Domestic Policy

Return to Common Sense

June 1, 2019

Section: Domestic - Policy

 Limit the federal government to those duties specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and let the states compete on merit.

Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.” John F. Kennedy.


Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):

Constitution established a federal government of limited powers, enumerated in Article I, section 8.

States rights reaffirmed by 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution

Anglo-American foundations of society are:

The left and right differ in their approach to law.

Federal spending is the third-largest item in the federal budget after Social Security and defense.



Unless Constitution specifically grants power to the Federal government, the states may legislate their own laws.

Government programs must be self sustaining.

Conservative approach to social problems:



Short Term, Limit size and intrusion of government.

o   Interpret Commerce Clause restrictively to return governmental power to the States.

Long Term, Downsize government, with particular emphasis on unsustainable entitlement spending:

o   Department of Agriculture ($142.0 billion annually).

o   Department of Commerce ($16.7 billion annually).

o   Department of Education ($106.9 billion annually).

o   Department of Energy ($38.3 billion annually).

o   Department of Health and Human Services ($868.8 billion annually).

o   Department of Housing and Urban Development ($62.5 billion annually).

o   Department of Interior (12.0 billion annually).

o   Department of Labor (209.3 billion annually).

o   Department of Transportation ($90.9 billion annually).

o   Federal Reserve Banks.

o   Export-Import Bank.

o   Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

o   Rural Housing Service (RHS).

o   Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).

o   Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), ($6.5 B).

o   Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), ($6.5 B).

o   Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB).

o   Student Loan Marketing Corporation (Sallie Mae).

o   Social Security - Privatize into Personal Savings Accounts.

o   Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.

o   Risk Management Agency ($3.4B).

o   Crop Insurance.

o   National Flood Insurance.

o   Property Insurance.

o   Terrorism Risk Insurance (TRIA).

o   Windstorm Insurance.

o   Medicare (325B) - Privatize into personal Health Savings Accounts.

o   Tennessee Valley Authority.

o   NASA ($15.7B).

o   Amtrak ($2.53B).

o   Army Corps of Engineers ($4.9B).

o   St. Lawrence Seaway.

o   National Weather Service ($2.3B).

o   Geographic Survey ($.5B).

o   Global Positioning Service ($7.0B).

o   Transportation Security Agency ($2.7B).

o   Federal Aviation Administration ($11.8B).

o   Airport operations.

o   Seaport operations.

o   Highway operations

o   Postal Service ($8.1B).

o   Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

o   Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit ($62B)

o   Medicaid ($186B).

o   State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

o   State Payment for Family Support ($4,142M).

o   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ($18,099M)

o   Child Care Entitlement Grants ($2.7B).

o   Child Care & Development Grants ($2.1B).

o   Community Oriented Policing Services ($575M).

o   Community Service Grants ($631M)

o   Foster Care & Adoption Grants ($6.5B).

o   Head Start ($6.8B).

o   Social Service Grants ($1.8B).

o   Federal Transit Administration ($15.5B).

o   Federal Highway Administration ($51.8B). .

o   Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

o   Excess electromagnetic spectrum ($150B).

o   Commodity lands (Forest Service, BLM) ($160B).

o   Government buildings and lands ($10.B).

o   Transfer lands with marketable resources to fiduciary trusts to maximize net returns and/or preserve and restore ecosystems or cultural resources

o   Each state can choose the level of natural resource exploitation.

o   Privatize federal lands that have no unique environmental value.

o   Administration on Aging ($1.4B).

o   Employment and Training Administration ($5.2B).

o   Low Income Home Energy Assistance ($2.1B).

o   Small Business Administration ($3.0B).

o   Substance Abuse & Mental Health ($3.2B).

o   Trade Adjustment Assistance ($1.1B).

o   Agency for International Development ($3.7B).

o   Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($466M).

o   Economic Development Administration ($392M).

o   Maritime Administration ($411M).

o   National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities ($254M).

o   Rural Development ($1.0B).

o   United Nations ($362M).



United States Constitution, 1789.

The Law” by Frederic Bastiat, 1850.

Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark R. Levin published by Threshold Editions, 2009.

The Liberty Amendments” by Mark R. Levin published by Threshold Editions, 2013.

Can Government Be Reinvented?” by Larry Reynolds, dated January 1994, published by Management Review.

Congressional Testimony before Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations” by Roger Pilon, published by Cato Institute at http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-fd720.html .

A Strategy to Eliminate Wasteful Federal Spending” by Sam Brownback, dated October 16, 2003, published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/HL806.cfm .

How to Get Federal Spending Under Control” by Brian M. Riedl, dated March 5, 2004, published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg1733.cfm .

You Might be a Constitutionalist If…” by Chuck Baldwin, dated August 9, 2006, published By American Daily at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/waterfront_welfare_for_develop.html .

“A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens” by Ryan Messmore, dated February 2007, published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Thought/fp9.cfm .

The Enlightenment: Anglo-American (Genesis) vs. Franco-Germanic (Anti-Genesis)” by Linda Kimball, dated March 9, 2007, published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/17939 .

Federal Aid to the States – Historical Cause of Government Growth and Bureaucracy” by Chris Edwards, dated May 22, 2007, published by Cato Institute at http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8246 .

My Neighbor’s Keeper? Rethinking Responsibility and the Role of Government” by Ryan Messmore, dated August 2, 2007, published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Religion/bg2058.cfm .

Restoring the American Social Contract” by Stuart M. Butler, dated July 26, 2007, published by Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/hl1039.cfm .

Social Welfare Conservatism” by Douglas J. Besharov, dated January 9, 2008, published by American Enterprise Institute at http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.27338/pub_detail.asp .

Put the ‘Independence’ Back in Independence Day” by Michael S. Berliner dated June 27, 2008 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/22475 .

Great ideas: unintended consequences” by Henry Lamb dated July 14, 2008 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/22627 .

The Supreme Court and the Commerce Clause” by Thomas Brewton dated July 15, 2009 published by Thomas Brewton at http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/the_supreme_court_and_the_commerce_clause/ .

’ObamaCare:’ What does the Constitution have to say?” by Chelsea Schilling dated August 14, 2009 published by World Net Daily at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=106694 .

Return to the Constitution” by David Coughlin dated May 26, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://dscough.blogtownhall.com/2010/05/26/return_to_the_constitution.thtml

Re-embracing Federalism” dated August 17, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Re-embracing-Federalism .

Overcriminalization and the Constitution” by Brian W. Walsh and Benjamin P. Keane dated April 13, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/04/Overcriminalization-and-the-Constitution .

If we want smaller government, drastic action may be required by David Coughlin dated July 26, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48365

Time to deal with the elephants in the room by David Coughlin dated July 31, 2012 published by Conservative Daily News at http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2012/07/time-to-deal-with-the-elephants-in-the-room/

Why Liberals Use Law for Control, While Conservatives Use Law for Protection” by Kelly O’Connell dated September 22, 2013 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/58055 .

Economic Development Administration” by Chris Edwards and Tad DeHaven dated April 2, 2018 published by CATO Institute at https://www.downsizinggovernment.org/commerce/eda .

“Restoring Responsible Government by Cutting Federal Aid to the States” by Chris Edwards dated May 20, 2019 published by CATO Institute at https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/restoring-responsible-government-cutting-federal-aid-states .