The Instigator
wjmelements
Pro (for)
Tied
44 Points
The Contender
PervRat
Con (against)
Tied
44 Points

If we follow the Declaration of Independence, then it is past time to overthrow the U.S. government.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,898 times Debate No: 7853
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (18)
Votes (15)

 

wjmelements

Pro

Disclaimer: I do not advocate this, nor do I endorse this belief. In no way does wjmelements or debate.org endorse the views advocated in this debate.

From the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." http://www.archives.gov...

Therefore, my burden is to prove that government has 'become destructive of' life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.
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1. Liberty-
Government has laid upon the people two burdens to liberty:
-Taxation on property
-Regulation without representation

Government has used authority not derived from the people through the constitution through:
-bureaucracy
-intrastate commerce regulation
-usage of powers reserved to the states
-other various infringes on the constitution

2. Pursuit of Happiness
Government has put onto the people the following burdens that destroy one's attempt at happiness:
-Windfall taxes
-The progressive tax
-Capital gains taxes
These policies discourage success, reinvestment, and ultimately the ability of one to pursue one's happiness.
-----------------------------
For these reasons, the United States government has intruded upon the 'inalienable rights' of the people. It has also gone beyond the consent of the governed.
PervRat

Con

I do not contest the quote for accuracy. I do contest Pro's interpretations, on a point by point basis:

== REBUTTAL TO PRO'S REASONING #1 - Liberty ==
Taxation on property - How is taxation an undue burden? The very founding principle of government is a group of people who sacrifice anarchistic individual freedoms to contribute toward a better, stronger mutual good. No government can operate without funds -- in fact, government is the very source and provider of currency, and without a strong central government, money would have no meaning. If you took away the government's ability to collect taxes to pay for its own operations such as civil works or defense (military), the government would cease to function. This could readily be observed in history when several states decided to secede from what they determined to be a too powerful central government to form a confederacy, allowing for more states' rights. The Confederate States of America born of this could not sustain nor protect itself because its model of a weak central government with no real ability to levy taxes to fund itself was ultimately, conclusively unsustainable. To do away with taxes is to undo government and create anarchy.
Regulation without representation - Certainly, residents of certain portions of the United States, such as the "District of Columbia," might have a valid complaint of having regulation without representation, as the District of Columbia lacks congressional representation as do all non-state territories. For the "mainstream America" in the fifty states of the United States, however, each state has representation in legislative regulation in the form of two duly elected senators and at least two duly elected representatives (more apportioned depending on population determined in once-per-decade census reports) in the bicameral United States Congress.
Bureaucracy - Government beaureaus, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are vital for carrying out essential functions of the government to protect its people and ensure the good of the people is met. I find that Pro has not established why beauracracies are an unconstitutional use of authority.
Intrastate commerce regulation - I will seriously need Pro to address specifics on why he feels intrastate commerce regulation is a violation of the U.S. constitution by the U.S. government.
Usage of powers reserved to the states - Care to cite specific examples at least?

I cannot address miscellaneous, unspecified "other infringements on the constitution" and would ask Pro to specify them, as the burden of proof is on Pro to establish his case beyond reasonable doubt.
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response.
--------------------------
MY OPPONENT's COUNTER-CASE:
"How is taxation an undue burden?"
"To do away with taxes is to undo government and create anarchy."
I do not contend this; however, my point was actually not that taxes are unjust, but that they are abusive.

"For the "mainstream America" in the fifty states of the United States, however, each state has representation in... Congress."
However, these people do not represent the United States people in the regulating process. For example, the FDA and the EPA, while having a purpose, are regulating liberty from the people. They are bureaucratic institutions who issue regulations without having a check on them. The people ultimately have no say in what happens in these institutions, as the President can only decide who runs the EPA or the FDA. The head of the EPA is not elected. Neither is the head of the FDA nor the people in either of such examples of regulatory bureaucracy. Presidential candidates do not even tell the people that they plan to select for this purpose.

"I find that Pro has not established why beauracracies are an unconstitutional use of authority."
No I have not. Well, hear we go:
The Constitution, the document that allows a government to govern a people, does not allow for such bureacracies to exist (Executive: http://www.law.cornell.edu... ) (Legislative: http://www.law.cornell.edu... ). Such powers are clearly ceded to the states in the 10th ammendment, which states:
"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." http://www.law.cornell.edu...
What we can interpret from this is that governmental power outside of what the federal government can do according to the constitution must be achieved through the states.

"This could readily be observed in history when several states decided to secede from what they determined to be a too powerful central government to form a confederacy... because its model of a weak central government with no real ability to levy taxes to fund itself was ultimately, conclusively unsustainable."
This is historically false. The Civil War was not a fair fight, as the Union had more resources people, and industry. http://americancivilwar.com...
My opponent makes a false claim as to why the Confederacy collapsed. Ultimately, this is irrelevant, as the debate depends on whether federal authority has broken, or whether liberty or the pursuit of happiness has been assaulted.
----------------------------------
THE PURPOSE OF A CONSTITUTION
Constitutions are established as social contracts between people and their government. The Constitution is a necessary check on the powers of government and on the people. The will of the majority is almost never what's best for the whole. Says Thomas Jefferson,
"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." http://www.brainyquote.com...
Therefore, it becomes necessary for a constitution to check on government. The will of the majority in Russia wanted the tyrrany that they saw as equality in socialism. However, unlimited power was vested in the government as a result, and the result was the totalitarian Soviet regime of Stalin. http://encarta.msn.com... http://honolulu.hawaii.edu...

