As sure as Thomas Paine’s writings and quotes live on to reflect wisdom and the role of government from Revolutionary times, Ronald Reagan’s speeches and quotations shall live on as a beacon for modern day conservatives to follow. One of my favorite quotes is listed below and as with most of Reagan’s quotes, can be directly related to the current day’s political affairs.
“Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself.” -Ronald Reagan-
Who are the citizens of this country to ask, more like demand, the government provide them with universal healthcare? Where in the Constitution does it state that the government shall provide health insurance to all Americans? This question has actually been asked of many of the liberal politicians who support government run healthcare. Their answer???? They claim the authority of the government to enact such a program rests in Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution, often referred to as the “General Welfare” clause. Let’s look a little deeper at this section of our Constitution, which is posted below.
The first paragraph of Section 8 explains that congress will have the power to collect taxes and provide for the general welfare of the United States, but that the parameters for doing this would be limited to the 17 enumerated powers listed below the first paragraph. Let’s look for the paragraph which describes a government provided healthcare program.
Section 8. The Congress shall have 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; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
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 a 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 offenses 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, dockyards, 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.
Did you find it? That’s right. It isn’t there! Okay, now let’s take a step back in history. Let’s find the paragraph that describes the government’s authority to impose a social security program which forces all to contribute. How about a government welfare program wherein the contributors would be taxed from their income to provide for non-contributing citizens livelihood? I can’t find those paragraphs either.
That’s right, the erosion of the rights of the citizens of this nation, and growth of government control over them started around 1937, under Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” brought about a sweeping government power grab over the liberties and freedoms of the individuals of this nation, who were reeling from the economic fallout of the depression. All of it was unconstitutional, but accepted by the citizens who hoped the government would magically take away their financial problems. Sound familiar? Oh how history repeats itself.
The powers defined in the above section clearly demonstrate the areas of national purpose over which Congress is authorized to enact legislation including raising funds and taxing it’s citizens. Anything not listed in the enumerated powers is outside the purview of the national government and, as defined by the Constitution, should fall upon the individual states.
It is not the government’s duty to provide everything to its citizens. In fact, it is not the government that provides anything to its citizens. The funds utilized to care for a non-contributing member of our society are raised by taxing the contributing members of our society.
Any and all politicians who attempt to gain favor and basically purchase the votes of non-contributing members with the promise of more government programs to benefit them, do so on the backs of the contributing, working class of our society, not from their own personal pocketbooks. In the law enforcement community we have terminology to describe this…LARCENY! Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution was written specifically to PREVENT bureaucrats from exercising such immoral control over citizens.
We are quickly approaching a point in our nation’s history where we, believers in the Constitution of this nation, must stand and defend it. The government is spiraling out of control in debt, yet we’re increasing government spending to fund more of these unconstitutional social programs designed to enslave the citizens of this country to government control. Many are beginning to push back, but this will not be a brief or easy fight. We must continue to vocalize our Constitution-backed conservative values in a loud, boisterous manner. We must ensure we help educate our fellow citizens on what is and isn’t included in the Constitution. Finally, we must be on the frontlines, pursuing every avenue possible to ensure the removal of any and all representatives of Congress, Republican or Democrat, that do not strongly uphold the Constitution of our United States of America. I end with another quote from the greatest President in my lifetime:
“We've been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something - for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.” –Ronald Reagan-