As we commemorate the 225th anniversary of our U.S. Constitution, I would encourage Americans to actually read the document with particular emphasis on all the amendments that have been added since it's ratification in 1789.

As I've traveled the country to teach patriotic Americans about the Constitution from the viewpoint of the Founding Fathers, it's amazing to see the lights of understanding that comes over people when they realize the document the Founders gave us is much different than the one our government is operating under today. The Constitution they gave us resulted in only 6 percent of the world's population producing over half of the wealth of the world in less than 100 years from its inception.

And it was written under the similar conditions we face today — high inflation, monumental national debt and disunity among the people. The Founders gave us seven articles and 12 amendments by the year 1804. Since the Civil War, our nation has added amendments 13-27, some of which have weakened or destroyed the designed system of protection for the American people from an over-aggressive federal government.

Today, any agency (IRS, EPA, OSHA, etc.) of the Federal Government can come into your home or place of business to fine you, garnish your wages, shut down your business or imprison you, and there is no one at the state level who can stop them. The Constitution is all about providing freedom from abuse by those in authority.

It was designed to control something, which has not changed nor will ever change — namely, human nature. "Bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution," said Thomas Jefferson. For example, before 1913 and the passage of the 17th Amendment, our U.S. senators were to be the wall of protection we needed from a runaway federal government. Theirs was the job of protecting states' rights, protecting the people and conserving the nation's resources.

Today, both houses of Congress function identically, both beholden to the people for their job, thereby opening the door to massive spending of the taxpayer money to satisfy the masses, leaving the states little or no representation. As a result, our national debt is an astonishing $16 trillion, we're over-regulated, over-taxed and over-burden with problems that Washington, D.C., is incapable of fixing. Problems such as education, taking care of the poor, regulation of businesses, etc., are better solved at the state and local level.

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As we commemorate an inspired document created to stand the test of time, we encourage all Americans to study that document from the viewpoint of the Founders and teach your children and grandchildren. We encourage you also to be an active participant in the political process by becoming knowledgeable and informed, thereby choosing leaders who are wise and understanding.

Our problems are not Democratic or Republican. The system is broken, and the reparation needed is the restoration of the Constitution.

Al Jackson is CEO of Thomas Jefferson Center of Constitutional Restoration.