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MAY 18, 2011 2:03PM

Ron Paul Says Founders Ignorant of Constitution

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Having lured you into reading this, I admit Ron Paul only effectively makes the title claim. He wouldn't say it directly, as that would diminish the ongoing fraud of presenting himself as an authority on the Constitution. He is not, as I will prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and can only be described as an expert on the "Ronstitution" -- what he imagines and wishes it to be.

I like political debates or arguments as much as anyone and probably more than most. Because I never advocate for the Devil, I only argue with those who are factually wrong. But nothing sends my heart into polemic palpitation more than being presented with an invalid argument by somebody who punctuates their errors with hand waving histrionics and snorting assertions of their knowledge. That is an open invitation for deconstructive demolition combined with artful ridicule. 

I have divided this Fox News Sunday segment into two parts, both for ease of refuting Paul's argument as well as giving me two opportunities for righteous ridicule. I hold Chris Wallace immune from criticism as we cannot expect a moderator to have the chops it takes to know Paul is wrong, and his babbling has little connection to history and the Constitution.

This will be fun. Let's begin.

      

In 1798 the 5th Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," a healthcare plan for privately employed merchant marine sailors. There's no substantial difference between that act and the one that established Medicare -- both being federally administered, payroll tax funded, single payer healthcare insurance plans covering a certain group of citizens.

Then, as now, and as in 1965 when Medicare became law, there was no direct authority in the Constitution to do so. Those acts were passed under the "General Welfare" clause in article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.

Congressman Paul is arguing with Founding Fathers Adams, Jefferson and (ironically, as we'll see) Madison, and many other presidents who administered it without any constitutional objection. It was the type of insurance plan Paul claims -- with hand waving and expression of true amazement -- is not authorized by the Constitution in any way and by art 1, sec 8 specifically.

It's evident Ron Paul is ignorant of that significant slice of American history, or he thinks the Founding Fathers didn't know the limits of the Constitution. That when they enacted America's first payroll tax to pay for our first federal single payer health insurance plan and built a few hospitals -- they were constitutionally ignorant.

Attaboy, Ron! If you're going to step-off into "it," you might as well make a flaming leap.

Then Ronstitutional expert Paul goes on to extend that popular right-wing error, which is to claim the only powers of Congress are those "enumerated powers" in article 1, section 8.

Flaming Leap, take 2:

       

A brief history of General Welfare

Here Ron Paul goes off into outer space, snorting, flapping, waving his hands and otherwise performing like -- with all due respect -- a braying, uninformed jackass. To be as fair as possible, Congressman Paul is echoing (somewhere in his bizarre, nonsensical spewing) Madison’s interpretation of the first article 1, section 8 clause — that it served only to support the following “enumerated powers” which describe the extent of Congress’ authority to act. To help explain, here’s the first part of art 1, sec 8. You can read all of it here.

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; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

(My note: the following are part of the “enumerated powers," if, like Paul, you want to believe the first isn't also an enumerated power.)

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; (the currently at issue re: healthcare reform “commerce clause’)

To establish a 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; [...]

In Madison’s version, the power to tax needed to be tied to the following enumerated powers.

The problem is that interpretation was quickly abandoned, as the 1798 healthcare act, among many acts before and after it authorizing “beyond enumerated powers,” show. While Madison is considered the Father of the Constitution, the Congress that debated and composed it did not agree on that point, nor did, more famously, Hamilton or Jefferson.

“Extreme Liberal” Supreme Court twisted the meaning of General Welfare?

Instead of asking about the Supreme Court decision on Social Security, Wallace should have sought Paul’s opinion of the 1936 United States-v-Butler case, which was the first time the Court construed the true meaning of General Welfare. This is not the same supposedly "extreme liberal" Court that ruled on Social Security -- it was the one that, to Roosevelt's consternation, was in the habit of knocking down New Deal legislation.

In that decision the Court made an unqualified endorsement of Hamilton’s view and tangentially, by citing Justice Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, with Jefferson’s "ditto Hamilton" opinion as well (ironically, Madison nominated Story to the Court).

From U.S.-v-Butler ruling:

“Since the foundation of the Nation sharp differences of opinion have persisted as to the true interpretation of the phrase. Madison asserted it amounted to no more than a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section; that, as the United States is a government of limited and enumerated powers, the grant of power to tax and spend for the general national welfare must be confined to the numerated legislative fields committed to the Congress.

In this view the phrase is mere tautology, for taxation and appropriation are or may be necessary incidents of the exercise of any of the enumerated legislative powers. Hamilton, on the other hand, maintained the clause confers a power separate and distinct from those later enumerated, is not restricted in meaning by the grant of them, and Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States.

Each contention has had the support of those whose views are entitled to weight. This court had noticed the question, but has never found it necessary to decide which is the true construction. Justice Story, in his Commentaries, espouses the Hamiltonian position.

We shall not review the writings of public men and commentators or discuss the legislative practice. Study of all these leads us to conclude that the reading advocated by Justice Story is the correct one. While, therefore, the power to tax is not unlimited, its confines are set in the clause which confers it, and not in those of Sec. 8 which bestow and define the legislative powers of the Congress. It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power found in the Constitution.” (my emphasis)

Apparently, on Ron Paul’s planet, all Supreme Courts are radical usurpers of "Original Intent." In a true-believer Libertarian's mind, that is probably true. However, those who know something about history and the Constitution realize Paul is babbling his desires, and confirming that he's far short of being an authority on the subject.

As far as the rest of Paul's clownish flap-jackery, I think he needs to use Mapquest to show us how he gets from General Welfare to Military Industrial Complex. There is ample support in the Constitution for the concept of defense that has absolutely nothing to do with the true meaning of General Welfare, or even Paul's imaginary meaning.

In summation...

Paul's hissy fit is typical of Libertarians, who for some strange, self-serving, self-aggrandizing and absolutely wrong reason think America was founded on libertarian principles.

The truth, despite Paul's sniveling disrespect for liberalism, is that America was founded upon liberalism. The Constitution is pure Liberal Social Contract Philosophy. The Declaration of Independence is a strong statement of Liberalism. It shouldn't surprise any properly educated American that there's so much liberalism about considering the Founding Fathers were Liberals.

If the Constitution had been based on the ironically leftist (and Marxist), extremely "small government" Libertarianism, it would only be about a paragraph in length, and wouldn't begin with "We, the People" (too collectivist). The Founders were not "classical liberals," at least in the sense of the term as the origin of libertarianism; the ideas that degraded into libertarianism didn't arrive in America until 50 years after the Constitution was written.

So Ron Paul, if you can pause your babbling for a moment, listen up!

The reason those Liberal ideas you so despise have been taught in schools for "so long" is because they represent the truth about "Original Intent" that has been in effect since the Constitution was written and ratified. You, Ron Paul, are obviously in no condition to be attempting to inform anyone about the Constitution. 

Physician, educate thyself!

 

Response to Tom Woods here.

General Welfare -- Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute. Scroll down, page 4

Justice Joseph Story's "must read" highly authoritative Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States

Full vid clip of Paul on Fox News Sunday

 My two articles on the 1798 Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen--here and here

 

 

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The video clips were very entertaining. I'm not surprised to see so many people who are clueless about the US Constitution. Ron is so confused that he doesn’t understand the difference between the general welfare of the US and the defense, as described in Article 1. Section 8 (second video clip). If the ‘educated’ and politically driven Paul doesn’t get it, we don’t expect people like “the pretend libertarian” Chris to get it either.
That is a very nice piece. It would go well in a government class.
In the end, you cannot limit sovereignty, only structure political fights over it.
Madison is hard to read, because he started out wanting to abolish the states almost, becausee of the Revolutionary experience, and then changed his mind, maybe for reasons of politcal expediency, and maybe for second thoughts about the implications of what he had constructed, the latter of which was the argument of the anti-Federalists.
As a factual matter, when the Courts try to limit what the Congress does in non-Civil Rights fields, it creates a political backlash, which is fine, because in the end, what mainly limits government is politics, not what they used to call "parchment barriers."
But such a good post, this should be another EP.
Paul is a sideshow act, a barker at the Conservative Theater of the Absurd. He's all for "original intent" as long as the Founders' original intentions aren't put into practice. He's not only ignorant of that intent, he's ignorant of the fact that many of the Founders would have been more than happy to have been called Liberals.

True, Liberal doesn't mean quite the same today as it meant then, but it's for damned sure there's nothing conservative about today's Conservatives. They are, as I have labeled them, Consumatives.
Kanuk, Chris once told me it was obvious the Founders were libertarians -- a semi-popular misconception. To be nice, Ron Paul knows more about the subject than does Chris.

Thanks, Don.
Story's Commentaries goes into this issue in an exhaustive study of the logic and history of its origin. In that he says, as you note, it's a question of politics and the structure of the system. He also notes there are some, like our Ron Paul, who have over-active imaginations and can arrive at bizarre conclusions. He also notes how foolish it would be to tie Congress' hands based on some contemporary ideas about limits that may not apply in other times, which makes ample sense. He also notes, as did the Butler court, that the 1st art1,sec8 clause isn't unlimited. The application of general welfare cannot, for example, intrude upon what are distinctly state prerogatives.
Tom,
The funny thing about "liberal" is the word didn't present until the 1820-30s, in Spain, methinks...I'm going from memory here. However, it means the same now as then, and describes the philosophy of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, et.al. The difference being in the more recent interpretations of the idea of, and applications to, ensure liberty.
The only real change is the use as a pejorative.
"Intellectual conservatism," at least the American version, was entirely contained within liberal philosophy, and in my view was not without merit. The problem is the right wing stole the label and stuck it on a can of crap soup. Funnier still is that, despite the recent Tea Peep labeling, one cannot be a "Conservative Libertarian"-that's like combining oil and water.
Will,
No, it's an interesting fact.
Ron Paul is a blithering idiot and his son is an imbecile, and I mean that literally. Paul, the elder, speaks in complete sentences that make no sense. Paul, the younger, speaks in non sequiturs and sentence fragments that don't seem to be connected anywhere except in his own imagination. Both of these men have achieve a modicum of notoriety through the simple expedient of being against everything except what they think will sell tickets in their cathedrals....and let's not even discuss their devotion to Ayn Rand, who was a Russian Jewish atheist philanderess who practiced a brand of pseudo-economics based on the principle of wishful thinking.

Beyond that, the only thing I could possibly add to your analysis is to point out that the United States is not governed by the Constitution, which is merely a system of rules of order for operating a government. Sorry to say, it's not a divinely inspired document, nor is it the ex cathedral utterances of either God or prophet.

The United States is governed by the Laws of the United States. which are collected in annual volumes and consist of all the laws passed by each session of Congress. These laws are compiled in the United States Code, which IS the governing document of the United States of America.

There are thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of laws in the U.S. Code that codify rules and regulations never imagined by the founders of this country, most of which have never been tested for their Constitutionality because no one has ever challenged the laws.

Once challenged, and upheld by a court of competent jurisdiction, said laws modify the intent of the Constitution. Imagining that the process works the other way around is indicative of an ill-informed or deliberately misconstrued interpretation of the facts.

