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Thomas Jefferson on the unconstitutional Obamacare
December 26, 1825 | Thomas Jefferson

Posted on 03/23/2010 10:42:57 PM PDT by conimbricenses

To William Branch Giles, Governor of Virginia

Monticello, December 26, 1825

Dear Sir,

I wrote you a letter yesterday, of which you will be free to make what use you please. This will contain matters not intended for the public eye. I see, as you do, and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic; and that, too, by constructions which, if legitimate, leave no limits to their power. Take together the decisions of the federal court, the doctrines of the President, and the misconstructions of the constitutional compact acted on by the legislature of the federal branch, and it is but too evident, that the three ruling branches of that department are in combination to strip their colleagues, the State authorities, of the powers reserved by them, and to exercise themselves all functions foreign and domestic. Under the power to regulate commerce, they assume indefinitely that also over agriculture and manufactures, and call it regulation to take the earnings of one of these branches of industry, and that too the most depressed, and put them into the pockets of the other, the most flourishing of all. Under the authority to establish post roads, they claim that of cutting down mountains for the construction of roads, of digging canals, and aided by a little sophistry on the words “general welfare,” a right to do, not only the acts to effect that, which are specifically enumerated and permitted, but whatsoever they shall think, or pretend will be for the general welfare. And what is our resource for the preservation of the constitution? Reason and argument? You might as well reason and argue with the marble columns encircling them. The representatives chosen by ourselves? They are joined in the combination, some from incorrect views of government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient voting together to out-number the sound parts; and with majorities only of one, two, or three, bold enough to go forward in defiance. Are we then to stand to our arms, with the hot-headed Georgian? No. That must be the last resource, not to be thought of until much longer and greater sufferings. If every infraction of a compact of so many parties is to be resisted at once, as a dissolution of it, none can ever be formed which would last one year. We must have patience and longer endurance then with our brethren while under delusion; give them time for reflection and experience of consequences; keep ourselves in a situation to profit by the chapter of accidents; and separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers. Between these two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be no hesitation. But in the meanwhile, the States should be watchful to note every material usurpation on their rights; to denounce them as they occur in the most peremptory terms; to protest against them as wrongs to which our present submission shall be considered, not as acknowledgments or precedents of right, but as a temporary yielding to the lesser evil, until their accumulation shall overweigh that of separation. I would go still further, and give to the federal member, by a regular amendment of the constitution, a right to make roads and canals of intercommunication between the States, providing sufficiently against corrupt practices in Congress, (log-rolling, &c.,) by declaring that the federal proportion of each State of the moneys so employed, shall be in works within the State, or elsewhere with its consent, and with a due salvo of jurisdiction. This is the course which I think safest and best as yet.

You ask my opinion of the propriety of giving publicity to what is stated in your letter, as having passed between Mr. John Q. Adams and yourself. Of this no one can judge but yourself. It is one of those questions which belong to the forum of feeling. This alone can decide on the degree of confidence implied in the disclosure; whether under no circumstances it was to be communicated to others? It does not seem to be of that character, or at all to wear that aspect. They are historical facts which belong to the present, as well as future times. I doubt whether a single fact, known to the world, will carry as clear conviction to it, of the correctness of our knowledge of the treasonable views of the federal party of that day, as that disclosed by this, the most nefarious and daring attempt to dissever the Union, of which the Hartford convention was a subsequent chapter; and both of these having failed, consolidation becomes the fourth chapter of the next book of their history. But this opens with a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry. This will be to them a next best blessing to the monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the surest stepping-stone to it.

I learn with great satisfaction that your school is thriving well, and that you have at its head a truly classical scholar. He is one of three or four whom I can hear of in the State. We were obliged the last year to receive shameful Latinists into the classical school of the University, such as we will certainly refuse as soon as we can get from better schools a sufficiency of those properly instructed to form a class. We must get rid of this Connecticut Latin, of this barbarous confusion of long and short syllables, which renders doubtful whether we are listening to a reader of Cherokee, Shawnee, Iroquois, or what. Our University has been most fortunate in the five professors procured from England. A finer selection could not have been made. Besides their being of a grade of science which has left little superior behind, the correctness of their moral character, their accommodating dispositions, and zeal for the prosperity of the institution, leave us nothing more to wish. I verily believe that as high a degree of education can now be obtained here, as in the country they left. And a finer set of youths I never saw assembled for instruction. They committed some irregularities at first, until they learned the lawful length of their tether; since which it has never been transgressed in the smallest degree. A great proportion of them are severely devoted to study, and I fear not to say that within twelve or fifteen years from this time, a majority of the rulers of our State will have been educated here. They shall carry hence the correct principles of our day, and you may count assuredly that they will exhibit their country in a degree of sound respectability it has never known, either in our days, or those of our forefathers. I cannot live to see it. My joy must only be that of anticipation. But that you may see it in full fruition, is the probable consequence of the twenty years I am ahead of you in time, and is the sincere prayer of your affectionate and constant friend.

