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Nullification Deniers! This Is What James Madison Really Said

By: Publius Huldah

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

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

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

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

What are the Two Conditions Precedent for Nullification?

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

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

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

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

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard [the Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.” [emphasis mine]

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

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

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

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

 

Our Founding Principles in a Nutshell

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

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

Let us look briefly at these Principles:

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

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

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

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which … concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” [boldface mine]

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

These enumerated powers concern:

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

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

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

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

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

It is to secure our property rights by:

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

It is to secure our right to liberty by:

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

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

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

Thomas Jefferson said:

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

James Madison commented on the above:

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

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

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

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

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

Do you see?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you see how they pervert Our Constitution?

False Assertion 2:
That Nullification is literally impossible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The federal government imposed by the Progressives is evil:

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

And thus today, the federal government:

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

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

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

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

But think: Who created the federal government?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It appears to your committee to be a plain principle, founded in common sense, illustrated by common practice, and essential to the nature of compacts; that where resort can be had to no tribunal superior to the authority of the parties, the parties themselves must be the rightful judges in the last resort, whether the bargain made, has been pursued or violated. The Constitution of the United States was formed by the sanction of the States, given by each in its sovereign capacity. It adds to the stability and dignity, as well as to the authority of the Constitution, that it rests on this legitimate and solid foundation. The States then being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity, that there can be no tribunal above their authority, to decide in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently that as the parties to it, they must themselves decide in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition.” [emphasis mine]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Madison then says:

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

Do you see? Madison is saying that:

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

Application Today

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

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

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

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

To sum this up:

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

Conclusion

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

Endnotes:

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

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

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

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

Federalist No. 62 (5th para):

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

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

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

“…The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal, above their authority, to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently, that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition….” [boldface mine]

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

“…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects…” (Federalist No. 39, 3rd para from end) (Madison) [boldface mine]

“…the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects…” (Federalist No. 14, 8th para) (Madison) [boldface mine]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gun Control, the Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder & Ex Post Facto Laws

publius-huldahBy Publius Huldah

The latest round of rubbish flooding our in boxes is an ignorant rant claiming that the Dick Act of 1902 (which respects our Right to be armed) can’t be repealed because to do so would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws”.

Who dreams up this stuff? Does anyone check it out before they spread it around?

Of course we have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to self-defense, etc., etc.  Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) recognizes that our Rights come from God and are unalienable.

The 2nd Amendment to our federal Constitution recognizes that this God-given right to keep and bear arms is to be free from any interference WHATSOEVER from the federal government.

Our Framers were all for an armed American People – they understood that arms are our ultimate defense in the event the federal government oversteps its bounds.  See, e.g., what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, writes in the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46!  The reason the Citizens – the Militia – are armed is to defend ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, and States from an overreaching, tyrannical federal government.

Accordingly, the federal government is nowhere in the Constitution granted authority to restrict, in any fashion whatsoever, guns, ammunition, etc. Thus, ALL laws made by Congress, and ALL regulations made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (ATF), are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress and to the Executive Branch by our Constitution. Regulation of arms and ammunition is NOT one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

Furthermore, all pretended regulations made by the ATF are also unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, U.S. Constitution, which vests ALL legislative powers granted by the Constitution in CONGRESS.   Executive agencies have no lawful authority whatsoever to make rules or regulations of general application to The People!

In addition, the President and the Senate may not lawfully by treaty do anything the Constitution does not authorize them to do directly.   Since the Constitution does not authorize the federal government to disarm us, the federal government may not lawfully do it by Treaty.   See, http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/the-treaty-making-power-of-the-united-states/

But the assertion that one Congress may not repeal acts of a previous Congress is idiotic.

And the assertion that Congress can’t repeal the Dick Act because a repeal would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” shows that whoever wrote that doesn’t know what he is talking about. He obviously has no idea what a “bill of attainder” is, and no idea what an “ex post facto law” is.

This accurately explains what a “bill of attainder” is: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Bill-of-Attainder.htm

An “ex post facto” law RETROACTIVELY criminalizes conduct which was not criminal when it was done.

