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Thread: Do You Know How and When the "General Welfare Clause" got hijacked?

  1. #1

    Do You Know How and When the "General Welfare Clause" got hijacked?

    James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," explained in excrutiating detail that the "general welfare clause" did not grant the federal government authority outside the 17 enumerated powers. Numerous of his writings, including Federalist 41, prove it.

    For the first 150 years of our history, the Congress of the United States conducted its business within the boundaries of seventeen enumerated powers granted under Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution, and the general welfare clause was understood to be "a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section." It wasn't until the case of United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936) 2that the Supreme Court decided that a restrictive interpretation placed such substantive limits on the federal government that a broader interpretation was needed to support the massive expansion of the state that Roosevelt's New Deal required.
    Here's the ammo to use when people claim the "general welfare clause" gives the federal government the authority to do whatever it damn well pleases. It's well-documented that the states that voted for the adoption of the Constitution did not accept that interpretation, but believed they were instituting a government of very limited powers.

    Hijacking The General Welfare Clause

    http://tirelessagorist.blogspot.com/...re-clause.html
    Last edited by FreeTraveler; 03-01-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  3. #2
    Interesting. United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)

    1936 is just three short years after the gold was confiscated by the elite powers. They did not explain those concepts very well in government schools.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Travlyr View Post
    Interesting. United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)

    1936 is just three short years after the gold was confiscated by the elite powers. They did not explain those concepts very well in government schools.
    Yeah. We've been paying for the "wonderful world" of FDR for the last 80 years. Hijacking the general welfare wasn't the only crime of that regime.
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    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today.

  5. #4
    See Implied Powers under constitutional construction. In short, Hamilton's implied powers won and Madison's strict construction lost. That's history. Ron Paul is stunningly wrong about the General Welfare Clause. Here's the great SCT Justice Cardozo summing it up:

    "There have been statesman in our history who have stood for other views. . .We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton . . .has prevailed over that of Madison. . ."



    Here's a good summary:

    A Dispute Among the Founders-

    The constitutional issue about the taxing power had deep roots running all the way back to the founders and to a dispute between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Although both Hamilton and Madison were Federalists who believed in a strong federal government, they disagreed over the interpretation of the Constitution's permission for the government to levy taxes and spend money to "provide for the general welfare." Hamilton thought this meant that government could levy new taxes and undertake new spending if doing so improved the general welfare in a broad sense. Madison thought the federal government could only expend money for purposes specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

    The Madisonian view, also shared by Thomas Jefferson, came in time to be known as the strict construction doctrine while the Hamiltonian view is called the doctrine of implied powers.

    The balance between these two philosophies went one way and then the other over the years, with Hamilton's view tending to prevail over the long run, but it was always possible that in uncharted waters the courts might retreat to a Madisonian conservatism, and the Supreme Court of the early New Deal era was highly conservative in outlook.
    ______________________________

    So the GWC was never hijacked...it's always been the clear winner in our country's jurisprudence. Ron Paul is just flat out wrong about this.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Travlyr View Post
    Interesting. United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)

    1936 is just three short years after the gold was confiscated by the elite powers. They did not explain those concepts very well in government schools.
    The gold rush was occurring in Soviet Russia at the same time as it was here....the 1933 gold grab, I mean.

  7. #6
    General welfare expresses the intention that the union forged by the constitution should not be perverted to favor one state or group of states disproportionately to any other/s. The 14th Amendment was used as a wedge to insert the federal government into the daily lives of the citizens of the united [<more like hostage, post 1865] states, with the general welfare clause as the hammer.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTraveler View Post
    Yeah. We've been paying for the "wonderful world" of FDR for the last 80 years. Hijacking the general welfare wasn't the only crime of that regime.
    No. It wasn't. The type of centralized, militarized welfare state that FDR formed was as fascist as Mussolini's Italy. And that shot of liberal fascism hijacked American politics so much that both major parties today are essentially the same, just arguing about whose morals everyone else should be compelled to follow.
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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Voluntary Man View Post
    The gold rush was occurring in Soviet Russia at the same time as it was here....the 1933 gold grab, I mean.
    There are actually a lot of comparison to be made between Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and FDR's New Deal America. All of them were socialist with the last three being national socialist movements, while the Soviet one was about international socialism. As such much of their economics and politics are remarkably similar.
    “Maybe I forgot to mention something to you: I don’t believe in queens. You think freedom is something you can give and take on a whim. But to your people, freedom is as essential as air. And without it, there is no life. There is only darkness.” -Zaheer

