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Welcome to iHeartReason!

iHeartReason is a political philosophy and news publication by DeLullo Software, LLC. It advocates freedom by examining works ranging from John Locke in the 17th century to President Obama’s "you didn’t build that" doctrine.

iHeartReason is free and does not contain advertisements. Its goal is to preserve freedom for future generations. We can do that by being informed.

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Looking for an interesting place to start? Try general Welfare or commerce clause.

U.S. public debt
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Jan 11, 2017

Title

Public Debt Outstanding of the United States

Quote

"(Dollar amounts are in Trillions of U.S. Dollars and rounded to three decimal places.)

Date, Debt Held by the Public, Intragovernmental Holdings, Total Public Debt Outstanding
01/11/2017, 14.428, 5.524, 19.952
09/30/2016, 14.173, 5.400, 19.573
09/30/2015, 13.124, 5.027, 18.151*
09/30/2014, 12.785, 5.039, 17.824
09/30/2013, 11.976, 4.762, 16.738
09/28/2012, 11.270, 4.797, 16.066
09/30/2011, 10.127, 4.663, 14.790
09/30/2010, 9.023, 4.539, 13.562
09/30/2009, 7.552, 4.358, 11.910
09/30/2008, 5.809, 4.216, 10.025
09/28/2007, 5.049, 3.958, 9.008
09/29/2006, 4.843, 3.664, 8.507
09/30/2005, 4.601, 3.331, 7.933
09/30/2004, 4.307, 3.071, 7.379
09/30/2003, 3.924, 2.859, 6.783
09/30/2002, 3.553, 2.675, 6.228
09/28/2001, 3.339, 2.468, 5.807
09/29/2000, 3.405, 2.269, 5.674
09/30/1999, 3.636, 2.020, 5.656
09/30/1998, 3.734, 1.792, 5.526
09/30/1997, 3.790, 1.623, 5.413"1

Type

Information

Analysis

An asterisk indicates extraordinary measures2 were used to artificially lower the debt. When this occurs, you can monitor monthly budget surpluses and deficits through the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Intragovernmental holdings are retained as cash until needed. Refer to the Daily Treasury Statement3 to view the Treasury's cash balance.

References

1. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2017

U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Debt to the Penny," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Jan 11, 2017, accessed Jan 11, 2017, http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/debt/current.

"(Dollar amounts are in Trillions of U.S. Dollars and rounded to three decimal places.)

Date, Debt Held by the Public, Intragovernmental Holdings, Total Public Debt Outstanding
01/11/2017, 14.428, 5.524, 19.952
09/30/2016, 14.173, 5.400, 19.573
09/30/2015, 13.124, 5.027, 18.151*
09/30/2014, 12.785, 5.039, 17.824
09/30/2013, 11.976, 4.762, 16.738
09/28/2012, 11.270, 4.797, 16.066
09/30/2011, 10.127, 4.663, 14.790
09/30/2010, 9.023, 4.539, 13.562
09/30/2009, 7.552, 4.358, 11.910
09/30/2008, 5.809, 4.216, 10.025
09/28/2007, 5.049, 3.958, 9.008
09/29/2006, 4.843, 3.664, 8.507
09/30/2005, 4.601, 3.331, 7.933
09/30/2004, 4.307, 3.071, 7.379
09/30/2003, 3.924, 2.859, 6.783
09/30/2002, 3.553, 2.675, 6.228
09/28/2001, 3.339, 2.468, 5.807
09/29/2000, 3.405, 2.269, 5.674
09/30/1999, 3.636, 2.020, 5.656
09/30/1998, 3.734, 1.792, 5.526
09/30/1997, 3.790, 1.623, 5.413"

2. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2012

U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Description of the Extraordinary Measures," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Jan 1, 2012, accessed Dec 11, 2015, https://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Documents/Appendix%20--%20Extraordinary%20Measures%2012-26-2012.pdf.

"Description of the Extraordinary Measures"

3. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2016

U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Daily Treasury Statement," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Nov 14, 2016, accessed Nov 16, 2016, https://www.fms.treas.gov/dts/index.html.

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Electoral college
Zachary Roth, Nov 10, 2016

Title

Roth thinks that the USA is a democracy

Quote

"It appears Americans chose Clinton, but got Trump.

Trump's popular vote loss likely won't constrain his effective power as president, especially with unified GOP control of Congress — just as it didn't seem to hem in George W. Bush.

But if the candidate who got fewer votes wins the White House for the second time in five elections, it could put a new spotlight on the peculiar way that America picks its presidents — one not shared by any other democracy."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

The United States of America is a republic, not a democracy. The electoral college is necessary for a republic.

For the differences between a republic and a democracy, refer to diffen.com.2

References

1. Zachary Roth, 2016

Zachary Roth, "Electoral College Lesson: More Voters Chose Clinton, but Trump Will Be President," NBC News, Nov 10, 2016, accessed Nov 16, 2016, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2016-election-day/electoral-college-lesson-more-voters-chose-hillary-clinton-trump-will-n681701.

"It appears Americans chose Clinton, but got Trump.

Trump's popular vote loss likely won't constrain his effective power as president, especially with unified GOP control of Congress — just as it didn't seem to hem in George W. Bush.

But if the candidate who got fewer votes wins the White House for the second time in five elections, it could put a new spotlight on the peculiar way that America picks its presidents — one not shared by any other democracy."

2. Diffen.com, 2016

Diffen.com, "Democracy vs. Republic," Diffen LLC, Nov 14, 2016, accessed Nov 16, 2016, http://www.diffen.com/difference/Democracy_vs_Republic.

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Freedom of the press
Barack Obama, Oct 13, 2016

Title

Obama speaks about Freedom of the Press

Quote

"If I had the perfect answer to that, then I’d run for President. (Laughter.) Look, this takes us a little bit far afield, but I do think that it’s relevant to the scientific community, it’s relevant to our democracy, citizenship. We’re going to have to rebuild, within this Wild, Wild West of information flow, some sort of curating function that people agree to.

I use the analogy in politics -- it used to be there were three television stations and Walter Cronkite is on there and not everybody agreed, and there were always outliers who thought that it was all propaganda, and we didn’t really land on the Moon, and Elvis is still alive, and so forth. (Laughter.) But, generally, that was in the papers that you bought at the supermarket right as you were checking out. And generally, people trusted a basic body of information.

It wasn’t always as democratic as it should have been. And Zoe is exactly right that -- for example, on something like climate change, we’ve actually been doing some interesting initiatives where we’re essentially deputizing citizens with hand-held technologies to start recording information that then gets pooled -- they’re becoming scientists without getting the PhD. And we can do that in a lot of other fields as well.

But there has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.

And that’s hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible. I think the answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say, this is reliable and I’m still able to argue about -- safely -- about facts and what we should do about it while still -- not just making stuff up."1

Type

Big government

Analysis

Big Brother's slogan from Orwell's 1984 is
"WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."2

Obama wants to add another line.

"TRUTH TESTS ARE FREE PRESS."

His claim that he doesn't want censorship, but he does want truth tests, is ridiculous.

This is not the first time he has expressed a desire to control the press. His similar quote below shows his desire to control the press in order to promote class struggle

References

1. Barack Obama, 2016

Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President in Opening Remarks and Panel Discussion at White House Frontiers Conference," Barack Obama, Oct 13, 2016, accessed Oct 18, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/10/13/remarks-president-opening-remarks-and-panel-discussion-white-house.

"If I had the perfect answer to that, then I’d run for President. (Laughter.) Look, this takes us a little bit far afield, but I do think that it’s relevant to the scientific community, it’s relevant to our democracy, citizenship. We’re going to have to rebuild, within this Wild, Wild West of information flow, some sort of curating function that people agree to.

I use the analogy in politics -- it used to be there were three television stations and Walter Cronkite is on there and not everybody agreed, and there were always outliers who thought that it was all propaganda, and we didn’t really land on the Moon, and Elvis is still alive, and so forth. (Laughter.) But, generally, that was in the papers that you bought at the supermarket right as you were checking out. And generally, people trusted a basic body of information.

It wasn’t always as democratic as it should have been. And Zoe is exactly right that -- for example, on something like climate change, we’ve actually been doing some interesting initiatives where we’re essentially deputizing citizens with hand-held technologies to start recording information that then gets pooled -- they’re becoming scientists without getting the PhD. And we can do that in a lot of other fields as well.

But there has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.

And that’s hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible. I think the answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say, this is reliable and I’m still able to argue about -- safely -- about facts and what we should do about it while still -- not just making stuff up."

2. George Orwell, 1949

George Orwell, "1984," Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Jan 1, 1949

"WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."

Similar quotes

1. Barack Obama, 2015

Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President in Conversation on Poverty at Georgetown University," Barack Obama, May 12, 2015, accessed Oct 18, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/12/remarks-president-conversation-poverty-georgetown-university.

"There were probably certain clubs or certain activities that were still restricted to the banker’s son as opposed to the janitor’s son. But it was more integrated. Part of what’s happened is, is that elites in a very mobile, globalized world are able to live together, away from folks who are not as wealthy, and so they feel less of a commitment to making those investments.

In that sense -- and what used to be racial segregation now mirrors itself in class segregation and this great sorting that’s taking place. Now, that creates its own politics. Right? I mean, there’s some communities where I don’t know -- not only do I not know poor people, I don’t even know people who have trouble paying the bills at the end of the month. I just don’t know those people. And so there’s a less sense of investment in those children. So that’s part of what’s happened.

But part of it has also been -- there’s always been a strain in American politics where you’ve got the middle class, and the question has been, who are you mad at, if you’re struggling; if you’re working, but you don’t seem to be getting ahead. And over the last 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at folks at the top, or to be mad at folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leaches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction.

And, look, it's still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu -- they will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. (Laughter.) They’re like, I don’t want to work, I just want a free Obama phone -- (laughter) -- or whatever. And that becomes an entire narrative -- right? -- that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress -- which is much more typical -- who’s raising a couple of kids and is doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills.

And so if we’re going to change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues and how people’s impressions of what it's like to struggle in this economy looks like, and how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news."

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Federal Reserve
Lawrence H. Summers, Aug 18, 2016

Title

Summers analyzes Federal Reserve policy

Quote

"I now believe that it just as reasonable to suppose that neutral rates will fall further as it is to suppose they will revert toward historically normal levels. First, there is a kind of hysteresis in rates in which a lower interest rate today tends to lower the neutral rate in the future. To the extent that low rates stimulate spending by pulling forward investment, low rates today reduce neutral rates tomorrow by moving investment forward. Second, major structural factors such as rising inequality, slowing labor force growth, lower capital goods prices, slowing productivity growth and more capital outflows from developing countries appear to represent continuing trends. Third, there is the prospect that the growing expectation that rates will be low for a long time decreases the spending of target savers and interferes with financial intermediation."1

Type

Big government

Analysis

Does the U.S. government have the constitutional authority to regulate the activity that Summers describes? Does this power lie in the ability to "coin money"2 or in the general Welfare clause? If the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional, then Summers' article encourages tyranny.3

Not only does the authority not exist in the Constitution, but it does not exist within the federal reserve mandates. The mandates prescribe stable prices, not simply stable capital goods prices. The mandates prescribe maximum employment, not the prevention of slowing labor force growth. Finally, the mandates prescribe moderate long term interest rates. The Fed's policy has been to supress long term interest rates through its Quantitative Easing programs.

Being that the Federal Reserve acts outside of Constitutional and Congressionally-mandated authority, it should be terminated. A free people should not tolerate the manipulation of their money

References

1. Lawrence H. Summers, 2016

Lawrence H. Summers, "What we need to do to get out of this economic malaise," Washington Post, Aug 18, 2016, accessed Aug 21, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/18/larry-summers-what-we-need-to-do-to-get-out-of-this-economic-malaise/.

"I now believe that it just as reasonable to suppose that neutral rates will fall further as it is to suppose they will revert toward historically normal levels. First, there is a kind of hysteresis in rates in which a lower interest rate today tends to lower the neutral rate in the future. To the extent that low rates stimulate spending by pulling forward investment, low rates today reduce neutral rates tomorrow by moving investment forward. Second, major structural factors such as rising inequality, slowing labor force growth, lower capital goods prices, slowing productivity growth and more capital outflows from developing countries appear to represent continuing trends. Third, there is the prospect that the growing expectation that rates will be low for a long time decreases the spending of target savers and interferes with financial intermediation."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

3. John Locke, 1690

John Locke, "Second Treatise of Government," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1690, accessed May 22, 2016, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm.

"Sect. 199. AS usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion."

Related Language

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Clinton's emails
Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Welker, and Ryan Beckwith, Aug 5, 2016

Title

Clinton discusses the FBI statement with Welker

Quote

"KIRSTEN WELKER: Is the one (inconsistency) though that you said you never sent or received classified material, and he did say there were three e-mails, that were marked classified at the time.

Is that an inconsistency?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he -- here's -- here's what -- here are the facts behind that as well, you know that I preside I -- I sent over 30,000 e-mails to the State Department that were work-related e-mails. Director Comey said that only 3 out of the 30,000 had anything resembling classified markers, what does that mean? Well usually, if any of you have ever served in the Government, a classified document has a big heading on top, which makes very clear what the classification is.

And in questioning Director Comey made the point that the 3 e-mails out of the 30,000 did not have the appropriate markings and it was therefore reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not -- suspected that they were classified."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Ms. Clinton lies again about sending and receiving classified emails on an unclassified system. She falsely claims that portion markings are not enough to make the reader aware that a document is classified. In contrast, director Comey said that Clinton should have known the email content was classified, regardless of portion marking.2

Her statement is unbelievable given that people who are briefed on classified information are told their first day to not discuss classified information on an unclassified system. It would seem, therefore, that the individual(s) who sent classified emails with portion markings acted carelessly. In order to plead ignorance of the crime, as Ms. Clinton has, portion marking cannot be used. Therefore, finding portion marking on an unclassified system would be an exception rather than the rule.

The law that Ms. Clinton has broken does not require intent; gross negligence is punishable.3

References

1. Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Welker, and Ryan Beckwith, 2016

Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Welker, and Ryan Beckwith, "Read Hillary Clinton's Q&A at a Journalism Conference," Time, Inc., Aug 5, 2016, accessed Aug 6, 2016, http://time.com/4441513/hillary-clinton-nabj-nahj-conference-transcript/.

"KIRSTEN WELKER: Is the one (inconsistency) though that you said you never sent or received classified material, and he did say there were three e-mails, that were marked classified at the time.

Is that an inconsistency?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, he -- here's -- here's what -- here are the facts behind that as well, you know that I preside I -- I sent over 30,000 e-mails to the State Department that were work-related e-mails. Director Comey said that only 3 out of the 30,000 had anything resembling classified markers, what does that mean? Well usually, if any of you have ever served in the Government, a classified document has a big heading on top, which makes very clear what the classification is.

And in questioning Director Comey made the point that the 3 e-mails out of the 30,000 did not have the appropriate markings and it was therefore reasonable to conclude that anyone, including myself, would have not -- suspected that they were classified."

2. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"...there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)."

3. Congress, 1996

Congress, "18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," Cornell University Law School, Oct 11, 1996, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793.

"(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

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Infrastructure spending
Donald Trump and Matthew Wisner, Aug 2, 2016

Title

Trump supports Infrastructure spending

Quote

"We have a great plan and we are going to rebuild our infrastructure. By the way, her (Hillary Clinton) numbers is a fraction of what we’re talking about, we need much more money than that to rebuild our infrastructure. Well I would say at least double her numbers and you’re going to really need more than that. We have bridges that are falling down."1

Type

Big government

Analysis

Trump's remarks reveal an ignorance of the Constitution. Does the Constitution grant authority to spend money on State infrastructure projects? If it does not, then infrastructure spending is unconstitutional

References

1. Donald Trump and Matthew Wisner, 2016

Donald Trump and Matthew Wisner, "Trump Promises to Double Clinton Infrastructure Spending Plan," Fox Business, Aug 2, 2016, accessed Aug 22, 2016, http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/08/02/trump-promises-to-double-clinton-infrastructure-spending-plan.html.

"We have a great plan and we are going to rebuild our infrastructure. By the way, her (Hillary Clinton) numbers is a fraction of what we’re talking about, we need much more money than that to rebuild our infrastructure. Well I would say at least double her numbers and you’re going to really need more than that. We have bridges that are falling down."

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2016 presidential race
Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, Aug 1, 2016

Title

Gary Johnson's presidential campaign

Quote

"What is genuinely needed when it comes to healthcare is a free-market approach, recognizing that healthcare right now is about as far removed from the free market as it could be. I reject the notion that in a free-market approach to healthcare we would have insurance to cover ongoing medical need. We would have insurance to cover ourselves for catastrophic injury and illness and we would pay as you go for a system that I believe would be absolutely affordable. How affordable? Maybe a fifth of what it currently costs. I think we would have Stitches R Us. I think we would have Galbladders R Us. I think we would have X-rays R Us. You would have advertised pricing. You’d have advertised outcomes.

Currently, you go to the doctor, you have no idea what it’s going to cost -- no idea. You have no idea what the outcome’s going to be. And then when you do get the bill you know that nobody’s really going to pay what it is they said this costs. How do you get those reforms? Well, obviously this is very complex. If we may also talk about the entitlements: Neither Trump nor Clinton is talking about reform to the entitlements, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. And it’s a fiscal cliff. We are headed for a fiscal cliff unless, in my opinion, we address these issues. The way we address Medicare and Medicaid is we give those functions to the states. Having been governor in New Mexico, in my heart of hearts I could have drawn new lines of eligibility for Medicaid and had a safety net. No one would have gone without. But if I would have been given a fixed amount of money, I believe I could have made that stick. Medicare of course is not a state’s function, but I think it needs to be if we are actually going to reform it. I’ll say that this (creates) 50 laboratories of innovation and best practices that would emerge that would be fabulously successful. You’d also have some horrible failures that others would have to avoid."1

Analysis

Gary Johnson is running as the Libertarian Party candidate in the 2016 presidential election. He is petitioning to gain access to the presidential debates,2 which will increase his chances of persuading voters.

iHeartReason does not agree with all of Mr. Johnson's positions. For example, he prefers the term, undocumented immigrant,3 instead of the more-accurate term, illegal alien. Also, he doesn't appear to understand that free immigration is not possible with a welfare state. He supports a national sales tax.4 He also supports Social Security.5 But, Mr. Johnson may be a better president than Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump. Decide for yourself by visiting his campaign website.6

References

1. Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, 2016

Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, "Possible presidential spoiler Gary Johnson speaks to The Times editorial board about siphoning votes from Hillary Clinton," Los Angeles Times, Aug 1, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gary-johnson-libertarian-transcript-20160729-snap-story.html.

"What is genuinely needed when it comes to healthcare is a free-market approach, recognizing that healthcare right now is about as far removed from the free market as it could be. I reject the notion that in a free-market approach to healthcare we would have insurance to cover ongoing medical need. We would have insurance to cover ourselves for catastrophic injury and illness and we would pay as you go for a system that I believe would be absolutely affordable. How affordable? Maybe a fifth of what it currently costs. I think we would have Stitches R Us. I think we would have Galbladders R Us. I think we would have X-rays R Us. You would have advertised pricing. You’d have advertised outcomes.

Currently, you go to the doctor, you have no idea what it’s going to cost -- no idea. You have no idea what the outcome’s going to be. And then when you do get the bill you know that nobody’s really going to pay what it is they said this costs. How do you get those reforms? Well, obviously this is very complex. If we may also talk about the entitlements: Neither Trump nor Clinton is talking about reform to the entitlements, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. And it’s a fiscal cliff. We are headed for a fiscal cliff unless, in my opinion, we address these issues. The way we address Medicare and Medicaid is we give those functions to the states. Having been governor in New Mexico, in my heart of hearts I could have drawn new lines of eligibility for Medicaid and had a safety net. No one would have gone without. But if I would have been given a fixed amount of money, I believe I could have made that stick. Medicare of course is not a state’s function, but I think it needs to be if we are actually going to reform it. I’ll say that this (creates) 50 laboratories of innovation and best practices that would emerge that would be fabulously successful. You’d also have some horrible failures that others would have to avoid."

2. Gary Johnson, 2016

Gary Johnson, "Gary Johnson debate petition," Gary Johnson, Sep 3, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, https://www.johnsonweld.com/debate.

3. Gary Johnson, 2016

Gary Johnson, "Guy Benson Discusses Immigration With Gov. Gary Johnson," Townhall Media, Aug 30, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hoM_TfkCcI.

"If you use the term 'illegal immigrants' that is very incendiary to our Hispanic population here in this country."

4. Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, 2016

Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, "Possible presidential spoiler Gary Johnson speaks to The Times editorial board about siphoning votes from Hillary Clinton," Los Angeles Times, Aug 1, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gary-johnson-libertarian-transcript-20160729-snap-story.html.

"GJ: And then looking at the economy, as president of the United States, I'm not going to be elected dictator, I'm not going to be king, I'm not going to be the dictator, I'm going to be president of the United States. So ultimately my job, what comes out of Congress, what do I support, what don't I support. Well I support making taxation easier, simplifying the tax system. I support lower taxes. If I could wave a magic wand — and I'm not doing this in a vacuum, having had the support of Chapman University, I mean, free market -- if I could wave a magic wand, I would eliminate income tax. I would eliminate corporate tax. Because we would do that and we also could abolish the IRS, and I would replace all of it with one federal consumption tax.

I ask you to look at the “fair tax,” which is a proposal that's been before Congress for 10 years. I think 80 congressmen and women sign onto it every year, so it's a known product. But it dots the “I”s and crosses the Ts on how you accomplish one federal consumption tax. I believe with a 0% corporate tax rate in this country, I believe tens of millions of jobs, for no other reason than a 0% corporate tax, simplifying tax to the extent that that would simplify tax ... I mean, imagine our lives without the IRS. And then I do think that pink slips would get issued to 80% of Washington lobbyists because that's why they're there, to garner tax favor.

NG: Very briefly, how does the fair tax work?

GJ: Very briefly, a consumption tax is regressive, for starters, OK? Well, the way that it gets beyond being regressive is that it issues a prebate check to everybody through the Social Security administration to the tune of $200 per month that allows all of us to pay the consumption tax up to the point of the poverty level. A 28% tax on goods and services -- and before you fall out of your chair thinking that's, whoa -- it's actually, in theory, not going to add cost to products. So if you use a can of Coke as an example. A can of Coke today sells for a buck. Well, there's accounting fees and legal fees along with just complying with the IRS, there's Social Security tax that has to be matched, unemployment, Medicare ... all of those, all of what currently comes out of individuals and you and I from our payroll check, that would come out of the proceeds of the consumption tax. So there would no longer be any withholding whatsoever from your payroll check. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, all coming out of the proceeds of the fair tax. But back to all those taxes -- that currently is contained in that dollar can of Coke. You take all of that out, arguably that can of Coke sells for 72 cents. You apply the 28% consumption tax and you still end up paying for the profit."

5. Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, 2016

Gary Johnson and Nicholas Goldberg, "Possible presidential spoiler Gary Johnson speaks to The Times editorial board about siphoning votes from Hillary Clinton," Los Angeles Times, Aug 1, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gary-johnson-libertarian-transcript-20160729-snap-story.html.

"But there’s no way Washington can come up with a fix for what is out of control and ultimately is going to lead to horrible inflation in my opinion at some point down the road. Social Security is eminently fixable, but raising the retirement age needs to take place. To what age? I could throw out a number, but I think actuarially it’s going to be 70-72. It’s going to ratchet up that much. And you could have very fair means testing to go along with Social Security. By fair means testing, how much money do you make? How much money are you getting back from Social Security? Should you get back more? More than what you put in given a certain level of income? I think there could be a very fair means testing."

6. Gary Johnson, 2016

Gary Johnson, "Gary Johnson on the issues," Gary Johnson, Sep 3, 2016, accessed Sep 3, 2016, https://www.johnsonweld.com/issues.

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Clinton's emails
Hillary Clinton, Jul 31, 2016

Title

Clinton discusses the FBI statement with Wallace

Quote

"Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.

I was communicating with over 300 people in my e-mailing. They certainly did not believe and had no reason to believe that what they were sending was classified.

Now, in retrospect, different agencies come in and say, well, it should have been, but that's not what was happening in real time."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Ms. Clinton lies in her interview with Chris Wallace. Director Comey said on July 5 that Ms. Clinton sent and received information that was classified at the time it was sent. Upon further questioning on July 7, Director Comey confirmed that Ms. Clinton sent and received classified information.

References

1. Hillary Clinton, 2016

Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton on tight race, accusations against Trump," Fox News, Jul 31, 2016, accessed Aug 1, 2016, http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2016/07/31/hillary-clinton-on-tight-race-accusations-against-trump/.

"Director Comey said my answers were truthful, and what I’ve said is consistent with what I have told the American people, that there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the emails.

I was communicating with over 300 people in my e-mailing. They certainly did not believe and had no reason to believe that what they were sending was classified.

Now, in retrospect, different agencies come in and say, well, it should have been, but that's not what was happening in real time."

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Clinton's emails
Trey Gowdy and James B. Comey, Jul 7, 2016

Title

Gowdy questions Comey about Clinton's emails

Quote

"TREY GOWDY: Good morning Director Comey. Secretary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information over her private email. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.

TREY GOWDY: So, it was not true.

JAMES COMEY: Right, that's what I said.

TREY GOWDY: Okay, I'm looking for a shorter answer so that you and I are not here quite as long. Secretary Clinton said that there was nothing marked classified on her emails, either sent or received. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: That's not true. There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said, 'I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.' Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: No. There was classified material emailed.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that she used just one device. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as Secretary of State.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that all work-related emails were returned to the State department. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: No. We found work-related emails, thousands that were not returned.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said neither she nor anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: That's a harder one to answer. We found traces of work-related emails on devices or in slack space. Whether they were deleted or whether when a server was changed out something happened to them. There's no doubt that there were work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?

JAMES COMEY: No."1

Type

Information

Analysis

Congressman Trey Gowdy does a great job of questioning FBI Directory James Comey. The exchange shows that Ms. Clinton lied to the American public about her personal email server.

An interesting observation can be made when we combine Comey's remarks on July 7 with his remarks on July 5.

1. "There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents."2

2. The FBI "...found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)."3

3. "With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level."4

From these quotes, we may conclude that three emails had portion markings, one of those emails had Secret portion markings, and that they were possibly found on the server's slack space. If this conclusion is true, then did Clinton's lawyers search for and delete emails with classified information?

References

1. Trey Gowdy and James B. Comey, 2016

Trey Gowdy and James B. Comey, "Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Part 1," National Cable Satellite Corporation, Jul 7, 2016, accessed Jul 7, 2016, http://www.c-span.org/video/?412315-1/fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-hillary-clinton-email-probe.

"TREY GOWDY: Good morning Director Comey. Secretary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information over her private email. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: Our investigation found that there was classified information sent.

TREY GOWDY: So, it was not true.

JAMES COMEY: Right, that's what I said.

TREY GOWDY: Okay, I'm looking for a shorter answer so that you and I are not here quite as long. Secretary Clinton said that there was nothing marked classified on her emails, either sent or received. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: That's not true. There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said, 'I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.' Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: No. There was classified material emailed.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that she used just one device. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as Secretary of State.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that all work-related emails were returned to the State department. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: No. We found work-related emails, thousands that were not returned.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said neither she nor anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account. Was that true?

JAMES COMEY: That's a harder one to answer. We found traces of work-related emails on devices or in slack space. Whether they were deleted or whether when a server was changed out something happened to them. There's no doubt that there were work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system.

TREY GOWDY: Secretary Clinton said that her lawyers read every one of the emails and were overly inclusive. Did her lawyers read the email content individually?

JAMES COMEY: No."

2. Trey Gowdy and James B. Comey, 2016

Trey Gowdy and James B. Comey, "Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Part 1," National Cable Satellite Corporation, Jul 7, 2016, accessed Jul 7, 2016, http://www.c-span.org/video/?412315-1/fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-hillary-clinton-email-probe.

"There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents."

3. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"...found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)."

4. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level."

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Clinton's emails
James B. Comey, Jul 5, 2016

Title

Comey does not recommend charges against Clinton

Quote

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Title 18 U.S. Code § 793 states "(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."2

The law specifies gross negligence, not intent, is punishable. Indeed, the Associated Press reported in 2015 that a Navy reservist was convicted of mishandling classified information.3 Given this information, Director Comey's statement is fallacy.

Prior to his recommendation, Director Comey laid out the prosecution's case against Clinton.

"From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification."4

"With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level."5

"It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery."6

"...there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)."7

"We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account."8

The evidence from the FBI investigation should be combined with the Inspector general's evidence and Clinton's testimony before Congress9 to bring charges against Ms. Clinton. She has potentially broken the law regarding her handling of classified material,10 her removal and destruction of public records,11 and her perjury in front of Congress.12

The people who emailed classified information to her should also be charged. Ms. Clinton and her associates are innocent until proven guilty to be sure. But, a free society requires equality before the law.13

Jason Herring, Acting Assistant Director for the Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote a letter14 that attempted to explain the FBI's decision. In it, he failed to mention that Ms. Clinton authored emails that contained Top Secret, Special Access Program information. Being the Secretary of State, she knew the information was classified and that her unclassified email server was not the appropriate place to transmit and store such information. Mr. Herring also failed to mention that Ms. Clinton permitted this information to be available to her system administrators and to her lawyers, neither of whom had the clearance or Need-To-Know to possess such information. Mr. Herring also failed to mention that the lawyers acting on Ms. Clinton's behalf destroyed the records and obstructed the investigation. Finally, Mr. Herring did not mention that Ms. Clinton lied to Congress about her email servers. For these reasons, the case against Ms. Clinton is much stronger than Mr. Herring admits.

In addition to leaking classified information, destroying records, and perjury, Clinton may also be guilty of corruption. As reported by Judicial Watch15 and The Federalist,16 Ms. Clinton’s foundation accepted money from foreign governments. The Constitution forbids government officials from accepting gifts from foreign States without consent from Congress.17

References

1. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

2. Congress, 1996

Congress, "18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," Cornell University Law School, Oct 11, 1996, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793.

"(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

3. The Associated Press, 2015

The Associated Press, "Navy engineer sentenced for mishandling classified material," The Associated Press, Jul 29, 2015, accessed Jul 6, 2016, http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/crime/2015/07/29/navy-engineer-sentenced-for-mishandling-classified-material/30862027/.

4. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification."

5. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level."

6. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery."

7. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"...there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)."

8. James B. Comey, 2016

James B. Comey, "Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System," Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jul 5, 2016, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b.-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clintons-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system.

"We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account."

9. oversightandreform, 2016

oversightandreform, "Were Hillary Clinton's Statements False?," YouTube, Aug 15, 2016, accessed Aug 22, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lt0_ijuWDU.

10. Congress, 1996

Congress, "18 U.S. Code § 793 - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information," Cornell University Law School, Oct 11, 1996, accessed Jul 5, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793.

"(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

11. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 2016

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property PART 1230—UNLAWFUL OR ACCIDENTAL REMOVAL, DEFACING, ALTERATION, OR DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Aug 24, 2016, accessed Aug 26, 2016, http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&mc=true&node=se36.3.1230_112&rgn=div8.

"§1230.12 What are the penalties for unlawful or accidental removal, defacing, alteration, or destruction of records?

The penalties for the unlawful or accidental removal, defacing, alteration, or destruction of Federal records or the attempt to do so, include a fine, imprisonment, or both (18 U.S.C. 641 and 2071)."

12. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1994

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Perjury generally," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Sep 13, 1994, accessed Aug 26, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title18/USCODE-2011-title18-partI-chap79-sec1621.

"§ 1621. Perjury generally
Whoever—

(1) having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or

(2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true;

is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States."

13. Wikipedia, 2016

Wikipedia, "Equality before the law," Wikipedia, Jul 17, 2016, accessed Jul 24, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_before_the_law.

14. Jason V. Herring, 2016

Jason V. Herring, "Letter from Herring to Chaffetz and Cummings," Office of Congressional Affairs, Aug 27, 2016, accessed Aug 27, 2016, http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/Herring%20to%20JEC%20%208.16.2016.pdf.

"The fact that Secretary Clinton received emails containing ‘(C)’ portion markings is not clear evidence of knowledge or intent. As the Director has testified, the FBI’s investigation uncovered three instances of emails portioned marked with ‘(C),’ a marking ostensibly indicating the presence of information classified at the Confidential level. In each of these instances, the Secretary did not originate the information; instead, the emails were forwarded to her by staff members, with the portion-marked information located within the email chains and without header and footer markings indicating the presence of classified information. Moreover, only one of those emails was determined by the State Department to contain classified information. There has been no determination by the State Department as to whether these three emails were classified at the time they were sent.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 793 on its face makes it a felony to cause national defense information to be removed, lost, stolen, or destroyed through gross negligence. Even at the time the statute was passed, there were concerns in Congress about the inclusion of this provision. Additionally, with respect to this statute, there are concerns about the constitutional implications of criminalizing such conduct without requiring the government to prove that the person knew he or she was doing something wrong, which is reflected in the Justice Department’s history in charging this specific subsection of the statute (18 U.S.C. § 793(f)). Our understanding is the Department has only charged one person with mishandling national defense information through gross negligence in the 99-year history of the statute, and in that case, the charge was dismissed when the defendant pled guilty to making false statements in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. Moreover, in that case, there were indications of espionage and disloyalty to the United States. As the Director testified, he believed that to prosecute Secretary Clinton or others within the scope of the investigation for gross negligence would be inconsistent with how the Department has interpreted and applied the statute since Congress enacted it.

As the Director stated, the FBI did find evidence that Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were extremely careless in their handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information. The term ‘extremely careless’ was intended to be a common sense way of describing the actions of Secretary Clinton and her colleagues. The Director did not equate ‘extreme carelessness’ with the legal standard of ‘gross negligence’ that is required by the statute. In this case, the FBI assessed that the facts did not support a recommendation to prosecute her or others within the scope of the investigation for gross negligence."

15. Judicial Watch, 2016

Judicial Watch, "New Abedin Emails Reveal Hillary Clinton State Department Gave Special Access to Top Clinton Foundation Donors," Judicial Watch, Aug 22, 2016, accessed Aug 28, 2016, http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/new-abedin-emails-reveal-hillary-clinton-state-department-gave-special-access-top-clinton-foundation-donors/.

16. Sean Davis, 2015

Sean Davis, "The U.S. Constitution Actually Bans Hillary’s Foreign Government Payola," The Federalist, Mar 2, 2015, accessed Aug 28, 2016, http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/02/the-u-s-constitution-actually-bans-hillarys-foreign-government-payola/.

17. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

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Clinton's emails
Bonnie Stephens, May 25, 2016

Title

Clinton's emails as Secretary of State

Quote

"Secretary Clinton (January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013): Former Secretary Clinton did not use a Department email account and has acknowledged using an email account maintained on a private server for official business. As discussed above, in December 2014, her representative produced to the Department 55,000 hard-copy pages of documents, representing approximately 30,000 emails that could potentially constitute Federal records that she sent or received from April 2009 through early 2013. Secretary Clinton’s representative asserted that, because the Secretary emailed Department officials at their government email accounts, the Department already had records of the Secretary’s email preserved within its recordkeeping systems.

As previously discussed, however, sending emails from a personal account to other employees at their Department accounts is not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record. Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary. At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."1

Type

Information

Analysis

Former Secretary Clinton may have broken the law. The one-month discrepancy between emails sent and emails received2 suggests that her wiping of the server3 may have removed official records. Title 18, Section 2071 states, "§2071. Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term "office" does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States."4

References

1. Bonnie Stephens, 2016

Bonnie Stephens, "Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements," Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, May 25, 2016, accessed May 26, 2016, https://oig.state.gov/system/files/esp-16-03.pdf.

"Secretary Clinton (January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013): Former Secretary Clinton did not use a Department email account and has acknowledged using an email account maintained on a private server for official business. As discussed above, in December 2014, her representative produced to the Department 55,000 hard-copy pages of documents, representing approximately 30,000 emails that could potentially constitute Federal records that she sent or received from April 2009 through early 2013. Secretary Clinton’s representative asserted that, because the Secretary emailed Department officials at their government email accounts, the Department already had records of the Secretary’s email preserved within its recordkeeping systems.

As previously discussed, however, sending emails from a personal account to other employees at their Department accounts is not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record. Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary. At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."

2. Bonnie Stephens, 2016

Bonnie Stephens, "Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements," Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, May 25, 2016, accessed May 26, 2016, https://oig.state.gov/system/files/esp-16-03.pdf.

"NARA agrees with the foregoing assessment but told OIG that Secretary Clinton’s production of 55,000 pages of emails mitigated her failure to properly preserve emails that qualified as Federal records during her tenure and to surrender such records upon her departure. OIG concurs with NARA but also notes that Secretary Clinton’s production was incomplete. For example, the Department and OIG both determined that the production included no email covering the first few months of Secretary Clinton’s tenure—from January 21, 2009, to March 17, 2009, for received messages; and from January 21, 2009, to April 12, 2009, for sent messages. OIG discovered multiple instances in which Secretary Clinton’s personal email account sent and received official business email during this period. For instance, the Department of Defense provided to OIG in September 2015 copies of 19 emails between Secretary Clinton and General David Petraeus on his official Department of Defense email account; these 19 emails were not in the Secretary’s 55,000-page production. OIG also learned that the 55,000-page production did not contain some emails that an external contact not employed by the Department sent to Secretary Clinton regarding Department business. In an attempt to address these deficiencies, NARA requested that the Department inquire with Secretary Clinton’s 'internet service or email provider' to determine whether it is still possible to retrieve the email records that might remain on its servers."

3. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Clinton Refuses To Say Whether Or Not She Wiped The Server," Hillary Clinton, Aug 18, 2015, accessed May 30, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2OJwsit0WY&feature=youtu.be.

4. Various, 1994

Various, "Title 18, Section 2071," Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, Sep 13, 1994, accessed May 26, 2016, http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title18/part1/chapter101&edition=prelim.

"§2071. Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term "office" does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States."

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Communism
Barack Obama, May 7, 2016

Title

Obama: You didn't build that

Quote

"And that means we have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky -- because, yes, you've worked hard, but you've also been lucky. That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did. So don’t have an attitude..."1

Type

Freudian slip

Analysis

Obama's comments are indicative of a Communist mindset that desires the abolition of the individual and private property.

References

1. Barack Obama, 2016

Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at Howard University Commencement Ceremony," Barack Obama, May 7, 2016, accessed May 9, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/07/remarks-president-howard-university-commencement-ceremony.

"And that means we have to not only question the world as it is, and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky -- because, yes, you've worked hard, but you've also been lucky. That's a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they've been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did. So don’t have an attitude..."

Similar quotes

1. Barack Obama, 2012

Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Roanoke, Virginia," Barack Obama, Jul 13, 2012, accessed May 9, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/13/remarks-president-campaign-event-roanoke-virginia.

"There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires."

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Executive overreach
Terence McAuliffe, Apr 22, 2016

Title

McAuliffe restores voting rights en masse

Quote

"...WHEREAS, the Governor is empowered by Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia “to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction,” thus to restore the political rights of any persons disqualified by Article II, Section 1; and

WHEREAS, the power granted to the Governor under Article V, Section 12 to remove political disabilities is absolute and without any limitation not expressly stated within the Constitution of Virginia...

...NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by and through the authority vested in me under Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia, do hereby order the removal of the political disabilities consequent upon conviction of a felony imposed by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia from all those individuals who have, as of this 22nd day of April 2016, (1) completed their sentences of incarceration for any and all felony convictions; and (2) completed their sentences of supervised release, including probation and parole, for any and all felony convictions. The civil rights restored by this Order are: (1) the right to vote; (2) the right to hold public office; (3) the right to serve on a jury; and (4) the right to act as a notary public. Nothing in this Order restores the right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

The governor's executive order is an attempt to rewrite Article II, Section 1 by removing the disqualification of being a prior convicted felon.2 He is correct in that he has the power to restore voting rights.3 But, the Virginia Constitution does not specify that the power can be used for unnamed persons. The power is located in the Constitution between emitting, granting, or commuting powers that must be explained in every case. "...(T)he reporting requirement was added to the Constitution of Virginia in 1851, prior to the adoption of the 'removal of political disabilities' provision in 1870 — thus leaving open the inference that the reporting requirement would be naturally understood to apply in pari materia to all acts of executive clemency, including restoration orders."4

The Virginia Constitution should be interpretted in such a way that gives meaning to each part. McAuliffe's interpretation obliterates the disqualification for being a prior felon. Why would the Constitution's framers add a disqualification for being a felon if it has no meaning?

This subject has been examined in the past by the legal counselor to former governor Kaine. Mark Rubin wrote "We conclude that a blanket restoration of rights within the context of current Virginia law would not be proper for two reasons. First, while the wording of the constitutional provision granting the powers of clemency and restoration of rights might be read to support the blanket use of these powers to benefit unnamed individuals, we think the better argument is that these powers are meant to apply in particular cases to named individuals for whom a specific grant of executive clemency is sought. A blanket order restoring the voting rights of everyone would be a rewrite of the law rather than a contemplated use of the executive clemency powers. And, the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling."5

In ruling against McAuliffe, the chief justice of the Virginia Supreme court provides a thorough analysis of the subject.6

In defiance of the Supreme Court, McAuliffe released a statement7 announcing his plan to sign 200,000 restoration orders.

References

1. Terence McAuliffe, 2016

Terence McAuliffe, "Governor McAuliffe Restores Voting and Civil Rights to Over 200,000 Virginians," Terence McAuliffe, Apr 22, 2016, accessed Apr 29, 2016, http://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=15008.

"...WHEREAS, the Governor is empowered by Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia “to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction,” thus to restore the political rights of any persons disqualified by Article II, Section 1; and

WHEREAS, the power granted to the Governor under Article V, Section 12 to remove political disabilities is absolute and without any limitation not expressly stated within the Constitution of Virginia...

...NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, by and through the authority vested in me under Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia, do hereby order the removal of the political disabilities consequent upon conviction of a felony imposed by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of Virginia from all those individuals who have, as of this 22nd day of April 2016, (1) completed their sentences of incarceration for any and all felony convictions; and (2) completed their sentences of supervised release, including probation and parole, for any and all felony convictions. The civil rights restored by this Order are: (1) the right to vote; (2) the right to hold public office; (3) the right to serve on a jury; and (4) the right to act as a notary public. Nothing in this Order restores the right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms."

2. Virginia general assembly, 2016

Virginia general assembly, "Constitution of Virginia," Commonwealth of Virginia, Jan 1, 2016, accessed Apr 29, 2016, http://law.lis.virginia.gov/constitutionfull.

"In elections by the people, the qualifications of voters shall be as follows: Each voter shall be a citizen of the United States, shall be eighteen years of age, shall fulfill the residence requirements set forth in this section, and shall be registered to vote pursuant to this article. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. As prescribed by law, no person adjudicated to be mentally incompetent shall be qualified to vote until his competency has been reestablished."

3. Virginia general assembly, 2016

Virginia general assembly, "Constitution of Virginia," Commonwealth of Virginia, Jan 1, 2016, accessed Apr 29, 2016, http://law.lis.virginia.gov/constitutionfull.

"The Governor shall have power to remit fines and penalties under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; to grant reprieves and pardons after conviction except when the prosecution has been carried on by the House of Delegates; to remove political disabilities consequent upon conviction for offenses committed prior or subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution; and to commute capital punishment.

He shall communicate to the General Assembly, at each regular session, particulars of every case of fine or penalty remitted, of reprieve or pardon granted, and of punishment commuted, with his reasons for remitting, granting, or commuting the same."

4. Donald W. Lemons, 2016

Donald W. Lemons, "Opinion by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons Regarding Howell v. McAuliffe," Virginia Supreme Court, Jul 22, 2016, accessed Jul 26, 2016, http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1160784.pdf.

"...(T)he reporting requirement was added to the Constitution of Virginia in 1851, prior to the adoption of the 'removal of political disabilities' provision in 1870 — thus leaving open the inference that the reporting requirement would be naturally understood to apply in pari materia to all acts of executive clemency, including restoration orders."

5. Mark Rubin, 2010

Mark Rubin, "Letter from Mr. Rubin to Mr. Willis," Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Governor, Jan 15, 2010, accessed May 23, 2016, http://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/RubinLetterJan2010.pdf.

"We conclude that a blanket restoration of rights within the context of current Virginia law would not be proper for two reasons. First, while the wording of the constitutional provision granting the powers of clemency and restoration of rights might be read to support the blanket use of these powers to benefit unnamed individuals, we think the better argument is that these powers are meant to apply in particular cases to named individuals for whom a specific grant of executive clemency is sought. A blanket order restoring the voting rights of everyone would be a rewrite of the law rather than a contemplated use of the executive clemency powers. And, the notion that the Constitution of the Commonwealth could be rewritten via executive order is troubling."

6. Donald W. Lemons, 2016

Donald W. Lemons, "Opinion by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons Regarding Howell v. McAuliffe," Virginia Supreme Court, Jul 22, 2016, accessed Jul 26, 2016, http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1160784.pdf.

7. Terence McAuliffe, 2016

Terence McAuliffe, "Governor McAuliffe Statement on the Virginia Supreme Court Decision on the Restoration of Civil Rights," Terence McAuliffe, Jul 22, 2016, accessed Jul 26, 2016, http://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=16047.

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Natural born Citizens
Eric Posner, Feb 8, 2016

Title

Posner misleads on the original intent of "natural born Citizen"

Quote

"The words natural born citizen, and their original meaning at the time that this constitutional clause was crafted, go a long way to answering this question. In founding-era America, like today, a person could be a citizen by virtue of birth on American territory; a citizen by virtue of a statute that granted citizenship to him at birth; a “naturalized” citizen, meaning one who entered the country as an alien but later obtained citizenship via a process determined by law; and a foreigner.

A natural born citizen cannot be a foreigner. Foreigners are not citizens. A natural born citizen cannot be a person who was naturalized. Those people are not born citizens; they’re born aliens. Most important for the purposes of the Cruz question, a natural born citizen cannot be someone whose birth entitled him to citizenship because of a statute—in this case a statute that confers citizenship on a person born abroad to an American parent. In the 18th century, as now, the word natural meant “in the regular course of things.” Then, as now, almost all Americans obtained citizenship by birth in this country, not by birth to Americans abroad. The natural way to obtain citizenship, then, was (and is) by being born in this country. Because Cruz was not “natural born”—not born in the United States—he is ineligible for the presidency, under the most plausible interpretation of the Constitution.

The historical background supports this view..."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Posner's fallacy is in his understanding of "natural born Citizen." Natural born citizenship can be granted by jus soli or jus sanguinis.

For more information on the citizenship of Ted Cruz' mother, please refer to Breitbart.2

References

1. Eric Posner, 2016

Eric Posner, "Ted Cruz Is Not Eligible to Be President," The Slate Group, Feb 8, 2016, accessed Feb 9, 2016, http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/view_from_chicago/2016/02/trump_is_right_ted_cruz_is_not_eligible_to_be_president.html.

"The words natural born citizen, and their original meaning at the time that this constitutional clause was crafted, go a long way to answering this question. In founding-era America, like today, a person could be a citizen by virtue of birth on American territory; a citizen by virtue of a statute that granted citizenship to him at birth; a “naturalized” citizen, meaning one who entered the country as an alien but later obtained citizenship via a process determined by law; and a foreigner.

A natural born citizen cannot be a foreigner. Foreigners are not citizens. A natural born citizen cannot be a person who was naturalized. Those people are not born citizens; they’re born aliens. Most important for the purposes of the Cruz question, a natural born citizen cannot be someone whose birth entitled him to citizenship because of a statute—in this case a statute that confers citizenship on a person born abroad to an American parent. In the 18th century, as now, the word natural meant “in the regular course of things.” Then, as now, almost all Americans obtained citizenship by birth in this country, not by birth to Americans abroad. The natural way to obtain citizenship, then, was (and is) by being born in this country. Because Cruz was not “natural born”—not born in the United States—he is ineligible for the presidency, under the most plausible interpretation of the Constitution.

The historical background supports this view..."

2. Joel B. Pollak, 2016

Joel B. Pollak, "Exclusive: Birth Certificate for Ted Cruz’s Mother," Breitbart, Jan 8, 2016, accessed Feb 9, 2016, http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/08/ted-cruz-mother-birth-certificate/.

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class struggle
Ben Hirschler and Noah Barkin, Jan 19, 2016

Title

Hirschler and Barkin peddle class struggle

Quote

"Politicians and business leaders gathering in the Swiss Alps this week face an increasingly divided world, with the poor falling further behind the super-rich and political fissures in the United States, Europe and the Middle East running deeper than at any time in decades.

Just 62 people, 53 of them men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population and the richest 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent put together, anti-poverty charity Oxfam said on Monday."1

Analysis

This article, while not very long, attempts to divide people based on wealth and gender. As such, it is an example of Marxian class struggle

References

1. Ben Hirschler and Noah Barkin, 2016

Ben Hirschler and Noah Barkin, "A world divided: Elites descend on Swiss Alps amid rising inequality," Reuters, Jan 19, 2016, accessed Jan 19, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-meeting-divisions-idUSKCN0UW007.

"Politicians and business leaders gathering in the Swiss Alps this week face an increasingly divided world, with the poor falling further behind the super-rich and political fissures in the United States, Europe and the Middle East running deeper than at any time in decades.

Just 62 people, 53 of them men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world population and the richest 1 percent own more than the other 99 percent put together, anti-poverty charity Oxfam said on Monday."

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Illegal immigration
Jeffrey Toobin, Jan 19, 2016

Title

Toobin redefines immigration authority

Quote

"Regulation of immigration and borders is, of course, a core responsibility of the executive under our system of separation of powers."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Toobin's statment is false. Congress has authority over naturalization

References

1. Jeffrey Toobin, 2016

Jeffrey Toobin, "An Ideological Scramble on Immigration at the Supreme Court," The New Yorker, Jan 19, 2016, accessed Jan 24, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/an-ideological-scramble-on-immigration-at-the-supreme-court.

"Regulation of immigration and borders is, of course, a core responsibility of the executive under our system of separation of powers."

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Middle East exodus
CBS/AP, Dec 25, 2015

Title

CBS News displays ignorance on the nationality of asylum seekers

Quote

"The surge of refugees flowing out of Syria to Europe has created a migration crisis for the entire continent."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

"Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria."2

More information on the origin of the asylum applicants can be found at EuroStat.3

References

1. CBS/AP, 2015

CBS/AP, "Pope laments world torn by "murderous evil," war, poverty," CBS News, Dec 25, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/in-urbi-et-orbi-christmas-message-pope-francis-notes-world-torn-by-murderous-evil-war-poverty/.

"The surge of refugees flowing out of Syria to Europe has created a migration crisis for the entire continent."

2. Ian Drury, 2015

Ian Drury, "Four out of five migrants are NOT from Syria: EU figures expose the 'lie' that the majority of refugees are fleeing war zone," Daily Mail, Sep 18, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3240010/Number-refugees-arriving-Europe-soars-85-year-just-one-five-war-torn-Syria.html.

"Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria."

3. EuroStat, 2015

EuroStat, "Asylum statistics," EuroStat, May 21, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/mobile/index.php#Page?title=Asylum_statistics&lg=en.

"Asylum applicants from Syria rose to 122 thousand in the EU-28 in 2014, which equated to 20 % of the total from all non-member countries."

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U.S. monthly budget
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Dec 10, 2015

Title

Monthly Treasury Statement

Quote

"The Monthly Treasury Statement is released at 2:00 PM on the 8th business day of each month."1

Type

Information

Analysis

Reading the Monthly Treasury Statement will inform you on how your tax dollars are spent.

References

1. U.S. Department of the Treasury, 2015

U.S. Department of the Treasury, "Monthly Treasury Statement," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Dec 10, 2015, accessed Dec 10, 2015, https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/mthTreasStmt/current.htm.

"The Monthly Treasury Statement is released at 2:00 PM on the 8th business day of each month."

Related News

Related Philosophies

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Middle East exodus
Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015

Title

Obama calls Syrian asylum seekers "widows and orphans"

Quote

"And I would add, by the way, these are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Obama redefines the demographics of the asylum seekers. The vast majority of applicants are not "widows" and "three-year-old orphans."

"The distribution of asylum applicants by sex shows that men were more likely than women to seek asylum."2 Also, "Nearly four in every five (79 %) asylum seekers in the EU-28 in 2014 were aged less than 35 (see Table 3); those aged 18–34 accounted for slightly more than half (54 %) of the total number of applicants, while minors aged less than 18 accounted for one quarter (26 %)."3

References

1. Barack Obama, 2015

Barack Obama, "Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting," Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/17/remarks-president-obama-and-president-aquino-republic-philippines-after.

"And I would add, by the way, these are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me."

2. EuroStat, 2015

EuroStat, "Asylum statistics," EuroStat, May 21, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/mobile/index.php#Page?title=Asylum_statistics&lg=en.

"The distribution of asylum applicants by sex shows that men were more likely than women to seek asylum."

3. EuroStat, 2015

EuroStat, "Asylum statistics," EuroStat, May 21, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/mobile/index.php#Page?title=Asylum_statistics&lg=en.

"Nearly four in every five (79 %) asylum seekers in the EU-28 in 2014 were aged less than 35 (see Table 3); those aged 18–34 accounted for slightly more than half (54 %) of the total number of applicants, while minors aged less than 18 accounted for one quarter (26 %)."

Similar quotes

1. Barack Obama, 2015

Barack Obama, "Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting," Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/17/remarks-president-obama-and-president-aquino-republic-philippines-after.

"And so if there are concrete, actual suggestions to enhance this extraordinary screening process that’s already in place, we’re welcome -- we’re open to hearing actual ideas. But that’s not really what’s been going on in this debate. When candidates say, we wouldn't admit three-year-old orphans -- that’s political posturing."

2. Barack Obama, 2015

Barack Obama, "Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting," Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/17/remarks-president-obama-and-president-aquino-republic-philippines-after.

"Oh, one last thing. With respect to Congress, I know that there’s been discussion about legislation suddenly surfacing around refugees. I’ve been waiting for a year and a half, or more, for legislation that would authorize the military activities that we’re carrying out in Syria as we speak, and have not been able to get anything out of Congress. And now, suddenly, they’re able to rush in, in a day or two, to solve the threat of widows and orphans and others who are fleeing a war-torn land, and that’s their most constructive contribution to the effort against IISL? That doesn’t sound right to me. And I suspect it won’t sound right to the American people."

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Middle East exodus
Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015

Title

Obama describes screening process for Syrian asylum seekers

Quote

"Understand, under current law, it takes anywhere from, on average, 18 to 24 months to clear a refugee to come into the United States. They are subjected to the most rigorous process conceivable. The intelligence community vets fully who they are. Biometrics are applied to determine whether they are, in fact, somebody who might threaten the United States. There is an entire apparatus of all of our law enforcement agencies and the center that we use for countering terrorism to check and ensure that a refugee is not admitted that might cause us harm."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

The following exchange between Bennie Thompson and James Comey shows the fallacy in Obama's assessment of the screening process of asylum seekers.

"Representative Bennie Thompson: Assistant Director Steinbeck said that the concern in Syria is that we don’t have the system in place on the ground to collect the information to vet. That would be the concern. Databases don’t hold the information on these individuals. Is that still the position of the department?

FBI Director James Comey: Yes, I think that’s the challenge we’re all talking about. We can only query against that which we have collected. And, so, if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record on that person. That’s what assistant director Steinbeck is talking about. You can only query what you have collected. And, with respect to Iraqi refugees we had far more in our database because of our country’s work there for a decade. This is a different situation."2

For evidence that terrorists will pose as refugees, refer to CIA Director John Brennan and ABC News. In 2016, Brennan testified to Congress that ISIS "is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West including in refugee flows..."3 In 2013, ABC News reported that dozens of suspected terrorists may have been permitted to enter the United States as refugees.4

References

1. Barack Obama, 2015

Barack Obama, "Remarks by President Obama and President Aquino of the Republic of the Philippines after Bilateral Meeting," Barack Obama, Nov 17, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/17/remarks-president-obama-and-president-aquino-republic-philippines-after.

"Understand, under current law, it takes anywhere from, on average, 18 to 24 months to clear a refugee to come into the United States. They are subjected to the most rigorous process conceivable. The intelligence community vets fully who they are. Biometrics are applied to determine whether they are, in fact, somebody who might threaten the United States. There is an entire apparatus of all of our law enforcement agencies and the center that we use for countering terrorism to check and ensure that a refugee is not admitted that might cause us harm."

2. Bennie Thompson and James Comey, 2015

Bennie Thompson and James Comey, "National Security Threats," Congress, Oct 21, 2015, accessed Jan 26, 2016, http://www.c-span.org/video/?328763-1/jeh-johnson-james-comey-nicholas-rasmussen-testimony-national-security-threats&start=2695.

"Representative Bennie Thompson: Assistant Director Steinbeck said that the concern in Syria is that we don’t have the system in place on the ground to collect the information to vet. That would be the concern. Databases don’t hold the information on these individuals. Is that still the position of the department?

FBI Director James Comey: Yes, I think that’s the challenge we’re all talking about. We can only query against that which we have collected. And, so, if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record on that person. That’s what assistant director Steinbeck is talking about. You can only query what you have collected. And, with respect to Iraqi refugees we had far more in our database because of our country’s work there for a decade. This is a different situation."

3. John Brennan, 2016

John Brennan, "CIA Director John Brennan Warns Lawmakers," U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Jun 16, 2016, accessed Jun 18, 2016, http://www.c-span.org/video/?411140-1/cia-director-john-brennan-warns-lawmakers-growing-isis-threat.

"ISIL has a large cadre of western fighters who can potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. And, the group is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West including in refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel."

4. James Meek, Cindy Galli, and Brian Ross, 2013

James Meek, Cindy Galli, and Brian Ross, "Exclusive: US May Have Let 'Dozens' of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees," ABC News, Nov 20, 2013, accessed May 5, 2016, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/al-qaeda-kentucky-us-dozens-terrorists-country-refugees/story?id=20931131.

"Several dozen suspected terrorist bombmakers, including some believed to have targeted American troops, may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees, according to FBI agents investigating the remnants of roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The discovery in 2009 of two al Qaeda-Iraq terrorists living as refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky -- who later admitted in court that they'd attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- prompted the bureau to assign hundreds of specialists to an around-the-clock effort aimed at checking its archive of 100,000 improvised explosive devices collected in the war zones, known as IEDs, for other suspected terrorists' fingerprints."

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Benghazi
Hillary Clinton, Oct 27, 2015

Title

Clinton describes Benghazi attack

Quote

"This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."1

Type

Change the subject

Analysis

Ms. Clinton told the Prime Minister of Egypt, "We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with a film. It was a planned attack — not a protest."2

Ms. Clinton told her family, "Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group."3

Why does Ms. Clinton not mention "a planned attack" or "Al Queda-like group" in her statement to the American people? Either she desires to implicate the video by association. Or, she seeks to change the subject.

The "implicating the video" scenario agrees with the State Department's subsequent statement by Susan Rice, the UN Ambassador.4

By changing the subject, she detracts from a planned, Al Queda attack that happened on her watch to personnel who requested additional support.5 In light of this, she was derelict in her duty.

References

1. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton mentions Benghazi and video 1," Hillary Clinton, Oct 27, 2015, accessed Oct 27, 2015, http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/09/197628.htm.

"This evening, I called Libyan President Magariaf to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. President Magariaf expressed his condemnation and condolences and pledged his government’s full cooperation.

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

2. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton Testimony at House Select Committee on Benghazi, Part 1," Hillary Clinton, Oct 22, 2015, accessed Nov 18, 2015, http://www.c-span.org/video/?328699-1/hillary-clinton-testimony-house-select-committee-benghazi-part-1&start=9422.

"We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with a film. It was a planned attack — not a protest."

3. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton Testimony at House Select Committee on Benghazi, Part 1," Hillary Clinton, Oct 22, 2015, accessed Nov 18, 2015, http://www.c-span.org/video/?328699-1/hillary-clinton-testimony-house-select-committee-benghazi-part-1&start=9422.

"Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group."

4. Susan Rice, 2012

Susan Rice, "'This Week' Transcript: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice," United States Department of State, Sep 16, 2012, accessed Jan 9, 2016, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-us-ambassador-united-nations-susan-rice/story?id=17240933.

"But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous -- not a premeditated -- response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated."

5. Accountability Review Board for Benghazi, 2015

Accountability Review Board for Benghazi, "Accountability Review Board (ARB) for Benghazi," United States Department of State, Oct 13, 2015, accessed Oct 27, 2015, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/202446.pdf.

"Overall, the number of Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) security staff in Benghazi on the day of the attack and in the months and weeks leading up to it was inadequate, despite repeated requests from Special Mission Benghazi and Embassy Tripoli for additional staffing. Board members found a pervasive realization among personnel who served in Benghazi that the Special Mission was not a high priority for Washington when it came to security-related requests, especially those relating to staffing."

Similar quotes

1. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Hillary Clinton mentions Benghazi and video 2," Hillary Clinton, Oct 27, 2015, accessed Oct 27, 2015, http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/09/197654.htm.

"There will be more time later to reflect, but today, we have work to do. There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve. We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our Embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear – there is no justification for this, none. Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith. And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace."

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Price stability
Janet L. Yellen, Sep 24, 2015

Title

Yellen redefines stable prices

Quote

"A crucial responsibility of any central bank is to control inflation, the average rate of increase in the prices of a broad group of goods and services. Keeping inflation stable at a moderately low level is important because, for reasons I will discuss, inflation that is high, excessively low, or unstable imposes significant costs on households and businesses. As a result, inflation control is one half of the dual mandate that Congress has laid down for the Federal Reserve, which is to pursue maximum employment and stable prices."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Inflation devalues money and is inconsistent with stable prices. Therefore, she attempts to redefine a federal reserve mandate

References

1. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Sep 24, 2015, accessed Nov 25, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20150924a.htm.

"A crucial responsibility of any central bank is to control inflation, the average rate of increase in the prices of a broad group of goods and services. Keeping inflation stable at a moderately low level is important because, for reasons I will discuss, inflation that is high, excessively low, or unstable imposes significant costs on households and businesses. As a result, inflation control is one half of the dual mandate that Congress has laid down for the Federal Reserve, which is to pursue maximum employment and stable prices."

Similar quotes

1. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 11, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140211a.htm.

"I am committed to achieving both parts of our dual mandate: helping the economy return to full employment and returning inflation to 2 percent while ensuring that it does not run persistently above or below that level."

2. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 24, 2015, accessed Jan 17, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm.

"In response to unforeseen developments, the Committee will adjust the target range for the federal funds rate to best promote the achievement of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation."

3. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jul 15, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140715a.htm.

"Inflation has moved up in recent months but remains below the FOMC's 2 percent objective for inflation over the longer run."

4. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 24, 2015, accessed Jan 17, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm.

"It continues to be the FOMC's assessment that even after employment and inflation are near levels consistent with our dual mandate, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run. It is possible, for example, that it may be necessary for the federal funds rate to run temporarily below its normal longer-run level because the residual effects of the financial crisis may continue to weigh on economic activity. As such factors continue to dissipate, we would expect the federal funds rate to move toward its longer-run normal level. In response to unforeseen developments, the Committee will adjust the target range for the federal funds rate to best promote the achievement of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation."

5. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "The Economic Outlook," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 8, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140507a.htm.

"That said, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recognizes that inflation persistently below 2 percent--the rate that the Committee judges to be most consistent with its dual mandate--could pose risks to economic performance, and we are monitoring inflation developments closely."

6. Federal Reserve Board, 2012

Federal Reserve Board, "Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement of longer-run goals and policy strategy," Federal Reserve Board, Jan 25, 2012, accessed Nov 22, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20120125c.htm.

"The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate."

7. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Economic Outlook," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Dec 3, 2015, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20151203a.htm.

"Turning to inflation, it continues to run below the FOMC's longer-run objective of 2 percent."

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14th amendment
Andrew Napolitano, Sep 3, 2015

Title

Napolitano redefines 14th amendment

Quote

"In the same era, the court held that all babies born here of alien mothers are citizens.

The Fourteenth Amendment requires this, and its language is inclusive: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States..." Though written to protect former slaves, its language is not limited to them.

Some well-intended folks have argued that the language "all persons" doesn't really mean "all" because it is modified by "and subject to the jurisdiction (of the United States)." But that language refers to the offspring of mothers who, though here, are still subject to a foreign government—like foreign diplomats, agents or military. It does not refer to those fleeing foreign governments. It does not—and cannot—impose an intent requirement upon infants."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Napolitano associates "Hispanics here without documentation" with people "fleeing foreign governments." In doing so, he makes an assumption about the cause of illegal immigration.

His defense of illegal immigrants hangs upon a superficial reading of the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment applies to any infant born in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction. The original intent of jurisdiction is "complete alliegance."

Erler wrote, "By itself, birth within the territorial limits of the United States, as the case of the Indians indicated, did not make one automatically 'subject to the jurisdiction' of the United States. And 'jurisdiction' did not mean simply subject to the laws of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of its courts. Rather, 'jurisdiction' meant exclusive 'allegiance' to the United States. Not all who were subject to the laws owed allegiance to the United States. As Senator Howard remarked, the requirement of 'jurisdiction,' understood in the sense of 'allegiance,' 'will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.'"2

References

1. Andrew Napolitano, 2015

Andrew Napolitano, "Immigration and the Constitution," Reason.com, Sep 3, 2015, accessed Jan 22, 2016, http://reason.com/archives/2015/09/03/immigration-and-the-us-constitution.

"In the same era, the court held that all babies born here of alien mothers are citizens.

The Fourteenth Amendment requires this, and its language is inclusive: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States..." Though written to protect former slaves, its language is not limited to them.

Some well-intended folks have argued that the language "all persons" doesn't really mean "all" because it is modified by "and subject to the jurisdiction (of the United States)." But that language refers to the offspring of mothers who, though here, are still subject to a foreign government—like foreign diplomats, agents or military. It does not refer to those fleeing foreign governments. It does not—and cannot—impose an intent requirement upon infants."

2. Edward Erler, 2005

Edward Erler, "Birthright Citizenship and the Constitution," The Heritage Foundation, Dec 1, 2005, accessed Jan 22, 2016, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2005/12/birthright-citizenship-and-the-constitution.

"By itself, birth within the territorial limits of the United States, as the case of the Indians indicated, did not make one automatically 'subject to the jurisdiction' of the United States. And 'jurisdiction' did not mean simply subject to the laws of the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of its courts. Rather, 'jurisdiction' meant exclusive 'allegiance' to the United States. Not all who were subject to the laws owed allegiance to the United States. As Senator Howard remarked, the requirement of 'jurisdiction,' understood in the sense of 'allegiance,' 'will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States.'"

Related Philosophies

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14th amendment
Jessica Mendoza, Jul 23, 2015

Title

Mendoza discusses illegal aliens

Quote

"Immigrant parents living in Texas are suing the state for what they say is the unlawful denial of birth certificates for their US-born children.

The suit, filed in June by a group of parents from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, claims that officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services withheld the birth certificates of 23 American-born children because the parents could not provide the kind of photo identification required under state law.

The case, representing yet another point of contention in the bitter nationwide debate around immigration reform, pits the concept of birthright citizenship against the Lone Star State's strict ID laws.

The 14th Amendment assures the right of citizenship to anyone born on US soil, regardless of the parents’ immigration status."1

Type

Redefinition, Fallacy

Analysis

Mendoza's article provides an example of biased reporting. She manipulates language and omits facts to influence the reader. Her use of the term "immigrant parents" instead of "illegal aliens" deflects attention from the parents' immigration status. Illegal entery into the United States is punishable by fines and jail time.2

Her statement also omits an important detail regarding the 14th amendment. She fails to mention that people born on United States soil must be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States in order to be granted citizenship.

References

1. Jessica Mendoza, 2015

Jessica Mendoza, "Immigrant parents sue Texas over US-born children’s birth certificates," The Christian Science Monitor, Jul 23, 2015, accessed Jul 13, 2015, http://m.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2015/0723/Immigrant-parents-sue-Texas-over-US-born-children-s-birth-certificates.

"Immigrant parents living in Texas are suing the state for what they say is the unlawful denial of birth certificates for their US-born children.

The suit, filed in June by a group of parents from Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, claims that officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services withheld the birth certificates of 23 American-born children because the parents could not provide the kind of photo identification required under state law.

The case, representing yet another point of contention in the bitter nationwide debate around immigration reform, pits the concept of birthright citizenship against the Lone Star State's strict ID laws.

The 14th Amendment assures the right of citizenship to anyone born on US soil, regardless of the parents’ immigration status."

2. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1996

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Sec. 1325 - Improper entry by alien," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Sep 30, 1996, accessed Jan 9, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title8/USCODE-2011-title8-chap12-subchapII-partVIII-sec1325.