Say you barbequed outside last Sunday. That was lawful when you did it. Next month, Congress makes a pretended law which purports to retroactively criminalize barbequing outdoors. So, now, what you did is a crime (for which you are subject to criminal prosecution); even thou when you did it, it wasn’t a crime. That is an ex post facto law.

Now, say Congress passes a pretended law making possession of firearms a crime and ordering everyone to turn in their guns. Only if you do not turn in your guns will you have committed a “crime”.  That is not an ex post facto law because if you turn in your guns, you won’t be criminally prosecuted. The “crime” is the failure to turn in your guns – not the prior possession of guns.

Such a law would be totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL, because gun control is not one of the enumerated powers of Congress. Thus, the law would be outside the scope of the powers delegated to Congress.

It would also be unconstitutional as in violation of the 2nd Amendment.

But it would not be an ex post facto law.

People shouldn’t sling around terms, the meanings of which, they do not understand. It is immoral.

If TRUTH spread as rapidly as lies, our problems would have been resolved long ago.  But if People can come to love TRUTH more than they love the ignorant rubbish they circulate, perhaps it is not too late to restore our Constitutional Republic. PH

Endnote:

In Federalist Paper No. 84 (4th para), Alexander Hamilton says re ex post facto laws (and of the importance of the writ of habeas corpus):

“…The creation of crimes after the commission of the fact, or, in other words, the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law, and the practice of arbitrary imprisonments, have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny…” PH

The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for America

By Corliss Lamont

In this segment Mr. Lamont presents a hypothetical plan for the establishment of a central planning system for the entire nation. While this was written in 1939 and obviously did not materialize as he planned, the Lamont plan is only one of many that have been produced, over the years, by different socialist organizations like the Socialist Party USA, The Communist Party USA, The Democratic Socialist of America, and others. None of these plans have been realized in their entirety. The ones coming closest are Education and now Health Care. Tentative steps toward banking and manufacturing control were made with TARP and the GM bailout. You will notice, however, that the vast bureaucratic shadow government that manages our economy has many of the same characteristics as those foreseen by Lamont.

If Barack Obama is reelected to another four-year term, there is no doubt he will keep moving the nation in a direction similar to that advocated by Lamont.  The process of transitioning from capitalism to socialism will not be as smooth or as peaceful as that pictured by Lamont but in the end will be just as thorough, unless the trend is reversed by the American people. The hypothetical election date of 1952 chosen by Lamont could very well turn out to be 2012, with the first four-year plan ready to go into operation by 2016 or 2020. The two assumptions mentioned by Lamont, Congress and the Supreme Court do not look nearly as farfetched today as they did a few years ago. Think about that as you read the article.

Socialist Planning for America
To make the picture of Socialist planning more concrete, let us visualize how it would work out in a definite country. And let us take as an example our own U. S. A. Suppose that in the elections of 1952 or sometime thereafter the American people elect a President and a substantial majority in Congress [2008] pledged to establish Socialist planning throughout the country. Let us assume, furthermore, that the Supreme Court declares the legislative measures of the planning Party constitutional [Obamacare] or that they are promptly made so through amendment of the Constitution at [FOAVC] special state conventions. Leaving aside for the moment a discussion of the necessary transitional steps and without pretending to any finality, let us see what the pattern of American Socialist planning would in general be like.

Apart from the political field, the key organization in the American planning system, as in any other, would be the National Planning Commission, with headquarters at Washington, D. C. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, chooses the eighteen members of the Executive Council of this Commission, including its Chairman, who sits as a member of the Government Cabinet. The appointments are non-political and are made from among experts especially qualified by wisdom and experience to deal with broad social and economic problems. The Commissioners are to regard themselves as trustees of the public interest. They will each receive salaries of $15,000 a year, except the Chairman, who will draw $20,000. [in 1939 dollars]

Each of the Commissioners heads one of the eighteen different Divisions into which the Commission is organized. These Divisions, together with some of their more prominent Sections, are as follows:

