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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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General Welfare
    #2171036 - 12/10/03 05:47 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

That term comes up in this forum . I thought some might find it interesting to see what Americans from earlier days apparently thought it meant.





Let's do some detective work
Walter E. Williams (archive)


December 10, 2003 | Print | Send


I'd like to enlist the services of my fellow Americans with a bit of detective work. Let's start off with hard evidence.

The Federalist Papers were a set of documents written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to persuade the 13 states to ratify the Constitution. In one of those papers, Federalist Paper 45, James Madison wrote: "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. 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."

If we turned James Madison's statement on its head, namely that the powers of the federal government are numerous and indefinite and those of the states are few and defined, we'd describe today's America. Was Madison just plain ignorant about the powers delegated to Congress? Before making our judgment, let's examine statements of other possibly misinformed Americans.

In 1796, on the floor of the House of Representatives, William Giles of Virginia condemned a relief measure for fire victims saying it was neither the purpose nor the right of Congress to "attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require." In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a bill intended to help the mentally ill, saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding that to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." President Grover Cleveland was the king of the veto. He vetoed literally hundreds of congressional spending bills during his two terms as president in the late 1800s. His often given reason was, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."

Today's White House proposes and Congress taxes and spends for anything they can muster a majority vote on. My investigative query is: Were the Founders and previous congressmen and presidents, who could not find constitutional authority for today's bread and circuses, just plain stupid and ignorant? I don't believe in long-run ignorance or stupidity, so I reread the Constitution, looking to see whether an amendment had been passed authorizing Congress to spend money on bailouts for airlines, prescription drugs, education, Social Security and thousands of similar items in today's federal budget. I found no such amendment.

Being thorough, I reread the Constitution and found what Congress might interpret as a blank check authorization -- the "general welfare clause." Then I investigated further to see what the Framers meant by the "general welfare clause." In 1798, Thomas Jefferson said, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." The Constitution's father, James Madison said: "With respect to the two words ?general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

My detective work concludes with several competing explanations. The first is that the great men who laid the framework for our nation were not only constitutionally ignorant but callous and uncaring, as well. The second is it's today's politicians who are constitutionally ignorant. Lastly, it's today's Americans who have contempt for the Constitution, and any congressman or president upholding the Constitution's letter and spirit would be tarred and feathered.


Link


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Anonymous

Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2171316 - 12/11/03 05:44 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

those who believe that the words "general welfare" as stated in the constitution should be interpreted as directing and empowering the federal government to execute schemes to "redistribute wealth" are being just as foolish as those who believe the second amendment guarantees the right of only the military to keep weapons... it's no surprise to me that they often happen to be the same people.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
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Re: General Welfare [Re: ]
    #2172290 - 12/12/03 05:46 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the response. Strange how few there were.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173257 - 12/12/03 05:51 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I have no problem with ending federal social programs as long as states pick up the slack. The article still leaves me somewhat confused as to exactly what is meant by "general welfare."


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173350 - 12/12/03 06:43 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Back than medecine used to not be so expensive, Doctors were not expensive. Nowadays if you get a bad disease it will most likely bankrupt you. My prescription for Geodon costs 60$ and Prevacid is
50$ and Diprasimine is 40$. I visit a psychiatrist every month which costs 200$. If i didnt have Insurance i would most likely not be able to afford it, and would have to do without medecine i need.

Now if you got Cancer say of the prostrate. Casodex costs 3000$ for 30 pills with out insurance. That would bankrupt most middle class families. Should we let those tax payers just die with out medecine.

My mother is a social worker. She see's people refused medicare everyday. Most of these people are not poor too lazy to work people. They are middle class work everyday families like you and me. Except they got Cancer or some other illness. Lost their homes their money their job.

Welcome to modern times.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173355 - 12/12/03 06:47 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

There should still be no social programs but as far as I know there are no state constitutions with wording to prevent them.

They are still theft. Any time you forcibly take from one who has earned, to give to one who has not, you (the general you)have stolen.

I was wondering if you'd respond since we've clashed on this before. I'm glad you did.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


Edited by luvdemshrooms (12/12/03 06:48 PM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173384 - 12/12/03 07:03 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

You said before that theft is the unconstitutional taking of another's property. If it is not unconstitutional for a state to have such social programs, it is then, by your own definition, not theft.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173385 - 12/12/03 07:04 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Theres no admendment prohibiting marijuana. Nothing in the constitution for that either. Most modern nations (Europe) and other areas have free healthcare. It costs 0 to go to dr. and get pills.

The sad part is we could probably actually afford free healthcare if it wasnt for such other government wastes.

But like i said. Giving the Poor money has never solved anything. Curing diseases, Clothing, Shelter, Food and water. Those are what we need for the people.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
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Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173397 - 12/12/03 07:10 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Close. I said taking money from me to fund welfare is unconstitutional. I've never said that is the only way to steal.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: General Welfare [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2173411 - 12/12/03 07:14 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

There is no such thing as free health care. Well maybe a hug from mom when you're young.

When you get older you should realize that nothing is free. It merely the government forcing those who earn their way, to pay for those who do not.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173425 - 12/12/03 07:19 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I wish the search function was working so I could catch you contradicting yourself here.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
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Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173429 - 12/12/03 07:21 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I suggest you re-read your post and my response.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173431 - 12/12/03 07:23 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

when you get older luvdem you will find out how much we need healthcare.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: General Welfare [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2173470 - 12/12/03 07:56 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I am older. I've had several surgeries as a result of a major accident. It is not the place for government to pay for medical care. I have insurance which I pay for. Charities, families and friends can provide for those who do not. can


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173481 - 12/12/03 08:04 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

I have insurance which I pay for. Charities, families and friends can provide for those who do not.



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173488 - 12/12/03 08:08 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Why how very cynical of you.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Anonymous

Re: General Welfare [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #2173511 - 12/12/03 08:24 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

exactly how much medical care should come paid for by the state?

who should be eligible?

who should make these decisions?

what gives them the right to?

how should the funding be obtained?

specifics, thank you.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2173521 - 12/12/03 08:30 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Why how very cynical of you.



Some might call it cynicism. I call it realism.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Anonymous

Re: General Welfare [Re: silversoul7]
    #2173523 - 12/12/03 08:34 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

that may be. if people cannot provide for themselves, and cannot persuade others to provide for them voluntarily, this gives them no right to steal, or to enlist others to steal for them, even if it means their own life.

you do not have a right to be fed, clothed, housed, cared for in time of sickness, given christmas gifts, etc. the only thing you have a right to is to be left alone.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: General Welfare [Re: ]
    #2173539 - 12/12/03 08:45 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

you do not have a right to be fed, clothed, housed, cared for in time of sickness, given christmas gifts, etc.



Perhaps not according to the Constitution, but it is my personal belief that people SHOULD be given that right. America is a very individualistic society, and some may see that as a good thing. Other countries have a much more communal approach, which I tend to agree with more.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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