Called Unto Liberty, 20th Century Sermons, Ezra Taft Benson
The framers of our Constitution knew that many forces work toward the concentration of power at the federal level. They knew it somehow seems easier to impose so-called “progress” on localities than to wait for them to bring it about themselves. Raids on the federal treasury can be all too readily accomplished by an organized few over the feeble protests of an apethetic majority. With more and more activity centered in the federal government, the relationship between the costs and the benefits of government programs becomes obscure. What follows is the voting of public money without having to accept direct local responsibility for higher taxes.
I know of no device of government which will lead more quickly to an increase in the number of federal programs than this. If this trend continues, the states may be left hollow shells, operating primarily as the field districts of federal departments and dependent upon the federal treasury for their support . . . .
The history of all mankind shows very clearly that if we would be free—and if we would stay free—we must stand eternal watch against the accumulation of too much power in government.
There is hardly a single instance in all of history where the dictatorial centralization of power has been compatible with individual freedom—where it has not reduced the citizenry to the status of pawns and mere creatures of the state. God forbid that this should happen in America. Yet I am persuaded that the continuation of the trend of the past thirty years could make us pallbearers at the burial of the states as effective units of government.
Source: Ezra Taft Benson, 29 September 1962. Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) served as thirteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as Secretary of Agriculture for both terms of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency.
Called Unto Liberty is a project of Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal.
The Moral Liberal recommends Ezra Taft Benson’s inspiring: The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner