General Welfare

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Seems every debate with someone from the left on the site reverts back to The General Welfare Clause as the justification for every power grab taken by federal government. I think Wiki has a pretty good and basic description, and wanted to share this information. The welfare clause in the preamble is worthless (legally speaking), and the one in the taxation clause is NOT a grant of new powers but a qualification on taxation. Meaning taxes could only be levied for the general welfare of all. You cant tax the rich for the poor, or tax California to give to red state. Cant tax for the specific benefit of any ONE group, the tax can only be for general welfare of all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Welfare_clause

The United States Constitution contains two references to "the General Welfare", one occurring in the Preamble and the other in the Taxing and Spending Clause. The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments."

Moreover, the Supreme Court held the understanding of the General Welfare Clause contained in the Taxing and Spending Clause adheres to the construction given it by Associate Justice Joseph Story in his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Justice Story concluded that the General Welfare Clause is not a grant of general legislative power, but a qualification on the taxing power which includes within it a federal power to spend federal revenues on matters of general interest to the federal government. The Court described Justice Story's view as the "Hamiltonian position", as Alexander Hamilton had elaborated his view of the taxing and spending powers in his 1791 Report on Manufactures. Story, however, attributes the position's initial appearance to Thomas Jefferson, in his Opinion on the Bank of the United States.

As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.

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sheep4thom
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Comments

And everyone in the real America should respond to you by telling you to X their l*l.

anonymous green
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http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/01/enough-is-enough-why-ge...

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom: The U.S. Supreme Court has held the mention of the clause in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the Government of the United States or on any of its Departments."

This is easy then. You believe in the Supreme Court, everything we do today is consistent with all the Court's rulings.

Therefore your arguement is moot.

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Dr. Econ
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Probably the Supreme Court's denial that government has the responsibility to promote the general well-being of it's population will one day be challenged with pitchforks if that well-being disappears.

That's been the historial response to government throughout human history.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote sheep4thom:[...]As such, these clauses in the U.S. Constitution are an atypical use of a general welfare clause, and are not considered grants of a general legislative power to the federal government.[...]

One more reason to "starve the beast".

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mjolnir
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A certain number of very rich people and many conservatives view their fellow citizens as being "sub-human" beasts, and would like them to starve. That is not why the United States was founded, to deprive people of basic rights. Poorly educated people can't cope with the modern world and often approach it with a destructive attitude. Conservatives never wanted the United States to be founded; they were and are loyal to the royal crown of England. They were against the American War for Independence and the very writing and ratification of the Constitution. They are opposed to the Bill of Rights. Certainly, they don't want the federal government to help investigate certain white supremacists/anarchists who on a rare, specific occasion may go to an institution with the aim of using it against the innocent. Say, in Wisconsin.

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Robindell
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Taking care of the poor is just as important to "all" as having a powerful military force. A poor country is a weak country and ripe for picking. It is immoral to say that we shouldn't tax the rich in order to support the poor. The more poor people we allow the more crime we allow. The more crime we allow weakens the nation. It's the old divide and conquer strategy. You can divide an enemy in more ways than one.

I for one do not want to be surrounded by the poor and the envious. I want to be surrounded by a diverse and well educated populace. It makes me safer on a local basis and it makes me safer on a world wide basis. Imagine if Einstein were born in a slum and never had the chance to exploit his genius. Of course this thread isn't about any of that. It's about you wanting to keep a few extra dollars in your pocket, or better yet divert those dollars to Sugar Daddy.

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Just dont use the "general welfare" clause to justify your socialist views without understanding the intent.

As for evil conservatives, I would love to starve the children and beat the poor, but right now I am too busy pushing old people off a cliff. Maybe this weekend I can get around to doing what the communist did to dissidents and starve the people for the good of the collective?

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One of Madison's FIRST proposals in the very FIRST Congress was to tax shipping to build lighthouses and hospitals for disabled seamen. Pray tell... where in the Constitution was there the specific authority to do either? There is none, of course. But there is under the general welfare provisions. Don't like it? Take it up with Madison... who just might know a tad more about the Constitution than some Right winger who wants to bastardize it 220 years later.

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He proposed or he did it? What year? How much? Was it done of the guess of defense and the merchant marines or just because he thought it was a good idea?

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Quote sheep4thom:

He proposed or he did it? What year? How much? Was it done of the guess of defense and the merchant marines or just because he thought it was a good idea?