Heavy Industry,
Steel
Machinery
Housing
Timber, Etc.
Light Industry
Clothing
Footwear
Furniture
Motor Vehicles
Finance
Banking and Currency
Capital Investment
The Budget
Taxation
Transportation
Railroads
Motor Transport
Air Transport
Shipping (Domestic)
Communications
Telephone
Telegraph
Radio [TV, Internet]
Post Office
Distribution
Retail Trade
Storage
Co-operatives
Consumers’ Needs
Social Welfare
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Public Health
Recreation
Education
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Technical Institutes
Colleges and Universities
Culture
The Arts
Motion Pictures
Science and Invention
The Press
Fuel and Power
Coal
Oil
Electricity
Gas [add bio, solar, nuclear, wind, etc.]
Agriculture
Cotton
Wheat
Dairy
Livestock
Conservation & Reclamation
Forests
Soil
Sub-soil Deposits
Flood Control
Foreign Trade
Exports
Imports
Merchant Marine
Foreign Exchange
Defense
Army
Navy
Air Force
Munitions
Labor
Wages and Hours
Workers’ Safety
Employment Exchange
Women Workers
Statistics & Research
Industrial
Agricultural
Population
Social Trends
Organization
Education of Planning Experts
Personnel
Coordination
Inter-Divisional Problems
Public Relations

The functions of all but the last two of the Divisions are clear enough from their names. The Organization Division has charge of managing and selecting the personnel of the Commission, which employs as trained statisticians or technical experts at least a thousand persons, as well as thousands of ordinary clerical workers. Appointment to a responsible position on the Planning Commission or the numerous subordinate commissions throughout the country is on a civil service basis. Only men and women who have fulfilled certain definite requirements are eligible for appointment. And one of the chief tasks of the Organization Division is to ensure the proper training of planning experts in a special Government institution or in already existing colleges and universities, which will establish special courses or graduate work for those who are aiming to enter the profession of planning.

The Co-ordination Division, the head of which is always the Chairman of the entire Commission, has the crucial task of constructing and synthesizing the final National Plan from the figures and projects submitted by the other Divisions and by the various sub-commissions throughout the country. It also oversees the relations between the National Commission and the Government, and through its Public Relations Section takes care of all publicity work for the Commission.

The Plans drawn up by the National Planning Commission and its subordinate commissions, while tremendously important and influential, are by no means final. Bills embodying the National Plans must be passed by Congress and signed by the President. They are subject to debate, criticism, and amendment like all other measures brought before the Senate and the House of Representatives*. Since, moreover, the Commission is not an administrative body, its different Divisions, except those of Statistics & Research and Organization, must be matched in the national Government by corresponding administrative Departments, each of which has a planning board within it as one of its Bureaus. This naturally entails a considerable amount of reorganization in the structure of the Federal Government. The Departments of State and of Justice alone will retain their present set-up. *[Ed. Note: We know by our experience with the bureaucracies and the President’s tzars how this will work]

Each of the forty-eight states in the Union has its own Planning Commission, of which the ten members are appointed by the Governor. Each of the territories and dependencies, such as Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and the Canal Zone, also has its separate Planning Commission; and in addition there is a special Regional Commission with responsibility for them all. There are also nine regional Planning Commissions covering various states as groups according to the following arrangement:

New England Region
The six New England states; Headquarters at Boston
Middle Atlantic Region
New York down through West Virginia; Headquarters at New York City
South Atlantic Region
Maryland to Georgia, including Kentucky and Tennessee; Headquarters at
Atlanta
Gulf Region
Florida west to Louisiana and Arkansas; Headquarters at New Orleans
Great Lakes Region
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan; Headquarters at Chicago
Great Plains Region
Wisconsin in the east to the Dakotas in the west and Missouri and Kansas in the south; Headquarters at Des Moines
Southwest Region
Texas to Arizona Headquarters at Dallas
Rocky Mountain Region
Six mountain states with Montana in the north, Colorado in the south and Nevada in the West; Headquarters at Denver
Pacific Region
California, Oregon and Washington; Headquarters at San Francisco

Within the states each county and each city has its own Planning Commission. And in the more sparsely settled agricultural districts every unit of population amounting to 10,000 or more has a commission.

There are also Planning Commissions for each industry as a whole and for each sub-division of each industry. For instance, the entire steel industry as a unit has its Planning Commission; the various regional steel trusts, of course publicly owned and operated, likewise have their separate commissions; as does each substantial producing unit within each trust. Finally there exist planning committees in each factory and even in each shop of each factory.

