Category Archives: Congress

The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for Abundance

Socialist Planning for Abundance
By Corliss Lamont

Corliss Lamont (1902 – 1995) was born into one of America’s wealthiest families. His Father was Thomas Lamont, partner and later chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co. He was educated at some of the most prestigious schools in America and England, Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard, Oxford, and Columbia. Later he became one of the foremost apologists and philosophers of socialism during the twentieth century. The following article is reprinted from one of his better known books, “You Might Like Socialism”1 published in 1939.

1. Everyone Can Live Well
Like anyone else, I want to live well, and I want my wife and three children to live well. I believe in the wholehearted affirmation and enjoyment of life. There are surely few mortals who appreciate more than myself the simple material things that both sustain human existence and can bring to it such delight. I enjoy good food, comfortable living quarters and surroundings that are pleasant and healthful. I am very fond of sports, especially tennis, skating and swimming. I like to dance. And I enjoy, too, the pleasures of culture: the leisured reading of books and poetry, stimulating wit and conversation, evenings at theater and concert and motion picture, the opportunity to write.

Some of my conservative upper-class friends occasionally banter me on the exuberant way in which I relish the sweets of existence, as if such relish showed that I could not really believe in Socialism. But they miss the point. For it is precisely the destiny of Socialism to bring to the whole community those felicities of living that up to now only a small minority have had the chance to enjoy. I want everyone to live well. And I am convinced that Socialist planning could quickly assure to every American family not merely economic security, but also a fair degree of comfort. For this reason, the idea of a Socialist society ought to attract profoundly not just the more poorly paid workers and farmers, but most of the middle class and many members of the upper class as well.

If we attain Socialism in the United States during my lifetime, I fully expect that I and other persons who are at present economically privileged will be able, if we work loyally under the new system, to maintain a very decent standard of living, though not one that is luxurious or extravagant. This Socialist promise of general prosperity is one of the chief reasons why I consider so infinitely shortsighted and unintelligent those members of the upper class who oppose with such bitter-end stubbornness the passing of Capitalism. For they themselves can share to a substantial extent in the abundance which Socialism will make actual. And so long as they prevent this abundance from coming to fruition, they are playing the invidious role of dogs-in-the-manger. They are saying in effect to the people: “It is true that we cannot ourselves unlock the untold possibilities of this modern economy, but just the same we don’t intend to let you do it.”

Suppose the American people woke up some fine morning and read in the newspapers that every factory and farm in the country was operating at full blast, that all the millions of unemployed had been able to find jobs, that sweeping increases in wages would shortly go into effect and that for the first time in years federal, state and municipal governments saw the sure prospect of balancing their budgets. One can imagine the sense of relief, the happiness, the positive thrill that would be felt from one end of the country to the other; one can picture the rejoicing that would be called forth in every American home, in every place of business, in every public gathering. It would be like the end of the Great War (2); indeed, it would be the end of a Great War, the war on poverty, on unemployment, on depression and the thousand ills that accompany these major maladies of the capitalist system.

All this I have been depicting is no mere word-mirage. It is a close approximation of what would actually take place under full-fledged Socialism. For Socialist planning means that the American economic system would in fact be kept going at 100 per cent capacity, that its potential plenty would at long last be released, its productive resources and distributive techniques utilized and developed to the maximum for the people and by the people. The almost immediate outcome would be that $5,000 (3) income for every American family that I mentioned earlier. And as time went on, this figure would steadily rise. These considerations spell out why Socialism means wealth,  fabulous wealth, and eventually tenfold, yes a hundredfold, more wealth than Capitalism has ever been able to bring mankind.

2. The Principles of Planning
The fundamental principle that lies behind planning is fairly simple and one which we encounter in some form in many different realms of human behavior. It consists of coordinating our activities in the light of our capacities and of the objective external environment, especially its economic aspects. As individuals we all plan to some extent, whether it be for a day or a month, a year or a decade, always keeping a weather eye on the state of our finances.

If we have a family, then planning becomes more complex and essential. The intelligent family looks into the future so far as is possible and plans, according to its resources, for the needs of its various members. If it is wise and has any sort of dependable income, it will make an annual budget, allocating definite sums to food, housing, clothing, recreation, baby carriages and the like. It will also probably try to set aside certain amounts as savings; and the most prudent heads of families will plan years and years ahead for the particular needs and vicissitudes of old age. Thoughtful people will take an even further step and, through the process of wills, lay careful plans for friends and family long after they are dead.

Coming to purely economic units, we find that every kind of business concern, no matter what its size and nature, must plan. The larger and more complex it is, the more attention it has to pay to planning. Any big corporation, for instance, with its many different departments, must have central planning in order to coordinate its various activities and to function successfully as a business. This is true whether the U. S. Steel Corporation or General Motors is concerned, whether R. H. Macy and Company or American Telephone and Telegraph, whether Standard Oil of New York or the Pennsylvania Railroad. The planning necessary for the efficient management of huge businesses like these reaches out to all parts of America and in some degree abroad as well. And in certain fields where big business has come to be overwhelmingly predominant, the planning of a few large trusts or even of a single monopoly may extend over well-nigh a whole industry.

The purpose of planning in all capitalist enterprise is, of course, to make money. And this means that each business, in the process of continually establishing and re-establishing its own superiority, must plan against its rivals and win away from them more and more customers, Trusts in the same industry have to plan against each other and also, in order to capture a larger and larger share of the general consumer’s income, against trusts in other industries. Thus, in enterprise both large and small, the plans of individual businesses and businessmen tend to cancel one another out to a considerable extent. The capitalist theory is that the most efficient and intelligently managed concerns come out on top. Undeniably this is frequently true; just as often, however, it is ruthlessness and lack of moral scruple that turns the trick, as has been amply illustrated in the lives of our “robber barons.” But whether efficiency or ruthlessness or perhaps both together are operative in any particular case, the result for the community is in the end economic.

In order to mitigate or prevent the disastrous results of anarchic Capitalism in some important field, capitalist governments sometimes put into effect a species of planning for an entire industry. In most European countries the telephone and telegraph are publicly owned and operated, and in several the railways as well. Then, too, there are public planning schemes in existence over particular localities. A good example of this is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which is exploiting the power resources of the Tennessee basin on behalf of the population of the vicinity, much to the chagrin of the private utility companies. These types of piecemeal planning, however, no matter, how well they may work in the sectors allotted to them, cannot go far in solving the economic problems of a country as a whole.

It is characteristic that the most far-reaching schemes of public planning under Capitalism should be for profit, or for profit and war. The so-called planning of the New Deal during President Roosevelt’s first term was directed, especially in agriculture, toward decreasing production in order to bring back profits by making goods scarcer and prices higher. While the Great Depression was still ravaging the United States, the NRA (National Recovery Administration) and the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) nobly cooperated, through planned destruction, with the usual haphazard destruction for profit by individual capitalists. Those were the days when almost over-night a fourth of the cotton crop was ploughed under, the wheat acreage reduced by 20 per cent and five million pigs destroyed. The AAA, doing its best under the circumstances to rescue the American farmer by boosting the price level, actually paid bonuses to all the producers who participated in this wholesale sacrifice to the capricious gods of capitalist economics.

