Capitalism vs Socialism - America's Choice


#230

Taxes aren’t theft.


#231

:roll_eyes:
When tax revenue is not used within the limitations of our Constitution, they can, in many instances, be justifiably claimed to be robbery.

JWK

To lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the citizen and with the other to bestow upon favored individuals, to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes is none the less a robbery because it is done under forms of law and called taxation. ____* Savings and Loan Association v. Topeka,(1875).


#232

Nope its not theft, misuse of funds maybe but not theft.


#233

Translation: when not within what I think the Constitutional limits are.

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

“General Welfare” is pretty broad. The health of citizens is general welfare.


#234

General Welfare, our Founder’s meaning

It is not “pretty broad” according to those who framed and the people who ratified the Constitution.

In Federalist No. 83, which was written to explain the meaning of the Constitution as understood by its framers and to gain ratification, Hamilton, in crystal clear language, refers to a “specification of particulars” which he goes on to say “evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority“.

Hamilton writes:

"…the power of Congress…shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended…"

This view expressed by Hamilton in the Federalist Papers during the ratification debates is also in harmony with what Madison states during the framing and ratification debates:

Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:

"It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes…to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the 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. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction…But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?..For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power…But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning…is an absurdity."

Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution: "the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction."[3 Elliots 95]

Also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out "was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes…"

Similarly , George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention

"The Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.". [3 Elliots 442]

For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause and to cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording provide for the “general welfare“.

JWK

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.___ Tenth Amendment


#235

I could give two s**** to what Madison thought 200 years ago. Hamilton’s expansive view on general welfare prevailed in United States v Butler, Helvering v Davis and South Dakota v Dole. Should we still be listening to the whims of the founding fathers when it comes to slavery and women’s rights?


#236

Better call 911 and report it then. :roll_eyes:


#237

Prevailed? The truth is, the Court ignored Hamilton’s view concerning the meaning of general welfare stated during the framing and ratification debates, and relied upon what Hamilton stated years after the Constitution had been adopted, which violates a fundamental principle of constitutional construction.

16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law

Meaning of Language

”Words or terms used in a constitution, being dependent on ratification by the people voting upon it, must be understood in the sense most obvious to the common understanding at the time of its adoption…”__ (my emphasis)

In these cases Helvering v. Davis” and Steward Machine Co. case the Court stated:

“Congress may spend money in aid of the ‘general welfare.’ Constitution, art. 1, 8; United States v. Butler, … There have been great statesmen in our history who have stood for other views. We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. United States v. Butler, supra. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton and strongly reinforced by Story has prevailed over that of Madison, which has not been lacking in adherents”

What is significant is, the court cited the Butler decision decided the previous year and goes on to assert Hamilton’s view concerning the phrase “general welfare” prevails over that of Madison, and it will not “resurrect the contest”. In other words, the Court refused to follow a fundamental rule of constitutional construction and review the historical record during the framing and ratification debates of our Constitution to document the meaning of “general welfare” as it was understood during the framing and ratification debates. Instead, the court was very eager to use something Hamilton wrote years after the Constitution had been adopted concerning the phrase “general welfare” in order to uphold the socialist/progressive Social Security Act as being constitutional.

But, what is not pointed out by the Court is the Hamilton “view” which the Court relied upon was not made during the framing and ratification debates of our Constitution. It was made years after the Constitution had been ratified when Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury, and was made to gain support for appropriating revenue from the federal treasury to be used to encourage specific manufactures.

In his report on Manufactures, Hamilton writes with reference to the meaning of the phrase “general welfare” and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, See Page 136

“These three qualifications excepted, the power to raise money is plenary and indefinite, and the objects to which it may be appropriated, are providing for the common defense and general welfare. The terms “general welfare” were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which preceded: otherwise, numerous exigencies incident to the affairs of a nation would have been left without a provision. The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used; because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union to appropriate its revenues should have been restricted within narrower limits than the “general welfare;” and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition.”

But that is in direct conflict with what Hamilton wrote in Federalist No. 83, which was written to explain the meaning of the Constitution during the framing and ratification debates. Hamilton, in Fed. No. 83, and in crystal clear language, refers to a “specification of particulars” which he goes on to say “evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority“.

This view expressed by Hamilton in the Federalist Papers during the framing and ratification debates is also in harmony with what Madison states during the framing and ratification debates.

Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:

"It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes…to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the 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. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction…But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?..For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power…But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning…is an absurdity.”

Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution: “the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction.” [3 Elliots 95]
Also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out “was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes…”

Similarly , George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention

“The Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.”. [3 Elliots 442]

For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause and thereby cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording provide for the “general welfare“.

Let us at least be honest in the historical facts, and that the court engaged in judicial tyranny by ignoring the meaning of general welfare as understood by those who framed and the people who adopted the Constitution.

JWK

The whole aim of construction, as applied to a provision of the Constitution, is to discover the meaning, to ascertain and give effect to the intent of its framers and the people who adopted it._____HOME BLDG. & LOAN ASS’N v. BLAISDELL, 290 U.S. 398 (1934)

JWK


#238

People don’t get it.