But that's just me.
By the way, is it true that Mike Wallace considered his son an idiot. I seem to remember a story like that going around CBS. Of course, they didn't spend any time together until Chris was in his teens which, considering Mike's personality, might not have been a bad thing. Must have been interesting, having two fathers, one running CBS News and the other being the star of the brand, next to Uncle Walter, of course.
Glad to have read this article Paul. Ron P perhaps thinks the general welfare clause was an oversight.
Jefferson's position is not "ditto Hamilton"

“The Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient,’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed" - Thomas Jefferson, 1791

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." - Thomas Jefferson, 1798

Salon fails again!
Founders weren't ignorant of the constitution, some of them just violated it right before it was passed. There was also the alien and sedition act that violated the 1st amendment.

Why does this shock you?

Constitution is a document that was the result of the compromise between many people. And even the founders that violated some of the clauses later on, actually knew what the original intent was regarding the clauses they violated. Do you think everyone who accepted and whole document agreed with every single amendment on there?

It is only human to compromise first well knowing what the clause meant and after the whole thing is accepted, work to undermine the clauses that you didn't actually want there to begin with.

Also there is the possibility that maybe some of the founders hadn't even thought about some the clauses and what it meant to be later faced with a situation that relates to a clause. Or that they changed their minds once getting the power of the presidency. Do the phrase "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". Maybe they thought speech shouldn't be regulated in a general sense, but once in power they thought some speech is dangerous so they passed alien and sedition acts.

So the actions of the founders after they accepted the whole document and rose to power, should not be an indication of original intent.

Also there are more questions.

If the "general welfare" is a blank check why the enumerated powers? Why the 9th and the 10th amendments?

Also how is medicare social security, etc is "general"? How is a program that doesn't affect every single person in the nation can be called "general"? All these welfare programs are specific welfare designed to transfer payments from one side of the society to the other. How can this be called "general welfare"?
Good post. How is libertarianism Marxist, though. You say this toward the end. The "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" and centralization of the commanding heights of the economy, along Leninist lines, doesn't seem libertarian to me. I am on the Left, but I am confused by this statement. Please elaborate what you meant by this. Thanks.


On the whole, good post. I never knew about that health insurance act, above. And you're right. The power to fund need not be controlled by the "enumerated powers" section of the Constitution.

Fascinating analysis.

I love Story!
And I agree with Sage Merlin. The US Code has many oppressive rules and laws contained therein that contradict the Constitution, yet they remain in effect because they are too numerous for the aggrieved to (a) know about them (b) know they are unjust, (c) know they are unconstitutional and (d) afford to challenge them.
Hurley,
Yes it is -- that the clause is self-contained.
Jefferson:
"“The 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.”

In other words, not dependent upon the following "enumerated powers."
Nice try.
Hurley,
Yes it is -- that the clause is self-contained.
Jefferson:
"“The 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.”

In other words, not dependent upon the following "enumerated powers." Justice Story quotes Jefferson in his analysis.
Nice try.
Paul would probably argue:

1. There really was no such thing as a completely private merchant marine at the time of this Act. Ships and men employed in private merchant marine service were routinely called upon to support operations of navies all around the world. He would have considered this a defense appropriation.

2. The Constitution also clearly gives the federal government authority over all navigable waters and the activities thereon. Paul routinely votes for appropriations for coastal improvements that he would not vote for at inland sites.
Also, your discussion of the differences between Madison's and Hamilton's views on the general welfare clause highlight the fact that you really can't talk about "the founders' views" of the Constitution.

Most libertarians are pretty upfront about the fact that they consider Hamilton a key historical betrayer of liberty, and that when they talk about "the Constitution" they mean "the Constitution other than as betrayed by Hamilton or Hamilton's little tricks and time bombs".

The very structure of the Constitution demonstrates the stark divisions among the Founders. Had Hamilton's faction gotten its way, the Bill of Rights would not even exist. And certainly the history of our governance since that time would be vastly different in that event.
Zaga,
Nothing shocking there, just history. Same as the Sedition Act of 1918. Sometimes things go very badly based on the politics of the day.
Madison also opined about the seeming uselessness of the 10th amendment -- that it was redundant considering the Constitution implied it already.
“Interference with the power of the States was no constitutional criterion of the power of Congress. If the power was not given, Congress could not exercise it; if given, they might exercise it, although it should interfere with the laws, or even the Constitutions of the States.”
However, we should not assume any part of the Constitution isn't there for a reason, which Story also says applies to the first art 1 sec 8 "general Welfare" clause. That to tie it to the following enumerated powers is the same as saying it wasn't needed to begin with. That is why, in the Butler decision, Justice Roberts refers to Madison's view as making the clause a "tautology."
General Welfare is not a blank check...it has limits, the 10th amendment being one. (see above comment) Why you and Ron Paul throw the 9th in is beyond me.
Even though the 1798 act applied to only sailors, it also provided for the general welfare. In that case, keeping them healthy so the US treasury could maximize revenue from import duties. Soc Sec keeps seniors from being impoverished, Medicare keeps health costs down, being more efficient that private systems, and, like Soc Sec, a majority want it.
Sage,
True enough. Most laws never face constitutional scrutiny. The Constitution informs, and is there for when a law deserves such scrutiny. That, as well as being a governmental blueprint.

Maybe Chris Wallace is like Rand Paul and GW Bush...a generational degradation of genetic attributes.
RWoo,
The linkage is only intended re: the small size of government. Reading back through, I thought about clarifying that, but didn't. It serves as an eye-poke to the right wingers. It is funny, considering the right-wing likes right-libertarianism, because even r-libertarianism retains the left side small gov sentiment.
Notice, though, that as gubbermint "withers," so does the economy and the power of the people.
Story doth kicketh ass, but damn...he sure goes into detail, at great length.
You wrote in your article that: In 1798 the 5th Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," a healthcare plan for privately employed merchant marine sailors. There's no substantial difference between that act and the one that established Medicare -- both being federally administered, payroll tax funded, single payer healthcare insurance plans covering a certain group of citizens.

This shows your lack of understanding of the Constitution. That act fell under the Federal authority to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations. The seamen covered were NOT merchant marines who went from Boston to Portsmouth. They were from those who went Internationally. At the time these foreign sailors were bringing diseases into the country. U.S. citizens did NOT pick up the tab - sailors had to buy their own insurance via the tax levied by Congress. If they chose to end their occupation they would no longer have to pay the tax.
Therefore the Congress was well withing its rights to create such a law because U.S. citizens were picking up the tab of foreign merchant marine health care. Congress passed a law that made the cost of that health care fall upon the merchant marines, NOT the U.S. taxpayer (who was a local taxpayer since we didn't have a Federal income tax back then).
RWNJ,
Yes, it is open to interpretation, but that's because it wasn't intended to be a set rule, freezing considerations into one era.

If we were to banish the main cause of our massive debt it would be the end of the GOP. Something tells me the Constitution wouldn't allow that, sadly. :)
Brian,
The merchant marines were private employees then, as well as now. The difference is that the MM can be called into defense service, but that only after a 1936 (or about that time, going from memory) law authorized drafting them into service during times of war.

Your second point makes no difference as to whether the fed gov can enact a health care insurance/hospitalization law. And that is the point of that segment of this piece.

The fact is the Constitution itself, sans the courts and defense, is a gross violation of libertarian principles. So is the concept of We, the People. Fortunately, America was founded on the vastly superior liberal philosophy, and not the libertarian one that is totally unconcerned with the actual working function of a governmental system. Most of the damage done to the American economy has been through the application of right-libertarian principles. Neo-liberalism is a retread of the same form of classical liberalism that gave us the screwball concept of libertarianism -- to anticipate a possible failing rebuttal.

It is true you can't lump "the founders" into one set of thoughts, but that never stops those posers on the right from doing so.
The author may be quite self-satisfied in his attempt to refute Dr. Paul's contentions, but he is demonstrably wrong in several instances. First of all, the act was not a healthcare or health insurance law, rather care for invalids. This is a common mistake, since so many are prone to accept the expanded definition of health insurance as an all-you-can eat buffet where every service rendered unto the human body is considered "health care" to be covered, but it was more just babysitting for the infirm. Secondly, and more importantly, the "Merchant Marines" were always a quasi-federal branch of the service, expected to serve supply and transport duty in times of war. In a sense, it is almost like the naval equivalent of the modern National Guard. This relationship was formalized in the 1930's with the creation of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but the relationship had existed for well over a century. As pointed out above, the international spread of disease was the justification and source of authority for the federal government creating this program. Consequently, using it as justification for the expansion to include every citizen regardless of occupation or risk to the populace at large is nonsensical, and just the sort of ends-oriented approach used for all federal power grabs.
Simple,
I now understand and the "simple" part of your moniker.

The 1798 healthcare system was later expanded to cover inter-coastal ships, and also traffic along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Perhaps you can explain the battle against diseases a sailor might pick up in Saint Louis and sneeze-out in Natchez?

US citizens DID pick up the tab. The sailors were US citizens.
You show your lack of understanding of a coherent, logical argument. Perhaps you might wish to rethink your assertions and try again.
Quick question about the merchant marines: where they required by law to pay into this system?
Thanks for your ideas. It is obvious that the constitution grants implied powers (a fact that worried many at the convention, including Wilson and Jefferson). It is this very fact that has brought the gradual enlargement of the Federal govt. And where is the line drawn? Where you or I say? Or where some judge says? I would imagine that most of the founders would not agree that today's scope of government is in keeping with their original ideas (not even Hamilton).
The novelty of the Constitution was that it aimed to restrain the natural tendency of the Federal government to encroach on our lives; the founders understood this and knew liberty in society worked better. All of this is in keeping with the classical liberalism espoused by Locke and others (which doesn't, as you suggest, at all resemble the liberalism of today anymore than social security and medicare are "insurance" programs).
If one were to even grant that Congress had such broad powers to provide for the general welfare, the economic theory of classical liberalism shuts the door here, too. It specifically outlines the destruction of capital that occurs as a result of interventionism into the market such that society as a whole becomes poorer. Look where we are headed.
By the way, as a physician I can tell you that bankrupt programs like Medicaid and Medicare have had a huge role in increasing medical costs in this country (look at the cost curves from the 60's onward) and that the VA hospitals bring new meaning to the terms waste and inefficiency (the whole destruction-of-capital thing).
Plague,
Ron Paul's assertion, once you dig down under the flapping and cackling, is that the "general welfare" clause is dependent on the following enumerated powers, and that is the argument history crushes. I only illuminate the facts that debunk Paul's uninformed assertions, citing real authorities on the subject.

Sorry, but the 1798 act was health insurance and care, was not limited to invalids, and also authorized constructing a few hospitals. Further, it was about helping to ensure a steady revenue stream to the treasury, and it applied during times of war or peace. And, as noted above, applied to inter-coastal and river traffic, eventually, and became the Public Health Service, headed by the Surgeon General. The 1798 act was the basis for the Soc Sec act, which was the basis for the Medicare act.