During the Great War, America, and more than half the nations of the earth as well, carried out planned destruction on an even larger scale. Not only did this war planning entail the shooting away into nothingness of billions and billions of dollars worth of goods in the form of munitions; even the food, clothing and other supplies for the military and naval forces were for the purpose of enabling millions of men to engage in the entirely unproductive function of fighting to the death millions of other men. In order to wage war more efficiently, the American Government proceeded to co-ordinate in some measure the economic life of the United States by setting up the War Industries Board, the War Trade Board, the Shipping Board, the Fuel Administration, the Food Administration and the Railroad Administration. Since the railroads under private management could not stand the added strain of war conditions, the Government took them over entirely and administered them on a unified basis. Unhappily, today again, the bulk of the planning that is going on in capitalist countries is for belligerent purposes. This is especially true of the Fascist Powers Germany, Italy and Japan in each of which the whole economy has for a number of years been on a war basis. As these Fascist states push farther and farther their present aggressions and prepare for new ones, they are forcing the democratic Capitalisms to introduce ever more extensive planning for the object of armed self-defense.

This brief review of the limited planning that takes place under Capitalism shows how far removed it is in aim and scope from Socialist planning. Planning under Socialism is for use, not profit, for increasing production, not decreasing it, for peace, not war. And it demands as an absolute prerequisite the socialization of production and distribution. For as long as private capitalists retain possession of a country’s natural resources and transportation facilities, of factories, farms, banks and all the rest, they have the power to throw out of gear the best-laid of Plans. It is common knowledge that even with the minor public controls established under Roosevelt’s NRA, the American capitalists, long before the law was declared unconstitutional, constantly sabotaged, dodged and defied the Act. But Socialist planning puts a finish to that unending tug of war, so characteristic of Capitalism, between the Government, supposedly representing the public in general, and various business interests jockeying for control of it and determined to carry out whatever profit promising policies seem most advantageous. Under Socialism, politics and economics are thoroughly integrated.

The socialization of economic activity which I have in mind, however, does not necessarily entail either nationalization by the federal government or ownership by state or city governments. Many industries, under Socialism the national government will certainly take over; many other economic concerns, less far-reaching in their ramifications, state or city governments will own and operate. But besides all this, there will be a broad sector of enterprise which is socialized yet not governmental. It will be advisable to run some industries through the instrumentality of Public Corporations, which will be subject to control by the government planning authorities, but largely independent in their administrative work. In the non-governmental class will also be collective farms and fisheries, and indeed almost the whole of agriculture; co-operative societies for production and distribution; and much of journalism, art and culture in general.

This means that there will be a sizable number, running into several millions, of independent individuals not on the pay-roll of any governmental concern. These will include a large proportion of the handicrafts-men, farmers, fishermen, inventors, teachers, authors, journalists, actors, artists and intellectuals. They will make their living by working in such organizations as I have just mentioned; or by selling their products or services to such organizations, to public agencies or to other individuals. So, in the Socialist state there will be plenty of room for freelance workers of every type.

Socialist planning differs from any sort of capitalist planning, lastly, in that it is not confined to special localities, industries or periods of time, but is continuous and nation-wide. A genuinely planned economy demands not only that all individual businesses in one industry, whether it be concerned with hats, shoes, sugar, coal or anything else, be consciously coordinated, but that each industry as a whole, including the prices of its products and the wages and working hours of its employees, be coordinated with every other industry as a whole. Think of the increase in efficiency and the decrease in waste that would result from planned coordination among America’s big energy-producing industries: coal, gas, oil and electric power. Such coordination, however, could reach its high point only when there was complete coordination also among the industries to be served. For only when we know how much energy is required throughout the whole country, and where and when, can we accurately gauge how much coal, how much gas, how much oil and how much electric power should be made available in a given period and in a particular locality.

Again, it is obvious that there is so much overlapping in the field of transportation among railways, boats, buses, trucks and airplanes that the situation cries out for unified planning. But it is not possible to separate transportation from the things to be transported. A plan for coordinated transportation implies a plan for coal and steel, farm products and finished goods, just as a plan for all these things definitely implies a plan for transportation. And of course all of agriculture must be carefully correlated with all of manufacture. The flow of foodstuffs to the cities must be coordinated with the flow of manufactured goods from them. The needs, of the farmers must be estimated. Our steel plan, for example, must take into consideration the demand for tractors, combines and other agricultural machinery; and our agricultural plan the particular food requirements of the heavily laboring steel workers.

Likewise there must be a well-worked-out plan for wholesale and retail trade, linking up these two main branches of distribution all along the line with industry, transportation and agriculture. The shops in town and city, the restaurants, the warehouses, the gasoline stations and other such distributive units all come into the planning picture here.

Since the planning I envisage covers the entire socio-economic scene, it naturally extends into the fields of health and recreation, of education and culture. Socialism is particularly concerned to bountifully provide all the different activities and services in these realms with the necessary equipment and other economic prerequisites. The educational plan of the country, moreover, must be always closely interrelated with the economic plan, so that there may never be a lack of the needed technicians, scientists and other experts nor a deficiency of suitable employment opportunities for graduating students. Finally, the entire economic and cultural life of the country must be carefully correlated with finance under one vast, unitary budget that takes in all branches of industry and agriculture, of commerce and trade and extra-economic endeavor.

This completes, in outline form, the picture of the great National Plan which Socialism sets in motion, a Plan which brings into the economic and social affairs of any country that adopts it a closely knit unity, a smoothly functioning team-work, among all the myriad enterprises and individuals involved, making each one count for infinitely more and lifting the collective achievement to new and unheard-of heights.

Because of its controls over production and distribution, currency and capital investment, prices and wages and hours, Socialist planning is able to overcome totally and permanently the central capitalist difficulty of lack of purchasing power. As more and more goods come out of the factories, wages go up throughout the land or prices decrease or the working day grows shorter. To take care of the increased turnover in commodities, currency may, depending on its velocity of circulation, be expanded. Since there are no capitalists to appropriate a large proportion of the value which the people produce, the full instead of only the partial value of their labor returns to them in one form or another. Thus, the unceasing abundance of goods is matched by an unceasing abundance of purchasing power. And this results in that depression-defeating, prosperity-ensuring balance between production and consumption, supply and demand, which every orthodox economist and capitalist has fondly dreamed of seeing Capitalism itself attain.

The United States and other capitalist nations are only as rich as the amount of goods that can be sold for a profit during any given period. But Socialist planning makes a country exactly as rich as its entire productive capacity during any period. This is why I say without hesitation that Socialism, in terms of sheer economic efficiency, is sure to far outstrip Capitalism. Since finance is the most important single element in Socialist planning and more crucial, if anything, than in a capitalist economy, a fact which ought to give some slight consolation to capitalist bankers, I want to discuss the subject in more detail. In a Socialist state the banking system operates under and administers an all-embracing Financial Plan for the nation as a whole. This Financial Plan is the counterpart of the Material Plan and translates all the production and distribution schedules of the latter into dollar units. The dollar is the common denominator in which the various aspects of the National Plan can be accurately expressed and clearly related to one another. The Financial Plan and the Material Plan are, in effect, two versions of the National Plan and each serves as a check on the other.

The Government Treasury Department, together with the State Bank and its numerous branches, acts as a great central pool for the national income. This it does not only through taxation of Socialist business concerns and of individuals, but also through receiving a substantial share of whatever surpluses the different businesses, including those involved in foreign trade, succeed in accumulating. A considerable portion of such surpluses, however, are retained locally by the factory or other unit earning them and are used collectively for expansion, improvements or social benefits connected with the same enterprise. The Government also raises a certain amount of capital through savings banks and through the flotation of public loans, which continue to be necessary during the first stages of Socialism.

