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Nullification Deniers! This Is What James Madison Really Said

By: Publius Huldah

This is The Age of Ignorance. Our “intellectuals” can’t think. Our “scholars” parrot each other. The self-educated fixate on idiotic theories. Our People despise Truth and disseminate lies.

Nullification deniers such as Matthew Spalding of Heritage Foundation, Jarrett Stepman of Human Events, law professor Randy Barnett, David Barton of Wallbuilders, and history professor Allen C. Guelzo, say that nullification by States of unconstitutional acts of the federal government is unlawful and impossible. They make the demonstrably false assertions that:

• States don’t have the right to nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government because our Constitution doesn’t say they can do it;
• Nullification is literally impossible;
• The supreme Court is the final authority on what is constitutional and what is not; and The States and The People must submit to whatever the supreme Court says; and
• James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, opposed nullification.

Their assertions contradict our Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, our federal Constitution, and what James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton really said.

What are the Two Conditions Precedent for Nullification?

The deniers seem unaware of the two conditions our Framers saw must be present before nullification is proper and possible. These conditions are important – you will see why!:

• The act of the federal government must be unconstitutional – usually a usurpation of a power not delegated to the federal government in the Constitution; and
• The act must be something The States or The People can “nullify” – i.e., refuse to obey: the act must order them to do something or not do something.

What is “Interposition” and What is “Nullification”?

A State “interposes” when it stands between the federal government and The Citizens of the State in order to protect them from the federal government. Interposition takes various forms, depending on the circumstances. Hamilton refers to interposition in Federalist No. 33 (5th para):

“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 [the Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” [emphasis mine]

“Nullification” is one form of interposition. Now! Here are three highly relevant illustrations:

When the act of the federal government is unconstitutional and orders The States or The People to do – or not do – something, nullification is the proper form of interposition.

When the act of the federal government is unconstitutional, but doesn’t order The States or The People to do – or not do – something (the alien & sedition acts), nullification is not possible. The States may interpose by objecting, as in The Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.

When the act of the federal government is constitutional, but unjust (the Tariff Act of 1828), the States may not nullify it; but may interpose by objecting and trying to get the Tariff Act changed.

 

Our Founding Principles in a Nutshell

In order to understand The Right of Nullification, one must also learn the Founding Principles set forth in The Declaration of Independence (2nd para). Then one can see that “when powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act” [1] is “the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression.” [2] These Principles are:

1. Rights come from God;
2. People create governments;
3. The purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us; and
4. When a government We created seeks to take away our God given rights, We have the Right – We have the Duty – to alter, abolish, or throw off such government.

Let us look briefly at these Principles:

1. Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) recognizes that God is the grantor of Rights. So Rights don’t come from the Constitution, the supreme Court or the federal government.

2. The Preamble to our Constitution shows that WE THE PEOPLE created the federal government. It is our “creature”. Alexander Hamilton says this in Federalist Paper No. 33 (5th para); and Thomas Jefferson, in his draft of The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 (8th Resolution). As our “creature,” it may lawfully do only what WE authorized it to do in our Constitution.

We created a “federal” government: An alliance of Sovereign States [3] associated in a “federation” with a national government to which is delegated supremacy over the States in few and defined areas only. James Madison says in Federalist No. 45 (9th para):

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 … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

Do you see? We delegated only “few and defined” powers to the federal government. These are the “enumerated powers” listed in the Constitution. [4]

These enumerated powers concern:

• Military defense, international commerce & relations;
• Control of immigration and naturalization of new citizens;
• Creation of a uniform commercial system: Weights & measures, patents & copyrights, money based on gold & silver, bankruptcy laws, mail delivery & some road building; and
• With some of the Amendments, protect certain civil rights and voting rights (for blacks, women, citizens who don’t pay taxes, and citizens 18 years and older).

It is only with respect to the enumerated powers that the federal government has lawful authority over the Country at large. All other powers are “reserved to the several States” and The People.

3. Our Constitution authorizes the federal government to secure our God-given Rights in the following ways: [5]

It is to secure our rights to life and liberty by:

• Military defense (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 11-16);
• Laws against piracy and other felonies committed on the high seas (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 10);
• Protecting us from invasion (Art IV, Sec. 4);
• Prosecuting traitors (Art III, Sec. 3); and
• Restrictive immigration policies (Art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 1).

It is to secure our property rights by:

• Regulating trade & commerce, so we can produce, sell & prosper (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl.3). The original intent of the interstate commerce clause is to prohibit States from levying tolls & taxes on articles of commerce as they are transported thru the States for buying & selling.
• Establishing uniform weights & measures and a money system based on gold & silver (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 5) – inflation via paper currency & fractional reserve lending is theft!
• Punishing counterfeiters (Art I, Sec. 8, cl. 6);
• Making bankruptcy laws to permit the orderly dissolution or reorganization of debtors’ estates with fair treatment of creditors (Art I, Sec 8, cl. 4); and
• Issuing patents & copyrights to protect ownership of intellectual labors (Art I, Sec 8, cl 8)

It is to secure our right to liberty by:

• Laws against slavery (13th Amendment);
• Providing fair trials in federal courts (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments); and
• Obeying the Constitution!

This is how our federal Constitution implements The Founding Principle that the purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us.

4. The fourth Founding Principle in our Declaration is this: When government takes away our God given rights, We have the Right & the Duty to alter, abolish, or throw off such government. Nullification is thus a natural right of self-defense:

Thomas Jefferson said:

“… but where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them…” [6] [boldface mine]

James Madison commented on the above:

“… the right of nullification meant by Mr. Jefferson is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression…” [7]

Alexander Hamilton says in Federalist No. 28 (5th para from end):

“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success …” [boldface mine]

Hamilton then shows how The States can reign in a usurping federal government:

“…the State governments will, in all possible contingencies, afford complete security against invasions of the public liberty by the national authority…”

Do you see?

But the nullification deniers do not see because, in addition to their apparent unfamiliarity with the original source writings on nullification (as well as The Federalist Papers), they reject, or do not understand, the Founding Principle that Rights pre-date & pre-exist the Constitution and come from God. Nullification is not a paltry “constitutional right”! It has a hallowed status – it is that natural right of self-defense which pre-dates & pre-exists the Constitution.

Now, let us look at the false assertions made by the nullification deniers.

False Assertion 1:
That States can’t nullify unconstitutional acts of the federal government because the Constitution doesn’t say they can do it.

1. As we have just seen, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton saw nullification of unconstitutional acts of the federal government as a “natural right” – not a “constitutional right”. And since Rights come from God, there is no such thing as a “constitutional right”!

2. The Right of Nullification, transcending as it does, the Constitution; and being nowhere prohibited by the Constitution to the States, is a reserved power. The 10th Amendment says:

“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.”

Nothing in the federal Constitution prohibits The States from nullifying unconstitutional acts of the federal government. Thus, nullification is a reserved power of the States & The People.

3. We saw where Madison says in Federalist No. 45 that the powers delegated to the federal government are “few and defined,” and all other powers are “reserved to the several States.”

Thus, it is the federal government which is supposed to look to the Constitution for the list of “enumerated powers” We The People delegated to it.

The States don’t go to the Constitution to look for permission because they retain all powers they didn’t exclusively [8] delegate to the federal government, or prohibit by Art. I, Sec. 10.

The nullification deniers have it backwards: They permit the federal government to ignore the “enumerated powers” limitations set forth in the Constitution; but insist The States can’t do anything unless the Constitution specifically says they can!

Do you see how they pervert Our Constitution?

False Assertion 2:
That Nullification is literally impossible.