Saying that a healthcare act that applies to sailors, and one that applies to the elderly, somehow excludes one that applies to everyone is absolutely nonsensical. Perhaps you can explain the specific differences, and how the Constitution implies those differences exist?
I ask because you did not, unless you figure what you wrote -- as misinformed as it is -- was somehow about explaining the fundamental difference.
I always am bemused by you people who consider a government of the people to be something separate from the people. It's like you just don't get the concept of people being the sovereign, and our government as being reflective of our wants. That government now more often isn't reflective of the people's interests is because people like you reject the very idea of the system that gives the people power. Once you consider "government" as an enemy, therefore the people--the majority--as the enemy, other entities are happy to fill the void and steal the people's power. In such case you're not for liberty, but are yet another enemy of liberty.
Chew on that for awhile.
Johny,
Technically, no. The law authorized the ship's owner or captain to deduct the cost of the insurance from the sailors, but that doesn't mean they had to, but they did have to pay an equal amount regardless of where they got the money.

It's not hard to imagine they deducted it from the sailor's pay.
Paul J. O'Rourke, first of all - it's well known that Ron Paul has Jeffersonian principles...NOT the principles of Federalist John Adams. His interpretation of the Constitution is somewhat through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson and how he would envision it. Federalist John Adams certainly saw it entirely different which is why good friends became bitter enemies during their campaigns against one another. John Adams ran as a moderate Federalist (but a Federalist nonetheless) with reminiscence of the monarchy. Thomas Jefferson created the Democratic-Republican party specifically because he vehemently disagreed with the Federalist policies and felt it was a true threat to personal freedom and what America was supposed to be.

While the founders discussed a free country before, during, and immediately after the war - a lot of them still honored their old land and the monarchy that stood. This is apparent due to the nature of the relationships around this time and the subsequent split between the forefathers that followed.

Using a 1798 act that Federalist President John Adams had created as evidence that Ron Paul and his Jeffersonian ideology is wrong is outrageous and shows how much you don't really know about history. Former President (also Democratic-Republican) James Madison, "Father of the Constitution", refused to sign a public works bill "for constructing roads and canals" on 3/3/1817 because "it does not appear the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers [of the Constitution]." Not to mention this Act doesn't force all Americans to purchase a private good or service. And the fact that John Adams was the only "elected" Federalist President ever serving only one term while both Democratic-Republicans Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both served two - proves that even the people weren't on board with these Federalist ideas...which is also why the political party collapsed shortly after (only to turn into the Whig party).

Besides, who the hell cares whether what Ron Paul is saying is precisely accurate to something else? Listen to the message itself! It's a great message that works regardless of his reasons why he believes it to be true. Use your head people! Stop dissecting the messenger without understanding the message. It's what got us into this terrible situation in the first place.
ovation,
The line is drawn, in instances where implied powers govern, by representative democracy. Those who seek concrete assurances through wishing the Constitution explained every limit tend to forget that significant aspect of our system.
You might imagine the Founders, any of them, would disagree with the scope of current government, but I think that it's wrong to assume that. I think that, reflecting on how they defined liberty, there would be approval for more intervention as wealth encroaches on the people's sovereignty, and spoils the function of the political and economic system...and weakens America.

Yes, post-Medicare demand did cause prices to rise, but those prices remained in line with other country's costs until the Reagan Revolution. At that point the costs began to rise far above what others have to pay, and that led to the sad fact we pay far more for far less service. Another fact is Medicare insurance is less expensive and more efficient than private, as private duplication of services also serves to jack up costs. Medicare isn't bankrupt, it's under-funded. The true cause of our massive debt is the laughable concept of what is erroneously called Supply-Side economics.

While some refer to "classical liberalism" as any form of the philosophy previous to the 20th century, the form of classical liberalism that became the basis of Libertarianism didn't emerge until the latter 1830s with the ideas of Bastiat, in the main, and Malthus. To clarify the difference, it helps to refer to classical liberalism as that Bastiat-inspired version, and Locke's simply as "liberalism."
This lumping together is what makes libertarians confuse their ideas with the liberal concept that is the basis of our Constitution and Declaration---which isn't libertarian in nature. An examination of the two concepts easily shows the vast difference.
O'Rourke,

"In other words, not dependent upon the following "enumerated powers." Justice Story quotes Jefferson in his analysis.
Nice try."

The quote you provide doesn't match your conclusion of it. The powers enumerated are the only powers congress has. All of these issues about the commerce clause and general welfare clause were discussed and addressed during the debates.

The general welfare clause is not separate, it actually refers back to the Preamble:

"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."

The Federal Government was granted enumerated powers in order to do the above things, e.g., promote the general welfare. It is not a separate power. A constitution, by legal theory alone, cannot grant such a power which would result in unlimited application, as you and this article would suggest, since it would result in a government with no limits at all. Thus, no point in having a constitution at all.

Here is Madison in Federalist 41:

"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."

Hamilton's interpretation, if it is anything like the article suggests, cannot be correct since it contradicts the very nature of a constitution.

Two more quotes by Madison:

"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." - Federalist 45

The powers are "few and Defined" - meaning they are finite and quantified.

Another:

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”

Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792 _Madison_ 1865, I, page 546

The 1931 Supreme court could not have been more ignorant of the general welfare clause.
I admit at first I reacted negatively to this post, but I soon realized it is one of the most brilliant pieces of reflexive satire I have ever seen.

"...nothing sends my heart into polemic palpitation more than being presented with an invalid argument by somebody who punctuates their errors with hand waving histrionics and snorting assertions of their knowledge... Ron Paul goes off into outer space, snorting, flapping, waving his hands and otherwise performing like -- with all due respect -- a braying, uninformed jackass"

At any rate, as far as I can tell, you are not arguing that Ron Paul is incorrect about his analysis of the constitution, but that it's original intent was malformed in 1798 and so we should ignore it.

"...that interpretation was quickly abandoned..."

So, Ron Paul is right, but since we only followed the constitution for 10 years, who cares?

James Madison, Federalist Paper #41
"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 defence 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 defence 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.

Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it; though it would have been difficult to find a reason for so awkward a form of describing an authority to legislate in all possible cases. A power to destroy the freedom of the press, the trial by jury, or even to regulate the course of descents, or the forms of conveyances, must be very singularly expressed by the terms "to raise money for the general welfare."

But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon? If the different parts of the same instrument ought to be so expounded, as to give meaning to every part which will bear it, shall one part of the same sentence be excluded altogether from a share in the meaning; and shall the more doubtful and indefinite terms be retained in their full extent, and the clear and precise expressions be denied any signification whatsoever? For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power? Nothing is more natural or common, than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of 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, which, as we are reduced to the dilemma of charging either on the authors of the objection or on the authors of the Constitution, we must take the liberty of supposing, had not its origin with the latter."
Optimist,
If Ron Paul were strictly "Jeffersonian," then he would embrace Jefferson's (and Hamilton's, and Story's, and the drafting Congress') version of the first art 1, sec 8 clause.
I'll quote Jefferson again:
“The 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.”

Madison, who disagreed, as noted above, as president, was free to veto- or pocket veto- anything he wished. To imply that is evidence the general welfare clause is only to serve the enumerated powers is devoid of reason.

As far as Ron Paul being some friend of liberty, I guess one could say that if they mean in that childish, dysfunctional, dystopian concept of Libertarianism, which is not the system America was founded upon. We've had 30 years of increasingly applied "right-libertarian" principles applied to our economy, and it has trashed our economic infrastructure, depleted our treasury, shipped our jobs away and weakened America almost beyond comprehension or description.
Screw Ron Paul -- he's a jackass and delusional enemy of true liberty. By wishing to diminish government, he's diminishing the power of the people to rule themselves. Libertarianism is a fraud upon liberty.
The majority are the enemy to individual liberty in many cases, which is why the country was founded as a republic rather than a democracy. That's the fundamental misconception so many populists of any political persuasion have. The individual has certain rights, and the government has limited authority, no matter what the wishes of the majority. Saying otherwise implies individuals do not have inalienable rights, rather rights granted by the agreement of the majority. What has happened historically is that the rights of the individual have contracted while the power of the government has grown precisely in response to various populist movements, using the "general welfare" phrase to justify specific welfare.

Here's how you simply test whether something is general or specific welfare: can anyone use it right now no matter what? If anything is means-tested or has any sort of exclusionary provisions, then it is specific welfare. If not, then it is general. So, for instance, roads, bridges and other publicly accessible infrastructure are general, whereas welfare, foodstamps, medicare, social security, etc are specific. Despite 80 years of decisions to the contrary, the constitution gives no authority for federal programs discriminating against its citizens by rewarding some with cash and services while (effectively) making others pay the bills.

Of course, that's the main flaw with the federal system: one federal component (the courts) ultimately decide what the other federal components (executive and legislative) are allowed to do. Since they are on essentially the same team, and the natural tendency for power to accumulate in organizations, that is why the breadth and scope of the federal government has expanded so radically in the last century.

A perfect example of this is using the Adams act as justification for Medicare and current abomination known as the ACA. Of course, that is precisely how power accumulates: through the doling out of trinkets for large voting blocks at the expense of the minority. And thus we have the absurdity that lack of commercial activity is activity, and thus can be regulated by the federal government to compel consumer participation in whatever markets it favors.
zach,
You quote Madison as if he was the sole source of the Constitution, and as if his Federalist Paper writings were the same as the Constitution. Hamilton and Jefferson won that go-around.
So, what follows is a screaming example of GI-GO.
Garbage in- garbage out.
Thanks for that totally irrelevant-to-general welfare-as-Congress decided-when-drafting-the-Constitution addition to the comments.
You are simply--and elaborately, considering length -- wrong.
From O'Rourke:

I'll quote Jefferson again:
“The 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.”

How are you extrapolating that Jefferson agreed that the general welfare clause is separate from this quote? It specifically states that they can't do "anything they please to provide for the general welfare." They are limited to providing for the general welfare through the enumerated powers of the constitution.
O'Rourke:

You completely fabricate your own interpretation of a Jefferson quote, which contradicts the very point of the quote and then claim, "Jefferson is on my side".

Constitutions limit governments, that is a fact. Any of these interpretations of the commerce clause, general welfare clause would imply a government with unlimited powers. Thus, those interpretations are wrong - fact.

Madison is considered by most to be the father of the constitution, so yes, his comments hold weight. But, legal theory alone destroys your point.
Plague,
You say:
"The majority are the enemy to individual liberty in many cases, which is why the country was founded as a republic rather than a democracy."
We are a liberal, constitutional democratic republic.
I'm glad you made that error, as it gives me a chance to champion Madison, with whom I disagree, as did others, on the enumerated powers.
Writing in Federalist 10, Madison describes a republic and a representative democracy as the same. Though there is a difference, that being republic implies public participation but not the exact form of same, representative democracy is the form of our participation. Of course, republic is also a system with a non-monarch, in our case an executive president, but that is irrelevant to the form of representation.

You say:
"The individual has certain rights, and the government has limited authority, no matter what the wishes of the majority. Saying otherwise implies individuals do not have inalienable rights, rather rights granted by the agreement of the majority."

The majority legislates laws that then become "legal rights." This does not diminish those Natural Rights in the Declaration -- life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. You're confusing the two.

You also scramble general welfare with specific welfare, as does Paul. While applied specifically, the effect is general. 1798 law was specific to sailors, but the effect was general, for example.