Thus, all of the workers [unions] in a steel factory combine to put through a plan for that unit; all the factories in a certain district combine to put through a central plan for the steel trust of which they are part; all the trusts combine to put through a plan for the steel industry as a whole; and then the steel industry itself, the coordinating centers of which are a Division of the Planning Commission and a Department of the Government, combines with every other industry and economic activity to put through a balanced Plan for the entire country. The geographical planning bodies operate on the same principle, that is, from the smaller up through the larger. The cities’ plans fit into that of the county, the counties’ into that of the state, the states’ into that of the region, and the regions’ into that of the entire country.

Planning under Socialism is, then, a complex process embodying three different but intimately related aspects. All of the plans are, in the first place, plans over a definite period of time. Taking the presidential term in America as an appropriate time-span, our Commission adopts for the nation a First Four-Year Plan, a Second Four-Year Plan, a Third Four-Year Plan and so on. Inside these Four-Year Plans there are one-year, quarterly and even one-month plans.

In the second place, there is the geographic aspect of the plans. Besides the country as a whole, each region, state, county and city has its own four-year and one-year plan. In the third place, there is the functional aspect of the plans as applied to each industry and its sub-divisions. These three fundamental aspects of planning the temporal, the geographic and the functional are thoroughly integrated by the National Planning Commission in each big Four-Year Plan.

It is this Commission that welds together in one vast, integrated, long-range Plan all the minor plans and reports of all the various regions, states, counties, cities, industries, factories, distribution units, and cultural organizations throughout the entire United States. It is this Commission which takes the thousand and one estimates pouring in from all parts of the country and correlates them into the considered and rational whole which constitutes a National Plan.

It is this Commission at Washington which from week to week, from month to month, from year to year, casts its all-seeing eye over the economic activities of the nation and shifts the schedules within the Plan to keep pace with new and unforeseen developments. America’s First Four-Year Plan will need careful and extensive preparation before it can be put into effect. If our planning Party is victorious in the national elections of November, 1952, it will have two months of leeway before the new President and Congress come into office in the first week of January, 1953. Accordingly, it can be expected to have ready for action by Congress bills empowering the Government to take over at once a few key enterprises such as the railroads, communications, fuel and power, and most important of all the banks. Provision will be made for appropriate compensation of the owners over what must necessarily be a long period of years. The planning Party will also submit bills establishing the general structure of the planning system and giving very general estimates of what is to be accomplished during the First Four-Year Plan. I expect that the complete functional activation of existing capacity will be the main productive goal of this period.

Eight months later, September 1, 1953, the National Planning Commission will be ready with a preliminary draft, giving detailed figures and measures for the First Four-Year Plan. During the next three months this draft will be published abroad throughout the land and given the widest kind of publicity in newspapers, magazines, radio programs, public meetings, educational institutions, scientific institutes and other organs of public opinion. At the same time the Planning Commission will send out to all subordinate planning organizations the provisional quotas to be fulfilled in the geographical or
functional sectors for which they are responsible. Thus, the preliminary Plan will be discussed and criticized from one end of the country to another both by the public in general and by the specific planning, economic, and cultural agencies concerned in translating it into actuality. “How can we improve the Plan?” will become a nation-wide slogan.

By December 1, the various planning units, after careful consideration and in light of whatever suggestions have been made, will return revised drafts to the Planning Commission. During the next six weeks the Commission will proceed, after receiving all available information and criticism from its sub-commissions and other sources, to draw up a final Plan for presentation to Congress in the middle of January, 1954. Congress will then thoroughly discuss the Plan according to its regular procedures and will undoubtedly amend it to some degree. We can probably count on having the President’s signature on the final congressional planning bill by May 1, 1954, so that it can become definitely operative at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

This means that the First Four-Year Plan (ending June 30, 1957) will be in operation as a completed and functional whole for only three years out of the full period. There is no way of avoiding this, however, for the first National Plan ; but the second will overcome any time-lag and will go into effect July I, 1957. All of the Plans will begin and end with the regular fiscal year. The Planning Commission will release its preliminary draft of the Second Four-Year Plan (1957-1961) on July 1, 1956, to run the gamut of public opinion. Its final version it will have ready promptly on January 1, 1957, for submission to Congress. The Commission will not wait for the formal completion of one Four-Year Plan before starting to draw up estimates for the next; and this preparatory work will ordinarily begin a full year before each Plan is due for presentation to Congress.

