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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
If We Only Had a Constitution
We are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.
Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.
Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children. Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.
We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.
Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.
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