I'm no fan of the ACA, it should be single payer, same as the 1798 law. However, it's not necessarily unconstitutional, more like politically unwise.
aep,
The abandonment of Madison's interpretation occurred in the drafting Congress, it didn't wait until the 1798 law. The 1798 law just shows Paul's ignorance of history and that general welfare isn't dependent on the following enumerated powers.

The rest of your comment is superfluous, so I'll chalk that up as an attempt at satire, since you can't tell the difference anyway.
"Madison, the "father of the U.S. Constitution", asserted that the "general welfare clause" amounted to no more than a reference to the other powers enumerated in the subsequent clauses of the same section". Hamilton, on the other hand, was responsible for the first central bank in the U.S., which clearly calls into question Hamilton's capacity for judgement, and also illustrates his lack of desire to adhere to the intentions of the U.S. Constitution. And, as posted by another person on here:

“The Constitution allows only the means which are ‘necessary,’ not those which are merely ‘convenient,’ for effecting the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of construction be allowed to this phrase as to give any non-enumerated power, it will go to every one, for there is not one which ingenuity may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so long a list of enumerated powers. It would swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce the whole to one power, as before observed" - Thomas Jefferson, 1791

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." - Thomas Jefferson, 1798

There are an abundance of other historical facts that can be brought up that clearly and thoroughly obliterate the "case" you are trying to make against Ron Paul in this atrocity of an article. I was going to say "nice try", but it clearly wasn't.
zach,
You must be a masochist, enjoying presenting flawed rebuttals, being beaten down, and returning for another.

As noted above, even Jefferson and Hamilton and Story and the drafting Congress' interpretation did not say the clause granted unlimited powers. Even Jefferson's quote doesn't imply unlimited powers. He says that both sides of that clause limit each other, but that it isn't dependent upon the following enumerated powers.

I have some cogent rebuttals available for sale. If you want a price list, message me.
Paul J. O'Rourke, with all due respect I believe you are taking that quote out of context for your own benefit. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Branch Giles in 1825 wrote "Aided by a little sophistry on the words 'general welfare, [the federal branch claim] 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." - this explains, clear as day, how Jefferson actually felt about "general welfare" in the Constitution. The quote you have recycled many times for your own benefit is from his (Jefferson's) opinions on the National Bank specifically.

In fact, here is the rest of that quote that you are leaving out where he explains EXACTLY what he means:

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. 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 power completely useless. It 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 be also a power to do whatever evil they please... Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect."

He also wrote this in the Draft of the Kentucky Resolutions the same year of your John Adams Act was put in place:

"The construction applied... to those parts of the Constitution of the United States which delegate to Congress a power "to lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States," and "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof," goes to the destruction of all limits prescribed to [the General Government's] power by the Constitution... Words meant by the instrument to be subsidiary only to the execution of limited powers ought not to be construed as themselves to give unlimited powers, nor a part to be so taken as to destroy the whole residue of that instrument."

Jefferson has stated his opinion of this part of the Constitution SEVERAL times...it's no secret. You can't take one small blip out of context and label him entirely for it. That in itself is ridiculous but also may help explain how you derive at your philosophies to begin with.

You then go on to rip apart Libertarian ideology claiming that it's because it has been applied without specifically saying which ones and how many. And it's common sense that you can't take snippets and crumbs of an ideology and implement them in a currently failed and entirely opposite ideology in place and blame an entire Libertarian ideology that DOESN'T include the current corrupt and failed ideology in place - and blame the entire thing. That's absolutely preposterous. And THAT goes against reason.

It seems that you have a lack of understanding the principles overall and base your opinions on nonsense and confirmation bias.

The evidence continues to pour out in you calling Ron Paul a "jackass" and "delusional enemy of true liberty" when in fact it is you who is incredibly delusional and a threat to logic and reason.
Ron Paul fan,
As noted, exhaustively above, the general welfare clause is not a grant of unlimited power. Even Jefferson's now oft quoted analysis doesn't imply that. FYI, the 1st clause is also an "enumerated power," the difference/distinction comes with interpreting it as subservient to the following enumerated powers, so to address that point, the distinction is applied.

Ron Paul clearly doesn't know what he's talking about, and that was the point, and it remains the point and remains clear. I understand your love affair, but your hero was wrong.
optimist,
You're plowing over already plowed ground, and again assuming that even Jefferson and others say the general welfare clause implies unlimited powers. It does not, I don't say it does, nor did Jefferson, et.al. (see above listing).
I recall those Baby Huey cartoons where he took some time to understand he was wrong in his thinking, but, superior to your abilities, he figured it out, all within the 5 minute length of the cartoon.
If we can elevate your thinking to a par with Huey's, we'll be on the way to assisting your ability to understand what should be obvious to most.
Time for a break, be back later.
A quick PS--
The point Paul misses is the general welfare clause is self-contained, and not dependent upon the following enumerations.
The limits are where a general welfare law might bump up against other considerations...
AND,,,
That the fact that elected representative vote on it, and in turn are voted on for office ALSO is a limiting factor---one that the paranoids tend to overlook, which is funny, considering that is the cornerstone of our We, the People system.

Please try to limit your comments to the issues addressed in the piece, and not the kitchen sink and your ancestor's doll collection.

Okay, now I'm taking a break.
Paul J. O'Rouke: 1
Straw Man: 0

What exactly were you implying? In your article you're insinuating (without any facts mind you) that Jefferson and Madison (extreme anti-Federalists) were siding with their arch-nemesis, Hamilton (extreme Federalist) and John Adams (moderate Federalist), whom also both hated each other (Hamilton and Adams) which, without any facts, defies any and all logic. How would such a group of opposing people all agree on a "Medicare" type Act being passed amidst the very peek of timing when they all collectively hated each other (with the exception of Jefferson and Madison)? These are the very things (along with the other unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts) that caused Jefferson and Madison to create the Democratic-Republican party to begin with. But I'm sure you'll claim that both Jefferson and Madison were in favor of that too somehow?

Your evidence is this blip of a quote taken out of context that you continue to throw around aimlessly. I add to the quote of what he meant exactly, you become confused, and respond ad hominem as a result due to your lack of factual support.

You can chuckle and throw unnecessary jokes around all you want but it doesn't mean that you're not wrong. It just means you're running out of professional and logical material to talk about and you're reaching for any semblance of saving face. Besides, you also continue to ignore everything else in my writings and find the one particular thing you think you can continue to discuss.

Then again, you're calling Ron Paul a "jackass" for no reason as well...so I guess these are the things you resort to when somebody threatens your delusional ideologies, right? Otherwise, why not just ignore him and the rest of us? What's the point?
As noted, exhaustively above, the general welfare clause is not a grant of unlimited power.

Exactly, which makes its use to justify any and all powers very curious. Mandatory participation in commercial activity is just such a stretch, whether that be purchasing health insurance, a new car, or an iPad. The current law makes it illegal not to do so, with penalties assessed for failure to comply. This is done by a combination of appealing to the commerce clause, which is curious since health insurance is a product that isn't sold across state lines, as well as the power to tax. However, a tax isn't what is assessed in the ACA, rather a civil penalty for failure to comply. It may be collected by the IRS, which is mostly for convenience since the penalty is proportional to income, but that does not change the nature of it.
Maybe the esteemed Mr O'Rourke can explain what James Madison meant when he said this in Federalist #41:

"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…. Had no other enumeration or definition of the powers of the Congress been found in the Constitution, than the general expressions just cited, the authors of the objection might have had some color for it…. But what color can the objection have, when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?"

What's the point of enumerating the powers of Congress at all if the "general welfare" clause provides unlimited power? What you allude to makes no sense at all Mr O'Rourke.

BTW - Why is it that frothing at the mouth liberals like yourself can not engage in debate without the ad hominem attacks? Do you think it helps your argument when you lace your arguments with invective? Grow up, P.J.
Optimist,
Speaking of strawmen, and more specifically, non sequiturs, the fact that Adams was a Federalist and Jefferson wasn't has absolutely zero connection to this issue. Madison, like the Federalists, also did not think a Bill of Rights was needed. However, he became the Father of the BoR in spite of that. Under your almost criminally obtuse thinking, that would have been impossible.

The evidence is contained in both Hamilton and Jefferson's interpretation of the clause, as well as Justice Story's Commentaries, where he details the debate, the committee suggestions, and the final language of the 1st art 1, sec 8 clause.

Perhaps if you would read the history instead of trying to divine it, we could save some time.

The joking is because YOU have run out of logical rebuttals, which isn't surprising because you didn't have any to begin with, and still don't.

I merely compare Paul to a braying jackass, and then only in reference to his attempt to persuade by waving his hands and barking like a fish-begging seal (mixing metaphors can be fun)-- instead of providing some sort of historical argument to buttress his assertions. I can see why the barking, as the facts don't fall in his favor.

I wouldn't literally describe him as a jackass, as it's obvious he doesn't have the strength or genetic attributes to haul a big stack of firewood on his back or pull a cart full of manure. He does, though, obviously, have the tendency and ability to spread manure, so let's give him his deserved props.

The issue is "is Ron Paul correct in his assessment of art 1, sec 8 factually correct?" The answer is no, he isn't. Your off-topic, historically and authoritatively absent replies are imminently ignorable, as they do nothing to offset the literal facts of history.

Perhaps you think tossing around terms like "strawman" is axiomatic. On planet Earth, and in a true logical construct, you are required to prove your point, not bark like a fish-begging seal. I have no fish for mere barking, so you'll have to make logical sense, address the point, and prevail against all odds before a Cod-ify your argument.

That your argument fails to effectively challenge the history you obviously have not examined is...the point. Maybe when the volume of words becomes the equivalent of an authoritative response, you'll be recognized as a genius.
Until then....your fish is starting to decompose, so you had best hurry up and supply that history-debunking rebuttal. I wouldn't want you to...seal...your own ill fate.
Optimist,
Speaking of strawmen, and more specifically, non sequiturs, the fact that Adams was a Federalist and Jefferson wasn't has absolutely zero connection to this issue. Madison, like the Federalists, also did not think a Bill of Rights was needed. However, he became the Father of the BoR in spite of that. Under your almost criminally obtuse thinking, that would have been impossible.

The evidence is contained in both Hamilton and Jefferson's interpretation of the clause, as well as Justice Story's Commentaries, where he details the debate, the committee suggestions, and the final language of the 1st art 1, sec 8 clause.

Perhaps if you would read the history instead of trying to divine it, we could save some time.

The joking is because YOU have run out of logical rebuttals, which isn't surprising because you didn't have any to begin with, and still don't.

I merely compare Paul to a braying jackass, and then only in reference to his attempt to persuade by waving his hands and barking like a fish-begging seal (mixing metaphors can be fun)-- instead of providing some sort of historical argument to buttress his assertions. I can see why the barking, as the facts don't fall in his favor.

I wouldn't literally describe him as a jackass, as it's obvious he doesn't have the strength or genetic attributes to haul a big stack of firewood on his back or pull a cart full of manure. He does, though, obviously, have the tendency and ability to spread manure, so let's give him his deserved props.