Concluding thoughts on the need for constitutional government:
A constitution is necessary to keep power in check. Though our government has expanded gradually and not suddenly, unlimited government is tyrrany all the same. There is a detailed ammendment process for the constitution, but never-the-less, the constitution has been ignored rather than ammended.
--------------------
Specifice powers of congress.
For future reference to my opponent, the full list of powers delegated to congress can be found in section 8 of the first article of the United States Constitution. http://www.archives.gov...

Government has the power "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes".
Government has the power "to lay and collect Taxes... to pay... for the... general Welfare of the United States"
http://www.archives.gov...
This clearly does not include the power to regulate for such purposes.
------------------------
SPECIFIC CLAIMS OF INFRINGEMENT OF THE POWERS DELEGATED TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

- "Congress has also authorized EPA and other government agencies to create and enforce regulations" http://www.epa.gov...
Congress has given a power it doesn't have, (to regulate personal decisions), to an unelected bureaucracy. While this has a purpose, it is not consented by the people through the constitution.
- The FDA is involved in "regulating almost 124,000 business establishments" http://www.fda.gov...
Congress has given a power it doesn't have, (to regulate businesses and intra-state commerce), to an unelected bureaucracy. While this has a purpose, it is not consented through the constitution.
- "The Department of Transportation was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966" http://www.dot.gov...
Congess has given a power it doesn't have, (to regulate transportation), to an unelected bureaucracy. While this has a purpose, it is not consented by the people through the constitution.
- "USDA has... [been] expanding markets for agricultural products and support international economic development, further developing alternative markets for agricultural products and activities, providing financing needed to help expand job opportunities and improve housing, utilities and infrastructure in rural America, enhancing food safety by taking steps to reduce the prevalence of foodborne hazards from farm to table, improving nutrition and health by providing food assistance and nutrition education and promotion, and managing and protecting America's public and private lands" http://www.usda.gov...
- The Department of Energy regulates energy use and production http://www.energy.gov...
While there may be purpose in this, the power to regulate such a thing is reserved to the states rather than an unelected bureaucracy.

-ETC
This could go one for quite a while. There are many other such actions of government that go beyond the powers vested to the government through the constitution.
------------------
OVERBEARING TAXES
While the government needs a source of revenue, certain taxes impeed the right to pursue happiness.

For example, government has implemented the crude oil windfall profits tax on crude oil. http://www.taxhistory.org...

Capital gains taxes have been instituted. http://taxes.about.com...

These policies discourage success, reinvestment, and ultimately the ability of one to pursue one's happiness.
-----------------
The Declaration of Independence stated that people should abolish government that is opressive. Unconstitutional limits on liberty and burdens on the Pursuit of Happiness are indeed enough to justify such a thing.
The resolution is affirmed.
Vote PRO.
PervRat

Con

I find it shockingly ridiculous that FDA, EPA and other regulatory agencies created, authorized and sustained by elected representatives, are considered a tyranny by Pro over freedom. Freedom, perhaps, for zero-representative corporations to sell food watered down with cheap toxic fillers or drugs taht are unsafe, untested or ineffective, getting people to hang their health on the good word of agricultural or pharmaceutical CEOs? As it is, the underfunding of these agencies have resulted in screening gaps that have led to a number of deaths I could only chalk up to agricultural/pharmaceutical malpractice that has even been willful at times.

Professionalism in these agencies requires making it a career instead of a 4- or 6-year job. Are police departments, fire departments and public hospitals equally as abusive to Pro because they are not elected bureaus either? Unfortunately, this is only a 2-round debate, so I will not get to read and respond to any remarks Pro has to say about it within the confines of the bonafide debate. I am most definitely baffled and curious as to whether (and if so, how) Pro differentiates local emergency services from federal bureaus. In terms of "bureaus are abusive," unless one is restricting to singular charges against specific bureaus for specific reasons, one cannot pick and choose "I like X bureau, but do not like Y."

The constitution does not allow women to vote nor have equal rights. Unless an ERA amendment finally passes, should women being allowed to vote or any federal gender-equality legislations also be considered abusive?

Also, didn't President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation violate the pro-slavery Constitution of the time? Lincoln must be one of the most abusive presidents of all time in your book for doing that.

Bits and pieces ...
The Constitution is not the law. The FDA, EPA and other federal bureaus act on behalf of elected representatives. Legislators, presidents and justices tend to be very smart people, but its impractical to consider them experts on anything, and a nation as large as the United States cannot rely on a president and vice president and a couple hundred Congresspersons to be able to effectively regulate federal minimum guidelines for things like the minimum wage, certification that a drug is safe and effective or environmental laws.

