2.18.2010

ARTICAL 1 , SECTION 8 -- let's see the general welfare explode!

SECTION. 8.
 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 an 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.

11 comments:

Bungalow Bill said...

General Welfare is defined in Federalist #41, and it has nothing to do with creating a nanny state.

LandShark 5150 said...

AMEN brother!

Teresa said...

Bungalow Bill's correct. The General welfare has nothing to do with creating a nanny state. It says nothing even implying that our government has the authority to control our health care.

LandShark 5150 said...

BBCW has a good post that pertains to this very section go to -- http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2010/02/consider-consquences-of-liberals.html

Thanks Clayton! sharky

The Griper said...

i may agree with this but saying what it does not cover does not allow us to understand its meaning. we need a positive understanding of it not a negative understanding.

LandShark 5150 said...

In my simple minded brain, this leaves little wiggle room. The last sentence bothers me more than any other in this section.

"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."

This, to me, allows for a difference of interpretation --
Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government had only those powers specifically listed. The Necessary and Proper Clause is the source of many of the "implied" powers of the national government.

Alexander Hamilton believed in a broad or loose construction of the Constitution, which would strengthen the new national government. Thomas Jefferson (whom I agree with)argued for a strict construction of the Constitution, which would limit the powers of the national government. Hamilton believed that Congress had the power to create a national bank; Jefferson did not.

I've read that it has been called the -- “most important single sentence in American constitutional law.”

This "Elastic Clause" remains the source of much federal power that drives the "general welfare" fires.

The Griper said...

sharky,
"This "Elastic Clause" remains the source of much federal power that drives the "general welfare" fires."

you have just affirmed my first post with this comment. by viewing the Constitution in terms of its negative understanding as stated above by others there is no basis of defending a stance and it allows the other side to give it positive understanding which the above quote acknowledges.

strict construction may have been fine for the times they lived in but on the other hand it doesn't allow for any evolutionary advances. the reason being they were addressing the needs of government for their day.

example:
freedom of the press based on strict construction would only allow freedom to newspapers or publications because that was all that was available at the time. it would not apply to radio or tv or the internet of today.

but i'll grant you your conclusion tho. the implied powers theory has been a cause of divisiveness.

i also think hamilton's stance on this was taken out of context of his intent too by the left. they have used it to promote the ends justify the means.

hamilton recognized that it could only be used as a necessary means in regards to an end already established as being the right of the federal government.

Congressional Candidate Michael Wardell said...

Here is the best response that you can have against the 'general welfare' clause:

The general welfare language is part of the body of the Constitution and James Madison, among others, considered it dangerously broad. That is one of the reasons for adopting the Bill of Rights. They were to limit what Congress could do under that clause. Now liberals are saying that the welfare clause takes precedence over the very amendments that limit it and can be used to reduce rights under the amendments like the health care bills would do to the 9th and 10th Amendments, among others. This means that Congress can do anything it wants by claiming it is for "the general welfare"; they could re-institute slavery, abolish freedom of speech entirely, or take away a woman's right to vote.

The Griper said...

very nice "positive" response, Mr. Wardell, thank you. that was a response that gives us understanding of the Supreme Court's thinking prior to FDR's threat against them.

LandShark 5150 said...

The Constitution sets forth certain terms and conditions for governing that hold the same meaning today as they did yesterday and should tomorrow. It connects each generation to another by restraining the ability to societal experimentation and government excess. One cannot interpret it any other way without abandoning the underlying principles entirely.
If you can rewrite its meaning or ignore the original intent, it ceases to be a Constitution but becomes some concoction of political ideas that serve policy agendas.
James Madison explained it this way --
"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If its meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shapes and attributes of the government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are consistently subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders, will I believe appear to all unbiased Enquirers into the history of its origin and adoption."

Thomas Jefferson, in 1803 letter to Senator Wilson Cary Nicholas of Virginia respecting the Louisiana Purchase, explained:
"Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty-making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution. If it has no bounds, they can be no others than the definitions of the powers which that instrument gives. It specifies & delineates the operations permitted to the federal government, and gives all the powers necessary to carry these into execution. Whatever of these enumerated objects is proper for a law, Congress may make the law; whatever is proper to be executed by way of a treaty, the President & State may enter into the treaty: whatever is to be done by a judicial sentence, the judges may pass the sentence."

The Constitution is the bedrock on which a living, evolving nation was built. It is - and must be - a timeless yet durable foundation that individuals can count on in a changing world. It is not perfect but the Framers made it more perfectible through the amendment process. This is why the freedom of the press should be amended to clarify instead of assuming it covers TV, Internet and radio.

The Constitution should interpreted as the Framers intended - limiting the authority of the federal government through positive rights, that is, the right to be free from being abused and coerced by the government; instead of the Constitution being interpreted as compelling the government to enforce negative rights, that is, economic and social justice or the Second Bill of Rights. And that, I believe, the essence of the general welfare clause, interpretation and not original intent.

The Griper said...

i think your concerns, sharky, will be answered once we get to the "Equality" amendment.

for i believe it is not the concept of justice that you speak of when you use the terms of economic justice or social justice. that is how the liberals want people to think of it.

what you actually are talking about is economic equality and social equality.

these are different concepts.

this is an example of what i was saying when i said by not putting forth a positive argument we allow the liberals to give it a positive identity.