Article VI is the Founders’ solution to big government. It refers to the sixth article of the Constitution, which states that only laws made in pursuance of the Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land (Clause 2) and that all executive, legislative, and judicial officers of both the federal and state governments shall be bound by oath to support the Constitution (Clause 3).
Therefore Article VI plays a key role in The John Birch Society’s educational program to enforce the Constitution. If the federal and state governments were to adhere strictly to the Constitution’s provisions, the federal government would be reduced to 20% its current size and cost.
Two-thirds of Americans named big government as the biggest threat (as compared to big business and big labor) in a recent poll. About 80 percent of all federal spending is unconstitutional.
America’s Founders fought a war for independence from out-of-control big government. Then they wrote a new Constitution that created a government limited to its proper role of protecting the God-given rights of the people. However, over the past century Americans have increasingly neglected the Constitution’s limitations, leading to the modern-day problem of big government.
Big government can be reined in by creating an informed electorate that holds its state and federal officials accountable to the Constitution for rejecting (by nullification, etc.) all unconstitutional federal laws, orders, and decisions.
Many people are clamoring for the calling of an Article V convention to rein in big government. However, such a convention would result in changing the Constitution. But, is our problem with big government due to a flaw in the Constitution, or a flaw in the politicians?
A little reflection leads to the answer that our problem with big government is due to a lack of enforcement of the Constitution’s limitations on government, especially those in Article I, Section 8, which grants only certain very specific powers to Congress. Therefore, we need to rein in big government by enforcing the Constitution using clauses 2 and 3 of Article VI, not changing it using Article V.