Skip to comments.Why Virgil Goode matters to Mitt Romney's presidential chances
Posted on 07/13/2012 9:00:22 PM PDT by techno
The complete Virgil Goode rundown:
The ten most asked questions about Virgil Goode and why he matters:
1) Who is Virgil Goode?
He is a former GOP Congressman from Virginia who was defeated in the 2010 election. He is now the presidential nominee for the Constitution Party, a third party.
2) How long has the Constitution Party been around?
About 20 years.
3) I hear that Virgil Goode is NOT yet on the Virginia presidential ballot. Will he fail to get on the ballot.
To give you some perspective, in 2004 and 2008 the Constitution Party presidential nominee was on the Virginia presidential ballot. As Goode is a resident of Virginia and a former Congressman, do you really think he would not know the ins and outs of getting on the ballot, which requires him to get 10,000 signatures with at least 400 from each congressional district. As of June 6, 2012 via the Martinsville Bulletin, a local newspaper, Goode had already collected 4000 signatures. And the article concluded that the Constitution Party had as of that date already collected enough signatures to be on the ballot in 17 states.
4) Third party presidential candidates don't normally a cause a ripple through the process. What's different about Virgil Goode?
Let's put it this way, if the presidential election were decided by popular vote, Goode wouldn't matter. But presidential elections are decided in the electoral college.
5)What do you mean Techno?
There are certain states which are called battleground or swing states in which either the Democratic presidential nominee could win but by the same token the GOP presidential nominee could prevail as well. There are ten or so states in the 2012 electoral college which could be considered battleground states based on recent presidential elections and current polling. Virginia is one of those states. And it is not out of the ordinary for the winner of a battleground state to win by a margin of less than 2%.
6) So again why is Goode important to Romney's chances to become president?
Because Goode apparently is far more popular in Virginia than any other state. A Public Policy poll (PPP) in May found that Goode would garner 5% of the vote in Virginia in the presidential election against Obama and Romney. And now a couple of days ago, Goode increased his share of the vote to 9% with Obama collected 49% of the vote and Romney 35%. Without Goode in the mix it would be Obama 50% and Romney 42%. And for those not schooled in the electoral college, the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race in Virgina earns Virginia's 13 electoral votes in 2012. And that now appears to be Obama and not Romney.
7) Are you saying Techno that Goode is taking away way more voters away from Romney than he is Obama?
Exactly, that is what I am saying, But I am NOT the only one saying that. Local Virginia pundits are saying that as well. And PPP in its summary of the poll found that too. If you don't believe me, go over to the PPP web site and read it for yourself.
8)Techno, I'm lazy. I don't want to go over to PPP and read their s*it. Could you give me a brief synopsis?
Alright brother and sister. Under the Obama--Romney--Goode scenario in Virginia here is how the vote breaks down in four demographics: very conservative voters, somewhat conservative voters, Republicans and independents:
It doesn't take a genius to figure out Goode hurts Romney way more than he hurts Obama.
9) But don't third party bids eventually fizzle out?
Yes, that is the rule of thumb nationally. But in Virginia Goode ahs gained 4% in support since May and he's not even on the Virginia ballot yet. Even if he drops back to his previous level of support of 5% that would still be enough to sink Romney's ship in Virginia in a close contest.
10) Techno, could you explain why Virginia is so important?
It comes down to the number of electoral votes (EV) in the electoral college. The general consensus among the folks who do it for a living is that President Obama currently sits at 247 EV when you include all the safe blue states and those states leaning to Obama (likely to win). If Obama wins VA, a battleground state, that takes him to 260 EV and therefore only needs 10 more EV to hit the 270 EV threshold to win re-election. And here are the four swing states which Obama must win these 10 votes again based on a consensus of experts: Iowa (6), NH(4), Nevada (6) and Colorado (9). Obama is currently enjoying a small margin in the polls in every state but Iowa and is running neck and neck with Romney there.
Of course the dynamic of the race could shift in the next three months or so but it appears Obama has the edge in winning Colorado and its 9 EV. If he did that he would reach 269 EV and would only need to win one of the remaining three states to get a second term.
As for Mitt Romney if he loses Virginia, assuming he wins the other huge 4 swing states of Ohio, NC, Indiana and Florida and reaches 253 EV, Romney would be forced to win Colorado to have any chance of winning the presidency in the electoral college. The best he could hope for otherwise is a tie (269-269) in which case the contest goes to the House of Representatives.
One other element to consider: In 2008 President Obama won 1 EV in Nebraska who allots it EV by whoever wins the congressional district. Obama actually won this district (Omaha) by 9.77% which is a pretty hefty margin. If Obama could again win this district and on top of it win Virginia and Colorado that would take him to 270 EV on the button and Romney would be denied regardless of what he did in Iowa, NH and Nevada.
A final note: If Romney can win Virginia with Ohio, NC, Indiana and Florida he would then be at 266 EV. He would then not be forced to win Colorado but would only have to be victorious in Iowa to become the new president.
And that folks is why Team Obama has had many sleepless nights over the past 3 years. Virgil Goode is a godsend for Obama and his team.
“The Mittbots played to win the game by hook or crook and didn’t have any gameplan for what happens next”
The game has never been to win. Why take the chance of losing when you can guarantee a win.
Blah, blah, blah...random Obama flunky speak...
“nice that you finally admit there are only two candidates -”
Actually I didn’t. What I said is that his question had only two possible answers.
And since I’ve never joined the discussion of how many candidates there are I couldn’t “finally admit” anything.
I take that to mean you don't have a lot of campaign cash.
It's OK, EV. You've always been a polite freeper to me. I think a freeper hanging out a shingle that he's running for president and admitting that he has little cash on hand is very honest and upfront with folks about what his chances are.
I agree; it was bad of me to expect basic language skills out of you
You’re missing the point.
If we wanted cash we know how to get it. We could have easily raised millions in the last four years. There were plenty of serious offers on the table to do exactly that.