The question whores are caught off guard

answering themselves, they find it hard

to make a case for what they've said

that doesn't leave all mankind dead

anonymous green
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Quote sheep4thom:

Just dont use the "general welfare" clause to justify your socialist views without understanding the intent.

As for evil conservatives, I would love to starve the children and beat the poor, but right now I am too busy pushing old people off a cliff. Maybe this weekend I can get around to doing what the communist did to dissidents and starve the people for the good of the collective?

Pray tell! Why can't I use the general welfare clause to justify my views? Shall I order you to not use the 2nd to justify yours? You can't decipher the constitution to however you see fit and tell me that I can't do the same. Your sarcasm aside, you have advocated starving the children and pushing the old people off of a cliff plenty of times on this board. You've made it perfectly clear that your tax dollars are more important to you for your own well being than letting any poor, lazy bum (and his children) make use of it.

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I give time and money to charities of my choosing. I do not need you or the government to confiscate my money at the end of the IRS's gun to give to your charities too. The government should not be in the charity business and leave that to the individuals.

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I dont consider Thom Hartmann, Rachelle Maddow, or Ed Schultz a credible legal scholar or source. I cited the SCOTUS. What is your legal source for your interpretation of general welfare expanding powers beyond what has been ENUMERATED?

Can you find any judge that believes the preamble of the constitution confers any power?

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom:

He proposed or he did it? What year? How much? Was it done of the guess of defense and the merchant marines or just because he thought it was a good idea?

Ask Madison. It was called the Lighthouse Act of 1789. http://www.uscg.mil/history/docs/1789_LH_Act.pdf

The records of the First Congess are not searchable... they are image based.

The act for disabled seamen was passed in 1798 and was called An Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen. I have only a local copy but its text was available on line.

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Quote sheep4thom:

I dont consider Thom Hartmann, Rachelle Maddow, or Ed Schultz a credible legal scholar or source. I cited the SCOTUS. What is your legal source for your interpretation of general welfare expanding powers beyond what has been ENUMERATED?

Can you find any judge that believes the preamble of the constitution confers any power?

Awesome! That means you support and will never bad mouth Obamacare.

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Obamacare sucks but that is a seperate issue. I can only HOPE that Virgnia will opt out of expanding medicaid. I would vote for the Devil if he promised to eliminate Obamacare! I dont care if they took office, defunded Obamacare, signed the bill to end it and took vacation for the next 1460 days!

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sheep4thom
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Obamacare sucks but that is a seperate issue. I can only HOPE that Virgnia will opt out of expanding medicaid. I would vote for the Devil if he promised to eliminate Obamacare! I dont care if they took office, defunded Obamacare, signed the bill to end it and took vacation for the next 1460 days!

BTW, SCOTUS also called it a tax to make it wiggle into being legal. Do you agree that Obama is now reasponsible for the BIGGEST tax increase bill (The ACA) that has ever been passed?

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So once again, The SCOTUS is the man in interpreting the Constitution when they agree with your views but when they don't you ignore it's rulings and look for a way around it. That's just sooooo peachy!!!!!!

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Bush_Wacker
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SCOTUS is the last & final authority on interpretation. Beyond that Congress can change the law.

I dont ignore ruilings that I dont agree with. As a matter of fact they make me VERY sad. Do you agree that Obama care is the BIGGEST tax increase ever passed by a president? Because the only way the bill is legal is under the taxing authority of the US Government.

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Quote sheep4thom:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/01/enough-is-enough-why-general-welfare-limits-spending

LOL.. and you actually believe that Heritage is putting out objective work? ROTF Gee, not a peep about the Act For Disabled Seamen which created what might be the first income tax in 1798 and created what must also be the nation's first federal health care system.

Here's an interesting article http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1477&context=expresso

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Quote sheep4thom:

Obamacare sucks but that is a seperate issue.

Ya ya, pray tell why do you hate it so? Is it for the right reasons that it's not Single Payer? Or is it that mandate part that gets you even though that was an idea proposed BY HERITAGE and supported by 80% of the GOPers in the Senate back in 93-94.
BTW, the FIRST mandate was in 1792 when the federal government ordered all members of the constitutional militia to precure a suitable weapon and ammo whether they wanted to or not.

Funny how today's GOPers sweep both facts under the table.

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Quote sheep4thom:Do you agree that Obama care is the BIGGEST tax increase ever passed by a president? Because the only way the bill is legal is under the taxing authority of the US Government.