The standard-of-living goal for each family of four at the end of the First Four-Year Plan will be an annual minimum of $5,000 [1939$] in consumers’ values, including those made available by the extension of free government services. This goal will be achievable through the full utilization of our present labor supply, taking in the able-bodied unemployed but totally ruling out child labor, on the basis of a seven-hour day, a five-day week and a yearly holiday of three weeks. The minimum mentioned would be even higher if the new regime were able to eliminate America’s soaring defense and armament expenditures.

In any case, my $5,000 estimate by no means adequately represents the advantages which the American people will enjoy under Socialist planning. For it is impossible to evaluate in financial terms even the physical gains which will, for instance, accrue to the urban masses when they all live in houses or apartments which have plenty of room, good light and fresh air. And it is also out of the question to put a definite money value on the immense psychological boons which Socialism will bring, especially through insuring everyone a job and eliminating the chief economic worries of the present.

One of the most important problems that our planning experts will have to face is that of procuring trustworthy data on the capacities and needs of the various areas and of the country as a whole. It is not possible even to start planning without some such data; yet it is not possible to obtain complete and reliable data until planning is well under way. For only an organization like the National Planning Commission, with its hundreds of subordinate agencies in different localities and economic enterprises throughout America, is equipped to gather in and organize all the necessary statistics. The Commission’s own Division of Statistics & Research plays a central role here. Thus as planning makes headway, we shall see a steady improvement and enlargement of the statistical base, making the intricate network of economic forces more and more measurable and bringing about what has aptly been called by economists complete economic visibility.

In regard to this important matter of statistics, Socialist planning in America will not, as in Soviet Russia, have to start almost from scratch. For there already exist here a number of agencies, both public and private, which are constantly building up the kind of statistical knowledge that planning demands as a foundation. In the public field the most useful of these is the National Resources Planning Board, formerly called the National Resources Committee, which has published a number of volumes particularly pertinent to the subject of planning. Then we have the reports of the numerous local planning organizations, there being in the U. S. A. at present [1939] no less than 42 state planning boards, 400 county and over 1,100 municipal all with very limited powers, of course.

In addition, each of the main Departments of the Federal Government carries on vital fact-finding activities, outstanding in this respect being the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Standards, both under the Department of Commerce; the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the U. S. Public Health Service, both under the Treasury Department; the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Department of Labor; the Bureau of Home Economics, under the Department of Agriculture; and the Geological Survey, under the Department of the Interior. There has also been established recently at Washington a Central Statistical Board to render information and advice in the working out of inter-departmental problems. Under private auspices we find the substantial studies issued by the Brookings Institution and the Russell Sage Foundation, the reports of well-known research bodies such as the National Bureau of Economic Research and the National Industrial Conference Board, and the regular publications of organizations for the protection of the consumer such as the Consumers Union.

A huge aggregate of carefully organized and up-to-date statistics is as essential for the carrying out of a Four-Year Plan as for its preparation. For the National Planning Commission must keep informed on the progress or lack of progress that is being made throughout the country. For this reason the vast network of sub-commissions send into it frequent reports, at least once every two weeks. And the Commission has the duty, which is also an opportunity, of constantly revising the Four-Year Plans in the light of the specific situation at the beginning of each year, each quarter and each month. Whatever changes the Commission recommends to the Government Departments empowered to put them into effect, must of course fit in with the general perspectives laid down by the original Four-Year Plan, but need not conform exactly to the original figures.

These periodic readjustments are essential because in large-scale and long-range planning there are sure to occur both under-fulfillments and over-fulfillments. Then, too, it is perfectly obvious that a Planning Commission, even if composed of the wisest men in the world, is bound to make some miscalculations. Moreover, there exist certain factors which the most flawless technique of planning can hardly anticipate: weather conditions, for example, affecting the fortunes of crops throughout the country; new inventions and new discoveries of mineral wealth, affecting the progress of industry and agriculture; the movement of world prices, affecting payments for needed imports; and the whole international situation, affecting the day-to-day psychology of the people and the proportion of the industrial plant which has to be geared to defense. All of these reasons combine to make intelligent flexibility a natural and fundamental principle of social-economic planning in the dynamic and ever-changing society of today; the notion that Socialist planning implies some sort of strait-jacket thrown over the life of the people is very wide of the mark.

