Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Do Citizen Votes on Taxes and Laws Violate the Constitution’s Requirement of a “Republican Form of Government?”

Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by admin No Comments

IP-12-2012 (October 2012)
Author: Robert G. Natelson

PDF of full Issue Paper

Introduction:
Opponents of popular participation in government have long argued that when a state constitution or legislature permits the people to vote on revenue measures and other laws, this puts the state out of compliance with the U.S. Constitution’s Guarantee Clause: the requirement at all states have a “Republican Form of Government.” Traditionally, their argument has been that the Constitution draws a sharp distinction between a republic and a democracy, and that citizen initiatives and referenda are too democratic to be republican. Recently, a group of plaintiffs sued in federal court, challenging Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) relying on a variation of this theory.

In this Issue Paper, Professor Rob Natelson, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence and the author of the most important scholarly article on the Guarantee Clause, sets the record straight. Marshaling evidence from Founding-Era sources and from the words of the Founders themselves, he shows that the phrase “Republican Form of Government” permits citizen lawmaking—and that, in fact, most of the governments on the Founders’ list of republics included far more citizen lawmaking than is permitted in Colorado or any other American state. He further shows that the principal purpose of the Guarantee Clause was not to restrict popular government, but to protect popular government by forestalling monarchy.

The Citizens’ Budget

Posted on: November 23rd, 2010 by jlongo

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The report provides an overview of the structure, timing and size of the State budget. We speak to how the problems originated and how things have gone wrong in recent years. The Citizens’ Budget includes legislative, constitutional, and policy recommendations to close the looming state budget gap – without raising taxes – and move Colorado towards sustainable government for good. Use this Citizens’ Budget link for the full document.

How Much Does Government Cost You?

Posted on: September 17th, 2010 by admin

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Thanks to our friends at the Independent Institute out in Oakland, California, regular folks like us can figure out just how much the government is costing us in direct payments and in lost earnings over our lifetime.  From the About Page on the MyGovCost website,

The Government Cost Calculator is a unique service from The Independent Institute that enables any American to clearly understand three aspects of federal government spending.First, the Government Cost Calculator helps you determine how much you will pay for various federal programs now and over the course of a lifetime. Second, it compares those tax payments to the forgone earnings that would have been possible if such funds were kept and invested in private, market accounts. Finally, the Government Cost Calculator enables you to see the difference between government expenditures and your tax payments, clearly illustrating the growing debt obligations you face in the future.

All you have to do is input your education, age, and income into the Government Cost Calculator and you will get results that accurately reflect how much our overbearing government costs YOU!

The Changing Role of Government, 1850 to 2011

Posted on: August 27th, 2010 by jlongo

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A good friend of the Fiscal Policy Center and Free People, Free Markets alumnus Tom Ryan has a wonderfully informative organization and website called Reclaiming Moral Government. Tom has created a slide show that displays the changing role of government from 1850 to present day. The viewer gets to see governments expansion into our lives through a beautifully color coordinated time lapse. It is truly well done. Tom was also kind enough to sit down with Fiscal Policy Center director Penn Pfiffner for an iVoices.org podcast. They discuss Tom’s new Reclaiming Moral Government venture and what Tom hopes to achieve through it. Please take a few minutes and see for yourself how government has managed to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives over the last 150 years.