We saw above the two conditions which must exist before nullification is proper and possible:

• The act of the federal government must be unconstitutional, and
• The act must be something The People or The States can refuse to obey.

Here are examples of unconstitutional federal acts the States can and should nullify:

The Constitution does not delegate to the federal government power to ban Christianity from the public square. But in 1962, the Supreme Court first ordered The States to stop prayers in the public schools. That Court next banned the Ten Commandments from the public schools. Since those orders were usurpations of powers not lawfully possessed by the Court, the States should have nullified them by directing their School Boards to ignore them.

If Congress by “law,” or the President by “executive order,” orders The People to turn in our guns, We must refuse to comply. The Constitution doesn’t authorize the federal government to disarm us. So, The States and The People must nullify such law or order by refusing to obey.

Here are examples of unconstitutional & unjust State laws Martin Luther King nullified:

The Jim Crow laws required black people to sit at the back of the bus, and prohibited them from eating in public places and using public restrooms, water fountains, park benches, etc. Using non-violent civil disobedience, MLK led black people to refuse to obey these unjust and unconstitutional (Sec. 1, 14th Amdt.) laws. This was nullification by brave Citizens!

Now, I’ll show you unconstitutional acts which couldn’t be nullified because they weren’t directed to anything The States or The People could refuse to obey:

In 1798, Thomas Jefferson wrote The Kentucky Resolutions, and James Madison wrote The Virginia Resolutions. These Resolutions objected to laws made by Congress which purported to grant to the President dictatorial powers over aliens and seditious words.

Kentucky and Virginia could object, but they couldn’t prevent the President from enforcing the alien & sedition acts, because the President had the raw power to send out thugs to arrest aliens or people who had spoken or written “seditious” words; and then to persecute them.

So Jefferson and Madison showed why the alien & sedition acts were unconstitutional, protested them, and asked other States to join the protest.

Now! Note Well: Randy Barnett, law professor, and other deniers crow that the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions prove there is no “literal power” of nullification in the States.

But Barnett should know better because he is a lawyer. Every litigation attorney knows this: At a motion hearing before the judge, opposing counsel whips out a court opinion which he cites as authority for a legal point. He gives the judge a highlighted copy and gives you (opposing counsel) an un-highlighted copy. While he is making his argument to the judge, you must listen to what he is saying, and at the same time, read the opinion and develop an argument which “distinguishes” the opinion opposing counsel is using from the case at bar. When opposing counsel finishes, the judge looks at you and says, “And how do you respond?” You must be ready with your argument right then.

Are we to believe that Randy Barnett, law professor, sitting in his ivory tower and under no pressure, is unable to distinguish between situations where a State does have a “literal power” to nullify an unconstitutional act of the federal government [when it orders The State or The People to do - or not do - something]; and when The State does not have a “literal power” to nullify the act [because, as with the alien & sedition acts, it does not dictate something The States or The People can refuse to obey]?

False Assertion 3:
That the Supreme Court is the final authority on what is constitutional and what is not; and The States and The People must submit to whatever the Supreme Court says.
The federal government has become a tyranny which acts without constitutional authority.

This came about because we were lured away from The Founding Principle that the purpose of government is to secure the Rights God gave us; and were seduced into believing government should provide for our needs and protect us from the challenges of Life.

Progressives of the early 1900s [9] transformed the federal government into the Frankensteinian monster it is today. They imposed the regulatory welfare state where the federal government regulates business and commerce, natural resources, human resources, and benefits some people [e.g., welfare parasites, labor unions & obama donors] at the expense of others.

The Progressives claimed the power to determine what is in the “public interest” and have the federal government implement their notions of what advances the “public interest.”

Under the Progressives, the federal government was no longer limited by the enumerated powers delegated in the Constitution; but would follow the “will of the people” as expressed by their representatives in the federal government. In other words, the Progressives gave the federal government a blank check to fill out anyway they want. People in the federal government now claim power to do whatever they want to us.

The federal government imposed by the Progressives is evil:

• In order to provide benefits to some; the federal government violates the God-given property rights of others. The federal government robs Peter to pay Paul.
• In order to protect us from the challenges of life (including made up problems such as “global warming” and “lack of medical insurance”), the federal government violates everyone’s God-given rights to Liberty.

And thus today, the federal government:

• Usurps powers not delegated to it in the Constitution. Most of what it does is unconstitutional as outside the enumerated powers delegated in our Constitution.
• Has become an instrument of oppression, injustice, and immorality.
• Has taken away most of our God given rights, and is now conniving to take away our God given right to self-defense.

Now you know how the federal government was transformed from being the securer of our God given rights to a tyranny which oppresses some of the people for the benefit of others; and takes everyone’s Liberty away – except for those in the ruling class.

So! What do We do? What can We do?

The nullification deniers insist We must obey whatever Congress and the President dictate unless five (5) judges on the Supreme Court say We don’t have to. They say the supreme Court is the final authority on what is constitutional and what is not.

But think: Who created the federal government?

We did! It is our “creature.” Is the “creature” to dictate to the creator”?

The nullification deniers say, “Yes!” They say that:

• Every law made by Congress [the Legislative Branch of the federal government] is “supreme;” and
• Every executive order issued by the President [the Executive Branch of the federal government] is binding; and
• The States and The People must obey, unless and until five (5) judges on the Supreme Court [the Judicial Branch of the federal government] say the law or executive order is unconstitutional.

In other words, only the federal government may question the federal government.

Under their vision, the federal government WE created with the Constitution is the exclusive and final judge of the extent of the powers WE delegated to it; and the opinion of five (5) judges, not the Constitution, is the sole measure of its powers.

Jarrett Stepman regurgitates the statist lie that “the ultimate decision maker in terms of America’s political system is the Supreme Court.”

Randy Barnett, law professor, chants the statist refrain, “…What has the Supreme Court said and meant? and … Are there now five justices to sustain the claim?”

Barnett selects two paragraphs from Madison’s Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800), (which address the alien & sedition acts), and claims they show Madison “expressly denies, or at minimum equivocates about whether, there is a literal power of nullification in states.”

Well, We saw above that States couldn’t nullify the alien & sedition acts because they purported to grant dictatorial powers to the President; and did not require The States or The People to do – or not do – something.

And the two paragraphs Barnett claims are so “telling” as to The States’ lack of “literal power” to nullify anything, and as to the ultimate authority of the Judicial Branch, appear under Madison’s discussion of the last two Resolutions where Virginia had asked other States to join the protest. Madison merely says the citizens and legislature of Virginia have the right to communicate with other States; and in so doing, they are not exercising a judicial function.

Now! Note Well: Madison actually says, in the same Report Barnett cites, that it is “a plain principle, founded in common sense” that The States are the final authority on whether the federal government has violated our Constitution! Under his discussion of the 3rd Resolution, Madison says:

“It appears to your committee to be a plain principle, founded in common sense, illustrated by common practice, 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. It adds to the stability and dignity, as well as to the authority of the Constitution, that it rests on this legitimate and solid foundation. 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; and consequently that as the parties to it, they must themselves decide in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition.” [emphasis mine]

A bit further down, Madison explains that if, when the federal government usurps power, the States cannot act so as to stop the usurpation, and thereby preserve the Constitution as well as the safety of The States; there would be no relief from usurped power. This would subvert the Rights of the People as well as betray the fundamental principle of our Founding:

…If the deliberate exercise, of dangerous power, palpably withheld by the Consti-tution, could not justify the parties to it, in interposing even so far as to arrest the progress of the evil, and thereby to preserve the Constitution itself as well as to provide for the safety of the parties to it; there would be an end to all relief from usurped power, and a direct subversion of the rights specified or recognized under all the State constitutions, as well as a plain denial of the fundamental principle on which our independence itself was declared.” [emphasis mine]

A bit further down, Madison answers the objection “that the judicial authority is to be regarded as the sole expositor of the Constitution, in the last resort.”

