Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, who gave an extraordinary keynote address at the recent Mises Institute Supporters Summit, writes in the Wall Street Journal about those violators of their oaths and our liberties, American presidents. Note: He told me that every week, he has his office prepare a loose-leaf notebook of LRC articles, and that he reads them all each Sunday afternoon.
In a radio interview in 2001, then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama noted – somewhat ruefully – that the same Supreme Court that ordered political and educational equality in the 1960s and 1970s did not bring about economic equality as well. Although Mr. Obama said he could come up with arguments for the constitutionality of such action, the plain meaning of the Constitution quite obviously prohibits it.
Mr. Obama is hardly alone in his expansive view of legitimate government. During the past month, Sen. John McCain (who, like Sen. Obama, voted in favor of the $700 billion bank bailout) has been advocating that $300 billion be spent to pay the monthly mortgage payments of those in danger of foreclosure. The federal government is legally powerless to do that, as well.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt first proposed legislation that authorized the secretary of agriculture to engage in Soviet-style central planning – a program so rigid that it regulated how much wheat a homeowner could grow for his own family's consumption – he rejected arguments of unconstitutionality. He proclaimed that the Constitution was "quaint" and written in the "horse and buggy era," and predicted the public and the courts would agree with him.
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The truth is that the Constitution grants Congress 17 specific (or "delegated") powers. And it commands in the Ninth and 10th Amendments that the powers not articulated and thus not delegated by the Constitution to Congress be reserved to the states and the people.
What's more, Congress can only use its delegated powers to legislate for the general welfare, meaning it cannot spend tax dollars on individuals or selected entities, but only for all of us. That is, it must spend in such a manner -- a post office, a military installation, a courthouse, for example -- that directly enhances everyone's welfare within the 17 delegated areas of congressional authority.
A Michigan Supreme Court Justice for the Ron Paul Revolution is Michigan candidate Robert W. Roddis.