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Charity: Not in the Constitution

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Modern liberalism (in both parties) is based on the tactic of government forcibly taking money from Peter to pay Paul, on grounds that Paul needs it more. It's also known as "buying Paul's vote with Peter's money" - a tactic that works as long as Paul outnumbers Peter by enough votes.

    As Elder points out, this makes modern liberalism basically unconstitutional.

    As for the government engaging in "charity".... do its proponents seriously think that an organization whose ONLY actions are coercion and punishment, can possibly be benevolent? Especially, more benevolent than the private groups that Elder describes here?

    There's a reason why the people who wrote and ratified the Constitution, left "charity" strictly out of it.

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    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=108045

    Charity: Not in the Constitution

    by Larry Elder

    Posted: August 27, 2009
    1:00 am Eastern

    Assisting the needy in health care is a "moral imperative" – not a constitutional right. The two are as different as a squirt gun and an Uzi.

    If something is not permitted under our Constitution, the federal government simply cannot do it. Period. The Founding Fathers vigorously debated the role of the federal government and defined it in Article I, Section 8 – spelling out the specific duties and obligations of the federal government. Most notably, this included providing a military for national security, coining money, establishing rules for immigration and citizenship, establishing rules for bankruptcy, setting up a postal system, establishing trademark and copyright rules, and setting up a legal system to resolves disputes, in addition to a handful of other matters.

    Charity is not there.

    Congress began ignoring its lack of authority for charity before the ink dried on the Constitution. When Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist French refugees in 1792, James Madison – a Founding Father and principal author of the Constitution – wrote, "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."

    But what about the Constitution's general welfare clause?

    Madison said: "With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers (enumerated in the Constitution) 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."

    And consider government welfare's effect on people's willingness to give. During the Great Depression – before the social programs that today we accept as givens (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) – charitable giving increased dramatically. After FDR began signing social programs into law, charitable giving continued, but not at the same rate. People felt that they had given at the office and/or that government was "handling it."


    (Full text of the article can be read at the above URL)
     
  2. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    I agree whole heartedly that our Federal Income Tax, based on the Constitution, should not be used for anything but Military Defense, Homeland Security, and Infrastructure. If we want to apply other taxes to deal with social support then it is a separate tax (FICA, etc.). The problem is when the money isn't kept separate and it is used universally for whatever projects the leaders deem important. This takes money away from Defense, Protection, and Infrastructure which provides jobs, grows the economy, and in turn builds a tax base.

    The one opposing point I'll make is that the Constitution was amended after the Civil War to provide some financial and human relief from the Federal government to the States in time of need. The federal government needs to be able to support states in time of hurricane, earthquake, floods, etc.
     
  3. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    You've baffled me with this one. What amendment(s) did that? the 13th, 14th, and 15th came at/after the Civil War, but none of them did that, aside from barring grossly inhumane practices (slavery) and making sure former slaves had the rights everyone else already had. No mention of financial or human relief. Next came the 16th, which did the OPPOSITE of financial and human relief; and the 17th.

    It does???

    As pointed out in the article, private charity provides better support, faster, than the Fed in time of disaster. Fed "help's" main effect, however unintended, is to DECREASE that private help.

    I'd say that what we (the states) absolutely DON'T need is Federal "help" in times of natural disaster.
     
  4. TheFranklinParty

    TheFranklinParty New Member

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    Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Note History
    1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

    The part I put in red is the problem...during the restoration of the south, the Supreme Court used this part of the amendment to suggest that the Federal Government can and must provide assistance in order to insure the personal liberties of those less fortunate.

    I don't disagree that isn't what is written , but that was the way they interpreted it and so until we amend it for clarity the Supreme Court has the last say.

    On the topic of Federal assistance in the time of crisis, please don't confuse a lack of good management and planning with the possibility of the many to coming together in an organized fashion to provide results for the few. Private assistance is great, but it isn't strategic. It leaves too many holes. The real problem is that we have political appointees instead of military personnel running these federal aid organizations. IMHO
     
  5. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    the constitution also does not say the government can pay for health care for military people, so lets get rid it..and just cuz your old and have little income does not mean you should not be held to the will of big business, so since says nothing in the constitution, if your old and poor, please at least find a back ally or die in your own home so we dont need to pay street cleaners more...
     
  6. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    OK, let's all pretend that PFOS didn't already know this:

    The Constitution says the Fed govt will run the military. That obviously includes paying for their food etc... and for their health care since they might develop poor health as a result of serving in the military, like catching cholera or getting shot.

    Wasn't that fun? We get to recite the obvious to someone who already knew it... all because he decided to play stupid "what if this is true?" games.

