Category Archives: scope of government

The Balance of Powers Act – How People Are Destroyed For Lack of knowledge

publius-HuldahBy Publius Huldah

Our own Ignorance is destroying us.  Mark Twain wrote in his autobiography:

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

That is what has been going on in our Country for a very long time. Our “intellectuals” can’t think; our “scholars” parrot each other; the self-educated fixate on idiotic theories; no one studies original source writings; and The People jump on every bandwagon that rolls by.

In order to write intelligently on our Constitution, one needs to have studied and understood the original source writings of our Framers.  No matter what your educational level, if you don’t know what is in our Declaration of Independence and federal Constitution; and if you are not familiar from personal study with The Federalist Papers, The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798, Madison’s Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800), and Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1834), among other original source writings, then you have no business writing about these issues.

But we are flooded with rubbish about the Constitution put out by law professors, history professors, Ph.Ds. of this or that, Heritage Foundation, those with no academic qualifications, and politicians. And none of them know what they are talking about!

And The People read their rubbish and believe it.

One of many such writings which plague us is the Balance of Powers Act  (“BOPA”). 1

The BOPA reflects a justified frustration with the innumerable usurpations by the federal government during the last 100 years.

But it also reflects such fundamental misunderstandings of our Founding Principles that it misstates or ignores them.  Accordingly, it undermines our Constitution.

There are 6 major problems with the BOPA:

1. It wrongly presents the federal government as a party to the U.S. Constitution.

Throughout the BOPA, the following refrain is recited:

 “The guarantee of those powers is a matter of compact between the state and people of _[state]__ and the United States as of the time that _[state]____ was admitted to statehood in _[year of admission]_.” [boldface mine]

That refrain elevates the federal government (“the United States”) 2 to the status of a “party” to the compact (Constitution)!

But the federal government is not a party to the Constitution! WE THE PEOPLE created the federal government when we ordained and established The Constitution. The federal government didn’t even exist until the Constitution was ratified.

Accordingly, our Framers understood that the federal government is merely our “creature”, and is not a “party” to anything. In Federalist No. 33 (5th para), Alexander Hamilton writes:

“… If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard [Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” [boldface mine]

Thomas Jefferson writes in his Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions, 8th Resolution:

“… they [The States] alone being parties to the compact, and solely authorized to judge in the last resort of the powers exercised under it, Congress being not a party, but merely the creature of the compact, …” [emphasis mine]

James Madison writes in his Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800) under the 3rd resolution:

“It…[is]…a plain principle, founded in common sense…and essential to the nature of compacts, that, where resort can be had to no tribunal superior to the authority of the parties, the parties themselves must be the rightful judges, in the last resort, whether the bargain made has been pursued or violated. The Constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the states, given by each in its sovereign capacity. … The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal, above their authority, to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; … ” [boldface mine]

Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison are saying that because the States alone are “the parties” to the compact, they are the final authority to decide whether their “creature”, the  federal government, has violated the compact.   THIS is why States have the natural right of nullification!

But by asserting that States and the federal government are in a “compact” together, the BOPA elevates our “creature” to the status of a sovereign party right up there with The States!  Thus, it undermines the “plain principle” that the States alone, as the parties to the compact, have the right to decide, in the last resort, whether the federal government has violated the compact! 3

2. It wrongly suggests that each State (after the original 13) has a different Constitution

Here is another wrongheaded aspect of the same refrain in BOPA:

“The guarantee of those powers is a matter of compact between the state and people of _[state]__ and the United States as of the time that _[state]____ was admitted to statehood in _[year of admission]_.” [boldface mine]

The BOPA makes the absurd suggestion (which is piled on top of the untrue assertion that the federal government is a party to the compact) that every State admitted after the original 13, has a different “compact” with the federal government, depending on the year of admission.

So instead of one Constitution applicable to all States, we have (according to the BOPA) some 37 “compacts” (Constitutions) [50-13= 37].   Not only is this absurd, it perpetuates the lie spewed by progressives that the meaning of the Constitution evolves.

When Tennessee was admitted to statehood on June 1, 1796, she was admitted “on an equal footing with the original states, in all respects whatsoever”.  The U.S. Constitution has the same force in Tennessee and in the same manner as if Tennessee had been one of the original 13 States.  See, “An Act for the admission of the State of Tennessee into the Union”.

3. It misstates the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause.

 Section 2 (3) of the BOPA asserts that the interstate commerce clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 3):

“…was meant to empower Congress to regulate the buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional lines…”

That is demonstrably false, and no authorities are cited.

We look to The Federalist Papers to learn the original intent of the clause. Federalist No. 22 (4th para), Federalist No. 42 (9th &10th paras), Federalist No. 44 (at 2.), and Federalist No. 56  (4th & 5th paras), explain the two purposes of the “interstate commerce” clause:

♣To prohibit the States from imposing tolls and tariffs on articles of import and export – goods & commodities – merchandize – as they are transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling; and

To permit the federal government to impose duties on articles of commerce and imports.4

 

4. It doesn’t properly set forth the original intent of the “necessary and proper” clause.

Section 2 (4) of the BOPA asserts that the necessary and proper clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, last cl.), was:

“… a limitation of power under the common-law doctrine of “principals and incidents,” which restricts the power of Congress to exercise incidental powers. There are two (2) main conditions required for something to be incidental, and therefore, “necessary and proper.” The law or power exercised must be 1) directly applicable to the main, enumerated power, and 2) it must be “lesser” than the main power.”

That is neither helpful nor authoritative.

The Federalist Papers explain the original intent of this clause. It merely delegates to Congress the power to pass laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power (Federalist No. 33, 3rd para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article” (No. 33, 2nd para); and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  “tautology or redundancy” (No. 33, 3rd para).  Madison says the same in Federalist No. 44, at 1 (under his discussion of the SIXTH class).

In plain English, the clause merely permits Congress to make laws to carry out the enumerated powers of the three branches of the federal government.

For example: The duty of some of the federal courts created by Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 9 is to conduct trials (in the types of cases Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1 permits them to hear).  Trials involve parties and witnesses. They must be required to tell the Truth! So, it would be necessary and proper for Congress to make laws against perjury in federal court.

 

5. It misstates the original intent of the “general welfare” clause.

Section 2 (5) of the BOPA asserts that the general welfare clause (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1) requires:

“… that congress only enact laws which serve all citizens well and equally. When James Madison was asked if this clause were a grant of power, he replied “If not only the means but the objects are unlimited, the parchment [the Constitution] should be thrown into the fire at once.” Thus, we re-establish that this clause is a limitation on the power of the federal government to act in the welfare of all when passing laws in pursuance of the powers delegated to the United States, showing no favor to any race, creed, color or socio-economic class.”

That is not true, and no authorities are cited in support of the assertion that the general welfare clause means that Congress must treat all social classes the same.

The limitation imposed by the Constitution on Congress’ powers is that laws made by Congress must fall within the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. 

The term, “general welfare”, as used in our Constitution, has nothing to do with treating people of all races, creeds, and social classes the same.

Our Framers understood the “general welfare” (as applied to States) to refer to:

“Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government.” (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

They saw that this condition could be brought about by the federal government we created in our Constitution:  A federal government divided into three parts, with each part having checks on the other parts; and with only enumerated powers delegated to each of the three parts.