Thomas Jefferson


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: healthcare; obamacare; thomasjefferson
Obama is claiming his mandate that we all must purchase his insurance plan is covered in the "general welfare" clause. Now the leftist law professors who support him are claiming the same thing to defeat the state lawsuits against it. And to nobody's surprise, the media is now quoting them as authoritative.

NOT TRUE, and that is according to a far greater expert on the American founding than Obama or any of those law profs could ever dream of being: Thomas Jefferson himself

1 posted on 03/23/2010 10:42:57 PM PDT by conimbricenses
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To: conimbricenses

I guess everybody should have to buy arms as well. Tis’ a “right” eh?


2 posted on 03/23/2010 10:45:20 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: conimbricenses
More from Jefferson on January 1, 1826:

"Yesterday for the 1st time I was able to leave the house and to resume a posture which enables me to begin to answer the letters which have been accumulating, and I take up yours first. Weakened in body by infirmities and in mind by age, now far gone in my 83d year, reading one newspaper only and forgetting immediately what I read in that, I am unable to give counsel in cases of difficulty, and our present one is truly a case of difficulty. It is but too evident that the branches of our foreign department of govmt. Exve, judiciary and legislative are in combination to usurp the powers of the domestic branch also reserved to the states and consolidate themselves into a single govmt without limitn of powers. I will not trouble you with details of the instances which are threadbare and unheeded. The only question is what is to be done? Shall we give up the ship? No, by heavens, while a hand remains able to keep the deck. Shall we with the hot-headed Georgian, stand at once to our arms? Not yet, nor until the evil, the only greater one than separn, shall be all but upon us, that of living under a government of discretion. Between these alternatives there can be no hesitation."

3 posted on 03/23/2010 10:48:38 PM PDT by conimbricenses
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To: eyedigress
Some congressman needs to file a tongue-in-cheek bill requiring every American to purchase a gun or be subject to a $1,000 tax/fine.

The language should be lifted verbatim from the Obamacare legislation. And when asked about it, that Congressman should answer that people who don't own guns are imposing costs on the rest of society through their own failure to protect themselves. The $1,000 tax will be used to pay for all the extra police we have to hire since those people refuse to be responsible for their own security.

4 posted on 03/23/2010 10:57:00 PM PDT by conimbricenses
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To: eyedigress
Some congressman needs to file a tongue-in-cheek bill requiring every American to purchase a gun or be subject to a $1,000 tax/fine.

The language should be lifted verbatim from the Obamacare legislation. And when asked about it, that Congressman should answer that people who don't own guns are imposing costs on the rest of society through their own failure to protect themselves. The $1,000 tax will be used to pay for all the extra police we have to hire since those people refuse to be responsible for their own security.

5 posted on 03/23/2010 10:57:14 PM PDT by conimbricenses
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To: conimbricenses
great idea...I thought about that last night...bearing arms is already a right if healthcare (what they really mean is FREE healthcare) is a right now, than someone needs to propose that everyone needs a free gun, regardless of”pre-existing” conditions.
6 posted on 03/23/2010 11:04:14 PM PDT by flowergirl
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To: conimbricenses
It should be noted though that the Supreme court did rule in response to constitutional challenges to Social Security that it was a valid constitutional tax for general purpsoes and that it was a valid constutional expenditure for promotion of "general welfare".

Of course FDR was threatening to pack the court with new seats and liberals and had a supportive democrat controlled congress. So it can be argued the Supremes ruled that way under duress (see first link). Nevertheless it is precedent now. So I expect at least some of the challenges to this law to be ruled similarly to SSA.

The second site is a government site and consequently may be biased and might overstate the case, but the rulings are referenced.
Is Social Security constitutional
SSA site on constitutional challenges to it

The penalty is a new wrinkle, and as the Florida AG said, "it's a tax on living".

7 posted on 03/23/2010 11:05:39 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: conimbricenses
Stop the Federal Usurpation

Time to make Obama STFU - Stop The Federal Usurpation.

Federal usurpation of individual state rights continues to erode and to limit the ability of state governments to operate according to their own citizen's directives. Since, as the original intent of the Constitution directed, the best government is one which governs closer to the people and Federal Usurpation is the greatest threat we face today, it is time to make Obama STFU. back the States Rights Movement. Support the Attorneys General.

8 posted on 03/23/2010 11:09:02 PM PDT by jessduntno (B. Hussein Obama...I look at him and think, in the words of Joe Biden, "Big F*ckin' deal.")
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To: conimbricenses

Before I get smacked by my FReeper friends here let me set the record straight. The rights endowed by our creator have nothing to do with the general welfare clause. The libs have hijacked the term and spun it on its head. There are no “Rights” except as those Congress cannot touch. The left has perverted all of it. I was trying to show the difference.


9 posted on 03/23/2010 11:10:21 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: conimbricenses

bump....


10 posted on 03/23/2010 11:31:28 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: eyedigress

>>Before I get smacked by my FReeper friends here let me set the record straight. The rights endowed by our creator have nothing to do with the general welfare clause. The libs have hijacked the term and spun it on its head. There are no “Rights” except as those Congress cannot touch. The left has perverted all of it. I was trying to show the difference.<<

Anyone who jumps on you should take Constitution 099. The Preamble establishes the milieu under which the USC was created. It establishes the desired target in broad terms — the end goal.