But we have intentionally turned away from that way of doing politics, in the belief that this is the only way we will in fact return to government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Thank you for the kind words my FRiend. History has proven over and over again that Tyranny thrives on instability and chaos. Moreover, the people causing the chaos and instability end up being the Tyrants because they stabilize the situation by force. We have only seen a small portion of what Zero and the RATS have planned for us. Mittens isn’t as “principled” as we would like but I don’t think he is evil either. We will see real evil if Zero gets a second term.
“Nevertheless, my point still stands - anyone who doesn’t want to touch 18.74% of the budget, especially when much of that amounts to spending on wars we shouldn’t even be in and on bases in places we don’t need to be anymore, simply is not serious about balancing the budget or reducing spending.”
Sure, after all the unconstitutional spending is taken out.
“And since the SSN tax is not levied on just a few, but on all, and its based on income, something the people are doing (producing income), then it would never be, in my opinion, declared unconstitutional”
It robs young americans of their earnings, and redistributes it to older americans. There is no actual ‘benevolence’ involved anymore. 1945 was 50 years ago in 2000, meaning that everyone who collects now paid into it their entire working lives.
Hey punk, you talking to my friend?
Source: Steven T. Voigt (attorney in Pennsylvania), “THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE: AN EXPLORATION OF ORIGINAL INTENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS PERTAINING TO THE RAPIDLY EXPANDING FEDERAL BUDGET”, Creighton Law Review, February, 2010, pp. 543-562 — 43 Creighton L. Rev. 543
The United States Constitution created a federal government with limited, enumerated powers and powers implicitly necessary to those specifically enumerated. In the founding era, the President, Congress, the courts, and the states scrutinized the taxing and spending of Congress against the proper scope of authority granted by the Constitution. In the founding era, and indeed in any other age of our republic, the modern day’s bloated budget would have been thrown out of Congress by the very body of Congressmen assembled. The budget would have been rejected by the watchful gaze of a judiciary standing guard over the Constitution. The states would have opposed it. Our President would have vetoed it. The checks and balances of our nation would have worked. May we begin to remember, before it is too late, the warnings from our past - by the founding fathers, by early leaders, and by the courts that studied the intent behind the Constitution’s provisions - that the federal government is indeed limited in its authority.
If today’s federal government actually tried to justify the federal budget under the Constitution, the argument could not be based on the enumerated powers of the Constitution because the scope of federal spending reaches far beyond those enumerated powers. The argument would likely be based, in part, on a misapplication of the General Welfare Clause of Section 8 of Article I. The pertinent portion of Article I Section 8 of the Constitution states, “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 ... .” n3 Perhaps today’s bureaucrat would protest, “This provision of the Constitution includes the specific words, ‘general welfare.’ That must mean we can spend money on all the local [p. 544] pork projects that we want, as long as we say the projects are good for the people. The Representative down the hall tacks on his project to a bill and I will add mine. Enough taxpayer money exists to spread around to every pet project in Congress. We can, and in 2009 we did, allocate money for fourteen local bike path and trail projects, a museum of natural history, a tattoo removal program, a water taxi service for a beach, and much, much more - 10,160 pork projects costing taxpayers $ 19.6 billion, actually.” n4
Simply put, the bureaucrats of the beltway are wrong. The General Welfare Clause is not an independent grant of power to Congress. It is not a grant of authority for Congress to pass social legislation. It is not a special grant to spend money on anything. Instead, the General Welfare Clause places restrictions on the reasons for which taxes are levied and restrictions on how those taxes are designated.
Unfortunately, modern-era courts have taken the position that all of Congress’s spending is presumed constitutional. The courts have created a burden of near impossibility for proving that a power is not within the scope of the federal reach under the Constitution. As the United States District Court for the Western District Court of New York held in 1939, “What makes for general welfare is necessarily in the first instance a matter of legislative judgment” and “Congress has declared the purpose to be a public use, by implication if not by express words ... . Its decision is entitled to deference until it is shown to involve an impossibility.” n5
This judicial presumption of expanded federal power is inconsistent with the founding fathers’ intentions. Instead, the burden properly belongs with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to prove to the American people why and how the government is constitutionally authorized to spend the money that hard-working, tax-paying citizens have earned. This judicial presumption in favor of expanded federal power also seems no longer justified in an age when massive spending bills are preceded by no analysis or consideration on the part of legislators for the proper constitutional limits of federal spending. In the current debate over a proposed national health care plan, for instance, almost none of the discussion and debate centers on whether the federal government is permitted to manage, provide for, and even require citizens to obtain health care or whether the reform proposals properly belong, if anywhere, before the general assemblies of the states.
This Article explores the founding fathers’ intent for the General Welfare Clause, judicial application of the clause, and the federal government’s divergence from original intent. The General Welfare Clause, which is one of the modern-era justifications for federal excess, was never intended as a broad grant of authority. The original intent for the clause is a pole apart from the manner in which the clause is used today, which is as a justification for unlimited taxing and spending.
A. THE FOUNDING FATHERS’ EXPRESSED INTENT REGARDING THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE
The founding fathers agreed that the General Welfare Clause is a limitation on the preceding taxation clause and not its own independent grant of power. In the first draft of the Constitution, the provision related to taxation read, “The legislature of the United States shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises.” n6 The clause related to general welfare was not present. If this additional clause is not a limitation on the taxing provision and instead is its own grant of power, then the preceding taxing provision is left meaningless. Thomas Jefferson stated, “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 the power completely useless.” n7 Jefferson wrote that the consequence of such an unintended meaning would carry with it great peril, stating that this misinterpretation “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 also be a power to do whatever evil they pleased.” n8
Nonetheless, even understood as a limitation on the taxing power, differences existed about the breadth of this limitation. Both prior to the ratification of the Constitution and afterward, n9 James Madison stated that the purpose of the General Welfare Clause is to limit [p. 546] spending to only the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution. “To understand” the General Welfare Clause “in any sense,” James Madison explained to Congress in 1791, and not “limited and explained by the particular enumeration subjoined,” would “give to Congress an unlimited power.” n10 If Congress could tax and spend for whatever purpose it desired, Madison argued, this “would render nugatory the enumeration of particular powers” and it “would supercede all the powers reserved to the state governments ... .” n11 Again in 1830, in a letter to Andrew Stevenson, Madison penned that the framers never “understood [the General Welfare Clause to] invest Congress with powers not otherwise bestowed by the constitutional charter.” n12
On January 19, 1788, prior to ratification of the Constitution, Madison authored The Federalist No. 41 to advocate for ratification. In The Federalist No. 41, Madison stated that the General Welfare Clause refers only to other enumerated powers. He wrote, in part:
“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.” n13
The final version of the clause - “to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States” - states that Congress may provide for the general welfare of the United States. The words “the people of” do not appear in the clause. The clause does not read “general welfare of the people of the United States.” Certainly, this omission provides support for Madison’s intent that the clause restrict spending to other enumerated powers held by the United States.