Accordingly, the Preamble to our Constitution says:

“WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” [boldface mine]

And that portion of our Constitution which introduces the list of most of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl 1) says:

“The Congress shall have Power … to … provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States…” [boldface mine]

Immediately thereafter follows the enumeration of 15 specific powers delegated to Congress over the Country at Large. In essence, these 15 powers authorize Congress to:

♣Provide for military defense and international relations and commerce;

♣Establish a uniform commercial system (bankruptcy laws, a money system based on gold & silver, weights & measures,  mail delivery & some road building, patents & copyrights); and

♣Make laws for naturalization of new citizens.

Our Framers understood that the “general Welfare” – the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government – would prevail with the federal government of narrowly defined and enumerated powers created by our Constitution! 5

Section (6) (A) of the BOPA then goes on to assert that the commerce clause, general welfare clause, and necessary & proper clause were amended and limited by the 2nd, 9th, and 10th Amendments!

Rubbish! Not only is no authority cited for this bizarre assertion, it is because the author lacks understanding of the original intents of the three clauses that he believes they needed to be “fixed” by amendments!

6. It ignores the Essential Characteristic of our Federal Constitution.

The essence of our federal Constitution is that it created a federal government of three branches, with each branch having checks on the other two branches. Furthermore, it delegated only specific, narrowly defined powers to each branch.

James Madison writes in Federalist No. 45 (3rd para from end) of the “few and defined” powers delegated to the federal government:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

What We have lost is the knowledge that Our Constitution delegated only “few and defined” – enumerated – powers to each branch of the federal government. For complete lists and explanations of the powers our Constitution delegated to each branch, see:

♣Congress’ enumerated powers [Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1-16 is not the complete list]

♣The president’s enumerated powers

♣The federal court’s enumerated powers

Any American of common sense and ordinary understanding is capable of fully understanding the scope of the powers delegated by our Constitution to Congress and to the President. 6

This is one of the keys to Restoration of our Constitutional Republic.

The BOPA contains a number of other statements which are confused and erroneous.

Conclusion

Our Framers were exquisitely educated in Logic, Judeo-Christian values, political philosophy, and statecraft. The American People of our Founding Era had the Wisdom and Humility to listen to our Framers.

Let us once again show that same Wisdom and Humility.  Listen to Our Framers.

Endnotes:

1 The BOPA is the product of The Constitutional Justice Division of the North American law Center.  As grand as those titles do sound, the BOPA does not reflect the light cast by minds schooled in law or statecraft. Furthermore, the writing is confused and some of the sentences undiagrammable.

2 Throughout our Constitution, the “federal government” is referred to as “the United States”.

3 Parties to compacts have mutual rights and obligations. The federal government has no “rights” – it has only those few delegated powers WE enumerated in the Constitution. The People pre-existed the Constitution. The States pre-existed the Constitution. Since the federal government didn’t exist until the Constitution was ratified, it can’t be a “party” to it! It is impossible to understand our Constitution unless one understands that the federal government is merely a “creature” of the Constitution – and as such, is completely subject to its terms.

4 For additional proof of the original intent of the “interstate commerce” clause see: Does the Interstate Commerce Clause Authorize Congress to Force us to buy Health Insurance?

5 The progressives say the general welfare clause gives Congress power to pass any law they say promotes the “general welfare”.

James Madison refutes that misconstruction in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras).  See also: Does the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution authorize Congress to force us to buy health insurance?

The BOPA’s erroneous assertion that the clause means that laws passed by Congress must “serve all citizens well and equally”, could easily morph into the perversion that Congress may do whatever it likes as long as its laws are fair to all races, creeds, and classes.

But the constitutional standard is that acts of Congress must fall within the scope of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. We must not blur that clear line with our own fabricated feel-good theories.  READ the last 4 paras of Federalist No. 41!

6 Some knowledge of law and litigation is necessary to fully understand the enumerated powers of the federal courts. But if our People would make the modest effort necessary to learn the enumerated powers of Congress and the President, they would become

a people enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.” (Federalist No. 16   [Hamilton] next to last para)

Then they would be able to distinguish between constitutional and unconstitutional acts of Congress and the Executive Branch. PH

March 25, 2013

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The Governor of Tennessee Must Obey Tennessee Law: No State Insurance Exchange!

publius-HuldahBy Publius Huldah

According to an article posted by Lesley Swann of the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center, the federal obamacare Act doesn’t actually require The People to submit to obamacare.1

Accordingly, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius is demanding that The States set up State Insurance Exchanges, by means of which The States will force The People into obamacare.

While 20 States have already given notice that they will not implement obamacare by setting up the State Exchanges; Tennessee’s RINO Governor, Bill Haslam, is “undecided” as to whether he will force Tennesseans to submit to obamacare.

But Haslam has no lawful authority to force The People of Tennessee into State Exchanges. If he does it anyway, he will commit the following five (5) violations of Tennessee Law:

1. The Tennessee Health Freedom Act

The Tennessee Legislature enacted in 2011 the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 56-7-1016. 2

Under this Act, no public official, employee, or agent of Tennessee may force The People of Tennessee to purchase health insurance or impose any penalty for not purchasing such insurance.

So if Haslam attempts to force The People of Tennessee to participate in a State Insurance Exchange, he will violate the Tennessee Health Freedom Act.

2. The State Legislature makes the Laws – not the Governor

The Constitution of the State of Tennessee says at Article II:

“Section 1: The powers of the government shall be divided into three distinct departments: legislative, executive, and judicial.

Section 2: No person or persons belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except in the cases herein directed or permitted. [boldface mine]

Section 3: The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives….”

If Haslam attempts to force Tennesseans into a State Insurance Exchange, he will violate the Separation of Powers Principle enshrined at Art. II, Sections 1 – 3.

3. The Governor’s Powers are Enumerated, Defined, and Strictly Limited.

Here is a complete list of the enumerated powers and duties of the Governor of Tennessee. Article III provides that:

Section 1: The executive power of the state is vested in a governor [See Sec. 10 below].

Section 5: The governor is commander-in-chief of the State Militia

Section 6: The governor may grant reprieves and pardons.

Section 8: The governor may require written information from officers in the executive department, about their duties.

Section 9: The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly.

Section 10: The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Section 11: The governor is to give the Legislature information on the state of the government, and recommend matters for their consideration.

Section 14: The governor may temporarily fill vacancies in office.

Section 15: The governor is to be keeper of the Seal of the State of Tennessee.

Section 16: The governor is to sign and seal all grants and commissions of the State.

Section 18: The governor is to sign, or veto, or allow to become law without his signature, every Bill, Joint Resolution or Order passed by the Legislature. He may reduce or disapprove sums of money appropriated for specific items.

Article VI, Section 11: When any judge of the State Supreme Court is disqualified from presiding over a case, the governor is to specially commission another person to serve as judge on that case.

Article VIII, Section 2: The governor is to appoint certain officers of the State Militia.

That’s it! That’s all the governor of the State of Tennessee has lawful authority to do. He has no lawful authority to make laws. He has no lawful authority to force Tennesseans into a Health Insurance Exchange. If Haslam attempts to do this anyway, he will usurp powers not delegated to him by the Tennessee Constitution.

