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Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Four Branches of Government?
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Those of us embroiled in a sea of regulation may take little comfort from the fact that the Founding Fathers intended only three branches of government.

In Article 1 of the US Constitution, the separation of powers is clearly delineated into the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government with the power held by each branch carefully identified. In particular, in Section 8, when identifying the powers of Congress, the Constitution says that among other things, Congress shall have the power, "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." It does not say anyone else has the power to make laws and it does not say Congress has the power to hand law-making responsibility over to others, but after about 100 years, that is exactly what they figured out how to do.

In 1887, Congress created the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate railroads and ensure "fair" rates. This was the first commission ever created and thus began the Fourth Branch of the US government. Today, there are thousands of agencies and commissions that don't answer to the people and don't answer to Congress. They only answer to the statute that created them. The direct result is the bloated and overreaching Federal government we have today.

The Founding Fathers never suspected Congress would abdicate its responsibility under the vesting clause and create any entity accountable to no one. If they (or maybe we) got the chance to do it over, the Constitution's vesting clause would have to be reinforced to avoid this shameful shirking of duty. The "Fourth Branch" of government has allowed Congress to avert responsibility, place blame elsewhere, avoid work and expand government at the alarming pace at which it proceeds today. Imagine if Congress had to make every law and rule themselves and would have to answer to the people as they do now for doing so. We would have many fewer laws on the books and those we had would be much more sensible.

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Posted on 04/09/2013 3:23 PM by Jack Massari
Comments
18 Jul 2012
Send an emailJhorst
Well first of all the A.O.C. were the Original idea for how the united sttaes of america would be governed. But once they found out that they were a weak form of government congress (and every one els) decided to throw them out, so they went to work on a new form of government. Eventually America was split up into two different people Federalist and Anti-Federalist. The federalist wanted a strong central government and the Anti wanted a weak central government. Eventually they agreed to come up with the Constitution, and afterwords the Bill of rights. The main difference is that the A.O.C. were a weak and unsuccessful goverment.But the summary of the A.O.C. is ..Establishes the name of the confederation as The United States of America. Asserts the equality of the separate sttaes with the confederation government, i.e. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated. Establishes the United States as a new nation, a sovereign union of sovereign sttaes, united . . . for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them . . . , while declaring that the union is perpetual, and can only be altered by approval of Congress with ratification by all the state legislatures. Establishes freedom of movement–anyone can pass freely between sttaes, excluding paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice. All people are entitled to the rights established by the state into which he travels. If a crime is committed in one state and the perpetrator flees to another state, he will be extradited to and tried in the state in which the crime was committed. Allocates one vote in the Congress of the Confederation (United States in Congress Assembled) to each state, which was entitled to a delegation of between two and seven members. Members of Congress were appointed by state legislatures; individuals could not serve more than three out of any six years. Only the central government is allowed to conduct foreign relations and to declare war. No sttaes may have navies or standing armies, or engage in war, without permission of Congress (although the state militias are encouraged). When an army is raised for common defense, colonels and military ranks below colonel will be named by the state legislatures. Expenditures by the United States will be paid by funds raised by state legislatures, and apportioned to the sttaes based on the real property values of each.Defines the powers of the central government: to declare war, to set weights and measures (including coins), and for Congress to serve as a final court for disputes between sttaes. Defines a Committee of the States to be a government when Congress is not in session. Requires nine sttaes to approve the admission of a new state into the confederacy; pre-approves Canada, if it applies for membership. Reaffirms that the Confederation accepts war debt incurred by Congress before the Articles.