Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Pork spending and the US Constitution

I’ve been reading about several groups that are concerned over “pork spending” by Congress. In order to get to what is truly pork versus that which these groups suppose is pork, the limits on Congressional power to spend money must be understood.

One need look at Article I, Section 8 for the spending authorization of Congress. Also one needs to fully grasp the extent of the delegation of powers from the State to the federal government. Article I, section 8, paragraph 1 states:

“The Congress shall have the 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 throughout the United States;”

Let’s take the center clause and examine it. That clause is: “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;” Within this clause are three enumerated objects of the power to spend. These are not grants of power in and of themselves. These are restrictions on the power of Congress to spend whilly-nilly. Thus any and all expenditures made by Congress must fall into one of three categories, 1) debts, 2) common Defence, or 3) general Welfare. Now at this, one might exclaim well that proves it, Congress can spend on the general Welfare and on debts and on common Defence so Congress can virtually spend on whatever they choose. One would be wrong because these three limiting enumerations of expenditures are themselves limited by the prepositional phrase at the end of the clause that states “of the United States;”

Throughout the Constitution, the Framers separated several bodies-politic. These are primarily the States, the People, and the United States. In places where the federal powers were to overshadow those of the States, the Constitution explicitly said so. One must note the conspicuous absence of any enumeration of power to spend on the “debts, common Defence, and general Welfare of the States” nor is there any delegation of authority to spend on the “debts, common Defence, and general Welfare of the People.” The federal government was created by the People through their agents, the States, and provided explicit delegations of authority to the federal government. The federal government, and the public servants, We the People send there are to concern themselves solely with the “debts, common Defence, and general Welfare of the United States;” Local issues and personal issues are not within the purview of the federal government. Thus any expenditure no matter how minor is a violation of the trust placed in the public servants. Congresspersons are sent to Washington to bring the will of the People sending them to bear upon the direction of the country as a whole. Expenditures are restricted solely to those that are beneficial to the Union as a whole. No “bringing home the bacon” is authorized. Yet most if not all Congresspersons have no idea nor do the People. Why? Greed! We all want our share, ignoring those from whom our share is taken. Yes, the government must take monies from one to give to the other, even when it is spend Constitutionally but even more so when monies are spend in an unconstitutional manner.

What are some other unconstitutional expenditures? How about disaster aid! Farm aid! Welfare! Medicaid ! Medicare! Local projects to develop locally needed development. Many of these fit into the category of actions prohibited by the Fifth Amendment, i.e. the taking of private property for private use (regardless of the bullshit spouted out the mouths of the SC justices) but that will wait for another day of discussion.

For instance, let’s look are federal funds to build local schools. How can dollars spent in one State, in one district have a direct connection to the “general Welfare.” Some would claim that the Welfare of each of us is inextricably linked to the welfare of all others. Others would simply say that the federal government could spend similarly in many other States. The question would then arise, “How many non-Union wide expenditures does it take to produce “general Welfare”? One? a hundred? a million? The answer of course will depend on each person’s perspective and will not be agreed upon by the whole. Thus the system of our federal government is such that it and the public servants that perform the necessary duties of managing the government must hold tight to the bound placed on the government by the US Constitution. The limits are explicitly stated and those limits restrict expenditures to the needs of the Union as a whole. No piece is to receive support unless so authorized in the US Constitution. Local and State support are the purview of the local and State authorities, to be managed by those closer to home.

Thus all expenditures that are not Union-wide are pork.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the federal government was authorized to spend for your debts or your general welfare but of course that would bankrupt the government so that can’t be within the authorization of the Constitution? However, we can split hairs and pick and choose for whom we pay debts and provide welfare. If it ain’t all of us, it must be none of us. To be otherwise is to be merely a system of wealth redistribution and what follows is the destruction of personal ambition, hard work, and personal gain.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Troops on our border??

This item seems to be everywhere right now and governors all along the border are jumping on the bandwagon but it's the wrong bandwagon. The federal government is constitutionally required to protect the states from invasion BUT the federal government has absolutley no authority in the area of immigration and VERY, VERY limited authority in the area of naturalization. Immigration is a state issue and must be dealt with by each state. States having borders with foreign nations need to develop and implement their own border control plan.

The feds already have the unconstitutional border patrol/INS department. No authority over immigration means no authority over immigrants, no INS. Yes, there are customs issues that the fed is to regulate but beyond those, the rest is up to the states to deal with.

Now, the call is for full military to patrol the border. That will lead to even greater limitations on freedom. The real people who are supposed to guard our borders are the militia of each state. But Oh my God, the would mean that the people of each state would have to actually get off their asses and get ready to keep and bear Arms in the service of their state. The national guard is not the militia, the NG is a quasi-constitutional perpetual army, something the Framers warned about. Troops kept up in time of peace generally end up oppressing their own people. The militia are the people, you, me, all of us and we are supposed to be trained to Arms, able to do what is needed. The Minuteman Project was in reality the proper constitutional approach to the issue of immigration, legal or illegal. It is the people taking care of things themselves.

The government cannot do it for us. Government only does it to us. Beware of what you wish, for you my get it.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Why I don't post daily

Originally I was more involved in my teachings. I had hoped that with some effort I could reach people and get them on the road to increased knowledge and with that increased freedom through proper involvement in the government process. What I found was that the majority, and even the majority of those desiring smaller government, really don't want to put out the required effort needed to grow and become a proper citizen. People are innately lazy and I underestimated the extent of that laziness. And so I too become lazy in my writing, in my expositions.

I believe the government established under the US Constitution to be one of the best if not the best ever concocted by man. But we do not have that government. The adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely were never more true that within our government. For instance, I doubt that more than a handful of people out there know that the federal government has no authority to spend monies on local issues, i.e. bringing home the pork to one's district is a violation of the limitations placed upon Congress by the Constitution. That is merely the tip of the iceberg. Those who serve us know even less than the people they serve and are quite often more corrupt than average, and that is saying a lot.

I am by heart a pessimist. I wish I could have a different outlook but my more than 50 years on Earth hasn't altered that. I worked throughout the 90s writing my book. I hoped that by sharing it online more people would read it and learn. I believe in my heart that I was guided by a higher power. What that power is/was I do not know but something/someone was there pushing me forward. I have attempted to write in a format that is ammenable to easy study. Yes, what I say is my interpretation of the US Constitution, however I attempt to stay within the bounds of the simple meanings of the words used. I follow standard reading and standard logic in making my determinations. I also read the Constitution as a single document with all parts closely intertwined. A common error is made when clauses are extracted and used out of the context of the entire document. Words convey a specific meaning when written as they are in a document like the Constitution. I know that anyone who studies the Constitution with an open mind will likely arrive at the same conclusions as I.

I pray that my pessimism is unwarranted and that those who read these words will follow my links to my book and study. May each reader be guided in the search for truth.