4. The Governor’s Duty is to Enforce the Laws the Legislature Makes!

Note that Art. III, Sec. 10 requires the governor to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”. As long as the laws made by the Legislature are constitutional, the governor is obligated to enforce them! This means that Haslam must refuse to implement the State Exchange. If he doesn’t refuse to implement the State Exchange, he will be guilty of dereliction of his Constitutional Duty.

5. The Governor is Required by his Oath to Obey the Tennessee Constitution

Article X, Section 1, of the Tennessee Constitution requires the governor to take an Oath to support the Tennessee Constitution.

If he takes his orders from Kathleen Sibelius instead of from the Tennessee Constitution and the Tennessee Legislature, he will violate his Oath to support the State Constitution.

Article X, Sec. 1 of the Tennessee Constitution, and Art. VI, clause 3 of the federal Constitution, also require Haslam to support the federal Constitution. Obamacare is altogether unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers delegated to Congress. This is plain and clearly proven. 3 Thus, Haslam is required by Oath to refuse to enforce obamacare because obamacare is unconstitutional.

If Haslam Violates the State Constitution and State Law, he must be Impeached and Removed.

Article V, Sec. 4 of the Tennessee Constitution provides that the governor shall be liable to impeachment whenever, in the opinion of the Tennessee House of Representatives, he commits any crime in his official capacity which requires disqualification.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (1828 definition) defines “Crime” as

“1. An act which violates a law, divine or human; an act which violates a rule of moral duty; an offense against the laws of right, prescribed by God or man, or against any rule of duty plainly implied in those laws. A crime may consist in omission or neglect, as well as in commission, or positive transgression…”

Any governor who ignores the State Constitution, ignores State law, violates his Oath of Office, and usurps power must be removed from office. 4

End Notes:

1I haven’t read the obamacare Act. It is over 2000 pages long, and is being implemented right now by thousands of more pages of HHS & IRS Rules. Our Framers warned us of laws which were

“… so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow…”(Federalist Paper No. 62, 4th para from end)

2 The hyperlinks at lexus nexus don’t work. To find the text of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, click on http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/ then type in the search term, “Tennessee Health Freedom Act”, jump thru the hoops, and you will find the Act. It is short and worth reading.

3 See, e.g. these model Nullification Resolutions for obamacare

4 Impeachment and removal from office for usurpations of power is expressly authorized by our federal Constitution: See, as to removing a President who usurps power: Federalist Paper No. 66, 2nd para, and No. 77, last para. As to removing federal judges who usurp power, see Federalist Paper No. 81, 8th    

December 12, 2012

 

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God-Given Rights, Man-Made Anti-Rights, and Why ‘Safety Nets’ are Immoral

By Publius Huldah
It is the dogma of our time that proponents of government safety net programs hold the moral high ground. Accordingly, Democrats preen over their own “compassion”; and Republicans chime in that they too “believe in safety net programs”.

But safety net programs are unconstitutional and immoral. They are unconstitutional because “charity” is not one of the enumerated powers of the federal government.1

They are immoral because they are based on a fabricated system of man-made anti-rights which negate the Rights God gave us.

I

The Origin of Rights and the Purpose of Civil Government

The Declaration of Independence sets forth the Principles which were fleshed out – more or less perfectly – in Our Constitution.

The key is the 2nd paragraph, which begins:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…” [emphasis added]

The Bible shows that God gave us a great many rights such as to earn, keep, and inherit private property; to defend ourselves; to worship God; and to live our lives free from meddling and interference as long as we observe the God-given Rights of others.

But men are not angels. Evil men seek to take God-given Rights away from others. Evil men seek to exercise power over others.

That is why we need civil government – to restrain the wicked. Without civil government, we would be in anarchy, always defending ourselves from those who seek to do whatever they want with our lives, liberties, persons, and property.2

So! Rights come from God, and the purpose of civil government is to secure the rights God gave us.

II

Political Power is from The People!

Our Constitution was based on the radical Principle that The People are the original source of political power.

Throughout history, political power has been seen to originate with the King. This is powerfully illustrated by King John I in the movie “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchet. King John saw his Will as “law”, and the People as “subjects” to his Will.

But in this Country, WE THE PEOPLE ordained and established the Constitution and created a federal government. And the federal government We created was subject to us.

The Preamble to our Constitution, “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States”, is our assertion that We are the source of political power, and We are the creators of the federal government. 3

III

Federalism & Enumerated Powers

We created a “federal” government. A “federal” government is an alliance of Sovereign and Independent States associated together in a federation with a general or national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in specifically defined areas only.

InFederalist Paper No. 45 (9th para), James Madison, Father of our Constitution, explains the separate spheres of operation of the federal and State governments. Only a few enumerated powers are delegated to the federal government – all other powers are reserved by the States:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce … the powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order …and prosperity of the State.”

So! What are these specifically defined areas where We delegated to our “creature” – the federal government – authority over the States?

We listed in the Constitution every power We delegated to each branch of the federal government. These are the “enumerated” powers.4 It is ONLY with respect to these enumerated powers – those listed in the Constitution – that the federal government has lawful authority over the Country at large! 5

  • Does the federal government have authority to issue patents & copyrights? Yes! How do we know? Because Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 8 delegates this power to Congress.
  • Does the federal government have authority to institute social security, food stamps, Medicare, aid to families with dependent children, and obamacare? No! How do we know? Because these are not listed among the enumerated powers delegated to Congress.

Internationally, Congress and the President have authority to conduct war & national defense (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16 & Art II, Sec. 2, cl 1); and the President and the Senate have authority to make treaties respecting trade, commerce, and diplomatic relations (Art II, Sec. 2, cl 2). The lawful objects of treaties are restricted to the enumerated powers. Accordingly, the President and the Senate may not lawfully enter into the UN Arms Trade Treaty because the Constitution does not permit the federal government to restrict firearms; and further, the 2nd Amendment prohibits the federal government from infringing our pre-existing Right to bear arms. 6

Domestically:

Congress has authority to make laws respecting a uniform commercial system: Specifically, uniform weights & measures, a money system based on gold & silver where CONGRESS (not private bankers such as the fed) regulates the value of money, issue patents & copyrights, make bankruptcy laws, establish post offices and build some roads (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 4-8). The President’s duty is to implement the foregoing (Art. II, Sec. 3).

Congress may make, and the President is to enforce, laws respecting who may become a naturalized citizen and the procedures for naturalization (Art I, Sec 8, cl. 4).

The Constitution authorizes Congress to make criminal laws respecting counterfeiting, treason, accepting bribes, and piracy & other felonies committed on the high seas. Congress may make those few criminal laws which are “necessary & proper” to carry out enumerated powers, such as making it a crime to file false claims in federal bankruptcy courts, and to lie under oath in federal court.7

Congress has authority to levy taxes and borrow money and appropriate funds (Art I, Sec. 8, cls 1,2 & Sec 9, cl 7), but ONLY for purposes authorized by the Constitution. So! Congress may levy taxes to fund the military, to pay the salaries of the people in the patent & copyright office and other constitutionally authorized offices, and to carry out other delegated powers.