Others, however, such as Justice Joseph Story, Supreme Court of the United States Justice from 1811 to 1845, viewed the General Welfare Clause differently than Madison and Jefferson. Story argued that the clause is a prohibition on spending that is not national in scope. In A Familiar Exposition of The Constitution of The United States, Story wrote that the clause requires that “the taxes ... cannot be levied solely for foreign purposes, or in aid of foreign nations, or for purposes not national in their objects or character.” n14
Story’s opinion closely tracked Alexander Hamilton’s view of the General Welfare Clause that Hamilton expressed after ratification of the Constitution. Madison wrote The Federalist No. 41, of course, with the knowledge and assent of Hamilton and John Jay, the authors of other Federalist Papers. In Hamilton’s Report on Manufacturers, published on December 5, 1791, Hamilton wrote that the term “general welfare” extended to a “vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition.” n15
The federal judiciary has adopted the more expansive interpretation of the General Welfare Clause articulated by Hamilton and Story. But perhaps the judiciary erred in selecting Hamilton and Story over Madison and Jefferson. A maxim in legal interpretation of ambiguous language is that “the intention of the parties” at the time of drafting is generally controlling, as opposed to the “interpretation of those who subsequently read it.” n16 Justice Story was only a child when the ratification debates were held, and he wrote A Familiar Exposition decades later. Hamilton drafted his Report on Manufacturers only after the first thirteen states ratified the Constitution. As the dissent in a 1938 United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit opinion stated:
“So far as we are informed Madison is the only witness whose testimony prior to the adoption is preserved, in relation to the Convention’s intention with respect to the general welfare clause. Certainly there is none other more worthy of belief, and it enjoys the distinction of having been approved by both Hamilton and Jay and questioned by no one, prior to the adoption, except those who were fearful of subsequent legal construction to the contrary.” n17
Consider also that the federal judiciary’s approach is incongruent with the Tenth Amendment, a pillar of law near-forgotten in modern-era jurisprudence, which states, “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.” n18 The Tenth Amendment is consistent with the oft-repeated judicial rule that the federal government is “a limited government of enumerated powers,” which is a statement found at the opening of many case opinions just before those same courts proceed to issue opinions entirely at odds with this bedrock statement. n19 The Tenth Amendment, indeed, is not only consistent with Madison’s view of the General Welfare Clause, but it contradicts Hamilton’s statements in his Report on Manufacturers. As the Supreme Court of the United States stated in Kansas v. Colorado, n20 the Tenth Amendment:
“Disclosed the widespread fear that the national government might, under the pressure of supposed general welfare, attempt to exercise powers which had not been granted. With equal determination the framers intended that no such assumption should ever find justification in the organic act, and that if, in the future, further powers seemed necessary, they should be granted by the people in the manner they had provided for amending that act.” n21
Nonetheless, similarities exist between Madison’s intent and Hamilton and Story’s post-ratification view. The post-ratification Hamilton and Story view and the pre-ratification Madison view both place limitations on the government. In Madison’s perspective, the federal government is limited to spending on only enumerated powers. In Hamilton and Story’s view, taxes cannot be levied and apportionments cannot be made for local or state projects or for purposes that encroach upon the powers reserved to the states.
Under neither view is the General Welfare Clause an independent grant of power. Story wrote that if the General Welfare Clause were its own grant of power, “then it is obvious, that the powers of the National Government, under color of the authority of the clause to provide for the common defence and general welfare, would be practically unlimited.” n22 To the contrary, viewing the General Welfare Clause as a limitation on taxing and apportionments is “the more just and solid interpretation of the words, and most comfortable to the true spirit and objects of the instrument.” n23 Under both views, much of the current federal spending, and in particular, nearly all pork barrel spending, is unconstitutional.
B. ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS’ INTENT FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE
Beyond the writings of our founding fathers directly discussing the General Welfare Clause, additional insight about its intended meaning comes from the actions of our early leaders and from the framers’ intent for the reach of the federal government. In the early years of the republic, for example, leaders actually attempted to make appropriation decisions based on what they were permitted to do under the Constitution.