    At least he tacitly acknowledged that he had nothing relevant to say about the issue: That "charity" by the Fed govt is unconstitutional.
     
  7. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    says nothing about former military does it? nope, so its gone. if it is not clearly stated in it, then you cant do it, thats what your saying...so lets hold to it...
     
  8. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Looks like he wants to keep up his silly farce.

    Back to the subject:
    As the author pointed out, there is no authority in the Constitution for charity. Presidents down the years have affirmed that, until the 20th century where various politicians found they could buy votes with taxpayer money if they could just get it designated as "charity". They've been working hard ever since, trying to pretend government charity was constitutional... but the Constitution hasn't changed.

    Govt "charity" is completely unconstitutional.
     
  9. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Show me where the constitution says the goverment can pay for health care of people after out of the Military.. prove me wrong, or say you dont support health care for vets after they served,...its pretty easy to do right?
     
  10. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Acorn, all this ranting and raving about the income tax, and "charity" being unconstitutional is simply bogus. You need to read the 16th amendment. Makes it quite clear that taxing income is allowed, and that the expenditures of such revenue does not have to be apportioned.

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    This thread raises an interesting question about government spending and the Constitution. Charity is not mentioned, so far as I know. The income tax is specifically mentioned, as Bunz points out.

    Are agricultural subsidies allowed in the Constitution? They aren't mentioned, are they? How about food stamps, is that charity, or is it an agricultural subsidy, or is it both? How about the school lunch program?

    What about the space program? Should it be abandoned since the framers of the Constitution didn't mention it? Do we need an amendment in order to keep up with the times, or should space exploration be left up to private industry?

    Then, there is foreign aid. Where does the Constitution mention that?

    The last three presidents were quite interested in education. Where does the Constitution mention that?

    If we really cut back government expenditures to what is specifically mentioned in that 18th century document we call the Constitution, government spending would drop dramatically. What else do you think would result?
     
  12. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    That raises another often talked about subject. Which is that there is no limits to how big the government as a body can be. As long as Congress makes it law, and the President signs it, its mostly legal. There is also the issue of Executive Power/Privledge.
    Ultimately there is only big important factor. There is no rule that says there is a limit.
     
  13. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    Several posts on how "big" govt can get, whether it can collect income taxes, etc. None of which have anything to do with the subject of the thread: Whether the Fed govt can engage in "charity", and the related subject of whether it can engage in anything it wants, especially things not included in the Constitution.

    There may be no limit to how "big" govt can get, within the bounds of the Constitution. It can raise a gigantic army, and spend the entire GDP on it, without violating the Constitution. Though it may ruin the country by doing so.

    But to the Fd govt running the various programs mentioned by PLC1, the answer is NO - they are left to the states to run if they wish. Unfortunately,l the politicians have spent their time evading the Constitution, instead of leading the people in a effort to modify it. Does the Const contain language authorizing the space program, moonshot etc.? No. Should it? Why not put that question to the people, by Congress passing an amendment and sending it to the states for ratification, instead of sneaking around and hoping nobody will notice you're breaking the Law of the Land?

    But no, liberals (in both parties) have to do it the sneaky way. At least FDR had a reason for sneaking around - he knew the American people were against most of his programs. And their disdain was warranted - FDR's schemes turned the 1930s depression into the Great Depression, making it longer than any in the country's histoy, instead of letting it play itself out as most others had in the past (including several that started far worse).

    We have a lot of catching up to do. IMHO we need an amendment allowing the Fed to have an Environmental Protection Agency... and specified in writing so that it can be limited to only matters that clearly and directly cross state borders. An amendment adding the Air Force and Spacecom to the military. And maybe one for the space program, though civilian groups are now starting to take that over.

    Those aside, we could maybe use one that puuts the word "explicitly" into the 10th amendment, so that liberals can no longer pretend that "implied" powers are permitted; and one that reduces the 2nd amendment to only "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." (It means that already, but anti-gun-rights people have wasted untold amounts of time pretending otherwise, so let's end the debate).
     
  14. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    So, you can't find any language in the Constitution that allows the federal government to have a space program, an EPA, or the New Deal? Are you sure?

    The second part of that question is, "What do you think would happen if they quit doing all of those things?

    I forgot about the interstate highway system and the FAA... are they allowed?

    And, come to think of it, wasn't FDR elected after the great depression was already underway? Wasn't the new deal a response to that?

    Or, are the pages reversed in my history book?
     
  15. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    If it can pay soldiers for their service then health care is just part of the compensation. The Fed can also offer health insurance and pensions or retirement packages to all of its other employees just like many other employees in this country do. But all of those employees must be engaged in performing the work actually authorized.
     
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