With the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments, the defect in our Constitution permitting slavery was corrected, and Congress was delegated authority to make laws enforcing the Amendments.9

We created federal courts and strictly limited their jurisdiction. The kinds of cases We permit federal courts to hear are itemized at Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1. 10

So! This is basically all We gave the federal government authority to do for the Country at large.

In all other matters, the States – the Members of the Federation – are sovereign and independent.

So “federalism” refers to the form of the government We created in our Constitution – a “federation” of Member States united for limited and enumerated purposes only; with all other powers being retained by the States and The People.

IV

How the federal & State Governments are to go about Securing our God-given Rights

It is not the federal government’s job to secure all our God-given Rights, just those appropriate for a “federal” government. Other rights are secured by the States.

How the God-given Right to Life is Secured:

The federal government is to secure our right to life by military defense (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16); by protecting us from invasion (Art IV, Sec. 4); by prosecuting traitors (Art III, Sec. 3); and by laws against piracy and other felonies committed on the high seas (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 10).

The States reserved the powers to secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, outlawing abortion, euthanasia, drunk driving, the selling of harmful substances to minors, and imposing quarantines for dangerous contagious diseases. States may have pure food and drug laws. States or local governments may outlaw conditions such as old tires lying around which breed mosquitos, which cause disease.

States also once secured our right to life by means of “support laws” which required family members to care for their own! Fathers were to provide for their minor children! Adult children for their elderly parents. The Bible requires family members to care for their own – and State laws used to implement this Godly Principle.

  • But in our brave new world, people are no longer obligated to support dependent family members – everyone just goes on a government program. That is what Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, obamacare, are about – relieving people of their Responsibilities imposed by God to themselves and to their own families.
  • Such programs also increase the size and power of the federal government. That’s how we got the Frankensteinian monster it is today.

Securing the God-given Right to Property:

The federal government is to secure our property rights by requiring an honest money system based on gold & silver, and by establishing uniform and honest weights & measures (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 5). Inflation by means of paper currency and fractional reserve lending is theft; so honest money must be based on precious metals. Honest money and honest weights & measures are called for in the Bible.

The federal government is to secure our property rights by punishing counterfeiters (Art I, Sec. 8, cl 6).

The federal government is to secure our property rights by providing for bankruptcy courts. This permits the orderly dissolution of debtors’ estates with fair treatment of creditors; or the reorganization of financially troubled businesses for the benefit of all (Art I, Sec 8, cl 4).

And the federal government is to secure our property rights by issuing patents & copyrights to inventors and writers to recognize their ownership of their intellectual labors (Art I, Sec 8, cl 8).

The States are to secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, penalizing negligence, fraud, breach of contract and slander. States and local governments may impose burning bans when dry weather makes outdoor burning dangerous. Local governments may make ordinances requiring people to maintain their properties so as not to deflate housing values.

Securing the God-given Right to Liberty:

The federal government secures our right to liberty by laws against slavery (13th Amendment).

But the federal government secures our God-given right to liberty primarily by obeying the Constitution! The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our own lives free from meddlesome and interfering do-gooders, tyrants, and bullies.

The States secure our right to liberty by laws against kidnapping, false imprisonment; and by prosecuting rapists, molesters, and muggers.

Securing the God-given Right to Pursue our Own Happiness:

The federal, State, and local governments secure this right by not meddling in our lives! We have the right to live our own lives free from interference as long as we do not deprive other people of their God-given rights.

Securing the God-given right to a Fair Trial:

The Bible requires civil governments to give fair trials – to citizens and aliens alike. See, e.g., Dt. 1:16-17, Dt. 19:15-20 & Mt. 18:16; Ex 18:13-26; don’t bear false witness.

Outlawing the Hereditary Class System:

And Remember! We are all equal before the Law – we all stand on equal footing before God and are supposed to stand on equal footing in human courts. So our Framers outlawed hereditary aristocracy with its class system: Art I, Sec 9, last clause & Art I, Sec. 10, cl 1 prohibit the federal government and the States from granting Titles of Nobility.

So! Do you see? The only proper function of civil governments is to secure the Rights God gave us – and this is how it was to be done.

And note something else about God-given rights: They don’t put us in conflict with each other. When all civil governments do is secure our God-given rights – protect us from foreign invaders and domestic criminals and tortfeasers – the People can live together in peace.

So THIS is the gift our Framers gave us in 1787 when they drafted our Constitution. But for the last 100 years, we have been letting this gift slip thru our fingers.

V

What Happened?

Why is our Country coming apart? Why is everybody at everybody else’s throat? Why is our financial system collapsing? Why has our Country turned into a moral cesspool?

Because we forgot the Principle set forth in our Declaration that the purpose of civil government is to secure our God-given rights – by protecting us from those who seek to take these rights away from us.

And we were seduced into believing that civil government should

  • Provide for our needs; and
  • Protect us from the risks and uncertainties of Life.

But these beliefs are Evil and Destructive. They destroy Countries and individual Human Souls.

VI

A Government which Provides to Some, must Take from Others

HOW do governments provide for our needs? How do they PAY for the safety net programs progressive Democrats and Republicans love so much?

They take money from some people by force and give it to other people!

At the beginning, the money was taken from those who paid taxes. When that pot of money wasn’t sufficient, the governments borrowed money to fund the welfare programs. Now, they can’t borrow enough, so the federal government devised new methods of creating massive debt to be shoved on the backs of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This is stealing. The federal government takes money which doesn’t belong to them – they create massive debt to be paid back by future generations – and they give it to people who have their hands out – in exchange for their political support.

All these “safety net” programs: social security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, free day care, head start, forcing hospital ERs to provide free medical care, unemployment compensation, and the like, are all based on taking money from some people (born and unborn) by force and giving it to others.

On the State level, we are told that a free public school education K – 12 is a fundamental “right”. So property owners are taxed heavily to pay for the public schools which have churned out generations of Americans who know nothing and can’t think but have been indoctrinated into a secular statist worldview.

Meanwhile, teachers’ unions and purple-shirted SEIU thugs are screaming for more benefits to be paid into their bloated pockets by taxpayers who make less money than the union thugs!

The welfare state isn’t based on “compassion”. The welfare state is based on Envy, Coercion & Theft.

THIS is what has set us at each other’s throats: The misuse of governments to rob some of the People for the benefit of favored groups – the public and private sector unions, businesses owned by Obama fundraisers, and welfare parasites.

Senior citizens were once a favored group, but Seniors will be phased out via Obama’s death panels.

The welfare state with its “safety nets” negates God’s Gift of Liberty, and it violates God’s Laws protecting private property, prohibiting theft, and condemning envy. And when a culture is based on Envy, Coercion and Theft, as ours now is, it is impossible for The People to live in peace with one another.

VII

Living in a Cocoon? Or as Free and Independent Manly Men and Womanly Women?

We were also seduced into believing that the federal government should protect us from the risks and uncertainties of Life.

And so the federal government regulates and controls all human activity. Under obamacare, bureaucrats in the federal Department of Health & Human Services will control access to medical care! Education is regulated. OSHA regulates work conditions. EPA regulates the air and the water and “emissions”. The federal government oversees the wages we pay and get – all arrangements between employers and employees; all human activity is regulated and controlled and taxed.