States can and do override these minimum guidelines to establish higher ones ... several states (California, for example) have higher minimum wage standards. California also has tougher environmental protections, especially in terms of pollution from automobiles. Power is thus not taken away, merely federal minimum standards are applied.

There's no Constitutional declaration of "Murder is a federal offense." Thus, federal prosecutions for murder are Constitutionally abusive just as much as federal bureaus carrying out their functions without having to make time for political campaigns every 4-6 years. Or do you think it right to pick and choose what is or is not abusive in your book?

Things like FDA and EPA regulations and enforcement are an infringement on absolute freedom, but absolute freedom is not just. If you want to live in a world where one state can declare it is okay to poison kids with toxic chemicals if a CEO is making a buck off it, then go ahead, seek to dismantle the EPA. If you want to live in a world like China where bureaus for public benefit are a joke and products like baby milk formula can come to market even when watered down with cheap toxic fillers, then go ahead, seek to dismantle the FDA.

It is simply unreasonable to leave it to the states to agree to common minimum standards when interests common between states should be handled by the federal government, with federal authority.

== REBUTTAL ON "OVERBEARING TAXES" ==
The profiteering by domestic oil cartels is obscene. They choked out the rest of the country, including most businesses and individuals. A lot of businesses completely shut down, costing a lot of people their jobs because of their greed and obscene profits. The oil companies' "happiness" was due to capitalistic abuse that bled everyone else in the country dry, including the government with a majority of its population having a lot less money to pay in taxes. It was, in my book, a very reasonable measure to compensate for the obscene tax breaks given to the nation's wealthies (wherein a lot of record-profit oil companies paid taxes equivelant to the low single digits, far less proportionally than, say, a middle-class family who struggled with bills and a rapidly tripled-or-more energy bills).

The runaway greed of the cartels (domestic oil companies as much as foreign, mind you!) endangered not only the independence of the American People and the viability of the American economy. Its the equivelant of a small group of people using every drop of water from the Mississippi, and yet Pro would cry foul if the government attempted to intervene as people had no water to drink, river transportation was left useless on a dry river bed and no fishing to be had either (or farming, or anything else dependent on the river).

We find laws, on occasion, that are wrong and unjust and though a person might technically violate them, our system can contest the justness of questionable laws. By the same token, I consider it only fair that people who do things that, while not technically illegal, place a massive, tremendous strain and undue burden on the rest of the population, and I cannot think of a much worse example in recent history than the oil profiteers that decimated the remainder of the American economy. It was capitalistic abuse, and Congress was right to intervene to protect American businesses and families.

I hope all my arguments and points are duly considered when you choose which side you feel has won this debate. Thank you to my opponent, and thank you audience for participating now by rating and voting both myself and my opponent. I look forward to future debates!
Debate Round No. 2
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NItEMArE129 7 years ago
NItEMArE129
"However, an unnecessary burden is a terrible thing. IE In animal farm, when the animals were all forced to live more miserably on and on... Their taxed labour was wasted upon government."

Yet we have shown that taxes enable a government to perform its basic duties.

"Because they fund unconstitutional government and they are burdensome."

Your basing that the gov. is unconst. because it violates the pursuit of happiness. Which it doesn't. Essentially, an economy is also a burden to the pursuit of happiness. It's not necessary, because, as the saying goes, money doesn't buy happiness. But are you really suggesting we overthrow the economy?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
However, an unnecessary burden is a terrible thing. IE In animal farm, when the animals were all forced to live more miserably on and on... Their taxed labour was wasted upon government.

Because they fund unconstitutional government and they are burdensome.
Posted by NItEMArE129 7 years ago
NItEMArE129
The concept that you should work hard for happiness is a massive burden as well. Burdens do not prevent you from pursuing happiness, so they're not unconstitutional.

And if they're not unconstitutional, why should they be a reason to overthrow the US government?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Yes, you can pursue happiness with high taxes, but high taxes are a massive burden. And I understand that. Guarenteed happiness is a silly thing that neither low taxes nor big government can give.

I didn't say the taxes were unconstitutional.
Posted by NItEMArE129 7 years ago
NItEMArE129
You can still pursue happiness with high taxes. There is a difference between pursuit of happiness and guaranteed happiness.

And if the government is unconstitutional, that doesn't mean that the taxes are unconstitutional. If the taxes aren't the direct cause to the government's unconstituationality, then you can't place blame on them.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
High taxes go against pursuit of happiness, adn the government it funds is unconstitutional.
Posted by NItEMArE129 7 years ago
NItEMArE129
Your argument was that they go against the pursuit of happiness, not their unconstitutionality.

But regardless. The taxes themselves are not inherently unconstitutional. Only, as you claim, the uses of them. So, for instance, can you provide a use of the taxes (plus a source) that you would claim are unconstitutional?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Of course taxes are necessary, but they are excessive and they go towards unconstitutional things that ultimately do not matter.
Posted by NItEMArE129 7 years ago
NItEMArE129
I know it's not. But it's one of your points.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
That's not what this debate was about.
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