The surpluses or “profits” which economic enterprises build up under Socialism have a very different status and play a very different role from what we have been accustomed to expect under Capitalism. They are, in fact, mainly a book-keeping device. Socialist business is run, as I have said, not for the sake of making profits, but in order to provide goods and services to the community. The most convenient process of accounting and of distribution, however, demands the mechanism of buying and selling, of money and prices. Furthermore, identifiable “profits” are necessary so that our Socialist planners can set aside a certain proportion of the nation’s income in order to meet depreciation and obsolescence and, above all, in order to expand the means of production. Soviet Russia, for instance, put into social savings for such purposes an annual average of one-third its total income during the first two Five-Year Plans, a feat which stands out all the more owing to the fact that capitalist economists have always argued that a Socialist government would act like a reckless spendthrift and could not possibly exercise the foresight and intelligence to accumulate capital.

Whereas under Capitalism money and prices control the output of goods, under Socialism it is the output of goods that controls money and prices. Money is on a goods standard, not a gold standard. No real need exists for the latter unless to make the initial transition from Capitalism psychologically easier in the minds of the people. There can be no such thing as financial bankruptcy unless the supply of commodities proves inadequate; the value of the currency does not depend on any gold reserve, but on the quantity and quality of goods that nationwide planning has made available. Money ceases to be a commodity in itself, as under the capitalist system. It simply serves as the recognized unit of economic measurement and exchange, a function that some medium will have to perform in any future stage of society.

The most obvious advantage of a Socialist financial system is that it enables the public authorities to distribute and re-distribute the nation’s capital resources according to the needs of the entire economy. The surpluses acquired in one sector of business can be transferred to other less developed and less lucrative branches of economic activity. This is analogous, on a national scale, to the various allocations within the huge budgets of some of the bigger capitalist corporations. Under Socialism a number of enterprises, particularly in the sphere of education and social services, will continue to show financial loss, perhaps permanently. And there will also be deficits in the industrial field, especially when some great new project is getting under way.

Socialist financial planning requires that there be an ordered flow of capital investment all along the line in place of the slap-dash, haphazard methods prevalent in capitalist countries today. Instead of overinvestment in some directions and under-investment in others, with crisis-causing disproportions as the certain result, Socialist planning ensures a balanced and even distribution of capital resources, that is, social savings, in the directions most useful and important. It would be inconceivable, for example, for vast quantities of capital to go into the building of palatial homes, yachts and other super-luxuries for a small class of the economically privileged while millions of families lived
in houses beneath even a minimum standard of decency.

It would also be inconceivable for socialized capital to go into the production of things clearly harmful to health and well-being such as noxious drugs, patent medicines and deleterious foodstuffs for which there might be unintelligent and perverse demand. It would be impossible, too, for capital to create manufacturing plants and services that would be continually duplicating one another, ruining one another through cut-throat competition, spending huge fortunes in misleading advertising, and inundating a locality or even the entire country with a bewildering flow of practically identical goods. The huge sums of money and the very large personnel involved in speculative activities in commodities, in land, and in stocks and bonds would also become a thing of the past. And, alas for the gamblers of high finance, that symbol of Capitalism at its worst, the stock market would be no more.

The perfect synchronization between savings and capital investment that Socialist planning makes possible is one of the weightiest arguments in its favor. Since the decision of how much and where and when to save and the decision of how much and where and when to invest rests in the hands of the Planning Commission and the Government, there is no danger that these important decisions will be at odds with each other as they so often are under Capitalism. The unplanned capitalist method means that two sets of different people, frequently with conflicting interests, save and invest as they see fit, with the result that the relations between saving and investment are always becoming maladjusted. Either savings cannot find an outlet in profitable investment or needed investment cannot find sufficient savings to put it across. In either case economic troubles are the outcome.

Under the financial system I have been outlining, every producing and distributing unit in the country has an account in the central State Bank or one of its branches. And it is the duty of each bank to check up on the use of the credits, long-term, short-term or emergency, which it issues at any time. It must make certain that the automobile factory, for instance, to which it has advanced a certain amount of credit, actually produces the motorcars called for by the Plan and supposedly made possible by the credit. The factory has the obligation of giving the bank definite reports on definite dates showing how it is
fulfilling its program. If the bank discovers that the credit is being wasted or used inefficiently, it will at once stop further credits until the matter is cleared up, even instituting a special investigation if necessary.

Thus, under Socialist planning, the banks become the watchdogs of the whole economy by carrying on what amounts to a constant audit of all business enterprises. They act as the vital link between the various sets of plans drawn up on paper and the fulfillment of these plans in terms of concrete goods and services. Their vigilance means that there can be no let-down on the part of either management or workers in a concern without the whole personnel being called to task.

In this function the banks are aided by a system of accounting which penetrates into every nook and cranny of economic activity. Socialist accounting, organized on the strictest basis, aims to cut production costs and to attain the greatest possible results for the least possible expenditure. Book profits enter again into the picture here as a partial test of whether or not a plant is being operated efficiently. So the idea sometimes advanced that, under Socialism, extravagant executives will fling away heedlessly and without restraint the financial resources of the community is merely a caricature.

Furthermore, besides the checks and balances inherent in the technical set-up of Socialist planning, there is always the control exercised by the people themselves through regular democratic procedures. At established intervals they can approve or disapprove of the planning schemes in effect or proposed by electing representatives and officials committed to carrying out the popular will. And at all times they can bring pressure to bear by criticisms and suggestions through public meetings, the organs of opinion, individual or organized lobbying, and other such processes of democracy. Of paramount importance in this connection will be the role of the trade unions, to which virtually all working persons will presumably belong. There is nothing, then, in the nature of Socialist planning which prevents it from being administered in a thoroughly democratic manner.

One can easily imagine some of the big public issues which are almost certain to emerge in the natural course of collective economic planning. Since the standard of living under Socialism goes steadily up, the question will arise as to how the people can most benefit from the increasing wealth. Shall our planners put the emphasis on raising wages continually or on providing more and better free services like libraries, parks and public concerts? How much of the national income shall be saved for the purpose of new capital construction? And in this connection will the time come when the population will prefer to stabilize the standard of living at a certain point and concentrate on enjoying the consumers’ goods producible at that level rather than to continue with vast expansion programs? For under Socialist planning there is no categorical imperative, as under Capitalism, for an economy to keep on expanding indefinitely.

This particular issue might well develop in relation to the matter of the average annual working time. In order that more leisure be secured, one political party might advocate reducing the work-day by a third or augmenting the number of holidays or cutting the age of retirement to fifty; another party might call for the maintenance of existing work-time schedules and for a mighty increase in production which would lift the standard of living to even greater heights. Or another burning issue might come to the fore, once the necessities of life had been provided for everyone, over whether to stress the provision of cultural as distinct from material goods and services.

The exact planning techniques which I have been describing will certainly not be used in all stages of Socialism nor in all countries adopting the new system. For it is crystal clear that each nation will use somewhat different methods, adapting Socialism to its characteristic traditions, political institutions and degree of economic development. It would be foolish to imagine that if central planning were introduced in China at the same time as in the United States, it could be put into effect by precisely the same measures or at the same rate. Indeed, there will be plenty of differences even between two countries both as highly evolved industrially as

END NOTES: It is important to keep in mind that this was written in 1939 just before WWII.  Some adjustments were made to the socialist agenda as a consequence of the War, however, the basic goals remain the same today. I chose this for our first article on the progressive mind because I have witnessed during my lifetime many parts of its agenda being proposed or actually put in place by progressive Presidents and unconstitutional bureaucracies.

1. Corliss Lamont, You Might Like Socialism (1939) Modern Age Books, New York.

2. Great War= World War I

3. In 1939 dollars

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.

