“Limited government”

I’m tired hearing about how the government shouldn’t get involved in medicine, public transportation, or telecommunications because “if the founding fathers wanted the government to be involved, they would have put it in the Constitution.”

Of course it’s not in the Constitution.  None of it existed yet. There was no Internet or telephones 200 years ago, nor were there trains or cars. Medicine hadn’t really even been invented yet. Yes, there were doctors, but the doctors of their time advised that people avoid bathing and use leeches. Not only were there no CAT scans or MRIs or antibiotics back then, there weren’t even stethoscopes or medical thermometers.

And let’s not forget, the Constitution also doesn’t give the government any particular power to form agencies like the FBI or CIA. It gives the government the power to have an army and navy, but doesn’t explicitly authorize them to create the Air Force.  It doesn’t give them specific powers to fund military research and keep a stockpile of nuclear weapons.  I don’t remember there being any particular clause that permits the government special powers to provide for disaster relief or combat terrorism.

The founding fathers weren’t afraid of communism. Communism also hadn’t been invented yet. It’s arguable that capitalism didn’t really exist yet either; it certainly didn’t exist in its modern form. The limits that the Constitution put on the government were to prevent the rise of a tyrant, not to prevent the government from providing medical checkups for poor children.