Ah, the game is played. First of all what "tax increase"? The Bush tax cuts were first designed to expire BY THE GOP... and they are now designed to expire by a bipartisan agreement made two years ago. The BIGGER question you seem determined to avoid is if we could not afford them with 6 trillion in debt back in 2001... why do you think we can afford them now with 16 TRILLION in debt?

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Pierpont
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I hate it for the following 6 reasons.

1. My health savings account is worthless now. I used to be able to use pre-tax money to buy anything health related like asprin, bandages, or pepto. I could also use it for co-pays. Now I have to get a prescription to buy any over the counter. How does that save costs?

2. My insurance costs at work & in my business have gone up about 30% since the ACA-Obama care.

3. My doctors office co-pays have gone up. I asked the nurse and have not confirmed but the practice increased the fees on copay to cover additional paperwork

4. My doctor of 10 years is leaving public practice to avoid losing money on Medicaire/Medicaid reimbursments. He said the caps and paperwork to approve treatments is ridiculous. So he is starting a private practice and NOT taking any federal insurance. Requires "membership fee" to be part of his private practice. So I have lost my doctor.

5. I really dont like the whole idea of the IPAB. The government is already telling women they cannot get treatments they once did because they are "minimally effective"

6. Obamacare is the largest tax increase in American history. You cannot add 16 Million to coverage for free and I am going to pay more for them.

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom:

I hate it for the following 6 reasons.

Nice laundry list. You forgot to throw in that alleged 500 billion cut to Medicare. Sure you can't work that in? Maybe in your next post. Why am I beginning to suspect you're a paid right wing plant?

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Pierpont
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No, I think that while it is a cut and ends a program that many people benefited from it didnt impact me. The other 6 do and that is why I dont like Obamacare.

Just a question by did HHS & Obama attack and limit HSA's? What threat were they to Obamacare that people used their pretax dollars (saved in their own account) for medical expenses? How does requiring a prescription for over the counter help reduce costs?

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom:How does requiring a prescription for over the counter help reduce costs?

Just a guess. Wasn't the idea of HSAs to sock money away tax free for REAL medical expenses? Why do you expect to use your tax free money to buy OTC items when us non-HSA people have to use after tax dollars? I can see why you're upset. You're just another Free Lunch Right Winger. Let me guess... I bet you think you're overtaxed too even though We The People have pissed away some $15 TRILLION on ourselves the past 30 years that we REFUSED to tax ourselves for. It's the Mother Of All Free Lunches... yet the Right whines about their taxes. Cry me a f*ckin river.

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Pierpont
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Because I dont want to go to Doctor every time I need benydryl for hayfever

Because I dont want to go to Doctor every time I need to buy cold medicine

Because I dont want to go to Doctor everytime I I need pepto

EVERYONE is free to have an HSA. Rich people dont have a lock on them and if you want one contact Kaiser or anyone of a dozen companies. So because you dont have an HSA, nobody can? What is wrong with letting me save my own money pre-tax for future expenses? You understand that when I spend it comes out of my account and not some general account where other pay my bill? Are you angry because you can charge my HSA account? You want my money?

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sheep4thom
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Does anybody even have a clue how much prices across the board for everything from food to medicine will skyrocket once you take the Federal Government spending out of the game? Talk about an economic armageddon. Millions of people with much less money to spend. Billions of dollars will divert from the basics of medicines and food to being spent on cars and boats and savings accounts. Literally billions of dollars less going to grocery stores and pharmacies across the country.

Your medicines will quadruple in price. Your TV's, cars and boats will seem out of reach. The cost of food will probably quadruple.....but you'll probably save a thousand dollars in taxes and pay an extra 5 or 6 thousand dollars in bills, groceries, and "fees".

Like it or not the Federal Government is a huge player in the economy. Take it out at your own risk.

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Bush_Wacker
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I will take the risk. I dont want a centrally planned economy run by Democratic or Republican idiots. How you going to feel when the Republicans are in charge and running your all powerful government economy? SCARY huh?

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sheep4thom
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[quote=sheep4thom

2. My insurance costs at work & in my business have gone up about 30% since the ACA-Obama care.

And they were dropping before Obama Care!

Amazing!

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Dr. Econ
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they were NOT going up 30%, and co-pays didnt change in 3 years prior. I would have to look but 3-5% increase is probably in the range of what I saw prior to the health care fiasco

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom:

I will take the risk. I dont want a centrally planned economy run by Democratic or Republican idiots. How you going to feel when the Republicans are in charge and running your all powerful government economy? SCARY huh?

