More representation will shrink government, not grow it

It is counterintuitive, but the problem with big government is not its bigness in numbers of officials, but rather in its concentration of power in too few hands.  Diluting that power would work wonders for shrinking the real size of government. 

The Founders knew, when they set the number of representatives at one per 35,000 people, that the republic needs more representatives, not fewer, than we now have.  Today, the ratio is more like one representative per 400,000 people.  If you think that makes your representative more responsive to your needs, try visiting him in his office.  Good luck with that; there is a very long line ahead of you.  You may wait forever. 

Increasing the numbers of representatives would absolutely not require paying them more, or giving them more office space, or larger staff.  In fact, we could pay them less and get more.  I understand that in the British Parliament, some members have desks in hallways.  Washington, D.C. has plenty of room to house two or three thousand representatives or more.  A desk in the hallway would suffice. 

Likewise, while I abhor the scheme of the Democrats to pack the Supreme Court, the fact remains that far too few justices wield far too much power.  The limited number of them on the bench made sense in 1789 when the appointment of a justice did not draw hordes of radical activists to make a mockery of Senate confirmation hearings.  With far more justices on the court, no one of them would be able to send shock waves through the judicial system.  No one nomination would be as critical as it is now. 

True, Congress has, in many ways, vastly exceeded its constitutional authority, and the courts have done so as well.  There is no quick fix for that, but a good beginning would be to make individual officials more accountable to the citizenry.  The more representatives there are, the more important you would be to yours.  Again, it seems counterintuitive, but we need to dilute power, not concentrate it in fewer hands. 

Imagine if you and your neighbors could more realistically get an appointment with your representative in Congress.  Would you have more control or less? 

Think outside the box: more representatives would be a big step toward a smaller government. 

Image: Piqsels.

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