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Obamacare
David Weigel, Jul 20, 2015

Title

Weigel argues for Socialism

Quote

"It was the kludged, mandate-driven design of the Affordable Care Act that prevented it from being a boon to Democrats, as Medicare for all might have been."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

By desiring "Medicare for all", Weigel advocates for Socialism. He claims that losing the freedom to choose your health insurance would be popular. He does not mention how much taxes will increase to pay for the program.2

References

1. David Weigel, 2015

David Weigel, "Liberal activists see Bernie Sanders as champion for causes failed by Obama," Washington Post, Jul 20, 2015, accessed Oct 12, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/liberal-activists-see-bernie-sanders-as-champion-for-causes-failed-by-obama/2015/07/19/8b5fc752-2e09-11e5-8353-1215475949f4_story.html.

"It was the kludged, mandate-driven design of the Affordable Care Act that prevented it from being a boon to Democrats, as Medicare for all might have been."

2. Bernie 2016, 2016

Bernie 2016, "Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind," Bernie 2016, May 21, 2016, accessed May 21, 2016, https://berniesanders.com/issues/medicare-for-all/.

"THE PLAN WOULD BE FULLY PAID FOR BY:
A 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers...
A 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households...
Progressive income tax rates...
Taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work...
Limit tax deductions for rich...
The Responsible Estate Tax..."

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2007 financial crisis
David Weigel, Jul 20, 2015

Title

Weigel blames banks for financial crisis

Quote

"David Axelrod, the Obama campaign strategist who was a senior White House adviser during the crisis years, said Sanders-style criticism ignores the reality of the economic crash. “There was a constant tug and pull between the need to discipline an industry whose excesses had triggered the crisis and keeping the system from collapsing, which would have exacerbated an already reeling economy,” he said."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Axelrod does not define "excesses." Presumably, he means that banks made risky loans. Because he fails to recognize the Federal government's involvement in the financial crisis, his statement is fallacy.

The Federal government used the Community Reinvestment Act to compel banks to make loans and influenced the terms of the loans. Wikipedia documents the history of the Act.

"In the fall of 1999, Senators Dodd and Schumer prevented another impasse by securing a compromise between Sen. Gramm and the Clinton Administration by agreeing to amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. ch. 16) to allow banks to merge or expand into other types of financial institutions. The FDIC related provisions of the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, along with the addition of sub-section § 2903(c) directly to Title 12, insured any bank holding institution wishing to be re-designated as a financial holding institution by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System would also have to follow Community Reinvestment Act compliance guidelines before any merger or expansion could take effect."2

In 2000, the Treasury cited the CRA for lowering down payments. "Relative to the 1980s, mortgage interest rates and down payment requirements were lower (the latter development most likely driven by the CRA)."3

In addition to influencing mortgage standards, the Federal government changed the accounting standard for banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued FAS 157 in September 2006, which was to be effective after November 2007.4 "...this accounting rule requires companies to adjust the value of marketable securities (such as the mortgage-backed securities (MBS)) to their market value. The intent of the standard is to help investors understand the value of these assets at a specific time, rather than just their historical purchase price. Because the market for these assets is distressed, it is difficult to sell many MBS at other than prices which may (or may not) be representative of market stresses, which may be less than the value that the mortgage cash flow related to the MBS would merit. As initially interpreted by companies and their auditors, the typically lesser sale value was used as the market value rather than the cash flow value. Many large financial institutions recognized significant losses during 2007 and 2008 as a result of marking-down MBS asset prices to market value."5

At the end of the stock market downturn, mark-to-market was eased. "On March 16, 2009, FASB proposed allowing companies to use more leeway in valuing their assets under "mark-to-market" accounting. On April 2, 2009, after a 15-day public comment period and a contentious testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services subcommittee, FASB eased the mark-to-market rules through the release of three FASB Staff Positions (FSPs). Financial institutions are still required by the rules to mark transactions to market prices but more so in a steady market and less so when the market is inactive. To proponents of the rules, this eliminates the unnecessary "positive feedback loop" that can result in a weakened economy.

On April 9, 2009, FASB issued an official update to FAS 157 that eases the mark-to-market rules when the market is unsteady or inactive. Early adopters were allowed to apply the ruling as of March 15, 2009, and the rest as of June 15, 2009. It was anticipated that these changes could significantly increase banks' statements of earnings and allow them to defer reporting losses."6

Since the Federal government influenced mortgage-lending standards and bank accounting standards, it is disingenuous to place blame for the financial crisis entirely on the banks.

References

1. David Weigel, 2015

David Weigel, "Liberal activists see Bernie Sanders as champion for causes failed by Obama," Washington Post, Jul 20, 2015, accessed Oct 12, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/liberal-activists-see-bernie-sanders-as-champion-for-causes-failed-by-obama/2015/07/19/8b5fc752-2e09-11e5-8353-1215475949f4_story.html.

"David Axelrod, the Obama campaign strategist who was a senior White House adviser during the crisis years, said Sanders-style criticism ignores the reality of the economic crash. “There was a constant tug and pull between the need to discipline an industry whose excesses had triggered the crisis and keeping the system from collapsing, which would have exacerbated an already reeling economy,” he said."

2. Wikipedia, 2016

Wikipedia, "Community Reinvestment Act," Wikipedia, Jan 3, 2016, accessed Jan 6, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Reinvestment_Act.

"In the fall of 1999, Senators Dodd and Schumer prevented another impasse by securing a compromise between Sen. Gramm and the Clinton Administration by agreeing to amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. ch. 16) to allow banks to merge or expand into other types of financial institutions. The FDIC related provisions of the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, along with the addition of sub-section § 2903(c) directly to Title 12, insured any bank holding institution wishing to be re-designated as a financial holding institution by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System would also have to follow Community Reinvestment Act compliance guidelines before any merger or expansion could take effect."

3. R. Litan, N. Retsinas, E. Belsky, and S. Haag, 2000

R. Litan, N. Retsinas, E. Belsky, and S. Haag, "The Community Reinvestment Act After Financial Modernization: A Baseline Report," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Apr 1, 2000, accessed Jan 6, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Documents/crareport.pdf.

"Relative to the 1980s, mortgage interest rates and down payment requirements were lower (the latter development most likely driven by the CRA)."

4. Financial Accounting Standards Board, 2006

Financial Accounting Standards Board, "Effective Dates of Recent FASB Documents," Financial Accounting Standards Board, Sep 30, 2006, accessed Jan 27, 2016, http://www.fasb.org/project/recent_effective_dates.shtml.

"(FAS 157) is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after November 15, 2007, and interim periods within those fiscal years."

5. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "Mark-to-market accounting," Wikipedia, Aug 15, 2015, accessed Jan 27, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark-to-market_accounting.

"...this accounting rule requires companies to adjust the value of marketable securities (such as the mortgage-backed securities (MBS)) to their market value. The intent of the standard is to help investors understand the value of these assets at a specific time, rather than just their historical purchase price. Because the market for these assets is distressed, it is difficult to sell many MBS at other than prices which may (or may not) be representative of market stresses, which may be less than the value that the mortgage cash flow related to the MBS would merit. As initially interpreted by companies and their auditors, the typically lesser sale value was used as the market value rather than the cash flow value. Many large financial institutions recognized significant losses during 2007 and 2008 as a result of marking-down MBS asset prices to market value."

6. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "Mark-to-market accounting," Wikipedia, Aug 15, 2015, accessed Jan 27, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark-to-market_accounting.

"On March 16, 2009, FASB proposed allowing companies to use more leeway in valuing their assets under "mark-to-market" accounting. On April 2, 2009, after a 15-day public comment period and a contentious testimony before the U.S. House Financial Services subcommittee, FASB eased the mark-to-market rules through the release of three FASB Staff Positions (FSPs). Financial institutions are still required by the rules to mark transactions to market prices but more so in a steady market and less so when the market is inactive. To proponents of the rules, this eliminates the unnecessary "positive feedback loop" that can result in a weakened economy.

On April 9, 2009, FASB issued an official update to FAS 157 that eases the mark-to-market rules when the market is unsteady or inactive. Early adopters were allowed to apply the ruling as of March 15, 2009, and the rest as of June 15, 2009. It was anticipated that these changes could significantly increase banks' statements of earnings and allow them to defer reporting losses."

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Greek debt crisis
Frances Coppola, Jul 17, 2015

Title

Coppola confuses a donation with a loan

Quote

"But Germany remains adamant that there can be no reduction in the present value of the debt, whether through haircut or interest reduction & maturity extension, because to do so would violate the no-bailout clause in Article 125 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Frankly this is specious. The no-bailout clause was flouted in 2010 when Germany and others made bilateral loans to Greece to prevent their own banks collapsing. If they could fudge the treaties then, they can fudge them now."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

A loan is not the same as a donation. What right do Greeks have to German money?

References

1. Frances Coppola, 2015

Frances Coppola, "The IMF Says The Greek Deal Is Not Viable," Forbes, Jul 17, 2015, accessed Dec 10, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2015/07/17/the-new-greek-deal-is-not-viable-without-debt-relief/.

"But Germany remains adamant that there can be no reduction in the present value of the debt, whether through haircut or interest reduction & maturity extension, because to do so would violate the no-bailout clause in Article 125 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Frankly this is specious. The no-bailout clause was flouted in 2010 when Germany and others made bilateral loans to Greece to prevent their own banks collapsing. If they could fudge the treaties then, they can fudge them now."

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Federal Reserve
Janet L. Yellen, Jul 15, 2015

Title

Yellen drops third mandate

Quote

"As always, we will regularly reassess what level of the federal funds rate is consistent with achieving and maintaining the Committee's dual mandate."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

The federal reserve mandates are maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates. "Dual mandate" is incorrect.

References

1. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jul 15, 2015, accessed Oct 12, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150715a.htm.

"As always, we will regularly reassess what level of the federal funds rate is consistent with achieving and maintaining the Committee's dual mandate."

Similar quotes

1. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Sep 24, 2015, accessed Nov 25, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20150924a.htm.

"A crucial responsibility of any central bank is to control inflation, the average rate of increase in the prices of a broad group of goods and services. Keeping inflation stable at a moderately low level is important because, for reasons I will discuss, inflation that is high, excessively low, or unstable imposes significant costs on households and businesses. As a result, inflation control is one half of the dual mandate that Congress has laid down for the Federal Reserve, which is to pursue maximum employment and stable prices."

2. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 24, 2015, accessed Jan 17, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm.

"As is always the case in setting policy, the Committee will determine the timing and pace of policy normalization so as to promote its statutory mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability."

3. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 11, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140211a.htm.

"I am committed to achieving both parts of our dual mandate: helping the economy return to full employment and returning inflation to 2 percent while ensuring that it does not run persistently above or below that level."

4. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 11, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140211a.htm.

"I served on the Committee as we formulated our current policy strategy and I strongly support that strategy, which is designed to fulfill the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate of maximum employment and price stability."

5. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 24, 2015, accessed Jan 17, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm.

"I will now turn to monetary policy. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is committed to policies that promote maximum employment and price stability, consistent with our mandate from the Congress."

6. Janet L. Yellen, 2015

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Feb 24, 2015, accessed Jan 17, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20150224a.htm.

"It continues to be the FOMC's assessment that even after employment and inflation are near levels consistent with our dual mandate, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run. It is possible, for example, that it may be necessary for the federal funds rate to run temporarily below its normal longer-run level because the residual effects of the financial crisis may continue to weigh on economic activity. As such factors continue to dissipate, we would expect the federal funds rate to move toward its longer-run normal level. In response to unforeseen developments, the Committee will adjust the target range for the federal funds rate to best promote the achievement of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation."

7. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "The Economic Outlook," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, May 8, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140507a.htm.

"That said, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recognizes that inflation persistently below 2 percent--the rate that the Committee judges to be most consistent with its dual mandate--could pose risks to economic performance, and we are monitoring inflation developments closely."

8. Janet L. Yellen, 2014

Janet L. Yellen, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jul 15, 2014, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20140715a.htm.

"The FOMC is committed to policies that promote maximum employment and price stability, consistent with our dual mandate from the Congress."

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Obamacare
Howell Raines, Jul 10, 2015

Title

Raines smears Alabama governor

Quote

"(Robert J. Bentley's) dyspeptic refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, in a state where more than one million of 4.8 million residents depend on the program, betokens a stunning indifference to the Hippocratic oath."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Is it moral to take money from one person and give it to another person? Ten percent of the expense of the Medicaid expansion will be left to the States to pay.2 The remaining 90% of the expense will be paid by taxpayers at the national level. If the federal government continues to run a budget deficit, then a future generation will pay for the Medicaid expansion.

References

1. Howell Raines, 2015

Howell Raines, "The Dream World of the Southern Republican," New York Times, Jul 10, 2015, accessed Dec 10, 2015, http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/opinion/sunday/will-demographics-transform-southern-politics.html?_r=0.

"(Robert J. Bentley's) dyspeptic refusal to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion, in a state where more than one million of 4.8 million residents depend on the program, betokens a stunning indifference to the Hippocratic oath."

2. U.S. News & World Report, 2012

U.S. News & World Report, "Is Medicaid Expansion Good for the States?," U.S. News & World Report, Jul 24, 2012, accessed May 21, 2016, http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/is-medicaid-expansion-good-for-the-states.

"The federal government would pick up the tab for most of the Medicaid expansion when it is implemented in 2014, but states would be required to pay for 10 percent of it by 2020."

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Illegal immigration
Catherine E. Shoichet, Jul 8, 2015

Title

Shoichet discusses illegal aliens

Quote

"177,960
The number of undocumented immigrants deported last year who were convicted criminals, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Her use of "undocumented" hides the fact that all illegal aliens break the law.2

References

1. Catherine E. Shoichet, 2015

Catherine E. Shoichet, "Immigrants and crime: Crunching the numbers," CNN, Jul 8, 2015, accessed Oct 13, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/08/politics/immigrants-crime/.

"177,960
The number of undocumented immigrants deported last year who were convicted criminals, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

2. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1996

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Sec. 1325 - Improper entry by alien," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Sep 30, 1996, accessed Jan 9, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title8/USCODE-2011-title8-chap12-subchapII-partVIII-sec1325.

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class struggle
Hillary Clinton, Jun 13, 2015

Title

Clinton on Equality of Opportunity

Quote

"President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: 'Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few… The preservation of civil liberties for all… a wider and constantly rising standard of living.'"1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

It is impossible to guarantee equality of opportunity, security, and "a wider and constantly rising standard of living" because equality of opportunity does not guarantee equality of outcome. Therefore, she perpetuates FDR's fallacy.2

Furthermore, she and FDR engage in class struggle by stating, "the ending of special privilege for the few."

References

1. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Campaign Kickoff Speech," Hillary Clinton, Jun 13, 2015, accessed Oct 14, 2015, https://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/campaign-kickoff-speech/.

"President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: 'Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few… The preservation of civil liberties for all… a wider and constantly rising standard of living.'"

2. Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four freedoms speech”, Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union," Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jan 6, 1941, accessed Oct 14, 2015, http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/pdfs/fftext.pdf.

"Certainly this is no time for any of us to stop thinking about the social and economic problems which are the root cause of the social revolution which is today a supreme factor in the world.

For there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
Jobs for those who can work.
Security for those who need it.
The ending of special privilege for the few.
The preservation of civil liberties for all.

The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living."

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Taxes
Hillary Clinton, Jun 13, 2015

Title

Clinton peddles class struggle

Quote

"Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else."1

Type

{Lclass struggle}

Analysis

The United States of America has a progressive income tax system. As such, "The Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97 Percent of All Income Taxes; the Top 5 Percent Paid 57 Percent of All Income Taxes; and the Top 1 Percent Paid 35 Percent of All Income Taxes in 2011"2

Since a progressive income tax redistributes wealth and redistribution of wealth violates Freedom, it follows that a progressive income tax violates Freedom.

Therefore, supporters of a progressive income tax are not advocates for Freedom. Ms. Clinton espouses Marxian class struggle

References

1. Hillary Clinton, 2015

Hillary Clinton, "Campaign Kickoff Speech," Hillary Clinton, Jun 13, 2015, accessed Oct 14, 2015, https://www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/campaign-kickoff-speech/.

"Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else."

2. Kyle Pomerleau, 2013

Kyle Pomerleau, "Summary of Latest Federal Income Tax Data," Tax Foundation, Dec 18, 2013, accessed Oct 15, 2015, http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data.

"The Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97 Percent of All Income Taxes; the Top 5 Percent Paid 57 Percent of All Income Taxes; and the Top 1 Percent Paid 35 Percent of All Income Taxes in 2011"

Related Language

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Illegal immigration
Grant Babcock, Oct 16, 2014

Title

Babcock's open borders fallacy

Quote

"One of the fundamental rights all humans have is the right to associate, or not, with whomever they choose. Immigration controls infringe on that right. If you want to meet your friend for coffee, you have a right to do that so long as you do not violate anyone else’s rights in the process. Crossing an international border does not harm anyone’s person or property, so it is a protected action. Preventing you from crossing the border to see your friend, or preventing them from coming to visit you, is no more justifiable than the government erecting roadblocks around a church or other private gathering place to prevent people from meeting there."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Babcock states, "One of the fundamental rights all humans have is the right to associate, or not, with whomever they choose."

His statement is true. Yet, he does not observe the right of U.S. citizens to not associate with unlimited numbers of foreigners. Such is his fallacy in an otherwise well-written article.

The founders povided the federal government with the power over citizenship and therefore immigration. "The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;"2

References

1. Grant Babcock, 2014

Grant Babcock, "The Libertarian Argument for Open Borders," Libertarianism.org, Oct 16, 2014, accessed Jan 22, 2016, http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/libertarian-argument-open-borders#.jvz4kvp:lqeO.

"One of the fundamental rights all humans have is the right to associate, or not, with whomever they choose. Immigration controls infringe on that right. If you want to meet your friend for coffee, you have a right to do that so long as you do not violate anyone else’s rights in the process. Crossing an international border does not harm anyone’s person or property, so it is a protected action. Preventing you from crossing the border to see your friend, or preventing them from coming to visit you, is no more justifiable than the government erecting roadblocks around a church or other private gathering place to prevent people from meeting there."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;"

Related Philosophies

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Federal Reserve
Ben S. Bernanke, Jul 17, 2013

Title

Bernanke drops third mandate

Quote

"With unemployment well above normal levels and inflation subdued, fostering our congressionally mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability requires a highly accommodative monetary policy."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

The federal reserve mandates are maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.

References

1. Ben S. Bernanke, 2013

Ben S. Bernanke, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jul 17, 2013, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/bernanke20130717a.htm.

"With unemployment well above normal levels and inflation subdued, fostering our congressionally mandated objectives of maximum employment and price stability requires a highly accommodative monetary policy."

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Price stability
Ben S. Bernanke, Jul 17, 2013

Title

Bernanke redefines stable prices

Quote

"Meanwhile, consumer price inflation has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective of 2 percent."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Inflation devalues money and is inconsistent with stable prices. Therefore, he attempts to redefine a federal reserve mandate

References

1. Ben S. Bernanke, 2013

Ben S. Bernanke, "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress," Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Jul 17, 2013, accessed Jan 18, 2016, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/bernanke20130717a.htm.

"Meanwhile, consumer price inflation has been running below the Committee's longer-run objective of 2 percent."

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Obamacare
Justice John Roberts, Jun 28, 2012

Title

Chief Justice Roberts defends the individual mandate as a tax

Quote

"The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

What is the nature of the United States government? Is it a limited government with enumerated powers? Or, may Congress do as it please?

The taxing power resides in Article 1, Section 8, clause 1,2 Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4,3 Article 1, Section 9, Clause 5,4 and amendment XVI.5

Because amendment XVI does not nullify the general Welfare clause, income tax laws must abide by the qualification. As Jefferson wrote, Congress is "not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose."

The general welfare phrase was further qualified when George Mason proposed amendment X. He said, "In my humble apprehension, unless there be some such clear and finite expression, this clause now under consideration will go to any thing our rulers may think proper. Unless there be some express declaration that every thing not given is retained, it will be carried to any power Congress may please."

Nothing in the Constitution mentions health insurance or specifies that Congress may dictate what goods or services to buy. Congress is given the power to regulate Commerce among the several States. But, it is not given the power to regulate commerce that exists solely within a state. Nor is Congress given the power to create commerce. The power to regulate is not the power to coerce into being. Finally, Congress is not given the power to pass health laws. Justice Marshall stated this fact in Gibbons v. Ogden.6

If Congress may coerce the citizenry to buy a good or service, then citizens do not have Freedom. Congress uses taxes, tax credits, tax deductions, and penalties to dictate personal decisions. Do citizens no longer have a right to spend their money as they please?7

References

1. Justice John Roberts, 2012

Justice John Roberts, "National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services," Supreme Court of the United States, Jun 28, 2012, accessed Jan 30, 2016, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf.

"The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

4. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."

5. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"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."

6. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"But, the inspection laws are said to be regulations of commerce, and are certainly recognised in the constitution, as being passed in the exercise of a power remaining with the States.

That inspection laws may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce, will not be denied; but that a power to regulate commerce is the source from which the right to pass them is derived, cannot be admitted. The object of inspection laws, is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country; to fit them for exportation; or, it may be, for domestic use. They act upon the subject before it becomes an article of foreign commerce, or of commerce among the States, and prepare it for that purpose. They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces everything within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.

No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress; and, consequently, they remain subject to State legislation. If the legislative power of the Union can reach them, it must be for national purposes; it must be where the power is expressly given for a special purpose, or is clearly incidental to some power which is expressly given. It is obvious, that the government of the Union, in the exercise of its express powers, that, for example, of regulating commerce with foreign nations and among the States, may use means that may also be employed by a State, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers; that, for example, of regulating commerce within the State. If Congress license vessels to sail from one port to another, in the same State, the act is supposed to be, necessarily, incidental to the power expressly granted to Congress, and implies no claim of a direct power to regulate the purely internal commerce of a State, or to act directly on its system of police. So, if a State, in passing laws on subjects acknowledged to be within its control, and with a view to those subjects, shall adopt a measure of the same character with one which Congress may adopt, it does not derive its authority from the particular power which has been granted, but from some other, which remains with the State, and may be executed by the same means. All experience shows, that the same measures, or measures scarcely distinguishable from each other, may flow from distinct powers; but this does not prove that the powers themselves are identical. Although the means used in their execution may sometimes approach each other so nearly as to be confounded, there are other situations in which they are sufficiently distinct to establish their individuality."

7. George Mason, 1791

George Mason, "Bill of Rights," George Mason, Dec 15, 1791, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

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Federal Reserve
Federal Reserve Board, Jun 17, 2011

Title

Is the Federal Reserve accountable to anyone?

Quote

"The Federal Reserve is accountable to the public and the U.S. Congress. The Fed has long viewed transparency as a fundamental principle of central banking that supports accountability. In the area of monetary policy, the Federal Reserve reports twice annually on its plans for monetary policy. In addition, the Chairman and other Federal Reserve officials often testify before the Congress.

To further foster transparency and accountability in monetary policy, the Federal Open Market Committee publishes a statement immediately following every FOMC meeting that describes the Committee's views regarding the economic outlook, and provides a rationale for its policy decision. Full minutes for each meeting are published three weeks after each FOMC meeting. Full verbatim transcripts of the FOMC meetings are made available with a five-year lag. Further, the Federal Reserve Chairman holds press conferences after selected FOMC meetings to discuss the monetary policy outlook.

The Federal Reserve is transparent and accountable in its other functions as well. The Board of Governors prepares an Annual Report summarizing activities of the Board and all Reserve Banks; the annual report is delivered to the Congress. To ensure financial accountability, the financial statements of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors are audited annually by an independent outside auditor. In addition, the Government Accountability Office, as well as the Board's Office of Inspector General, frequently audit many Federal Reserve activities. Weekly, the Board of Governors publishes the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. During the recent financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided information about its lending programs on its public website and in a special monthly report to Congress."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Members of the Federal Reserve board cannot be removed from office for their policy views.2

Therefore, the Federal Reserve is not accountable.

References

1. Federal Reserve Board, 2011

Federal Reserve Board, "FRB: Is the Federal Reserve accountable to anyone?," Federal Reserve Board, Jun 17, 2011, accessed Dec 8, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12798.htm.

"The Federal Reserve is accountable to the public and the U.S. Congress. The Fed has long viewed transparency as a fundamental principle of central banking that supports accountability. In the area of monetary policy, the Federal Reserve reports twice annually on its plans for monetary policy. In addition, the Chairman and other Federal Reserve officials often testify before the Congress.

To further foster transparency and accountability in monetary policy, the Federal Open Market Committee publishes a statement immediately following every FOMC meeting that describes the Committee's views regarding the economic outlook, and provides a rationale for its policy decision. Full minutes for each meeting are published three weeks after each FOMC meeting. Full verbatim transcripts of the FOMC meetings are made available with a five-year lag. Further, the Federal Reserve Chairman holds press conferences after selected FOMC meetings to discuss the monetary policy outlook.

The Federal Reserve is transparent and accountable in its other functions as well. The Board of Governors prepares an Annual Report summarizing activities of the Board and all Reserve Banks; the annual report is delivered to the Congress. To ensure financial accountability, the financial statements of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors are audited annually by an independent outside auditor. In addition, the Government Accountability Office, as well as the Board's Office of Inspector General, frequently audit many Federal Reserve activities. Weekly, the Board of Governors publishes the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. During the recent financial crisis, the Federal Reserve provided information about its lending programs on its public website and in a special monthly report to Congress."

2. Federal Reserve Board, 2015

Federal Reserve Board, "FRB: Who are the members of the Federal Reserve Board, and how are they selected?," Federal Reserve Board, Dec 8, 2015, accessed Dec 8, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12591.htm.

"The members of the Board of Governors are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. By law, the appointments must yield a "fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests and geographical divisions of the country," and no two Governors may come from the same Federal Reserve District.

The full term of a Governor is 14 years; appointments are staggered so that one term expires on January 31 of each even-numbered year. A Governor who has served a full term may not be reappointed, but a Governor who was appointed to complete the balance of an unexpired term may be reappointed to a full 14-year term.

Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy views. The lengthy terms and staggered appointments are intended to contribute to the insulation of the Board--and the Federal Reserve System as a whole--from day-to-day political pressures to which it might otherwise be subject."

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Taxes
Donald Trump, Nov 9, 1999

Title

Trump proposes a wealth tax

Quote

"Here is the TRUMP plan;

I would impose a one-time 14.25% net worth tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth of over $10 million.

For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence.

That would raise $5.7 trillion that we would use to pay-off the national debt.

We would save $200 billion in interest payments annually, which would allow us to cut taxes on middle-class working families by $100 billion a year or $1 trillion over ten years.

We can use the rest of the money, $100 billion to bolster the social security trust fund.

Over the next thirty years, when the trust fund is scheduled to go broke, we can put $3 trillion into the trust fund. This will make the trust fund solvent through the next century.

My proposal would also allow us to entirely repeal the 55% Federal Inheritance tax which really hurts farmers and small businessmen and women more than anyone else.

By my calculations 1% of Americans who control 90% of the wealth in this country would be affected by my plan — the other 99% of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes.

The wealthy would not suffer. With no national debt and deep cuts in income taxes, we would experience a 35-40% boost in economic activity. Individuals and businesses would be more prosperous and our economic future would be brighter. America would experience the greatest economic boom in our history.

Personally this plan would cost me hundreds of millions of dollars ­ but, in all honesty, it is worth it.

The increase in economic activity and more income in the pockets of the American people would mean more business start-ups, more job opportunities, lower unemployment, more tax revenue and prosperity for all Americans.

It is a win-win idea for the American people, an idea no conventional politician would have the guts to put forward.

I recognize that the special interests would fight my plan but I believe it would prove so popular with the American people that Congress would fail to pass it only at their own peril.

I am persuaded that if I were elected President of the United States I could, with the strong support of the American people, convince the leaders of Congress to enact this plan."1

Type

{Lclass struggle}

Analysis

Trump's 1999 tax plan is an example of class struggle because he pits a majority of the population against a minority. It is also an example of progressive tax rates.

Finally, a tax on wealth is a direct tax2 and is unconstitutional unless it is laid in proportion to the census.3

References

1. Donald Trump, 1999

Donald Trump, "Statement of Donald J. Trump," Donald Trump, Nov 9, 1999, accessed May 5, 2016, https://www.gwu.edu/~action/trumptax.html.

"Here is the TRUMP plan;

I would impose a one-time 14.25% net worth tax on individuals and trusts with a net worth of over $10 million.

For individuals, net worth would be calculated minus the value of their principal residence.

That would raise $5.7 trillion that we would use to pay-off the national debt.

We would save $200 billion in interest payments annually, which would allow us to cut taxes on middle-class working families by $100 billion a year or $1 trillion over ten years.

We can use the rest of the money, $100 billion to bolster the social security trust fund.

Over the next thirty years, when the trust fund is scheduled to go broke, we can put $3 trillion into the trust fund. This will make the trust fund solvent through the next century.

My proposal would also allow us to entirely repeal the 55% Federal Inheritance tax which really hurts farmers and small businessmen and women more than anyone else.

By my calculations 1% of Americans who control 90% of the wealth in this country would be affected by my plan — the other 99% of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes.

The wealthy would not suffer. With no national debt and deep cuts in income taxes, we would experience a 35-40% boost in economic activity. Individuals and businesses would be more prosperous and our economic future would be brighter. America would experience the greatest economic boom in our history.

Personally this plan would cost me hundreds of millions of dollars ­ but, in all honesty, it is worth it.

The increase in economic activity and more income in the pockets of the American people would mean more business start-ups, more job opportunities, lower unemployment, more tax revenue and prosperity for all Americans.

It is a win-win idea for the American people, an idea no conventional politician would have the guts to put forward.

I recognize that the special interests would fight my plan but I believe it would prove so popular with the American people that Congress would fail to pass it only at their own peril.

I am persuaded that if I were elected President of the United States I could, with the strong support of the American people, convince the leaders of Congress to enact this plan."

2. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2015

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "direct tax," Oxford Dictionary (American English), Jan 1, 2015, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/direct-tax.

"a tax, such as income tax, that is levied on the income or profits of the person who pays it, rather than on goods or services."

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

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Taxes
Dean Stansel, Oct 17, 1997

Title

Stansel discusses income taxes

Quote

"Our current system punishes the saver. Take for example a family in Michigan earning $36,426 (which is the median household income in Michigan for 1995). That family is taxed once on their wages and salaries before they even see their paycheck. Now, say they save about $152 per month. They are then taxed a second time on the interest and dividends that they earn on that savings.

If they had instead spent that $152, the federal tax collectors would not have taken another dime from them. But, since they saved it, the feds taxed them twice. That double taxation penalizes saving and investment, thereby making it harder for families to save for their children’s education and for their own retirement. The NST would put an end to all that. The double taxation and the anti-saving bias present in our current tax code would be eliminated."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Stansel claims that an income tax is double taxation on savings. Such an argument is fallacy. The money that you save is not taxed. The income that the money generates is taxed.

References

1. Dean Stansel, 1997

Dean Stansel, "Considering a National Sales Tax," Cato Institute, Oct 17, 1997, accessed Mar 11, 2016, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/considering-national-sales-tax.

"Our current system punishes the saver. Take for example a family in Michigan earning $36,426 (which is the median household income in Michigan for 1995). That family is taxed once on their wages and salaries before they even see their paycheck. Now, say they save about $152 per month. They are then taxed a second time on the interest and dividends that they earn on that savings.

If they had instead spent that $152, the federal tax collectors would not have taken another dime from them. But, since they saved it, the feds taxed them twice. That double taxation penalizes saving and investment, thereby making it harder for families to save for their children’s education and for their own retirement. The NST would put an end to all that. The double taxation and the anti-saving bias present in our current tax code would be eliminated."

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Free trade
Milton Friedman, Apr 27, 1978

Title

Milton Friedman discusses free trade

Quote

"This carries over to the terminology we use. I have already referred to the misleading terminology of protection. But when people talk about a favorable balance of trade, what is that term taken to mean? It's taken to mean that we export more than we import. But from the point of view of our well-being that's an unfavorable balance. That means we are sending out more goods and getting fewer in. Each of you in your private household would know better than that. You don't regard it as a favorable balance when you have to send out more goods to get less coming in. It's favorable when you can get more by sending out less.

The tendency to concentrate on the productive side of our lives and to neglect the side of consumption is reinforced by the fact that even for the productive side of our lives the visible effects of tariffs are good, the invisible effects of tariffs are bad, even on the productive side. I have already referred to the steel case. It's perfectly clear that if you restrict the imports of steel, there are some workers in the steel industry who will have jobs they otherwise would not have. The beneficial effects for them of a tariff are perfectly clear. But if we import less steel, foreigners earn fewer dollars. They have fewer dollars to spend in this country. There are people around the country who will not have jobs, not have productive jobs because exports do not develop.

I should not have to spell this out in great detail here in Kansas. This is a great agricultural state. Agricultural products are one of our major exports. The harmful effects of restricting steel imports are to reduce jobs in agriculture. But that is invisible. The people who might have been producing goods to sell abroad don't know they might have had that job. So out of sight, out of mind. As a result, on both the side of consumption and the side of production you have the concentrated special interests versus the diffused general interests."1

References

1. Milton Friedman, 1978

Milton Friedman, "Free Trade: Producer Versus Consumer," Milton Friedman, Apr 27, 1978, accessed Apr 9, 2016, https://www.k-state.edu/landon/speakers/milton-friedman/transcript.html.

"This carries over to the terminology we use. I have already referred to the misleading terminology of protection. But when people talk about a favorable balance of trade, what is that term taken to mean? It's taken to mean that we export more than we import. But from the point of view of our well-being that's an unfavorable balance. That means we are sending out more goods and getting fewer in. Each of you in your private household would know better than that. You don't regard it as a favorable balance when you have to send out more goods to get less coming in. It's favorable when you can get more by sending out less.

The tendency to concentrate on the productive side of our lives and to neglect the side of consumption is reinforced by the fact that even for the productive side of our lives the visible effects of tariffs are good, the invisible effects of tariffs are bad, even on the productive side. I have already referred to the steel case. It's perfectly clear that if you restrict the imports of steel, there are some workers in the steel industry who will have jobs they otherwise would not have. The beneficial effects for them of a tariff are perfectly clear. But if we import less steel, foreigners earn fewer dollars. They have fewer dollars to spend in this country. There are people around the country who will not have jobs, not have productive jobs because exports do not develop.