We didn't survive the last time they had it for 8 years. Has anyone noticed that the only thing that seems to be doing really well over the past 7 or 8 years is the gas industry and the stock market? Everything else seems to be in the toidy. I wonder if they are connected somehow.

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Bush_Wacker
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To the original post, the greatest justification for the actions of the govt are the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper clause. Things like dealing with the elderly, where in 1790 were not much of an issue in a vast, open continent, agrarian society with no real healthcare, changed dramatically by 1920, in an industrial nation state with corporations and the beginnings of modern medicine and cities having to cope with the costs of feeding and caring for the elderly, and disposing of the dead bodies in the parks. So, congress deemed that the problems of people working to death or dying in the parks represented the need to be dealt with as a National issue.

On healthcare, we have been seeing double digit inflation in healthcare for 20 of the last 22 years. Healthcare is 18% of our GDP, and it is less than 10% in the rest of the developed world. The status quo was broken. 50 million people were without healt insurance. The US is still the only major economic modern nation where healthcare is rationed by money. If some doctors will refuse Medicare or Medicaid patients, fine. Other doctors will specialize in Medicare because those doctors can be more efficient and will gain more patients.

Many doctors refused to set up practices in rural areas. So the Feds developed programs, and built hospitals in rural areas. The govt saw it was able to promote commerce in rural areas by doing so.

Now, I realize focusing on the general welfare clause that lawyers and the courts reject as the basis for expanded federal programs is a nice strawman to argue over. But read the entire constitution. It was written for all the People. We Progressives have been working since day one to expand liberty and freedom for all peoples. The forces of Conservatism, have fought the expansion of liberty and freedom to women, to all minorities, in every way. The TeaParty and the "Paste- Eating- Libertarian- Free- Market- Magic- Unicorn- Riders" are just the latest, and wackiest incarnations.

Healthcare is one of FDR's Freedoms that he was trying to get passed in his lifetime. Obamacare gets us there.

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Phaedrus76
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Great point! Your starting to catch on! Why give the government power after what happened over the last 50 years. Democrat & Republicans lied to you about promised benefits. Funds were stold from these plans and used for their own motives to buy votes & make more promises.

You seem to want to just give them more money so they can keep the cycle going. I am suggesting reducing the power and money available to the federal government. You take away money and power, and it will automatically reduce the corruption. If the feds cant hand out no bid sweet heart deals to unions, haliburton, and others, then those groups will show less interest in politicians. If you have a flat tax and everyone pays the same, lobbyists cant get loopholes, congress cant divide the people. I would also argue for balanced budget amendment to force them to live within their means.

Poltics swings Dem-Rep-Dem-Rep. You dont like what Reps did when they were in, I dont like what Dems are doing. That being said if we take the power and limit what the federal government can do then we are BOTH happy. Reps can anger you by ruining economy, and Dems cant anger me. Make sense?

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sheep4thom
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Quote sheep4thom:

You dont like what Reps did when they were in, I dont like what Dems are doing. That being said if we take the power and limit what the federal government can do then we are BOTH happy.

You're absolutely right Linda.

Let's destroy America, and all that she stood for.

Stand beside her shattered gown

And guide her gently down

Through the night the vigil wanes

By the light of day the few remain.

anonymous green
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Jan. 5, 2012 11:47 am

The 'intent' of the Founders might be found in the Preamble to the Constitution, if anyone cared about that. I prefer the idea that they wanted us to be as creative as they were in working out our democracy in "fear and trembling." They gave us a broad and fairly ambiguous charter in many respects, and this is all to the good because this can only work if we can respond to what the Founders can never be blamed for not anticipating.

That the General Welfare of the People be at the heart of our vision is what democracy is supposed to be about. The Constitution is not a barrier to democracy unless we forget everything that matters.

drc2
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Apr. 26, 2012 12:15 pm

Over the years the Democrats and Republicans have seperated to extremes. If you were to take today's politicians and transported them back in time to the late 1700's what would the Constitution look like? I don't think we would have one because there would be no compromise in it's writing. They wouldn't agree on anything. Our politics which drives our country is in shambles. It's no wonder the country is sick and failing.

If the forefather's could have seen what life was like in the year 2000 do you think they would have written the Constitution differently? I do. Based on the Preamble the Constitution would have been much more detailed. I'll bet there would be a clause forbidding lobbying as it's done now and there probably would have been term limits at every level. It's just speculation but it's something to think about. I would love to see some of the poster's version of the Constitution if they were to write it. What would you change? What would you leave the same?

