In a previous article on this blog, reference was made to the Enumeration of Powers in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution which defines the powers given to congress. This section of the Constitution appears below in italics with some commentary by JR Disckmann in his article "With Freedom and Justice for All" following each clause, where quoted:
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;
'This says that Congress is granted the power to tax and spend, but all taxes and spending must apply to everyone equally. It then goes on to define specifically what that power includes.'
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
'That speaks for itself and our government has taken full advantage of it.'
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
'In other words, to act as a regulating agent in interstate commerce and foreign trade.'
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
'Immigration and bankruptcy policies to be uniform throughout the states.'
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To establish the U.S. Mint and a uniform standard of weights and measures.
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
That speaks for itself.
To establish post offices and post roads;
'This paves the way for the Highway Department. and the U.S. Post Office. It provides for roads needed for the movement and delivery of U.S. mail.'
For completeness, here are the remaining powers granted to Congress in this section of the Constitution:
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;
This provides for the U.S. patent office and establishes copyright laws to encourage individual creativity for profit.
To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
This is where Democrats in Congress get their power to hold never ending congressional investigations into the Bush Administration’s activities.
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
The power to prosecute and punish international criminals involved in crimes against the United States outside the national borders.
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
Allows Congress, in addition to declaring war, to authorize private persons or companies to act as agents outside the U.S. borders in defense or retaliations for attacks or crimes against America (like ‘Blackwater’ in Iraq). Also to establish rules for dealing with those captured in such actions.
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
The authorization to create and fund the Department of Defense and explains why the defense appropriations bill must be renewed every two years.
To provide and maintain a navy;
'If we have an army, we’re going to need a navy to get them to the war and defend our interests on the high seas. This authorizes Congress to fund the navy.'
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
Authorizes Congress to establish operating rules for government agencies including the army, navy, and marines (but doesn’t say anything about the Air Force, so it’s a good thing no one has brought this up).
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
Authorizes Congress to call up armed forces to suppress riots and drive back invasions of our sovereign soil from places such as Mexico. We can expect Congress to continue ignoring that one.
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, 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 discipline prescribed by Congress;
Establishes uniform rules, equipment and organization of the state’s National Guards, and authority over them when in the service of the United States.
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, dockyards, and other needful buildings;
This basically establishes Washington D.C. and all other federal reserves under the authority and regulation of the U.S. Congress.
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.
Notice that the above provision states Congress is authorized to make all laws necessary to carry out the forgoing powers (listed there) and to make laws necessary for carrying out the other provisions of this Constitution. This is the limit of congressional powers. The 10th Amendment states that all other powers are reserved to the states and to the people.
It is clear that the Constitution authorizes Congress to fund military operations on foreign soil, but not to make foreign policy. Furthermore, the primary duty of all elected officials is to defend the Constitution and the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, according to their oath of office.
It should be also be clear that Congress and the federal government has absolutely no constitutional authorization to regulate or fund healthcare, low cost housing, private utility bills, farm aid, foreign aid, welfare, social services, education, private enterprise within state lines, civil rights beyond the right to vote (15th Amendment), regulation of firearms, or any of the thousands of other freedoms they have stolen from American citizens in their abuse of power. If the constitutional authority was strictly followed, there would be no unconstitutional spending and there would be enough money to fund the things that the Constitution actually authorizes Congress to fund.
America was a free country until the 20th century when career politicians began making Congress a full time job. In 1903, Congressmen and Senators served a total of 73 days a year in Congress. Today it's more like 225 days a year and probably only about 10% of those ‘working’ days produce anything useful. We now have 535 career politicians with nothing better to do than to spend their time finding ways to spend our money and making unnecessary laws for the rest of us to live by. They keep the wheels of their machine grinding away simply to justify their own existence, ambitions, and power but do little for the country that doesn’t have to be undone later on down the road with more laws and more spending.
The more time these people have on their hands, the more laws they think up and the more of our hard earned money they find ways to spend. It is important to understand that every single law passed by our government represents another freedom taken away from us. And when they are not busy taking away our freedom and liberties, they are taking away our hard earned money to give to someone else of their choosing.
This is not the America our founders intended. In earlier times Americans were really free. Local law was the prime law and people survived by being self reliant and not dependent on any government. That was when America was really America. We have allowed our free America to become a nation of regulations under the elected elite and a nanny state that takes what we earn and gives it to those who don’t work for the sake of their own reelection votes.
Democrats now have a chance to take this philosophy to the next level if Hillary Clinton is elected president and Democrats take over Congress as well. Everything will be regulated and controlled by federal government 'to assure that everyone is equal and life is fair for everyone'. I don’t think that is what Americans really want.
It’s time now for all of them to go back to part-time jobs and return control of America to the people; this will restore freedom and liberty to America.