The Do-Something Congress

by Rep Ron Paul

It has not been a good week for the Republic.  It took quite a bit of trampling of the Constitution, but the bailout bill passed, as I suspected it would.

The bailout failed the first time it was brought to the House.  Undaunted, the Senate pressed on by attaching the bailout as an amendment to another House passed bill that was pending in the Senate.  The new bailout version had new taxes, so according to the Constitution it should not have originated in the Senate.

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For The General Welfare Of The Country

by JR Dieckmann, Great American Journal

For far too long, Congress has been violating the Constitution by passing legislation that gives them powers that were never authorized by the Constitution. In every case, those powers represent rights that were intended to be reserved to the states and to the people.

How has Congress committed these grievous violations and gotten away with it? By claiming that “to provide for the common defense and general welfare” is an enumerated power granted to Congress under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It is not. It is a general statement describing the section content and justifying the need to levy taxes.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

If “[to] provide for the general welfare” were intended to be an enumerated power, just that one statement alone would render the rest of the article unnecessary. It would allow Congress to do whatever it wanted, so long as it could be explained as being for the general welfare of the country. The framers’ intent in writing the Constitution was to limit the power of government, not to grant it unlimited power.

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What’s in a Bill Name?

by Rep Ron Paul

Recently Congress passed the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act., also known as the Housing Bill.  Its passage was lauded by many who are legitimately concerned about foreclosures and the housing market in our country’s economy.  I was asked how I could vote against a bill to help American homeowners, but I found this bill to have more to do with helping big banks than helping average Americans.

The answer is that there is more to any bill than its name or the headlines surrounding it.  If one only paid attention to bill titles, one could happily vote for almost any bill put to a vote on the floor.  Titles do not tell the complete story of a bill’s provisions, and many titles are downright deceptive and come close to emotional blackmail of legislators.

But we cannot afford to be fooled by fancy titles. 

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Stop the Bill of Rights Blackout!

Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, is petitioning Congress to STOP abusing the Bill of Rights.  Here’s the text: Petition to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, Congressman Conyers, Chairman Whereas, the basis for the laws of this great Republic is the Constitution, adopted September 17th, 1789; and, Whereas, that Constitution…

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Only Congress Can Declare War

by Michael Boldin

The framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war.

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Another Casualty of War: The Economy

by Rep Ron Paul

This week, as the American economy continued to suffer the effects of big government, the House attempted to pass two multibillion dollar “emergency” spending bills, one for continued spending on the war in Iraq , and one increasing spending on domestic and international welfare programs.  The plan was to pass these two bills and then send them to the president as one package.

Even though the House failed to pass the war spending bill, opponents of the war should not be fooled into believing this vote signals a long term change in policy.  At the end of the day, those favoring continued military occupation of Iraq  will receive every penny they are requesting and more as long as they agree to dramatically increase domestic and international welfare spending as well.

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Federalism: The Great Lost Concept

A “must-read” over at RonPaul2008.com on the principles of state’s rights; the 10th Amendment. Here’s an excerpt:

We are working to overcome a hundred years of indoctrination and increased dependency. The Founders would be appalled that, almost 221 years since our Constitution was written, we are now having to re-explain what a Republic is and how it works.

Federalism is the great lost concept.

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Why we have a Tenth Amendment

Guest Commentary by Dan Reale

You can ask anybody what the first amendment prevents infringement upon. They might know about one thing, freedom of speech, but incorrectly, tell you we are granted freedom of speech. Even then, most miss the other four inalienable rights the Constitution limits the federal government from violating.

Most are equally unaware of the right of the people to keep and bear arms, and even of their status as militia under U.S. code. Most also don’t know that the third amendment prevents forced slumber parties with soldiers, and further assume that one’s right to be secure in his papers, person and effects can be waived by law – without a rebellion or invasion. They also believe that the seizure of life, liberty or property is okay without a warrant, just compensation or due process is legal.

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No Sunlight on the Omnibus

by Rep Ron Paul

One Christmas tradition Congress could do without is the broken process of passing the annual Omnibus Spending Bill, which we recently did right before the holiday recess.

Every December Congress fights and argues over spending and never seems to be able to pass the necessary appropriations until the very last minute.  There is panic and threats of government shut downs and reduction in essential services.  And they always threaten the essential services, as if there is no waste they could possibly eliminate instead. 

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