Obama’s model is the Life of Julia: a single mother dependent on the federal government throughout her life who lives in a cocoon woven around her by the federal government and paid for – by others.

The price of the cocoon is personal liberty and dignity. We exchanged our glorious heritage for a bowl of porridge.

The test for us is this: Have we become so dependent on handouts, and are we so indifferent to the fate of our grandchildren, that we refuse to stand up to the federal government and tell them all to go to hell?

VIII

The Progressives and the Regulatory Federal Government

This Country was made great by our Forefathers who valued freedom so much that they left their homeland on a dangerous voyage to come here where there was no job, no home, no “safety net”, no nothing but God, wilderness, Liberty, and Opportunity. Our Forefathers came to this Country without health insurance! Without disability benefits! Without retirement pensions!

What happened to bring us where we are today – on the brink of social, moral, and financial collapse?

During the late 1880s, Progressivism with its meddlesome and unconstitutional policies arose. The Progressives were going to “fix” everything and “fix” everybody by “regulating” everything and everybody. They would get “experts” to run everything and manage everybody and tell them what to do.

The Progressives did many bad things – I’ll just mention a few: The federal government started regulating railroads. Congress passed anti-trust legislation and created the federal Food and Drug Administration.

In 1913, the 16th & 17th Amendments were ratified.

The Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913.

Prohibition – the 18th Amendment – was ratified in 1919. God says we may drink alcohol; but Progressives didn’t agree with that and so banned it.

Federal funding for maternity and child care started.

We moved to the present unconstitutional system of Presidential primaries, and abandoned the procedures for electing Presidents set forth in the 12th Amendment (ratified 1804).

So it was the Progressives – and Teddy Roosevelt was the first Progressive President – who initiated our abandonment of God’s Model for Civil Government, our abandonment of our Constitution, and our descent into the cesspool of Envy, Coercion, Theft, and Dependency.

The Social Security Act was passed in the mid-1930’s, and Medicare in the mid-1960s.

IX

Man-made “Anti-rights”

So today, we are laboring under the ridiculous notion that we have a whole host of “rights” to stuff which is paid for by other people: the “right” to a free public school education; the “right” to a fair wage, paid vacations, maternity leave, and equal pay for equal work; the “right” to an income for when you are old, unemployed, sick, disabled, or whatever; a “right” to a “decent” standard of living including “adequate” food, clothing, housing, medical care, and other social services.

And let us not forget the “right” to free cell phones, the “right” to free birth control, and the “right” to free abortions and abortifacts!

What’s wrong with all these “rights”?

What they all have in common is a claimed “right” to live at other peoples’ expense. They elevate parasitism into a “right”.

All these handouts must all be paid for by someone. And unless other people pay for these freebies voluntarily, the money must be taken from them BY FORCE. So it turns some of us and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren into plucked geese.

That is why the welfare State is evil, immoral, and rotten to the core. And it is operated by politicians who seek only more and more power for themselves.

THIS is why we are all at each other’s throats. The people who are getting the handouts want more! The people who have been paying are sick of paying for the welfare parasites who sit at home watching their big screen TVs eating junk food – all of which is paid for by those who work, along with those who haven’t even been born.

God NEVER gave us the “right” to demand that other people be forced to pay our living expenses and give us free stuff – cell phones and abortion pills!

God NEVER gave us the “right” to force others to subsidize our own failures, vices, weaknesses, or irresponsibility.

Two of the 10 Commandments deal with the sanctity of other peoples’ property. Not only are we forbidden to steal other peoples’ stuff, we are forbidden to covet it. Throughout the Bible, God’s Laws uphold the sanctity of private property.

So! All these man-made Anti-rights negate the God-given Rights because they steal our Property and our Liberty.

The welfare State – socialism – communism – fascism –obama’s blather about “redistribution” and “fairness” are evil and immoral because they are based on a violation of God’s Laws granting us Liberty, upholding the sanctity of private property, and condemning envy and theft.

X

What Should We Do?

We must repent. We must return to God, our Founding Principles, our Constitution.

We must acknowledge that the present system cannot continue; and that everyone’s favorite “safety net” programs – Social security and Medicare – have done much to destroy The Family and the concept of Personal Responsibility.

The Bible, which we have spurned for a very long time, tells us that families are the primary “welfare” institution. For a very long time, families actually did take care of one another! Elderly parents died at home with their children.

But today, people see it as the responsibility of the “government” to care for elderly people – to provide them an income and pay their medical expenses.

And when they can no longer take of themselves, they are put in nursing homes where they die … alone.

Social security and Medicare are evil – they corrupted us and destroyed our families. They are bankrupt and filled with fraud. Politicians use them as a tool to manipulate the gullible.

Still, many of our Senior citizens have become dependent on these programs.

So we must phase out these unGodly and unconstitutional programs in an orderly manner.

All taxes need to be reduced dramatically so that people have more money to set aside for themselves and their own families.

The Estate Tax should be eliminated. In the Bible, the eldest son got the double share of the inheritance because it was his prime responsibility to care for his aged parents.

We must pull together with our families. We must rediscover Personal Responsibility! Until we were corrupted by the Progressives and their evil programs, we were a remarkable People characterized by “goodness”. PH

Endnotes:

1Read the Constitution! “Charity” is not an enumerated power! James Madison said, in opposition to a proposal to give aid to French emigrants, that he could not undertake to lay his finger on that article in the Federal Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, Jan. 10, 1794, p. 170-171.

2 People in the federal government now do whatever they want with our lives, liberties, property and persons [TSA agents feel us up, the Executive Branch will control our access to medical care, etc.]. The federal government has become destructive of the purposes for which it was created; and since it is violating our Constitution, is ruling without our Consent. Hence, it is illegitimate.

3 Alexander Hamilton referred to the federal government as our “creature” in Federalist No. 33 (5th para); and Thomas Jefferson called it our “creature” in The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (8th Resolution).

4 For a discussion of Congress’ Enumerated Powers, go here. For the enumerated powers of the President, go here. For the enumerated powers of the federal Courts, go here.

5 Get a pocket copy of our Declaration of Independence and federal Constitution. Using different colors, highlight all references to God, the enumerated powers delegated to Congress, the enumerated powers delegated to the President, and the enumerated powers delegated to the federal courts. You will be amazed. Then prepare another highlighted copy and send it to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

6 God gave us the Right to hunt for food and to use arms to defend ourselves. Jesus commanded his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy a sword.

7 Most of the criminal laws Congress makes for the Country at large – all drug laws, all laws which pretend to restrict gun ownership, whether sports figures take steroids, etc., etc., etc., are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress in the Constitution.

8 What is so appalling about John Roberts’ opinion in the obamacare case is that Roberts in effect says that Congress may tax for any purpose whatsoever.

9 The purpose of the 14th Amendment was to protect freed slaves from Southern Black Codes which denied them basic God-given Rights. But the 14th Amendment has been perverted by judges on the supreme Court to create a “right” to kill unborn babies, a “right” to engage in homosexual sodomy, and probably, a soon to be created “right” to homosexual marriage. Do you see? Human judges claim the power to create “rights”. And note how these judicially fabricated “rights” are contrary to God’s Laws.