The issue is "is Ron Paul correct in his assessment of art 1, sec 8 ?" The answer is no, he isn't. Your off-topic, historically and authoritatively absent replies are imminently ignorable, as they do nothing to offset the literal facts of history.

Perhaps you think tossing around terms like "strawman" is axiomatic. On planet Earth, and in a true logical construct, you are required to prove your point, not bark like a fish-begging seal. I have no fish for mere barking, so you'll have to make logical sense, address the point, and prevail against all odds before I Cod-ify your argument.

That your argument fails to effectively challenge the history you obviously have not examined is...the point. Maybe when the volume of words becomes the equivalent of an authoritative response, you'll be recognized as a genius.
Until then....your fish is starting to decompose, so you had best hurry up and supply that history-debunking rebuttal. I wouldn't want you to...seal...your own ill fate.
Plague,
Actually, the courts have recognized that, through years of usage, a tax and a penalty are legally the same. Where Vinson, in his ruling on ACA manages to bridge that is by insisting the uniqueness of the individual mandate allows him to revert to older interpretation. Specious, but he's the judge, so he gets to see it his way.

This repeated blather about the general welfare clause being used to justify anything is getting beyond old. Nobody but you failed arguers say that. Buy a bowel, guys. Quit bleating a dead course. The fact isn't it allows unlimited powers the fact is it's SELF CONTAINED AND NOT SUBSERVIENT TO THE FOLLOWING ENUMERATIONS. There. Now you guys with poor vision can get the point, if that's your problem.
"Screw Ron Paul -- he's a jackass and delusional enemy of true liberty. By wishing to diminish government, he's diminishing the power of the people to rule themselves. Libertarianism is a fraud upon liberty." - P.J O'Rourke

Another comment that makes no sense. By limiting the power of government, Ron Paul wants to limit the incentive that special interests have to lobby government for special favors at the public's expense. For example, Pakistan lobbies our government for foreign aid now. A foreign entity lobbying for US taxpayer dollars! Ron Paul would eliminate all foreign aid and guess what? The Pakistani lobbyists would go home. Do you have trouble understanding that concept?

How is it that you suppose bigger government is in the interests of the people? The federal government takes from hard working American families and hands out the cash to international banks, foreign dictators, starts illegal wars and is basically a giant wealth extraction tool which takes money from honest hard working Americans and funnels it into the pockets of the special interests.

You know who is a real jack-ass and a delusional enemy of liberty? Your buddy Obama. This is the delusional twit that thinks he deserves a "Nobel Peace Prize" for bombing the living daylights out of the Pakis with unmanned drones. He is the delusional fool that thinks government sponsored student loans are helping educate Americans when all they have done is created a student loan bubble and driven up the cost of education. He is the delusional fool and liar that has done nothing to stop the wars. He is a delusional fool that has said nothing about the destructive war on drugs. He's basically George W Bush II and delusional liberals like yourself continue to support him.

Only a delusional, ideological fool does not see that it is free markets that create wealth and prosperity because they unleash the creative human spirit and market competition breeds excellence and pride.

Why don't you just go have a clambake with your buddy Bill Maher.
Paul J. O'Rourke,

9th Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

10th Amendment: "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."

What would be the point of these two Amendments in the Bill of Rights, if your delusional version of what is said in Article 1 Section 8 is to be true?

And the fact that you try to compare Libertarianism to "Marxism" (again, without explaining it - that seems to be your pattern) gives us a good idea as to how little you know about the idealogy in general which automatically eliminates your outrageous opinions from having any merit whatsoever.

You constantly bring up Hamilton to some how back up your crazy theories clearly not understanding that Hamilton was for a mercantilist monarchy and an enemy of nearly everyone but George Washington whom he constantly manipulated. The irony of the whole story is how beloved Thomas Jefferson is thought about these days and how Alexander Hamilton is nearly ignored - while Jefferson's philosophies are ignored and laughed about (by indoctrinated drones like yourself) and Hamilton's philosophies have taken over the world entirely.

I still don't understand the whole point of wasting all of your time for all this though. If you don't agree with Ron Paul and feel that he's wrong and want to continue misunderstanding history and economics in favor of keeping a stubborn stance than can't you do that without wasting all of your time on some ad hoc hypothesis of yours based on selective thinking and subjective validation.
Miguel,
Perhaps you have missed the point, which seems to be a developing trend here. Madison had HIS opinion. Hamilton, Jefferson, the drafting Congress had theirs. Madison's opinion did not carry the day, and was rejected.

I do not participate in ad hominem attacks. To be ad hominem, my sole argument would have to be based on insults. I factually debunk Ron Paul, and now others, and THEN posit some artful ridicule. That's not ad hominem, that's just having some fun.
If somebody could present an argument that debunks the factual history of art 1, sec 8, then I would attempt a response, and even surrender. However, because the authoritative facts are solidly behind my presentation of...the authoritative facts, I needn't worry. Absent worry, I can have some fun. You wouldn't want to deny my 1st amendment right, would you?
I appreciate your attempt to cry your way into a rebuttal, but your tears don't affect me in the least.
Thanks for dropping by.
Paul J. O'Rourke, your "evidence" for claiming Ron Paul was wrong was citing Article 1, Section 8 and then pointing to an Act that Federalist John Adams put into place claiming basically everybody on earth was in favor of it without any evidence. I explain how the founding father's believed one way at the time of their Declaration and soon split after the war - say that Thomas Jefferson stuck by his original philosophies while some others veered off track, say that Ron Paul is more Jeffersonian than neo-Federalist where John Adam's nor Hamilton's explanations (whom Jefferson disagreed with on many points) are great examples, I toss out actual evidence from Thomas Jefferson himself which backs up the point I'm trying to get across. You come back and claim that you agree or something and then start tossing insults around for no reason. I reply with more factual information and you ignore it once again, deciding instead to argue over semantics and more insignificant and irrelevant grammatical type errors or whatever and then come to the conclusion that because you don't agree with my assessment backed up by facts, personally, you've decided to pretend and misunderstand everything and disregard it entirely while throwing around more insults in the process.

I don't get it. What's the point of all of this in the first place? You still haven't answered that simple question. Hopefully you can find a missing comma in here you can banter on about so you, again, don't have to answer it haha
Yes, Miguel,
By limiting government---which, to people who believe in our system is the same as saying limit the people's power -- it will magically delete the power of wealth to manipulate liberty. By deregulating markets, as we did in the latter 90s and after, the markets will adequately police themselves. Want to tell everybody how that worked out? I mean, if you can afford to.

Of course, the superhero, Captain Competition will burst through the power of wealth and save as all from oligarchy.
What a crock!

Libertarianism is, among other things, globalist in nature, and has no inherent American interest. By allowing everyone and all entities the "same" liberty, you revert to a state of nature, might-makes-right scenario. The assumption that wealth rule can be controlled by ignoring its influence throughout the entire scope of history is nothing short of delusional and Utopian.

I realize I'm probably wasting time here, as you most likely are, as most libertarians, unaware of what the ideology-parading-as-philosophy implies. Generally speaking, most libertarians are simple-minded, gubbermint-hating, slogan-chanting, obtuse wannabes. Something tells me your knowledge is inadequate to addressing the aspects of liberty in a knowledgeable manner.

Before I continue bashing the fraud of libertarianism, show me you actually know something about it, and aren't just spitting your peas onto the highchair tray.

Perhaps you're way out of your league? Dare us not think so!

By the way, that's not ad hominem, that's snark.
An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen, does not specifically state whether it falls under General Welfare or Commerce Clause. I think it is should be read to fall under the Commerce Clause.
There are three current views of the Commerce Clause in todays Supreme Court. The liberal view is that anything that could conceivably effect the economy is covered under the Commerce Clause. The standard conservative view expressed by Scalia and by Rehnquist (when he was CJ) is that the Commerce Clause only covers that which has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. This is much narrower than the liberal view but it basically covers things like agriculture, manufacturing and stuff related to commerce. The most narrow view is held by Justice Thomas, alone. He limits the Commerce Clause to basically two things: actual Commerce between states, not agriculture or manufacturing which occurs before commerce and within a single state. The other thing that Thomas recognizes as covered by the CC is the transport and means of transport between states. He uses the usual originalist research method to come to this conclusion. 18th century dictionaries included the means of transport under the definition of "commerce."
If the founding fathers wanted to justify this law under the constitution they would have done so under the Commerce Clause. Ports and Harbors were essential to interstate and international travel. Building hospitals at ports and harbors and caring for sick seamen helps make commerce between the states safer and more efficient. The law taxes sailors and seamen and spends the money at or near the ports. It is not a "general" welfare law. It is a specific welfare law that helps a small number of people whose health is very important for interstate and international commerce.
I think if such a law were before the court today all 9 justices would have no problem allowing it under the Commerce Clause. None would look to the General Welfare clause for justification.
The lawyers on both sides of the Obamacare cases argue that the modern health care law is (or is not) justified under Commerce not General Welfare. But the modern law doesn't have the link to commerce that An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen did.
Paul is right. The founding fathers would not have passed Medicare or Obamacare because they believed in a limited federal government. If they debated the justification for An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen, they would have done so under commerce not general welfare.
Mr. O'Rourke,

It's interesting to see how you and many enthusiastic posters are trying to argue the point. I fall on the side of Ron Paul, but I'm not going to argue the Constitutionality of it all.

However, I will make this point: If we all assume you are correct, then how in hell does a deficit and 14+ trillion dollar debt promote "general welfare".

The problem comes directly from the abuse of the "general welfare" statement. Our federal government better figure out a way to curb the spending or we will all be in deep trouble.

Have a fantastic day!!!
Mr. O'Rourke is all wet.

"Our tenet ever was that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money. "
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

"They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It 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 sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."
--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Albert Gallatin, 1817

"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, February 15, 1791

"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...."
-- James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792

"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. If the words obtained so readily a place in the Articles of Confederation, and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted.
--James Madison, letter to James Robertson

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-- James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)

"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."
-- James Madison, Federal No. 45, January 26, 1788
I've been transported to the times of goatherds and slaves...
As one person has already noted below, the congress also passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 98, both of which were clearly unconstitutional. The one gave the president unilatarel power to expel non-citizens without any due process, but on his say-so alone, the other made certain forms of speech illegal despite the unequivocal protection of speecha and press. To rely on post ratification actions by certain founders proves nothing, it is their statements prior to ratification and the understanding of those who ratified the US constitution. Patrick Henry for example argued that "general welfare" could be used as you argue, and the response was to assure him this was not the case. So you argue from common practice and use actions that are contrary to what was presented pre-ratification to support violations as proving they were valid actions.

As for "general welfare", it is the general welfare of the United States, not the people of the United States. Seeing that the US constitution uses United States, the several states and the people disitnctly and not synonomously it takes imagination or dishonesty to claim that general welfare was to be used on behalf of individuals. It also ignores the common practice drafting legal documents of the day when granting power of attorney (such as was done through the US constitution) to include limiting clauses. This is what was done to the TAXING power, a limiting clause was provided to provide a protection against fiduciary abuse. It is actually absurd to argue that the General Welfare and Common Defense clause was actually a grant of power, else the taxing power itself would have been unnecessary, as would have all the enumerated powers below. There simply would have been no need to say that the congress had power to provide and maintain a navy if common defense already covered it. Same for general welfare, there would have been no need to give a power for post roads and offices if general welfare already covered it.