I should not have to spell this out in great detail here in Kansas. This is a great agricultural state. Agricultural products are one of our major exports. The harmful effects of restricting steel imports are to reduce jobs in agriculture. But that is invisible. The people who might have been producing goods to sell abroad don't know they might have had that job. So out of sight, out of mind. As a result, on both the side of consumption and the side of production you have the concentrated special interests versus the diffused general interests."

Related News

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Illegal immigration
Milton Friedman, Oct 3, 1977

Title

Milton Friedman Speaks - What is America? - Immigration

Quote

"What is the basic problem of the United States today? The problem is that we are threatening to strangle this promise by government interference. Let me take as one example the feature I have already spoken of, free immigration. I have always been amused by a kind of paradox. Suppose you go around and ask people: the United States, as you know, before 1914 had completely free immigration; anybody could get on a boat and come to these shores, and if he landed on Ellis Island he was an immigrant—was that a good thing or a bad thing? You will find hardly a soul who will say it was a bad thing. Almost everybody will say it was a good thing. But then suppose I say to the same people: but now what about today, do you think we should have free immigration? “Oh no,” they’ll say, “we couldn’t possibly have free immigration today. Why that would flood us with immigrants from India and God knows where. We’d be driven down to a bare subsistence level.” What’s the difference? How can people be so inconsistent? Why is it that free immigration was a good thing before 1914 and free immigration is a bad thing today?

There is a sense in which that answer is right. There is a sense in which free immigration in the same sense as we had it before 1914 is not possible today. Why not? Because it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs, it is another thing to have free immigration to welfare, and you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimum level of income or a minimum level of subsistence regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not, well then it really is an impossible thing. If you have free immigration in the way in which we had it before 1914, everybody benefitted. The people who were here benefitted, the people who came benefitted, because nobody would come unless he or his family thought that he would do better here than he would elsewhere; and the new immigrants provided additional resources, provided additional possibilities, for the people already here. So everybody could mutually benefit. But on the other hand, if you come under circumstances where each person is entitled to a prorated share of a pot—to take the extreme example—or even to a low level of the pot, then the effect of that situation is that free immigration would mean a reduction of everybody to the same uniform level. Of course I’m exaggerating. It wouldn’t go quite that far, but it would go in that direction. And it is that perception that leads people to adopt what at first seem like inconsistent values.

Look, for example, at the obvious, immediate, practical case of illegal Mexican immigration. That Mexican immigration over the border is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants, it’s a good thing for the United States, it’s a good thing for the citizens of the country, but it’s only good so long as it’s illegal. That’s an interesting paradox to think about. Make it legal and it’s no good. Why? Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for Social Security, they don’t qualify for all the other myriads of benefits that we pour out from our left pocket into our right pocket, and so, as long as they don’t qualify, they migrate to jobs. They take jobs that most residents of this country are unwilling to take, they provide employers with workers of a kind they cannot get—they’re hard workers, they’re good workers—and they are clearly better off. If you ever want to know what people prefer, the surest sign is how they vote with their feet, and there is no doubt how the braceros vote: they vote to cross the border with their feet, on their feet, or in any other way they can—by the thousands and perhaps millions for all I know."1

Type

Well-reasoned argument

Analysis

Milton Friedman makes a well-reasoned argument. However, his statement that illegal immigrants do not qualify for welfare is not true anymore. As the Center for Immigration Studies reports, "Illegal immigrant-headed households' use of welfare is high at 62 percent, higher than the 30 percent for households headed by native-born Americans."2

The same report shows that "...30 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants are on food stamps and 56 percent have at least one person on Medicaid. Any suggestion that there are no welfare costs associated with illegal immigrants is incorrect."3

References

1. Milton Friedman, 1977

Milton Friedman, "What is America?," Free To Choose Enterprise, Oct 3, 1977, accessed May 7, 2016, http://www.freetochoose.tv/program.php?id=mfs_1&series=mfs.

"What is the basic problem of the United States today? The problem is that we are threatening to strangle this promise by government interference. Let me take as one example the feature I have already spoken of, free immigration. I have always been amused by a kind of paradox. Suppose you go around and ask people: the United States, as you know, before 1914 had completely free immigration; anybody could get on a boat and come to these shores, and if he landed on Ellis Island he was an immigrant—was that a good thing or a bad thing? You will find hardly a soul who will say it was a bad thing. Almost everybody will say it was a good thing. But then suppose I say to the same people: but now what about today, do you think we should have free immigration? “Oh no,” they’ll say, “we couldn’t possibly have free immigration today. Why that would flood us with immigrants from India and God knows where. We’d be driven down to a bare subsistence level.” What’s the difference? How can people be so inconsistent? Why is it that free immigration was a good thing before 1914 and free immigration is a bad thing today?

There is a sense in which that answer is right. There is a sense in which free immigration in the same sense as we had it before 1914 is not possible today. Why not? Because it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs, it is another thing to have free immigration to welfare, and you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimum level of income or a minimum level of subsistence regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not, well then it really is an impossible thing. If you have free immigration in the way in which we had it before 1914, everybody benefitted. The people who were here benefitted, the people who came benefitted, because nobody would come unless he or his family thought that he would do better here than he would elsewhere; and the new immigrants provided additional resources, provided additional possibilities, for the people already here. So everybody could mutually benefit. But on the other hand, if you come under circumstances where each person is entitled to a prorated share of a pot—to take the extreme example—or even to a low level of the pot, then the effect of that situation is that free immigration would mean a reduction of everybody to the same uniform level. Of course I’m exaggerating. It wouldn’t go quite that far, but it would go in that direction. And it is that perception that leads people to adopt what at first seem like inconsistent values.

Look, for example, at the obvious, immediate, practical case of illegal Mexican immigration. That Mexican immigration over the border is a good thing. It’s a good thing for the illegal immigrants, it’s a good thing for the United States, it’s a good thing for the citizens of the country, but it’s only good so long as it’s illegal. That’s an interesting paradox to think about. Make it legal and it’s no good. Why? Because as long as it’s illegal the people who come in do not qualify for welfare, they don’t qualify for Social Security, they don’t qualify for all the other myriads of benefits that we pour out from our left pocket into our right pocket, and so, as long as they don’t qualify, they migrate to jobs. They take jobs that most residents of this country are unwilling to take, they provide employers with workers of a kind they cannot get—they’re hard workers, they’re good workers—and they are clearly better off. If you ever want to know what people prefer, the surest sign is how they vote with their feet, and there is no doubt how the braceros vote: they vote to cross the border with their feet, on their feet, or in any other way they can—by the thousands and perhaps millions for all I know."

2. Steven A. Camarota, 2015

Steven A. Camarota, "Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrant Households," Center for Immigration Studies, Sep 1, 2015, accessed May 8, 2016, http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Legal-Illegal-Immigrant-Households.

"Illegal immigrant-headed households' use of welfare is high at 62 percent, higher than the 30 percent for households headed by native-born Americans."

3. Steven A. Camarota, 2015

Steven A. Camarota, "Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrant Households," Center for Immigration Studies, Sep 1, 2015, accessed May 8, 2016, http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Legal-Illegal-Immigrant-Households.

"...30 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants are on food stamps and 56 percent have at least one person on Medicaid. Any suggestion that there are no welfare costs associated with illegal immigrants is incorrect."

Related Language

Related Philosophies

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Freedom
Ronald Reagan, Feb 6, 1977

Title

Reagan's new republican party

Quote

"When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.

When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing -- he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.

When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education -- he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.

When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire."1

Type

Information

Analysis

Reagan's speech outlines the principles of Freedom-loving people. His one misstep is to use the term, conservative, instead of the more-appropriate term, liberal. Many people confuse these terms.2 Reagan's speech is included in iHeartReason as a reminder that we should elect leaders who favor Freedom over Socialism and Communism

References

1. Ronald Reagan, 1977

Ronald Reagan, "The New Republican Party," Ronald Reagan, Feb 6, 1977, accessed Sep 1, 2016, http://reagan2020.us/speeches/The_New_Republican_Party.asp.

"When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth.

When a conservative says that totalitarian Communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom he is not theorizing -- he is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

When a conservative says it is bad for the government to spend more than it takes in, he is simply showing the same common sense that tells him to come in out of the rain.

When a conservative says that busing does not work, he is not appealing to some theory of education -- he is merely reporting what he has seen down at the local school.

When a conservative quotes Jefferson that government that is closest to the people is best, it is because he knows that Jefferson risked his life, his fortune and his sacred honor to make certain that what he and his fellow patriots learned from experience was not crushed by an ideology of empire."

2. Ronald Reagan, 1977

Ronald Reagan, "The New Republican Party," Ronald Reagan, Feb 6, 1977, accessed Sep 1, 2016, http://reagan2020.us/speeches/The_New_Republican_Party.asp.

"Respondents were asked to state where they would place themselves on a scale ranging from 'right-of-center' (which was defined as 'conservative') to left-of-center (which was defined as 'liberal')."

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Minimum wage
Milton Friedman, Sep 26, 1966

Title

Milton Friedman analyzes the minumum wage

Quote

"Congress has just acted to increase unemployment. It did so by raising the legal minimum-wage rate from $1.25 to $1.60 an hour, effective in 1968, and extending its coverage. The result will be and must be to add to the ranks of the unemployed.

Does a merchant increase his sales by raising prices? Does higher pay of domestic servants induce more housewives to hire help? The situation is no different for other employers. The higher wage rate decreed by Congress for low-paid workers will raise the cost of the goods that these workers produce—and must discourage sales. It will also induce employers to replace such workers with other workers—either to do the same work or to produce machinery to do the same work or to produce machinery to do the work."1

Type

Well-reasoned argument

Analysis

As Friedman reasons, a minimum wage law is an example of bad policy. It is also an example of the Federal government overreaching its authority by misinterpretting the Commerce clause

References

1. Milton Friedman, 1966

Milton Friedman, "Minimum-Wage Rates," Newsweek, Sep 26, 1966, accessed Sep 10, 2016, http://0055d26.netsolhost.com/friedman/pdfs/newsweek/NW.09.26.1966.pdf.

"Congress has just acted to increase unemployment. It did so by raising the legal minimum-wage rate from $1.25 to $1.60 an hour, effective in 1968, and extending its coverage. The result will be and must be to add to the ranks of the unemployed.

Does a merchant increase his sales by raising prices? Does higher pay of domestic servants induce more housewives to hire help? The situation is no different for other employers. The higher wage rate decreed by Congress for low-paid workers will raise the cost of the goods that these workers produce—and must discourage sales. It will also induce employers to replace such workers with other workers—either to do the same work or to produce machinery to do the same work or to produce machinery to do the work."

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commerce clause
Justice Robert Jackson, Nov 9, 1942

Title

Justice Jackson interprets the Commerce clause

Quote

"The Court's recognition of the relevance of the economic effects in the application of the Commerce Clause, exemplified by this statement, has made the mechanical application of legal formulas no longer feasible. Once an economic measure of the reach of the power granted to Congress in the Commerce Clause is accepted, questions of federal power cannot be decided simply by finding the activity in question to be 'production,' nor can consideration of its economic effects be foreclosed by calling them 'indirect.' The present Chief Justice has said in summary of the present state of the law:

The commerce power is not confined in its exercise to the regulation of commerce among the states. It extends to those activities intrastate which so affect interstate commerce, or the exertion of the power of Congress over it, as to make regulation of them appropriate means to the attainment of a legitimate end, the effective execution of the granted power to regulate interstate commerce. . . . The power of Congress over interstate commerce is plenary and complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution. . . . It follows that no form of state activity can constitutionally thwart the regulatory power granted by the commerce clause to Congress. Hence, the reach of that power extends to those intrastate activities which in a substantial way interfere with or obstruct the exercise of the granted power.

United States v. Wrightwood Dairy Co., 315 U.S. 110, 119.

Whether the subject of the regulation in question was 'production,' 'consumption,' or 'marketing' is, therefore, not material for purposes of deciding the question of federal power before us. That an activity is of local character may help in a doubtful case to determine whether Congress intended to reach it. The same consideration might help in determining whether, in the absence of Congressional action, it would be permissible for the state to exert its power on the subject matter, even though, in so doing, it to some degree affected interstate commerce. But even if appellee's activity be local, and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as 'direct' or 'indirect.'"1

Type

Redefinition, Fallacy

Analysis

Justice Jackson interprets the commerce clause to give Congress authority over anything that might indirectly affect interstate commerce. Is this the original intent of the Constitution?

Justice Jackson's opinion should cause suspicion in an attentive reader. Jackson quotes Justice Stone's opinion in United States v. Wrightwood Dairy Co., which is a quote of Stone's opinion in United States v. Darby, which in turn contains a quote from Justice Marshall's Gibbons v. Ogden. However, Marshall is taken out of context. He concludes that inspection laws are under the sole authority of the States. Marshall distinguishes between goods and articles of commerce. Congress is not given authority to act upon goods before they become articles of Commerce.

The difference in interpretation between Marshall and Jackson arises from Jackson's redefinition of Commerce. As understood by the Founding Fathers, Commerce is distinct from Agriculture and Manufacturing. Alexander Hamilton writes of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures as distinct endeavors in Federalist 36.2 In contrast, Justice Jackson claims that Commerce among the States includes local activity that may not be regarded as commerce.

In doing so, Jackson renders unimportant the enumeration of powers. His interpretation of the commerce clause enables Congress to regulate almost any activity.

References

1. Justice Robert Jackson, 1942

Justice Robert Jackson, "Wickard v. Filburn," Supreme Court of the United States, Nov 9, 1942, accessed Jun 5, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/317/111.

"The Court's recognition of the relevance of the economic effects in the application of the Commerce Clause, exemplified by this statement, has made the mechanical application of legal formulas no longer feasible. Once an economic measure of the reach of the power granted to Congress in the Commerce Clause is accepted, questions of federal power cannot be decided simply by finding the activity in question to be 'production,' nor can consideration of its economic effects be foreclosed by calling them 'indirect.' The present Chief Justice has said in summary of the present state of the law:

The commerce power is not confined in its exercise to the regulation of commerce among the states. It extends to those activities intrastate which so affect interstate commerce, or the exertion of the power of Congress over it, as to make regulation of them appropriate means to the attainment of a legitimate end, the effective execution of the granted power to regulate interstate commerce. . . . The power of Congress over interstate commerce is plenary and complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution. . . . It follows that no form of state activity can constitutionally thwart the regulatory power granted by the commerce clause to Congress. Hence, the reach of that power extends to those intrastate activities which in a substantial way interfere with or obstruct the exercise of the granted power.

United States v. Wrightwood Dairy Co., 315 U.S. 110, 119.

Whether the subject of the regulation in question was 'production,' 'consumption,' or 'marketing' is, therefore, not material for purposes of deciding the question of federal power before us. That an activity is of local character may help in a doubtful case to determine whether Congress intended to reach it. The same consideration might help in determining whether, in the absence of Congressional action, it would be permissible for the state to exert its power on the subject matter, even though, in so doing, it to some degree affected interstate commerce. But even if appellee's activity be local, and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as 'direct' or 'indirect.'"

2. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist No. 36: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation," Alexander Hamilton, Jan 8, 1788, accessed Sep 9, 2016, https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-36.

"Is the knowledge of local circumstances, as applied to taxation, a minute topographical acquaintance with all the mountains, rivers, streams, highways, and bypaths in each State; or is it a general acquaintance with its situation and resources, with the state of its agriculture, commerce, manufactures, with the nature of its products and consumptions, with the different degrees and kinds of its wealth, property, and industry?"

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commerce clause
Justice Harlan Stone, Feb 3, 1941

Title

Justice Stone interprets the Commerce clause

Quote

"While manufacture is not, of itself, interstate commerce, the shipment of manufactured goods interstate is such commerce, and the prohibition of such shipment by Congress is indubitably a regulation of the commerce. The power to regulate commerce is the power 'to prescribe the rule by which commerce is governed.' Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 196. It extends not only to those regulations which aid, foster and protect the commerce, but embraces those which prohibit it. Reid v. Colorado, 187 U.S. 137; Lottery Case, 188 U.S. 321; United States v. Delaware & Hudson Co., 213 U.S. 366; Hoke v. United States, 227 U.S. 308; Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Maryland Ry. Co., 242 U.S. 311; United States v. Hill, 248 U.S. 420; McCormick & Co. v. Brown, 286 U.S. 131. It is conceded that the power of Congress to prohibit transportation in interstate commerce includes noxious articles, Lottery Case, supra; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 45; cf. Hoke v. United States, supra; stolen articles, Brooks v. United States, 267 U.S. 432; kidnapped persons, Gooch v. United States, 297 U.S. 124, and articles, such as intoxicating liquor or convict made goods, traffic in which is forbidden or restricted by the laws of the state of destination. Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., 299 U.S. 334.

But it is said that the present prohibition falls within the scope of none of these categories; that, while the prohibition is nominally a regulation of the commerce, its motive or purpose is regulation of wages and hours of persons engaged in manufacture, the control of which has been reserved to the states and upon which Georgia and some of the states of destination have placed no restriction; that the effect of the present statute is not to exclude the proscribed articles from interstate commerce in aid of state regulation, as in Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., supra, but instead, under the guise of a regulation of interstate commerce, it undertakes to regulate wages and hours within the state contrary to the policy of the state which has elected to leave them unregulated.

The power of Congress over interstate commerce 'is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution.' Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, 196. That power can neither be enlarged nor diminished by the exercise or nonexercise of state power. Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., supra. Congress, following its own conception of public policy concerning the restrictions which may appropriately be imposed on interstate commerce, is free to exclude from the commerce articles whose use in the states for which they are destined it may conceive to be injurious to the public health, morals or welfare, even though the state has not sought to regulate their use. Reid v. Colorado, supra; Lottery Case, supra; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, supra; Hoke v. United States, supra.

Such regulation is not a forbidden invasion of state power merely because either its motive or its consequence is to restrict the use of articles of commerce within the states of destination, and is not prohibited unless by other Constitutional provisions. It is no objection to the assertion of the power to regulate interstate commerce that its exercise is attended by the same incidents which attend the exercise of the police power of the states. Seven Cases v. United States, 239 U.S. 510, 614; Hamilton v. Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co., 251 U.S. 146, 156; United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144, 147; United States v. Appalachian Electric Power Co., 311 U.S. 377.

The motive and purpose of the present regulation are plainly to make effective the Congressional conception of public policy that interstate commerce should not be made the instrument of competition in the distribution of goods produced under substandard labor conditions, which competition is injurious to the commerce and to the states from and to which the commerce flows. The motive and purpose of a regulation of interstate commerce are matters for the legislative judgment upon the exercise of which the Constitution places no restriction, and over which the courts are given no control. McCray v. United States, 195 U.S. 27; Sonzinsky v. United States, 300 U.S. 506, 513, and cases cited. 'The judicial cannot prescribe to the legislative department of the government limitations upon the exercise of its acknowledged power.' Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 8 Wall. 533. Whatever their motive and purpose, regulations of commerce which do not infringe some constitutional prohibition are within the plenary power conferred on Congress by the Commerce Clause. Subject only to that limitation, presently to be considered, we conclude that the prohibition of the shipment interstate of goods produced under the forbidden substandard labor conditions is within the constitutional authority of Congress."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Justice Stone quotes Justice Marshall out of context. In Gibbons v. Ogden, Marshall concludes that the commerce clause does not give Congress authority over inspection laws. Therefore, the power to regulate Manufacturing is not given to Congress, and a federal minimum wage law is unconstitutional.

References

1. Justice Harlan Stone, 1941

Justice Harlan Stone, "United States v. Darby," Supreme Court of the United States, Feb 3, 1941, accessed Sep 11, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/312/100.

"While manufacture is not, of itself, interstate commerce, the shipment of manufactured goods interstate is such commerce, and the prohibition of such shipment by Congress is indubitably a regulation of the commerce. The power to regulate commerce is the power 'to prescribe the rule by which commerce is governed.' Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 196. It extends not only to those regulations which aid, foster and protect the commerce, but embraces those which prohibit it. Reid v. Colorado, 187 U.S. 137; Lottery Case, 188 U.S. 321; United States v. Delaware & Hudson Co., 213 U.S. 366; Hoke v. United States, 227 U.S. 308; Clark Distilling Co. v. Western Maryland Ry. Co., 242 U.S. 311; United States v. Hill, 248 U.S. 420; McCormick & Co. v. Brown, 286 U.S. 131. It is conceded that the power of Congress to prohibit transportation in interstate commerce includes noxious articles, Lottery Case, supra; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, 220 U.S. 45; cf. Hoke v. United States, supra; stolen articles, Brooks v. United States, 267 U.S. 432; kidnapped persons, Gooch v. United States, 297 U.S. 124, and articles, such as intoxicating liquor or convict made goods, traffic in which is forbidden or restricted by the laws of the state of destination. Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., 299 U.S. 334.

But it is said that the present prohibition falls within the scope of none of these categories; that, while the prohibition is nominally a regulation of the commerce, its motive or purpose is regulation of wages and hours of persons engaged in manufacture, the control of which has been reserved to the states and upon which Georgia and some of the states of destination have placed no restriction; that the effect of the present statute is not to exclude the proscribed articles from interstate commerce in aid of state regulation, as in Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., supra, but instead, under the guise of a regulation of interstate commerce, it undertakes to regulate wages and hours within the state contrary to the policy of the state which has elected to leave them unregulated.

The power of Congress over interstate commerce 'is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the Constitution.' Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, 196. That power can neither be enlarged nor diminished by the exercise or nonexercise of state power. Kentucky Whip & Collar Co. v. Illinois Central R. Co., supra. Congress, following its own conception of public policy concerning the restrictions which may appropriately be imposed on interstate commerce, is free to exclude from the commerce articles whose use in the states for which they are destined it may conceive to be injurious to the public health, morals or welfare, even though the state has not sought to regulate their use. Reid v. Colorado, supra; Lottery Case, supra; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United States, supra; Hoke v. United States, supra.

Such regulation is not a forbidden invasion of state power merely because either its motive or its consequence is to restrict the use of articles of commerce within the states of destination, and is not prohibited unless by other Constitutional provisions. It is no objection to the assertion of the power to regulate interstate commerce that its exercise is attended by the same incidents which attend the exercise of the police power of the states. Seven Cases v. United States, 239 U.S. 510, 614; Hamilton v. Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co., 251 U.S. 146, 156; United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144, 147; United States v. Appalachian Electric Power Co., 311 U.S. 377.

The motive and purpose of the present regulation are plainly to make effective the Congressional conception of public policy that interstate commerce should not be made the instrument of competition in the distribution of goods produced under substandard labor conditions, which competition is injurious to the commerce and to the states from and to which the commerce flows. The motive and purpose of a regulation of interstate commerce are matters for the legislative judgment upon the exercise of which the Constitution places no restriction, and over which the courts are given no control. McCray v. United States, 195 U.S. 27; Sonzinsky v. United States, 300 U.S. 506, 513, and cases cited. 'The judicial cannot prescribe to the legislative department of the government limitations upon the exercise of its acknowledged power.' Veazie Bank v. Fenno, 8 Wall. 533. Whatever their motive and purpose, regulations of commerce which do not infringe some constitutional prohibition are within the plenary power conferred on Congress by the Commerce Clause. Subject only to that limitation, presently to be considered, we conclude that the prohibition of the shipment interstate of goods produced under the forbidden substandard labor conditions is within the constitutional authority of Congress."

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general Welfare
Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, May 24, 1937

Title

Justice Cardozo defines general Welfare

Quote

"Congress may spend money in aid of the 'general welfare.' Constitution, Art. I, section 8; United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 65; Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra. There have been great statesmen in our history who have stood for other views. We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. United States v. Butler, supra. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton and strongly reinforced by Story has prevailed over that of Madison, which has not been lacking in adherents. Yet difficulties are left when the power is conceded. The line must still be drawn between one welfare and another, between particular and general. Where this shall be placed cannot be known through a formula in advance of the event. There is a middle ground, or certainly a penumbra, in which discretion is at large. The discretion, however, is not confided to the courts. The discretion belongs to Congress, unless the choice is clearly wrong, a display of arbitrary power, not an exercise of judgment."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

Justice Cardozo does not attempt to understand article 1, section 8.2 In his rush to judgement, Cardozo declares that Congress may spend money as long as it is an exercise of judgement. In doing so, he tears down the enumeration of powers in the Constitution.

Cardozo does not attempt to make a logical argument. He relies entirely upon the writings of Hamilton, Story, and United States v. Butler.

Cardozo's first fallacy is his failure to recognize that Hamilton's Report on Manufactures redefines the original intent of general Welfare.

Cardozo's second fallacy is to misquote Justice Story. Story's Commentaries on the Constitution may share some aspects of Hamilton's view, but he also contemplates whether Congress may interfere with the poor laws.3

Cardozo's third fallacy is his failure to understand the consequence of a tax. "Every tax is in some measure regulatory. To some extent it interposes an economic impediment to the activity taxed as compared with others not taxed."4 Therefore, the government increases unemployment when it taxes employment.

Furthermore, self-employed people pay twice the tax. By doubling the tax on self-employed people, the government discourages people from being self sufficient. This observation defeats his rationale5 of unemployment as justification.

Cardozo's fourth fallacy is his failure to analyze opposing view points. He does not attempt to analyze Madison's view6 or cite any rationale for how he made his decision. He also omits the best retort to his construction of the general Welfare clause, which is Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank.

For these reasons, Cardozo does not act in good faith. Social Security is unconstitutional

References

1. Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, 1937

Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, "Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619," Supreme Court of the United States, May 24, 1937, accessed Jan 1, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/301/619.

"Congress may spend money in aid of the 'general welfare.' Constitution, Art. I, section 8; United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 65; Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, supra. There have been great statesmen in our history who have stood for other views. We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. United States v. Butler, supra. The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton and strongly reinforced by Story has prevailed over that of Madison, which has not been lacking in adherents. Yet difficulties are left when the power is conceded. The line must still be drawn between one welfare and another, between particular and general. Where this shall be placed cannot be known through a formula in advance of the event. There is a middle ground, or certainly a penumbra, in which discretion is at large. The discretion, however, is not confided to the courts. The discretion belongs to Congress, unless the choice is clearly wrong, a display of arbitrary power, not an exercise of judgment."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

3. Justice Joseph Story, 1833

Justice Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the constitution of the United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 1, 1833, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/commentariesonco01storuoft/commentariesonco01storuoft_djvu.txt.

"In furtherance of this reasoning, it has been admitted, that under the power to regulate commerce, congress is not limited to the imposition of duties upon imports for the sole purpose of revenue. It may impose retaliatory duties on foreign powers; but these retaliatory duties must be imposed for the regulation of commerce, not for the encouragement of manufactures. The power to regulate manufactures, not having been confided to congress, they have no more right to act upon it, than they have to interfere with the systems of education, the poor laws, or the road laws, of the states. Congress is empowered to lay taxes for revenue, it is true; but there is no power to encourage, protect, or meddle with manufactures."

4. Justice Harlan Stone, 1937

Justice Harlan Stone, "Sonzinsky v. United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 29, 1937, accessed Mar 29, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/300/506.

"Every tax is in some measure regulatory. To some extent it interposes an economic impediment to the activity taxed as compared with others not taxed."

5. Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, 1937

Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, "Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619," Supreme Court of the United States, May 24, 1937, accessed Jan 1, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/301/619.

"The purge of nationwide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons. Not the least is the solidarity of interests that may once have seemed to be divided. Unemployment spreads from State to State, the hinterland now settled that, in pioneer days gave an avenue of escape. Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 442. Spreading from State to State, unemployment is an ill not particular, but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the Nation. If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co., supra, has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one, or at least not greatly different, whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house, as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey's end is near."

6. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

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general Welfare
Justice Owen Roberts, Jan 6, 1936

Title

Justice Owen Roberts defines general Welfare

Quote

"The Congress is expressly empowered to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare. Funds in the Treasury as a result of taxation may be expended only through appropriation. (Art. I, § 9, cl. 7.) They can never accomplish the objects for which they were collected unless the power to appropriate is as broad as the power to tax. The necessary implication from the terms of the grant is that the public funds may be appropriated "to provide for the general welfare of the United States." These words cannot be meaningless, else they would not have been used. The conclusion must be that they were intended to limit and define the granted power to raise and to expend money. How shall they be construed to effectuate the intent of the instrument?

Since the foundation of the Nation, sharp differences of opinion have persisted as to the true interpretation of the phrase. Madison asserted it amounted to no more than a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section; that, as the United States is a government of limited and enumerated powers, the grant of power to tax and spend for the general national welfare must be confined to the enumerated legislative fields committed to the Congress. In this view, the phrase is mere tautology, for taxation and appropriation are, or may be, necessary incidents of the exercise of any of the enumerated legislative powers. Hamilton, on the other hand, maintained the clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated, is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them, and Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, (p66) limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. Each contention has had the support of those whose views are entitled to weight. This court has noticed the question, but has never found it necessary to decide which is the true construction. Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries, espouses the Hamiltonian position. (n12) We shall not review the writings of public men and commentators or discuss the legislative practice. Study of all these leads us to conclude that the reading advocated by Mr. Justice Story is the correct one. While, therefore, the power to tax is not unlimited, its confines are set in the clause which confers it, and not in those of § 8 which bestow and define the legislative powers of the Congress. It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Roberts first fallacy is his understanding of general Welfare. The phrase "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"2 qualifies the power to tax. It does not grant a general power to spend. George Mason proposed Amendment X to restrict its interpretation.

Roberts' second fallacy is his ignorance of Jefferson's opinion. Justice Story wrote, "The argument in favour of the construction, which treats the clause, as a qualification of the power to lay taxes, has, perhaps, never been presented in a more concise or forcible shape, than in an official opinion, deliberately given by one of our most distinguished statesmen (Jefferson)."3

Roberts third fallacy is his understanding of Story's commentary. Story contradicts in part Hamilton's definition of general welfare. Story concludes that the phrase limits the power to tax whereas Hamilton sees no such limitation.

Story deliberates on the other half of Hamilton's argument, does Congress have the power to spend on anything it deems to be general welfare? While his opening sections are opposed to the idea, his middle sections support Hamilton. In the end, Story rationalizes that independent powers to tax and spend are "in the highest degree expedient, if not indispensable for the due operations of the national government."

In the end, Story fails to address the inconsistencies between his view of taxation and Hamilton's view. Story also does not address the conflicting original intent described by Monroe. Yet, his most grievous error is to misquote George Mason. Mason proposed Amendment X to limit the interpretation of general welfare in light of the necessary and proper clause.

References

1. Justice Owen Roberts, 1936

Justice Owen Roberts, "United States v. Butler," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 6, 1936, accessed Apr 8, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/297/1.

"The Congress is expressly empowered to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare. Funds in the Treasury as a result of taxation may be expended only through appropriation. (Art. I, § 9, cl. 7.) They can never accomplish the objects for which they were collected unless the power to appropriate is as broad as the power to tax. The necessary implication from the terms of the grant is that the public funds may be appropriated "to provide for the general welfare of the United States." These words cannot be meaningless, else they would not have been used. The conclusion must be that they were intended to limit and define the granted power to raise and to expend money. How shall they be construed to effectuate the intent of the instrument?

Since the foundation of the Nation, sharp differences of opinion have persisted as to the true interpretation of the phrase. Madison asserted it amounted to no more than a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section; that, as the United States is a government of limited and enumerated powers, the grant of power to tax and spend for the general national welfare must be confined to the enumerated legislative fields committed to the Congress. In this view, the phrase is mere tautology, for taxation and appropriation are, or may be, necessary incidents of the exercise of any of the enumerated legislative powers. Hamilton, on the other hand, maintained the clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated, is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them, and Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, (p66) limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. Each contention has had the support of those whose views are entitled to weight. This court has noticed the question, but has never found it necessary to decide which is the true construction. Mr. Justice Story, in his Commentaries, espouses the Hamiltonian position. (n12) We shall not review the writings of public men and commentators or discuss the legislative practice. Study of all these leads us to conclude that the reading advocated by Mr. Justice Story is the correct one. While, therefore, the power to tax is not unlimited, its confines are set in the clause which confers it, and not in those of § 8 which bestow and define the legislative powers of the Congress. It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

3. Justice Joseph Story, 1833

Justice Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the constitution of the United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 1, 1833, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/commentariesonco01storuoft/commentariesonco01storuoft_djvu.txt.

"The argument in favour of the construction, which treats the clause, as a qualification of the power to lay taxes, has, perhaps, never been presented in a more concise or forcible shape, than in an official opinion, deliberately given by one of our most distinguished statesmen (Jefferson)."

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Legal tender
Clarkson Nott Potter, Dec 1, 1870

Title

Mr. Potter on the power to regulate coined moneys

Quote

"If, under this power to regulate the value of coined moneys, Congress may debase the coinage; if it may put upon the coined moneys any other than their true intrinsic value; if it may declare that one-half or three-fourths of a dollar, when stamped by it as a dollar, shall be taken to be equal to a whole dollar, and may thus impair the obligation of contracts and transfer one man's property to another; why, it is asked, under the constitutional power to borrow money, and other delegated powers, and the powers necessary and proper to enable it to exercise the delegated powers, may Congress not do a like thing to produce a better result with these Treasury notes? To this I answer:

II. This power cannot be implied from the power to regulate the value of money.

For, 1st. Congress has no power given it to regulate the value of the money it borrows, but only of the money it coins, and of foreign coins. The analogy claimed would exist if the Constitution gave Congress power to borrow money and regulate the value thereof. But that it does not give.

And, 2d. Congress has no power to even materially debase the coin. A power to regulate is not a power to destroy."1

Type

Well-reasoned argument

Analysis

My Potter's argument can be applied to the federal reserve mandates which prescribe stable prices. If instead the Federal Reserve desires inflation, then it impairs contracts between people.

Consider that a fixed-rate mortgage may be taken out from a local bank. Since the interest rate is fixed, the payment is the same every year. If the value of a dollar decreases, which is to say inflation occurs, then the bank will not be repaid in full.

References

1. Clarkson Nott Potter, 1870

Clarkson Nott Potter, "Legal Tender Cases. Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis," Clarkson Nott Potter, Dec 1, 1870, accessed Feb 3, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/79/457.

