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Principle 12

We consider it a violation of the Constitution for the Federal Government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government; that no state or local government can accept funds from the Federal and remain independent in performing its functions, nor can the citizens exercise their rights of self-government under such conditions.

“It is a firm principle that the smallest or lowest level that can possibly undertake the task is the one that should do so. First, the community or the city. If the city cannot handle it, then the county. Next, the state; and only if no smaller unit can possibly do the job should the federal government be considered. This is merely the application to the field of politics of that wise and time-tested principle of never asking a larger group to do that which can be done by a smaller group. And so far as government is concerned, the smaller the unit the closer it is to the people…” – Ezra Taft Benson, “The Proper Role of Government”

State and local area governments can solve their own problems, and should NOT accept federal dollars in their support, since such conditions put these governments in a position of dependency.

“The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, law, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body.” – Thomas Jefferson

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution states:

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excise: to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the U.S….”

The intent of the Constitution by the term “general welfare” was NOT that Congress was to favor special interest groups or particular classes of people. Quite the opposite, the term meant that there were to be NO privileged individuals or groups in society. The word “general” was intended to mean “the whole of society.”

The original mandate of the federal government was to allow monies received from taxes to benefit America uniformly, meaning one group or geographical region would not benefit from tax collections over another group, state or region. Yet after the adoption of the 16th Amendment, it was irresponsibly deemed that taxes could benefit “any good cause” (and what isn’t a good cause?).

Since then, the goal of many vain politicians at the federal level has been to make a state or local area dependent on federal dollars through programs and monetary incentives (using both levied taxes AND the Federal Reserve, which creates money out of nothing). It has followed that within a certain time-period states and local areas become dependent on these funds, and cannot retract agreements made with the federal government without serious economic repercussions.

This dependency creates a ‘quality of life’ that states and local areas get used to, and these dollars become “entitlements” which cannot be taken away; doing so would be extremely unpopular for a politician whose goal is to get re-elected.

A few versus in the book of Genesis gives states and local governments great insight:

And the king of Sodom said unto Abram… take the goods to thyself. And Abram (Abraham) said to the king of Sodom…, I will not take from a thread even to a shoe-latchet…, I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich. (Genesis 14:21-23)

“How is it possible to cut out the various welfare-state features of our government which have already fastened themselves like cancer cells onto the body politic? Isn’t drastic surgery already necessary, and can it be performed without endangering the patient? In answer, it is obvious that drastic measures are called for. No half-way or compromise actions will suffice. Like all surgery, it will not be without discomforts and perhaps even some scar tissue for a long time to come. But it must be done if the patient is to be saved, and it can be done without undue risk.” – Ezra Taft Benson, “The Proper Role of Government”

Principle 21 in Cleon Skousen’s “5000 Year-Leap” states that:

“Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom”

Additional Reading

The Principles of Liberty