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    "There are three things the parasite hates: free markets, free will, and free men."-Andrew Ryan



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  11. #9
    I heard someone from the Cato Institute sum it up very well on a C-SPAN appearance when he said that it's a restrictive clause on the enumerated powers, that the enumerated powers would be meaningless if it wasn't a restrictive clause, and that the Constitution wouldn't have been ratified otherwise.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by FauxCapitalist View Post
    I heard someone from the Cato Institute sum it up very well on a C-SPAN appearance when he said that it's a restrictive clause on the enumerated powers, that the enumerated powers would be meaningless if it wasn't a restrictive clause, and that the Constitution wouldn't have been ratified otherwise.
    Yeah, not to mention that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments are meaningless as well as the enumerated powers under the current interpretation.
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    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today.

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ”Darrin”
    See Implied Powers under constitutional construction. In short, Hamilton's implied powers won and Madison's strict construction lost. That's history. Ron Paul is stunningly wrong about the General Welfare Clause. Here's the great SCT Justice Cardozo summing it up [http://supreme.justia.com/cases/fede...ase.html#640]:
    When you speak of implied powers, you are not merely making reference to individual enumerations that were not specifically addressed within our U.S. Constitution, though are nonetheless relational as by answering true to the question of being ‘necessary and proper’. Otherwise, you are sophomorically rallying for one politic-agenda or another. The Federalist Papers clearly levies restriction upon what is to be relative under America’s concerns for establishing and maintaining its own ‘general welfare’.

    Although, Rep. Ron Paul may not be entirely correct on one issue or another (as certainly no one individual holds all of the cards), to say that Ron Paul is “just flat out wrong” about the ‘general welfare clause’ goes beyond being disrespectful. The mere fact that America’s gross-national debt is now mounting over 60-trillion Dollars, is itself a testament to just how badly the ‘general welfare clause’ has in fact been “hijacked’.

    The United States of America is a republic of limited and necessary government that itself has no business entwining with the private everyday affairs of its citizens.

    Such as was stated within Federalist 83 by Alexander Hamilton himself: “... The plan of the convention declares that the power of Congress, or, in other words, of the NATIONAL LEGISLATURE, shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended.”

    Thus, the most that could be stated is that Hamilton surrendered himself to a life of genuine hypocrisy, is it then no wonder that he was challenged by Burr to a duel, which he lost consequently.


    And as further clarified in United States v. Butler - 297 U.S. 1, 62 (1936):

    “There should be no misunderstanding as to the function of this court in such a case. It is sometimes said that the court assumes a power to overrule or control the action of the people's representatives. This is a misconception. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land ordained and established by the people. All legislation must conform to the principles it lays down. When an act of Congress is appropriately challenged in the courts as not conforming to the constitutional mandate, the judicial branch of the Government has only one duty -- to lay the article of the Constitution which is invoked beside the statute which is challenged and to decide whether the latter squares with the former. All the court does, or can do, is to announce its considered judgment upon the question.”
    Last edited by Weston White; 03-26-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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  14. #12
    Aye, BOTH the "general welfare" and "interstate commerce" clauses, if their modern fashionable interpretations were correct, would obviate the entire document. There would be no reason whatsoever to have a Constitution at all under such an all-inclusive view of federal authority - we may as well just have a king.
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  15. #13
    The abuse of the "general welfare clause" is the most insulting thing to my intelligence I know of regarding the abuse of the constitution... who could be so mentally retarded as to interpret the thing that way?

    1. The preamble is a statement of intent, not a delegation of powers.
    2. (see above)
    3. Duh.
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  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Travlyr View Post
    Interesting. United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)

    1936 is just three short years after the gold was confiscated by the elite powers. They did not explain those concepts very well in government schools.
    My schools informed us about the prefect New Deal plan King FRD had.



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