Choosing The Senate President

Nothing triggers my Don Quixote spirit more so than that part of the Presidential campaign when the Presidential candidate is shopping for a running mate. Reading between the lines, over the lines, or under the lines, I can find nothing in the Constitution to justify the Presidential candidate being allowed to pick the V.P. candidate.

The Founding Fathers intended for the office of Vice President to be the second most powerful office in government. He is to serve as the Presiding Officer over the day-to-activities of the Senate and is to be selected by voters of the entire country, not by the voters of a single state, as is the case today when we allow the Senate Majority Leader to usurp the constitutional duties of the Vice President. The only duties assigned to the Vice President by the Constitution are to count the votes of the Electoral College and to serve as President of the Senate. Click HERE  for a more detailed discussion.

We have seen over the past three-and-a-half years the damage that can be done to our legislative processes and to the country when political hacks whose only loyalty is to their party and their only goal is gaining more power, are allowed to preside over the two houses of Congress. While John Boehner is incompetent as Speaker of the House, at least his office is constitutional and he was duly elected by the membership of the House.  There is however, no constitutional requirement that the Speaker be from the majority party of even a member of Congress.

While the Constitution (Art. 1.2.9) permits the House to elect its Presiding Officer, the same is not true for the Senate. Article I, Sec. 3, clause 6, 7 requires, “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  

The President pro tempore is not a permanent office. He is to be chosen by the Senate to serve temporarily as the Presiding Officer of the Senate only, “in the absence of the Vice President, or when he (the V.P.) shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.”  The Speaker of the House is the Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States is the Presiding Officer of the Senate. There is no constitutional requirement for him to be a member of the majority party just as there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a member of Congress. The President of the Senate is the only officer of the Legislative Branch to be elected nationally and accountable to the voters of the entire country.

While there is no way, in the short term, to bring the Federal government back in line with the Constitution, we should be working tirelessly to that end. In the meanwhile, if Mitt Romney wishes to follow the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution and Amendment XII, in selecting his running mate, he should choose Rick Santorum since he received the second largest number of delegates during the Primaries.

Also see these two posts from the 2008 election cycle.

https://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/thomas-jefferson-advice-to-sarah-palin/

https://illinoisconservative.wordpress.com/2008/10/04/sarah-palin-as-president-of-the-senate/

The Constitution, Vattel, and “Natural Born Citizen”: What Our Framers Knew

By Publius Huldah.

We have been visited recently with several very silly articles which assert that Marco Rubio is a “natural born Citizen” within the meaning of Art. II, §1, cl. 5, U.S. Constitution (ratified 1789), and hence is qualified to be President:

Bret Baier (Fox News) asserts that Congress may define (and presumably redefine, from time to time) terms in the Constitution by means of law.

Chet Arthur in American Thinker quips that “the original meaning of ‘natural born citizen’” is determined by reference to “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution” and to the definition of “citizen” at Sec. 1 of the 14th Amendment, ratified 1868.

Human Events claims that anyone  born within The United States is a “natural born citizen” eligible to be President.

Jake Walker at Red State purports to show how the term has been used from 1795 to the present.  After quoting James Madison on the citizenship requirements imposed by Art. I, §2, cl. 2, to be a member of the House, Walker gleefully quotes a 1795 discussion of “natural born subject” to “prove” that anyone born here is a “natural born citizen”:

“It is an established maxim, received by all political writers, that every person owes a natural allegiance to the government of that country in which he is born. Allegiance is defined to be a tie, that binds the subject to the state, and in consequence of his obedience, he is entitled to protection…” [emphasis mine]

“The children of aliens, born in this state, are considered as natural born subjects, and have the same rights with the rest of the citizens.” [emphasis mine]

But “subjects” are not “citizens”; and we fought a war so that we could be transformed fromsubjects of the British Crownto Citizens of a Republic!

The four writers don’t know what they are talking about.  But I will tell you the Truth and prove it. We first address Word Definitions.

Word Definitions:

Like clouds, word meanings change throughout time.  “Awful” once meant “full of wonder and reverence”; “cute” meant “bowlegged”; “gay” meant “jovial”; and “nice” meant “precise”.

Accordingly, if someone from an earlier time wrote of a “cute gay man”, he was not referring to an adorable homosexual, but to a cheerful bowlegged man.

So!  In order to understand the genuine meaning of a text, we must use the definitions the authors used when they wrote it.  Otherwise, written texts become as shifting and impermanent as the clouds – blown hither and yon throughout the years by those who unthinkingly read in their own uninformed understandings, or deliberately pervert the text to further their own agenda.

So!  Is Our Constitution built on the Rock of Fixed Definitions – those our Framers used?  Or are its Words mere clouds to be blown about by Acts of Congress, whims of federal judges, and the idiotic notions of every ignoramus who writes about it?

What Did Our Framers mean by “natural born Citizen”?

Article II, §1, cl. 5, U.S. Constitution, requires the President to be a “natural born Citizen”.

The meaning of this term is not set forth in The Constitution or in The Federalist Papers; and I found no discussion of the meaning in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention or in Alexander Hamilton’s notes of the same.

What does this tell us? That they all knew what it meant. We don’t go around defining “pizza”, because every American over the age of four knows what a pizza is.

Our Framers had no need to define “natural born Citizen” in the Constitution, because by the time of the Federal Convention of 1787, a formal definition of the term consistent with the new republican principles1 already existed in Emer Vattel’s classic, Law of Nations.

And we know that our Framers carefully studied and relied upon Vattel’s work.  I’ll prove it.

How Vattel’s Law of Nations got to the Colonies, and its Influence Here:

During 1775, Charles Dumas, an ardent republican [as opposed to a monarchist] living in Europe sent three copies of Vattel’s Law of Nations to Benjamin Franklin. Here is a portion of Franklin’s letter of Dec. 9, 1775 thanking Dumas for the books:

“… I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…” (2nd para) [boldface added]

Vattel’s Law of Nations was thereafter “pounced upon by studious members of Congress, groping their way without the light of precedents.”

Years later, Albert de Lapradelle wrote an introduction to the 1916 ed. of Law of Nations published by the Carnegie Endowment.2 Lapradelle said the fathers of independence “were in accord with the ideas of Vattel”; they found in Vattel “all their maxims of political liberty”; and:

“From 1776 to 1783, the more the United States progressed, the greater became Vattel’s influence.  In 1780 his Law of Nations was a classic, a text book in the universities.”(page xxx) [emphasis added]

In footnote 1 on the same page (xxx), Lapradelle writes:

“… Another copy was presented by Franklin to the Library Company of Philadelphia. Among the records of its Directors is the following minute: “Oct. 10, 1775. Monsieur Dumas having presented the Library with a very late edition of Vattel’s Law of Nature and Nations (in French), the Board direct the secretary to return that gentle-man their thanks.” This copy undoubtedly was used by the members of the Second Continental Congress, which sat in Philadelphia; by the leading men who directed the policy of the United Colonies until the end of the war; and, later, by the men who sat in the Convention of 1787 and drew up the Constitution of the United States, for the library was located in Carpenters’ Hall, where the First Congress deliberated, and within a stone’s throw of the Colonial State House of Pennsylvania, where the Second Congress met, and likewise near where the Constitution was framed …” [emphasis added]

So!  Vattel’s work was “continually in the hands” of Congress in 1775; Members of the Continental Congress “pounced” on Vattel’s work; our Founders used the republican Principles in Vattel’s work to justify our Revolution against a monarchy; by 1780, Vattel’s work was a “classic” taught in our universities; and our Framers used it at the Federal Convention of 1787. 3

Vattel on “natural born citizens”, “inhabitants”, and “naturalized citizens”:

From our beginning, we were subjects of the British Crown. With the War for Independence, we became citizens.1 [READ this footnote!] We needed new concepts to fit our new status as citizens.  Vattel provided these new republican concepts of “citizenship”. The gist of what Vattel says in Law of Nations, Book I, Ch. XIX, at §§ 212-217, is this:

§ 212: Natural-born citizens are those born in the country of parents who are citizens – it is necessary that they be born of a father who is a citizen. If a person is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.