The Executive branch is law enforcement. The Constitution does not give the Judicial branch or the legislative branch enforcement powers.

As a matter of fact, the only laws the Executive branch is supposed to be enforcing are those which are Constitutional. The only FEDERAL laws that are supposed to be written are those which fall under the purview of Article 1, Section 8.

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Therefore, there is no delegated power for the CIA, NSA, FBI, DOD, DHS, or any of the other Alphabet Soup agencies that are now part of the Executive branch because the sole function of the Executive branch is supposed to be literally enforcing the Constitution and all laws derived from it. (Which in reality, shouldn’t be that many.)

Congress violated the Constitution by writing UnConstitutional laws. The President violated the Constitution by signing UnConstitutional laws into law. The SCOTUS violated the Constitution by not declaring UnConstitutional laws UnConstitutional and striking them down like they’re supposed to.

Seeing a theme yet? Government isn’t working like its supposed to. Hasn’t been for awhile now. It’s why we have so many laws in fact that even our own lawmakers can’t keep them all straight. Our Founders never intended for the Federal Government to become so bloated and powerful or for our system of laws to become so complicated. We are no longer living in the Country our Founders fought and died to create. It’s morphed into something more like what they fought to break away from instead.


#239

The old wall of words. Succinctness is an attribute.

As long as we’re cherry picking founding father quotes, I’ll go with Jefferson.

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

What “general welfare” may or may not have meant to people a quarter of a millennium ago is of little to no consequence today. I only care what people in the here and now decide it means.


#240

SCOTUS decides what laws are unconstitutional.


#241

Well, I have not seen the people rushing to amend the Constitution to embrace your meaning of “general welfare”. Are you suggesting the Constitution ought to be abandoned and we should allow Congress to adopt any laws which it feels is best for the people?

JWK

"In matters of power let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution” ___ Jefferson


#242

I’m suggesting the Constitution is a framework. It does not include a glossary where every term is expressly defined. It also does not dictate we refer to the writings of the founding fathers for guidance. It gives a framework and it is up to the living to decide what that means.


#243

So, you are suggesting something equitable to a rubber ruler which politicians can stretched to mean whatever they wish it to mean and you do not support fundamental rules of constitutional construction:

16 Am Jur, Constitutional Law, “Rules of Construction, Generally”

Par. 88–Proceedings of conventions and debates.

Under the principle that a judicial tribunal, in interpreting ambiguous provisions, may have recourse to contemporaneous interpretations so as to determine the intention of the framers of the constitution, the rule is well established that in the construction of a constitution, recourse may be had to proceedings in the convention which drafted the instrument. (numerous citations omitted )

Also see par. 89-- The Federalist and other contemporary writings“ Under the rule that contemporaneous construction may be referred to it is an accepted principle that in the interpretation of the Constitution of the United States recourse may be had to the Federalist since the papers included in that work were the handiwork of three eminent statesmen, two of whom had been members of the convention which framed the Constitution. Accordingly, frequent references have been made to these papers in opinions considering constitutional questions and they have sometimes been accorded considerable weight.” (numerous citations omitted )

Also note that under the rules of constitutional construction
16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law
Meaning of Language
Ordinary meaning, generally

”Words or terms used in a constitution, being dependent on ratification by the people voting upon it, must be understood in the sense most obvious to the common understanding at the time of its adoption…”__ (my emphasis) The Court is not free to make the words or phrases in our Constitution mean whatever they so desire, but are confined to their original understanding as understood by our founding fathers.

JWK

Those who reject abiding by the text of our Constitution and the intentions and beliefs under which our Constitution was agree to, as those intentions and beliefs may be documented from historical records, wish to remove the anchor and rudder of our constitutional system so they may then be free to “interpret” the Constitution to mean whatever they wish it to mean.


#244

What makes your interpretation better than others?


#245

It’s actually backed by the Constitution, for starters. What’s yours backed by other than ■■■■■■■■ ?


#246

A framework that isn’t followed. How does that work again?


#247

Nope. The Constitution is not an exhaustive document. It does not dictate all laws in all circumstances. It gives an overall framework to which our country and government runs. As the Constitution is not exhaustive we must write laws in the context of that framework to fill in the blanks. Context is derived from the Constitution, precedent, and those charged with writing and evaluating laws. Unless you have a time machine or can resurrect the dead, we cannot ask the original writers their opinion. It’s up to the living to decide.


#248

Yeah yeah. Words mean what we say they mean, not what they actually say. We already know what your position is. You’ve made it abundantly clear. What’s funny is our Founders warned us about people just like you. :roll_eyes:


#249

They did? What horrible crime is being committed by saying the living should have the ability to pass and interpret law within the framework of the Constitution?

How do we know what they “actually mean?” There isn’t a companion dictionary penned by the founding fathers to further define the language of the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t tell us to look towards any source or sources for clarification.