10 Many of the cases federal courts decide are outside their constitutional authority to hear: They have no authority to review STATE Laws and STATE Constitutional provisions respecting prayer in schools, posting of the Ten Commandments in public places, abortion, homosexual acts, and homosexual marriage. The supreme Court has long been seizing powers which Art. III, Sec. 2, cl. 1, doesn’t delegate to them. Those judges should be impeached, tried, convicted, kicked off the bench, and prohibited from ever again holding federal office (Art I, Sec. 3, last clause, & Federalist No. 81, 8th para). PH.

The ‘Taxing Clause’, Five Lawless Judges, and ObamaCare

By

Article 1 Section 8 from Page 2 of the U.S. Constitution

Our federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers only.  This means that WE THE PEOPLE, who ordained and established the Constitution, listed therein every power We delegated to the federal government. If We didn’t list a power, the federal government doesn’t have it.1

Furthermore, we delegated only a very few powers to the federal government.

Accordingly, Congress has strictly limited legislative powers over the Country at large. These powers are listed primarily at Art. I, §8, clauses 3-16, and are restricted to war, international commerce & relations; and domestically, the creation of a uniform commercial system: weights & measures, patents & copyrights, a monetary system based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & roads. Several Amendments delegate to Congress some power over civil rights.

These enumerated powers are the only areas where the federal government has lawful authority over The States and The People in The States.  In all other matters [except those listed at Art. I, §10] the States and The People retain supremacy, independence, and sovereignty. Go here for a complete list of all of Congress’ Enumerated Powers.

Obamacare is altogether unconstitutional because it is outside the scope of the legislative powers We granted to Congress. Nothing in Our Constitution authorizes the federal government to control our medical care (or to exercise the other powers in the Act). 

I challenge those five (5) lawless judges on the supreme Court [Roberts, Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsberg, & Breyer], all other totalitarians, mushy liberals, gullible fools, and parasitic humans who support Obamacare, to point to that clause of The Constitution where We delegated to the federal government power to control our medical care.

Article I, §8, clauses 1-16: What it Really Means.

Those five (5) lawless judges on the supreme Court looked at Art. I, §8, cl.1, and found power in Congress and the Executive Branch to take over our medical care – even to decide whether we will receive medical treatment or be denied medical treatment.2

And how did The Lawless Five do this?  I’ll show you. But first, let’s see what the Constitution really says.  Article I, §8, clauses 1 & 2 read:

Clause 1: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;” [boldface added]

Clause 2: “To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;”

Immediately after Clauses 1 & 2 follows the list of enumerated powers WE delegated to Congress:

  • Clause 3: To regulate “commerce” [For the Truth about the “commerce clause”, go here];
  • Clause 4: To establish uniform laws on Naturalization and on Bankruptcies;
  • Clause 5: To coin money & regulate its value, and fix the standard of weights & measures;
  • Clause 6: To punish counterfeiting;
  • Clause 7: To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
  • Clause 8: To issue Patents and Copyrights;
  • Clause 9: To set up federal courts “inferior” to the supreme Court [one may well ask how any court can be “inferior” to the supreme Court];
  • Clause 10: To punish Piracies & Felonies on the high seas and offenses against the Law of Nations;
  • Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque & Reprisal, and make rules for Captures;
  • Clause 12: To raise and support Armies;
  • Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
  • Clause 14: To make Rules for the land and naval Forces;
  • Clause 15: To call forth the Militia; and
  • Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, disciplining the Militia.

Add to this short list of enumerated powers; the “housekeeping powers” itemized in the paper linked here; the salaries authorized by Art. I, §6, cl. 1; Art. II, §1, next to last clause; Art. III, §1, cl. 1, and others on the civil list; together with the Amendments addressing civil rights; and you have the sole purposes for which Congress is authorized to levy and collect taxes, borrow money, and spend money for the Country at Large.

And this is precisely what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, says in Federalist Paper No. 41 (last 4 paras).  Madison addresses the objection that:

“…the power ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,’ amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.” (4th para from end).

Madison says one would be grasping at straws to stoop to such a silly “misconstruction”:

“Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms ‘to raise money for the general welfare’.” (3rd para from end)

“But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? … Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning … is an absurdity…” (2nd para from end)

In the final paragraph, Madison says Art. I, §1, cl. 1 does not vest in Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever: Clause 1 is merely a “general expression”, the meaning of which is “ascertained and limited” by the clauses which immediately follow it.

To put Madison in modern English: Clauses 1 & 2 grant to Congress the power to raise money; clauses 3-16 enumerate the objects on which Congress may appropriate the money so raised, thus limiting clauses 1 & 2.

THAT is the Constitution We ratified.

What the Lawless Five Assert it Means:

See where it says in Clause 1, “To lay and collect Taxes”?  The Lawless Five assert that this phrase authorizes Congress to lay & collect taxes for any purposes whatsoever.

They IGNORED the “specification of the objects [Clauses 3-16] alluded to by these general terms” [Clauses 1 & 2] – the “enumeration of particulars” which “explain and qualify” “the general phrase”.  

In effect, they repealed Clauses 3-16.  In a nutshell, the Lawless Five asserted that Congress and the President may do whatever they want to us.  Just call it a “tax”.

What can WE Do?

First, we must disabuse ourselves of the monstrous lie that the federal government created by the Constitution is the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it; and that the opinion of five judges, not the Constitution, is the sole measure of its powers. 3 This is an evil ideology antithetical to our Founding Documents and Principles. Once you understand that, our remedies are readily apparent:

1. Impeach Federal Judges who violate their Oaths of Office. The supreme Court is merely a creature of the Constitution and is completely subject to its terms; and when judges on that and lower federal courts – who serve during “good Behaviour” only (Art. III, §1, cl. 1) – usurp power, they must be removed from office. Alexander Hamilton writes in Federalist No. 81 (8th para) of:

“… the important constitutional check which the power of instituting impeachments in … [the House] … and of determining … them in the … [Senate] … give[s] to … [Congress] … upon the members of the judicial department. This is alone a complete security. There never can be danger that the judges, by a series of deliberate usurpations on the authority of the legislature, would hazard the united resentment of the body intrusted with it, while this body was possessed of the means of punishing their presumption, by degrading them from their stations…” 4

We must elect Representatives and Senators who will support our Constitution by impeaching & removing usurping federal judges.  We must elect people who will rid of us The Lawless Five.

2. Elect Representatives and Senators who will also repeal Obamacare and dismantle everything which has been implemented so far.

3.  Elect Romney.  He has promised he will “repeal” obamacare.  His Oath of Office – which is “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” – requires him to refuse to implement Obamacare. By Executive Order, he must refuse to implement it, he must reverse all implementation in effect when he takes office, and he must rescind the unconstitutional rules [see, e.g., Art. I, §1] made by the baby-killing totalitarians who presently infect the Department of Health & Human Services.

4.  States must nullify ObamacareHere are model Nullification Resolutions for State Legislatures. These can be easily amended to specifically address Obamacare and the HHS rules. State officials, legislators, and judges all take The Oath to support the federal Constitution (Art. VI, cl. 3); and that Oath requires them to nullify Obamacare.

5. We the People must stop deceiving ourselves about the motives of people such as Obama and the Lawless Five. They are not ‘basically decent people who just have different opinions”. They are Dolores Umbridges who are determined to reduce us to abject slavery. PH.