On December 2, 1806, in his Sixth Annual Message to Congress, President Jefferson suggested that a federal surplus be applied to “the great purposes of the public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other objects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enumeration of federal powers” but “an amendment to the constitution” would be necessary for this “because the objects now recommended are not among those enumerated in the constitution ... .” n24
In vetoing an internal improvements bill in 1817, President Madison wrote that “the terms ‘common defence and general welfare’” do not give “to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them.” n25
In 1822, President Monroe vetoed an act allocating spending for “the Preservation and Repair” of a local road (”the Cumberland [p. 550] Road”). n26 In connection with his veto, Monroe wrote an explanation for the House of Representatives:
“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 United States government 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 these purposes.” n27
Finally, in 1859, President James Buchanan, in vetoing an agricultural college land grant, wrote in a message to Congress that “the natural intendment” of the framers “would be that as the Constitution confined Congress to well-defined specific powers, the funds placed at their command, whether in land or money, should be appropriated to the performance of the duties corresponding with these powers.” n28
Madison, Hamilton, and indeed all of the federalist framers intended that the federal government be a limited body with limited authority and a restricted reach. In An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, which Noah Webster authored in October of 1787 to advocate ratification of the Constitution, Webster wrote:
“The constitution defines the powers of Congress; and every power not expressly delegated to that body, remains in the several state-legislatures. The sovereignty and the republican form of government of each state is guaranteed by the constitution; and the bounds of jurisdiction between the federal and respective state governments, are marked with precision.” n29
In The Federalist No. 45, Madison wrote that the federal government’s powers under the Constitution would be narrowly tailored to mostly external affairs:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. [p. 551] The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” n30
In his speech before the Pennsylvania ratifying Convention, James Wilson stated:
“The states should resign, to the national government, that part, and that part only, of their political liberty, which placed in that government will produce more good to the whole than if it had remained in the several states. While they resign this part of their political liberty, they retain the free and generous exercise of all their other faculties as states ...”. n31
As the federalists who supported ratification advocated a limited Constitution, the anti-federalists who opposed ratification were even more fearful of unrestrained federal power. During the New York Ratifying Convention, Melancton Smith argued, “The state constitutions should be the guardians of our domestic rights and interests; and should be both the support and check of the federal government.” n32 In a speech before the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Patrick Henry argued, “Here is a revolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is as radical, if in this transition our rights and privileges are endangered and the sovereignty of the States be relinquished: And cannot we plainly see, that this is actually the case?” n33 George Mason wrote:
“Under their own Construction of the general Clause at the end of the enumerated powers the Congress may ... extend their Power as far as they shall think proper; so that the [p. 552] State Legislatures have no Security for the Powers now presumed to remain to them; or the People for their Rights.” n34
With both federalists and anti-federalists opposed to expansive federal power, construing the General Welfare Clause not as a limitation on power but as a grant of additional power certainly cannot be said to be consistent with the framers’ intent.
As the federal government has only limited authority, America’s founding fathers considered that federal spending would likewise be limited. They understood the domain of the federal government as national defense, foreign affairs, and matters truly national in scope. The founding fathers could not conceive that such limited scope of responsibility would create any need for enormous budgets and spending into perpetual debt. Certainly, one of the significant concerns of America’s early leaders was retiring the debt from the Revolutionary War. Once that debt was gone, it was next to unimaginable that, barring another major war or a calamity, America would ever carry a significant debt again. Consider the words of Alexander Hamilton, who wrote in his Report on Manufacturers, published on December 5, 1791, that:
“And as the vicissitudes of Nations beget a perpetual tendency to the accumulation of debt, there ought to be in every government a perpetual, anxious and unceasing effort to reduce that, which at any time exists, as fast as shall be practicable consistently with integrity and good faith.” n35
In a separate document, Hamilton wrote of the importance of organizing any federal debt for its “speedy extinguishment,” stating also, “some gentlemen seem to forget that the faculties of every Country are limited. They talk as if the Government could extend its revenue ad libitum to pay off the debt.” n36 Thomas Jefferson similarly opposed borrowing in excess, stating, “the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” n37
James Madison, an ardent opponent of federal excess and debt, wrote in the National Gazette:
“The Union: Who Are Its Real Friends?
“Not those who promote unnecessary accumulations of the debt of the Union, instead of the best means of discharging it as fast as possible; thereby encreasing the causes of corruption in the government, and the pretexts for new taxes under its authority, the former undermining the confidence, the latter alienating the affection of the people.
“Not those who study, by arbitrary interpretations and insidious precedents, to pervert the limited government of the Union, into a government of unlimited discretion, contrary to the will and subversive of the authority of the people.” n38
When was the last time the budget debate in Congress and the White House was accompanied by a genuine inquiry into where Congress and the President are constitutionally permitted to allocate spending and whether the spending would be consistent with the Constitution and intent of the founding fathers? And where are the courts in all of this? Perhaps a critic could argue that a Representative in Congress may have some difficulty turning away pork barrel spending that would benefit that Representative’s district. However, the people should at least be able to depend on the judiciary as a neutral arbiter to stand up to the unconstitutional excesses of Congress. The people should also be able to depend on a President who will veto any bill laden with the slightest morsel of pork or that over-reaches the Constitution by even a mote.
C. THE EARLY JUDICIARY’S DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE SCOPE OF FEDERAL POWER
While some of the judiciary’s decision-making regarding the General Welfare Clause has been questionable, such as the judiciary’s reliance on Hamilton’s post-ratification statements rather than Madison’s pre-ratification intent, in other circumstances, the courts have properly cautioned against unconstitutionally expanding the reach of lawmakers in Washington D.C., consistent with the intent of the founding fathers. For instance, in McCulloch v. Maryland, n39 the Supreme Court of the United States recognized its duty to restrain the federal reach:
“Should congress, in the execution of its powers, adopt measures which are prohibited its powers, or should congress, under the pretext of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not intrusted to the government; it would become the painful duty of this tribunal, should a case [p. 554] requiring such a decision come before it, to say, that such an act was not the law of the land.” n40
The question before the Supreme Court in McCulloch was whether Congress has the power to incorporate a bank as an implied power among the enumerated powers of taxation. The Supreme Court answered this question in the affirmative, but not without extensive analysis and lengthy consideration of the Constitution and, most importantly, examining the intent of the founding fathers. n41 In its opinion, the Supreme Court observed, “This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers.” n42
In the 1824 case of Gibbons v. Ogden, n43 the Supreme Court again cautioned that the federal government was not permitted to intrude upon the province of the states:
“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.” n44
About one-hundred years later, in Linder v. United States, n45 the Supreme Court echoed its McCulloch reasoning, stating:
“Congress cannot, under the pretext of executing delegated power, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not intrusted to the federal government. And we accept as established doctrine that any provision of an act of Congress ostensibly enacted under power granted by the Constitution, not naturally and reasonably adapted to the effective exercise of such power, but solely to the achievement of something plainly within power reserved to the states, is invalid and cannot be enforced.” n46
A few years after Linder, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a federal statutory plan to regulate and control agricultural production; the Court held that “The act invades the reserved rights of the states. It is a statutory plan to regulate and control agricultural [p. 555] production, a matter beyond the powers delegated to the federal government.” n47 In United States v. Butler, n48 the Supreme Court reasoned:
“From the accepted doctrine that the United States is a government of delegated powers, it follows that those not expressly granted, or reasonably to be implied from such as are conferred, are reserved to the states or to the people ... . The same proposition, otherwise stated, is that powers not granted are prohibited. None to regulate agricultural production is given, and therefore legislation by Congress for that purpose is forbidden.” n49
Likewise, some early courts attempted to articulate the meaning of the General Welfare Clause by studying the intent of the founding fathers. For example, in 1864, the Supreme Court of Indiana analyzed at length the General Welfare Clause. Notably, the Indiana court, in contrast to federal court opinions, appears to have adopted Madison’s intent instead of Hamilton’s post-ratification view. The Supreme Court of Indiana articulated the following inquiry:
“The Union and general government, then, were formed to provide for the general welfare of the United States, but what was embraced by the term, general welfare; what powers might Congress exercise, and over what, in promoting it; what subjects were considered as pertaining to the general welfare designated in the organic law of the government?” n50
And the following was the Supreme Court of Indiana’s conclusion:
“Congress ... takes no power under the General Welfare Clause, as that is not a grant of any power, but a mere expression of one of the ends to be accomplished by the exercise of the powers granted. And should Congress assume, upon its own ideas of general welfare, to exercise other powers than those granted, to carry them out, it would simply, to that extent, set up a despotism.” n51
In a 1936 Supreme Court of the United States case, Carter v. Carter Coal Co., n52 the Supreme Court re-affirmed that the General Welfare Clause cannot be used to pass social legislation. In Carter, the Supreme Court considered a challenge to legislation fixing minimum and maximum prices on coal and requiring compliance with particular labor requirements. The title of the act stated in part that a [p. 556] purpose of the act was “to provide for the general welfare[.]” n53 The Supreme Court held that the act passed under the premise of the “fallacy” that “constitutionality can be sustained under some general federal power, thought to exist, apart from the specific grants of the Constitution.” n54 The Supreme Court observed that while the “objects” of the act were “of great worth ... nothing is more certain than that beneficent aims, however great or well directed, can never serve in lieu of constitutional power.” n55 The Supreme Court concluded that Constitutional Convention:
“Carefully limited the powers which it thought wise to intrust to Congress by specifying them, thereby denying all others not granted expressly or by necessary implication. It made no grant of authority to Congress to legislate substantively for the general welfare, and no such authority exists, save as the general welfare may be promoted by the exercise of the powers which are granted.” n56
The two seminal federal circuit court opinions on the General Welfare Clause, both from 1935, each attempted to explore the original intent of America’s founding fathers with regard to taxing and apportionments under the clause. In a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Kansas Gas & Electric Co. v. City of Independence, Kan., n57 the Tenth Circuit held that:
“Section 8 of Article 1 gives Congress the power of taxation and limits the purposes for which may be levied and appropriated, namely, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States ... . The phrase ‘general welfare’ ... must be national or general as contradistinguished from local or special.” n58
Similarly, in United States v. Certain Lands in the City of Louisville, Jefferson County, Ky., n59 the United States Court of Appeals of the Sixth Circuit denied the federal government’s effort to use the General Welfare Clause as an empowering provision to expand its taking power, rather than as a limitation. In that case, federal government agency sought to condemn a four block slum in Louisville and to build in its place new low cost housing. n60 Acknowledging that the new [p. 557] project would be beneficial to society, the Sixth Circuit nevertheless ruled that the project is not one within the scope of federal powers and rejected the government’s attempt to use the General Welfare Clause to expand the government’s authority. The Sixth Circuit stated that the scope of federal authority:
“Does not carry with it the power here claimed, to condemn private property to the end that appropriations of tax funds may be made for purposes deemed by Congress to be for the public welfare ... . The tearing down of the old buildings and the construction of new ones on the land here sought to be taken would create, it is true, a new resource for the employment of labor and capital. It is likewise true that the erection of new sanitary dwellings upon the property and the leasing or the selling of them at low prices would enable many residents of the community to improve their living conditions. It may be, too, that these group benefits, so far as they might affect the general public, would be beneficial. If, however, such a result thus attained is to be considered a public use for which the government may condemn private property, there would seem to be no reason why it could not condemn any private property which it could employ to an advantage to the public. There are perhaps many properties that the government could use for the benefit of selected groups. It might be, indeed, that by acquiring large sections of the farming parts of the country and leasing the land or selling it at low prices it could advance the interest of many citizens of the country, or that it could take over factories and other businesses and operate them upon plans more beneficial to the employees or the public, or even operate or sell them at a profit to the government to the relief of the taxpayers. The public interest that would thus be served, however, cannot, we think, be held to be a public use for which the government, in the exercise of its governmental functions, can take private property. The taking of one citizen’s property for the purpose of improving it and selling or leasing it to another, or for the purpose of reducing unemployment, is not, in our opinion, within the scope of the powers of the federal government.” n61
These two opinions from 1935 are among the first federal appellate judicial opinions specifically discussing the purpose of the General Welfare Clause. With ballooning federal budgets and spiraling pork in those budgets in recent decades, one would expect to find these two case opinions cited many hundreds of times by other courts in recent years alone, in connection with numerous analyses that one would expect to find. To the contrary, only twenty-one court opinions [p. 558] have cited Kansas Gas & Electric since the ruling in 1935. A mere three courts have cited to the case since 1944. Remarkably, since 1973, there has not been a single citation in a reported judicial opinion to Kansas Gas & Electric. Similarly, just thirty reported judicial opinions cited to Certain Lands in the City of Louisville since the 1935 ruling. Only eight of those opinions are from years after 1944 - one in 1946, three in the 1950s, two from the 1980s, one from the 1990s, and one in 2007. Moreover, some of these citations to the two opinions relate to aspects of the opinions other than the federal circuit courts’ exploration of the General Welfare Clause.
D. WHY DOES ORIGINAL INTENT EVEN MATTER?
Some critics may question why the framers’ intent is significant at all, and why courts today should study original intent. Among manifold reasons are the controlling legal principles that common law must give way to legislation and furthermore, that drafting intent clarifies any legislative uncertainty.
A fundamental maxim of law is that legislation controls over common law, which are the “maxims and customs” and the decisions of courts. n62 William Blackstone wrote that “where the common law and a statute differ, the common law gives place to the statute[.]” n63 Thus, court opinions must be consistent with controlling legislation, and the Constitution is paramount over all legislation.