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Quote Pierpont:
Quote sheep4thom:

He proposed or he did it? What year? How much? Was it done of the guess of defense and the merchant marines or just because he thought it was a good idea?

Ask Madison. It was called the Lighthouse Act of 1789. http://www.uscg.mil/history/docs/1789_LH_Act.pdf

The records of the First Congess are not searchable... they are image based.

The act for disabled seamen was passed in 1798 and was called An Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen. I have only a local copy but its text was available on line.

The Lighthouse Act of 1789 was concerned almost exclusively with the cedeing of the power to regulate commerce in ports and riverways from the States to the Fed's. The Federal gov. used the shcism between the N. and S. states, even at this early date, to extend its power. The N. needed lighthouses and harbor pilots for it's treacherous ports, the South didn't need them. Any connection between this act and "the General Welfare" is tenuous at best.

The "Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen", as far as I've been able to find, took dues from the seaman's OWN wages, collected by the Captain and then sent to the Federal gov. If a seaman became sick he used tokens to pay for medical care. If he died with a surplus "banked" up the balance was used by the government to build hospitals, etc. This bill is often pointed out as an implementation of the Government's obligation to provide for the General Welfare but I don't see it myself.

Clear (early) examples of that supposed obligation are hard to document.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Well, ObamaCare was written by and for Health Ins. Firms and Big Pharma. "Nightline" did an amazing piece on it and how it was done.

If your complaining about increasing the wealth of the wealthy with obamaCare. I,find that contradictory. Usually the right supports anything that supports the wealthy getting wealthier.

What works, Universal Health Care under government insurance, was off the table from the start.

Let's celebrate being #37 in the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVgOl3cETb4

If the Constitution wasn't instituted to provide for the general well-being of it's population, perhaps we need one that does. Just exactly, what's the point of instituting a" government of, by and for the people?"

Governments that ignore that basic principle...the well-being of their populations... tend to lose their legitimacy over time....and fall. That's been so throughout history, hasn't it?

Probably "We the People" didn't institute this government to provide for the rip-off of the people by banksters, financiers and transnationals. What kind of fools would do that?

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote Pierpont:

One of Madison's FIRST proposals in the very FIRST Congress was to tax shipping to build lighthouses and hospitals for disabled seamen. Pray tell... where in the Constitution was there the specific authority to do either? There is none, of course. But there is under the general welfare provisions. Don't like it? Take it up with Madison... who just might know a tad more about the Constitution than some Right winger who wants to bastardize it 220 years later.

I was avoiding this thread, Because I hate the Topic...

But really THIS is your post...

Article I, Sec. 8, clause 17, U.S. Constitution, says: “The Congress shall have Power 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 Legislatures of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;” “Exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over “dock-Yards”. Do you see? It is this clause which grants to Congress authority to establish marine hospitals on dock-Yards belonging to the United States. Congress has a general legislative authority over the federal enclaves, such as dock-Yards. That legislative authority is limited only by the Bill of Rights.

Madison would punch you in the face if you decided to "take it up with Madison"

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Capital1
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Actually, exclusive in that regard merely means states may not legislate laws for Washington, D.C. or land held by the Federal Government. it doesn't preclude the Federal Government from instituting laws applicable to all of the states.

Generally, I favor Jefferson's views rather than Madison's.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Quote sheep4thom:

Because I dont want to go to Doctor every time I need benydryl for hayfever

Because I dont want to go to Doctor every time I need to buy cold medicine

Because I dont want to go to Doctor everytime I I need pepto

Like I said Cry me a goddamm river that you can't draw on your TAX FREE HSA to buy a $3 OTC item. I don't want to pay more in taxes to subsidize that scam.

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Pierpont
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Quote mjolnir:

Quote Pierpont:Ask Madison. It was called the Lighthouse Act of 1789. http://www.uscg.mil/history/docs/1789_LH_Act.pdf

The records of the First Congress are not searchable... they are image based.

The act for disabled seamen was passed in 1798 and was called An Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen. I have only a local copy but its text was available on line.

The Lighthouse Act of 1789 was concerned almost exclusively with the cedeing of the power to regulate commerce in ports and riverways from the States to the Fed's. The Federal gov. used the shcism between the N. and S. states, even at this early date, to extend its power. The N. needed lighthouses and harbor pilots for it's treacherous ports, the South didn't need them. Any connection between this act and "the General Welfare" is tenuous at best.
My point simply was there was no defined authority to do this. How many times have I seen people on the Right play the defined powers game.

