Guest Commentary by David Smith
The concept of the Constitution of the United States is not to award unlimited Powers to the Federal Government or to Congress. See also the ideas expressed in Col. Crockett’s speech from my blog, “Not Yours To Give” from a few days ago. The idea is that the States were free and independent States that were ceding Power, but only what Powers were enumerated within the Constitution.
Remember the Declaration of Independence?
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”
First, notice that “united States of America” is not capitalized as we know it today. Interesting to consider. You see, the idea of Virginian Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration, is that Virginia will be Independent of Great Britain and the other Colonies/States, yet united with these former Colonies, now Independent States themselves. And as “Free and Independent States,” they have Powers listed and enumerated and bolded above.
Contrast this idea of Independence of each State with current practice. Federal Judges tell States what to do. Federal bureacrats tell States what to do. Federal elected officials tell States what to do by taking Powers upon themselves in Washington which are not granted to them.
Granted. That is a key word to remember. Always consider the 10th Amendment when considering the Powers of the States, also known as States’ Rights. Possessive Plural. As in many States, each possessing Powers, or Rights, and only granting that which the Constitution awards. All other Powers are “reserved to the States, or to the people.”
From the 10th Amendment: “The Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are hereby reserved to the States, or to the people.”
Now, who determines what Powers fall to the people and which are taken up by the several States? The Federal Government? The Federal Judiciary? According to logic, the Constitution holds that the States get to determine that matter. If a State takes up a matter and issues Laws, it is that State’s realm. If it does not, then it falls, logically, to the people.
That brings up the question that we will discuss today: What Powers are delegated by the Constitution from the States to the United States, also known as the Federal Government? To answer that question we must access the text of the Constitution itself.
From Article 1, which pertains to the Legislative Branch, the first Branch of government, Section 8, which enumerates the Powers of Congress:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform thtroughout the United States;
“To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
“To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
“To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
“To provide for the Punishment of counterfeititng the Securities and current Coin of the United Statets;
“To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
“To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
“To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committted on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
“To raise and support Armies; but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two years;
“To provide and maintain a Navy;
“To make Rules for the Government and Regualtion of the land and naval Forces;
“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militita, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discplie prescribed by Congress;
“To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And
“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
Now, remember, Mr. Bunce gave Col. Crockett a dressing-down, or “streaking,” over $20,000 paid by Congress to Georgetown residents displaced by a major fire. If this “charity,” as Mr. Bunce (pretty accurately!) labeled it, is not allowed by the Constitution, then how much more the billions of dollars being tossed around in campaigns to support such programs as National Socialized Healthcare Insurance and Taxpayer-funded mandatory 401 (k) retirement accounts?
You see, none of these are granted to the United States, aka the Federal Government. Logically, Social Security, or retirement planning, or even more simply stated, investing, is best left to the individual. Period! Would the States do any better than the United States has done?
Let me invest my 12% as I see fit. Let me show any individual how they can invest their 12% and retire a millionaire! Anyone! I used to work at Wal Mart as a cashier manager–$6/hour stuff. But I was investing $1,000/year in Wal Mart stock. Later, in grad school, I saw that their stock appreciated an average of 46% per year after I left employment. Had I stayed doing that same thing, I would have had $100,000 in Wal Mart stock.
Cashier manager at Wal Mart!!
Social Security recipients…can you claim the same???
Average workers…can you honestly tell me that you could not do the same???
This is only one simple example of how private individuals should be in control of their private investing, not the government. Even hourly employees can do better. And salaried professionals??? Please. Let them invest. Tax them normally. And watch tax revenues explode. And watch as the size of government retracts like a quasar into a black hole.
Same with education. We got it, thanks!
Same with insurance. I’ll pay for what I need, thanks! Don’t try to fit me into a general policy that a family of 5 or a retired couple will also fit into.
And income redistribution? I didn’t see that mentioned as a Power of Congress!! Socialism. That’s what that is called. I see the unalienable right to the “pursuit of Happiness,” but I don’t see the Power of Congress where they are “delegated” the ability to take assets or income and redistribute it.
Oh, by the way, as I type this, the Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi letter about Rush Limbaugh’s “fake soldier” comment, at the moment, is at $2,000,200 on eBay. I boasted earlier today that it would top $2.5 million and it appears that is now a low figure. Talk about a Power that Congress has taken upon itself. Remember that part about “Congress shall make no Law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press?” Ha-ha! Wow.
Do you guys see what I am talking about? Congress doesn’t have the Power to wipe it’s own nose if the Constitution doesn’t specifically delegate it!
You know, this whole Rush Limbaugh thing is very funny–Mr. Limbaugh couldn’t buy this kind of publicity!
You can’t script this kind of ongoing entertainment!
And I couldn’t ask for a better illustration of what is wrong with our government in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned! I predicted $2.5 million, but it now looks like that will be surpassed while I sleep!
The Federal Government, does in fact have these Powers. You see, while the Constitution didn’t delegate it in it’s language, you and I, in our passive acquiescence, did. And it is time to take it back.
Congress, it is Not Yours To Give!!
David Smith is gearing up for a run at the US House of Representatives.Â His hot-button issue is States’ Rights. See more of his writings at his blog, http://silvertrombone.townhall.com