Monday, October 27, 2008

No Bailouts Without Representation

There are 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Ralph Lozier was a Missouri Congressman from 1923-1935, during the Great Depression. Lozier seems to have been aware that the Constitution was sold to the American People on the promise that there would be adequate representation of the People in the House of Representatives:

“…it seems to give the fullest assurance, that a representative for every THIRTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS will render the [House of Representatives] both a safe and competent guardian of the interests which will be confided to it.”
Federalist Paper No. 56 (February 19, 1788) Emphasis in original.

In Federalist No. 55, the writer (either Hamilton or Madison) said:

“…let us weigh the objections which have been stated against the number of members proposed for the House of Representatives. It is said, in the first place, that so small a number cannot be safely trusted with so much power. The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist, at the outset of the government, will be sixty five. Within three years a census is to be taken, when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed, and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. … At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred.”

James Wilson was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of the State of Pennsylvania, Signed the Constitution, appointed by Washington as one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court:

“...the House of Representatives will, within a single century, consist of more than six hundred members.”
— James Wilson, November 30, 1787 on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.

The last time the number of representatives was increased in proportion to the increase in population was 1910.

By 1913, the "Representatives" had created the Adminstrative State, voted in the Income Tax and the Federal Reserve, dramatically altering the character of the federal government. Could it be that these men grew accustomed to their power, and decided to close the doors to new, competing representatives?

In 1929 a bill was put before Congress that did just that, carving the number 435 in stone, and not allowing any more representatives, regardless of the (doubtless) continued future growth in U.S. population. It was Missouri Rep. Lozier who asked,

"The bill seeks to prescribe a national policy under which the membership of the House shall never exceed 435 ... I am unalterably opposed to limiting the membership of the House to the arbitrary number of 435. Why 435? Why not 400? Why not 300? Why not 250, 450, 535, or 600? Why is this number 435 sacred? What merit is there in having a membership of 435 that we would not have if the membership were 335 or 535? There is no sanctity in the number 435 ... There is absolutely no reason, philosophy, or common sense in arbitrarily fixing the membership of the House at 435 or at any other number."

Today, instead of each American having 1/40,000th of a Representative, we now have only 1/700,000th of a Representative, and before long it will be one-millionth of a Representative.

Of course, this makes it much safer for incumbents, who now get re-elected 95% of the time.

This is why, even if it is OBVIOUS what the People want (e.g., whether they want the government to confiscate $2,000 from every man, woman and child in America and give it to irresponsible investors on Wall St.), the Congress doesn't have to listen to them.

Consider the possibilities of a truly representative Congress: - Return the House of Representatives to the People (Home Page)

Daily Kos: A Larger House of Representatives (

BTW, how many libertarians have figured out that they can post this message or other messages on Barack Obama's website?

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