Read this. Read this now.
The most basic reason why we have a debt-limit crisis now is that we have allowed the federal government to grow so far beyond its enumerated powers that we are up against artificial debt limits as virtually a last defense against its relentless growth. This is not a fiscal crisis — it is an attempt to halt the very accumulation of federal power that the Federalists promised us would never happen. It’s a constitutional crisis, and it cannot be fixed merely by holding the line on taxes and securing deep spending cuts in the short term.
What has long been clear to many constitutional scholars is now intuitively obvious to Americans of all stripes: The relentless expansion of federal power is destroying self-government at every level of society besides the national one — and with it, the self-reliance and independence that made this country great. It is difficult any longer to see what stands between us and a statist tyranny of the majority. Supporters of the balanced-budget amendment are trying to erect a shield against unrestrained federal power.
It’s about a week out of date as far as the debt crisis goes, but the message is spot-on.