To be clear, the problem is not with expansive governmental powers per se. Rather, it has to do with the institutions of government that exercise those powers. Specifically, we use eighteenth century institutions, originally meant to do much less, to exercise virtually limitless power in the twenty- first century. We could, in theory, redesign the government to make it handle these powers responsibly; we could rebuild the system from the bottom- up following the general principles set forth by Madison. But of course, we have never done that. We have never even really thought seriously about that prospect. Instead, we have chosen to have our cake and eat it too— a government of vast nationalistic powers with parochial institutions. The cost of our ambivalence is corruption.

from A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption by Jay Cost