I heard you on the news laugh at a reporter when he asked the question “Where in the constitution does the congress have the authority to control healthcare in America.” So I thought I should ask you: “What are the powers granted under the Constitution as you read it?” Better yet, (because I don’t have all day) maybe it would be easier for you to list the powers that are not given to the Congress under the U.S. Constitution? The way I read it there are only a few specific powers given to the Federal Government by the Constitution, namely:
“To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
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;–And
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.”
This is straight from Article1, Section 8 of the U.S Constitution. None of these powers or authorities cover healthcare (not just Obamacare, but Medicaid, and Medicare). For that matter these laws do not allow for the illegal war on drugs, Social Security, welfare, or the Federal Department of Education. These powers also require you to be the only entity to coin money and regulate the value thereof (making the federal reserve clearly unconstitutional). What does the list of authorities in your constitution look like? Because the one the states ratified over 200 years ago must have a smear on it for you to have such a different view of where the true power lies in a federal republic.
We are not a socialist nation, and not a fascist nation. The Federal Government should not exert authorities outside its founding documents on the sovereign states (where the power you have usurped is supposed to lie). As Thomas Jefferson said: “I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people’ (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.”
This is Thomas Jefferson, your party’s patron. Does this give you no pause in your tireless pursuit of the “soft” authoritarianism that seems to be the goal of the ruling party right now? Do you not understand that even if you and all your brethren in congress are completely sincere in your desire to simply help the weakest among us, that your predecessors in congress may be less inclined to the well being of your fellow man? I ask these things of you because whether you realize it or not, the path that our country has been on for the last 80 years or more is leading us towards a state of totalitarianism. You are not the first, but I have noted in recent years, you and the rest of the Federal Government have become much more brazen in your encroachments. Is this how our American experiment with republican government ends? With the Federal Government just assuming unlimited authority over every aspect of our lives?
Your policies, and the policies of congresses, administrations, and supreme courts of the last 80 years are an affront to the existence of freedom and liberty in America. The lawful exercise of authority vested in you is no laughing matter and I expect you to treat it with the utmost of seriousness. Exceeding that authority is unlawful, not that that seems to bother you. So Nancy, what are the things in your opinion that are out of the reach of your legislative authority?
Tim Reeves is the State Chapter Coordinator for the Oregon Tenth Amendment Center.
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