Madison explains that when the federal government acts outside the Constitution by usurping powers, and when the Constitution affords no remedy to that usurpation; then the Sovereign States who are the Parties to the Constitution must likewise step outside the Constitution and appeal to that original natural right of self-defense.

Madison also says that the Judicial Branch is as likely to usurp as are the other two Branches. Thus, The Sovereign States, as The Parties to the Constitution, have as much right to judge the usurpations of the Judicial Branch as they do the Legislative and Executive Branches:

“…the judicial department, also, may exercise or sanction dangerous powers beyond the grant of the Constitution; and, consequently, that the ultimate right of the parties to the Constitution, to judge whether the compact has been dangerously violated, must extend to violations by one delegated authority as well as by another — by the judiciary as well as by the executive, or the legislature.”

Madison goes on to say that all three Branches of the federal government obtain their delegated powers from the Constitution; and they may not annul the authority of their Creator. And if the Judicial Branch connives with other Branches in usurping powers, our Constitution will be destroyed. So the Judicial Branch does not have final say as:

“…to the rights of the parties to the constitutional compact, from which the judicial as well as the other department hold their delegated trusts. On any other hypothesis, the delegation of judicial power, would annul the authority delegating it; [10] and the concurrence of this department with the others in usurped powers, might subvert forever, and beyond the possible reach of any rightful remedy, the very Constitution, which all were instituted to preserve.”

Shame on you nullification deniers who misrepresent what Madison said, or ignorantly insist that Madison said the Judicial Branch is the Final Authority!

False Assertion 4:
That James Madison opposed Nullification by States of Unconstitutional Acts of the Federal Government.

Matthew Spalding (Heritage Foundation) and David Barton (Wallbuilders) cite South Carolina’s Nullification Crisis of 1832 as “proof” that James Madison “vehemently opposed” nullification.

What Spalding and Barton say is not true. Did they read what Madison wrote on S. Carolina’s doctrine of nullification? Are they so lacking in critical thinking skills that they can’t make the distinction between the nullification doctrine Madison (and Jefferson & Hamilton) embraced, and the peculiar doctrine of nullification advanced by S. Carolina?

We saw in Madison’s Report on the Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800) that in a proper case, “interposing even so far as to arrest the progress of the evil” is essential “to preserve the Constitution itself as well as to provide for the safety of the parties to it.”

And we saw above that the condition which must be present before nullification is proper, is that the act of the federal government must be unconstitutional.

Now, let’s look at The Tariff Act of 1828 and the S. Carolina Nullification Crisis:

South Carolina was an agricultural state. During the 1820’s, they bought manufactured goods from England. England bought cotton produced by S. Carolina and other Southern States.

However, “infant industries” in the Northeast were producing some of the same manufactured goods as England; but they were more expensive than the English imports. So they couldn’t compete with the cheaper imports.

So! In 1828, Congress imposed a high tariff on the English imports. The Southern States called this the “tariff of abominations,” because the tariff made the English goods too expensive to buy; and since the Southern States stopped buying English goods, the English stopped buying Southern cotton. The Southern States had to pay more for manufactured goods, they lost the major buyer of their cotton; and their economy was weakened.

Now! Note Well: Our Constitution delegates specific authority to Congress to impose tariffs on imports, and the tariff must be the same in each State (Art. I, Sec. 8, cl. 1).

Thus, the Tariff Act of 1828 was constitutional! [11]

So! Can you, dear Reader, see something which Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., and David Barton are unable to see? South Carolina wanted to nullify a constitutional law! Of course, Madison opposed S. Carolina’s peculiar doctrine of nullification! Madison (and Jefferson & Hamilton) always said the act nullified must be unconstitutional!

In his Notes on Nullification (1834), [12] Madison addressed S. Carolina’s peculiar doctrine. He said that in the Report of a special committee of the House of Representatives of South Carolina in 1828, a doctrine of nullification was set forth which asserted that:

• A State has a “constitutional right” to nullify any federal law; and
• The nullification is presumed valid, and is to remain in force, unless ¾ of the States, in a Convention, say the nullification isn’t valid.

What Madison opposed was the particular doctrine of nullification set forth by S. Carolina; and what Madison actually said about the S. Carolina doctrine is this:

• The federal government has delegated authority to impose import tariffs;
• The Constitution requires that all import tariffs be uniform throughout the United States;
• States can’t nullify tariffs which are authorized by the Constitution;
• ¼ of the States don’t have the right to dictate to ¾ of the States on matters within the powers delegated to the federal government;
• Nullification is not a “constitutional right.”

And near the end of his Notes, Madison quoted with approval Thomas Jefferson’s statement:

…but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non foederis,) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits: that without this right, they would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whosoever might exercise this right of judgment for them…

Madison then says:

“Thus the right of nullification meant by Mr. Jefferson is the natural right, which all admit to be a remedy against insupportable oppression.” [emphasis mine]

Do you see? Madison is saying that:

• S. Carolina couldn’t nullify the Tariff Act of 1828 because the Act was constitutional.
• Nullification is a “natural right” – it is not a “constitutional” right. Rights don’t come from the Constitution.
All agree that when the federal government acts outside of the Constitution, nullification by the States is the proper remedy.

Application Today

When WE THE PEOPLE ratified our Constitution, and thereby created the federal government, WE did not delegate to our “creature” power to control our medical care, restrict guns and ammunition, dictate what is done in the public schools, dictate how we use our lands, and all the thousands of things they do WE never gave them authority in our Constitution to do.

Accordingly, each State has a natural right to nullify these unconstitutional dictates within its borders. These dictates are outside the compact The Sovereign States made with each other – WE never gave our creature power over these objects.

As Jefferson and Madison said, without Nullification, The States and The People would be under the absolute and unlimited control of the federal government.

And that, dear Reader, is where these nullification deniers, with their false assertions and shameful misrepresentations, would put you.

To sum this up:

• Nullification is a natural right of self-defense.
• Rights don’t come from the Constitution. Like all Rights, the right of self-defense comes from God (The Declaration of Independence, 2nd para).
• Nullification is a reserved power within the meaning of the 10th Amendment. The Constitution doesn’t prohibit States from nullifying, and We reserved the power to do it.
• God requires us to disobey civil authorities when they violate God’s Law. That’s why the 2nd para of the Declaration of Independence says we have the duty to overthrow tyrannical government. See: The Biblical Foundation of our Constitution.
Nullification is required by Oath of Office: Article VI, cl. 3 requires all State officers and judges to “support” the federal Constitution. Therefore, when the federal government violates the Constitution, the States must smack them down.

Conclusion

Our Founders and Framers were a different People than we of today. They were manly men who knew statecraft & political philosophy and could think. But our “experts” of today have been indoctrinated with statism and can’t think. They just repeat what they hear. We need them to man up, throw off the indoctrination, learn our Founding Documents including The Federalist Papers, get a Logic Book, and stop disseminating misinformation! We need them to repudiate cowardice as the proper response to the evil which is overtaking our Land. Man up, People! PH

Endnotes:

[1] Thomas Jefferson, The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, 8th Resolution.

[2] James Madison, Notes on Nullification (1835). The quote is near the end. Use “find” function.

