People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, June, 2017
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Stop Unconstitutional Federal Spending
by Jonathan DuHamel
The total federal deficit is almost $20 trillion. Although the President submits or suggests budgets, it is the duty of Congress to appropriate the money. In my opinion, a large part of federal spending is unconstitutional.
The Constitution of the United States grants certain powers to Congress and Executive Branch. Over the years, Congress has greatly exceeded its Constitutional authority. Federal agencies have created thousands of regulations and spent trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on things for which they had no authority to do so. These regulations have the force of law, but only Congress can make law. There is a movement to change the constitution with a balanced budget amendment. Such an amendment would be unnecessary if only Congress and the President would enforce the Constitution.
Below are the Constitutionally enumerated powers of Congress. Nowhere in this enumeration can I find the authority for the federal government to have Departments of Education, Labor, or Energy. I see no authority for the Environmental Protection Agency, nor the requirement that citizens buy health insurance. Some may also argue that our whole welfare and medical care systems are unconstitutional. And, as Benjamin Franklin once said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” James Madison: “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
The principal authority of Congress is specified in Article I of the Constitution.
Article I, Section 8 : The powers of Congress:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; — And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Other Authority granted to Congress by the Constitution:
Article IV, Section 3, clause 2: “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”
The 16th Amendment: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
The 10th Amendment also limits the powers of Congress: “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.”
See any justification for Departments of Education, Labor, Energy, or Environmental Protection Agency etc. there?
But, there has long been controversy over the meaning of “promote the general welfare.”
James Madison wrote: “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” Madison held that government spending was confined to the enumerated powers of Congress – why else enumerate powers?
Thomas Jefferson in his opined: “[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose.”
Alexander Hamilton had a slightly more liberal view of the term general welfare. He had stated on several occasions that the general welfare clause in the taxing clause of the Constitution gives the government authority over almost anything defined as the general welfare. Hamilton is the only Founder with such a view. Hamilton contradicts himself in the Federalist Papers where he wrote:
“The only qualification of the generality of the Phrase in question, which seems to be admissible, is this–That the object to which an appropriation of money is to be made be General and not local; its operation extending in fact, or by possibility, throughout the Union, and not being confined to a particular spot.”
“No objection ought to arise to this construction from a supposition that it would imply a power to do whatever else should appear to Congress conducive to the General Welfare. A power to appropriate money with this latitude which is granted too in express terms would not carry a power to do any other thing, not authorised in the constitution, either expressly or by fair implication.” (Source) Hamilton, too, seems to be arguing that the general welfare phrase only applies to the powers authorize to Congress in the Constitution.
The Tenth Amendment Center opines:
“Two words in the clause hold the key. General and common. The phrase simply means that any tax collected must be collected to the benefit of the United States as a whole, not for partial or sectional (i.e. special) interests. The federal government may promote the general welfare, or common good, but it must do so within the scope of the powers delegated and without favoritism.”
Another type of unconstitutional spending occurs when agencies make unauthorized payments.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution says in part: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” That provision was invoked in a lawsuit House of Representatives v. Burwell, which involved reimbursements the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had been paying to insurers to keep out-of-pocket costs artificially low for patients with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line. Congress refused to appropriate the funds for this scheme, but HHS reimbursed the insurers anyway, whereupon the House sued the Obama administration. The judge ruled that the payment of such reimbursements without congressional authorization “violates the Constitution.” (Source)
The essential principle of the Constitution is that the federal government has limited powers, as stated in the 10th Amendment. It’s time to return to the original meaning of the Constitution and downsize the federal government where it is politically possible to do so. Let each State decide how to handle its own business. States might be more circumspect and accountable to their citizens than is a far-off federal government. (Or, they might become California.) ☼
The Case for Pulling the U.S. Out of the Paris Climate Accord
By Ross McKitrick
EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt has argued that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a bad deal for the U.S. because it doesn’t bind China and India. But that implies it could be fixed by imposing the same ruinous terms on developing countries—which would in fact just spread the damage. The real reason for pulling of the Paris Accord is that it is a futile gesture based on empty and dishonest premises.