"If, under this power to regulate the value of coined moneys, Congress may debase the coinage; if it may put upon the coined moneys any other than their true intrinsic value; if it may declare that one-half or three-fourths of a dollar, when stamped by it as a dollar, shall be taken to be equal to a whole dollar, and may thus impair the obligation of contracts and transfer one man's property to another; why, it is asked, under the constitutional power to borrow money, and other delegated powers, and the powers necessary and proper to enable it to exercise the delegated powers, may Congress not do a like thing to produce a better result with these Treasury notes? To this I answer:

II. This power cannot be implied from the power to regulate the value of money.

For, 1st. Congress has no power given it to regulate the value of the money it borrows, but only of the money it coins, and of foreign coins. The analogy claimed would exist if the Constitution gave Congress power to borrow money and regulate the value thereof. But that it does not give.

And, 2d. Congress has no power to even materially debase the coin. A power to regulate is not a power to destroy."

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U.S. Constitution
Justice William Strong, Dec 1, 1870

Title

Justice Strong misleads on the coinage clause

Quote

"We do not expect to find in a constitution minute details. It is necessarily brief and comprehensive. It prescribes outlines, leaving the filling up to be deduced from the outlines."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Strong makes his argument in reference to Article 1, Section 8, which states "The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"2

In Federalist 44, Madison observed "The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it."3

In the same Federalist Paper, Madison uses the word “currency.” Yet, the constitution specifies the power to coin Money. It is specific. If the framers wished to give Congress the general power over currency, they could have phrased it more generally. As it is written, the constitution limits the currency-making power of the federal government.

References

1. Justice William Strong, 1870

Justice William Strong, "Legal Tender Cases. Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis," Supreme Court of the United States, Dec 1, 1870, accessed Feb 3, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/79/457.

"We do not expect to find in a constitution minute details. It is necessarily brief and comprehensive. It prescribes outlines, leaving the filling up to be deduced from the outlines."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

3. James Madison, 1788

James Madison, "Federalist Paper 44: Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States," James Madison, Jan 25, 1788, accessed Feb 4, 2016, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_44.html.

"The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it."

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U.S. Constitution
Justice William Strong, Dec 1, 1870

Title

Justice Strong's argument on law-making powers

Quote

"That would appear, then, to be a most unreasonable construction of the Constitution which denies to the government created by it, the right to employ freely every means, not prohibited, necessary for its preservation, and for the fulfilment of its acknowledged duties. Such a right, we hold, was given by the last clause of the eighth section of its first article."1

Type

Redefinition

Analysis

The constitution states, "The Congress shall have Power ... 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."2

This clause is general in the sense that it does not enumerate specific laws. But, it is also restrictive in that laws must execute the enumerated powers. Any other law, even if not specifically prohibited, would be unconstitutional. Futhermore, laws must be "necessary and proper," which is more restrictive than Strong's "not prohibited" and "necessary for its preservation" requirements. The constitution demands a higher ethical standard than Strong admits.

References

1. Justice William Strong, 1870

Justice William Strong, "Legal Tender Cases. Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis," Supreme Court of the United States, Dec 1, 1870, accessed Feb 3, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/79/457.

"That would appear, then, to be a most unreasonable construction of the Constitution which denies to the government created by it, the right to employ freely every means, not prohibited, necessary for its preservation, and for the fulfilment of its acknowledged duties. Such a right, we hold, was given by the last clause of the eighth section of its first article."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... 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."

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Legal tender
Justice William Strong, Dec 1, 1870

Title

Justice Strong's idea of borrowing

Quote

"the power to borrow money does embrace the power to issue obligations for the money borrowed, and can, perhaps, be taken of itself to sustain the issue by the government of its bills of credit."1

Type

Fallacy

Analysis

Strong argues that bills of credit are valid money. His logic, then, states that the government issues money when the government borrows money. If this is the case, has borrowing occurred? It has not. A lender is without until recompensed.

Furthermore, could the lender be repaid? If bills of credit are money, could the government issue a bill of credit to repay the loan?

For these reasons, the power to borrow money is a poor justification for using bills of credit as Money.

References

1. Justice William Strong, 1870

Justice William Strong, "Legal Tender Cases. Knox v. Lee, Parker v. Davis," Supreme Court of the United States, Dec 1, 1870, accessed Feb 3, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/79/457.

"the power to borrow money does embrace the power to issue obligations for the money borrowed, and can, perhaps, be taken of itself to sustain the issue by the government of its bills of credit."

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Economics
Frederic Bastiat, Jan 1, 1850

Title

Bastiat and the Broken Window Fallacy

Quote

"Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James B., when his careless son happened to break a square of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

Let us take a view of industry in general, as affected by this circumstance. The window being broken, the glazier's trade is encouraged to the amount of six francs: this is that which is seen.

If the window had not been broken, the shoemaker's trade (or some other) would have been encouraged to the amount of six francs: this is that which is not seen.

And if that which is not seen is taken into consideration, because it is a negative fact, as well as that which is seen, because it is a positive fact, it will be understood that neither industry in general, nor the sum total of national labour, is affected, whether windows are broken or not.

Now let us consider James B. himself. In the former supposition, that of the window being broken, he spends six francs, and has neither more nor less than he had before, the enjoyment of a window.

In the second, where we suppose the window not to have been broken, he would have spent six francs on shoes, and would have had at the same time the enjoyment of a pair of shoes and of a window.

Now, as James B. forms a part of society, we must come to the conclusion, that, taking it altogether, and making an estimate of its enjoyments and its labours, it has lost the value of the broken window.

Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: "Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;" and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labour; or, more briefly, "destruction is not profit."

What will you say, Moniteur Industriel—what will you say, disciples of good M. F. Chamans, who has calculated with so much precision how much trade would gain by the burning of Paris, from the number of houses it would be necessary to rebuild?

I am sorry to disturb these ingenious calculations, as far as their spirit has been introduced into our legislation; but I beg him to begin them again, by taking into the account that which is not seen, and placing it alongside of that which is seen.

The reader must take care to remember that there are not two persons only, but three concerned in the little scene which I have submitted to his attention. One of them, James B., represents the consumer, reduced, by an act of destruction, to one enjoyment instead of two. Another under the title of the glazier, shows us the producer, whose trade is encouraged by the accident. The third is the shoemaker (or some other tradesman), whose labour suffers proportionably by the same cause. It is this third person who is always kept in the shade, and who, personating that which is not seen, is a necessary element of the problem. It is he who shows us how absurd it is to think we see a profit in an act of destruction. It is he who will soon teach us that it is not less absurd to see a profit in a restriction, which is, after all, nothing else than a partial destruction. Therefore, if you will only go to the root of all the arguments which are adduced in its favour, all you will find will be the paraphrase of this vulgar saying—What would become of the glazier, if nobody ever broke windows?"1

Type

Well-reasoned argument

Analysis

Bastiat makes a well-reasoned argument to showcase a Truth. The redistribution of wealth reduces Freedom in an attempt to create wealth. The reciepient may benefit from government interaction, but the source is without.

People budget their money for many reasons. They may save money to buy a home or a car. They may save money so that they can retire or put their children through school. They may need capital to start a business or make an investment.

What right does one man have to another man's property? Slave labor can produce something out of nothing. Is it right?

Yet, Bastiat's example also shows us that the redistribution of wealth can impeed social progress. In his example, the pair of shoes do not come into being because money must be spent to repair the window. Society's progress has been impeeded.

References

1. Frederic Bastiat, 1850

Frederic Bastiat, "That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen," Frederic Bastiat, Jan 1, 1850, accessed Nov 22, 2015, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Essays_on_Political_Economy/That_Which_Is_Seen,_and_That_Which_Is_Not_Seen.

"Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James B., when his careless son happened to break a square of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact, that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

Let us take a view of industry in general, as affected by this circumstance. The window being broken, the glazier's trade is encouraged to the amount of six francs: this is that which is seen.

If the window had not been broken, the shoemaker's trade (or some other) would have been encouraged to the amount of six francs: this is that which is not seen.

And if that which is not seen is taken into consideration, because it is a negative fact, as well as that which is seen, because it is a positive fact, it will be understood that neither industry in general, nor the sum total of national labour, is affected, whether windows are broken or not.

Now let us consider James B. himself. In the former supposition, that of the window being broken, he spends six francs, and has neither more nor less than he had before, the enjoyment of a window.

In the second, where we suppose the window not to have been broken, he would have spent six francs on shoes, and would have had at the same time the enjoyment of a pair of shoes and of a window.

Now, as James B. forms a part of society, we must come to the conclusion, that, taking it altogether, and making an estimate of its enjoyments and its labours, it has lost the value of the broken window.

Whence we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: "Society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed;" and we must assent to a maxim which will make the hair of protectionists stand on end—To break, to spoil, to waste, is not to encourage national labour; or, more briefly, "destruction is not profit."

What will you say, Moniteur Industriel—what will you say, disciples of good M. F. Chamans, who has calculated with so much precision how much trade would gain by the burning of Paris, from the number of houses it would be necessary to rebuild?

I am sorry to disturb these ingenious calculations, as far as their spirit has been introduced into our legislation; but I beg him to begin them again, by taking into the account that which is not seen, and placing it alongside of that which is seen.

The reader must take care to remember that there are not two persons only, but three concerned in the little scene which I have submitted to his attention. One of them, James B., represents the consumer, reduced, by an act of destruction, to one enjoyment instead of two. Another under the title of the glazier, shows us the producer, whose trade is encouraged by the accident. The third is the shoemaker (or some other tradesman), whose labour suffers proportionably by the same cause. It is this third person who is always kept in the shade, and who, personating that which is not seen, is a necessary element of the problem. It is he who shows us how absurd it is to think we see a profit in an act of destruction. It is he who will soon teach us that it is not less absurd to see a profit in a restriction, which is, after all, nothing else than a partial destruction. Therefore, if you will only go to the root of all the arguments which are adduced in its favour, all you will find will be the paraphrase of this vulgar saying—What would become of the glazier, if nobody ever broke windows?"

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general Welfare
J. W. Randolph, Jan 1, 1850

Title

Madison's Virginia Report of 1799-1800

Quote

"Now, whether the phrases in question be construed to authorize every measure relating to the common defence and general welfare, as contended by some; or every measure only in which there might be an application of money, as suggested by the caution of others ; the effect must substantially be the same, in destroying the import and force of the particular enumeration of powers which follow these general phrases in the Constitution. For it is evident that there is not a single power whatever, which may not have some reference to the common defence, or the general welfare ; nor a power of any magnitude, which, in its exercise, does not involve or admit an application of money. The government, therefore, which possesses power in either one or other of these extents, is a government without the limitations formed by a particular enumeration of powers ; and consequently, the meaning and effect of this particular enumeration is destroyed by the exposition given to these general phrases.
...
The true and fair construction of this expression, both in the original and existing federal compacts, appears to the committee too obvious to be mistaken. In both, the Congress is authorized to provide money for the common defence and general welfare. In both, is subjoined to this authority, an enumeration of the cases to which their powers shall extend. Money cannot be applied to the general welfare otherwise than by an application of it to some particular measures, conducive to the general welfare. Whenever, therefore, money has been raised by the general authority, and is to be applied to a particular measure, a question arises whether the particular measure be within the enumerated authorities vested in Congress. If it be, the money requisite for it may be applied to it ; if it be not, no such application can be made. This fair and obvious interpretation coincides with, and is enforced by the clause in the Constitution, which declares, that " no money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations by law." An appropriation of money to the general welfare would be deemed rather a mockery than an observance of this constitutional injunction."1

References

1. J. W. Randolph, 1850

J. W. Randolph, "The Virginia report of 1799-1800, touching the alien and sedition laws; together with the Virginia resolutions of December 21, 1798, including the debate and proceedings thereon in the House of Delegates of Virginia and other documents illustrative of the report and resolutions," Clerk's Office of the District Court in and for the Eastern District of Virginia, Jan 1, 1850, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/virginiareportof00virgrich/virginiareportof00virgrich_djvu.txt.

"Now, whether the phrases in question be construed to authorize every measure relating to the common defence and general welfare, as contended by some; or every measure only in which there might be an application of money, as suggested by the caution of others ; the effect must substantially be the same, in destroying the import and force of the particular enumeration of powers which follow these general phrases in the Constitution. For it is evident that there is not a single power whatever, which may not have some reference to the common defence, or the general welfare ; nor a power of any magnitude, which, in its exercise, does not involve or admit an application of money. The government, therefore, which possesses power in either one or other of these extents, is a government without the limitations formed by a particular enumeration of powers ; and consequently, the meaning and effect of this particular enumeration is destroyed by the exposition given to these general phrases.
...
The true and fair construction of this expression, both in the original and existing federal compacts, appears to the committee too obvious to be mistaken. In both, the Congress is authorized to provide money for the common defence and general welfare. In both, is subjoined to this authority, an enumeration of the cases to which their powers shall extend. Money cannot be applied to the general welfare otherwise than by an application of it to some particular measures, conducive to the general welfare. Whenever, therefore, money has been raised by the general authority, and is to be applied to a particular measure, a question arises whether the particular measure be within the enumerated authorities vested in Congress. If it be, the money requisite for it may be applied to it ; if it be not, no such application can be made. This fair and obvious interpretation coincides with, and is enforced by the clause in the Constitution, which declares, that " no money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations by law." An appropriation of money to the general welfare would be deemed rather a mockery than an observance of this constitutional injunction."

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Soft despotism
Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, Jan 1, 1835

Title

Alexis de Tocqueville describes soft despotism

Quote

"But it would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. I do not question, that in an age of instruction and equality like our own, sovereigns might more easily succeed in collecting all political power into their own hands, and might interfere more habitually and decidedly within the circle of private interests, than any sovereign of antiquity could ever do. But this same principle of equality which facilitates despotism, tempers its rigor. We have seen how the manners of society become more humane and gentle in proportion as men become more equal and alike. When no member of the community has much power or much wealth, tyranny is, as it were, without opportunities and a field of action. As all fortunes are scanty, the passions of men are naturally circumscribed—their imagination limited, their pleasures simple. This universal moderation moderates the sovereign himself, and checks within certain limits the inordinate extent of his desires."1

Type

Well-reasoned argument

Analysis

Alexis de Tocqueville's definition of soft despotism describes many aspects of the United States government. Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare are examples of government intrusion into the everyday life of citizens.2 If people are incapable of providing for themselves, can they be depended upon to choose good leaders?3

For more insight from Alexis de Tocqueville, read his first volume of "On Democracy in America."4

References

1. Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, 1835

Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, "On Democracy in America," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1835, accessed Sep 2, 2016, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/816/816-h/816-h.htm.

"But it would seem that if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. I do not question, that in an age of instruction and equality like our own, sovereigns might more easily succeed in collecting all political power into their own hands, and might interfere more habitually and decidedly within the circle of private interests, than any sovereign of antiquity could ever do. But this same principle of equality which facilitates despotism, tempers its rigor. We have seen how the manners of society become more humane and gentle in proportion as men become more equal and alike. When no member of the community has much power or much wealth, tyranny is, as it were, without opportunities and a field of action. As all fortunes are scanty, the passions of men are naturally circumscribed—their imagination limited, their pleasures simple. This universal moderation moderates the sovereign himself, and checks within certain limits the inordinate extent of his desires."

2. Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, 1835

Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, "On Democracy in America," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1835, accessed Sep 2, 2016, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/816/816-h/816-h.htm.

"I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest—his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind; as for the rest of his fellow-citizens, he is close to them, but he sees them not—he touches them, but he feels them not; he exists but in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country. Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances—what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things: it has predisposed men to endure them, and oftentimes to look on them as benefits."

3. Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, 1835

Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, "On Democracy in America," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1835, accessed Sep 2, 2016, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/816/816-h/816-h.htm.

"It is in vain to summon a people, which has been rendered so dependent on the central power, to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity. *b I add that they will soon become incapable of exercising the great and only privilege which remains to them. The democratic nations which have introduced freedom into their political constitution, at the very time when they were augmenting the despotism of their administrative constitution, have been led into strange paradoxes. To manage those minor affairs in which good sense is all that is wanted—the people are held to be unequal to the task, but when the government of the country is at stake, the people are invested with immense powers; they are alternately made the playthings of their ruler, and his masters—more than kings, and less than men. After having exhausted all the different modes of election, without finding one to suit their purpose, they are still amazed, and still bent on seeking further; as if the evil they remark did not originate in the constitution of the country far more than in that of the electoral body. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how men who have entirely given up the habit of self-government should succeed in making a proper choice of those by whom they are to be governed; and no one will ever believe that a liberal, wise, and energetic government can spring from the suffrages of a subservient people. A constitution, which should be republican in its head and ultra-monarchical in all its other parts, has ever appeared to me to be a short-lived monster. The vices of rulers and the ineptitude of the people would speedily bring about its ruin; and the nation, weary of its representatives and of itself, would create freer institutions, or soon return to stretch itself at the feet of a single master."

4. Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, 1835

Alexis de Toqueville and Henry Reeve, "On Democracy in America," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1835, accessed Sep 2, 2016, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm.

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general Welfare
Justice Joseph Story, Jan 1, 1833

Title

Justice Joseph Story comments on Article 1, Section 8

Quote

"§ 909. The Constitution was, from its very origin, contemplated to be the frame of a national government, of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers. This is apparent, as will be presently seen from the history of the proceedings of the convention which framed it ; and it has formed the admitted basis of all legislative and judicial reasoning upon it ever since it was put into operation, by all who have been its open friends and advocates as well as by all who have been its enemies and opponents. If the clause, ' to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,' is construed to be an independent and substantive grant of power, it not only renders wholly unimportant and unnecessary the subsequent enumeration of specific powers, but it plainly extends far beyond them and creates a general authority in Congress to pass all laws which they may deem for the common defence or general welfare.^ Under such circumstances the Constitution would practically create an unlimited national government. The enumerated powers would tend to embarrassment and confusion, since they would only give rise to doubts as to the true extent of the general power, or of the enumerated powers."1

Type

Argument

Analysis

Justice Story analyzes the meaning of “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”2 in the United States Constitution. His argument is divided into 36 sections, which at times provide conflicting rhetoric. The following is an analysis of his commentary.

§ 907 & 908. Story concludes that “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” is a qualification on the power to tax. He restates the clause as "The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, in order to pay the debts, and to provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States;"

In his footnotes, he references George Mason in Elliot's Debates. However, he takes Mason out of context. Story cites that Mason "held the opinion that the clause, to provide for the common defence and general welfare, was a substantive power." By reading Mason's full dialog, we see that Mason intended that Amendment X3 should restrict the application of the general welfare clause.

§ 909. Story concludes that “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” cannot contain an independent power without rendering the Constitution meaningless. His footnotes mention Monroe's May 4, 1822 message.

§ 910. Story quotes in large part Madison's Federalist 41. "But the idea of an enumeration of particulars, which neither explain, nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect, than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which no one ought to charge on the enlightened authors of the constitution. It would be to charge them either with premeditated folly, or premeditated fraud."

This section concludes that a general power must be qualified or explained by an enumeration of powers when present.

§ 911. Story states, "On the other hand, construing this clause in connexion with, and as a part of the preceding clause, giving the power to lay taxes, it becomes sensible and operative. It becomes a qualification of that clause, and limits the taxing power to objects for the common defence or general welfare. It then contains no grant of any power whatsoever; but it is a mere expression of the ends and purposes to be effected by the preceding power of taxation."

§ 912. Story asserts that every part of the Constitution has meaning. He concludes, "Now, the words have such a natural and appropriate meaning, as a qualification of the preceding clause to lay taxes. Why, then, should such a meaning be rejected?"

§ 913. Story claims that common defence and general welfare are not described by the subsequent enumeration. His thesis in this section fails to address both Jefferson's opinion and George Mason's proposal in Elliot's Debates.

§ 914. Story quotes Madison's Virginia Report of 1799-1800 and concludes that Madison interprets the enumeration as qualifying the general phrase.

Story argues that the Articles of Confederation cannot be used to interpret the Constitution. Here, Story denies the practice of original intent. The two documents are separated in time by only a decade and share similar language. Also, the Framers referenced the Articles of Confederation when they drafted the Consitution at the 1787 convention.4 Therefore, it is reasonable to associate similar words with similar meanings.

§ 915. Story attacks Madison’s argument that the continental congress had a limited definition of general welfare. Story claims without citation that the continental congress did not act because the States would not have honored the request for money.

§ 916. Story claims that the continental congress taxed and spent as it pleased. In doing so, he cites Madison's letter to Mr. Stevenson.5 Story concludes that the Articles of Confederation granted a larger power to tax and spend than the Constitution.

§ 917. Story claims that the power to tax is an independent power. His statement ignores Mason's contention that Amendment X limits the interpretation of the general welfare clause.

In his closing sentence, he forgets the conclusion that he reached in sections 908, 911, and 912. The phrase “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” is a qualification on the power to tax. In such a light, it has a distinct and substantive purpose. It protects the people from an abuse of taxation.

§ 918. Story summarizes Madison's Virginia Report of 1799-1800, wherein Madison contends that the power to raise money is tied to the other enumerated powers because the enumerated powers require money to be executed. An application of money for anything not enumerated would be unconstitutional.

§ 919. Story states, "it is, therefore, an argument, that the words ought not to be in the constitution; because if they are, and have any meaning, they enlarge it beyond the scope of certain other enumerated powers, and this is both mischievous and dangerous.”

Here, Story makes a good point about the latter half of Madison's argument. Every part of the Constitution should have meaning. But, the first part of Madison's argument is that "the meaning and effect of this particular enumeration are destroyed by the exposition given to these general phrases."

On one hand, we have Story attempting to give meaning to one part of one clause. On the other hand, we have Madison attempting to give meaning to the entire Constitution.

§ 920. Story again makes use of logic found in Madison's Virginia Report of 1799-1800. He weighs the two sides, but fails to consider that Mason proposed Amendment X to limit the interpretation of the general welfare clause.

§ 921. In the middle of this section he states, “All the other powers are in distinct clauses, and do not touch taxation.” It is odd that he does not make the same argument for spending. Does he realize that it is incorrect to say "All the other powers are in distinct clauses and do not touch spending for common defence and general welfare?" Indeed, executing the powers of raising an Army and maintaining a Navy will require spending for the common defence. This simple observation defeats his thesis in this section.

§ 922. Story's argument in this section may catch the unattentive reader off guard. He deftly swaps "providing" for the common defence with "lay taxes" for the common defence. He states, "A power to lay taxes for the common defence and general welfare of the United States is not in common sense a general power. It is limited to those objects... No one will pretend that the power to lay taxes would, in general, have superseded or rendered unnecessary all the other enumerated powers. It would neither enlarge nor qualify them."

He fails to address the fact that a general spending power renders the subsequent enumeration unnecessary.

It should also be noted that in this section Story disapproves of the Federal government giving subsidies to foreign nations.

§ 923. Story proposes another thought experiment. "If the power of taxing was to be granted, why should it not be qualified according to the intention of the framers of the constitution? But then, it is said, if congress may lay taxes for the common defence and general welfare, the money may be appropriated for those purposes, although not within the scope of the other enumerated powers. Certainly it may be so appropriated; for if congress is authorized to lay taxes for such purposes, it would be strange, if, when raised, the money could not be applied to them. That would be to give a power for a certain end, and then deny the end intended by the power."

Story's flaw in this section is a lack of imagination. He does not observe as Mason did that an unlimited power to provide for the general welfare can be perverted to any end. Amendment X was designed to prevent such an interpretation.

§ 924. Story denies the idea that the Constitution creates a government of enumerated powers when he states, "If there are no other cases, which concern the common defence and general welfare, except those within the scope of the other enumerated powers, the discussion is merely nominal and frivolous. If there are such cases, who is at liberty to say, that, being for the common defence and general welfare, the constitution did not intend to embrace them?"

Furthermore, Story invokes "common sense" when he states, "One of the best established rules of interpretation, one, which common sense and reason forbid us to overlook, is, that when the object of a power is clearly defined by its terms, or avowed in the context, it ought to be construed, so as to obtain the object, and not to defeat it."

The object of his argument is a government of unlimited power. Is the Congress free to define the meaning of "raise and support Armies?"6 Should the Congress be at liberty to raise an army of doctors to go door to door to heal people? Should the Congress be at liberty to create an army of community organizers so that citizens are not misrepresented? Congress has no more power to define Army than they do to define general Welfare.

§ 925. Story discusses the general nature of the terms common defence and general welfare. He postulates that since they are general terms, they do not limit the spending authority of the federal government. He suggests that there is no limitation on spending stated in the text.

Again, his argument is incomplete. He either declines to acknowledge or does not observe that the United States government has enumerated powers.

§ 926. Story cites Jefferson's opinion in favor of treating the clause as a qualification on the power to tax.

§ 927. Story claims that Jefferson's opinion has been held in State conventions, by a majority of the nation, and Chief Justice Marsall in Gibbons v. Ogden.7

§ 928. Story suggests that people look to the proceedings of the constitutional convention8 for confirmation of his argument.

§ 929. Story pieces together notes from the Constitutional convention that relate to taxation. He concludes "From this historical survey it is apparent that it was first brought forward in connection with the power to lay taxes ; that it was originally adopted as a qualification or limitation of the objects of that power; and that it was not discussed as an independent power, or as a general phrase pointing to or connected with the subsequent enumerated powers."

Since his analysis depends upon the meaning of general welfare, he should have also attended to the notes that mention welfare. They have been assembled in Origin of the term “general Welfare”.

§ 930. Story addresses the grammatical construction of the clause in connection with the preceding words "to pay the debts." He contends that "the truth is, (as the historical review also proves,) that after it had been decided that a positive power to pay the public debts should be inserted in the Constitution, and a desire had been evinced to introduce some restriction upon the power to lay taxes, in order to allay jealousies and suppress alarms, it was (keeping both objects in view) deemed best to append the power to pay the public debts to the power to lay taxes ; and then to add other terms, broad enough to embrace all the other purposes contemplated by the Constitution."

Story then proceeds to make reference to Madison's letter to Andrew Stevenson.9

§ 931. Story concludes his interpretation of the general welfare clause. He resumes the investigation in section 969.

§ 969. Story interjects his own opinion about providing general Welfare through taxing imports. Such a tax is commonly called a tariff or duty. He fails to see the ramifications that have been understood by Milton Friedman. Laying tariffs on one commodity can indirectly harm the production of another commodity. Tariffs, then, support a particular sector to the detriment of others.

§ 970. Story changes the language of Article 1, Section 8 from "provide for the common defence and general welfare" to "promote the common defence and general welfare." The change is subtle, but important. As argued in Jefferson's opinion, the intent of the clause is to restrain taxation such that it will generate revenue so that the government may execute its enumerated powers.

§ 971. Story argues that revenue is not the only means by which to effect the enumerated powers. He cites the power to regulate commerce. His analysis, however, does not describe the regulation of commerce, but the destruction of commerce. He desires that Congress should be able to break up foreign monopolies. Is that the intent of regulating "Commerce with foreign Nations?" Is the power to regulate equivalent to the power to destroy?

§ 972. Story summarizes the argument of section 968. He references Madison's Letter to Mr. Cabell.10

§ 973. Story contends that taxation for purposes other than revenue is constitutional because Congress has previous made such laws. He implies that Congress would not act unconstitutionally.

In his footnotes to this section, he says that John Quincy Adams provides the best rebuttal of Madison's letter to Stevenson. Adams' letter may be found at JSTOR.11

§ 974. Story relates to the reader that he is resuming the exmination of general welfare as it applies to regulating commerce.

§ 975. Story points out that the federal government may receive revenue from sources other than taxation. But, he contends that his analysis will focus on taxation as the source of revenue.

§ 976. Story revisits Madison's arguments that "to provide for the common defence and general welfare" is not an independent power. He fails to recognize Jefferson's opinion; if spending is an independent power, then it removes all meaning from the enumeration.

§ 977. Story states that independent powers to tax and spend are "in the highest degree expedient, if not indispensable for the due operations of the national government." Here, it would seem that he abandons the principle of original intent in favor of a practical interpretation.

§ 978. Story references Hamilton's Report on Manufactures, but fails to acknowlege Hamilton's fallacies. Nor does he acknowledge Hamilton's conflicting Federalist paper 84,12 which implies a government with enumerated, not plenary powers.

§ 979. Story references James Monroe's letter13. Yet, he fails to acknowledge Monroe's admission that the original intent was a narrow construction.14

References

1. Justice Joseph Story, 1833

Justice Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the constitution of the United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 1, 1833, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/commentariesonco01storuoft/commentariesonco01storuoft_djvu.txt.

"§ 909. The Constitution was, from its very origin, contemplated to be the frame of a national government, of special and enumerated powers, and not of general and unlimited powers. This is apparent, as will be presently seen from the history of the proceedings of the convention which framed it ; and it has formed the admitted basis of all legislative and judicial reasoning upon it ever since it was put into operation, by all who have been its open friends and advocates as well as by all who have been its enemies and opponents. If the clause, ' to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,' is construed to be an independent and substantive grant of power, it not only renders wholly unimportant and unnecessary the subsequent enumeration of specific powers, but it plainly extends far beyond them and creates a general authority in Congress to pass all laws which they may deem for the common defence or general welfare.^ Under such circumstances the Constitution would practically create an unlimited national government. The enumerated powers would tend to embarrassment and confusion, since they would only give rise to doubts as to the true extent of the general power, or of the enumerated powers."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

3. George Mason, 1791

George Mason, "Bill of Rights," George Mason, Dec 15, 1791, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

4. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, May 30, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_530.asp.

"The propositions of Mr. RANDOLPH which had been referred to the Committee being taken up. He moved on the suggestion of Mr. G. Morris, that the first of his propositions to wit 'Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defence, security of liberty & general welfare:' -should be postponed, in order to consider the 3 following:

1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & genl. welfare.

2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.

3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary. The motion for postponing was seconded by Mr. Govr. MORRIS and unanimously agreed to.

Some verbal criticisms were raised agst. the first proposition, and it was agreed on motion of Mr. BUTLER seconded by Mr. RANDOLPH, to pass on to the third, which underwent a discussion, less however on its general merits than on the force and extent of the particular terms national & supreme."

5. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

6. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;"

7. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c. to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. This does not interfere with the power of the States to tax for the support of their own governments; nor is the exercise of that power by the States, an exercise of any portion of the power that is granted to the United States. In imposing taxes for State purposes, they are not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. When, then, each government exercises the power of taxation, neither is exercising the power of the other."

8. James Madison, 2008

James Madison, "Avalon Project - Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," Lillian Goldman Law Library, Jan 1, 2008, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp.

9. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

10. James Madison, 1828

James Madison, "James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell," James Madison, Sep 18, 1828, accessed May 14, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces18.html.

11. Charles Francis Adams, 1905

Charles Francis Adams, "Remarks by the President, in Communicating a Letter from John Quincy Adams to Andrew Stevenson.," Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Dec 1, 1905, accessed May 14, 2016, https://www.jstor.org/stable/25079930?seq=96#page_scan_tab_contents.

12. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist, no. 84," Alexander Hamilton, May 28, 1788, accessed Apr 27, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html.

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

13. James Monroe, 1822

James Monroe, "James Monroe: "Special Message to the House of Representatives Containing the Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements"," James Monroe, May 4, 1822, accessed Apr 9, 2016, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66323.

14. James Monroe, 1822

James Monroe, "James Monroe: "Special Message to the House of Representatives Containing the Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements"," James Monroe, May 4, 1822, accessed Apr 9, 2016, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66323.

"It is contended on the one side that as the National Government is a government of limited powers it has no right to expend money except in the performance of acts authorized by the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers; that this grant in neither of its branches gives to Congress discretionary power of any kind, but is a mere instrument in its hands to carry into effect the powers contained in the other grants. To this construction I was inclined in the more early stage of our Government; but on further reflection and observation my mind has undergone a change, for reasons which I will frankly unfold."

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commerce clause
Justice John Marshall, Mar 2, 1824

Title

Justice Marshall interprets the Commerce clause

Quote

"To what commerce does this power extend? The constitution informs us, to commerce 'with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.'

It has, we believe, been universally admitted, that these words comprehend every species of commercial intercourse between the United States and foreign nations. No sort of trade can be carried on between this country and any other, to which this power does not extend. It has been truly said, that commerce, as the word is used in the constitution, is a unit, every part of which is indicated by the term.

If this be the admitted meaning of the word, in its application to foreign nations, it must carry the same meaning throughout the sentence, and remain a unit, unless there be some plain intelligible cause which alters it.

The subject to which the power is next applied, is to commerce 'among the several States.' The word 'among' means intermingled with. A thing which is among others, is intermingled with them. Commerce among the States, cannot stop at the external boundary line of each State, but may be introduced into the interior.

It is not intended to say that these words comprehend that commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States. Such a power would be inconvenient, and is certainly unnecessary.

Comprehensive as the word 'among' is, it may very properly be restricted to that commerce which concerns more States than one. The phrase is not one which would probably have been selected to indicate the completely interior traffic of a State, because it is not an apt phrase for that purpose; and the enumeration of the particular classes of commerce, to which the power was to be extended, would not have been made, had the intention been to extend the power to every description. The enumeration presupposes something not enumerated; and that something, if we regard the language or the subject of the sentence, must be the exclusively internal commerce of a State. The genius and character of the whole government seem to be, that its action is to be applied to all the external concerns of the nation, and to those internal concerns which affect the States generally; but not to those which are completely within a particular State, which do not affect other States, and with which it is not necessary to interfere, for the purpose of executing some of the general powers of the government. The completely internal commerce of a State, then, may be considered as reserved for the State itself.

But, in regulating commerce with foreign nations, the power of Congress does not stop at the jurisdictional lines of the several States. It would be a very useless power, if it could not pass those lines. The commerce of the United States with foreign nations, is that of the whole United States. Every district has a right to participate in it. The deep streams which penetrate our country in every direction, pass through the interior of almost every State in the Union, and furnish the means of exercising this right. If Congress has the power to regulate it, that power must be exercised whenever the subject exists. If it exists within the States, if a foreign voyage may commence or terminate at a port within a State, then the power of Congress may be exercised within a State.

This principle is, if possible, still more clear, when applied to commerce 'among the several States.' They either join each other, in which case they are separated by a mathematical line, or they are remote from each other, in which case other States lie between them. What is commerce 'among' them; and how is it to be conducted? Can a trading expedition between two adjoining States, commence and terminate outside of each? And if the trading intercourse be between two States remote from each other, must it not commence in one, terminate in the other, and probably pass through a third? Commerce among the States must, of necessity, be commerce with the States. In the regulation of trade with the Indian tribes, the action of the law, especially when the constitution was made, was chiefly within a State. The power of Congress, then, whatever it may be, must be exercised within the territorial jurisdiction of the several States. The sense of the nation on this subject, is unequivocally manifested by the provisions made in the laws for transporting goods, by land, between Baltimore and Providence, between New-York and Philadelphia, and between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

We are now arrived at the inquiry--What is this power?