[3] The deniers seem unaware that The States retained sovereignty in all matters not exclusively delegated to the federal government. Alexander Hamilton says in Federalist No. 32 (2nd para):

“An entire consolidation of the States into one complete national sovereignty would imply an entire subordination of the parts; and whatever powers might remain in them, would be altogether dependent on the general will. But as the plan of the convention [the Constitution] aims only at a partial union or consolidation, the State governments would clearly retain all the rights of sovereignty which they before had, and which were not … EXCLUSIVELY delegated to the United States…” [caps are Hamilton's; boldface mine]

Federalist No. 62 (5th para):

“…the equal vote allowed to each State [each State gets two U.S. Senators] is …a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual States and an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty… [in order to guard] … against an improper consolidation of the States into one simple republic.” (Madison or Hamilton) [boldface mine]

See also Federalist No. 39 (Madison) (6th para, et seq.)

In Madison’s Report on The Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800), he several times refers, in his discussion of the 3rd Resolution, to the States acting “in their sovereign capacity” when, as “the parties to the constitutional compact” they decide “in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated”:

“…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; and consequently, that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition….” [boldface mine]

[4] Contrary to the misconstructions long and unlawfully applied by the federal government, the federal Constitution is one of enumerated powers only. e.g.:

“…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 sovereignity over all other objects…” (Federalist No. 39, 3rd para from end) (Madison) [boldface mine]

“…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) (Madison) [boldface mine]

“…It merits particular attention … that the laws of the Confederacy [Congress], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land…Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members [the States], will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…” [caps are Hamilton’s] (Federalist No. 27, last para)

[5] Our Constitution authorizes the federal government to secure our God-given rights in the ways appropriate for the national government of a Federation. The States secure them in other ways.

[6] The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, 8th Resolution.

[7] Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1834). The quote is near the end. Use “find” function.

[8] This explains the limited “exclusive jurisdiction” of the federal government, and the areas where the federal government and The States have “concurrent jurisdiction.”

[9] Teddy Roosevelt ran on the Progressive Platform of 1912. Both major parties have been dominated by progressives ever since.

[10] Hamilton says, respecting the Legislative Branch (Federalist No. 78, 10th para):

“…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” [emphasis mine]

[11] The Tariff Act of 1828 was constitutional; but benefited the Northeast at the expense of the South. It thus violated our Founding Principle that governments exist to secure the rights God gave us. God never gave us the right to be free of competition in business! Since the tariff was constitutional, but unjust, the remedy was to get Congress to fix it.

[12] Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1834) are long & rambling. Copy to Word, enlarge the type, & color-code to sort out the strands of arguments. Keep in mind that what Madison is addressing is S. Carolina’s peculiar doctrine where they wanted to nullify a constitutional tariff! PH

Buckle Up For The Cliff Ahead

cliffAs we rush headlong toward the so-called “fiscal cliff”, Republicans are cowering in a corner fearing they will be blamed for the consequences. Conservatives from the Atlantic to the Pacific are exchanging emails and writing blogs blaming Barack Obama, George W. Bush, the Democratic Senate, or all three, for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Here’s a news flash for the constitutional neophytes in the Republican Party. Neither the President nor the Senate is in control of the nation’s finances.

For the first 169 years of America’s existence, we were a collection of colonies under the rule of the British King. Laws governing the lives of the citizens were made by colonial Legislatures in each Colony. The members of the Legislatures were chosen by the citizens of each Colony. These Legislatures were given complete control over the Colony’s purse strings. If a Governor, reporting to the King, wished to expand his carriage house or build a new bridge across the local creek, the money to do so had to be appropriated by the Legislature. Monies for the Crown came from excise taxes and tariffs imposed on Commerce. The “power of the purse” was so absolute among the colonies that they sometimes refused to appropriate money for the Governor’s salary until the Governor came around to their point of view. (For more discussion of this subject, click here)

The Governor had a simple choice, if he wanted his paycheck; he had to acquiesce to the wishes of the Legislature, even if that meant disregarding the direct orders of his superiors in England. Attempts by the British Parliament after 1763, to wrest control of the purse away from the Colonies led to widespread protest, and eventually to the Revolutionary War and the loss of the Colonies for Great Britain. By 1787 when the Constitution was written, citizen control over how taxpayer money was spent was so ingrained in American thinking that the new Constitution placed the power of the purse in the House of Representatives as the only branch of government elected directly by the people.

Article I, Section 7, Clauses 1, 2, says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” You do not need a JD Degree to understand the clear meaning of this simple decree. Only the House of Representatives can originate tax laws or other means of raising revenue. The Senate can “propose” amendments, but the House does not have to accept them. The House has the final say over how taxpayer money is spent. For the past four years I have listened to conservatives bemoan the fact that neither the President nor the Senate has presented a budget since Obama has been in office.  It is not the job of the President or Senate to present budgets. The only duty of the Senate is to concur with the Budget presented by the House or to offer amendments for the House’s consideration. A legitimate question may be asked at this point, “What happens in case of a stalemate?” Here to, the Founders did not leave us in the dark.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7, says, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” Again, a Law Degree is not required to understand the meaning of this Clause. If the money has not been appropriated by the action of the House and concurred with by the Senate, it cannot be spent. The President cannot buy a postage stamp with taxpayer money unless it has first been appropriated by the Congress for that purpose, and don’t forget to get a receipt. “What then”, you may ask, “is the President’s responsibility in drawing up budgets?” Again, our Framers anticipated this important question.

Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1, says, “He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;” Here, the key phrase is “recommend to their consideration”. Until President Obama solidifies his position as the dictatorial leader of America, he only has the privilege of “recommending” to Congress how he would like to see us spend our hard earned dollars, but neither he nor his minions in the bureaucratic monstrosity, created by former Presidents and Congresses, has the authority to spend money for things and in ways that Congress does not give its prior approval.

If a CEO in the private sector spent money he was not authorized to spend, it would be called “embezzlement”; he would be issued an eight foot by ten foot cell and a striped suit, and it would be years before he could again view a sunrise from the comfort of his patio. When a President does the same thing, he should face impeachment, be turned out of office, and prosecuted for his misuse of taxpayer funds. Congress members, who conspire with the President to steal from the taxpayers and use the money for political advantage, should be turned out of office and prosecuted if the situation warrants it. It is time the American people said, “Enough is enough” and put an end to the misuse of taxpayer money and the wholesale abuse of taxpayers’ labors.

If the Republican Party does not take a stand against raising the debt limit and/or increasing taxes now, this song and dance and the Ponzi scheme that has become the way our government operates will go on for the foreseeable future. We can only expect these unconstitutional practices to continue ad infinitum until all our money is gone and America becomes just another destitute, third-world power. When we go over the looming “fiscal cliff” it won’t matter who gets the blame, it is the American People who will suffer; and there may be a degree of poetic justice in that, since we are the ones that allowed our elected officials to get out of control, believing that we could somehow benefit personally from their lawlessness.

Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Full text of speech
Delivered August 29, 2012

“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty. My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.

But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless you all”

The Constitution Changed Without a Vote – The Social Security Act of 1935

By David F.  Delorey, Jr.
In a mere four pages, ratified in 1788, the Constitution of the United Sates of America became a body of fundamental law which guarantees the natural God given rights of the people to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty.

One hundred and forty one years later, the Great Depression began on Oct.  29, 1929 when the stock market crashed.  Suddenly, millions of people were out of work, bread lines formed to feed families, and the elderly could not support themselves.  A potential solution, like the one adopted in Germany in 1889, was a “social insurance” program run by the federal government which stressed the government’s responsibility to provide for citizens’ economic security.  In 1932, Franklin D.  Roosevelt was elected and he put forth such a plan where workers contributed to their future economic security through taxes paid while they worked and then paid out when they retired or became disabled.

