I find it very sad that the party that preaches low taxes, small government and states rights are the same guys that led the charge on the destruction of our republic with the Great Conspiracy of 1913.
Republican William H Taft, besides being a man of my stature who knew how to sport a most excellent 'stash, perpetrated what I consider the worst offense in Presidential history. I used to consider the 20's as the beginning of the downfall of the nation, but now I'm starting to shift the blame down to Taft. The conspiracy involved three key components, all under his watch.
1. The 16th Amendment. The 16th Amendment granted the congress the authority to tax income of all types without the need to apportion it amongst the states. This was necessary to fund the activities of #2 in the conspiracy...
2. Federal Reserve Act. Congress handed over their right and responsibility to coin money to a private organization and therefore forever creating a system where a select few are in control of the creation and distribution of new and increasingly worthless paper money.
3. The 17th Amendment. The 17th Amendment was necessary to eliminate the voice of the states in congress. Prior to the 17th Amendment, the state legislatures seated and recalled Senators as they saw fit to further their agenda. The people's representative was the House of Representatives and the State's representative was the Senate. This was to provide a check and balance as Senators who were voting against the interest of the State would be recalled and replaced with someone willing to act according to their interest. With the 17th Amendment out of the picture, States no longer had a voice in Washington.
All this is fine and good, but the real conspiracy is that the 16th and 17th Amendments were so important to Taft that he had to ram them through without proper state ratification! Of course, our courts would never agree that ratification is important to approving a Constitutional Amendment so there is little hope of ever getting them overturned on principle, but a look at the actions of Secretary of State Knox in 1913 and you will see that they were under the gun to get these amendments implemented as law. If they had not, the Fed would never have lived on to destroy our currency and economy. Either it would have died from lack of funds or the states would have stood up to it via their recourse in the Senate.
The constitution was well thought out and written for a reason. It also provides a way to grow and live with the times (through amendments, not interpretation by the way). However, amending the Constitution must be done properly and judiciously with full accountability of the process. If you cannot comply with that, then you have no right to amend it. The 16th and 17th Amendments must go on that principle alone.