Monday, October 29, 2012

The Enumerated Powers

I orginally published this on FB immediately following the debate

The Right Point Too!

During the debate Romney made a statement that chilled me to the bone. If he were not running against the most destructively successful President of my lifetime I would consider voting for someone else. He stated the first question he would ask himself about any program was if we should borrow money from China to pay for it. He did not even consider a program ...should be Constitutional!! That is the first question all new laws should be asked to pass. The Constitution is what the President is sworn to protect.

Not too long ago someone stated to me that the Constitution is thrown around too much. REALLY? It is only the founding document of our Country and the foundation for our government. Too much? We ignore it far too often.

Our forefathers intentionally attempted to limit the powers of the Federal government and reserve most of the power for the States. They went so far as to list the powers which the Federal government has, called the Enumerated Powers.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and

Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
That is it! That is all they can do!

Additional powers may be granted to the Federal government but those must be granted by amending the Constitution. Most of those further restrict the powers of the Federal government but can be used to grant additional power, such as the 16th which allows for income taxes, passed in 1913. Yep, before that no income taxes!

Some persons may attempt to argue the “general Welfare” or “necessary and proper” statement grants the Fed the power to do anything that is good for us. However, that was not the intention when written. This is abundantly clear by reviewing the Federalist Papers and some of the other writings of the our Forefathers. These were both related to providing the Enumerated Powers. The Federalist papers were a series of articles written to discuss and promote the ratification of the Constitution.

When viewing these Enumerated Powers I ask you how do you possibly justify government run health care, the department of Education, food stamps, Medicaid, Social Security and on and on?

Does the Constitution say States can’t do these things? Absolutely not. This is where those things belong! States have the right to healthcare if they choose. Food Stamps sure. If a state thinks that is the best manner to provide for its citizens it may do so.

Huge Federal debt? No. While the Enumerated Powers do provide the power to borrow it is clear they never expected the sort of abuse we see today.

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."
— Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence

Parents and grandparents how is it you justify supporting the sort of spending we see today, burdening you children and grandchildren with your debt?

It was not even imagined our future leaders would lack the moral integrity to control the abuse this has led to. A country that would stop midway through building the Washington Monument, for lack of funds, would one day have a $16 Trillion debt? Unimaginable, yet our reality today.

When you hear politicians promising to take care of you and give you whatever it is I hope this article gives you pause and ask yourself, “Is that Constitutional?”

That is my opinion and The Right Point Too!

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