From the outset, Roosevelt’s plan had a major stumbling block – - a plain reading of the Constitution finds absent the power of Congress to implement and run a federal social insurance program.  But, such legal limitation did not deter Congress, or the President, or the Supreme Court to assume powers not found in the United States Constitution.  The day that the Constitution was changed without a vote of the people came on August 14, 1935, when President Roosevelt signed the 33 page Social Security Act of 1935 into law.

This legislation indeed wove a new de facto constitutional thread into the United States constitutional fabric when the Congress and the President bypassed the Constitution Amendment process in Article V of the Constitution and ignored the limits of Congressional power stated in the “Enumerated Powers” in Article I of the Constitution.  Implicit with the avoidance of the required constitutional compliance process was that the several sovereign states were denied their right to deliberate, debate and ratify the law.  As a result, Congress and the President, on their own, raised everyone’s taxes and created a new federal government run insurance program bearing upon all the states.

Many have claimed over the years that the Social Security Act is unconstitutional which is the Constitutional right of the people to do so.  There is plenty of evidence to support the claim.  However, even if they are right and it is, the program is so deeply ingrained in the workings of Republic that such may be impossible to reasonably remove or replace it.  This constitutional precedent is now manifest as one of the largest financial burdens on the American taxpayer.  Along with the subsequently enacted federal social entitlement programs of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, these programs now collectively pose a significant financial threat to the very existence of the Republic as the question of irresponsible levels of deficit spending by the Congress, potentially causing a bankruptcy of the government, becomes part of the political narrative today.

This evolving journey into the consequences of the Social Security Act began with its implementation in 1937 and its administration by the Congress.  The program started modestly with 60% of all wage earners, largely older Americans, being taxed about 2%.  According to the act, all tax revenue collected were to be deposited in a trust fund.  The fund, known as the Social Security Trust Fund, is technically comprised of two component funds in the original Social Security Act of 1935: Section 201, the Old-Age Survivors Insurance program; and Section 904, the Disability Insurance Trust Funds.

The Republic’s Social Security Act unsustainable financial dilemma came as a result of Congress converting what started as a self-funded program into an enormous de facto pay-as-you-go program by appropriating all “surplus” tax revenues [monies collected which exceed what was needed to pay benefits] to fund the annual federal budget.  With this process, Congress ignored its fundamental fiduciary responsibility to retain these assets in the Treasury to pay future benefits, and clearly ignored the word “trust” in the “Social Security Trust Fund.” Today, the Social Security Trust Fund contains only promises that the federal government will repay the fund.

This deficit spending process was facilitated by the specific wording in sections 201 and 904 of the original 33 page Social Security Act of 1935.  Both sections state that all monies collected may only be invested “in interest-bearing obligations of the United States or in obligations guaranteed as to both principal and interest by the United States.” Congress was left to determine the nature of these “obligations”, which presumably could have included such tangible assets as gold, silver and the like.  Instead, Congress elected the option of “borrowing” the “surplus” taxes collected from the Social Security Trust Fund and spending the proceeds on other things.  From an accounting perspective, Congress created nothing more than a “Ponzi Scheme” because there is no guarantee that future tax payers can sustain the level of payments to current beneficiaries forever.  Such a system will eventually collapse, and could result in putting the federal government in default of its “obligations.”

By 1995, 95% of the American workforce, not subject to Congressional exclusions, were covered by the Social Security Act.  While many exemptions have been eliminated through 1990, six million government workers in the ten states of: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio and Texas are still exempt from the act and it’s taxation requirements.

By 2011, more than 56 million people were covered by the Social Security Act spending $731 billion or 20% of the federal budget.  The Social Security Trust Fund had about $2.6 trillion in assets on the books.  The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payroll tax rate was 6.2%, paid each by the employee and employer, for a total of 12.4%, for the first $106,800.00 of income.  There were no “surplus” revenues because payouts to beneficiaries exceeded the tax payments deposited in the Social Security Trust Fund.  Federal spending that year was $3.46 trillion and the Treasury posted a $1.3 trillion federal deficit.

Today, the Social Security Act is now the largest government social insurance program in the world measured in dollars paid.

Predictions are that the Disability Insurance Trust Fund [Section 904 of the Social Security Act] will exhaust in 2016.  After 2020, the United States Treasury will need to fund the entire program by redeeming the unfunded “obligations” Congress created to pay program beneficiaries.  From an accounting perspective, the Treasury will continue to use this process until the projected absolute exhaustion of the entire Social Security Trust Fund balance sheet in 2033.

The problem is getting worse.  The current economic recession, world economic problems, and other matters are putting a formidable upward pressures on future projections.  Evidence is that the 2012 projection from the “Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees” exhaustion date of 2033 comes 3 years earlier than 2036 exhaustion date projected in 2011, only one year earlier.

Congress is well aware of the “ticking time bomb” aspect of the Social Security Trust Fund.  Printing money is not the solution – it causes inflation which every American suffers from.  Kicking the can down the road” only passes the problem on to our children and grandchildren.  A “Balanced Budget” amendment to the Constitution pursuant to Article V of the Constitution would help.  But, Congress has consistently opposed it simply because balancing the books takes away the politically popular option of deficit spending.  This whole matter is plainly a “third-rail” issue because the people who funded the program through payroll taxes are not to be trifled with for fear that these people will reflect their outrage at the ballot box.  Getting reelected is indeed at risk.  Predictably, sustained legislative paralysis has ensued.  The fact is that the problem is real and it is being ignored by Congress and the President.

The consequences of what started in 1935 are now overwhelming as a result of a mere 33 pages of unconstitutional legislation.  If Congress only had stuck with the framer’s concept of a limited federal government, that is, without a federal government run insurance program, we would not be in this mess now.

Let’s look at this issue at the personal level to understand the problem in simple terms.  Commonly understood is that if somebody took your money with the intent to deprive you of said monies, this act would called theft.  It is a crime.  Now comes Congress persistently collecting taxes for one thing, then “borrowing” the money to spend it on another thing, and putting forth no plan to repay the “borrowed” monies.  Did Congress steal the “surplus” money from the Social Security Trust Fund? It certainly looks like it.

How can we solve the problem?

The first problem to solve is that Congress needs to stop stealing the “surplus” money from the Social Security Trust Fund and start putting back what it “borrowed.” As Will Rogers once said: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. “

The second problem to solve is cash flow.  When the “baby boomers” reach retirement age, the Social Security Trust Fund is projected to remain insufficient indefinably to satisfy the level of benefit payments compared to a smaller number of projected wage earners paying into it.  The only available long-term remedy is for Congress to either vote to raise Social Security Act taxes, or diminish Social Security Act benefits, or both.

The third problem to solve is the lack of personal and fiduciary responsibility.  As Alexander Tyler said in 1787: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. “

During the eight years from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001, the total public debt outstanding went from $4.1 trillion to $5.7 trillion for an increase of $1.6 trillion.  In the next eight years, it increased by $4.9 trillion to $10.6 trillion.  Today, less than four years later, it has increased by $5.3 trillion to $15.9 trillion.  Congress has not enacted a federal budget each year, as required by law, for the last 1,200 days.  The Senate majority leader has not allowed the budget from the House come to the Senate floor for a vote for three years.  The President’s two budgets for fiscal 2011 and 2012 were both unanimously rejected, respectively, in the Senate by 0-97, and the next year in the house of representatives by 0-414 and by the Senate 0-99.  None of the President’s four budgets included a plan to save Social Security.  There is no budget approved for the next fiscal year.  Why do we have this problem? The answer is simple.  Congress and the President embrace relentless deficit spending and they see themselves as responsible fiduciary actors.  Conversely, the Republic cannot continue to exist by “borrowing” 40 cents of every dollar it spends.  The fact is that we cannot spend our way out of debt!

