Friday, November 27, 2009

Steny Hoyer perpetuates lie about ``general welfare`` and health care reform!

Hoyer Says Constitution’s ‘General Welfare’ Clause Empowers Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that the individual health insurance mandates included in every health reform bill, which require Americans to have insurance, were “like paying taxes.” He added that Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare.”

Steny Hoyer’s lie, as stated by Matt Cover, that Congress has power to adopt and enforce the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 under Congress’s power to “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“ dates back to a United States Supreme Court decision, Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937), which upheld the Social Security Act. This is where the big lie begins and it must be exposed for what it is! A LIE!

In the Helvering decision the court indicated the problem of unemployment was national as well as local, and in promotion of the "general welfare", moneys of the Nation may be used to relieve the unemployed and their dependents in economic depressions and to guard against such disasters.

The Court stated:

"Congress may spend money in aid of the 'general welfare.' Constitution, art. 1, 8; United States v. Butler, … 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"

What is significant is, the court cites the Butler decision decided the previous year and goes on to assert Hamilton’s view concerning the phrase “general welfare” prevails over that of Madison, and, the Court will not “resurrect the contest”. In other words, the Court is not interested in reviewing the historical record during the framing and ratification debates of our Constitution and is satisfied with Hamilton’s point of view.

But what is not pointed out by the Court is the Hamilton view relied upon by the Court was not made during the framing and ratification debates of our Constitution, but rather, it was made after the Constitution had been ratified when Hamilton was Secretary of the Treasury and was made in a report on Manufactures dated December 5th, 1791. In fact, Hamilton made the claim with the specific intention to gain support for appropriating revenue from the federal treasury to be used to encourage specific manufactures. Gee, that sounds familiar. Does current banking bailouts ring a bell?

In his report on Manufactures, Hamilton writes with reference to the meaning of the phrase “general welfare” and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, SEE Page 136

“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 defense 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 should 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.”

Now that’s amazing because in Federalist No. 83, which was written to explain the meaning of the Constitution to gain ratification, Hamilton, in crystal clear language, refers to a “specification of particulars” which he goes on to say “evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority“. Hamilton writes:

"...the power of Congress...shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended..."

Of course this view expressed by Hamilton in the Federalist Papers during the framing and ratification debates is also in harmony with what Madison states during the framing and ratification debates:

Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:

"It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the 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 [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction...But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?...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...But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general an absurdity."

Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution: "the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction."[3 Elliots 95]

Also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out "was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes...."

Similarly , George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention

"The 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.". [3 Elliots 442]

For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause and thereby cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording provide for the “general welfare“.

And so, as it turns out, the Court did not rely upon the expressed intentions of the founding fathers regarding the meaning of the phrase “general welfare” which were expressed during the framing and ratification process of our Constitution. The Court in Helvering, to advance FDR’s progressive agenda, decided to create the big lie and relied upon an opinion expressed after the Constitution was adopted which conflicted with the undisputed documented intentions and beliefs under which the Constitution was adopted and.

In any event, the following question remains unanswered by our Supreme Court and old boy Steny Hoyer. If the Anti Federalist feared the wording “provide for … the general welfare” could be construed to be an unlimited grant of power and it was objectionable to them, and, the Federalists assured such an interpretation was not within the intended meaning of the Clause in question, who can be pointed to during the framing and ratification of our Constitution as wanting such a meaning to be attached to the wording in question? Without this question being answered, the most fundamental rule of constitutional law is subverted!

The most fundamental rule of constitutional construction is that effect must be given to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. This is the polestar in the construction of constitutions, all other principles of construction are only rules or guides to aid in the determination of the intention of the constitution’s framers.--- 16 Am Jur 2d Constitutional law, Par. 92. Intent of framers and adopters as controlling___ multiple citations omitted.

Fact is, even Congress understands this fundamental principle of constitutional law, even though they now act in rebellion to it.:

"In construing the Constitution we are compelled to give it such interpretation as will secure the result intended to be accomplished by those who framed it and the people who adopted it...A construction which would give the phrase...a meaning differing from the sense in which it was understood and employed by the people when they adopted the Constitution, would be as unconstitutional as a departure from the plain and express language of the Constitution."_____ Senate Report No. 21, 42nd Cong. 2d Session 2 (1872), reprinted in Alfred Avins, The Reconstruction Amendments’ Debates 571 (1967),

Bottom line is, Congress is without constitutional power to tax for, spend on and regulate the personal health care choices and decisions of the people within the various united States!


"If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"___ Justice Story