§ 213:  Inhabitants, as distinguished from citizens, are foreigners who are permitted to stay in the country. They are subject to the laws of the country while they reside in it. But they do not participate in all the rights of citizens – they enjoy only the advantages which the law or custom gives them. Their children follow the condition of their fathers – they too are inhabitants.

§ 214: A country may grant to a foreigner the quality of citizen – this is naturalization.  In some countries, the sovereign cannot grant to a foreigner all the rights of citizens, such as that of holding public office – this is a regulation of the fundamental law.  And in England, merely being born in the country naturalizes the children of a foreigner.

§§ 215, 216 & 217: Children born of citizens in a foreign country, at sea, or while overseas in the service of their country, are “citizens”. By the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers; the place of birth produces no change in this particular.

Do you see?  The republican concept of “natural born citizenship” is radically different from the feudal notion of “natural born subjectship.” Under feudalism, merely being born in the domains of the King made one – by birth – a “natural born subject”.  But in Vattel’s Model and Our Constitutional Republic, Citizens are “natural born” only if they are born of Citizens.

How Our Framers applied Vattel’s Concept of “natural born citizen” in Our Constitution:

The Federal Convention was in session from May 14, through September 17, 1787.  John Jay, who had been a member of the Continental Congress [where they “pounced” on Vattel], sent this letter of July 25, 1787, to George Washington, who presided over the Convention:

“…Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government and to declare expressly that the Command in Chief of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born Citizen…”4

According, Art. II, §1, cl. 5 was drafted to read:

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” [boldface added]

In § 214, Vattel states that “fundamental law” may withhold from naturalized citizens some of the rights of citizens, such as holding public office. The Constitution is our “fundamental law”; and, following Vattel, Art. II, §1, cl. 5 withholds from naturalized citizens (except for our Founding Generation which was “grandfathered in”) the right to hold the office of President.5

Remember! None of our early Presidents were “natural born Citizens”, even though they were all born here. They were all born as subjects of the British Crown. They became naturalized citizens with the Declaration of Independence. That is why it was necessary to provide a grandfather clause for them. But after our Founding Generation was gone, their successors were required to be born as citizens of the United States – not merely born here (as were our Founders), but born as citizens.

And do not forget that the children born here of slaves did not become “citizens” by virtue of being born here. Their parents were slaves; hence (succeeding to the condition of their parents) they were born as slaves. Black people born here did not become citizens until 1868 and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

So!  Do you see?  If Our Framers understood that merely being born here were sufficient to confer status as a “natural born citizen”; it would not have been necessary to grandfather in our first generation of Presidents; and all the slaves born here would have been “natural born citizens”. But they were born as non-citizen slaves, because their parents were non-citizen slaves.

David Ramsay’s 1789 Dissertation on Citizenship:

David Ramsay was an historian, Founding Father, and member of the Continental Congress  [REMEMBER: This is where they “pounced” on Vattel], whose Dissertation On The Manner Of Acquiring The Character And Privileges Of A Citizen Of The United States was published in 1789, just after ratification of our Constitution and the Year the new Government began.

It is an interesting dissertation and only 8 pages long. At the bottom of his page 6, Ramsay states:

“The citizenship of no man could be previous to the declaration of independence, and, as a natural right, belongs to none but those who have been born of citizens since the 4th of July, 1776.” [modernized spelling & emphasis are mine]

Do you see?  Ramsay’s Dissertation sets forth the understanding of the Time, formally stated by Vattel and incorporated by our Framers, that a “natural born Citizen” is one who is born of citizens.  And we had no “citizens” until July 4, 1776.

Now, let us look at the First Congress.

How the First Congress followed Vattel and our Framers:

Article I, §8, cl. 4 delegates to Congress the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”.6 Pursuant to that power, the First Congress passed the Naturalization Act of 1790.  Here is the text, which you can find at 1 Stat. at Large, 103:

“SECTION1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof, on application to any common law court of record, in any one of the states wherein he shall have resided for the term of one year at least, and making proof to the satisfaction of such court, that he is a person of good character, and taking the oath or affirmation prescribed by law, to support the constitution of the United States, which oath or affirmation such court shall administer; and the clerk of such court shall record such application, and the proceedings thereon; and thereupon such person shall be considered as a citizen of the United States. And the children of such persons so naturalized, dwelling within the United States, being under the age of twenty-one years at the time of such naturalization, shall also be considered as citizens of the United States.   And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States … APPROVED, March 26, 1790.” 7

So!  This Act of the First Congress implements the Principles set forth in Vattel, embraced by our Framers, and enshrined in Art. II, §1, cl. 5, that:

  • A “natural born Citizen” is one who is born of parents who are citizens.
  • Minor children born here of aliens do not become citizens until their parents are naturalized. Thus, they are not “natural born” citizens.

Our Framers rejected the anti-republican and feudal notion that mere location of birth within a Country naturalizes the children of a foreigner. 8

The distinction written into Our Constitution and implemented by the Naturalization Act of 1790 is between someone who is born a citizen, by being born of parents who are already Citizens, and someone who becomes a citizen after birth by naturalization. Only the former are eligible to be President.

 So!  Original Intent?  Or Whatever the People with the Power want it to Mean?

I have proved the original intent of “natural born Citizen” at Art. II, §1, cl. 5 – it is one who is born of parents who are citizens. We may not lawfully change that definition except by Amendment to the Constitution.  Section 1 of the 14th Amendment does not change the definition because the 14th Amendment defines “citizens” of the United States (which includes naturalized citizens) and not “natural born Citizen”.

Some Democrats no longer pretend that the glib, handsome & black Obama (who, following the condition of his putative father, was born a subject of the British Crown) is “a natural born Citizen”. They now assert that the Democrat Party has the right to nominate whoever they choose to run for president, including someone who is not qualified for the office. [See pages 3 & 4 of the linked Court Order.]

The school-girlish Establishment Republicans who swoon over the glib, handsome & Hispanic Marco Rubio (who is not a “natural born Citizen”, but only a naturalized citizen) will ultimately destroy our sovereignity. Once we accept that our President need not be a “natural born Citizen”, we will have made a major step towards submission to global government. Because then, anybody can be President. PH.

Endnotes:

1 Monarchies have subjects. Republics are formed by citizens.  We broke from a monarchy under which we were subjects; and with our War for Independence, were transformed into citizens!

The common law of England recognizes only subjects of the Crown. England has never had citizens.  Her feudal doctrine of “natural born subjects” is set forth in Book I, Ch. 10, of Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (I modernized the spelling):

“THE first and most obvious division of the people is into aliens and natural-born subjects. Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the … allegiance of the king; and aliens, such as are born out of it.  Allegiance is the tie … which binds the subject to the king …” [emphasis mine]

Under feudalism, people are possessions who belong to the Land in which they were born. So they are “naturally” subject to whoever owns the Land. They were born as subjects to the owner of the land [ultimately, the King] on which they were born.

With our War for Independence, We repudiated the notion of natural born subjects.  As Citizens, We ordained and established Our Constitution wherein We created a federal government which was subject to us!

Jake Walker doesn’t seem to know the difference between being “a subject of a King” and “a citizen of a Republic”, as he equates the feudal concept of “natural born subject” with the Republican concept of “natural born Citizen”.