In addition, “the fairest and most rational method to interpret the will of the legislator, is by exploring his intentions at the time when the law was made[.]” n64 Blackstone wrote, “the most universal and effectual way of discovering the true meaning of a law, when the words are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit of it; or the cause which moved the legislator to enact it.” n65 To understand the Constitution, therefore, we must first look to the Constitution’s plain words. Should uncertainty remain, we then must explore the opinions of the Constitution’s authors and those who debated its ratification so that we can understand their intent.
The Constitution stands above men, and it stands above all other laws, to protect men from men. The Constitution binds us all, including our government and the courts. The framers wisely included within the Constitution an amendment process that is deliberative [p. 559] and has checks and balances. The framers intended that no one person or group of individuals - not the executive, the legislature, nor the courts - have unchecked jurisdiction over the other branches. The breakdown of checks and balances, as Hamilton wrote in The Federalist No. 78, would be perilous - “liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments[.]” n66
Finally, we should remember the sacrifices of those who secured the Constitution, and all that they risked. As Story wrote:
“To those great men, who thus framed the Constitution, and secured the adoption of it, we owe a debt of gratitude, which can scarcely be repaid. It was not then, as it is now, looked upon, from the blessings, which, under the guidance of Divine Providence, it has bestowed, with general favor and affection. On the contrary, many of those pure and disinterested patriots, who stood forth, the firm advocates of its principles, did so at the expense of their existing popularity. They felt, that they had a higher duty to perform, than to flatter the prejudices of the people, or to subserve selfish, or sectional, or local interests. Many of them went to their graves, without the soothing consolation, that their services and sacrifices were duly appreciated. They scorned every attempt to rise to power and influence by the common arts of demagogues; and they were content to trust their characters, and their conduct, to the deliberate judgment of posterity.” n67
All of the judicial opinions that I have read discussing the purpose of the General Welfare Clause cited only a few selected thoughts of the framers, typically a couple of quotations from Hamilton and a couple more by Madison. If the courts had a more comprehensive recitation of the framers’ intent before them, we should wonder whether the decisions of our courts throughout our history would have been what they were and whether the line of precedent following those decisions would have followed an entirely different path. When judicial inquiry reached the question of what powers belong to the states, perhaps the courts would have remembered the Tenth Amendment and the framers’ intent that “the powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” n68 Perhaps they someday will.
Indeed, we still have, as we have always had before us, two paths. We can drift at the whims of society, without rudder or sail, allowing the dictates of a few in society and the decisions of one branch to supplant the higher law that should stand above all three branches. Or, we can trust and understand that our intended system of governance with its federal restraint and checks and balances - and indeed the intent of the framers who created this system - is absolutely essential to America’s continued prosperity. The former path is but a step away from tyranny while the latter is grounded in the liberty on which this nation was founded. Unfortunately, traveling much farther down the former path will leave the American people with no recourse to reach the latter.
E. DOES $ 3.6 TRILLION OF FEDERAL SPENDING PROVIDE FOR THE GENERAL WELFARE?
The current administration’s $ 3.6 trillion federal budget increases government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (”GDP”) on a scale that rivals and will soon surpass the spending of socialist states in Europe. Much of this budget consists of non-enumerated spending that is not justified by or granted expressly by any provision in the Constitution or the intent of the founding fathers. Setting aside a line by line refutation of the budget, does such a massive budget itself actually provide for the general welfare? Many experts conclude that it does not.
A research study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas concluded, “growth in government stunts general economic growth. Regardless of how it is financed, an increase in government spending leads to slower economic growth.” n69 The study also observed that “increases in government spending or taxes lead to persistent decreases in the rate of job growth.” n70 A study in Public Finance Review similarly reported, “higher total government expenditure, no matter how financed, is associated with a lower growth rate of real per capita gross state product.” n71 Likewise, the Congressional Budget Office explained:
“This paper concludes that additional federal spending is unlikely to have a perceptible effect on economic growth ... . Many federal investment projects yield net economic benefits that are small, or even negative ... . Increases in federal investment spending that are not targeted toward cost beneficial [p. 561] projects can reduce growth ... . Federal spending that displaces other investment is unlikely to have a positive effect on growth ... Many federal investments are motivated primarily by noneconomic policy goals ... . Others are influenced by political considerations.” n72
These studies and reports are just a few of the numerous studies and reports with similar conclusions. Simply put, these studies show that wading any deeper into big government and socialism will only mire our nation’s people in declining capital markets, private sector job losses, and endless economic depression.
In 2000, the United States government’s spending was thirty-four percent of total spending in the economy, n73 whereas spending by the social welfare states in the sixteen nation “eurozone” was 48.2 percent of GDP. n74 In 2010, federal spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the eurozone. n75 This does not take into account fifty additional state budgets and countless local budgets. In March 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 under the current administration’s proposed budget would total $ 9.3 trillion, which would nearly double the nation’s current $ 11 trillion national debt. n76 The Congressional Budget Office also concluded that as a result of the White House’s proposed budget “debt held by the public would rise from [fifty-seven] percent of the GDP in 2009 to [eighty-two] percent of the GDP in 2019.” n77
The American people must demand accountability by the federal government to the founding documents of our nation. The federal government’s current size is leagues beyond the founding fathers’ intent. [p. 562] We can decide to stay on this path of big government socialism that will inevitably descend into bankruptcy for ourselves and our posterity. Or, we can recall the foundation of this nation, the wisdom of our founding fathers and the great documents they gave us that have led us to the blessing of prosperity for close to two and one-half centuries.
F. DOES THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE JUSTIFY A NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PLAN?
A federally created and controlled national health care system is the administration’s current proposal to spend taxpayer money. Such a proposal has no legitimacy under the General Welfare Clause, especially because it is included in the states’ domain. The federal health care proposal contemplates a detailed regime of the government making decisions about the type of care individuals receive, not to mention it necessarily must address particularly sensitive issues such as abortion and euthanasia. The General Welfare Clause cannot serve as the justification for such social legislation. The better option is that this issue should be handled at the state level, by individual states and the citizens of those states.