The "Act For The Relief Of Sick And Disabled Seamen", as far as I've been able to find, took dues from the seaman's OWN wages, collected by the Captain and then sent to the Federal gov. If a seaman became sick he used tokens to pay for medical care. If he died with a surplus "banked" up the balance was used by the government to build hospitals, etc. This bill is often pointed out as an implementation of the Government's obligation to provide for the General Welfare but I don't see it myself.
Translation: Congress used its power to tax to accomplish something there was NO specific authority to do. So where did it get the authority? Feel free to deny the authority came from the General Welfare provisions… because if not there, where? The point being that if Madison proposed this in the First Congress, he must have been pretty sure it was consistent with Original Intent.

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Pierpont
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Quote Pierpont:

LOL.. and you actually believe that Heritage is putting out objective work? ROTF Gee, not a peep about the Act For Disabled Seamen which created what might be the first income tax in 1798 and created what must also be the nation's first federal health care system.

You are batting a 1000 on this thread.. It's called Duties. Do you need the specfic constitutional passage?

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Capital1
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Jul. 31, 2012 7:38 am
Quote sheep4thom:

they were NOT going up 30%, and co-pays didnt change in 3 years prior. I would have to look but 3-5% increase is probably in the range of what I saw prior to the health care fiasco

I find your laundry list of complaints against ACA highly suspicious. Have a actual insurance company website that documents this claim?

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Quote Pierpont:

Translation: Congress used its power to tax to accomplish something there was NO specific authority to do.

Translation. Lie.

So where did it get the authority?

Article I, Sec. 8, clause 17, U.S. Constitution

Feel free to deny the authority came from the General Welfare provisions

I heareby officially DENY your claim

Capital1's picture
Capital1
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Jul. 31, 2012 7:38 am

Like I said. if the Constitution doesn't provide a government that provides for the general well-being of the population, it serves no legitimate purpose. FDR thought it did provide for that and saved the nation from civil revolt. . Some think it doesn't.

Governments that don't look after the well-being of their populations.have historically fallen. They lose their sense of legitimacy among the populations thay are instituted to serve.

I think the Founding Fathers were smart enough to realize that...thus the General Welfare clause.

If the general well-being of the population is irrelevant, then we need a new Constitution before this one goes up in flames.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Quote Capital1:

Quote Pierpont:

One of Madison's FIRST proposals in the very FIRST Congress was to tax shipping to build lighthouses and hospitals for disabled seamen. Pray tell... where in the Constitution was there the specific authority to do either? There is none, of course. But there is under the general welfare provisions. Don't like it? Take it up with Madison... who just might know a tad more about the Constitution than some Right winger who wants to bastardize it 220 years later.

Do you see? It is this clause which grants to Congress authority to establish marine hospitals on dock-Yards belonging to the United States. Congress has a general legislative authority over the federal enclaves, such as dock-Yards. That legislative authority is limited only by the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution says Congress has the power "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;"

The actual 1798 legislation does NOT say these hospitals MUST be at the federally controlled "dockyards" does it? From the Act:

3. That it shall be the duty of the several collectors to make a quarterly return of the sums collected by them, respectively, by virtue of this act, to the secretary of the treasury; and the president of the United States is hereby authorized, out of the same, to provide for the temporary relief and maintenance of sick, or disabled seamen, in the hospitals or other proper institutions now established in the several ports of the United States, or in ports where no such institutions exist, then in such other manner as he shall direct: Provided, that the moneys collected in anyone district, shall be expended within the same.

It probably falls under "other needful buildings". Which STILL raises the obvious question… where is Congress getting the authority to get involved in health care for sailors when there's NO specific authority to do so and it clearly has NOTHING to do with the actual operation of dockyards except perhaps the collection of taxes takes place there?

Last, Congress is given the power "…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"

That does NOT mean that Congress has power to tax for all of the other responsibilities listed in Article 1, section 8 unless it's consistent with the above... so taxing to spend on the "Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings" must be for either defense or the general welfare.

Pierpont's picture
Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Quote Pierpont:

It probably falls under "other needful buildings". Which STILL raises the obvious question… where is Congress getting the authority to get involved in health care for sailors when there's NO specific authority to do so and it clearly has NOTHING to do with the actual operation of dockyards except perhaps the collection of taxes takes place there?

Because the Constitution provides them exclusive power inside Federal enclaves.

"The Congress shall have Power To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever"

Do you need all the relevant federalist papers and quotes to back that up?

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Capital1
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