Let’s set aside the details and get down to basic logic.  Congress doesn’t want a balanced budget.  If Congress wanted a balanced budget, Congress could simply take a vote to make it so.  Since Congress doesn’t want a balanced budget, “We the People” need to force the federal budget to be balanced.  Such will then force Congress every year to vote on what to fund, what not to fund, or to fund what is left over by raising taxes.  By these votes, the people will have a better measure to determine who in Congress is fiscally responsible, or not.  How do we make this happen? Start work on “Change” with a Constitutional amendment, pursuant to Article V of the Constitution, which requires the federal budget to be balanced.  After reading the foregoing story, if you are convinced that we need to act now – call your Senator and Member of the House – make them do it.

On January 20, 1961, John F.  Kennedy said “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Accordingly, “We the People” need to put the country first and stop voting for people who vote for deficit spending.  Let’s vote for candidates who have read, understand, and will abide by the Constitution and the oath to defend it.  If not, we eventually will be left with Alexander Tyler proven right once again, as governments before us have fallen for the same reason.

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.

2012 Election Is Only the First Step

As a Constitution Conservative, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending the Constitution. In fact, I go much further than most conservatives do. I believe the Philadelphia Convention, and the thirteen state ratifying conventions were all done under the superintending providence of God. Therefore, I also believe that our founding documents contain God’s plan for the governing of America. Even a casual survey of American history clearly shows that whenever we deviate from that plan we pay a dear price in political turmoil and economic hardships.

It is imperative for the survival of the Republic that Mitt Romney be elected in November. Obama has to be turned out of office before he completes his mission to “fundamentally transform America” — if it is not too late already. Romney is the only alternative available at this time. However, we must not be misled into believing that electing Romney is going to turn things around overnight. Throughout his political life, Romney has been a follower, not a leader. That is not going to change automatically when he gets in the White House.

Furthermore, Romney has not exhibited a firm grasp of the Constitution during his campaign for the Presidency. For example, he has promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Millions of voters will cast their ballot for him based on that promise. However, when he makes it, he is being disingenuous. The President does not repeal legislation, only Congress can do that. Even Romney knows that much about the working of our government, therefore, he is being disingenuous with the American people when he makes the promise. What he should say is, “on my first day in office I will urge Congress to repeal Obamacare as its first order of business.”  That he can do.

He also says frequently, “On my first day in office I will, by executive order, issue waivers to the states exempting them from having to enforce the provisions of Obamacare.” (Paraphrased) Here he is violating at least two clear provisions of the Constitution. Executive Orders, in the sense he is using the term, carries the weight of law. The very first sentence in the body of the Constitution, First Article, First Clause, clearly states, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Executive Orders, other than administrative orders directed to employees of the Executive Branch directly in the President’s chain-of-command, are unconstitutional.

When he indicates that he will not enforce Obamacare as President, he is in effect, saying that he and he alone will decide what the law is. Unfortunately, the same conservatives who condemn Chief Justice Roberts and the Obama Justice Department for making one-man decisions concerning which laws to enforce or what the law is in the first place, are the same conservatives that are cheering Romney on in his promises. Far too many critical decisions are made in our government by one person, whether it is the President, a bureaucratic Czar, or the “swing vote” on the Supreme Court. This has to stop, and should never be encouraged by a Constitution Conservative, whether or not we agree with the intended outcome.

One of the most overlooked sentences in the Constitution is found in the last sentence of Article II, Section 3, “He (the President) shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…”  This is one of the few specific duties of the President spelled out in the Constitution. Whether we like it or not, Obamacare was passed by Congress and signed by the President, therefore, it is the law and the President is responsible for its execution.

However, it is not the law of the land. Article VI, paragraph two says, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,” Notice, it is the Constitution itself that is the Supreme Law of the Land, not the opinions of the Supreme Court or the acts of Congress when they conflict with the Constitution. One of the first landmark cases of the Supreme Court was Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the Court, said in his opinion, “a law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void.” Obamacare is not only repugnant to all thinking Americans, it is also repugnant to the Constitution; therefore, it is really no law at all. Nevertheless, until it is repealed by Congress, it is the duty of the President to enforce it. What then, can we do?

To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “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.”

In America, the supreme power resides with the people by natural law, as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. In order to maintain a civil society, the people delegate certain powers to representatives elected by them to serve in the state legislatures that, in turn, are restricted by State Constitutions. In 1774, the people of the original thirteen states formed state governments made up of their elected representatives. Those state legislatures delegated certain powers to the First Continental Congress to form a confederation, primarily for the purpose of conducting the Revolutionary War. In 1786, Congress authorized a convention in Philadelphia for the purpose of strengthening the Articles of Confederation to make them more effective in dealing with issues common to all the states that could not be adequately handled by the states individually. In that Convention, the Constitution was written creating a federal government with limited powers for carrying out a finite number of enumerated responsibilities dealing mostly with national defense and commerce.

In the hierarchy of powers, the federal government as a creation of the Constitution has the least amount of legitimate power, carefully limited to those matters delegated to it by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In all matters not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, State Law is supreme over federal law. This power structure is not contradicted by the “Supremacy Clause” quoted above in Article VI. Since legislating health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to the federal government by the Constitution, the state legislatures can forbid the enforcement of Obamacare within its jurisdiction. Until it is repealed by Congress– hopefully in January 2013–, it is up to the state governments to prevent its implementation on a state-by-state basis.

While it is the responsibility of every Patriot to vote for Mitt Romney for President in the upcoming election, do not be misled into expecting President Romney to reverse the downward slide of American society without constant prodding from our side. Those patriots who expect to return to their slumber after the November election had better stock up on NoDoze. The real work begins in January of 2013 and we can expect it to continue for at least the next generation if we are to return America to the Constitutional Republic designed by our Founders. While we are attempting to regain control of our federal government, we also have to give serious attention to reforming our state governments. More on that later.

Soldier On Patriots…..

If you consider yourself a Patriot and you’re not feeling anything now, you might want to check your pulse. The last time I felt like I did yesterday, I was in Bentonville, AK September 11, 2001. It was a sick to my stomach feeling that went well beyond what I was seeing on television that day – I knew something had “fundamentally” changed in the country in which I lived. And change it did. It brought about the Patriot Act, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (DHS) and the Transportation Security Agency just to name a few. To this day I have a hard time convincing some “conservatives” of the negative implications this has had and will continue to have on our individual freedoms. Maybe they don’t fly?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin 1775

We have an Executive in the White House that sidesteps Congress through the use of “executive orders” and over and over again he refuses to enforce the laws that Congress does pass. That’s his job. For those of you that do not carry around a pocket constitution, Article II, Section 3, last sentence “He (the President) shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It is what we hired him to do. So we’ve got a Legislative branch that has ceded their power and refuses “on the whole” to do anything of value, a President who rules by decree and that last bastion of separation of powers, the Judicial Branch, rewriting the government’s defense in order to push through a law that the majority of Americans do not want. And it’s still unconstitutional! The Sixteenth amendment authorized an income tax. All other authorizations for taxation are spelled out in Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

I won’t pretend I didn’t spend more than a couple of hours yesterday wondering what the point to all of this is anymore. All three branches of government are anything but what our founding fathers envisioned as the blueprint for this country. We’re surrounded on all sides by socialist progressives and communists and the rot and decay of progressivism has found its way right to the Constitution of the United States – The very document that the President swore an Oath to protect. And while voting out the President and repealing “Obamacare” are certainly positive steps in the right direction, voting in Mitt Romney and replacing “Obamacare” are not necessarily the answers to our Nation’s problems. I spent much of the day just thinking we’re doomed quite frankly.