For the federal government to find constitutional support for a nationalized health care program, it will need to look elsewhere in the Constitution for support. Explanation of the problems with those additional arguments is beyond the scope of this Article, except to comment that those additional arguments are likewise frail.
Nonetheless, do not expect the courts to stand in the way of health care legislation or the excesses in a $ 3.6 trillion budget, regardless how far a field of the Constitution the government strays. The burden that some courts have created to strike down even blatantly unconstitutional spending is nearly insurmountable.
Instead, as it always has been, the way back to our Constitution today must rest with the people of this nation. The people must insist on elected officials who will adhere to the Constitution and maintain the integrity of the Constitution. Our government was established with a few powers held by the federal government and the rest by the states. The federal government has proven time and again that it is unable to properly manage programs, or even the federal budget, without mismanaging each program into bankruptcy. Socialized medicine would have the same end.
The liberty and prosperity of our posterity depends on returning to original intent. May we begin to remember before it is too late to save America’s future.
- - -
n1. Steven T. Voigt, Esquire is a lawyer with a practice based in Pennsylvania. The opinions in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of other lawyers at the author’s law firm.
n2. The author wishes to thank his wife, Amy Voigt, and his friend, Kendall Hewitt, for their insight and feedback.
n3. U.S. Const. art. I, § 8.
n4. See Citizen’s Against Government Waste, a non-profit organization, http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports pigbook2009 Oinkers (last visited Aug. 9, 2009); Citizen’s Against Government Waste, a non-profit organization, http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports pigbook2009) (last visited Aug. 9, 2009).
n5. In re U.S., 28 F. Supp. 758, 762 (W.D.N.Y. 1939) (citations omitted).
n6. The Honorable Orie L. Phillips, Constitutional Limitations on Social Legislation, 436 n.4, found in Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Vol. 16, No. 4, The Constitution and Social Progress (Jan. 1936).
n7. Id. at 438.
n9. The United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and thereafter ratified by each state. By May 29, 1790, all 13 states, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, had ratified it. The Constitution was made effective after the ninth state, New Hampshire, ratified it on June 21, 1788.
n10. James Madison, Speech in Congress Opposing the National Bank (Feb. 2, 1791) in James Madison, Madison Writings 483 (Jack N. Rakove, Ed., The Library of America (1999)).
n12. Letter from James Madison to Andrew Stevenson (Nov. 27, 1830), in William E. Thro, The Education Lawyers’ Guide to the Sovereign Immunity Revolution, 146 Ed. Law. Rep. 951, n. 136 (Oct. 26, 2000).
n13. The Federalist No. 41 (James Madison) (Gary Wills Introduction, Bantam Books, Bantam Classic ed., 1982).
n14. Joseph Story, A Familiar Exposition of The Constitution of The United States, § 157 (Harper & Brothers ed., 1865, reprinted by The Lawbook Exchange, 1999).
n15. Alexander Hamilton, Final Version of the Report on the Subject of the Manufacturers, 40 (Syrett and Cooke eds., Washington 1913) (Dec. 5, 1791).
n16. First Fed. Savings & Loan Ass’n of Wisconsin v. Loomis, 97 F.2d 831, 844 (7th Cir. 1938).
n17. Loomis, 97 F.2d at 844.
n18. U.S. Const. amend. X.
n19. Criticizing the federal government’s expansion through judicial construction, Jefferson wrote that the judiciary is “construing our constitution from a co-ordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone. This will lay all things at their feet, and they are too well versed in English law to forget the maxim, ‘boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem.’” Thomas Jefferson letter to Thomas Ritchie (Dec. 25, 1820), in Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Writings (1446) (M. Peterson, Ed., The Library of America (1984)).
n20. 206 U.S. 46 (1907).
n21. Kansas v. Colorado, 206 U.S. 46, 90 (1907). This principle of limited, enumerated federal powers was likewise found in the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution, which was in effect from March 1, 1781 until the ratification of the Constitution. Article II of the Articles of Confederation stated, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”
n22. See Story, supra note 12, § 154.
n24. Thomas Jefferson, Sixth Annual Message to Congress (Dec. 2, 1806), quoted in John C. Eastman, Lessons from the Past, 5 Green Bag 2d 207, 215 (Winter 2002).
n25. H. Jefferson Powell, Enumerated Means and Unlimited Ends, 94 Mich. L. Rev. 651, n.54 (Dec. 1995) (quoting James Madison, Report of 1800 (1799), reprinted in 17 The Papers of James Madison 314-15 (David B. Mettern ed., 1991)).
n26. Kansas Gas & Electric Co. v. City of Independence, Kan., 79 F.2d 32, 38 (10th Cir. 1935) (quoting James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. II, 162-67 (1902)).
n27. Kansas Gas & Electric Co., 79 F.2d at 39.
n28. President James Buchanan to the House of Representatives, Feb. 24, 1859, reprinted in A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897, at 3074, 3079 (7 James D. Richardson, ed., Government Printing Office, 1910).
n29. Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Oct. 1787), quoted from, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay, The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, 139 (David Wootton, ed., Hackett Publishing Co. Indianapolis, IN 2003) (emphasis added).
n30. The Federalist No. 45 (James Madison) (emphasis added).
n31. James Wilson, The Constitution Defended (Nov. 24, 1787), quoted from, Hamilton, Madison, & Jay, supra note 27, at 106.
n32. Melancton Smith, Melancton Smith Fears the Federal Taxing Power and the Capacity of Any Free Government to Rule so Vast a Nation (Bernard Bailyn, ed. 1788) in The Debate on the Constitution, Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, Part Two: January to August 1788 (Bernard Bailyn, ed. 1788, Library Classics of the United States, New York, N.Y. 1993).
n33. Patrick Henry, Speech of Patrick Henry (June 5, 1788), quoted from, The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates, 199, 199-200 (Ralph Ketchum, ed., Signet Classic New York, NY 2003).
n34. George Mason, Objections to the Constitution of Government Formed by the Convention (Nov. 1787), quoted from, Hamilton, Madison, & Jay, supra note 27, at 3.