It is most important to note that the planning procedures which I have in mind make ample allowance for local initiative. The idea behind Socialism is not to set up a group of dictatorial supermen who sit in Washington and hand down orders to the rest of the country, but to provide for continuous and democratic interaction between the local planning units and the ones higher up, between the organizations on the circumference and those at the center. Within the framework of the National Plan it is possible and indeed highly desirable to give a good deal of leeway to the lower planning and administrative agencies in working out the details for their own particular sectors and in making final decisions on matters of primarily local significance. The National Planning Commission or the Federal Government steps in only if decisions seem to violate or disturb in some way the objectives and schedules of the National Plan.

Naturally enough, our Socialist planners are going to take full advantage of that bigness and concentration which is so marked a characteristic of American industry; and of the collectivism which objectively exists today in the form of mass concentration of workers in the factories, of extensive trade-union organization, and of the far-flung collective controls of corporate enterprise. A Socialist regime would find many problems solved in advance if it proceeded, for example, to take over the steel industry. For steel in the U.S.A., with a handful of monopolies ruling the roost, is already unified to such an extent that the step to total unification required by Socialist planning would be comparatively easy. And the same point holds true for a number of other basic industries. Indeed, if the present managements of these industries could be trusted to administer them faithfully on behalf of a Socialist commonwealth (and this is a very big if), they could be left substantially in charge.

Undoubtedly, in some cases concentration has already gone too far for the highest efficiency. There is such a thing as administrative breakdown from sheer bulk. But the unification intended by Socialism does not rule out decentralization in production. The over-concentration of industries in urban areas, resulting in crowded living conditions, bad air and lack of decent recreational facilities, is one of the first things which Socialist planning aims to rectify. The principle to be followed throughout is that of the greatest possible degree of decentralization and autonomy consistent with nation-wide co-ordination.

The final guarantee that local initiative will flourish under Socialism is that in the last analysis the drawing up and execution of any social-economic plan depends on individuals. The extent to which the beautiful blueprint of a Four-Year Plan is written into concrete material and cultural achievement rests upon the initiative and intelligence and energy of the workers and farmers, the technicians and professional people, throughout the length and breadth of America. Without their unceasing co-operation and support every Plan must fail. Hence the Public Relations Section of the National Commission has the vital task of educating every category of the population on the fundamentals of planning and of arousing their enthusiasm concerning the objectives and possibilities of the Four-Year Plans.

It must bring to every individual an understanding of his part in the total planning set-up and the connection between his own function and that of others. And this in itself constitutes one of the outstanding benefits of Socialist planning, since everyone in the community becomes able to see how and why his job fits into the larger scheme of things and to feel a significance and dignity in his work that was seldom present before. In this way central planning for the whole nation brings central planning into the activity of each person, pulling together the conflicting strands of his nature and making of them a
potent unity.

Socialist planning, carried out in America in the American way, will present to the citizens of this country the greatest challenge they have ever had. Limited as war planning was in the U. S. and destructive as was its objective, it did show that the theory and practice of nation-wide planning is not something entirely alien to the American genius. It is my firm opinion that under Socialism all the idealism and practical engineering technique for which America is so noted, freed at last from the shackles of the profit system, will have unprecedented opportunity for fulfillment in projects of almost unlimited scope and grandeur. There will be no lack of tasks to appeal to the imagination and ambition of new generations. And the American people in their boundless energy will sweep forward to conquer new heights of economic and cultural achievement.

Also See
Introduction to the Progressive Mind
The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Social Planning for Abundance

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.

2012 Election Is Only the First Step

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To answer that question we have to look to the hierarchy of sovereignty laid out in our Founding documents. In the Preamble to the Constitution which defines the purpose of our federal government, we read, “We the People…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”  The Tenth Amendment in the Bill of Rights says, “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

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

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

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

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.”