It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution. These are expressed in plain terms, and do not affect the questions which arise in this case, or which have been discussed at the bar. If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of Congress, though limited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States. The wisdom and the discretion of Congress, their identity with the people, and the influence which their constituents possess at elections, are, in this, as in many other instances, as that, for example, of declaring war, the sole restraints on which they have relied, to secure them from its abuse. They are the restraints on which the people must often rely solely, in all representative governments."1

Analysis

Justice Marshall uses the practice of original intent to understand the meaning of regulating commerce with foreign nations. Then, he abandons original intent and uses sentence structure to associate the regulation of foreign Commerce with the regulation of Commerce among the States. Why does he not pursue the original intent of Commerce with the States?

iHeartReason's research into the original intent is available in the analysis of the commerce clause

References

1. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"To what commerce does this power extend? The constitution informs us, to commerce 'with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.'

It has, we believe, been universally admitted, that these words comprehend every species of commercial intercourse between the United States and foreign nations. No sort of trade can be carried on between this country and any other, to which this power does not extend. It has been truly said, that commerce, as the word is used in the constitution, is a unit, every part of which is indicated by the term.

If this be the admitted meaning of the word, in its application to foreign nations, it must carry the same meaning throughout the sentence, and remain a unit, unless there be some plain intelligible cause which alters it.

The subject to which the power is next applied, is to commerce 'among the several States.' The word 'among' means intermingled with. A thing which is among others, is intermingled with them. Commerce among the States, cannot stop at the external boundary line of each State, but may be introduced into the interior.

It is not intended to say that these words comprehend that commerce, which is completely internal, which is carried on between man and man in a State, or between different parts of the same State, and which does not extend to or affect other States. Such a power would be inconvenient, and is certainly unnecessary.

Comprehensive as the word 'among' is, it may very properly be restricted to that commerce which concerns more States than one. The phrase is not one which would probably have been selected to indicate the completely interior traffic of a State, because it is not an apt phrase for that purpose; and the enumeration of the particular classes of commerce, to which the power was to be extended, would not have been made, had the intention been to extend the power to every description. The enumeration presupposes something not enumerated; and that something, if we regard the language or the subject of the sentence, must be the exclusively internal commerce of a State. The genius and character of the whole government seem to be, that its action is to be applied to all the external concerns of the nation, and to those internal concerns which affect the States generally; but not to those which are completely within a particular State, which do not affect other States, and with which it is not necessary to interfere, for the purpose of executing some of the general powers of the government. The completely internal commerce of a State, then, may be considered as reserved for the State itself.

But, in regulating commerce with foreign nations, the power of Congress does not stop at the jurisdictional lines of the several States. It would be a very useless power, if it could not pass those lines. The commerce of the United States with foreign nations, is that of the whole United States. Every district has a right to participate in it. The deep streams which penetrate our country in every direction, pass through the interior of almost every State in the Union, and furnish the means of exercising this right. If Congress has the power to regulate it, that power must be exercised whenever the subject exists. If it exists within the States, if a foreign voyage may commence or terminate at a port within a State, then the power of Congress may be exercised within a State.

This principle is, if possible, still more clear, when applied to commerce 'among the several States.' They either join each other, in which case they are separated by a mathematical line, or they are remote from each other, in which case other States lie between them. What is commerce 'among' them; and how is it to be conducted? Can a trading expedition between two adjoining States, commence and terminate outside of each? And if the trading intercourse be between two States remote from each other, must it not commence in one, terminate in the other, and probably pass through a third? Commerce among the States must, of necessity, be commerce with the States. In the regulation of trade with the Indian tribes, the action of the law, especially when the constitution was made, was chiefly within a State. The power of Congress, then, whatever it may be, must be exercised within the territorial jurisdiction of the several States. The sense of the nation on this subject, is unequivocally manifested by the provisions made in the laws for transporting goods, by land, between Baltimore and Providence, between New-York and Philadelphia, and between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

We are now arrived at the inquiry--What is this power?

It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution. These are expressed in plain terms, and do not affect the questions which arise in this case, or which have been discussed at the bar. If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of Congress, though limited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States. The wisdom and the discretion of Congress, their identity with the people, and the influence which their constituents possess at elections, are, in this, as in many other instances, as that, for example, of declaring war, the sole restraints on which they have relied, to secure them from its abuse. They are the restraints on which the people must often rely solely, in all representative governments."

Similar quotes

1. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"But, the inspection laws are said to be regulations of commerce, and are certainly recognised in the constitution, as being passed in the exercise of a power remaining with the States.

That inspection laws may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce, will not be denied; but that a power to regulate commerce is the source from which the right to pass them is derived, cannot be admitted. The object of inspection laws, is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country; to fit them for exportation; or, it may be, for domestic use. They act upon the subject before it becomes an article of foreign commerce, or of commerce among the States, and prepare it for that purpose. They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces everything within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.

No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress; and, consequently, they remain subject to State legislation. If the legislative power of the Union can reach them, it must be for national purposes; it must be where the power is expressly given for a special purpose, or is clearly incidental to some power which is expressly given. It is obvious, that the government of the Union, in the exercise of its express powers, that, for example, of regulating commerce with foreign nations and among the States, may use means that may also be employed by a State, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers; that, for example, of regulating commerce within the State. If Congress license vessels to sail from one port to another, in the same State, the act is supposed to be, necessarily, incidental to the power expressly granted to Congress, and implies no claim of a direct power to regulate the purely internal commerce of a State, or to act directly on its system of police. So, if a State, in passing laws on subjects acknowledged to be within its control, and with a view to those subjects, shall adopt a measure of the same character with one which Congress may adopt, it does not derive its authority from the particular power which has been granted, but from some other, which remains with the State, and may be executed by the same means. All experience shows, that the same measures, or measures scarcely distinguishable from each other, may flow from distinct powers; but this does not prove that the powers themselves are identical. Although the means used in their execution may sometimes approach each other so nearly as to be confounded, there are other situations in which they are sufficiently distinct to establish their individuality."

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general Welfare
James Monroe, May 4, 1822

Title

Monroe discusses the intent of general Welfare

Quote

"It is contended on the one side that as the National Government is a government of limited powers it has no right to expend money except in the performance of acts authorized by the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers; that this grant in neither of its branches gives to Congress discretionary power of any kind, but is a mere instrument in its hands to carry into effect the powers contained in the other grants. To this construction I was inclined in the more early stage of our Government; but on further reflection and observation my mind has undergone a change, for reasons which I will frankly unfold."1

Type

Freudian slip

Analysis

President Monroe for the most part agrees with Alexander Hamilton's 1791 construction of general Welfare. But, deep within his letter, we find a paragraph wherein he relates his original construction of "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."2

"that this grant in neither of its branches gives to Congress discretionary power of any kind, but is a mere instrument in its hands to carry into effect the powers contained in the other grants. To this construction I was inclined in the more early stage of our Government;"

The Constitution is not a living document to suit the desires of the day. It must be interpretted as it was intended by its authors.

References

1. James Monroe, 1822

James Monroe, "James Monroe: "Special Message to the House of Representatives Containing the Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements"," James Monroe, May 4, 1822, accessed Apr 9, 2016, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66323.

"It is contended on the one side that as the National Government is a government of limited powers it has no right to expend money except in the performance of acts authorized by the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers; that this grant in neither of its branches gives to Congress discretionary power of any kind, but is a mere instrument in its hands to carry into effect the powers contained in the other grants. To this construction I was inclined in the more early stage of our Government; but on further reflection and observation my mind has undergone a change, for reasons which I will frankly unfold."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

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general Welfare
Alexander Hamilton, Dec 5, 1791

Title

Hamilton describes general Welfare

Quote

"A Question has been made concerning the Constitutional right of the Government of the United States to apply this species of encouragement, but there is certainly no good foundation for such a question. The National Legislature has express authority "To lay and Collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the Common defence and general welfare" with no other qualifications than that "all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United states, that no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to numbers ascertained by a census or enumeration taken on the principles prescribed in the Constitution, and that "no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state." These three qualifications excepted, the power to raise money is plenary, and indefinite; and the objects to which it may be appropriated are no less comprehensive, than the payment of the public debts and the providing for the common defence and "general Welfare." The terms "general Welfare" were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which Preceded; otherwise numerous exigencies incident to the affairs of a Nation would have been left without a provision. The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used; because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union, to appropriate its revenues shou'd have been restricted within narrower limits than the "General Welfare" and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition."1

Type

Redefinition, Fallacy

Analysis

Hamilton's first fallacy is his understanding of general Welfare. The phrase is a qualification on the power to tax. Jefferson,2 Madison,3 and Story4 support this conclusion.

Hamilton does not endeavor to discover the original intent of the clause from the Federalist papers. His argument conflicts with Federalist 415 and Federalist 84,6 which is his own paper. In Federalist 84, he argues that a bill of rights is unnecessary because the constitution is an enumeration of powers. His current argument for "a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition" contradicts his earlier question, "why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?"

Furthermore, Hamilton's desire for a plenary power to tax and spend is contrary to the founding principles. The Declaration of Independence states that a just government serves to protect the unalienable Rights of the people.7 Private property is an unalienable Right. As tax rate increases, the ability to acquire private property decreases. A government cannot raise an indefinite amount of money lest it becomes despotic.

Hamilton's second fallacy occurs when he states, "The terms 'general Welfare' were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which Preceded; otherwise numerous exigencies incident to the affairs of a Nation would have been left without a provision." The Framers anticipated that the Consitution would need to be modified. Thus, they wrote Article 5,8 which provides the ability to amend the constitution and grant additional authority if necessary.

The effect of Hamilton's paper is a redefinition of general Welfare. He ascribes plenary powers of taxation and spending to the first clause of Article 1, Section 8.

References

1. Alexander Hamilton, 1791

Alexander Hamilton, "Report on Manufactures," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Dec 5, 1791, accessed Dec 29, 2015, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s21.html.

"A Question has been made concerning the Constitutional right of the Government of the United States to apply this species of encouragement, but there is certainly no good foundation for such a question. The National Legislature has express authority "To lay and Collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the Common defence and general welfare" with no other qualifications than that "all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United states, that no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to numbers ascertained by a census or enumeration taken on the principles prescribed in the Constitution, and that "no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state." These three qualifications excepted, the power to raise money is plenary, and indefinite; and the objects to which it may be appropriated are no less comprehensive, than the payment of the public debts and the providing for the common defence and "general Welfare." The terms "general Welfare" were doubtless intended to signify more than was expressed or imported in those which Preceded; otherwise numerous exigencies incident to the affairs of a Nation would have been left without a provision. The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used; because it was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union, to appropriate its revenues shou'd have been restricted within narrower limits than the "General Welfare" and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition."

2. Thomas Jefferson, 1791

Thomas Jefferson, "Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791," Thomas Jefferson, Jan 1, 1791, accessed Apr 2, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp.

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

3. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

4. Justice Joseph Story, 1833

Justice Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the constitution of the United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 1, 1833, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/commentariesonco01storuoft/commentariesonco01storuoft_djvu.txt.

"Before proceeding to consider the nature and extent of the power conferred by this clause, and the reasons on which it is founded, it seems necessary to settle the grammatical construction of the clause, and to ascertain its true reading. Do the words, ' to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises,' constitute a distinct substantial power ; and the words, ' to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,' constitute another distinct and substantial power ? Or are the latter words connected with the former so as to constitute a qualification upon them ? This has been a topic of political controversy, and has furnished abundant materials for popular declamation and alarm. If the former be the true interpretation, then it is obvious that under color of the generality of the words, to ' provide for the common defence and general welfare,' the government of the United States is, in reality, a government of general and unlimited powers, notwithstanding the subsequent enumeration of specific powers ; if the latter be the true construction, then the power of taxation only is given by the clause, and it is limited to objects of a national character, ' to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and the general welfare.'

The former opinion has been maintained by some minds of great ingenuity and liberality of views.^ The latter has been the generally received sense of the nation, and seems supported by reasoning at once solid and impregnable. The reading, therefore, which will be maintained in these commentaries is that which makes the latter words a qualification of the former ; and this will be best illustrated by supplying the words which are necessarily to be understood in this interpretation. They will then stand thus : ' The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, in order to pay the debts, and to provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States ' ; that is, for the purpose of paying the public debts, and providing for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. In this sense. Congress has not an unlimited power of taxation ; but it is limited to specific objects, — the payment of the public debts, and providing for the common defence and general welfare. A tax, therefore, laid by Congress for neither of these objects, would be unconstitutional, as an excess of its legislative authority. In what manner this is to be ascertained or decided will be considered hereafter. At present the interpretation of the words only is before us ; and the reasoning by which that already suggested has been vindicated will now be reviewed."

5. James Madison, 1788

James Madison, "Federalist Paper 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution," James Madison, Jan 19, 1788, accessed Apr 28, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed41.asp.

"Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that 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,' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms 'to raise money for the general welfare.'

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.

But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are 'their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare.' The terms of article eighth are still more identical: 'All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,' etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.

But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!"

6. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist, no. 84," Alexander Hamilton, May 28, 1788, accessed Apr 27, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html.

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

7. Thomas Jefferson, 1776

Thomas Jefferson, "Declaration of Independence," Thomas Jefferson, Jul 4, 1776, accessed Dec 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness..."

8. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

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general Welfare
Thomas Jefferson, Jan 1, 1791

Title

Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank

Quote

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."1

References

1. Thomas Jefferson, 1791

Thomas Jefferson, "Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791," Thomas Jefferson, Jan 1, 1791, accessed Apr 2, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp.

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

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general Welfare
George Mason and Mr. Pendleton, Jun 16, 1788

Title

Mason proposes Amendment X

Quote

"Mr. PENDLETON... With respect to the necessity of the ten miles square being superseded by the subsequent clause, which gives them power 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, I understand that clause as not going a single step beyond the delegated powers. What can it act upon? Some power given by this Constitution. If they should be about to pass a law in consequence of this clause, they must pursue some of the delegated powers, but can by no means depart from them, or arrogate any new powers; for the plain language of the clause is, to give them power to pass laws in order to give effect to the delegated powers.

Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, gentlemen say there is no new power given by this clause. Is there any thing in this Constitution which secures to the states the powers which are said to be retained? Will powers remain to the states which are not expressly guarded and reserved? I will suppose a case. Gentlemen may call it an impossible case, and suppose that Congress will act with wisdom and integrity. Among the enumerated powers, Congress are to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, and to pay the debts, and to provide for the general welfare and common defence; and by that clause (so often called the sweeping clause) they are to make all laws necessary to execute those laws. Now, suppose oppressions should arise under this government, and any writer should dare to stand forth, and expose to the community at large the abuses of those powers; could not Congress, under the idea of providing for the general welfare, and under their own construction, say that this was destroying the general peace, encouraging sedition, and poisoning the minds of the people? And could they not, in order to provide against this, lay a dangerous restriction On the press? Might they not even bring the trial of this restriction within the ten miles square, when there is no prohibition against it? Might they not thus destroy the trial by jury? Would they not extend their implication? It appears to me that they may and will. And shall the support of our rights depend on the bounty of men whose interest it may be to oppress us? That Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise, the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.

Many gentlemen, whom I respect, take different sides of this question. We wish this amendment to be introduced, to remove our apprehensions. There was a clause in the Confederation reserving to the states respectively every power, jurisdiction, and right, not expressly delegated to the United States. This clause has never been complained of, but approved by all Why not, then, have a similar clause in this Constitution, in which it is the more indispensably necessary than in the Confederation, because of the great augmentation of power vested in the former? In my humble apprehension, unless there be some such clear and finite expression, this clause now under consideration will go to any thing our rulers may think proper. Unless there be some express declaration that every thing not given is retained, it will be carried to any power Congress may please."1

References

1. George Mason and Mr. Pendleton, 1788

George Mason and Mr. Pendleton, "The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution [Elliot's Debates, Volume 3]," George Mason and Mr. Pendleton, Jun 16, 1788, accessed May 10, 2016, https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=lled&fileName=003/lled003.db&recNum=452&itemLink=?%230030453&linkText=1.

"Mr. PENDLETON... With respect to the necessity of the ten miles square being superseded by the subsequent clause, which gives them power 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, I understand that clause as not going a single step beyond the delegated powers. What can it act upon? Some power given by this Constitution. If they should be about to pass a law in consequence of this clause, they must pursue some of the delegated powers, but can by no means depart from them, or arrogate any new powers; for the plain language of the clause is, to give them power to pass laws in order to give effect to the delegated powers.

Mr. GEORGE MASON. Mr. Chairman, gentlemen say there is no new power given by this clause. Is there any thing in this Constitution which secures to the states the powers which are said to be retained? Will powers remain to the states which are not expressly guarded and reserved? I will suppose a case. Gentlemen may call it an impossible case, and suppose that Congress will act with wisdom and integrity. Among the enumerated powers, Congress are to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, and to pay the debts, and to provide for the general welfare and common defence; and by that clause (so often called the sweeping clause) they are to make all laws necessary to execute those laws. Now, suppose oppressions should arise under this government, and any writer should dare to stand forth, and expose to the community at large the abuses of those powers; could not Congress, under the idea of providing for the general welfare, and under their own construction, say that this was destroying the general peace, encouraging sedition, and poisoning the minds of the people? And could they not, in order to provide against this, lay a dangerous restriction On the press? Might they not even bring the trial of this restriction within the ten miles square, when there is no prohibition against it? Might they not thus destroy the trial by jury? Would they not extend their implication? It appears to me that they may and will. And shall the support of our rights depend on the bounty of men whose interest it may be to oppress us? That Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise, the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.

Many gentlemen, whom I respect, take different sides of this question. We wish this amendment to be introduced, to remove our apprehensions. There was a clause in the Confederation reserving to the states respectively every power, jurisdiction, and right, not expressly delegated to the United States. This clause has never been complained of, but approved by all Why not, then, have a similar clause in this Constitution, in which it is the more indispensably necessary than in the Confederation, because of the great augmentation of power vested in the former? In my humble apprehension, unless there be some such clear and finite expression, this clause now under consideration will go to any thing our rulers may think proper. Unless there be some express declaration that every thing not given is retained, it will be carried to any power Congress may please."

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general Welfare
James Madison, Jan 19, 1788

Title

Madison's Federalist 41

Quote

"Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that 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,' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms 'to raise money for the general welfare.'

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.

But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are 'their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare.' The terms of article eighth are still more identical: 'All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,' etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.

But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!"1

References

1. James Madison, 1788

James Madison, "Federalist Paper 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by The Constitution," James Madison, Jan 19, 1788, accessed Apr 28, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed41.asp.

"Some, who have not denied the necessity of the power of taxation, have grounded a very fierce attack against the Constitution, on the language in which it is defined. It has been urged and echoed, that 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,' amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms 'to raise money for the general welfare.'

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars.

But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter. The objection here is the more extraordinary, as it appears that the language used by the convention is a copy from the articles of Confederation. The objects of the Union among the States, as described in article third, are 'their common defense, security of their liberties, and mutual and general welfare.' The terms of article eighth are still more identical: 'All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury,' etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever.

But what would have been thought of that assembly, if, attaching themselves to these general expressions, and disregarding the specifications which ascertain and limit their import, they had exercised an unlimited power of providing for the common defense and general welfare? I appeal to the objectors themselves, whether they would in that case have employed the same reasoning in justification of Congress as they now make use of against the convention. How difficult it is for error to escape its own condemnation!"

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general Welfare
James Madison, Sep 17, 1787

Title

Origin of the term “general Welfare”

Quote

"The Congress shall have 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;"1

Type

Information

Analysis

James Madison recounts the deliberation on the language "general Welfare" in his letter to Andrew Stevenson.2 The language comes from Article 3,3 Article 8,4 and Article 95 of the Articles of Confederation. Indeed, the convention notes from May 296 and May 307 connect “general Welfare” to the Articles of Confederation.

The term is not mentioned again until July 178 where we find “general welfare of the U. States is not concerned.” Contrast this usage with “public welfare” found on August 7.9 Does a distinction exist between public welfare and general welfare?

On August 21,10 we see for the first time “common defence and general welfare” being inserted into what would become article 1 section 8. The phrase is used as a rationale for the Revolutionary war debts. It was again used on August 25,11 but that amendment was deemed to be unnecessary by all States but one.

We see the clause taking its final form on September 412 and in three locations on September 12. The first instance13 mentions general welfare in the same sentence as blessings of liberty. The second instance14 uses the words “provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.” Finally, the letter submitted with the draft closes with the hope that the constitution will “promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.”15

In this last quote, we see "welfare of that country." This wording suggests that "general welfare of the United States" is not so much the welfare of people, but the welfare of a nation.

In the final instance general welfare is mentioned in the capacity of freedom of communication.

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

2. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

3. Various, 1777

Various, "Transcript of Articles of Confederation (1777)," Congress, Nov 15, 1777, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=3&page=transcript.

"The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defence, the security of their Liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever."

4. Various, 1777

Various, "Transcript of Articles of Confederation (1777)," Congress, Nov 15, 1777, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=3&page=transcript.

"All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defence or general welfare, and allowed by the united states in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several states, in proportion to the value of all land within each state, granted to or surveyed for any Person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated, according to such mode as the united states, in congress assembled, shall, from time to time, direct and appoint. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and direction of the legislatures of the several states within the time agreed upon by the united states in congress assembled."

5. Various, 1777

Various, "Transcript of Articles of Confederation (1777)," Congress, Nov 15, 1777, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=3&page=transcript.

"The united states, in congress assembled, shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defence and welfare of the united states, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the united states, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy, unless nine states assent to the same, nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the united states in congress assembled."

6. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, May 29, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_529.asp.

"Resolved that the Articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, 'common defence, security of liberty and general welfare.'"

7. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, May 30, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_530.asp.

"The propositions of Mr. RANDOLPH which had been referred to the Committee being taken up. He moved on the suggestion of Mr. G. Morris, that the first of his propositions to wit 'Resolved that the articles of Confederation ought to be so corrected & enlarged, as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution; namely, common defence, security of liberty & general welfare:' -should be postponed, in order to consider the 3 following:

1. that a Union of the States merely federal will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of Confederation, namely common defence, security of liberty, & genl. welfare.

2. that no treaty or treaties among the whole or part of the States, as individual Sovereignties, would be sufficient.

3. that a national Government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Executive & Judiciary. The motion for postponing was seconded by Mr. Govr. MORRIS and unanimously agreed to.

Some verbal criticisms were raised agst. the first proposition, and it was agreed on motion of Mr. BUTLER seconded by Mr. RANDOLPH, to pass on to the third, which underwent a discussion, less however on its general merits than on the force and extent of the particular terms national & supreme."

8. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Jul 17, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_717.asp.

"Mr. SHERMAN observed that it would be difficult to draw the line between the powers of the Genl. Legislatures, and those to be left with the States; that he did not like the definition contained in the Resolution, and proposed in place of the words 'of individual Legislation' line 4. inclusive, to insert 'to make laws binding on the people of the United States in all cases which may concern the common interests of the Union; but not to interfere with the Government of the individual States in any matters of internal police which respect the Govt. of such States only, and wherein the general welfare of the U. States is not concerned.'"

9. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Aug 7, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_807.asp.

"Mr. GHORUM contended that elections ought to be made by joint ballot. If separate ballots should be made for the President, and the two branches should be each attached to a favorite, great delay contention & confusion may ensue. These inconveniences have been felt in Masts. in the election of officers of little importance compared with the Executive of the U. States. The only objection agst. a joint ballot is that it may deprive the Senate of their due weight; but this ought not to prevail over the respect due to the public tranquility & welfare...

Mr. READ moved to insert after the word "Senate" the words, "subject to the Negative to be hereafter provided." His object was to give an absolute negative to the Executive-He considered this as so essential to the Constitution, to the preservation of liberty, & to the public welfare, that his duty compelled him to make the motion."

10. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Aug 21, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_821.asp.

"Governour LIVINGSTON from the Committee of Eleven to whom was referred the propositions respecting the debts of the several States and also the Militia entered on the 18th. inst: delivered the following report:

'The Legislature of the U. S. shall have power to fulfil the engagements which have been entered into by Congress, and to discharge as well the debts of the U. S. as the debts incurred by the several States during the late war, for the common defence and general welfare'"

11. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Aug 25, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_825.asp.

"Mr. SHERMAN thought it necessary to connect with the clause for laying taxes duties &c an express provision for the object of the old debts &c-and moved to add to the 1st. clause of 1st. sect. art VII 'for the payment of said debts and for the defraying the expences that shall be incurred for the common defence and general welfare.'

The proposition, as being unnecessary was disagreed to, Connecticut alone, being in the affirmative."

12. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Sep 4, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_904.asp.

"The first clause of sect: 1. art. 7. to read as follow-'The Legislature shall have power to lay and collect taxes duties imposts & excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence & general welfare, of the U. S.'"

13. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Sep 12, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_912.asp.

"WE, THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER TO FORM a more perfect union, to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

14. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Sep 12, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_912.asp.

"Sect. 8. The Congress may by joint ballot appoint a treasurer. They shall have 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.

To borrow money on the credit of the United States..."

15. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Sep 12, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_912.asp.

"We have now the honor to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congress assembled, that Constitution which as appeared to us the most adviseable.

The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that the power of making war, peace and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the Union: but the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust to one body of men is evident-Hence results the necessity of a different organization.

It is obviously impracticable in the federal government of these States to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all-Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was encreased by a difference among the several States as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our union, in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the Constitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensible.

That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not perhaps to be expected; but each will doubtless consider, that had her interest alone been consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish."

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general Welfare} and {Lcommerce clause
James Madison, Sep 14, 1787

Title

Founders debate the power to cut Canals

Quote

"Docr. FRANKLIN moved to add after the words 'post roads' Art I. Sect. 8. 'a power to provide for cutting canals where deemed necessary'

Mr. WILSON 2ded. the motion

Mr. SHERMAN objected. The expence in such cases will fall on the U. States, and the benefit accrue to the places where the canals may be cut.

Mr. WILSON. Instead of being an expence to the U.S. they may be made a source of revenue.

Mr. MADISON suggested an enlargement of the motion into a power 'to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual States may be incompetent.' His primary object was however to secure an easy communication between the States which the free intercourse now to be opened, seemed to call for. The political obstacles being removed, a removal of the natural ones as far as possible ought to follow.

Mr. RANDOLPH 2ded. the proposition

Mr. KING thought the power unnecessary.

Mr. WILSON. It is necessary to prevent a State from obstructing the general welfare.

Mr. KING. The States will be prejudiced and divided into parties by it. In Philada. & New York, It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities. In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.

Mr. WILSON mentioned the importance of facilitating by canals, the communication with the Western Settlements. As to Banks he did not think with Mr. King that the power in that point of view would excite the prejudices & parties apprehended. As to mercantile monopolies they are already included in the power to regulate trade.

Col: MASON was for limiting the power to the single case of Canals. He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution as supposed by Mr. Wilson.

The motion being so modified as to admit a distinct question specifying & limited to the case of canals,

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C no. Geo. ay."1

Type

Information

Analysis

The Canal debate is important for several reasons. First, why would Benjamin Franklin propose the power if Congress had the power to spend on anything deemed to be good for the general Welfare? This question begs a similar question as to why the Constitution needed to enumerate the power to establish Post Offices and post Roads.2 The logical conclusion is that the general welfare clause does not grant an independent power to do whatever is deemed to be good for the country.

The discussion is also important in that it shows the commerce clause did not contain a positive power to act with regard to Commerce among the States. If the commerce clause granted a power to promote commerce, then neither post Roads or Canals would need to be enumerated.

Finally, canals were not thought by everyone to promote the general Welfare; Mr. Sherman thought that they benefited localities. If a Canal power does not exist, does Congress have the power to establish railroads and airports? Railroads may be similar enough to post Roads, but airports are different. International airports may be applicable since they regulate foreign commerce, but regional airports may be ineligible to receive federal funding.

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention," James Madison, Sep 14, 1787, accessed Mar 19, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_914.asp.

"Docr. FRANKLIN moved to add after the words 'post roads' Art I. Sect. 8. 'a power to provide for cutting canals where deemed necessary'

Mr. WILSON 2ded. the motion

Mr. SHERMAN objected. The expence in such cases will fall on the U. States, and the benefit accrue to the places where the canals may be cut.

Mr. WILSON. Instead of being an expence to the U.S. they may be made a source of revenue.

Mr. MADISON suggested an enlargement of the motion into a power 'to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual States may be incompetent.' His primary object was however to secure an easy communication between the States which the free intercourse now to be opened, seemed to call for. The political obstacles being removed, a removal of the natural ones as far as possible ought to follow.

Mr. RANDOLPH 2ded. the proposition

Mr. KING thought the power unnecessary.

Mr. WILSON. It is necessary to prevent a State from obstructing the general welfare.

Mr. KING. The States will be prejudiced and divided into parties by it. In Philada. & New York, It will be referred to the establishment of a Bank, which has been a subject of contention in those Cities. In other places it will be referred to mercantile monopolies.

Mr. WILSON mentioned the importance of facilitating by canals, the communication with the Western Settlements. As to Banks he did not think with Mr. King that the power in that point of view would excite the prejudices & parties apprehended. As to mercantile monopolies they are already included in the power to regulate trade.

Col: MASON was for limiting the power to the single case of Canals. He was afraid of monopolies of every sort, which he did not think were by any means already implied by the Constitution as supposed by Mr. Wilson.

The motion being so modified as to admit a distinct question specifying & limited to the case of canals,

N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. no. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C no. Geo. ay."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads;"

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Communism

Original Definition

The Marxist motto is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"1. "In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."2

Analysis

Given that private property is essential for Freedom, it stands to reason that Communism violates Freedom

Replacement Words

income inequality

To better understand "income inequality," consider its opposite, "income equality." To oppose income inequality is to support income equality, which bears a striking resemblance to "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"3

redistribution of wealth

Redistribution of wealth is simply another way of saying "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"4. Redistribution of wealth violates Freedom

References

1. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," Wikipedia, Nov 24, 2015, accessed Jan 7, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_needs.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

2. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 1848

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party," Communist Party, Feb 1, 1848, accessed Dec 9, 2015, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf.

"In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."

3. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," Wikipedia, Nov 24, 2015, accessed Jan 7, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_needs.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

4. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," Wikipedia, Nov 24, 2015, accessed Jan 7, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each_according_to_his_ability,_to_each_according_to_his_needs.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

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Socialism

Original Definition

Socialism is "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."1

As viewed by Marx and Engels, "This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities."2

Analysis

Under Socialism, the government controls the economy. Whereas capitalism must abide by the law of supply and demand and consumers have choices, the government has no such restrictions. The government can effectively force citizens to buy a service. When services do not generate sufficient revenue, taxes can be raised to support the service.

For this reason, Socialism violates Freedom by coercing actions or imposing high tax rates

References

1. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2015

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "Socialism," Oxford Dictionary (American English), Jan 1, 2015, accessed Dec 9, 2015, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/socialism.

"A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."

2. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 1848

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party," Communist Party, Feb 1, 1848, accessed Dec 9, 2015, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf.

"This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities."

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class struggle

Analysis

Class struggle is a central idea to the Communist Manifesto. In the 1883 forward, Engels wrote, "The basic thought running through the Manifesto – that economic production, and the structure of society of every historical epoch necessarily arising therefrom, constitute the foundation for the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently (ever since the dissolution of the primaeval communal ownership of land) all history has been a history of class struggles..."1

Class struggle is a specific case of a larger, divide and rule strategy. An example of present-day class struggle is progressive income tax rates. Progressive tax rates redistribute wealth, which inhibits the concentration of wealth. Without sufficient wealth, opponents are unable to run for office and challenge authority.

References

1. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 1848

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party," Communist Party, Feb 1, 1848, accessed Dec 9, 2015, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf.

"The basic thought running through the Manifesto – that economic production, and the structure of society of every historical epoch necessarily arising therefrom, constitute the foundation for the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently (ever since the dissolution of the primaeval communal ownership of land) all history has been a history of class struggles..."

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commerce clause

Original Definition

"The Congress shall have Power ... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"1

Current Definition

In United States v. Darby, Justice Stone rules that Congress may not only regulate Commerce, but Manufacturing as well. In Wickard v. Filburn, Justice Jackson expands the reach futher to include any activity that may indirectly affect interstate commerce.

Analysis

If Justice Stone is correct to conclude that regulation of Manufacturing is inherent in the regulation of Commerce, then why does Justice Marshall conclude the opposite? In Gibbons v. Ogden, Marshall wrote the following.

"But, the inspection laws are said to be regulations of commerce, and are certainly recognised in the constitution, as being passed in the exercise of a power remaining with the States.

That inspection laws may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce, will not be denied; but that a power to regulate commerce is the source from which the right to pass them is derived, cannot be admitted. The object of inspection laws, is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country; to fit them for exportation; or, it may be, for domestic use. They act upon the subject before it becomes an article of foreign commerce, or of commerce among the States, and prepare it for that purpose. They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces everything within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.

No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress; and, consequently, they remain subject to State legislation. If the legislative power of the Union can reach them, it must be for national purposes; it must be where the power is expressly given for a special purpose, or is clearly incidental to some power which is expressly given. It is obvious, that the government of the Union, in the exercise of its express powers, that, for example, of regulating commerce with foreign nations and among the States, may use means that may also be employed by a State, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers; that, for example, of regulating commerce within the State. If Congress license vessels to sail from one port to another, in the same State, the act is supposed to be, necessarily, incidental to the power expressly granted to Congress, and implies no claim of a direct power to regulate the purely internal commerce of a State, or to act directly on its system of police. So, if a State, in passing laws on subjects acknowledged to be within its control, and with a view to those subjects, shall adopt a measure of the same character with one which Congress may adopt, it does not derive its authority from the particular power which has been granted, but from some other, which remains with the State, and may be executed by the same means. All experience shows, that the same measures, or measures scarcely distinguishable from each other, may flow from distinct powers; but this does not prove that the powers themselves are identical. Although the means used in their execution may sometimes approach each other so nearly as to be confounded, there are other situations in which they are sufficiently distinct to establish their individuality."2

Digging further into Justice Marshall’s opinion in Gibbons v. Ogden, an inconsistency is found near the sentence that Justice Stone references. Justice Marshall uses the practice of original intent to understand the meaning of regulating commerce with foreign nations. The contradiction happens when Marshall abandons original intent and uses sentence structure to associate the regulation of foreign Commerce with the regulation of Commerce among the States. Why does he not pursue the original intent of Commerce with the States?