The USC (and BOR) is the mechanism the framers created to achieve those ends. The Left (as you point out) has taken the welfare clause of the preamble to be part and parcel of the USC itself.

The USC is the specific contract between the USA and her citizens. It promises that Government will only do those things that have been enabled through the constructs provided within the framework.

All that was thrown in the trash yesterday. I pray that those who visited such vile evil upon our contract will be met with equal evil on them and their houses.

I suspect those of us who love liberty may have to defend it with more than words soon.


11 posted on 03/23/2010 11:36:37 PM PDT by freedumb2003 ( Tagline lost -- anyone seen it?)
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To: freedumb2003

It will be met. I pray for my God-Fearing friends to understand the assault. Amen for your affirmation.


12 posted on 03/23/2010 11:47:39 PM PDT by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)?)
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To: conimbricenses

TY! This was good to read!


13 posted on 03/23/2010 11:55:30 PM PDT by JustPiper (Lemme Show You Where It's At ~States that Say "No" To Health Care Reform~)
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To: conimbricenses

The Founders devised the Constitution to protect the people from the government. The Obama government is attack mode and we must respond to the threat.


14 posted on 03/24/2010 12:04:26 AM PDT by bushpilot1
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To: conimbricenses
This all started with Hamilton and the Federalists. They favored a broad interpretation of the Constitution as where Jefferson, Madison and the republicans advocated a strict observance to the letter and to the spirit of that document. And who was more qualified than Madison to judge what is, or not, 'constitutional'?
Yet, beginning in the Washington administration, the differing factions have been arguing their respective points over what is and is not.
The Sage of Monticello himself questioned the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase.
15 posted on 03/24/2010 12:06:07 AM PDT by jla (Obama & Co. vs. Jefferson & Madison - my money's on the latter)
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To: conimbricenses

bump


16 posted on 03/24/2010 2:03:01 AM PDT by lowbridge ("We may be wrong, but the point is, we believe in what we're doing." - Joe Biden)
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To: eyedigress; freedumb2003
I add two more elements to the argument against the broad Leftist interpretation of the General Welfare clause.

1. The terms "common defense and general welfare" or "common benefit" are peppered throughout original colonial charters, subsequent charters and in the state constitutions written upon Independence in 1776. The term also appears in the Aricles of Confederation. At no time from 1607 until the silly and dangerous Scotus decision in Helvering v. Davis, 1937 did any court buy the expansive view of the Left.

2. Check the grammar of Article 1 Section 8. Our 18th Century Framers were precise grammarians. It took months of often heated debate in the stuffy, hot, State House in Philly to thrash out every concept, idea, detail, clause and yes, punctuation, that ended up in our Beloved Constitution. From James Madison’s notes, there is no question that every single detail had first to pass a committee composed of a few members, and then survive withering examination of the committee of all state delegates. Notice that there are many semicolons and only one period, at the very end of the entire Section. That is right. Section 8 is one sentence. It is also one thought. As any sixth grade private school student and a few government high school grads know, the semicolon is used between closely related main clauses. Thus, there is no disconnect between the declaratory clause (common defense and general welfare) and the enumerated powers which follow. The enumerated powers are components of a single thought, to provide for our common defense and general welfare.

When viewed this way, the words of James Madison in Federalist #41 are perfectly clear: “Nothing is more natural or common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of the particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity."

17 posted on 03/24/2010 2:47:14 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Tyrants should fear for their personal safety.)
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To: eyedigress

No actually I can’t afford a firearm. Somebody else should buy one for me.


18 posted on 03/24/2010 2:53:06 AM PDT by Chaguito
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To: DannyTN
Social Security that it was a valid constitutional tax

The operative word here is tax. The Supreme Court ruled that Social Security was constitutional because it was not welfare; it was a tax.

Now here is the rest of the story. Since Social Security is a tax, the federal government is under no constitutional obligation to pay any monies to anyone.

19 posted on 03/24/2010 5:26:20 AM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, Trust few, and always paddle your own canoe)
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To: conimbricenses
the States should be watchful to note every material usurpation on their rights; to denounce them as they occur in the most peremptory terms;

They were; until Honest Abe took over. And there are a lot of you here who still believe he was a great President.

ML/NJ (lifetime Yankee)

20 posted on 03/24/2010 5:32:37 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: conimbricenses

btt


21 posted on 03/24/2010 5:51:51 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: conimbricenses

“I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Thomas Jefferson letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush - Sept. 23, 1800.


22 posted on 03/24/2010 5:56:11 AM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
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To: DannyTN
So it can be argued the Supremes ruled that way under duress (see first link).

Yes. And it can also be argued that the Supreme Court, especially in the 20th century, has generally ruled however it damn well pleases based on the political ideology of its members. I put about as much weight in their "general welfare" clause rulings as I do in Roe v. Wade, or Plessy v. Ferguson for that matter. They're all contrived political rulings, and none has any basis in the actual letter or intent of the Constitution.

23 posted on 03/24/2010 8:09:49 AM PDT by conimbricenses
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