And then I remembered a book I read a few years ago by David McCullough, “1776”. I don’t remember the specifics but I remember shaking my head several times through the book thinking, there’s no way we should have become a Nation. We would have a couple of hundred soldiers with rags tied around their feet for shoes surrounded by thousands of the greatest military in the world. The only thing one could hope to expect when they woke up in the morning was a complete and total defeat, death, and yet a storm would come along and save the day or the soldiers would steal away in the middle of the night. Every time it would look like all hope was lost, they would just keep going, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they stood no chance. And that, more than anything our nascent government was doing at the time in Philadelphia, is the reason we’re proud to call ourselves Americans to this day.

And so it’s time to soldier on Patriots. This is not the time to throw our hands in the air and give up. Our emotions cannot get the best of us in either victory or defeat. We’re just getting started. This may be a battle to November but it’s a war for the unforeseeable future. We can’t stop until we’ve forced our government, be they Republican or Democrat, to bring us back to our founding principles. I hope by now you’re fired up and ready for action. Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow’s still ahead of us. Let’s show this Administration whose moving forward.

Socialist-NO; Big, Obtrusive Government Adocate-YES

By W.C. Augustine
A friend who most often sees political issues differently than I recently sent me an excerpt from an articlein Daily Finance with the subject line “not bad for a socialist”.  The article said Fortune 500 companies’ profits increased 16.4% over last year and exceeded “the roaring economy” of 2006. (interesting the left was not describing it such in that year’s midterm elections)

I presume he saw the article as evidence that President Obama is not a socialist. To be clear, I believe it is a mistake to allege Obama is a socialist as it is counter productive.  The last generation outputted from the state-controlled school system does not know the meaning of the word.  Describing the President as an advocate of big, obtrusive government is descriptive with more impact.

 Socialism is defined  as an economic system in which the state has ownership or control over the means of production.   Control can be acquired through regulation, taxation, public ridicule or other bullying tactics (think Boeing) without ownership (think GM).  National Socialists (the real name rather than the acronym) found control more effective than ownership.  Without outright ownership a scapegoat is available for politicians to lay blame for problems. Government ownership of BP, in which  he was the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money  over the past 20 years, would have hampered Obama’s ability to lay blame on the company for the oil spill.

Early in the last century businesses became successful by developing products consumers wanted and then making it efficiently.  Later in the century marketing the product became as important as innovation and cost control.  Today a large company ignores pandering to government at its own peril.

According to a study  political activity typically results in a 20% increase in a company’s performance.  Another look at firms doing intensive lobbying shows they have returns much in excess of the S&P.  Think of Microsoft’s change after a hands-off-politicians policy precipitated an anti-trust investigation.

A superficial observer may say the evidence only suggests large corporations are buying government favors.  True, they are, but at what expense and at what competitive disadvantage does that place the small business owner who can not curry sufficient favor?  The favors and payoffs are mutual-think paying the piper.

Does Ma and Pa Heating and Cooling get to keep tax loss carry-forward after their creditors write off debt as General Motors was allowed?  Does the small company receive the tax breaks of General Electric?

Large companies can spread government regulatory burdens over huge sale volumes and still keep overhead under control.  Small companies can not.  A fortune 500 company is more than happy to relinquish some control to the government in return for the government giving them a competitive advantage in addition to the protection of a bailout to recover from mismanagement.  Hence small businesses are caught between large companies’ gained advantages in collusion with the government and a government that through huge deficits usurps more capital from entrepreneurs.

When Democrats seek a way to pay for reducing the interest on student loans,they don’t look to big corporations, their high paid executives, trust funds or highly paid entertainers and athletes, they go after small business via their common organizational structure, S-Corps.   Many in the media are ever available to carry the left’s message such as the Tribune’s Lisa Mascaro whose disparaging use of the adjective “so-called” preceding S-Corps bears her tilt.

Given that 70% of new jobs come from small companies, government putting them at a competitive disadvantage does not grow the economy, but gives government more control over the economy, enhancing the growth of a big obtrusive government.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

 

W C (Bill) Augustine,  www.atlasrising.tateauthor.com

Teddy Was A RINO

Hat tip to, FreakingNews.com

President Obama invoked the name of Theodore Roosevelt at a fundraiser Friday in Burlington, Vermont, saying, “previous Republican presidents wouldn’t recognize today’s GOP”. Actually, Teddy Roosevelt would feel right at home in today’s Republican Party, being the second RINO to win the Presidency and providing the model for RINOs of the future. After the 1892 election, when the People’s Party gained major victories in American politics, carrying five states in the general election and winning numerous state and local contests nationwide, both the Democrat and Republican Parties embraced a number of socialist-populist ideas from the People’s Party platform .

Republican William McKinley won the 1896 Presidential election over Democratic candidate, William Jennings Bryan. However, McKinley’s Vice President, Garret Hobart, died of a heart ailment in 1899 and he chose Theodore Roosevelt, the recently elected Governor of New York, as his running mate in 1900. The McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won the 1900 election, again defeating the Democrat, Bryan in a landslide. Just six months after taking office for his second term, McKinley died as the result of an assassin’s bullet on September 14, 1901. He had been shot a few days before while attending the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, New York.

Roosevelt finished the remainder of McKinley’s term and ran for and won reelection in 1904. Roosevelt was a popular President, partly because of the hero status he had gained by his prior exploits in Cuba, leading a Calvary regiment, the “Rough Riders”, during the Spanish-American War, and partly because of his enthusiastic support for the populist-socialist policies that were in vogue at the time. Roosevelt chose not to run for another term in 1908 and his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, easily won the election of 1908.

Roosevelt soon became dissatisfied with the more moderate progressive policies of Taft and determined to run against him in 1912. Failing to gain the support of the Republican Convention for his candidacy, Roosevelt withdrew from the party and ran on the Progressive Party ticket, a party he formed after being rejected by the Republicans. All four parties in the 1912 election ran progressive candidates, Taft on the Republican ticket, Roosevelt on the Progressive ticket, Wilson on the Democrat ticket and Debs on the Socialist ticket. Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote, giving the Presidency to Wood Wilson.

Two of the four progressive era Amendments to the Constitution were ratified by the states during Wilson’s first year in office; the Sixteenth Amendment, authorizing Congress to levy a graduated income tax, first proposed by Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto in 1848, paving the way for the realization of the long-term socialist goal– the redistribution of income; and the Seventeenth Amendment requiring that Senators of each state be elected by popular vote, rather than by the State Legislature. This Amendment reversed a decision that was thoroughly debated and decided by the Framers during the Philadelphia Convention. The Seventeenth Amendments fulfilled the progressive-socialist goal of a more direct democracy, while at the same time, setting the stage for the future disregarding of the Tenth Amendment by Congress.

The progressive Republican Presidents at the turn of the twentieth century established the pattern for the RINOs of the future and would feel right at home in the Republican Party of today. Most Republicans have a difficult time identifying the RINOs among them because they consistently confuse the words Republican and republicanism. Republican is the name of the political party. Its primary goal is to win elections and protect the incumbency of its elected officials. Republicanism refers to the philosophy of governing espoused by the Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution.