If Commerce includes the transportation of goods and the Commerce clause is a positive power with regard to the States, then the post Roads power3 is unnecessary. The power to establish post Roads and the power to cut Canals would be implied powers if the Commerce clause contained a positive power for Congress to act.

Besides this logic, few dedicated works are found regarding the Founder’s interpretation of this phrase. We see it mentioned in Federalist 224 and Federalist 42,5 written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, respectively. Madison references Federalist 42 when he describes the Commerce power in 1829. He claims that the clause was "intended as a negative & preventive provision agst. injustice among the States themselves; rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Govt."6

Several modern-day scholars have reached the same conclusion as Madison. Randy E. Barnett analyzed the documentation from the convention and found that "...originalist evidence of the meaning of 'among the several States' and 'To regulate' also supports a narrow reading of the Commerce Clause."7 Calvin H. Johnson desires a broad interpretation, but concedes that the original intent was narrow.8 Also, Justice Thomas weighed in during the United States v. Lopez debate.9

From this analysis, we arrive at two conclusions. First, Commerce is defined as buying, selling, and transporting goods.10 Commerce is distinct from Manufacturing,11 the power over which is not given to Congress. Second, the power to regulate Commerce among the several States was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States, an example of which are import and export duties.

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

2. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"But, the inspection laws are said to be regulations of commerce, and are certainly recognised in the constitution, as being passed in the exercise of a power remaining with the States.

That inspection laws may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce, will not be denied; but that a power to regulate commerce is the source from which the right to pass them is derived, cannot be admitted. The object of inspection laws, is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country; to fit them for exportation; or, it may be, for domestic use. They act upon the subject before it becomes an article of foreign commerce, or of commerce among the States, and prepare it for that purpose. They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation, which embraces everything within the territory of a State, not surrendered to the general government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass.

No direct general power over these objects is granted to Congress; and, consequently, they remain subject to State legislation. If the legislative power of the Union can reach them, it must be for national purposes; it must be where the power is expressly given for a special purpose, or is clearly incidental to some power which is expressly given. It is obvious, that the government of the Union, in the exercise of its express powers, that, for example, of regulating commerce with foreign nations and among the States, may use means that may also be employed by a State, in the exercise of its acknowledged powers; that, for example, of regulating commerce within the State. If Congress license vessels to sail from one port to another, in the same State, the act is supposed to be, necessarily, incidental to the power expressly granted to Congress, and implies no claim of a direct power to regulate the purely internal commerce of a State, or to act directly on its system of police. So, if a State, in passing laws on subjects acknowledged to be within its control, and with a view to those subjects, shall adopt a measure of the same character with one which Congress may adopt, it does not derive its authority from the particular power which has been granted, but from some other, which remains with the State, and may be executed by the same means. All experience shows, that the same measures, or measures scarcely distinguishable from each other, may flow from distinct powers; but this does not prove that the powers themselves are identical. Although the means used in their execution may sometimes approach each other so nearly as to be confounded, there are other situations in which they are sufficiently distinct to establish their individuality."

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads;"

4. Alexander Hamilton, 1787

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist No. 22: The Same Subject Continued: Other Defects of the Present Confederation," Alexander Hamilton, Dec 14, 1787, accessed Sep 9, 2016, https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-22.

"The want of a power to regulate commerce is by all parties allowed to be of the number. The utility of such a power has been anticipated under the first head of our inquiries; and for this reason, as well as from the universal conviction entertained upon the subject, little need be added in this place. It is indeed evident, on the most superficial view, that there is no object, either as it respects the interests of trade or finance, that more strongly demands a federal superintendence...

The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States, contrary to the true spirit of the Union, have, in different instances, given just cause of umbrage and complaint to others, and it is to be feared that examples of this nature, if not restrained by a national control, would be multiplied and extended till they became not less serious sources of animosity and discord than injurious impediments to the intcrcourse between the different parts of the Confederacy. 'The commerce of the German empire is in continual trammels from the multiplicity of the duties which the several princes and states exact upon the merchandises passing through their territories, by means of which the fine streams and navigable rivers with which Germany is so happily watered are rendered almost useless.' Though the genius of the people of this country might never permit this description to be strictly applicable to us, yet we may reasonably expect, from the gradual conflicts of State regulations, that the citizens of each would at length come to be considered and treated by the others in no better light than that of foreigners and aliens."

5. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist No. 42: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered," Alexander Hamilton, Jan 22, 1788, accessed Sep 9, 2016, https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-42.

"The powers included in the THIRD class are those which provide for the harmony and proper intercourse among the States. Under this head might be included the particular restraints imposed on the authority of the States, and certain powers of the judicial department; but the former are reserved for a distinct class, and the latter will be particularly examined when we arrive at the structure and organization of the government. I shall confine myself to a cursory review of the remaining powers comprehended under this third description, to wit: to regulate commerce among the several States and the Indian tribes; to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin; to provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the current coin and secureties of the United States; to fix the standard of weights and measures; to establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws of bankruptcy, to prescribe the manner in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each State shall be proved, and the effect they shall have in other States; and to establish post offices and post roads. The defect of power in the existing Confederacy to regulate the commerce between its several members, is in the number of those which have been clearly pointed out by experience. To the proofs and remarks which former papers have brought into view on this subject, it may be added that without this supplemental provision, the great and essential power of regulating foreign commerce would have been incomplete and ineffectual. A very material object of this power was the relief of the States which import and export through other States, from the improper contributions levied on them by the latter. Were these at liberty to regulate the trade between State and State, it must be foreseen that ways would be found out to load the articles of import and export, during the passage through their jurisdiction, with duties which would fall on the makers of the latter and the consumers of the former. We may be assured by past experience, that such a practice would be introduced by future contrivances; and both by that and a common knowledge of human affairs, that it would nourish unceasing animosities, and not improbably terminate in serious interruptions of the public tranquillity. To those who do not view the question through the medium of passion or of interest, the desire of the commercial States to collect, in any form, an indirect revenue from their uncommercial neighbors, must appear not less impolitic than it is unfair; since it would stimulate the injured party, by resentment as well as interest, to resort to less convenient channels for their foreign trade. But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain. The necessity of a superintending authority over the reciprocal trade of confederated States, has been illustrated by other examples as well as our own. In Switzerland, where the Union is so very slight, each canton is obliged to allow to merchandises a passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons, without an augmentation of the tolls. In Germany it is a law of the empire, that the princes and states shall not lay tolls or customs on bridges, rivers, or passages, without the consent of the emperor and the diet; though it appears from a quotation in an antecedent paper, that the practice in this, as in many other instances in that confederacy, has not followed the law, and has produced there the mischiefs which have been foreseen here. Among the restraints imposed by the Union of the Netherlands on its members, one is, that they shall not establish imposts disadvantageous to their neighbors, without the general permission."

6. James Madison, 1829

James Madison, "James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell, 13 February 1829," James Madison, Feb 13, 1829, accessed Jun 5, 2016, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/99-02-02-1698.

"I always foresaw that difficulties might be started in relation to (the 'power to regulate commerce among the several States'), which could not be fully explained without recurring to views of it, which however just, might give birth to specious tho’ unsound objections. Being in the same terms with the power over foreign Commerce, the same extent, if taken literally, would belong to it. Yet it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse* of the power by the importing States, in taxing the non-importing; and was intended as a negative & preventive provision agst. injustice among the States themselves; rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Govt. in which alone however the remedial power could be lodged. And it will be safer to leave the power with this key to it, than to extend to it all the qualities & incidental means belonging to the power over foreign commerce, as is unavoidable, according to the reasoning I see applied to the case.

*see the Federalist No 42."

7. Randy E. Barnett, 2001

Randy E. Barnett, "THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE COMMERCE CLAUSE," University of Chicago, Jan 1, 2001, accessed Sep 17, 2016, https://www.bu.edu/rbarnett/Original.htm.

"...originalist evidence of the meaning of 'among the several States' and 'To regulate' also supports a narrow reading of the Commerce Clause."

8. Calvin H. Johnson, 2004

Calvin H. Johnson, "THE PANDA’S THUMB: THE MODEST AND MERCANTILIST ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE COMMERCE CLAUSE," William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Oct 1, 2004, accessed Sep 21, 2016, https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/calvinjohnson/PandasThumb.pdf.

"The programs articulated under 'regulation of commerce' in the original debates, however, were restrictions on trade under the mercantilist tradition that preceded free trade."

9. Justice Clarence Thomas, 1995

Justice Clarence Thomas, "United States v. Lopez," Supreme Court of the United States, Apr 26, 1995, accessed Sep 17, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/93-1260.ZC1.html.

"At the time the original Constitution was ratified, 'commerce' consisted of selling, buying, and bartering, as well as transporting for these purposes. See 1 S. Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language 361 (4th ed. 1773) (defining commerce as 'Intercourse; exchange of one thing for another; interchange of any thing; trade; traffick'); N. Bailey, An Universal Etymological English Dictionary (26th ed. 1789) ('trade or traffic'); T. Sheridan, A Complete Dictionary of the English Language (6th ed. 1796) ('Exchange of one thing for another; trade, traffick'). This understanding finds support in the etymology of the word, which literally means 'with merchandise.' See 3 Oxford English Dictionary 552 (2d ed. 1989) (com--'with'; merci--'merchandise'). In fact, when Federalists and Anti Federalists discussed the Commerce Clause during the ratification period, they often used trade (in its selling/bartering sense) and commerce interchangeably. See The Federalist No. 4, p. 22 (J. Jay) (asserting that countries will cultivate our friendship when our 'trade' is prudently regulated by Federal Government); id., No. 7, at 39-40 (A. Hamilton) (discussing 'competitions of commerce' between States resulting from state "regulations of trade"); id., No. 40, at 262 (J. Madison) (asserting that it was an 'acknowledged object of the Convention . . . that the regulation of trade should be submitted to the general government'); Lee, Letters of a Federal Farmer No. 5, in Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States 319 (P. Ford ed. 1888); Smith, An Address to the People of the State of New York, in id., at 107.

As one would expect, the term 'commerce' was used in contradistinction to productive activities such as manufacturing and agriculture. Alexander Hamilton, for example, repeatedly treated commerce, agriculture, and manufacturing as three separate endeavors. See, e.g., The Federalist No. 36, at 224 (referring to 'agriculture, commerce, manufactures'); id., No. 21, at 133 (distinguishing commerce, arts, and industry); id., No. 12, at 74 (asserting that commerce and agriculture have shared interests). The same distinctions were made in the state ratification conventions. See e.g., 2 Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 57 (J. Elliot ed. 1836) (hereinafter Debates) (T. Dawes at Massachusetts convention); id., at 336 (M. Smith at New York convention)."

10. Merriam-Webster.com, 2016

Merriam-Webster.com, "Commerce," Merriam-Webster, Sep 20, 2016, accessed Sep 20, 2016, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commerce.

"the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place"

11. Surbhi S, 2016

Surbhi S, "Difference Between Industry and Commerce," KeyDifferences, Jun 25, 2016, accessed Sep 16, 2016, http://keydifferences.com/difference-between-industry-and-commerce.html.

"Business is an economic activity, concerned with the provision of goods and services with an aim of earning profit. There is two major classification of business activities, i.e. industry and commerce. Many think that these two business activities are one and the same thing but the fact is that industry is related to the production of goods, whereas commerce focuses on their distribution."

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divide and rule

Original Definition

"The policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition:
'the politics of divide and rule in society'"1

Analysis

A divide and rule strategy seeks to consolidate power by dividing people and their resources.

For instance, a politician can incite strife among people of varying wealth, race, and gender. The discord distracts attention from the politician's controversial actions. People who would otherwise be united against the politician turn against each other.

Divide and rule also occurs when politicians encourage debates that waste the time, energy, and resources of opponents. For instance, the federal government has imposed its will upon the people regarding mandatory health insurance, gay marriage, and transgender bathroom policies. From which part of the Constitution does the federal government derive its power to act in these matters? If the power does not exist in the Constitution, then matters such as these should be decided by each State.

References

1. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2016

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "divide and rule (or conquer)," Oxford University Press, Jan 1, 2016, accessed Jul 12, 2016, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/divide-and-rule-or-conquer.

"The policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition:
'the politics of divide and rule in society'"

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equality of opportunity

Original Definition

"when equality of opportunity prevails, the assignment of individuals to places in the social hierarchy is determined by some form of competitive process, and all members of society are eligible to compete on equal terms."1

Analysis

With equality of opportunity, people are free to make of themselves what they will. A free society should endeavor to protect this ideal. Martin Luther King Jr spoke of this philosophy when he said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."2

For a better understanding of this concept, consider its philosophical opposite, equality of outcome

References

1. Richard Arneson, 2015

Richard Arneson, "Equality of Opportunity," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), Mar 25, 2015, accessed Jan 9, 2016, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equal-opportunity/.

"when equality of opportunity prevails, the assignment of individuals to places in the social hierarchy is determined by some form of competitive process, and all members of society are eligible to compete on equal terms."

2. Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

Martin Luther King Jr., "I HAVE A DREAM ...," Martin Luther King Jr., Aug 28, 1963, accessed Mar 12, 2016, https://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

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equality of outcome

Original Definition

"Equality of outcome, equality of condition, or equality of results ... describes a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or in which the general economic conditions of their lives are similar. Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society, and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition."1

Analysis

Equality of outcome is a central component of Communism and to an extent, Socialism. This philosophy deprives the individual of the freedom to improve upon his or her condition in life.

References

1. Wikipedia, 2016

Wikipedia, "Equality of outcome," Wikipedia, Mar 9, 2016, accessed Mar 12, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_of_outcome.

"Equality of outcome, equality of condition, or equality of results ... describes a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or in which the general economic conditions of their lives are similar. Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society, and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition."

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federal reserve mandates

Original Definition

"The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."1

Current Definition

"The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate."2

Analysis

Two observations can be made. First, the Federal Reserve has three mandates. Second, a goal of the Federal Reserve is stable prices. Inflation is not stable. Inflation devalues money

Replacement Words

dual mandate

When used with respect to the U.S. Federal Reserve, "dual mandate" implies that the Federal Reserve has two goals. Because the Federal Reserve has three goals, "dual mandate" is a fallacy. It is an attempt to rewrite a law without going through Congress.

References

1. Congress, 2013

Congress, "FRB: Federal Reserve Act: Section 2a," Congress, May 23, 2013, accessed Nov 22, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/section2a.htm.

"The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."

2. Federal Reserve Board, 2012

Federal Reserve Board, "Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement of longer-run goals and policy strategy," Federal Reserve Board, Jan 25, 2012, accessed Nov 22, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20120125c.htm.

"The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate."

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general Welfare

Original Definition

General Welfare is mentioned in Article 1, section 8, clause 1 of the Constitution. "The Congress shall have 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;"1

Current Definition

Justice Cardozo of the Supreme Court ruled that "Congress may spend money in aid of the 'general welfare,'" the definition of which is at their discretion. In other words, Congress is not restrained by the enumeration in the Constitution.

Analysis

What is "general Welfare?" Can it stand by itself, or should we only read it as part of the power to tax?2

If Justice Cardozo is correct, then why does the Constitution grant the power to establish Post Offices and post Roads?3 A plenary power to spend on the general welfare would provide for Post Offices and post Roads. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7 would be redundant. Also, why did the Founders propose a power to cut canals?

Similar logic is found when considering the intent of the phrase, 'provide for the common defence.' An Army and Navy can have only one purpose, which is the common defence. Yet, clause 1 is not sufficient to establish an Army and Navy. The authors thought it necessary to enumerate the powers in clauses 124 and 13.5 Why would they enumerate the powers if they were already provided in a plenary power in the first clause?

The rational conclusion is that the first clause does not contain a plenary power to spend for the common defence. The same can be said for general Welfare. The first clause does not grant a plenary power to spend for anything Congress deems to be good for the country.

What is the purpose of "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States?" Thomas Jefferson answered this question most succinctly in his 1791 Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank. He wrote, "To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."6

In constitutional matters, we seek to know the original intent of the authors. Does Jefferson's analysis expose the original intent? To this end, we may consult the Federalist Papers and Elliot's Debates.

In particular, James Madison wrote Federalist 41, which argues that common defence and general Welfare are described by the enumeration in the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton later affirmed the limited nature of Federal power in Federalist 84. He argued against a Bill of Rights because the Constitution innately reserves all powers not enumerated to the people.7

Turning to the Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, we find George Mason's reason for proposing Amendment X. Mason proposed Amendment X in order to prevent the abuse of the general welfare clause. He feared that a general welfare clause in combination with a necessary and proper clause would create a government with unlimited power. He said, "In my humble apprehension, unless there be some such clear and finite expression, this clause now under consideration will go to any thing our rulers may think proper. Unless there be some express declaration that every thing not given is retained, it will be carried to any power Congress may please."

With this evidence, the intent of the first clause of Article 1, Section 8 must be that Congress has the power to tax for the purpose of providing for the preceeding and subsequent enumeration of powers. Congress does not have the power to tax for any other purpose. Congress also does not have the power to spend on anything not enumerated. Otherwise, the enumeration is meaningless.

James Madison revisits the issue in his Virginia Report of 1799-1800, and his 1830 Letter to Andrew Stevenson.8 Jefferson's and Madison's arguments agree with the conclusion reached by Justice Marshall. "Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States."9 Which is to say that the government does not have a plenary power to tax.

Having found the original intent of Article 1, Section 8, clause 1, we shall now endeavor to understand how its meaning has been twisted into its present definition.

The clause has been mangled over time by several people holding high office. The first such person was Alexander Hamilton. His 1791 Report on Manufactures does not recognize the general Welfare clause as a qualification on the power to tax. Instead, he reads a plenary power to tax and spend. His conclusion contradicts his defense of the Constitution in Federalist 84,10 which implies a government with enumerated, not plenary powers.

The next person to expand the meaning of general Welfare was James Monroe. In his 1822 message to the House of Representatives, he claims that the national government's "right to raise and appropriate the public money is not restricted to the expenditures under the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers, respectively."11 Yet, he is honest in that his construction is not the original intent of the clause.12

Justice Story, in his commentary, echos Madison's Federalist 41 and then rebukes Madison when he writes as himself. Story also misquotes George Mason. He references Mason saying that the general welfare clause is an independent power, but does not reference the proposal to restrict the interpretation. Furthermore, Story does not acknowledge his conflict with Hamilton's plenary view of taxation. Nor does he acknowledge Monroe's original construction, which contradicts his interpretation.

Justice Owen Roberts renews the debate in United States v. Butler. He agrees with Story's construction without addressing the aforementioned conflicts. Roberts also does not acknowledge Justice Marshall's conclusion on the extent of the power to tax.13

Finally, we arrive at Cardozo's decision in Helvering v. Davis. He makes the same mistakes that were made by Owen Roberts. Additionally, he does not acknowledge that Story concludes that poverty law is the exclusive right of the States.14

The end result is that the Federal government is not bound by the enumeration in the Constitution. As Jefferson warned, Congress may do whatever evil they please.

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have 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;"

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads;"

4. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;"

5. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To provide and maintain a Navy;"

6. Thomas Jefferson, 1791

Thomas Jefferson, "Jefferson's Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791," Thomas Jefferson, Jan 1, 1791, accessed Apr 2, 2016, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp.

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

7. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist, no. 84," Alexander Hamilton, May 28, 1788, accessed Apr 27, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html.

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

8. James Madison, 1830

James Madison, "James Madison to Andrew Stevenson," James Madison, Nov 27, 1830, accessed Mar 15, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_1s27.html.

9. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c. to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. This does not interfere with the power of the States to tax for the support of their own governments; nor is the exercise of that power by the States, an exercise of any portion of the power that is granted to the United States. In imposing taxes for State purposes, they are not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. When, then, each government exercises the power of taxation, neither is exercising the power of the other."

10. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist, no. 84," Alexander Hamilton, May 28, 1788, accessed Apr 27, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/bill_of_rightss7.html.

"I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights."

11. James Monroe, 1822

James Monroe, "James Monroe: "Special Message to the House of Representatives Containing the Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements"," James Monroe, May 4, 1822, accessed Apr 9, 2016, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66323.

"If, then, the right to raise and appropriate the public money is not restricted to the expenditures under the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers, respectively, is there no limitation to it? Have Congress a right to raise and appropriate the money to any and to every purpose according to their will and pleasure? They certainly have not. The Government of the United States is a limited Government, instituted for great national purposes, and for those only. Other interests are committed to the States, whose duty it is to provide for them. Each government should look to the great and essential purposes for which it was instituted and confine itself to those purposes. A State government will rarely if ever apply money to national purposes without making it a charge to the nation. The people of the State would not permit it. Nor will Congress be apt to apply money in aid of the State administrations for purposes strictly local in which the nation at large has no interest, although the State should desire it. The people of the other States would condemn it. They would declare that Congress had no right to tax them for such a purpose, and dismiss at the next election such of their representatives as had voted for the measure, especially if it should be severely felt. I do not think that in offices of this kind there is much danger of the two Governments mistaking their interests or their duties. I rather expect that they would soon have a clear and distinct understanding of them and move on in great harmony."

12. James Monroe, 1822

James Monroe, "James Monroe: "Special Message to the House of Representatives Containing the Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements"," James Monroe, May 4, 1822, accessed Apr 9, 2016, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=66323.

"It is contended on the one side that as the National Government is a government of limited powers it has no right to expend money except in the performance of acts authorized by the other specific grants according to a strict construction of their powers; that this grant in neither of its branches gives to Congress discretionary power of any kind, but is a mere instrument in its hands to carry into effect the powers contained in the other grants. To this construction I was inclined in the more early stage of our Government; but on further reflection and observation my mind has undergone a change, for reasons which I will frankly unfold."

13. Justice John Marshall, 1824

Justice John Marshall, "Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 (Commerce): Gibbons v. Ogden," Supreme Court of the United States, Mar 2, 1824, accessed Apr 8, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_3_commerces16.html.

"Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c. to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. This does not interfere with the power of the States to tax for the support of their own governments; nor is the exercise of that power by the States, an exercise of any portion of the power that is granted to the United States. In imposing taxes for State purposes, they are not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. When, then, each government exercises the power of taxation, neither is exercising the power of the other."

14. Justice Joseph Story, 1833

Justice Joseph Story, "Commentaries on the constitution of the United States," Supreme Court of the United States, Jan 1, 1833, accessed Apr 2, 2016, https://archive.org/stream/commentariesonco01storuoft/commentariesonco01storuoft_djvu.txt.

"In furtherance of this reasoning, it has been admitted, that under the power to regulate commerce, congress is not limited to the imposition of duties upon imports for the sole purpose of revenue. It may impose retaliatory duties on foreign powers; but these retaliatory duties must be imposed for the regulation of commerce, not for the encouragement of manufactures. The power to regulate manufactures, not having been confided to congress, they have no more right to act upon it, than they have to interfere with the systems of education, the poor laws, or the road laws, of the states. Congress is empowered to lay taxes for revenue, it is true; but there is no power to encourage, protect, or meddle with manufactures."

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health insurance

Original Definition

Health insurance is "insurance against loss through illness of the insured; especially, insurance providing compensation for medical expenses."1

Replacement Words

health care

Health care is "the prevention or treatment of illness by doctors, dentists, psychologists, etc."2
In contrast, health insurance is simply one way to pay for health care. People frequently confuse the two terms when discussing Obamacare, which requires that insurance companies provide coverage to people regarless of pre-existing conditions. For example, refer to President Obama's speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.3

References

1. Merriam-Webster, 2015

Merriam-Webster, "health insurance," Merriam-Webster, Jan 1, 2015, accessed Jan 2, 2016, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/health%20insurance.

"insurance against loss through illness of the insured; especially, insurance providing compensation for medical expenses."

2. Merriam-Webster, 2016

Merriam-Webster, "health care," Merriam-Webster, Jan 1, 2016, accessed Jan 2, 2016, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/health%20care.

"the prevention or treatment of illness by doctors, dentists, psychologists, etc."

3. Barack Obama, 2016

Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at the Democratic National Convention," Barack Obama, Jul 28, 2016, accessed Jul 29, 2016, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/28/remarks-president-democratic-national-convention.

"After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, it is a right for everybody."

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illegal alien

Original Definition

"A foreign national who is living without authorization in a country of which they are not a citizen."1

Analysis

Being that Congress has authority over naturalization and therefore immigration, Congress has chosen to regulate immigration. Penalties for illegally entering the United States can be found at the U.S. Government Publishing Office.2

In general, people who support an open-border policy do not recognize that free immigration is not possible with a welfare state. They often replace "illegal alien" with a term that has a positive connotation.

Replacement Words

economic refugee

Here, the author uses a poor economy to justify breaking the law.

illegal immigrant

Replacing alien with immigrant fosters a sense of community. Immigrants generally seek a new home to improve their quality of life.

immigrant

Using "immigrant" can be very deceptive. On one hand, immigrating to jobs is a good thing. So, we must ascertain whether the author describes people who lawfully entered the country, or people who entered illegally. If the immigrants are, in fact, illegal aliens, then the absense of the illegal adjective suggests that national sovereignty is not valued. Also, authors may use this term to possibly defame. For example, compare "deport illegal aliens" to "deport immigrants."

migrant

The criminality of the act is not mentioned. Also, migrant only applies if the person intends to go back to his or her homeland. For example, migratory birds fly south in the winter and north in the summer.

refugee

By using refugee, the author disarms the audience by evoking pathos. However, refugee status cannot be applied to a mass of people since it must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. A better term is asylum seeker.

undocumented immigrant

Replacing "illegal" with "undocumented" hides the fact that the person is breaking the law.

References

1. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2016

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "illegal alien," Oxford Dictionary (American English), Jan 1, 2016, accessed May 22, 2016, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/illegal-alien.

"A foreign national who is living without authorization in a country of which they are not a citizen."

2. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1996

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Sec. 1325 - Improper entry by alien," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Sep 30, 1996, accessed Jan 9, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title8/USCODE-2011-title8-chap12-subchapII-partVIII-sec1325.

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liberal

Original Definition

In a political sense, one who supports individual liberty.

Current Definition

In a political sense, one who supports the redistribution of wealth.

Analysis

The root of "Liberal" is liber, which means "free" in latin. Because redistribution of wealth violates Freedom, the current usage of "liberal" is incorrect.

Milton Friedman discussed the evolution of the term in his book, Capitalism and Freedom. "As it developed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the intellectual movement that went under the name of liberalism emphasized freedom as the ultimate goal and the individual as the ultimate entity in the society. It supported laissez faire at home as a means of reducing the role of the state in economic affairs and thereby enlarging the role of the individual; it supported free trade abroad as a means of linking the nations of the world together peacefully and democratically. In political matters, it supported the development of representative government and of parliamentary institutions, reduction in the arbitrary power of the state, and protection of the civil freedoms of individuals.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, and especially after 1930 in the United States, the term liberalism came to be associated with a very different emphasis, particularly in economic policy. It came to be associated with a readiness to rely primarily on the state rather than on private voluntary arrangements to achieve objectives regarded as desirable. The catchwords became welfare and equality rather than freedom. The nineteenth-century liberal regarded an extension of freedom as the most effective way to promote welfare and equality; the twentieth-century liberal regards welfare and equality as either prerequisites of or alternatives to freedom. In the name of welfare and equality, the twentieth-century liberal has come to favor a revival of the very policies of state intervention and paternalism against which classical liberalism fought. In the very act of turning the clock back to seventeenth-century mercantilism, he is fond of castigating true liberals as reactionary!"1

References

1. Milton Friedman, 1962

Milton Friedman, "Capitalism and Freedom," The University of Chicago Press, Jan 1, 1962

"As it developed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the intellectual movement that went under the name of liberalism emphasized freedom as the ultimate goal and the individual as the ultimate entity in the society. It supported laissez faire at home as a means of reducing the role of the state in economic affairs and thereby enlarging the role of the individual; it supported free trade abroad as a means of linking the nations of the world together peacefully and democratically. In political matters, it supported the development of representative government and of parliamentary institutions, reduction in the arbitrary power of the state, and protection of the civil freedoms of individuals.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, and especially after 1930 in the United States, the term liberalism came to be associated with a very different emphasis, particularly in economic policy. It came to be associated with a readiness to rely primarily on the state rather than on private voluntary arrangements to achieve objectives regarded as desirable. The catchwords became welfare and equality rather than freedom. The nineteenth-century liberal regarded an extension of freedom as the most effective way to promote welfare and equality; the twentieth-century liberal regards welfare and equality as either prerequisites of or alternatives to freedom. In the name of welfare and equality, the twentieth-century liberal has come to favor a revival of the very policies of state intervention and paternalism against which classical liberalism fought. In the very act of turning the clock back to seventeenth-century mercantilism, he is fond of castigating true liberals as reactionary!"

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stable prices

Original Definition

"Price stability in an economy means that the general price level in an economy does not change much over time. In other words, prices neither go up or down; there is no significant degree of inflation or deflation."1

Current Definition

Ever-increasing prices. In other words, inflation.

Analysis

The phrase has been redefined from prices that do not increase to prices that increases over time.

Replacement Words

stable inflation

In order to change the federal reserve mandates without passing a new law, people replace "prices" with "inflation."

References

1. Shawn Grimsley, 2003

Shawn Grimsley, "Price Stability in Monetary Policy: Definition & Overview," Study.com, Jan 1, 2003, accessed Nov 25, 2015, http://study.com/academy/lesson/price-stability-in-monetary-policy-definition-lesson-quiz.html.

"Price stability in an economy means that the general price level in an economy does not change much over time. In other words, prices neither go up or down; there is no significant degree of inflation or deflation."

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tax rate

Analysis

An income tax rate is a percentage of your income that is due to the government. Its legal basis is in the 16th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.1

Replacement Words

revenue

Rather than state that tax rates are going to increase, politicians state that they are going to "increase revenue" to the government. "Increase revenue" is not accurate because an increase in tax rate does not necessarily mean that tax revenue will increase. If the government raised income tax rates to 100%, who would work? If nobody worked, who would pay taxes? Therefore, raising tax rates can diminish tax revenue.

Continuing on this line of thought, increasing revenue may be possible by decreasing tax rates. Examples of this effect include the Coolidge-Harding, Kennedy, and Reagan tax rate cuts.2

taxes

When discussing high-income Americans, politicians often confuse taxes (a dollar amount) with tax rate (a percentage). The distinction is important. High-income Americans may be able to make use of the dividend and capital gains tax rates, which tend to be lower than the personal tax rate, especially when payroll taxes are considered. However, high-income Americans still pay more tax than low-income Americans. As an example, a fifteen percent tax on a million dollars is $150,000. A detailed summary of tax paid is provided by the Tax Foundation.3

References

1. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"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."

2. Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D., 2003

Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D., "The Historical Lessons of Lower Tax Rates," The Heritage Foundation, Aug 13, 2003, accessed Mar 12, 2016, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2003/08/the-historical-lessons-of-lower-tax-rates.

3. Kyle Pomerleau, 2013

Kyle Pomerleau, "Summary of Latest Federal Income Tax Data," Tax Foundation, Dec 18, 2013, accessed Oct 15, 2015, http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data.

"The Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97 Percent of All Income Taxes; the Top 5 Percent Paid 57 Percent of All Income Taxes; and the Top 1 Percent Paid 35 Percent of All Income Taxes in 2011"

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tax the rich

Analysis

The rich are commonly cited as a source of revenue if the income tax is increased. However, being rich means that you possess wealth. An income tax is assessed on income, not wealth.

Increasing an income tax affects everyone, rich or poor, with high income. As such, it impedes poor people from accumulating wealth and becoming rich.

Taxing the rich can be achieved through a direct tax or inflation. Direct taxes only on the wealthy are not permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 states "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."1

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

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Amendment: balanced budget

Question

Does an ever-growing national debt affect Freedom

Analysis

Consider the observations made by George Washington and Thomas Jeffson. In Washington's 1796 farewell address, he cautioned against "ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear."1 Jefferson wrote in his "Popular Basis of Political Authority" that "no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of it's own existence."2 His argument is that the earth belongs to the living and not the dead.

We should heed the wisdom of our founding fathers. If the current generation spends more than it taxes, then future generations will pay the interest and principal of the debt. In effect, wealth is taken from children and the unborn.

Society must stop this decadent behavior. Congress has shown that it does not intend to pay back the debt that it incurred during the Bush and Obama presidencies. Both Republicans and Democrats have controlled the House of Representatives, and neither has balanced the budget, much less sought a surplus. If we are to preserve Freedom for future generations, then the United States of America needs a balanced budget amendment. Otherwise, the politicians of today spend the dollars of tomorrow, which is a time when they are not in office.

Please write to your Representatives, Senators, Governors, and President to request this important amendment to our Constitution.

References

1. George Washington, 1796

George Washington, "Washington's Farewell Address 1796," George Washington, Sep 17, 1796, accessed Jan 11, 2017, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp.

"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate."

2. Thomas Jefferson, 1789

Thomas Jefferson, "Popular Basis of Political Authority," Thomas Jefferson, Sep 6, 1789, accessed Jan 1, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch2s23.html.

"no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of it's own existence."

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Amendment: flat-rate income tax

Question

Can the government collect tax revenue without violating Freedom

Analysis

It is generally understood that governments are instituted to protect unalienable Rights.1 Being that the power to tax is the power to enslave, any tax must be as small as possible.

With this in mind, two common options for tax revenue are an income tax and a sales tax. Both have their merits and drawbacks.

A benefit of an income tax is that it provides relief to the unemployed. Another benefit is that a standard deduction can be taken. A drawback of an income tax is that progressive tax rates redistribute wealth, which shifts the tax burden to a minority of the population. Another drawback is that politicians use deductions and credits to buy votes. As such, an income tax can become rife with corruption.

On the other hand, benefits of a national sales tax include easier tax collection. The burden of reporting and collecting the tax will fall to vendors, most of whom already collect a state sales tax.

The downsides of a national sales tax include paying tax while unemployed. To mitigate this effect, Dean Stansel proposes that a "universal rebate" would offset basic consumption.2 However, this approach is akin to welfare and increases the dependence on government to provide for basic needs. Another downside is that income taxes would not be completely eliminated since the Social Security payroll tax would still exist.3 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, implementing a national sales tax redistributes wealth.

To summarize, we find two sources of wealth redistribution. A progressive income tax redistributes wealth from people with high income to people with low income. A national sales tax redistributes wealth from older people to younger people. Because redistribution of wealth violates Freedom, neither of these systems is preferable.

