Our Nation needs only several categories of governance at the federal level. They should be areas of concern that the States simply would not be good at, or could not do at all.
The idea of “checks and balances” works just fine, as long as neither the “checks”, nor the “balances” get too cumbersome and overbearing. When government grows to the point where its left pinky finger does not know what the right big toe is doing, chaos and the inability to govern is the outcome. The United States of America has reached that saturation point. In New York State, Jimmy McMillan ran for Governor and he told us that “The rent is 2 damn high”. The rent IS too damn high, and there is a reason. Over past decades the Local, State, and Federal mandates on people, businesses, education, etc. have driven the cost of living in this Country through the roof.
There is certainly plenty of room and need for our three branches of government. The law of diminishing returns should be applied to give us some sort of guarantee that our Federal Government is actually manageable. It is not manageable in its current state. The State Department and the Interior Department could reorganize to provide any and all National interests at home, or abroad. The Justice Department could focus on Constitutional law and International Law (as it affects us, here). The Defense Department, which is larger than most Countries, needs to spend its time and resources on the job spelled out in our Constitution; defend our borders and keep us safe from foreign attack.
In essence, the more responsibilities the States “own”, the smaller the House of Representatives needs to be. Smaller also can be their Staffs, and their doors need not be “open” to lobbyists, period. The Senate should be a co-body of the House of Representatives, not it is senior. The Executive Branch is into entirely too many things that can easily and more productively handled by other government entities, or by the States. The House of Representatives can be slashed in half and still function appropriately. The departments of Commerce, Education, etc. should be acting in the role of overseer and arbiter, and stick strictly to functions that are general in nature; allow States and Regions to do the “heavy lifting”. The FBI and the CIA need to be part and parcel of the Justice Department. There are some obvious re-alignments to be executed in order to bring our Federal Government into the modern world and be able to manage itself on a day-to-day basis.
The Constitution calls for the “People” to manage the Country’s business; not the government dictating to the People. No need to rewrite all the Amendments to our Constitution. A little tweaking and a few rational additions can easily be fashioned to, say, balance the Federal Budget, etc. Before the American ‘dream is totally dead, before our Economy is that of a third world country, before foreign countries actually own this Country, before English is no longer our majoritive language, before democracy becomes a part of History, we need to reshuffle out deck and stop hoping and praying that the ways of the past will serve us in the future. Change is hard, but losing your National Identity and your Nation are a whole lot harder.