Republicanism differs markedly from democracy. Democracy refers to the rule of the majority and is easily manipulated by demagogues and charlatans. Democratic governance was both despised and feared by the Founding Fathers and the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The word “democracy” appears nowhere in our Founding Documents and was only used during the debates at the Philadelphia Convention in a derogatory sense. Republicanism refers to a government composed of representatives chosen by the people, accountable to the people, and operating under the rule of law. In America, the Constitution is the “Supreme Law of the Land” and all laws incompatible with it are illegitimate. All elected or appointed officials in the U.S. are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution.

The word RINO is an acronym for “Republican In Name Only” and is used to denote those elected officials who run on the Republican Ticket but once in office reject the principles of republicanism. Their role in the political system for the past hundred years has been to act as enablers of the addiction to socialism, endemic in the Democratic Party. The RINOs of the early progressive era would be quite comfortable in the modern Republican Party of today, which seems to be dominated by RINOs at the upper levels of the Party establishment.

Obama got this one wrong, as he usually does. However, he does inadvertently depart from his customary litany of falsehoods and swerve into an obvious truth now and then. He did so at another fundraiser in Portland, Oregon on the same day, when he said, “You know, the idea you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again, even though it’s been proven not to work — that’s a sign of madness”. If you are surprised by Obama’s candor in describing the socialist policies of the Democratic Party, or his sudden insight into his own mental processes, just remember the old adage “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

Romney’s Repeal and Replace Pledge Will Not Solve our Problem

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. That being the case, this picture is worth volumes in explaining what is wrong with America’s political system and why we find ourselves on the very brink of economic collapse and facing the prospect of losing the individual liberty we have enjoyed since the founding of our Republic.

America did not become the most successful and  prosperous nation in the history of the world because of the wisdom and skills of our political leaders. Instead, it was because our Founders, knowledgeable in both political philosophy and history, understood that democracies always lead inevitably to some form of socialism and ultimately to despotic tyranny. To guard against this political probability and still allow the people to remain sovereign over their government, the Founders established a Constitutional Republic consisting of four co-equal parts designed to protect our liberty and our God-given inalienable rights. The four parts are the national Legislature, the national Executive branch, the national Judiciary, and the state governments, all operating within their sphere of authority with carefully limited powers under the watchful eye of the citizenry.

The bedrock on which this system was based is the Constitution. It worked well until the beginning of the Progressive era at the end of the nineteenth century. The progressive movement used deception, misdirection, and man’s weaknesses to appeal to the basest of human passions, greed, envy and jealousy to gain a prominent foothold in American politics. Progressives in both the Democrat and Republican Parties set the political agenda for the twentieth century. Although most republicans were opposed to the ideas of progressives (American socialists) as a basic principle, in the spirit of political expediency, they accepted many of the progressive’s policies, appealing to their constituencies with the implied motto, “we can do it better”.

On virtually every important issue during the twentieth century, the Republican Party accepted the premises put forth by progressive democrats, even though they may not agree with the policy based on the premise. It became a habitual strategy for the Republican Party to propose policies in opposition to the democrats that accepted the progressive premise but altered the pursuant policy just enough to make it palatable to their constituents. This practice gave rise to the “moderate” republicans so valued by both parties and the national progressive media of today.

The core principles on which the progressive movement is based are the polar opposites of the core principles on which the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are based. A hundred years of compromise and accommodation of these principles by the Republican party and its elected officials has led to a steady erosion of the Constitution, leading to the lawless state of our national government, as well as a growing part of American society that we have today. (The Constitution is the Supreme Law of government.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on whether or not parts of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional. Already the trial is being played in the press as a sporting event between the four progressives on the court and the four constitutional conservatives, with Justice Stevens, the “moderate”, being the unknown factor. The outcome is far from certain and the results will probably not be known until June, more than likely after the Republican candidate for President has already been decided on.

There is a slim chance that the Court will put aside its law books, consideration of prior Court decisions, and International law and focus their deliberations on the Constitution itself using the debates in the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and the Federalist Papers, to determine the intent of the Framers. In which case, they will rule the Affordable Health Care Act as unconstitutional in its entirety. A more likely scenario, however, is that they will strike down parts of the law, leaving the basic premise intact; that the “commerce clause” gives the Congress, and through it, the bureaucracies in the Legislative Branch, authority to legislate in this, and other matters that are not among the enumerated powers of Congress. If that happens we will have made very little progress in returning America to its Constitutional foundation.

Romney’s “Repeal and Replace” plan simply carries on the Republican tradition of compromise and accommodation, accepting the premise that Congress has the power under the commerce clause to regulate health care in America. Regardless of how many remnants of Obamacare the Supreme Court leaves in place, the entire law must be repealed and eradicated from any possibility of being revived, if we are to salvage what is left of our Republic and the liberties it provides. A concise outline of Romney’s Repeal and Replace plan is found on Romney’s website. Following are the highlights and why they should be unacceptable to the American People.

“On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible.”  ~mittromney.com

Article I, Section 1, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The President does not have the Constitutional power to, in effect, make law or alter laws passed by Congress. Neither does he have the power to waive by Executive Order, laws passed and signed into law under prior Presidents. One of the few direct responsibilities given to the President by the Constitution is the enforcement of laws passed by Congress.

Article II, Section 3, at the end of the last paragraph we read: “he [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. The President does not have the prerogative of deciding which laws his Justice Department will or will not enforce. Once a law has passed Congress and been signed into law it becomes a part of the Constitution until it is determined to be unconstitutional by the appropriate courts; (Article VI, paragraph two.) If a new law is passed by Congress that the President considers unconstitutional, it is his duty to veto it and return it to Congress along with an explanation for his veto. (Article I, Section 7)

Romney also promises to:

  • Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
  • Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
  • Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
  • Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
  • Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution ~mittromney.com

Here again, Romney is playing fast and loose with the Constitution. Block grants should be considered as what they are; bribes to the states in an effort to bend them to the will of the federal government. Withholding them from states that refuse or neglect to comply with federal requirements is primarily a pecuniary method for enforcing compliance with the bureaucratic rules of the Executive branch. At best, they represent an application of the socialist principle of redistribution of wealth, as tax money is taken from wealthier states and redistributed to those less wealthy.

His promise to “limit federal standards and requirements on …private insurance” is clearly a violation of Article I, Section 10: “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…”. Contract law provides the underpinning of market capitalism. The founders assumed the federal government would not have the power to impair contract law because it was not given as one of the enumerated powers. At the same time, they considered the matter of protecting the integrity of private contracts so important that they also prohibited the states from passing laws that would impair them. Insurance policies are private contracts between the insurer and the policy holder. Neither the President, Congress or the state legislatures have the power to interfere with that relationship. These same arguments apply to the last three promises in Romney’s list as well.

In fact, the same argument is valid against all fifteen points of Romney’s plan listed on his website. They all impair, to a greater or lesser degree, private contracts between private insurance companies and policyholders or between health care providers and their patients. However there is one ironic exception: “Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines”. Here, Romney inadvertently discloses the original purpose of the interstate commerce clause, which he evidently does not adequately understand himself. Its original purpose was to insure free and fair trade between the states, breaking down the protective barriers put in place by various states during the former government’s existence under the  Articles of Confederation.

It is important for voters in states that have not yet held their primaries to keep this in mind when they vote. Substituting a revised version of Romneycare for Obamacare does not solve the problem of Washington’s failure to follow the dictates of the Constitution every member of government is sworn to uphold and defend.