Chet Arthur and Human Events tell us the “original intent” of “natural born Citizen” at Art. II, §1, cl. 5 is given by an Amendment defining “citizen” [not “natural born citizen”] ratified 80 years later!

And Bret Baier seems unaware that the methods for amending the Constitution are set forth in Article V; and that Congress may not amend the Constitution by making a law which redefines terms set forth in the Constitution!

These four amateurs would do well to study Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny, by Professor Edward J. Erler. Erler addresses the distinctions between “citizenship” and “subjectship”; and the concept of “citizenship” at §1 of the 14th Amendment. He proves that not everyone born here is a “citizen”: Only those whose parents are “subject to the jurisdiction of the US” are citizens. Illegal aliens are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the US” – they are invaders whose allegiance is to the Country they left.  Foreign diplomats stationed here are not “subject to the jurisdiction of the US”. Thus, children born here of these aliens are not citizens!

2 The 1916 ed. of Law of Nations with Lapradelle’s introduction is a Google digitized book. If you download it, you get an easily readable text.

3 Many thanks to my friend, David J. Edwards, who provided me with Evidence of Vattel’s profound influence on our Founders & Framers.

4 The hyperlink contains another link where you can see Jay’s handwritten letter!

5 Note that Art. I, §2, cl. 2, permits naturalized citizens to serve as Representatives; and Art. I, §3, cl. 3, permits them to serve as Senators.

6 “Naturalization” is the process, established by law, by which foreigners become citizens.

7 Note that in §§ 215, 216 & 217, Vattel says that children born of citizens in a foreign country, at sea, or while overseas in the service of their country, are “citizens”. He goes on to say that by the law of nature alone, children follow the condition of their fathers; the place of birth produces no change in this particular.  But he doesn’t expressly say they are “natural born citizens”. The italicized words at the end of the 1790 Act correct that and make it clear that children of citizens of the United States are “natural born citizens” wherever they are born.

8 The 14th Amendment doesn’t change this one whit! READ Prof. Erler’s paper, linked above.

NOTICE! To all who strain to find something I “failed to mention”: I didn’t quote Minor v. Happersett because Minor merely paraphrases, in dicta, a portion of the Naturalization Act of 1790, the text of which is set forth above.

And I didn’t show why John McCain & Mitt Romney ARE natural born Citizens; and why Marco Rubio & Obama are NOT natural born Citizens. J.B. Williams has already done an excellent job in applying the Republican Principles set forth by Vattel, and which were embraced by our Founders, Framers, and the First Congress, in his recent paper, Romney, Rubio, McCain And Natural Born Citizen. PH
More Articles by Publius Huldah

July 19, 2012

Happy IN-Dependence Day

Courtesy of NetRight Daily

Mitt Romney’s Super Awesome Awe-Inspiring Post Health Care Ruling Speech

I will not challenge Mitt Romney’s business acumen. He has a proven track record of success. However, success in business does not necessarily translate into success in the political arena and Romney’s inability to capture the highly charged emotions rampant across the nation last week was absolutely stunning. I don’t think any of us were expecting the fiery colloquy of Ronald Reagan but Reagan’s number one asset when speaking was the conviction of his words. He believed in what he said because he wasn’t trying to play all sides. That may be good for business, not so much for restoring our government to its’ founding principles.

If you missed it last week and can stay awake through it, I’ve attached a link to Mitt Romney’s super awesome awe-inspiring post health care ruling speech and posted the transcript as well. If you want to understand why every Constitutional conservative and libertarian are in a foul mood between now and November 6, it’s worth know what we hear and do not hear when Mitt Romney speaks.

 “Repeal and replace.”   Repeal sounds great until you realize the President, on his own, has no authority to repeal a law he does not agree with, (Current President aside). He needs a majority in the house and a filibuster proof (60 vote) majority in the Senate to repeal the health care act. It will take all of 2013 and probably a good part of 2014 to pick apart this health care bill piece by piece and he knows it. Hence the lack of conviction. Replace? Replace with what? Classic progressive RINO tactic. “We’re going to get rid of that horrible bill – except for the stuff that makes us look good.” There’s very little conviction in taking a stand against a bill while simultaneously defending parts of it.

“You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life…”   Or you can choose to have just a larger government, that’s just more intrusive in your life. Slow it down a little. The current President is moving too fast.

What we did not hear in the speech outside of, “I agree with the dissent”, was an absolute admonition of the Supreme Court’s decision. The failure of the court to decide based on the Constitution. How a President Romney would choose a Supreme Court Justice.

Back in April, when Mitt Romney was feeling threatened by Rick Santorum’s improbable run for the nomination, he actually gave a couple of truly inspiring speeches. They were clear, concise and took a hard line on everything from religious freedom to the effect the current administration is having on small businesses and the economy. And then he became the “presumptive nominee”. It’s almost like an Etch-a-Sketch. You can kinda shake it up and start all over again. Right Mitt?

http://youtu.be/sp6d3JBLiAE

 “As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision and I agree with the dissent.

What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.

Let’s make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do.

What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy.

Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.

Let me tell you why I say that.

Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare – cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.

Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep.

Obamacare is a job-killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of Obamacare. Three-quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people.

And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

For all those reasons, it’s important for us to repeal and replace Obamacare.

What are some of the things that we’ll keep in place and must be in place in a reform, a real reform of our health care system?

One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people – up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.

Number two, got to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance.

We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their effort to assure that every American has access to affordable health care.

And something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.

And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government, more and more intrusive in your life, separating you and your doctor, whether you’re comfortable with more deficits, higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations, whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like, or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care, where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want.

This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear: If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that: that we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had to live their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, where we don’t pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt, where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.

If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare.

That is my mission, that is our work, and I’m asking the people of America to join me. If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want, instead, a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive, and that’s killing jobs across this great country.

Thank you so much.”

The Biblical Foundation of Our Constitution

By Publius Huldah
The English Puritans who came here in the 1630s knew that the Old Testament has a great deal to say about civil government. And they came to build thatshining city on a hill.

They did not come here to escape from the World, to wait for the end of the World, and to surrender it to evil.

And so – we became a shining city on a hill. The fundamental act of our Founding, the Declaration of Independence, recognizes the Creator God as the Source of Rights;1 and acknowledges that the purpose of civil government is simply to “secure” the Rights God gave us. The Constitution we subsequently ratified was based on God’s model of civil government as set forth in the Bible.

That is why our Country was so much better than what the rest of the World has been.  For the most part, we followed God’s model for civil government; other countries didn’t.

The blessing which flows from God’s model is limited civil government which is under The Law. That is why our Liberty Bell quotes Lev. 25:10 – “Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof.”

In this paper, I will show you Six Principles which come from the Bible and how our Framers applied them. In a future paper, I will show you Six Biblical Principles Thomas Jefferson listed in the Declaration of Independence, and how those Principles are also incorporated into our Constitution.

1. The Civil Authorities are under the Law. 

The Bible: God is The Lawmaker – the kings are to apply God’s Law. 2

  • Deut. 17:18-20: The king is to write out a copy of God’s Law. He is to have it by him and read from it all his life so that he may keep, observe, and apply it.
  • 1 Kings 2:1-4:  King David on his deathbed tells Solomon he must conform to God’s ways, and observe his statutes, commandments and judgments, as written in the Law of Moses.

The parallel in our Constitution is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law which the civil authorities are to obey.

Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines “constitution”:

“…In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution.” [boldface added]

Our Constitution is the Standard by which the validity of all Acts of Congress, all acts of the Executive Branch, all judicial opinions, and all Treaties is measured and judged (Art. VI, cl. 2).