In short sir, you are either highly confused, or attempting to purposely mislead people.
By limiting government---which, to people who believe in our system is the same as saying limit the people's power

Precisely what the intention was, to limit the coercive power of the government and the mob, no matter how large. This is precisely why the country was founded as a republic and not a democracy. The mechanism of choosing the government was made democratic, but note that is an adjective describing the noun. This has been subverted over the years as witnessed by the contraction of individual rights accompanied by the perverse increase in responsibility in providing for the government's coffers, all based on various populist movements. Income tax amendment (we'll only tax "the rich"!), Social Security, Medicare, and all the other trappings of the welfare state. This works because the mob wants bread whether they baked it or not, and statist cheerleaders like Mr. O'Rourke, defending the most disingenuous twisting of words, provides the circus.
P.J. says:

"The assumption that wealth rule can be controlled by ignoring its influence throughout the entire scope of history is nothing short of delusional and Utopian."

What's really delusion, P.J., is you.

Here is a list of the top donors to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign:

University of California
Goldman Sachs
Harvard University
Microsoft Corp
Google Inc
Citigroup Inc
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Time Warner
Sidley Austin LLP
Stanford University
National Amusements Inc
UBS AG
Wilmerhale Llp
Skadden, Arps et al
IBM Corp
Columbia University
Morgan Stanley
General Electric
US Government
Latham & Watkins

That's just a picture of middle America, isn't it?

I suppose that P.J. believes those Goldman Sachs execs gave Obama the big bucks in the hope that he would institute laissez-faire, free market capitalism, and not because they wanted him to fleece the middle class by socializing the losses incurred by their mistakes.

I will ask P.J. the same questions I ask every hysterical ignoramus who claims that libertarianism would allow corporations to run roughshod over people. First, have you looked out the window lately? It's already raining! Second, why don't the corporate and financial bigwigs bankroll Ron Paul's candidacy? Why does the corporate media try its best to marginalize him?
Optimist,
The 9th doesn't apply, at least until you have a 9th amendment case as reference.
The 10th could apply, if a general welfare law intruded upon a state prerogative, as I mention above, and if you had read through the comments.
Again, despite your childish assertions, my factual display of the intent of the 1st clause of art 1, sec 8 is not delusional, it's factual. It is so factual that nothing you can say can defeat the fact that it is a fact. Therefore we can assume you're just a excitable but knowledgeably absent kvetch, full of angst but lacking the ability to deal with reality.

Libertarianism resembles Marxism because both hold extreme leftist interpretations about the size and scope of government. Libertarians want to legislate away the Constitution...and don't say otherwise, as the what the Constitution implies and prescribes far exceeds what libertarianism allows...Marxists would do the same, as Engels would have it-- the state "withers away."

The irony is that power cannot be diminished by taking it out of the people's hands. It will find its way to somebody's hands, and they will be the ones who rule. Libertarianism is an open invitation to wealth rule, which is why the Koch bros throw so much money at the cluckheads at Cato.
The big money could give a crap about the left side of libertarianism--who cares if you can sit on your porch smoking dope and watching porn when the big money owns your ass?

Furthering the valid comparison with the communist economic system, libertarianism allows for the impoverishment of the many for the benefit of the few. I guess that, effectively, the only difference is what you choose to call it, and the fact the commies might have frowned upon smoking dope and watching porn.

You can pull quotes out all day long, and they may well be "facts." the problem is those facts cannot defeat the fact about the original intent of said article at issue. They are just irrelevant facts, and if you had the grey matter chops to grasp why that is true, you wouldn't be wasting my time or yours.

I link to Story's Commentaries above. Quit the kvetching, click the link, read the history and submit to a higher authority. You were wrong, you continue to be wrong, and as I see a trend developing, you will probably be wrong in the future.

Suck it in and educate yourself...you can't argue worth a crap anyway.
"I factually debunk Ron Paul, and now others, and THEN posit some artful ridicule."

Incorrect. What you do is post invalid pieces of opinion, irrelevant pieces of information, invalid pieces of information, and then construct the brunt of your argument on ad-hominem attacks and an insistence on your correctness. You're like a 6-year old child kicking and screaming to win an argument -- the validiy of the ideas there within are irrelevant to your thinking.


The most fascinating part of all of this is the viewing of your extraordinary arrogance combined with your extraordinary lack of intellect. The delusion is extreme, and the greater your arrogance the necessarily greater the delusion becomes.

You are absolutely hilarious and I enjoy your writing for reasons you do not intend.


"You wouldn't want to deny my 1st amendment right, would you?"

Absolutely disgusting display of logical inability and a total lack of comprehension of your opposition's argument. If anybody wants you to shut-up because you're stupidity is painful to witness, such a desire has nothing whatsoever inherently to do with your first amendment's rights. I, for one, encourage you to keep posting as loudly and often as possible for the mere entertainment value of witnessing an oblivious idiot attempt to think critically.

If you're going to try to use someone's argument against them, you'll need to actually understand the argument in the first place. Because the latter is impossible in your case, avoid the former altogether.


"By limiting government---which, to people who believe in our system is the same as saying limit the people's power"

Incredible idiocy and a total display of logical inability, yet again. Limiting government limits the power of the elite, the wealthy, and it also limits the unjust power of the majority and protects the rights of the minority.

Limiting the free market, however, where companies are directly and constantly accountable to the people and always subject to the possibility of failure, and where the people directly determine who does and does not succeed by choosing who to support and who not to, limits the power of the people. The free market maintains the same rights and liberties for everyone involved while allowing the people control over the ultimate direction and circumstance.


"By deregulating markets, as we did in the latter 90s and after, the markets will adequately police themselves. Want to tell everybody how that worked out? I mean, if you can afford to."

To be fair, this is nothing more than the blog article of a man gone senile and insane, yet I can't help but still be taken aback when I read an idea here so irrational. Deregulation of the markets did not cause the problem. Government intervention in the market in the first place using the federal reserve (if you even think about trying to respond to this using the moronic idea that the federal reserve is an equivalent sort of corporation to any other, do the world a favor and simply kill yourself before you start) is what allowed the fiscal crisis to actually occur. The federal reserve was necessary to purchase subprime bonds as private investors were not willing to do so knowing the risk involved and the difficulty in determining their value. An inherent aspect of the free market is risk in decision-making, causing business and corporations to be naturally penalized for bad decisions. When corporations are aligned with the government and exempt from certain free market forces, we're no longer dealing with a free market. The government granting a "get out of jail free" card to corporations allowing them to make bad decisions is only "deregulation" in the sense that it releases them from free market forces that would penalize them. In essence, it is government intervention in the free market that is responsible for the fiscal crisis, not "deregulation" in the sense of governemnt dis-involvement.


"Libertarianism is, among other things, globalist in nature, and has no inherent American interest. By allowing everyone and all entities the "same" liberty, you revert to a state of nature, might-makes-right scenario."

Over and over again, you demonstrate incomplete thinking and no ability to understand the implications of an argument (including your own). Libertarianism supports equality in terms of liberty as well as in terms of rights, meaning it supports a system of inalienable rights of which no "might" can ever rightly infringe upon. In fact, the entire system of rule that you've implied has your own support is nothing more than a "might makes right" system. When you say "power to the people", you mean "power to the majority". When you negatively describe limiting the government as limiting the power of people, you show that you view "the people" as nothing more than the majority and that they are righteously entitled to the ability to use the government to enforce their views or decisions on the minority. You, in fact, are the only side arguing in favor of a "might makes right" system.
http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_j_orourke/2011/05/17/ron_paul_says_founders_ignorant_of_constitution

1798? Wasn't that the same year Congress passed the Alien and Sedition act, considered by civil libertarians to be the two worst pieces of legislation until the Patriot Act? 1931? Wasn't that in the midst of Hoover's depression, which lasted through his presidency because Hoover increased spending, raised taxes, intiated economic stimulus programs, actions FDR attacked and campaigned to end.

Certainly, the founders were classic liberals. Classic liberalism is now called libertarianism, because FDR, who betrayed every promise in the 1932 Democratic platform, dirtied the word by applying to his fascist central planning.

Yes, Ron Paul hates liberals. That's why he never works with Barney Frank, Dennis Kucinich, Marcy Kaptur and Bernie Sanders.
Maybe you should read your colleague, Glen Greenwald.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/05/28/crazy/
You're a bright guy, P.J. I'm sure you'll get it right, eventually.
purple,
I hope you don't mind if I call you an idiot, as I mean it in the original, Athenian sense of not being mentally competent enough to participate in a democratic system.

The drafting Congress, not the 5th Congress, are the ones who decided the original intent of said article. The 5th Congress did pass the alien and sedition acts, but as even the most obtuse baboon would know, that means nothing to the validity of the 1798 h-care act. As soon as you evolve, ask one.

Jefferson and the anti-federalists abolished the A&S acts, but did not do the same to the h-care law. In fact, Jefferson participated in it, administering and funding it.

You say (and sensible people laugh at)
"As for "general welfare", it is the general welfare of the United States, not the people of the United States."
That is idiotic, confirming my above assessment. Contact the mothership.

Your argument isn't with me, but if it was I'd revel in the fact it's such a weak and obtuse argument. Your argument is with the Congress that crafted and drafted and voted upon and offered for successful ratification-- the US Constitution.

Like I have said before, click the Story link, educate yourself, and quit wasting my time. That said, have you a banana I might borrow? Did you write your comment with your prehensile tail?

You make no sense, have no knowledge of the issue and are a total waste of pixels.
"Libertarianism resembles Marxism because both hold extreme leftist interpretations about the size and scope of government. Libertarians want to legislate away the Constitution...and don't say otherwise, as the what the Constitution implies and prescribes far exceeds what libertarianism allows...Marxists would do the same, as Engels would have it-- the state "withers away."

Extraordinary idiocy, yet again. So often, in fact, does the previous sentence describe your thoughts that I'll likely just start using that as a sort of watermark for your statements.

Marxism and libertarianism are in extreme contrast to one another and are, in large parts, completely opposite ideologies. To form your argument, you're using the idea of a constitution independently of the ideas OF that constitution. As usual, a total logical block occurring at even the most trivial level of complexity. The founding principles of libertarianism are in inalienable rights for every human being and in the righteous use of government for the sake of protecting those rights. The founding principles of Marxism are in a government so large that it determines individual need, the distribution of wealth, the allowed lifestyles and professions of the populace, and the allowed personal uses there within of one's property (of which nobody has in the first place, as property ultimately belongs to the government).

Let us suppose, for the sake of your own moronic argument, that libertarians wanted to do away with the constitution as it currently stands and Marxists wanted to do away with the constitution as it currently stands. Libertarians would want to do so in order to limit the power of the state and the majority and to restore power to every individual and ensure that individual rights are upheld and protected. Marxists would want to do so in order to increase the power of the state and do away with any protection of individual rights. Were they linked by such a desire to do away the constitution as it currently stands, their wishes to do so would be with completely opposite intent and for completely opposite reasons.

