He cited the phrase “to promote the general welfare” in the document’s preamble as the opening that lawmakers have historically used to expand the scope of the government.
“Just because something needs or should be done, doesn’t mean it needs to be done by bureaucrats — it can be handled by state or local governments,” he said. “There are four levels of government between from where I’m sitting and the federal level. Ninety-five percent of governance should come from people you can walk down the street to talk to.”
Gilbert, a father of two young children, cited the controversial education initiative Common Core as an example of government overreach.
“The federal government should not be involved in education — the Department of Education, which isn’t in the Constitution, sucks up millions of dollars just running itself. Every single one of those dollars come from the states and their policies are derived from special interest groups imposing what they hope will become national standards.”
Gilbert said he didn’t want his 4-year-old son Ethan, named for his cousin Ethan Allen, the war hero who helped capture the Fort of Ticonderoga from the British in 1775, to be subjected to federal mandates, including President Obama’s proposals to standardize early education for pre-schoolers and the First Lady’s push for a healthier citizenry.
“I think I can handle what my daughter can eat for lunch,” he said, referring to Mackenzie, who is six.
Gilbert said while he considers himself a conservationist and doesn’t want to see the environment degraded more than anyone else — he commented on the beauty of the pond on his 131 acres and the turkeys and deer clambering around it — the White House, he said, is burning the candle at both ends when it comes to charting the nation’s energy policies.