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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The people own the government

With Memorial Day just passed and the Fourth of July approaching, it's a good time for Americans to review the meaning of their citizenship. The Founding Fathers disdained a monarchy and created a republic with three branches of government to ensure that none of the branches could run roughshod over the rights of the American people.

The president was never intended to "own" the government, either directly or through appointed officials. The government is owned by the American people. A president is hired to administer the government within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution does not authorize the president or his appointees to govern or legislate against the American people.

Of all the agencies of government, the two that can reach out and most directly touch the lives of the American people, for better or worse, are the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service. When the appointees direct, authorize or passively allow employees of those agencies to operate outside the boundaries of the Constitution and the laws that flow therefrom, ownership of the government passes from the American people to a cadre of elected and appointed officials and hired civil servants who rule the American people. Officials and civil servants who lie and obfuscate about what goes on behind the drawn curtain should be forthwith removed and subject to the same laws applicable to every other citizen.

On July Fourth, the American people should remember that they pay for and own the government — and those who occupy positions in government, paid for by the American people, are answerable to us through our elected representatives, not to politically appointed superiors.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

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