Is this too complex for you, in spite of how clearly I've laid it out?
Dither,
You comment makes zero sense, has nothing to do with the issue, and ass/u/mes, as water-headed ideologues do, that by disagreeing with Ron Paul's, and yours, erroneous version of said article and the fraud of libertarianism I must represent all you are against.

If Ron Paul had a chance at being president, the money would flow like water. Don't kid yourself. Oops, too late for that.

I think AOL has a kid's political chat, log in there and show them you have what it takes.
Paul,

In regards to your responses to Optimus, purple, and Dither, you said absolutely nothing at all.

You did, however, communicate your own total inability to understand their argument, total inability to argue your own point, and total lack of the intellectual capability necessary to discuss this issue.

You're literally of a simian level of intelligence. By technicality, I'm not sure that anyone discussing the issue of what the "people" are or are not entitled to, or should or should not be permitted to do, are ever putting forth an argument at all relevant to you. Had you any interest whatsoever in your own security or freedoms, you'd need to be arguing in favor of animal rights.
Robert,
You say:
"Certainly, the founders were classic liberals. Classic liberalism is now called libertarianism, because FDR, who betrayed every promise in the 1932 Democratic platform, dirtied the word by applying to his fascist central planning."

You are wrong. Google up Bastiat, whose ideas are the seed of Libertarianism. Bastiat was a baby when Jefferson was in his first year as president. So, unless Jefferson was changing Bastiat's diaper, and got peed on, there is ZERO linkage between Bastiat and the Founders, and therefore libertarianism. Like I said, the ideas that became libertarianism didn't show up in America until post 1837, with Bastiat's ideas.

You'll like Bastiat, he's the guy who coined the water-headed libertarian's favorite word: statist.
Jerry,
Commerce clause, general welfare. Take your pick, for what it's worth, as either way those founders saw as permissible the establishment of a h-care system, thus rendering Paul wrong on either account.

"Limited government" refers to the limits we, the people place upon each other as to intrusions upon liberty. It has nothing to do with the size of government.
"If Ron Paul had a chance at being president, the money would flow like water. Don't kid yourself. Oops, too late for that."

Methinks P.J. confuses cause with effect. In the fantasy world of P.J.'s Playhouse, the unreformed chimpanzee George W. Bush reached the highest political office in the world on the merits of his intellect, ideas, accomplishments and character, and not because he had the backing of the power elite.
Paul,

I got a great idea for you. Why don't you cut the bullshit and get down to the meat of the issue?

Let's suppose, hypothetically and for the mere sake of allowing you to understand your own position better by deconstruction, we discovered a document that, beyond reasonable doubt, proved that the founders agreed with libertarian ideology and that the modern leftist interpretation of the Constitution's enumerated powers was completely and utterly incorrect.

How would your ideology change?
""Limited government" refers to the limits we, the people place upon each other as to intrusions upon liberty. It has nothing to do with the size of government."

And the government, holding the monopoly on violence as the tool of the people, is what must be "limited" in order to prevent the "people" from intrusions upon liberty. Limiting the ability of the people to intrude upon liberty occurs, in large party, by limiting the government. They are not separable.
Toward,
Libertarianism, in the strict sense, is the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things. In a looser sense, libertarianism is any view that approximates the strict view.

Such idiocy. Like I said above, most libertarians have no clue to what it's truly about, and you're no different.

That is not the foundational premise of liberalism, and our Constitution is based on liberalism, not libertarianism. The fact it exceeds a libertarian template should advise even the most obtuse that that is true.
The idea of "inalienable rights" is NOT libertarian, it is the Natural Law/Rights foundation of LIBERALISM. You're already pegging my hilarious meter.

I'm taking a break before I get carpal tunnel, but will respond to your asinine blathering when I return. Come back this evening and we'll have some more fun.

Towards -- the Libertarian who doesn't know the first foundational element of it, and thinks the foundation is LIBERALISM.....this will be fun. Pop some corn and show up later and I'll finish digging through your failed attempt at even pseudo-intellectualism.
stick a feather in my cap and call it macaroni!
"Take your pick, for what it's worth, as either way those founders saw as permissible the establishment of a h-care system, thus rendering Paul wrong on either account."

What you are saying is that it doesn't matter how the Constitution was interpreted by those who ratified it, and it doesn't matter what was promised by the advocates of ratification in order to secure the necessary signatures. All that matters is what they did once they got into power. Is that about right?
I heard Professor Kevin Gutzman speak on a number of your points not long ago. Would you be interested in debating him publicly? That would be very interesting and I don't think it would be very hard to set up. How bout it?
History is written by the victors. It appears that the US Constitution suffered the same fate.

The Founding Fathers weren't perfect. The Constitution these imperfect men wrote wasn't perfect. The people who interpreted the original intent of the imperfect document were not perfect.

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union..." were the words spoken by the individual first in line to the individual next in line.

"... establish torture, insure a domestic war on immorality and drugs, provide for a glorious empire, promote amassing insurmountable debts and obligations, and secure the blessings of subservience to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," were the words spoken to the last individual in line.
Paul J. O'Rourke,

You just got owned by historian Thomas Woods. He just exploded all of your phony, specious arguments on his website.

http://www.tomwoods.com/
Hey PJ, I don't mind if ou call me an an idiot, as long as you don't mind my mentioning your feeble minded attempts to argue by virtue of being the jackass with the loudest and longest bray.So the extent of your alleged intellect is to hurl insults as your argument is receiving last rites?
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Here is an example of your idiocy...

The drafting Congress, not the 5th Congress, are the ones who decided the original intent of said article. The 5th Congress did pass the alien and sedition acts, but as even the most obtuse baboon would know, that means nothing to the validity of the 1798 h-care act. As soon as you evolve, ask one.

The point being oh slow of mind and quick to spew, that the congress that passed the Seaman Act was the same one that passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, so rest your argument on these people knowing what the US constitution meant is meaningless. They proved themselves all too willing to violate the USC.
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Hey I can see you from behind, oh wait that's because I'm lapping you.

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Jefferson and the anti-federalists abolished the A&S acts, but did not do the same to the h-care law. In fact, Jefferson participated in it, administering and funding it.

WTF?? I said something about Jefferson in my comment? Jefferson in fact instituted an unconstitutional embargo and the Louisiana Purchase. Merely proof that people can say one thing and do another.

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You say (and sensible people laugh at)
"As for "general welfare", it is the general welfare of the United States, not the people of the United States."
That is idiotic, confirming my above assessment. Contact the mothership.

AGAIN..WTF? You manage to put words together that approximate actual sentences, but apparently you can't read. US Constitution....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

but here, People of the several States, and here,the right of the people peaceably to assemble, just for a couple of examples (really I don't want to put too much of a strain on your obvioulsy overtaxed and undersupplied menatl facilities) You do understand a state is not a person and that people are not states?
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Your argument isn't with me, but if it was I'd revel in the fact it's such a weak and obtuse argument. Your argument is with the Congress that crafted and drafted and voted upon and offered for successful ratification-- the US Constitution.

Holy dumb fuck Batman!!

1) It wasn't a congress, it was an extra-legal gathering outside of the present government under the Articles of Confederation.

2) What does that federal convention have to do with anything? Those drafting the instrument were but lawayers creating an instrument to be approved, and their intent is meaningless , it's what those who approved the instrument understood it as creating that matters. This is why the state ratification debates matter, for that is where the meaning of the US constitution was discovered. Were the state conventions supposed to mysteriously peer into the minds and hearts of the drafters to know their intent? Idiot.

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Hey can I see a video of you actually walking and breathing at the same time? It just seems like it would be such an overachievement for you.

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Like I have said before, click the Story link, educate yourself, and quit wasting my time.

Oh dense and foul breathed one, as I said before Story was commenting after the ratification and his arguments are meaningless. Indeed he was a stated nationalist, and merely supporting his desired end, not some pure hearted, infallbile being gifted to us from heaven as a guide. Abel Upshur refutes Story, have you bothered to read him?

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BTW, as for that mothership, if they can promise to take away from a place where a blathering blowhard can be published, inteviewed or consulted as if some divine oracle gracing us with wisdom and knowledge beyond that of ordinary men, then I will indeed call on it.
"Libertarianism, in the strict sense, is the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things. In a looser sense, libertarianism is any view that approximates the strict view.

Such idiocy. Like I said above, most libertarians have no clue to what it's truly about, and you're no different.

That is not the foundational premise of liberalism, and our Constitution is based on liberalism, not libertarianism. The fact it exceeds a libertarian template should advise even the most obtuse that that is true.
The idea of "inalienable rights" is NOT libertarian, it is the Natural Law/Rights foundation of LIBERALISM. You're already pegging my hilarious meter."

Absolute and incredible stupidity. Again, a total display of your inability to discuss ideas. In order to find something to say, you argue semantics because you're not capable of critical thought or logic. You're no different than one who needs to correct grammar because he isn't capable of discussing ideas. He (like you) is systematic yet void of rational ability.

A fascinating thing to say that "most libertarians" have no clue what it's truly about, even though "most of a group are going to be the ones that determine its ideals. The actual word used to term the group of people holding a similar ideology is inconsequential and without meaning -- the ideology itself is all that matters. If an entire group of people called themselves "Nazis" yet held the ideology that violence against anyone is wrong and that all people are equal regardless of race, you would be the one demonizing them based on your own knowledge of the term "Nazi" while paying no attention to their actual ideals.

The current conversation is like this:

Libertarian: "This is what we believe"

You(Retard): "No, it's not. You don't believe that at all. That's not libertarianism"

Libertarian: "Actually, it clearly is. This is the foundation of our ideology. If this is not something you recognize, you don't understand libertarianism"

You(Retard): "That's liberalism. It's not libertarianism"

Libertarian: "Wrong. Those who define themselves as 'liberals' espouse ideas that we strongly are opposed to. Those who define themselves as 'libertarians' espouse ideas that we strongly agree with. You, as a lone entity, do not get to define the terms as you please. Your definitions themselves are incorrect by the very nature of the groups the terms refer to"

You(Retard): [insert generic and recycled crap without meaning or intelligent thought]

In other words, like a classic idiot incapable of intelligent thought, your arguments don't even consistently apply to the people you're arguing against. Not only do you not understand libertarianism, you don't understand liberalism. Your failings here are due both due to a lack of education as well as a lack of mental functioning.

Also, classic liberalism is not "liberalism" in the sense that morons like yourself use the word today. Classic liberals ARE libertarians (which doesn't mean that every libertarian and every classical liberal would agree on every issue, and I know this needs to be mentioned due to your tendency to focus on meaningless semantics due to an incomprehension of ideas), and this is something that someone has already pointed out to you that you ignored. Also, repeating someone's statement and then saying "you're wrong" is not arguing against that statment. It's showcasing your emotion on the issue and need to ignore the idea to compensate for your own mental failings. It's a disgusting sight to witness, and you are truly a disgusting individual.

"I'm taking a break before I get carpal tunnel, but will respond to your asinine blathering when I return. Come back this evening and we'll have some more fun."

Your hands are not nearly as defective as your mind. There are more pressing issues about, and, were I you, I would do everything in my power to become an individual more educated in the school of logical thought.

