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“From Limited Government to Leviathan”

The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reads: “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.” So how has the federal government grown to its present size?

Roger Pillon, vice president of legal affairs at the Cato Institute, provides a concise answer in the Winter 2006 Cato’s Letter (Adobe required). In the conclusion, Pillon writes: “Vast numbers of Americans look to Washington for a rich array of “entitlements” that speak of nothing so much as the illusion of something for nothing. And politicians nurture that illusion, propelling us all in the downward spiral that Thomas Hobbes aptly called a war on all against all. Stated otherwise, as contributors to public largesse become fewer and recipients more numerous, the downward spiral becomes a death spiral. And we are headed in that direction as discipline continues to erode.”

The essay should be required reading by every member of Congress.