Do you see?  Law comes from a higher source than the civil authorities. The “Rule of Law” prevails when the civil authorities obey that higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution.

Tyrants, on the other hand, claim that they are the source of law.  The Roman Caesars, Stalin, Hitler, the dictator of N. Korea and Obama all claim that their  will is “law”. Consider Obama’s usurpatious executive orders and rules made by his executive agencies. This is the “Rule of Man” – when the civil authorities deny they are subject to a higher law (be it God’s Law or the Constitution), and hold that their will is “law”.

2. Civil Government has only limited and defined Powers:

The Bible: When you read through the Old Testament, you see that civil government is limited to:

  • Military matters
  • Enforcement of only a few of God’s Laws – the laws to which a penalty for violation is attached (laws against murder, theft, bearing false witness, negligence, etc.).
  • Judges are available to decide disputes between the people.

Most of God’s Laws are a matter of individual and family self-government (e.g., charity, family welfare, education, don’t drink too much, work hard).

The parallel in our Constitution is that it is one of enumerated powers only:

All other powers (except those listed at Art. I, §10) are retained by the States or the People. Self-government” means that as individuals, we govern ourselves in accordance with the laws of God [or the “Natural Law”].  It doesn’t mean that we elect representatives to manage our lives for us!

Tyrants claim the power to do whatever they want.

3. Civil Government is divided into Three Parts:

The Bible: Isaiah 33:22 says The Lord is our “judge”, “lawgiver”, and “king”!

The parallel in our Constitution is that the federal government is divided into three branches: Judicial, legislative, and executive.

No human can be trusted with all three functions, so our Constitution separates them into three branches, with each branch having checks on the powers of the other branches.

Tyrants seek to exercise all three functions. Obama is making Congress irrelevant: When they refuse to pass a law he wants, he implements it by “executive order” or “agency regulation”.  He’s making the judicial branch irrelevant by ignoring their decisions which go against his will.

 

4. The Civil Authorities promise to obey the Higher Law.

The Bible: The king promises to obey God’s Laws and to apply God’s Laws in the kingdom; and the people pledge themselves to this promise:

  • King Josiah’s covenant at 2 Kings 23:1-3:  King Josiah called all the people together and in their presence, read aloud to them the Book of the Law which had been found in the temple. Then King Josiah entered into a covenant with God that he would obey him and keep his commandments and statutes as written in the Book of the Law.  And all the People pledged themselves to this covenant.
  • Joash’s (via the priest Jehoiada) covenant at 2 Kings 11:17 and 2 Chron 23:16.
  • David’s covenant at 2 Sam 5:1-4 and 1 Chron 11:1-3.

Our Constitutional Oaths of Office:

  • Art. II, Sec. 1, last clause: The President promises to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.
  • Art. VI, last clause: All other federal and State officers and judges promise to “support” the Constitution.

5.  When the Civil Authorities violate the Higher Law, We must Rebuke them!

The Bible: The prophets rebuke the kings when they forsake God’s Law:

  • Samuel rebuked King Saul (1 Samuel 13:10-14)
  • Nathan rebuked King David (2 Samuel 12)
  • A Man of God rebuked King Jeroboam (1 Kings 13)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahab (1 Kings 16:29 – 1 Kings 17:2; 1 Kings 18:16-20; 1 Kings 21:17-29)
  • Elijah rebuked King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:1-18)
  • Elisha rebuked Jehoram, King of Israel (2 Kings 3:1-14)
  • The prophets warned of the pending destruction of Jerusalem because of the sins of King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-16)
  • The book of Micah.

The Black Robed Regiment of Our Revolution: Some 237 years ago, our pastors were leaders in bringing about our Revolution.  They understood that the English king and Parliament were imposing tyranny on us in violation of God’s Law.

In the Declaration of Independence, we rebuked the British Crown when we itemized our grievances and recited how we had petitioned for redress and had warned that if they didn’t stop the usurpations, we would separate from them.

But today, we don’t have enough clergy with the knowledge and the spine to rebuke the federal government. Many don’t know what the Bible says about civil government,3 and they don’t know our Founding Principles and documents. Too many of our clergy just want to escape or withdraw from the World, avoid controversy, and preserve their 501 (c) (3) tax exemption.

The Catholic Priests are speaking out about being forced to provide contraception and abortion pills as violations of their religious freedom. But they should be denouncing the HHS rules as unconstitutional exercises of undelegated powers. 

Their goal should not be to carve out an exemption for themselves from rules they don’t agree with; but to enforce The Constitution for everyone.

“Rebuke” does not consist in saying, “I don’t agree” or “It violates my beliefs.”

A proper rebuke points out the Higher Law being violated, and demands compliance with that Higher Law – not with one’s personal views. 

Because the Priests have focused on their religious beliefs, instead of on biblical/constitutional principles; the discussion in the media has been about the percentage of Catholics who use birth control – the implication being that since most Catholics use it, the Priests are out of touch.

But if the Priests would say:

  • Obamacare is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress – the medical care of the People not being one of the enumerated powers; and
  • The HHS rules are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to the Executive Branch, and as in violation of Art. I, § 1 which provides that only Congress  may make laws; 4

Then, they would make a proper Rebuke.  And the discussion would be where it should be: on the enumerated powers of Congress and the unconstitutionality of rule-making by executive agencies.

So! The purposes of Rebuke are to Warn and Teach:

  • To warn the civil authorities of their violations of the Higher Law, and
  • To educate the civil authorities and The People about the Higher Law.

The Constitution is a theological document! It is the job of our clergy – Catholic, Protestant and Jewish – to know this. And to defend God’s Word as expressed in our Constitution. God requires our clergy to take an active role in protecting the People from a civil government which violates the Higher Law – be it God’s Law or our Constitution which is based on God’s Law.

We The People must also rebuke the federal government when they violate our Constitution. We do it by posting on line, talking to friends, family, and everyone else within our spheres of influence. Stick to Principles – avoid personal opinions. Cite the provision of our Constitution they violated; or as is usually the case, show that what they have done is not an enumerated power. When they have town hall meetings, rebuke them there. Watch this magnificent woman and see how it is done!

6.  The Peoples’ Obligation to obey the Civil Authorities is conditional upon
the Civil Authorities obeying the Higher Law.

The Bible: As shown by the Scripture at Principle 4, civil government is a covenant between God, the king, and the People.  God makes the Laws; the king promises to obey and apply those Laws; and the people pledge themselves to the Covenant.

Out of this relationship between God, the king and the people, arises the peoples’ obligation to protest lawlessness on the part of the king.  If they don’t protest, God punishes the people because of the misdeeds of their kings – the people will suffer if they go along with the unlawful acts:

  • God sent a 3 year famine because Saul put the Gibeonites to death (2 Sam 21).
  • God sent a pestilence which killed 70,000 Israelites because David took the census (1 Chron 21 & 2 Sam 24).
  • God (via Elijah) sent a famine because Ahab & his house forsook the commandments of the Lord (1 Kings 16:29-33, 17:1, 18:1, 18:17-19).
  • God struck a heavy blow at Joram’s people because of Joram’s wickedness (2 Chron 21:1-14).
  • God visited 4 dooms upon Jerusalem & the Southern Kingdom because of the sins of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10-17 & Jer 15:3-4).

