An answer every conservative candidate should have at the ready

The other day, a commentator asked a GOP candidate this simple question.

“What is the federal government doing that it should not be doing?”

The candidate did not have a ready answer and did a soft-shoe talking-point response that had little to do with this question.  But isn’t the answer to this question the crux of conservatism?  Should not each candidate running for office under the guise of conservatism not have, at the constant ready, a litany of unnecessary federal government programs and activities?

Admittedly, the easier response is to take the question in the negative and respond with functions that the federal government “should” perform.  National defense, food inspection, air travel, interstate transportation, settling disputes, treaties, and managing the currency leap to mind as list-fillers.

But to return to the question, what are some activities of the federal government that we could do without, that we should indeed do without? 

Some things the federal government should not be doing:

Promoting unmonitored or unmeasured immigration.

The Department of Education, which promotes in any way, shape, or form the supplanting of citizen students with foreign students.

The promotion of a “national curricula” such as suggested by Common Core.

Unfunded mandates in which taxpayer funds are conditionally withheld in order to force federally mandated compliance (state highway funds).

I invite input for items to fill this list.  How far we have come from the promise of this form of government outlined by Madison in Federalist 45.

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

There are many more.  Help the candidates who stumble on the answer to this question with additions to this list.