The Federal Reserve was created by the Federal Reserve Act, which was passed by Congress. The first national banks also operated under charters from Congress.
It's not in dispute that Congress authorized the banks in both cases. Where I draw the line is the fact that The Fed is operating with basically no oversight or input from Congress. Of course, the Fed claims that it's supervised and audited, but an examination of these audits reveals them to partial, with the inner workings of The Fed remaining highly secretive. The Constitution is explicit. Congress needs to print money and regulate its value, not a third party.
Ironically, many of the 'examples' on your list were done during a Republican president's term. For the party that claims to be about limiting the roll of big government, there certainly appears to be some significant contradiction. Not saying that you strict constructionists are necessarily deserving of a spot in that same category, but it is an interesting observation. Then again, maybe it's not very ironic...
Just looking at the list, there are certainly some good points. I in no way condone the use of torture for anything, nor do I support the war on drugs or the war in Iraq. At the same time, you perceive Medicare as a governmental assault on our personal freedom? How the hell?
I still find it funny that a constitutionalist would quote Thomas Jefferson in an attempt to argue for strict constructionism. Where does the constitution give the executive branch of government the right to purchase land? I'm going to assume that you have heard of the Louisiana Purchase...
I take it you are a Ron Paul man. Unfortunately for you, he will never be president.
First of all, I do NOT support the Republican party aside from Ron Paul. They have, despite their small government mantra, expanded the size and scope of government and encroached on our civil liberties. But to be fair, the Democratic party has been complicit in this as well. For example, did you know that top Democrats including Nancy Pelosi, Jane Harman, Bob Graham and Jay Rockefeller approved of waterboarding and were complicit in covering it up? Also, did you know that Obama voted to extend the Patriot Act after claiming he would abolish it? This shouldn't be approached as Republican/Democrat issue because both parties are corrupt. Even though I oppose Medicare, I never said it "was an assault on our personal freedom." I was merely pointing out that it's unconstitutional. Medicare is a well-intentioned program which probably helps a lot of people, but per usual for government programs, fraud and waste are rampant. Charities and private agencies could do a better job than Medicare, and it wouldn't be surprising if they're already doing a better job than Medicare. Let's talk about health in general. This country was a lot healthier before the government established the FDA and starting subsidizing various food industries, like meat, dairy, wheat, corn, and soy. A lot of people are on Medicare for diabetes, and high fructose corn syrup (which exists because of government subsidies) is a major contributor to this disorder. This all goes back to what ReaPsTA was saying. Governments spiral out of control because they create problems, and in providing solutions for those problems, create more problems.
Regarding the Louisiana Purchase, yes it was unconstitutional. If my memory serves me correct, Jefferson wanted to propose an amendment specifying that government could purchase land, but he faced opposition and thought the deal would fall through if he waited too long. This is one of many examples demonstrating that the Constitution's not a perfect document. I never said it was. But it's a damn good document, and if politicians want change, they need to work within the framework of the Constitution rather than ignoring it with reckless abandon. At least Jefferson, despite this one instance of hypocrisy, tried to adhere to the Constitution as much as possible.