The parallel in our Constitution is this: When Congress makes a law which is outside the scope of its enumerated powers, it is no “law” at all, but is void; and we have no obligation to comply.  Alexander Hamilton says this over and over in The Federalist Papers.  Here are a few examples:

“…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 they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify…” (Federalist No. 33, 5th para). [boldface added]

“…acts of … [the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers … will [not] become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such…”http://www.foundingfathers.info/federalistpapers/fed33.htm (Federalist No. 33, 6th para). [boldface added]

“…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act …contrary to the Constitution can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm … that men … may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.” (Federalist No. 78, 10th para). [boldface added]

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

So!  Hamilton applies the Biblical model of what WE are supposed to do when the federal government acts outside of the Constitution. We are to recognize that their acts are “void”, and We are to take whatever prudent measures are necessary to enforce the Constitution.

What can We do?

Hamilton tells you to LEARN the Constitution; demand that federal and State officials obey it; and don’t go along with them when they violate it!

READ our Declaration of Independence and Constitution until you become familiar with them.  Stick to original sources (e.g., The Federalist Papers) and beware of the ignorant know-it-alls with their crazy theories.

REBUKE officials and judges who violate the Constitution! Specify the violation.  Usually, the violation is that what they did is not an enumerated power.

ELECT State & County officials who will nullify unconstitutional acts of Congress, executive orders, & judicial opinions.  Here are Model Nullification Resolutions for State Legislatures.

TALK to your pastor, priest or rabbi – we all share the Old Testament. We must dust off our copies and read them; renounce escapism & defeat; renounce the unbiblical doctrine of socialism (listen to Fr. Andrew!); renounce the unbiblical doctrine of divine right of kings – the false doctrine that God granted autonomy to the civil authorities; declare independence from the federal government and throw off the chains of the 501 (c) (3) tax exemption!  Start being the Salt & Light we are called to be – the Watchmen on the Wall. PH.

For additional articles by Publius Huldah click here

Endnotes:

1 Here are express references to God in our Declaration of Independence:

  • …The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…
  • …endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
  • …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…
  • …with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence

Our Constitution at Art. VII, last clause:

  • …in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…

2 “Lex, Rex” – the Law is above the king!  Not “Rex, Lex”.

3 Romans13 must be read in pari materia with everything the Bible says about civil government! The false doctrine of “divine right of kings” is based on ignoring the numerous Old Testament provisions addressing civil government. Romans13 actually says that the civil authorities are God’s ministers and agents, and if we are “good” we have no cause to fear them; but if we do “evil” we do have cause to fear them.

So! When reading Romans 13, Titus 3:1 & 1 Peter 2:13-14, we must keep in mind that it is God who decides what is “good” and what is “evil”. God never gave civil authorities the power to define “good” and “evil”; and God never gave them autonomy. Bad theology is, and has long been, the cause of much evil.  And Pride keeps it going.

4 Article I, §1 says:

“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.”

Only elected Senators (Art. I, §3, cl. 1) & popularly elected Representatives (Art. I, §2, cl. 1) may exercise legislative powers. Our Constitution doesn’t permit unelected bureaucrats to make laws. Federal judges have disgraced the Bench by permitting rule-making by executive agencies.

 

The 2012 Revolution

Re-post of  article first published August 4, 2011

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the longest Civil War in world history, the war between the American Socialists and the American Conservatives. Make no mistake about it; we are in the midst of a Civil War, although most Americans do not recognize it and most refuse to accept its reality. Although its conduct resembles the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union more than it does the Civil War between the states, the dangers to the future of America are every bit as threatening as either of those.  Read More…

Separating Real Truth From Implied Fantasy

I have been a Christian for over fifty years. During that time, I have attended two Bible Colleges, listened to thousands of sermons, listened to many hours of Christian radio, and watched hundreds of Broadcast on Christian TV. I have talked to thousands of “born-again” Christians and been personally involved with many of them as family members and close friends. The one thing they all had in common was that they justified their religious beliefs based on what they thought the Bible teaches. Often times, however, I noticed that a lot of their beliefs conflicted with many of my own, which I also assumed I had derived from the teachings of Scripture. At times, this became a source of confusion and discouragement for me. I sometimes doubted if I could ever understand the teachings of the Bible.

I did not begin to understand this troubling phenomenon until the deteriorating state of affairs in America forced me into a study of American history, politics, and our Founding Documents. I soon noticed the same thing happening in the world of politics that I had experienced in the world of Christianity; Every politician, lawyer, and court, when debating issues of public policy and law, appeal to the Constitution as the authority for their opinions and decisions. Yet, when I listened to the politician or read a court decision, I often had to wonder, “Whose Constitution are you reading”? It gradually dawned on me that I was observing two entirely different methods of reasoning used to come to the “truth”. Some base their final understanding of doctrine or law on what they believe to be the implied meaning of passages in the Bible or in the Constitution, others, on the clear meaning of the words used as defined by the dictionary and the context in which they are used.

For example, in “Roe vs. Wade”, the Supreme Court found the “implied” doctrine of a “right to privacy” in the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. That decision, based on an implied meaning, not only overturned a Texas state law outlawing abortion, it opened the door to a plethora of other laws and court decisions establishing the “right to an abortion” as “the law of the land”. The laws stemming from this newfound legal wisdom protect a woman’s right to “freedom of choice” all the way up to and including, the criminalizing of certain types of protests against abortion, or attempts to persuade a woman not to go through with a planned abortion, within a specified number of feet from the entrance to an abortion clinic.

The ongoing attacks on Christianity in America is justified by the implied doctrine of “separation of Church and State” found in the religious clause of the First Amendment, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Clearly, this is not a demand for separation, but a declaration of independence on behalf of religion from the authority of the federal government. The First Amendment prohibits Congress from passing any law that would make any form of religion, the official, established religion of the nation. At the same time, it prohibits Congress from making any law that would interfere with the free expression of the religious beliefs of any individual, church, place of worship, state or community. Since the first sentence of Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution gives Congress the sole authority for making all laws for the federal government, the same prohibitions would apply to the Courts and the Executive Branch as well.

It is natural that we form our worldview based heavily on the things taught to us by our parents, teachers, professors, mentors and other respected authority figures in our educational and professional lives. They, of course, formed their views the same way we formed ours, from those who came before them. Consequently, the lawyers, judges, preachers, and theologians of today, following the same course, often approach the Constitution and the Bible looking for implied meanings that will support their own preconceived point of view, rather than accepting the clear meaning of the passages read. As generations go by it behooves us to reexamine what we believe and discard the false doctrines we have adopted from others in the past. Considering the condition of our institutions of government, our economy and our culture, now is probably a good time to begin our quest.

The reformers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries rejected the false doctrines of the then current religious establishment and the ecclesiastical authority of the established state church. Returning to the source document of their religion, the Bible, as their only basis of truth, they brought about the great protestant reformation to the incalculable benefit of later generations. The Founding Fathers went through the same process in forming our government between approximately 1772 and 1787. They rejected the established theories of government and the concept of monarchs and subjects, turning instead to new concepts of liberty and citizen sovereignty. In forming their own views of government, they relied heavily on the Bible and the writings of legal and political philosophers such as John Lock, Baron de Montesquieu, and Sir William Blackstone, all of whom formed their own philosophy largely from the Bible, as had the Reformers.

America today is sorely in need of both a political reformation and a spiritual revival. In fact, without both there is little chance of preserving an America with the prosperity and liberty we have enjoyed in the past. Both reformation and revival means getting back to basics. The only hope for a worthwhile political reformation is a return to the authority of the Constitution as the final rule or law for the operation of our government. Likewise, the spiritual revival of our culture requires a return to Bible principles as our primary source for the moral values John Adams, George Washington and others among our Founders believed to be necessary for the establishment and preservation of real liberty and prosperity in the nation they were forming.