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Old 08-06-2009, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Maine
898 posts, read 809,219 times
Reputation: 538
There is a very good essay by JR Dieckmann from For The General Welfare Of The Country*|*Tenth Amendment Center

The author contends that the phrase "general welfare" and "common defence" were not enumerated powers, but rather, an introductory statement giving congress the power to tax based on the specific items spelled out.

The claim is that the "common Defence" is defined by the following:
Quote:
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;

And that the "general welfare" is defined by these statements:
Quote:
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
I do not feel that the constitution was entitled to go to the polar opposite of the Articles of Confederation, but rather, a recognition that the Articles were insufficient. Our founders, in recognizing that there needed to be some level of federal control, still were adamant supporters of liberty.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:32 AM
 
31,361 posts, read 17,727,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melinuxfool View Post
\
I do not feel that the constitution was entitled to go to the polar opposite of the Articles of Confederation, but rather, a recognition that the Articles were insufficient.
I'm with you so far...

Quote:
Our founders, in recognizing that there needed to be some level of federal control, still were adamant supporters of liberty.
That's quite a semantical leap... from a strong Federal or even controlling Federal authority and the "adamant support liberty" since their isn't anything about a strong central government that is per se counter to strong individual freedoms. Remember the circumstance of 18th century travel and communication within the context of the Revolutionary War. For all intents and purposes Annapolis was as far away as England so the idea of the distant and unrepresentative government takes on a different outlook than it does in the 21st.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Sango, TN
23,872 posts, read 10,643,987 times
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Personally, I feel that the "general welfare" is up to the Supreme court. We can debate and argue all day long, but the final word on interpretting the Constitution lies with the Supreme court. They established the precedent in 1937, and its a general fact that the court usually follows precedent on rulings like this.

On a personal note, I think that social security is a good program, it should have been adopted then, its still good now. If we can get the money back into a closed system, and not let the federal government use it as a general fund, it would still be ok. Thank you President Johnson, moron.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Maine
898 posts, read 809,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis1979 View Post
Personally, I feel that the "general welfare" is up to the Supreme court. We can debate and argue all day long, but the final word on interpretting the Constitution lies with the Supreme court. They established the precedent in 1937, and its a general fact that the court usually follows precedent on rulings like this.

On a personal note, I think that social security is a good program, it should have been adopted then, its still good now. If we can get the money back into a closed system, and not let the federal government use it as a general fund, it would still be ok. Thank you President Johnson, moron.
However, if you follow the history of the matter. President Roosevelt proclaimed that if the Court ruled his New Deal programs unconstitutional, he would simply pack the court in his favor, and that is what he did. There is reason to believe that the ruling was made under duress. So it gives us reason to debate it.

No, we're probably not going to change the opinion of the court. They are not usually open to making drastic changes to things to which society has become accustomed. However, it is interesting to discuss, in my opinion.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Sango, TN
23,872 posts, read 10,643,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melinuxfool View Post
However, if you follow the history of the matter. President Roosevelt proclaimed that if the Court ruled his New Deal programs unconstitutional, he would simply pack the court in his favor, and that is what he did. There is reason to believe that the ruling was made under duress. So it gives us reason to debate it.

No, we're probably not going to change the opinion of the court. They are not usually open to making drastic changes to things to which society has become accustomed. However, it is interesting to discuss, in my opinion.
No,

What Roosevelt tried to do was stack the court in his favor. When the Supreme court ruled several of his "new deal" laws were unconstitutional, he tried to put an additional 4 justices on the Supreme court. This would allow him to have a majority of justices on the bench, allowing him to pass whatever he would like.

However, Congress put a stop to that, so no, he didn't stack the Supreme court in his favor.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:47 PM
 
1,020 posts, read 680,693 times
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Maybe a relative question is the meaning of “provide for” and “promote” (foster, facilitate) the general welfare VS “provide” (furnish, supply)…. just sayin'….
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:21 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,201,134 times
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The Courts, scholars, intellectuals, and politicians can decide that it's the government's job to dole out money to promote the General Welfare all they want...

But economics will decide whether or not it is sustainable. Not the courts.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:32 AM
 
31,361 posts, read 17,727,307 times
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Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
The Courts, scholars, intellectuals, and politicians can decide that it's the government's job to dole out money to promote the General Welfare all they want...
And contrary to conservative belief, so do the people whom they represent.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:57 AM
 
805 posts, read 1,201,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
And contrary to conservative belief, so do the people whom they represent.
That's OK, too. All the will in the world cannot make it happen if the economic system cannot fund it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:13 AM
 
31,361 posts, read 17,727,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
That's OK, too. All the will in the world cannot make it happen if the economic system cannot fund it.
Then perhaps it is time to rethink the economic system. And, before we get into a rant about socialism vs capitalism, let's consider that both of these economic theories date their origins to the 18th century and that we as humans surely have the capacity to devolve something new and sustainable.
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