The first thing to note is that the same computer models that say global warming is a problem also say that Paris will not fix it. If one were to graph the standard warming projections over the next century with and without Paris, the two lines overlap almost exactly. Whatever greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration we would have reached in the year 2100 without Paris, we will reach it shortly thereafter with. For all its costs, the Paris treaty will have almost no effect on global warming, and by depleting global income it will make it harder for countries to adapt and innovate in response to whatever changes occur. Thus not only does Paris not solve the problem, it arguably makes it worse. Read more ☼
The ignorance, intolerance, and violence of the “Climate Crusaders”
Using junk science marches, ignorant professors, resistance and violence to drive public policy
by Paul Driessen
As Mark Twain might say, our students are being taught a lot of facts that just ain’t so – by a lot of academics who know all kinds of things for sure that just ain’t so. The recent science and climate marches underscore both this and the dangers of having such ignorance determine economic and energy policy. Topping my current list of wildly misinformed, malpracticing academics is a University of Michigan history professor who claims plant-fertilizing, life-giving carbon dioxide is more deadly than sarin gas! Perhaps even more dangerous, this ignorance is compounded by rampant intolerance toward other views, and even violence toward anyone who tries to present contrarian perspectives on climate change, sustainability, personal responsibility and other topics, on college campuses or other public forums. Read more ☼
Making America Great Again? USA leads the way in frivolous climate lawsuits
by Anthony Watts
Via Columbia University Earth Institute: A new global study has found that the number of lawsuits involving climate change has tripled since 2014, with the United States leading the way. Researchers identified 654 U.S. lawsuits—three times more than the rest of the world combined. Many of the suits, which are usually filed by individuals or nongovernmental organizations, seek to hold governments accountable for existing climate-related legal commitments. The study was done by the United Nations Environment Program and Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. “Judicial decisions around the world show that many courts have the authority, and the willingness, to hold governments to account for climate change,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Read more
U.N.’s Global Warming Fraudsters Are More Interested In Climate Cash Than Climate Change
Investor’s Business Daily
Just when you think the climate change lunacy couldn’t get any worse, the U.N.’s climate-crats up the ante. Meeting in Bonn, Germany, for yet another unneeded climate conference, attendees are now demanding $300 billion a year more to help less-developed nations cope with anticipated climatic warming. Are they kidding?
By the way, that $300 billion is in addition to the $100 billion that the world’s governments have already promised to deliver under the Paris Climate Agreement. So now they’re asking for a total of $400 billion a year in climate welfare for the developing world. No sane government would sign on to such a scam. Which of course means that most of them probably will.
There’s really no end to this insanity. To make it worse, the proposal before the Bonn climate talks calls for the added taxpayer-funded cash to be doled out not by the governments themselves, or even the U.N. No, the money will be channeled through existing nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.
In other words, left-wing green groups around the world will become the conduits for billions of dollars in money handed out to ethically challenged, nondemocratic governments. Think there might be a tiny temptation for corruption there? Read more ☼
California Governor Brown imposing massive regulations for meaningless climate goals
by Larry Hamlin
California Governor Brown’s SB 32 law requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels 40% below levels measured in 1990 is necessitating the development of massive numbers of new regulations and policy that will allow the state government to control and dictate virtually every aspect of Californian’s lives including:
where and how they can live,
what kind of jobs and businesses they can work in,
what kind of housing they can have,
what kind of car they can drive (if any),
how many miles can they drive,
what kind of public transportation they must use,
how many times they must walk and bicycle,
how much and what kind of energy they can use,
what kind and how food can be farmed,
etc, etc. Read more
What Happens to an Economy When Forced to Use Renewable Energy?
From Manhattan Institute
Some of America’s most prominent politicians want national mandates for renewable electricity. In addition, over the past seven months, three states—California, New York, and Oregon—have instituted plans that will require utilities to produce 50 percent of the electricity that they sell to customers from renewables. The politicians backing these measures claim that such mandates will help reduce customers’ bills and create jobs.
Had these politicians considered the surge in electricity costs that have occurred in Europe in recent years, they might have been less eager to push such mandates. Indeed, the three EU countries that have been the most aggressive in pursuit of renewable energy—Germany, Spain, and the U.K.—have all seen their electricity rates increase more than other EU countries. Further, Germany and the U.K. are seeing job losses due to high energy prices. (Source) ☼
The Ethanol Boondoggle Will Continue
by Lewis Morris, Patriot Post
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue informed reporters this past weekend that one promise Donald Trump intends to keep is his support for ethanol. At a farming event in Iowa with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Rep. Steve King, Perdue said, “Ethanol is here to stay, and we’re going to work for new technologies to be more efficient.”
Unfortunately, this is one Trump campaign promise that would have been good to break. The Renewable Fuel Standard — known as the ethanol mandate — is a classic example of what happens when the government interferes in the marketplace, with an agenda to boot. Through presidential administrations both Republican and Democrat, the government has heavily subsidized the production and distribution of ethanol, as well as required a certain amount of its use, in the hopes of making renewable fuels the next great thing.
That hope hasn’t been realized.
The EPA, which last November called for 19.28 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply, has maintained for years that ethanol is just what the environment needs. As the legend goes, ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, which is good for the air, and it relieves our dependency on oil, which is good for the Earth.
So, when corn prices are forced higher because 40% of the crop is grown specifically for ethanol production, we shouldn’t mind. Nor should we care that this starts a chain reaction of price fluctuations that lead to more expensive food. And we shouldn’t trouble ourselves that gasoline is comparatively more expensive per gallon with ethanol or that the biofuel harms automobile engines. We’re doing a good thing for the environment. Except we’re not. Read more ☼
“During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness and to sap its safety.” —Thomas Jefferson (1805)
“We can only make American great again by again making America what the Constitution intended it to be. And we can only do that by working to rein the federal government back within the boundaries that the Constitution defines.” – William Sullivan (Source)
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
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Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.
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