The ABA’s big lie: Hamilton and Madison expressed different views during the framing and ratification debates regarding the general welfare clause.
No. We need to address what the ABA asserted in THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE: THE HAMILTONIAN AND MADISONIAN VIEWS The article begins:
“The United States Supreme Court’s Decision in the Hoosac Mills Corporation Case, Reviewed Elsewhere in This Issue, Brings a Long Historic Argument to an End by the Explicit Adoption of the Hamiltonian View.”
That is a big fat lie! The Court in Butler made no attempt whatsoever to evaluate the constitutional meaning of the general welfare clause as it was explained by Madison and Hamilton during the framing and ratification of our Constitution, and bring to an end this Long Historic Argument. In fact, the Court made its non intervention explicitly clear when it stated:
“We are not now required to ascertain the scope of the phrase ‘general welfare of the United States’ or to determine whether an appropriation in aid of agriculture falls within it. Wholly apart from that question, another principle embedded in our Constitution prohibits the enforcement of the Agricultural adjustment Act. The act invades the reserved rights of the states. It is a statutory plan to regulate and control agricultural production, a matter beyond the powers delegated to the federal government. The tax, the appropriation of the funds raised, and the direction for their disbursement, are but parts of the plan. They are but means to an unconstitutional end.”
Contrary to the crap asserted by the ABA, the Court in US v. Butler never took on the task of determining the meaning of “general welfare”, nor did the Court bring to an end the “ Long Historic Argument” between Hamilton and Madison with reference to the “general welfare” clause. The ABA simply made this crap up, just like MSNBC makes crap up all the time.
In regard to the meaning of the general welfare clause as stated by Hamilton and Madison during the framing and ratification debates, the Court in Butler stated the following:
"Each contention has had the support of those whose views are entitled to weight. This court has noticed the question, but has never found it necessary to decide which is the true construction."
So, the truth is, contrary to what the ABA has led you to believe and perpetuate, the Court did not find it “necessary to decide which is the true construction”.
It is also a myth that Hamilton and Madison expressed different views during the framing and ratification debates regarding the general welfare clause. . . a myth you and the ABA continue to perpetuate.
Let us review the historical facts, which the American Bar Association apparently finds uncomfortable to admit and divulge…
In Federalist No. 83, which was written to explain the meaning of the Constitution during the ratification debates, Hamilton, 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 same view, as expressed by Hamilton in Federalist 83, is in total harmony with what Madison states in Federalist Paper No. 41:
"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.” ?
So, as the historical record establishes, there was no conflict about the meaning of “general welfare” between Hamilton and Madison during the framing and ratification debates! Both Hamilton and Madison assured the Anti-Federalist that the phrase “general welfare”, as it appears in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, was specifically limited to a “specification of particulars” which appears beneath Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1.
Elizabeth Warren’s Government sponsored capitalism is about fattening the fortunes of those holding political power with tax revenue, while regulating a free market, free enterprise system into submission, and then into extinction.