How did things get so screwed up?
There is an ancient saying that goes, "The path to hell is paved with good intentions." That is what occurred in the early 1900's. Amendments were passed with the good intent of using Federal coercive powers to make a perfect world:
- In 1913, the 16th Amendment was passed to tax the rich to pay for the defense of America. Those making more than $350,000 per year (in 2019 dollars) would pay Federal income taxes. Over time, Federal authorities seeking power changed the definition of "income" from what we now call "capital gains" to "wages." Within 3 years, they began taxing to fund welfare with The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1916.
- In 1913, the 17th Amendment was passed to shift the election of Senators from State Legislatures to a popular election. This had the unintended consequence of reducing the cost of political corruption - from buying half a state legislature to merely contributing to a Senator's election. Senators shifted from representing their States to violating the Constitution to tax and build infrastructure to mandate Americans to buy the cars, oil, and coal from the companies and unions that sold those products.
- In 1918, the 18th Amendment made selling a beer a Federal crime, radically expanding Federal socialist intrusion into every aspect of commerce. Despite the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th, the police powers were retained and expanded to the point that America now has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
What can be done?
The Divided Sovereignty of the Constitution can be enforced. People and the States are sovereign over welfare. Start by converting traffic costs into jobs and solutions. This will create the popular support needed to shift all taxing for welfare back to state governments. Get your state to adopt the Solar Mobility Act.
What about Social Security and other Federal welfare programs?
There can and should be Federal welfare programs such as Social Security, but taxing for them is State sovereignty with the States, not the people, funding these Federal programs and holding those programs accountable for their efficacy.
Currently, Congress uses Social Security as a slush fund to borrow against to fund undeclared and untaxed wars.
Don't we need Federal solutions to Climate Change?
Those who gain power from creating a problem are unlikely to relinquish their power by solving the problem.
Climate Change, foreign oil addiction, and perpetual oil-wars are all facets of a single root cause - Federal violation of the Constitution which created and sustains oil and coal burning infrastructure monopolies.
As a metric, eight Presidents have ordered the Federal government to end foreign oil addiction as a matter of national security. Federal authorities have done nothing in that same 43-year period. The week of May 17, 2019, the US imported 7.2 million barrels of foreign oil per day.
Doesn't Congress have the power to "provide the general welfare?"
No. Liberty is the source of the "general welfare" through tolerance of disruptive minorities offering choices and the Wisdom of the Many sorting those choices in a Darwinian crucible of creative destruction.
Government infrastructure monopolies suppress the liberty to innovate and the liberty to choose between innovations in free markets.