n35. Alexander Hamilton, Final Version of the Report on the Subject of the Manufacturers, 29 (Syrett and Cooke eds., Washington 1913) (Dec. 5, 1791).
n36. Alexander Hamilton, Letter Respecting the Administration of Government (Aug. 18, 1792), in Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton, at 349-50 (Morton J. Frisch, ed., American Enterprise Institute 1985).
n37. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Taylor (1816), in 10 The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 1816-1826, at 31 (Paul Leicester Ford, ed., G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1899).
n38. James Madison, The Union: Who Are Its Real Friends?, National Gazette Apr. 2, 1792, appearing in James Madison, supra note 8, at 518-19.
n39. 17 U.S. 316 (1819).
n40. McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 423 (1819).
n41. McCulloch, 17 U.S. at 425.
n42. Id. at 405.
n43. 22 U.S. 1 (1824).
n44. Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1, 76 (1824).
n45. 268 U.S. 5 (1925).
n46. Linder v. United States, 268 U.S. 5, 17 (1925).
n47. U.S. v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 68, (1936).
n48. 297 U.S. 1 (1936).
n49. Butler, 297 U.S. at 1 (emphasis added).
n50. Thayer v. Hedges, 1864 WL 1937, at 4 (Ind. 1864).
n51. Thayer, 1864 WL 1937 at 11.
n52. 298 U.S. 238 (1936).
n53. Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U.S. 238 (1936).
n54. Carter, 298 U.S. at 289-90.
n55. Id. at 290-91.
n56. Id. at 292 (citations omitted).
n57. 79 F.2d 32 (10th Cir. 1935).
n58. Kansas Gas & Electric Co. v. City of Independence, Kan., 79 F.2d 32, 41 (10th Cir. 1935).
n59. 78 F.2d 684 (6th Cir. 1935).
n60. United States v. Certain Lands in the City of Louisville, Jefferson County, Ky., 79 F.2d 684, 684-85 (6th Cir. 1935).
n61. Certain Lands in the City of Lousiville, Jefferson County, Ky.,79 F.2d at 686-88.
n62. William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, A Facsimile of the First Edition 1765-1769, Volume I, 67 (Stanley N. Katz ed., Oxford Press 1979) (1769).
n63. Id. at 89.
n64. Id. at 59.
n65. Id. at 61.
n66. The Federalist No. 78 (Alexander Hamliton).
n67. Joseph Story, supra note 12, § 40.
n68. The Federalist No. 45 (James Madison) (emphasis added).
n69. Dong Fu, Lori L. Taylor, & Mine KY. Yucel, Fiscal Policy and Growth, 8 (Fed. Reserve Bank of Dallas Research Dep’t, Jan. 2003).
n70. Id. at 10.
n71. S. M. Miller & F. S. Russek, “Fiscal Structures and Economic Growth at the State and Local Level,” 25 No. 2 Pub. Finance R. 213, (1997).
n72. Nabeel Alsalam, Perry Beider, Kathy Gramp, & Philip Webre, The Economic Effects of Federal Spending on Infrastructure and Other Investments, Congressional Budget Office (June 1998), available at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/6xx/doc601/fedspend.pdf.
n73. Ralph R. Reiland, Massive Expansion of U.S. Gov’t Gives Socialism a Shot in the Arm, Investor’s Bus. Daily (May 19, 2009), available at http://license.icopyright. net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=NJU5MzE0Ng==.
n74. Jerome Corsi, U.S. Becoming History’s Largest Welfare State, WorldNetDaily, Apr. 26, 2009, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=95918.
n75. Karen Hart, Obama’s budget will make us the most socialist country in the world, The Examiner, Apr. 21, 2009, http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/Obamas-budget-will-make-us-the-mo... The euro-zone is a currency union of 16 European states which have adopted the euro as their sole legal tender. The eurozone currently consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
n76. Douglas M. Elmendorf, A Preliminary Analysis of the President’s Budget and an Update of CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook, Congressional Budget Office, March 2009, 11, available at http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/100xx/doc10014/Chapter1.5.1. shtml#1092014.
n77. Id. at 13.
I’ll try to get around to those long posts, EV, but it’s Sunday and I’m a pastor. Perhaps tomorrow or Tuesday.
The point is, JC, that any effort to rid us of social security by trying to declare it unconstitutional will fail.
It will be changed by being overturned as obsolete, ineffective, bad money management, etc.
But, we also all know that it’s the 3rd rail in politics.
Not getting this and need your help. PPP is a Democrat leaning pollster and always has been. Gallup,Rasmussen etc have Romney up with Ind by anywheres from 9-14 points and yet this poll shows him lagging badly among Independents even without Goode.
So what am I missing and what were the demographics of this poll?
Yeeeeeowwwwwwwch! Good shot, Nana!
And you, MissCon, if we get four years of Romney, Moderate Republicans, and Democrats outmanning and outvoting conservatives and steadily advancing global warming regulations, nationalized health care with abortion-on-demand, activist judicial picks, the complete homosexual agenda, and more and more government tyranny, dont you bitch once, not once ....
Aww, not another Internet tough guy. Those wimps are a dime a dozen. If you need a tissue head on down to the local store and let the adults talk.
And there you have it - only adults compromise their beliefs and vote for Romney.
And only children think their actions don’t affect anything. I’m not compromising at all. My sole aim right now is to get Obama out of the White House before he destroys my country. Some fantasize about claiming both the Senate and House. That’s all well and good but it won’t stop Obama and you know it. We will never have a veto proof majority. Obama will EO his way to hell.
And just for the record, adults do compromise. Go read the notes of the founding fathers who put together the Constitution. Compromise is what built that document. Your fantasy world of getting everything you want in a candidate is what has gotten Conservatives right where we are now...but hey that’s ok because I’m fairly sure your sole aim is to get Obama reelected.
“Obama will EO his way to hell.”
So will Romney. I know you don’t care about Obamacare and saving unborn babies, but some of us do. Putting Romney in to replace Obama effectively destroys any chance of putting any prolifer ever into the presidency.
I’d rather see 4 years of Obama than see Romney in for 8.
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