Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why is James Madison Angry?

Why is James Madison Angry?

Because House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D - Md) and so many other politicians have so thoroughly abused and distorted the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.

When asked where in the constitution does the federal government derive the authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, Hoyer responded:

“Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect that end...The end that we’re trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility.”

The General Welfare Clause is a component of Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, which grants the government the power to tax and spend. In the following verse, the great James Madison clearly expressed his belief that the General Welfare Clause was not a carte blanche for politicians to pursue whatever actions they claimed promoted the general welfare but is inseparably tied to other specifically enumerated powers granted to the federal government:

"With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
In other words, the General Welfare clause does not grant the federal government the authority to force its citizens to purchase health insurance. Only through woeful ignorance or the intentional misrepresentation of the letter and spirit of the constitution can politicians such as Mr. Hoyer justify the unprecedented expansion of the federal government.

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