat and corn?

With few exceptions, every federal bureaucracy can be proportionally redistributed, giving every state access to assistance for conducting the businesses over which that department holds regulatory authority. Furthermore, should businesses within a state decline, such that a particular department is no longer helpful or necessary, then that department’s contingent would be decommissioned, and all of its funding returned to the United States Treasury with the sole and express purpose of paying down U.S. debt obligations.

So, what of D.C.? It will do just fine – as a picturesque city of malls, monuments, and museums. And it will still be the physical meeting point for the constitutionally designated branches of government. Washington will experience impacts and adjustments from the loss of jobs. But, then, most of the rest of the country has been dealing with that for decades.

Don Reese

West Farmington