Endnotes:

1 Contrary to the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government, the federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers only.  E.g.:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.  The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.”  (Federalist No. 45 , 9th para)

“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects….” (Federalist No. 39, 3rd para from end)

“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...” (Federalist No. 14, 8th para)

2 There is much more in Obamacare than transferring to the Executive Branch power to decide whether we will receive or be denied medical care. It is a parade of horribles worthy of Stalin, Hitler, and Anita Dunn’s hero, Mao.  It transfers total control of our lives to the Executive Branch.

3 Our beloved Thomas Jefferson writes in para 1 of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798:

“1. Resolved, That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes,–delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.” [boldface mine]

4 With Obamacare, the Lawless Five colluded with Congress & the Executive Branch to subvert Our Constitution. Our Framers warned us of such connivances between the branches of the federal government:

Alexander Hamilton tells us that Congress can’t successfully usurp powers unless The People go along with it!  In Federalist No.16 (next to last para), he points out that because judges may be “embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature”, the People, who are “the natural guardians of the Constitution”, must be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.

James Madison says in Federalist No. 44 (last para before 2.):

“…the success of the usurpation [by Congress] will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; …” [boldface added]

Hamilton and Madison are telling that We don’t have to go along with Obamacare just because Five totalitarians on the supreme Court want the Executive Branch to have total control over our lives. This is where we draw the line.  We must Resist this tyranny.

What Oil and Wind Should Be Teaching Us

The Gulf oil spill and hurricane Katrina have an important message. Is anyone listening?

That pesky hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico puts an exclamation point to a truth Washington politicians fail to understand and refuse to acknowledge. The powers of the Federal Government is limited, not only by the Constitution, but by the limitations of human capabilities as well. A person can become competent in a small number of subjects over a lifetime of experience and study.  However, very few can become experts in more than one or two. Being elected to public office does not change that basic truth. Washington simply does not have the expertise or competency necessary to solve every natural or man made problem the American people encounter.

It is not just the incompetence of the current Obama Administration. The size and reach of the federal government makes it incapable of solving or even controlling most of the major domestic issues facing America today, no matter who sits in the White House or serves in Congress; having the most incompetent administration and possibly the most incompetent Congress in our history only makes matters worse.

The Founders, whether by experience, knowledge, or intuition, understood this imperfection in human government when they laid out the plan for our own in the Constitution. They understood that a republican form of government, in order to be effective must be limited in the area and population governed. Thomas Jefferson mused to a friend, John Taylor, in an 1816 letter, “Such a government [pure republicanism] is evidently restrained to very narrow limits of space and population. I doubt if it would be practicable beyond the extent of a New England township”.

The larger the area and population governed, the more autocratic the government must be in order to maintain stability. The thirteen states that ratified the Constitution in 1788 had a population of less than 3 million people and covered less than 1 million sq. mi. Realizing that a nation that large could not be sufficiently governed by a central government while still protecting the liberties of its people, the Founders devised a plan limiting the national government to those issues that could only be adequately handled at the national level, leaving all others to the states. Today the United States has an estimated population of 309,000,000 people and covers an area of 3,537,455 square miles, making it the third largest nation on earth.

223 years of world history has demonstrated the wisdom of the Founders in designing a decentralized but cooperative government with an upside down power pyramid going from the people to the state to the federal. That is not to say that the Federal Government should have no role in dealing with catastrophes like the Gulf oil spill or hurricane Katrina but its role should be subordinate to the states involved. The huge overwhelming bureaucracies of the Federal Government with their cross currents of political intrigue and jurisdictional rivalry inhibit the rapid development and implementation of the solutions necessary to limit the damage and eventually stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, for example.

As our population continues to amass in ever-growing population centers, the potential for devastating natural or man made disasters increase. We will continue to have hurricanes, forest fires, floods, tornadoes, oil spills, and possibly terrorist attacks in the future. In these instances the role of the Federal government should be a role of assisting not directing. State and local authorities must have the primary responsibility and authority to implement an emergency response when necessary with the Federal Government supplying resources and manpower as needed and requested.

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What Happened to My Country? Part Two

The Progressive Era

In the past 218 years since ratification of the Bill of Rights, only seventeen amendments have been added to our Constitution.  Except for the Civil War Amendments involving the rights of former slaves and a few other issues growing out of the war, most are minor adjustments to the various articles of the Constitution.  However, two of the four Amendments ratified during the Progressive Era (1896-1932) have proven by experience to be disastrous to the structure of Government established by the Framers, and leads directly to the current attempted statists takeover of the Government by President Barack Obama and his socialist supporters.  Both were proposed during the term of Republican President William Howard Taft and ratified in1913 during the administration of Democratic President Woodrow Wilson.

Sixteenth Amendment—Income Tax

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” Amendment 16, Ratified February 3, 1913

The Progressive Era was one of the high points in the advancement of the socialist movement in America; this in spite of the fact that the socialists parties never garnered more than nine percent of the vote in presidential elections.  Since Marx’s Communist Manifesto, a goal of socialism had always been the establishment of a graduated, progressive income tax for the redistribution of wealth.  The Sixteenth Amendment provided the opportunity to realize that goal.

Although the Socialist Parties themselves were never able to muster a significant amount of support at the polls, their ideas permeated much of society at the turn of the twentieth century.  It was during the Progressive Era that we got the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Trade Commission, the Hepburn Act strengthening the ICC, four constitutional amendments and the Federal Reserve Bank.  In the Presidential Elections of 1912, all four presidential candidates—Democrat Woodrow Wilson, Republican William Howard Taft, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, and Socialist Eugene Debs—supported the income tax.

When the income tax first came into force, the rate was 7% on the wealthiest earners.  Four years later the top marginal rate was 77%, an eleven-fold increase.  The tax code today is over 40,000 pages and is used as much for social engineering and wealth redistribution as it is for the constitutional purpose of funding the essential functions of government.

The Sixteenth Amendment repeals Article One, section nine, clause four of the Constitution.  It does not repeal clause one in section eight which limits taxes to paying the public debt and funding the enumerated functions of government.  Nowhere does the Constitution authorize a progressive income tax.  In fact, it could be argued that a progressive tax violates the principle of uniformity called for in Article One, section eight, clause one.

Seventeenth Amendment—Election of Senators

Socialists, liberals, and progressives habitually use language in a cynical and misleading way to promote their agenda. One of their favorites is “the people”. However, when they speak of the people they are usually talking about the people in mass, not as individuals.  The masses are easily controlled and generally follow the leadership of demigods in herd-like fashion.  On the other hand, when conservatives speak of “the people” they are referring to a consensus of individuals each acting in their own self-interest.

Because the masses are so easily influenced by populist rhetoric, progressives cloak their agenda in appeals to democracy and democratic ideals, overlooking the fact that the Constitution was constructed as it is specifically to guard against the fickle whims of the uninformed or misinformed masses.  This accounts for the continued attempts to eliminate the Electoral College.  It also provided the impetus for the popularity of the Seventeenth Amendment providing for the popular election of Senators.

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote…”  Amendment Seventeen, Ratified April 8, 1913

There is no denying the popular appeal of the idea of electing members of the Senate by the popular vote of the people rather than by the State Legislatures.  However, this change in the structure of government, more than any other, is responsible for the transformation from a federal to a national government abolishing the sovereignty of the states.

After ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment the accountability of Senators shifted from State Legislatures to the people and ultimately to the political parties.  One of the last important changes of the Progressive Era was the formalization of authority, in 1925, in the office of the Senate Majority Leader replacing the constitutional authority of the President of the Senate held by the Vice President for the first 135 years of our existence as a Constitutional Republic.  This change cemented the loyalty of Senators to their party leadership rather than the interest of their states or the country.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, one of the consequences of the Seventeenth Amendment was the shift of power from the state legislatures to the Congress in Washington, in effect, nullifying the Tenth Amendment.  For more than a century, the Senate had been the guardian of the Tenth Amendment.  As representatives of the state legislatures, Senators were sensitive to efforts by Congress to usurp the authority of the states and succeeded, for the most part, in preventing the federal government from establishing a tyranny over the lives of the people.

The doctrine that facilitated the eventual decline in state power and the increase in federal power was “supremacy of federal law”.  Constitutionally that supremacy is limited.  The doctrine is found in Article VI of the Constitution which reads:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme law of the land.”  Article VI, Clause 2.

Just as the proponents of big government overlook the phrase “foregoing powers” in the so-called “elastic clause” of Article One, here they overlook the phrase “in pursuance thereof”.  Federal law is supreme only when the law is in pursuance to the requirements and limitations of the Constitution.  A countering doctrine to the supremacy of federal law is one that appears often in the writings of the founders and in opinions handed down by early Supreme Courts.

That doctrine holds that unconstitutional acts of Congress are null and void and should not be binding on the states or citizens of the states. In Marbury vs. Madison, for example, Justice John Marshall wrote in the Majority Opinion, “Laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”  While the federal government has the police power to enforce adherence to unconstitutional laws, that does not make them constitutional or legal.

The abuse of these two amendments has done more to promote the federal tyranny we are experiencing today under the Obama administration than any other, with the possible exception of the exploitation of the “equal protection” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

liberty-bellOne of the easiest ways for a Senator or Congressman to gain attention is to propose an amendment to the Constitution; If it pertains to a subject of interest to the public, all the better.  Call a press conference, have your staff compose a press release and, for at least one news cycle, your name is before the public.  Rarely does anything come of these publicity stunts and they are soon forgotten.  There are up to 200 constitutional amendments proposed in a typical session of Congress.  The average person seldom hears of these proposals unless they are on the Lawmaker’s mailing list or visiting his or her website.

Such antics on the part of our lawmakers have not been a serious problem constitutionally.  Of the more than one thousand amendments introduced in Congress over the past two centuries only 33 have garnered enough supports in both houses of Congress to be presented to the states for ratification.  Of those only 27 have been ratified including the ten making up the Bill of Rights.

Members of Congress can score political points with their constituents by proposing amendments, especially if the amendment involves a fashionable issue.  The same opportunity for proposing constitutional amendments, however, is not extended to the state lawmakers by the Constitution.  They typically solve this problem by calling for an amendatory convention.

Amendments to the Constitution must originate in Congress, or from a convention called by Congress for the purpose of proposing amendments, when requested to do so by the Legislatures of two thirds of the states.

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…”
~Article V, U.S. Constitution

Article V was one of the last Articles to be debated by the Philadelphia Convention.  After more than four months of exhaustive debate in a closed room with little reprieve from the heat and humidity of a Philadelphia summer, little time was given to its consideration.  In fact, more time was devoted to the phrase “we the people” during the Virginia Ratifying Convention than was devoted to the Article for Amending the Constitution during the Constitutional Convention.

The absence of specific requirements in the states’ applications has led to some degree of controversy in recent years.  One group called, “Friends of The Article V Convention” (FOAVC) has filed two lawsuits against the government claiming that the People have been denied their constitutional right to an Article V Convention by Congress; one making its way to the Supreme Court.  Their claim is based on the fact that Article V does not specify a time frame for the states’ applications.

They claim that since the Constitution was ratified in 1788 more than 750 Article V applications have been made by all 50 states and Congress continues to ignore their constitutional duty to call for a convention to consider amendments.  FOAVC rejects court rulings that in order for applications to trigger the Article V requirement for a convention they must be contemporary, and that the question is a political one over which the courts do not have jurisdiction.

The group fails to make a case for the need for a convention and does not indicate a reason for their insistence on one except for the fact that Article V provides for it.  While they do not clearly disclose their agenda, an article by one of FOAVC’s founders, Joel S. Hirschhorn dated May 8, 2008 contains the following;

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they believe in giving Americans universal health care.  I don’t believe them.  Anyone who takes the time to understand universal health care should conclude that only a simple single payer system will reform the current outrageous system that benefits the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

The contorted plans from Clinton and Obama are not sufficient reforms.  And what John McCain has proposed is sheer nonsense and by itself should cause any conscious American to avoid voting for him….”

“…We must expand the Bill of Rights as embodied in the US Constitution to include the right to affordable universal health care.  The time has come for the public to conclude that the right to universal health care is as important and necessary as the right to free speech and all the other beloved constitutional rights.  Common sense says that health care is a right, not a privilege…”

This language certainly does not indicate someone who is devoted to the defense of the Constitution.

At any rate, whether or not the Constitution provides for an amendatory convention—as it certainly does—the real question should be; Is such a convention needed? And is it advisable? An Article V convention has never been convened in our history and there are several good reasons why one should not be.

The danger of altering the plan of government

While delegates to an Amendatory Convention would not be authorized to rewrite the entire Constitution, there would be no limits to the number and scope of the amendments proposed.

Thus far Article I, Sections two, three, four and nine, Article II, Section one, Article III, Section two, and Article IV, section two have all been changed by Amendment.  Most of these amendments have produced unintended consequences; Abortion, a progressive income tax, and the loss of state sovereignty for example.

The futility of Constitutional Amendments

Our government has not been a true Constitutional Republic since the reign of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Presidents, Legislators and Courts seem to acknowledge the Constitution only when it furthers their agenda, otherwise it is ignored.  There is no indication that additional amendments would be honored by government officials to any greater degree than they honor the Constitution now.  Before we open up the Amendment process by calling for an Amendatory Convention we need to regain control of the government as a whole and bring it back under the jurisdiction of the Constitution as it is.

Lack of need for a convention

Whenever a public outcry for a new Amendment to the Constitution arises it is usually due to persistent breaches of the Oath of Office by elected officials or a departure from the fundamental principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence.  Of the seventeen Amendments ratified since the Bill of Rights only the twelfth and twenty first were necessary; the latter to correct the ill-advised eighteenth. Most of the problems intended to be corrected by the remaining fifteen could have been corrected legislatively without violating the Constitution as it was.

The sixteenth and seventeenth Amendments have proven to be damaging to our form of government, the eighteenth violated a fundamental natural right and most of the others came with unintended consequences that have proven detrimental to the general welfare.  In addition they have provided fertile ground for activist judges to substitute their social preferences for Constitutional law.

While the Constitution is not perfect, two hundred years of history indicates that it is as near to perfection as a basis of government as mankind is capable of devising.  All of us should become a little nervous when our political leaders seriously talk of changing it.  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”