While redistribution of wealth is innate to a national sales tax, we can reform the income tax system to reduce the redistribution of wealth. The necessary reform is to implement a flat-rate income tax with one standard deduction. With a flat-rate income tax, all sources of income are taxed at the same rate. The flat-rate income tax will still redistribute wealth from high-income people to low-income people. The effect, however, is less pronounced than the redistribution from progressive income tax rates. By only allowing one standard deduction, we prevent corruption while still providing relief to low-income Americans.

For these reasons, a flat-rate income tax with one standard deduction is the best means of funding the government and protecting Freedom. A flat-rate income tax also enables us to reform Social Security and Medicare as described in America’s Budget Busters.4

References

1. Thomas Jefferson, 1776

Thomas Jefferson, "Declaration of Independence," Thomas Jefferson, Jul 4, 1776, accessed Dec 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

2. Dean Stansel, 1997

Dean Stansel, "Considering a National Sales Tax," Cato Institute, Oct 17, 1997, accessed Mar 11, 2016, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/considering-national-sales-tax.

"There would be a universal rebate for every household that would in effect exempt all consumption up to the poverty level. Households with total expenditures at and below the poverty level would therefore receive a rebate for every penny they paid for the NST."

3. Dean Stansel, 1997

Dean Stansel, "Considering a National Sales Tax," Cato Institute, Oct 17, 1997, accessed Mar 11, 2016, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/considering-national-sales-tax.

"The NST would bring an end to the IRS as we know it. The Social Security Administration could collect payroll taxes, and a new agency within the Treasury Department could be set up to administer the collection of NST revenue from the 50 states and to collect excise taxes."

4. Anthony DeLullo, 2011

Anthony DeLullo, "America’s Budget Busters: Addressing Entitlements and the Burgeoning Tax Code," DeLullo Software, LLC, Sep 30, 2011, accessed Sep 30, 2016, https://www.delullosoftware.com/eBooks/AmericasBudgetBusters.html.

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Birthright citizenship requires jurisdiction

Question

How is citizenship conferred upon a newly-born child?

Analysis

Given that Congress has authority over naturalization, amendment XIV of the U.S. constitution states,

"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."1

What does jurisdiction mean?

Senator Trumbull said on January 30, 1866, "I understand that under the naturalization laws the children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. That is the law, as I understand it, at the present time. Is not the child born in this country of German parents a citizen? I am afraid we have got very few citizens in some of the counties of good old Pennsylvania if the children born of German parents are not citizens."2

Senator Trumbull said on February 1, 1866, "The Senator from Missouri assumes that here is a sort of property qualification to citizenship. Such is not the meaning of the provision. The Senator from Missouri and myself desire to arrive at the same point precisely, and that is to make citizens of everybody born in the United States who owe allegiance to the United States. We cannot make a citizen of the child of a foreign minister who is temporarily residing here. There is a difficulty in framing the amendment so as to make citizens of all the people born in the United States and who owe allegiance to it. I thought that might perhaps be the best form in which to put the amendment at one time, “That all persons born in the United States and owing allegiance thereto are hereby declared to be citizens;” but upon investigation it was found that a sort of allegiance was due to the country from persons temporarily resident in it whom we would have no right to make citizens, and that that form would not answer."3

We see the final wording when Senator Howard proposed the amendment on May 30. He said, "The first amendment is to section one, declaring that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.' I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been so fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."4

The arguments by Senators Trumbull and Howard reveal the original intent of the amendment. "Subject to the jurisdiction" means that the parents do not owe allegiance to a foreign government. The children of foreigners, aliens, and ambassadors are not granted citizenship at birth. A foreigner in the United States temporarily does not have complete allegiance to the United States.

Who is an alien? "The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 defines an alien as a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. In other words, an alien is anyone born in a country other than the United States to parents who are not United States citizens."5

Here, it would seem, we find a conflict with Senator Trumbull's statement about the children of German parents. Senator Trumbull considers as citizens the children of German parents. Senator Howard sought to deny citizenship to the children of aliens. The senators appear to agree with each other during the debate. How can this be?

We may be able to use present-day definitions in combination with the Congressional debates to ascertain the truth. The answer may lie in the difference between an immigrant and an alien. The IRS defines an immigrant as "An alien who has been granted the right by the USCIS to reside permanently in the United States and to work without restrictions in the United States. Also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)."6

An immigrant is a special case of an alien. An immigrant goes through the bureaucratic process to gain residency in the United States. The immigration process has undoubtably changed since 1866. But, the implication is the same. An immigrant is an alien who demonstrates allegiance to the United States.

Using this definition, it would appear that the 14th amendment does not guarantee citizenship to the children of aliens who are not immigrants. Instead, these children should receive the citizenship of the parents' home country.

This matter is very complicated, but this conclusion is reasonable. This conclusion agrees with the conclusion found in natural born citizenship can be granted by jus soli or jus sanguinis. This conclusion also does not conflict with Friedman's thesis that free immigration is not possible with a welfare state

References

1. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"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."

2. Various, 1866

Various, "Congressional Globe, Senate, 39th Congress, 1st Session," Congress, Feb 1, 1866, accessed Jan 23, 2016, http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=070/llcg070.db&recNum=677.

"I understand that under the naturalization laws the children who are born here of parents who have not been naturalized are citizens. That is the law, as I understand it, at the present time. Is not the child born in this country of German parents a citizen? I am afraid we have got very few citizens in some of the counties of good old Pennsylvania if the children born of German parents are not citizens."

3. Various, 1866

Various, "Congressional Globe, Senate, 39th Congress, 1st Session," Congress, Feb 1, 1866, accessed Jan 23, 2016, http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=070/llcg070.db&recNum=677.

"The Senator from Missouri assumes that here is a sort of property qualification to citizenship. Such is not the meaning of the provision. The Senator from Missouri and myself desire to arrive at the same point precisely, and that is to make citizens of everybody born in the United States who owe allegiance to the United States. We cannot make a citizen of the child of a foreign minister who is temporarily residing here. There is a difficulty in framing the amendment so as to make citizens of all the people born in the United States and who owe allegiance to it. I thought that might perhaps be the best form in which to put the amendment at one time, “That all persons born in the United States and owing allegiance thereto are hereby declared to be citizens;” but upon investigation it was found that a sort of allegiance was due to the country from persons temporarily resident in it whom we would have no right to make citizens, and that that form would not answer."

4. Various, 1866

Various, "Congressional Globe, Senate, 39th Congress, 1st Session," Congress, Feb 1, 1866, accessed Jan 23, 2016, http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llcg&fileName=070/llcg070.db&recNum=677.

"The first amendment is to section one, declaring that 'all persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the States wherein they reside.' I do not propose to say anything on that subject except that the question of citizenship has been so fully discussed in this body as not to need any further elucidation, in my opinion. This amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country."

5. LegalZoom Staff, 2009

LegalZoom Staff, "Becoming American: Understanding legal and Illegal Immigration," LegalZoom, Dec 1, 2009, accessed Jul 16, 2016, https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/becoming-american-understanding-legal-and-illegal-immigration.

"The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 defines an alien as a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States. In other words, an alien is anyone born in a country other than the United States to parents who are not United States citizens."

6. Internal Revenue Service, 2016

Internal Revenue Service, "Immigration Terms and Definitions Involving Aliens," Internal Revenue Service, Mar 3, 2016, accessed Jul 16, 2016, https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/immigration-terms-and-definitions-involving-aliens.

"An alien who has been granted the right by the USCIS to reside permanently in the United States and to work without restrictions in the United States. Also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)."

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Congress cannot delegate its constitutional power

Question

Can Congress delegate a consitutional power to a different branch of government or entity?

Analysis

1. The United States government has enumerated powers
2. The ability to delegate a power is not among the enumerated powers.

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Congress has authority over naturalization

Question

Does the constitution vest power of naturalization in Congress or the President?

Analysis

The constitution grants authority over naturalization to Congress. In Article 1, it states

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;"1

Amendment 14 of the constitution states

"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."2

"The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."3

If Congress has authority over naturalization, then it has authority over immigration. Laws on illegal immigration can be found at the U.S. Government Publishing office.4

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;"

2. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"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."

3. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."

4. U.S. Government Publishing Office, 1996

U.S. Government Publishing Office, "Sec. 1325 - Improper entry by alien," U.S. Government Publishing Office, Sep 30, 1996, accessed Jan 9, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title8/USCODE-2011-title8-chap12-subchapII-partVIII-sec1325.

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Congress has the power to coin money, not to print Federal Reserve notes

Question

Does Congress have the power to emit Bills of Credit?

Analysis

1. The United States government has enumerated powers
2. "The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"1
3. The ability to coin money is distinct from the ability to issue bills of credit
4. Federal Reserve notes are Bills of Credit

In addition to this reasoning, consider Madison's Federalist 44. He writes, "The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it."2

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

2. James Madison, 1788

James Madison, "Federalist Paper 44: Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States," James Madison, Jan 25, 1788, accessed Feb 4, 2016, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fed_44.html.

"The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure, which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather an accumulation of guilt, which can be expiated no otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice, of the power which has been the instrument of it."

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Federal Reserve notes are Bills of Credit

Question

Are Federal Reserve notes Bills of Credit?

Analysis

Federal Reserve notes have no backing in gold or silver. They are Bills of Credit as described by Professor Zywicki when he writes,

"a bill of credit was non–interest-bearing paper money issued on the good credit of the United States with no tangible backing in precious metal."1

References

1. Todd Zywicki, 2012

Todd Zywicki, "Coinage Clause," The Heritage Foundation, Jan 1, 2012, accessed Nov 30, 2015, http://www.heritage.org/constitution/articles/1/essays/42/coinage-clause.

"a bill of credit was non–interest-bearing paper money issued on the good credit of the United States with no tangible backing in precious metal."

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Free immigration is not possible with a welfare state

Question

Can immigration affect the Freedom of citizens?

Analysis

As reasoned by Milton Friedman, free immigration can only exist if welfare programs do not.

U.S. law is designed to prevent immigrants from using welfare.1 Even so, "both legal and illegal immigrant households make extensive use of the welfare system."2

The effect of the welfare use by legal and illegal immigrants is akin to a transfer of wealth from citizens. Given that the redistribution of wealth violates Freedom, it stands to reason that an immigrant's use of welfare violates Freedom.

References

1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2013

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "General Information F3: How do I financially sponsor someone who wants to immigrate?," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Oct 1, 2013, accessed May 8, 2016, https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/F3en.pdf.

"Under U.S. law, every person who immigrates based on a relative petition must have a financial sponsor."

2. Steven A. Camarota, 2015

Steven A. Camarota, "Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrant Households," Center for Immigration Studies, Sep 1, 2015, accessed May 8, 2016, http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Legal-Illegal-Immigrant-Households.

"Turning to households headed by legal immigrants shows that, unlike illegal immigrant households, legal immigrant households use every type of program at relatively high rates. Legal immigrant households have higher welfare use than native households for cash, food, and Medicaid. Looking at the individual programs shown in Table 1 indicates that legal immigrant households have statistically significant higher use than natives for SSI, school lunch, WIC, food stamps, and Medicaid. Table 1 makes clear that the inclusion of illegal immigrants in the SIPP does not explain the relatively high use of welfare by immigrant households overall. Illegal immigrants tend to lower the rates for immigrants for some programs, while raising it for others. But both legal and illegal immigrant households make extensive use of the welfare system."

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Freedom

Question

What is Freedom?

Analysis

John Locke describes the state of Nature in his Second Treatise of Government. Sections 4, 5, and 6 of chapter 2 illuminate the qualities of Freedom. He writes,

"Sect. 4. TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.

A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty."1

"Sect. 5. This equality of men by nature, the judicious Hooker looks upon as so evident in itself, and beyond all question, that he makes it the foundation of that obligation to mutual love amongst men, on which he builds the duties they owe one another, and from whence he derives the great maxims of justice and charity. His words are,

The like natural inducement hath brought men to know that it is no less their duty, to love others than themselves; for seeing those things which are equal, must needs all have one measure; if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire, which is undoubtedly in other men, being of one and the same nature? To have any thing offered them repugnant to this desire, must needs in all respects grieve them as much as me; so that if I do harm, I must look to suffer, there being no reason that others should shew greater measure of love to me, than they have by me shewed unto them: my desire therefore to be loved of my equals in nature as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to them-ward fully the like affection; from which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn, for direction of life, no man is ignorant, Eccl. Pol. Lib. 1."2

"Sect. 6. But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another's uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our's. Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station wilfully, so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another."3

References

1. John Locke, 1690

John Locke, "Second Treatise of Government," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1690, accessed May 22, 2016, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm.

"Sect. 4. TO understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.

A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty."

2. John Locke, 1690

John Locke, "Second Treatise of Government," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1690, accessed May 22, 2016, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm.

"Sect. 5. This equality of men by nature, the judicious Hooker looks upon as so evident in itself, and beyond all question, that he makes it the foundation of that obligation to mutual love amongst men, on which he builds the duties they owe one another, and from whence he derives the great maxims of justice and charity. His words are,

The like natural inducement hath brought men to know that it is no less their duty, to love others than themselves; for seeing those things which are equal, must needs all have one measure; if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire, which is undoubtedly in other men, being of one and the same nature? To have any thing offered them repugnant to this desire, must needs in all respects grieve them as much as me; so that if I do harm, I must look to suffer, there being no reason that others should shew greater measure of love to me, than they have by me shewed unto them: my desire therefore to be loved of my equals in nature as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to them-ward fully the like affection; from which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn, for direction of life, no man is ignorant, Eccl. Pol. Lib. 1."

3. John Locke, 1690

John Locke, "Second Treatise of Government," Project Gutenberg, Jan 1, 1690, accessed May 22, 2016, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm.

"Sect. 6. But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another's uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our's. Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station wilfully, so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another."

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High tax rates violate Freedom

Question

Does a high tax rate impact Freedom

Analysis

1. A high tax rate impeeds the accumulation of wealth. The ability to accumulate money is a hallmark of Freedom.
2. If the State confiscates all income through a tax, then the State has effectively enslaved its people. The people will need to rely upon the state to provide food and shelter.
3. Government redistributes wealth by taxing its citizens. Some level of tax is necessary to run a government. However, tax rates must remain as low as possible because the redistribution of wealth violates Freedom

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Implementing a national sales tax redistributes wealth

Question

What is the impact of implementing a national sales tax after an income tax has been in place for more than a century?

Analysis

Every dollar that has already been earned will be taxed twice. Earned money was taxed as income. To impose a sales tax on that money is to tax it twice.

The effect of the double taxation falls hardest on older people. Older people who paid income tax all their lives will have to pay tax in retirement. For this reason, a national sales tax redistributes wealth from older people to younger people.

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Inflation devalues money

Question

How does inflation work?

Analysis

Inflation follows the compound interest equation.1 The future cost of a good is given by F = P * ( 1 + i ) ^ (n)

where
F = future value
P = present value
i = inflation rate
n = number of years

For example, you have $1000 and it does not earn interest for ten years. During that time, the price of goods inflated annually by 2%. An item that you could have bought for $1000 during year 0 is now $1218.99 in year 10.

To calculate the change in purchasing power,2 use C = (1 - P / F) * 100%

where
C = change in purchasing power
P = present value
F = future value

This equation shows that a 2% annual inflation over ten years causes your money to lose 18% of its purchasing power.

References

1. Tim McMahon, 2014

Tim McMahon, "Long Term U.S. Inflation," InflationData.com, Apr 1, 2014, accessed May 19, 2016, http://www.inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Rate/Long_Term_Inflation.asp.

2. Kristie Lorette, 2016

Kristie Lorette, "How to Calculate Purchasing Power," Hearst Newspapers, Jan 1, 2016, accessed May 19, 2016, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/calculate-purchasing-power-3817.html.

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Inflation is a direct tax

Question

Is inflation a direct tax?

Analysis

1. Inflation is a tax
2. A direct tax is "a tax, such as income tax, that is levied on the income or profits of the person who pays it, rather than on goods or services."1 In other words, "a direct tax is one imposed upon an individual person (juristic or natural) or property (i.e. real and personal property, livestock, crops, wages, etc.) as distinct from a tax imposed upon a transaction."2
3. Inflation is levied upon the past income (i.e. wealth) of a person.

References

1. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2015

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "direct tax," Oxford Dictionary (American English), Jan 1, 2015, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/direct-tax.

"a tax, such as income tax, that is levied on the income or profits of the person who pays it, rather than on goods or services."

2. Wikipedia, 2015

Wikipedia, "Direct tax," Wikipedia, Nov 18, 2015, accessed Nov 22, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_tax.

"a direct tax is one imposed upon an individual person (juristic or natural) or property (i.e. real and personal property, livestock, crops, wages, etc.) as distinct from a tax imposed upon a transaction."

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Inflation is a tax

Question

What is inflation? What is a tax?

Analysis

"Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling."1

Tax is "a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions."2

If the government causes the value of money to fall, then it effectively adds a cost to transactions. This effect is similar to a sales tax. Therefore, inflation is a tax.

However, inflation is not simply a sales tax. A future transaction need not occur for inflation to happen. As currency falls, the relative value of debt falls as well. Therefore, inflation reduces the present value of the public debt of the United States.

The reduction of present value of debt enables the government to raise more debt. The increase in debt serves as a source of revenue. Therefore, wealth is transfered from the citizenry to the state via inflation.

References

1. Investopedia, 2015

Investopedia, "Inflation Definition," Investopedia, Jan 1, 2015, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/inflation.asp.

"Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of currency is falling."

2. Oxford Dictionary (American English), 2015

Oxford Dictionary (American English), "tax," Oxford Dictionary (American English), Jan 1, 2015, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/tax.

"a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions."

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Inflation is unconstitutional

Question

Does the U.S. Constitution empower the government to inflate its currency?

Analysis

1. Inflation is a direct tax when it is induced by Congress.
2. Inflation disproprionately affects people. People with greater wealth are more affected.
3. Direct taxes that are not uniform are not permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 states "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."1
4. The only direct tax permitted to Congress is in Amendment 16. "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."2

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."

2. Various, 2015

Various, "Constitution of the United States: Amendments 11-27," Congress, Dec 2, 2015, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendments_11-27.html.

"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."

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Natural born citizenship can be granted by jus soli or jus sanguinis

Question

Being that the Constitution requires presidents to be a natural born Citizen,1 what is a natural born citizen?

Analysis

In constitutional matters, we seek to know the original intent of the constitution's Framers. In discussing the citizenship of a member of the House of Representatives, James Madison wrote, "It were to be wished, that we had some law adduced more precisely defining the qualities of a citizen or an alien; particular laws of this kind, have obtained in some of the states; if such a law existed in South-Carolina, it might have prevented this question from ever coming before us; but since this has not been the case, let us settle some general principles before we proceed to the presumptive proof arising from public measures under the law, which tend to give support to the inference drawn from such principles.

It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will therefore be unnecessary to investigate any other. Mr. Smith founds his claim upon his birthright; his ancestors were among the first settlers of that colony."2

In matters of citizenship, allegiance plays a vital role. A person gives allegiance to the society in which he/she participates.

While people are free to associate, the first citizenship is conferred at birth. Madison mentions two sources of the birthright citizenship, which are place (jus soli) and parentage (jus sanguinis).

In Madison's letter, he positively affirms that jus soli applies in the United States. His statement could lead us to rationalize that the meaning of "natural born citizen" in the Constitution is jus soli.

However, the Constitution uses the general term "natural born Citizen." While Madison is aware of the multiple sources of birthright citizenship, the Constitution does not specify jus soli or jus sanguinis. This observation leads us to rationalize that the Framers intended any natural born citizen, whether natural born by place or parentage, to be eligible for the presidency.

With a reasonable definition of natural born Citizen accomplished, the remainder of this article highlights two statutes written by Congress to enforce the Constitution. In writing the statutes, Congress uses its "necessary and proper"3 power.

In 1790, Congress stated, "And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, That no person heretofore proscribed by any state, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an act of the legislature of the state in which such person was proscribed."4

Current law states, "Sec. 301. (8 U.S.C. 1401) The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: ...

(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669; 22 U.S.C. 288) by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date;"5

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."

2. James Madison, 1789

James Madison, "The Founders' Constitution: Volume 2, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2, Document 6," Congress, May 22, 1789, accessed Mar 1, 2016, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_2_2s6.html.

"It were to be wished, that we had some law adduced more precisely defining the qualities of a citizen or an alien; particular laws of this kind, have obtained in some of the states; if such a law existed in South-Carolina, it might have prevented this question from ever coming before us; but since this has not been the case, let us settle some general principles before we proceed to the presumptive proof arising from public measures under the law, which tend to give support to the inference drawn from such principles.

It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. Birth however derives its force sometimes from place and sometimes from parentage, but in general place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States; it will therefore be unnecessary to investigate any other. Mr. Smith founds his claim upon his birthright; his ancestors were among the first settlers of that colony."

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... 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."

4. Various, 1790

Various, "Library of Congress, First Congress, 2nd Session," Congress, Mar 26, 1790, accessed Feb 9, 2016, http://memory.loc.gov/ll/llsl/001/0200/02280104.tif.

"And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens: Provided, That the right of citizenship shall not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States: Provided also, That no person heretofore proscribed by any state, shall be admitted a citizen as aforesaid, except by an act of the legislature of the state in which such person was proscribed."

5. Congress, 1952

Congress, "INA: Act 301 - Nationals and Citizens of the United States at Birth," Congress, Dec 24, 1952, accessed Feb 9, 2016, https://www.uscis.gov/iframe/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-9696.html.

"Sec. 301. (8 U.S.C. 1401) The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth: ...

(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years: Provided, That any periods of honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or periods of employment with the United States Government or with an international organization as that term is defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669; 22 U.S.C. 288) by such citizen parent, or any periods during which such citizen parent is physically present abroad as the dependent unmarried son or daughter and a member of the household of a person (A) honorably serving with the Armed Forces of the United States, or (B) employed by the United States Government or an international organization as defined in section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act, may be included in order to satisfy the physical-presence requirement of this paragraph. This proviso shall be applicable to persons born on or after December 24, 1952, to the same extent as if it had become effective in its present form on that date;"

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Private property is essential for Freedom

Question

Are private property and Freedom related?

Analysis

Property requires time to acquire. I can create property, or I can provide a service for money that can then be exchanged for property.

My property is private property. It, like my time, does not belong to another person. To take my property is to cheat me of the time spent acquiring the property. The theft renders me a slave to the thief. If I am a slave, then I do not have Freedom.

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Progressive tax rates redistribute wealth

Question

What is the impact of a progressive income tax rate?

Analysis

Progressive income tax rates seek to redistribute wealth from high-income earners to low-income earners.

For example, John earns $50,000 in the same year that Jane earns $100,000. The tax rate is progressive with a tax rate of 10% on the first $50,000 and 20% on money earned above $50,000. Therefore, John pays a tax of $5,000 and Jane pays $15,000.

John and Jane receive the same level of service from the government, but Jane pays a higher tax rate of 15%. For this reason, money is transfered from Jane to John.

Note that a flat-rate income tax will also result in Jane paying a higher tax amount than John. Progressive income tax rates simply exacerbate the redistribution of wealth

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Rational discussions

Analysis

The Rational Discussion flow chart1 provides guidelines for a rational discussion.

Also, it may help to not ask slanted questions. For example, consider the question, "Why do you think carbon dioxide is a pollutant?" This question may put a person on the defensive, which inhibits rational discussion. A better form may be "how is carbon dioxide a pollutant?"

In this manner, each side may be able to discuss the merits and drawbacks of carbon dioxide.

References

1. Brandon Gorrell, 2011

Brandon Gorrell, "How To Have A Rational Discussion," Thought Catalog, Mar 16, 2011, accessed May 17, 2016, http://thoughtcatalog.com/brandon-gorrell/2011/03/how-to-have-a-rational-discussion/.

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Redistribution of wealth violates Freedom

Question

How does redistribution of wealth affect Freedom

Analysis

1. In general, redistribution of wealth occurs when the government transfers wealth from one group to another group.

2. The transfer of wealth impeeds the ability to accumulate wealth.

3. The ability to accumulate money is a hallmark of Freedom

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Social Security is unconstitutional

Question

Is Social Security constitutional?

Analysis

In ruling on the constitutionality of Social Security, Justice Cardozo makes several errors. The root of his fallacy is his understanding of general Welfare. As explained by Thomas Jefferson, general Welfare exists in the Constitution to qualify the power to tax. It does not grant an independent spending power.

Being that Social Security is unconstitutional, it should be terminated. A system for winding down Social Security has been proposed in America's Budget Busters.1

References

1. Anthony DeLullo, 2011

Anthony DeLullo, "America’s Budget Busters: Addressing Entitlements and the Burgeoning Tax Code," DeLullo Software, LLC, Sep 30, 2011, accessed Sep 30, 2016, https://www.delullosoftware.com/eBooks/AmericasBudgetBusters.html.

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Social Security violates Freedom

Question

Does Social Security promote or violate Freedom?

Analysis

Social Security is borne from well-intentioned ideals of saving the unemployed and elderly.1 It has given vast sums of money to people in need. But does it promote Freedom? Consider the following.

1. Citizens do not have the freedom to opt out. The tax is compulsory, and the benefits are not guaranteed.2

2. Social Security redistributes wealth. As proof, consider the following points.

a) "Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go program. This means that today's workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and money flows back out as monthly income to beneficiaries."3

b) The Social Security tax gradually increased from 2% in 1937 to 12.4% in 1990.4 The tax increase shows that people pay a lower tax than is necessary to finance their benefit in retirement.

c) The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that the system will spend more than it will receive.5

References

1. Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, 1937

Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, "Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619," Supreme Court of the United States, May 24, 1937, accessed Jan 1, 2016, https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/301/619.

"The purge of nationwide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons. Not the least is the solidarity of interests that may once have seemed to be divided. Unemployment spreads from State to State, the hinterland now settled that, in pioneer days gave an avenue of escape. Home Building & Loan Assn. v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 442. Spreading from State to State, unemployment is an ill not particular, but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the Nation. If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co., supra, has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one, or at least not greatly different, whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house, as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey's end is near."

2. Social Security Administration, 2016

Social Security Administration, "Social Security History: Flemming V. Nestor," Social Security Administration, Mar 29, 2016, accessed Mar 29, 2016, https://www.ssa.gov/history/nestor.html.

"There has been a temptation throughout the program's history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense. That is to say, if a person makes FICA contributions over a number of years, Congress cannot, according to this reasoning, change the rules in such a way that deprives a contributor of a promised future benefit. Under this reasoning, benefits under Social Security could probably only be increased, never decreased, if the Act could be amended at all. Congress clearly had no such limitation in mind when crafting the law. Section 1104 of the 1935 Act, entitled "RESERVATION OF POWER," specifically said: "The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to the Congress." Even so, some have thought that this reservation was in some way unconstitutional. This is the issue finally settled by Flemming v. Nestor."

3. National Academy of Social Insurance, 2016

National Academy of Social Insurance, "What is Social Security?," National Academy of Social Insurance, Jan 1, 2016, accessed Mar 24, 2016, https://www.nasi.org/learn/socialsecurity/overview.

"Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go program. This means that today's workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and money flows back out as monthly income to beneficiaries."

4. Sue Kunkel, 2013

Sue Kunkel, "Social Security & Medicare Tax Rates," Social Security Administration, Jan 14, 2013, accessed Mar 12, 2016, https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/taxRates.html.

5. Board of Trustees, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, 2015

Board of Trustees, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, "The 2015 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds," Social Security Administration, Jul 22, 2015, accessed Jan 1, 2016, https://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/2015/tr2015.pdf.

"Assuming as previously mentioned that the law were changed to permit the payment of currently scheduled benefits after DI’s current-law projected reserve depletion date of 2016 while leaving scheduled OASI benefits and combined OASDI scheduled revenues unchanged, then the projected theoretical combined OASI and DI Trust Fund asset reserves would increase through 2019, begin to decline in 2020, and become depleted and unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis in 2034. At the time of depletion of these theoretical combined reserves, continuing income to the combined trust funds would be sufficient to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits."

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The Federal Reserve is unconstitutional

Question

Does the constitution provide for a Federal Reserve?

Analysis

Federal Reserve Governors are nominated by the President and "may not be removed from office for their policy views."1 Does the Constitution support this situation?

1. Congress cannot delegate its constitutional power.
2. Congress, not the President, has authority to coin money.2
3. Congress has the power to coin money, not to print Federal Reserve notes.

Therefore, the Federal Reserve is not controlled by both houses of Congress and it emits bills of credit.

References

1. Federal Reserve Board, 2015

Federal Reserve Board, "FRB: Who are the members of the Federal Reserve Board, and how are they selected?," Federal Reserve Board, Dec 8, 2015, accessed Dec 8, 2015, http://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/about_12591.htm.

"The members of the Board of Governors are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. By law, the appointments must yield a "fair representation of the financial, agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests and geographical divisions of the country," and no two Governors may come from the same Federal Reserve District.

The full term of a Governor is 14 years; appointments are staggered so that one term expires on January 31 of each even-numbered year. A Governor who has served a full term may not be reappointed, but a Governor who was appointed to complete the balance of an unexpired term may be reappointed to a full 14-year term.

Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy views. The lengthy terms and staggered appointments are intended to contribute to the insulation of the Board--and the Federal Reserve System as a whole--from day-to-day political pressures to which it might otherwise be subject."

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;"

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The United States government has enumerated powers

Question

Can the U.S. government do whatever it wants?

Analysis

Amendments nine and ten of the Constitution state,

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."1

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."2

References

1. George Mason, 1791

George Mason, "Bill of Rights," George Mason, Dec 15, 1791, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

2. George Mason, 1791

George Mason, "Bill of Rights," George Mason, Dec 15, 1791, accessed Dec 2, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html.

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

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The ability to accumulate money is a hallmark of Freedom

Question

Are Freedom and wealth related?

Analysis

1. Private property is essential for Freedom.
2. Money can be used to buy private property. Therefore, money is private property.

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The ability to coin money is distinct from the ability to issue bills of credit

Question

Are coined Money and Bills of Credit different?

Analysis

Both coined Money and Bills of Credit are mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. It states, "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."1

If coined Money was the same as Bills of Credit, both would not need to be mentioned. As it is, both are mentioned in the same clause.

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."

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The electoral college is necessary for a republic

Question

Why does the United States have an electoral college?

Analysis

Looking to the Constitution, we find Article 2, Section 1, which grants each state electors equal in number to their senators and representatives.1 Federalist paper 68 describes the Founder's rationale for this system.2

People may take umbrage that a presidental candidate can win the popular vote, but lose the electoral college vote. This feeling is rooted in a desire for a pure democracy, which does not characterize the United States of America. The Consitution guarantees a republican form of government in Article 4, Section 4.3

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

2. Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Alexander Hamilton, "Federalist No. 68: The Mode of Electing the President," Alexander Hamilton, Mar 14, 1788, accessed Nov 16, 2016, https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers#TheFederalistPapers-68.

3. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence."

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Unconstitutional acts

Question

What federal laws and programs are predicated upon an incorrect interpretation of the general Welfare clause and the commerce clause

Analysis

**This article is a work in progress**

== Education ==



== Infrastructure ==

The legislature of the United States is given two powers that may grant authority for specific infrastructure projects. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7, Congress is given the power to establish Post Offices and post Roads.1 In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, Congress is given complete power over federal lands, which includes the erection of needful buildings.2 Any other infrastructure project not encompassed by these two enumerations, may be unconstitutional.

What are "post Roads?" Are they any road in the United States? As explained by Natelson, "In 18th century discourse a 'post road' was a trunk highway marked by stages or 'posts' featuring facilities for travelers—lodging, transportation, and food for man and beast. The modern equivalent is the interstate highway."3

The Federalist mentions post roads.

Justice Story comments on post roads.

== Regional airports ==

== Welfare programs ==

Social Security is unconstitutional

References

1. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... To establish Post Offices and post Roads;"

2. James Madison, 1787

James Madison, "Constitution of the United States," James Madison, Sep 17, 1787, accessed Nov 29, 2015, http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html.

"The Congress shall have Power ... 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, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;"

3. Robert G. Natelson, 2013

Robert G. Natelson, "Politicos Pigging Out on the Cash You Pay for Gas," Independence Institute, Dec 8, 2013, accessed Jan 7, 2017, https://www.i2i.org/politicos-pigging-out-on-the-cash-you-pay-for-gas/.

"In 18th century discourse a 'post road' was a trunk highway marked by stages or 'posts' featuring facilities for travelers—lodging, transportation, and food for man and beast. The modern equivalent is the interstate highway."

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Content Update Log

September 25, 2016

Original intent of the Commerce clause

Today's update includes three news articles on Commerce clause Supreme Court cases. Justices Stone and Jackson take Justice Marshall out of context and expand the reach of the Commerce clause. Neither Justice examines the original intent of the Commerce clause.

Congressional control over a minimum wage is one outcome of their opinions. Milton Friedman reasons that a minimum wage acts to increase unemployment and hurts the people it is intended to protect.

The effect of the Stone and Jackson cases is that Congress may regulate activities that are not considered to be commerce. Is that the intent of the Constitution?

September 3, 2016

Soft despotism

Today's update includes a news article about Alexis de Tocqueville’s soft despotism. He argues that people who do not take responsibility for themselves will gradually succumb to a mild form of despotism. Therefore, we must elect leaders who support Freedom and an original interpretation of the Constitution. As an example of a leader with good principles, a 1977 speech by Ronald Reagan is referenced. Also, a news article on Gary Johnson is included. He has an online petition to be included in the presidential debates. Johnson has his flaws, but he deserves a chance to debate Trump and Clinton.

August 29, 2016

Do people read the Constitution?

Today's update includes news articles about Larry Summers and Donald Trump regarding the Federal Reserve and infrastructure spending. It also includes a major update to the July 5 news article about Comey’s decision to not prosecute Ms. Clinton. The article has been updated with a summary of the charges as well as links to the laws. Finally, a quote from Madison’s Federalist 44 has been added to the philosophy regarding Federal Reserve notes.

August 6, 2016

Corruption in the U.S.A.

Today's update delivers three new articles on Hillary Clinton's private email server while serving as Secretary of State. She continues to discuss the subject and continues to twist the facts.

This update also delivers new content for "health insurance," the USA public debt, and the Virginia governor’s executive overreach. Terence McAuliffe continues to sign blanket executive orders in defiance of Virginia's Supreme Court.

July 24, 2016

Clinton avoids prosecution

FBI Director, James Comey, gave a press conference on July 5 to discuss the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. He summarized the investigation, which found that Hillary sent and received classified emails over an unclassified network. He also mentioned that she logged into her server while overseas, potentially giving our adversaries access to her emails.