The Reasons Democrats Write Unconstitutional Laws
By: Jim Byrd
There are two distinct methods the Democrats have used to write unconstitutional laws. The first is through malice. This method has been employed since FDR by the continuous chipping away with the uncontested usurping of the document by a political sect that harbors a stalwart disdain and insolent disposition regarding the Constitution, its limited constraints on the federal government, and by proxy, the Founding Fathers. Currently Barack Obama and his acolytes in Congress have elevated this method to FDR wholesale levels.
The second is through unadulterated and pathological stupidity, which brings us to the esteemed Steny Hoyer (D-MD). When a bill comes before Congress for a vote and is antithetical to the Constitution, Hoyer’s bleat is the first aye to pierce the air. Hoyer, coincidentally, has a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University of Law. Hoyer has a lot in common with Barack Obama in that they both have law degrees, work in legislative and administrative branches of the government, respectively, and any canonical knowledge they possess regarding the Constitution cannot be substantiated beyond myth. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) deserves an honorable mention for not even pretending to know the contents of the Constitution.
When asked by CNSNews.com, “Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?â€ Leahy gave the following series of answers: “We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?” and “Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that.”
The contentious debates surrounding the dismantling of America’s health care system have accentuated Hoyer’s intellectual deficiency. Hoyer, in his own words, has substantiated his abysmal and vacuous comprehension of the Constitution, which for a sitting Congressman, is felonious. During Hoyer’s weekly press conference, he was asked by CNSNews.com where in the Constitution Congress was granted the power to mandate that a person must purchase a health insurance policy. Hoyer responded with an incoherent interpretation of the “welfare clause” of the Constitution that was unsophisticated, fraudulent, and nakedly preposterous. His justification for Congressional power grabbing:
The General Welfare Clause empowers Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance. Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.” In providing for the general welfare, Congress had “broad authority.” The insurance mandate is constitutional because Congress is not forcing Americans to buy one particular policy, just any health insurance policy.
The general welfare clause to which Hoyer is referring can be found at the beginning of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It reads: 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.
Three primary components are required to have a legitimate understanding of the United States Constitution: 1) the Constitution did not grant rights; its purpose was to restrict the federal government’s ability to infringe upon existing unalienable rights, 2) the original meaning of the text, 3) the original intent of the text. Both the original meaning and intent of the “welfare clause” are contradictory to Hoyer’s assessment, and the limit of the federal government’s power to infringe upon individual rights is a non-factor in the process of crafting laws by the Democratic Party.
Elaboration on the three components:
The Constitution did not grant rights. Regardless of how hard one could– as Jefferson said–try “what meaning may be squeezed out of the text,” a granted right cannot be found in the Constitution. The rights, God-given or natural rights, already existed, as noted in the Declaration of Independence: We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Even though certain unalienable rights already existed, and were protected by the Constitution from infringement by the federal government, an accompanying Bill of Rights was necessary to consummate ratification of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not grant the rights contained within the first ten amendments; it merely enumerated those rights, already protected by the Constitution, to assuage the concerns of the states about the ten rights most important to the states. The legislature, conversely, was only granted a limited and enumerated set of powers as manifested in the first sentence of Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution: All legislative Powers herein granted….
The original meaning of the “welfare clause” can be ascertained with perfunctory effort. The word “welfare” has evolved to have a different meaning and connotation since the ratification of the Constitution. Noah Webster’s Dictionary, the contemporary dictionary existing during ratification of the Constitution, defined “welfare” as thus:
WELFARE, n. [well and fare, a good faring; G.]
1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.
2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.
Considering that the federal government was rendered virtually powerless regarding individual rights by the Constitution, the second definition’s application to the states would unarguably have been the guiding spirit and application of the “welfare clause.” This stands in stark contrast with Hoyer’s constitutional right of power statement to force Americans to purchase.
The original intent of the “welfare clause” can be established simply by the purpose of the Constitution: to establish a federal government for the United States created by the states to serve the states, and enumerate a set of limited powers and parameters within which the federal government would be required to operate. The establishment that the term “welfare” implied that its application was limited to the states, and the limited enumerated powers granted to the legislature, produces a very narrow application of the “welfare clause.”
If using a broad interpretation of the “welfare clause,” as Hoyer deems applicable, Congress would possess absolute and unlimited powers. This is antithetical to the animus of the Constitution’s limiting the powers of the federal government, and the two cannot be reconciled. Also substantiating the argument of a narrow interpretation of the “welfare clause” is the fact that contained within Article 1, Section 8, directly following the “welfare clause,” is the enumeration of the limits on the powers of the legislature. As structured in Article 1, Section 8, the “welfare clause” is not a separate enumerated power, but a functional component of the 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, and thus is confined within very narrow parameters as a limiter on the taxing and spending powers of Congress.
If, for argument’s sake, the broad approach to the “welfare clause” was legitimate, as espoused by Alexander Hamilton, the proposed method of reforming health care would still be unconstitutional. See Hamilton’s definition of a broad interpretation of the General Welfare Clause: â€œ…spending is an enumerated power that Congress may exercise independently to benefit the general welfare, such as to assist national needs in agriculture or education, provided that the spending is general in nature and does not favor any specific section of the country….â€ The guideline of the promotion of general welfare is for all persons, and not the general welfare of a narrow and circumscribed section of the population, as in the case of healthcare reform, it would promote the general welfare of only .066 % of the population, while systematically punishing the remaining 93%.
The United States Constitution was uniquely created based on the principle of enumerated powers. When Congress spends money, as dictated by Article 1, Section 8, the expenditure should be tangentially tied to one of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. According to Madison, “The General Welfare Clause is not a specific grant of power, but a statement of purpose qualifying the power to tax.”
Sometimes, after traveling the road of centuries, words, as well as their meanings and their relevance, become corrupted and lost within the vortex of ideological arguments, and contorted from the philosophical tug-of-wars of laying claim to their meanings. Most chasms of interpretation can be resolved by simply having the author, in his own words, explain what he meant. And in this particular case, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, will explain the meaning of the General Welfare Clause. In Madison’s own words:
Each State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution.
If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.
With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
And for good measure, Thomas Jefferson: “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
What is the harm of a little chipping away here and there of the Constitution for the betterment of the American people? George Washington summed it best in his farewell speech: “Let there be no change [in the Constitution] by usurpation. For though this, in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
So in conclusion, to be an American, a true patriot, one must understand and respect the character and intelligence of these great men who fought, sacrificed, and created this country out of a cataclysmic tribulation, and constructed the greatest nomothetic foundation, the United States Constitution, that mankind has employed as a governmental system to date. The audacity of Steny Hoyer, this inconsequential Congressman, barren of the virtues of patriotism, pregnant with the malignancy of statism, to purport that Congress has the power to force the American people to purchase anything in the name of the Constitution. A Congressman, a protector of the Constitution, a representative of the American people, indeed.
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.