Unfortunately, as an old and senile man, your time is past and you will wither away and die as big of a moron as you are now. By the constraints of time, you are committed.
"While Madison is considered the Father of the Constitution, the Congress that debated and composed it did not agree on that point, nor did, more famously, Hamilton or Jefferson."

First, Hamilton may have disagreed with Madison, but Jefferson did not (the various quotes provided here including the one you cite but completely make-up an interpretation for prove this), nor have you cited any references from the congress that they decided to "reject" Masison's "view". Where is this discussion in which Madison's "view" is debated and rejected?

Aside, Madison's view cannot be rejected because it is the only view which properly places the clause in proper context with legal theory. It wasn't just a view he was reasoning through the constitution from a proper logical framework. Since a constitution limits government power, any clause which interpreted in some manner which can result in unlimited power is, by the nature of a constitution, an invalid interpretation.

Why not try refuting points without ad hominem attacks - you have essentially ceded your argument with the multitude of them.

You are correct about RP, he very poorly responded to this question and needs to brush-up on his argument here, but his view is correct.

Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, are those constitutional as well? Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps, is that also now constitutional? Your argument is flawed in that you suggest that if government passes a law which had otherwise been unconstitutional before its passing and is not challenged, the constitution is permanently altered.
Kanuck:

Knock-knock, You are the one who is clueless.
They didn't pass a public health care law, they passed a Merchant Marine health care law, because the Merchant Marine is a branch of the Navy and the constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to provide a Navy.

The idea that the drafters of the constitution would have supported any federal welfare law, when they stressed that the federal government's powers were severely limited, is ludicrous.

Federal government spending as a percentage of GDP was less than 5% until the 1920s. Now it's 25%, and real economic growth has basically ceased.
P.J., dude... you so got your ass handed to you by Tom Woods. Thanks for playing, come back next time. Look, it isn't your fault that you are wrong, you're just arguing the side.
Gimme a break, O'Rourke. You're a fraud. The best you can do is regurgitate someone else's arguments in similar prose and structure and peddle them as your own? Rick Unger would likely appreciate a little attribution:

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/
Folks, please read Tom Woods's links below:
http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/some-guy-ron-paul-doesnt-know-the-constitution/

Professor Woods (whose knowledge is something this turd only wishes he had) grounds this Establishment piece of s&it into the ground where he belongs.

You hear me, shill? You're not fooling anyone. Oh, what's this? I think I hear your paycheck being printed. Please make sure you collect it. You've done your job well.
"Most of the damage done to the American economy has been through the application of right-libertarian principles. "

Unbelievable, you are seriously making this claim? After correctly pointing out that this country was not founded on libertarian principles, you claim that libertarian principles caused destruction to the economy. Exactly when did this happen? The Great Depression which was caused by the inflationary boom of the 20's that ended in 29'? Perhaps this recession caused the Fed's low rates and government guarantee to socialize the risk of mortgage backed securities? Or maybe it was the latter half of the 19th century that brought about the most production and increase in the standard of living this country ever saw despite the prevalence of fractional reserve banking.

How in the hell can you seriously claim that libertarian principles caused damage to the economy?
Correct me if I am wrong but you seem to feel that our Politicians could pass any law and it would be constitutional. Is there anything that politicians could pass, anything at all, that you would say is strictly unconstitutional?
Oh, and yes, the free-market caused the crash of 08. Yes, let's all ignore the Federal Reserve system and its manipulation of interest rates which, in turn, leads to the boom and bust, the objective law that allowed Hayek to win the Nobel Prize in economics in the 1970s. Of course, I doubt this establishment moron knows anything about that. His overlords wouldn't dare teach him that. Oh, no. The truth is a dangerous thing for sheep like this. To even utter it makes them angry, as we're seeing with this individual here. I think some of the experts in the field of psychology would diagnosis him quite well. Freud would probably have a field day with him. However, we can't expect anything less.

By the way, Madison already refuted you on the general welfare clause, as did professor Tom Woods, whose excellent analysis you can see above.

Here is what Madison said on the General Welfare Clause:
"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,
and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
they may take the care of religion into their own hands;
they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
and pay them out of their public treasury;
they may take into their own hands the education of children,
establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;
they may assume the provision of the poor;
they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;
in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
down to the most minute object of police,
would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power
of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,
it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature
of the limited Government established by the people of America."

Oh, and Tom Woods already establishes the truth about the General Welfare clause in his book, "Nullification". The General Welfare Clause was nothing more than the means by which to remind the Federal Government that in order to provide the General Welfare, they were to lawfully engage and stay within the limits of their powers expressed by the constitution. That is what Dr. Paul is trying to express, and it's also what he knows.
You see, only certain discussions are permissible. The permissible arguments are ones that favor the growth of the state. Welfare state is good, warfare state is fine. No state growth is "crazy". All libertarians are crazy because we don't want to be ripped off by the Gangs of Washington. Look at the Author Tags in this article. "crazy libertarians" You know what I find crazy. That anyone thinks that Washington thugs have rights that you and I don't, like the right to initiate force, to compel people to do what they don't want to do. E.g. pay taxes. If you don't pay taxes, they come to your house with guns and either compel you or throw you in a cage. Sometimes both. So that they can spend your money. As Murray said, the government is a gang of thieves writ large. Most of you are so dumb, or so afraid to acknowledge the truth, that you enable your own enslavement.
Who is the fool?

What is it about the American people that we seem unable to read or listen to sentences and here them explicitly. Everyone WANTS to hear something, so once they determine the speaker's/writer's political leaning, they run everything said through a filter to hear what they want.

Perhaps Dr. Paul did not a great job articulating the issue at hand, or perhaps he dumbed it down for the American people. Nonetheless, there is a HUGE difference between Congress collecting a tax from people and using to to provide for the general welfare, and the Congress mandating that individuals must purchase something from another private entity.

If George Orwell were writing "Politics and The English Language" today, he might subtitle it: "Can you hear me now? How about now? Now?" Now that you've based your entire rebuttal on straw man argument, who is the fool?

On top of this whole issue, Paul has stated more than once indicated his willingness to compromise should we take any real steps to make reforms in America. For example, he has stated that if Congress made meaningful moves toward ending the occupation of foreign countries, he would be open to discussing single payer healthcare.

Rather than attacking every little thing that you think is invalid, how about getting behind the most direct, honest, and consistent person in Congress? He may not be right on everything, but he is a REASONABLE man. The problem with nearly all other politicians is that they are not looking to reason with each other and come to rational compromises, they have a specific hidden agenda (usually having to do with money) and are in it to win it, they are not looking to have informed discussions, but to win the argument at any cost.
OK! Those of you who blame Libertarian policies for the destruction of the economy. Can you tell me please which Libertarians have been running the government? Also I would like to know which Libertarian spending policies have given us $14 trillion in debt?
Also, perhaps it would in the best interest of this num nuts to actually look at the 1920s Depression. If I remember correctly, that was caused by government/Reserve involvement in the economy. What I also remember based on Dr. Woods analysis is that it only lasted mere months to a yr. Why? Because the free-market was not disturbed. Government cut taxes by half and Federal Reserve did not print any money. The market eliminated what was bad and gave more power to what was good. Anyone interested in that should take a look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcUmnsprQI
Just read Tom Woods' critique (http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/some-guy-ron-paul-doesnt-know-the-constitution/)

Yeah, nice try O'Rourke
"Most of you are so dumb, or so afraid to acknowledge the truth, that you enable your own enslavement."

It's called cognitive dissonance. When future generations look back at our mistakes, and read the stupidity of people like this, they'll understand its true implications. Perhaps, and maybe I'm just being a little optimistic about this, they'll give it a new definition and frame it specifically for the political. Perhaps they can use this moron as the prime example for the new term. He would fit in quite well with it.
Government spending at 40% of the economy and still the Democrat stooges insist on blaming "capitalism" and "free market fundamentalism".
I hesitated to even register to salon to post as it's likely a waste of time given the silliness of this article and the people commenting here. What this really is is an attack on a presidential candidate that Mr. O'Rourke doesn't like...period.

The person who made the following comment hits the nail on the head: " Constitutional interpretation is no different than biblical interpretation. Each document is what it is and says what it says, but each is interpreted differently by those who have specific personal agendas to advance.

The Relief of Sick and Disabled Sseamen Act and Medicare are similar in that they were safety nets, but neither was expected to be a financial burden.

Bankrupting the United States does not promote the general welfare of the nation. People should take a good look at how the Germans do health care."

It seems Mr. O'Rourke is trying to make something out of nothing. Oh, and please do show me someone in congress other than Ron Paul, Justin Amash and maybe 2 others who even ATTEMPTS to follow our basic rule of law?
In the end, Dr. Woods is right. This guy is just that: some guy. He's a nobody that just wants a sense of attention, and he probably figured that if he wrote a brainless and meaningless article like this, he could get the attention he wanted. Well, I think it's safe to say that he got it.
O'Rouke wrote "Commerce clause, general welfare. Take your pick, for what it's worth, as either way those founders saw as permissible the establishment of a h-care system, thus rendering Paul wrong on either account." in response to my earlier post.
The difference is that An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen is a relatively uncontroversial application of the Commerce Clause while it is a wildly overbroad application of the General Welfare clause. The point of the commerce clause was to allow congress to make trade between the states and international trade regular and free from local government obstructions.

It is an uncontroversial interpretation of the commerce clause to say that it covers the actual buying and selling of goods and the transportation of goods between states or between a state and another country. Congress has limited powers to regulate that. Everyone can see that from a cursory reading of the constitution. If congress in the 1790's thought that commerce is better served by treating the sick sailors on the boats that carried the commerce, because that makes trade safer and more regular then it is not much, if any, of a stretch of Congress's power.

It does not provide a "health care system." It provides for some hospitals near ports and harbors so that diseases can be contained in order to facilitate commerce.

O'Rourke's argument is that the general welfare clause justifies anything that congress wants to do so long as congress just says it is for the citizens' own good. Maybe that is what it really means. But An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen is not evidence of anything under the general welfare clause. It is a law that fit nicely under a very limited interpretation of the commerce clause.

To justify Obamacare you'll need something better than An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.
http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/some-guy-ron-paul-doesnt-know-the-constitution/

PHD Historian Thomas E. Woods is disgusted with everything O’Rourke says in this blog. O'Rourke should apologize to Ron Paul, and Thomas E. Woods, for failing to understand or discuss ANY of the reasons Constitutionalists believe that the original intent of the constitution is radically different from how we interpret it today. Anyone who wants to spend their time justifying and rejustifying their bias should keep reading O’Rourke's blog. All else who cares about truth and will follow it wherever it leads should instead visit Mises.org
The political ideology that is referred to by the term "liberal" now has absolutely nothing in common with the ideology of the liberal founding fathers. The fact that you need to cite Alexander Hamilton, a conservative, in support of your theory is instructive. Indeed, your overall appeal to the policies of the Federalist Party, the conservative party of the era speaks volumes. Also, your argument is illogical on its face, unless you're prepared to argue that the first amendment doesn't recognise the rights of free speech, free press, and freedom of assembly then the "But they passed a law!!!" argument is no guarantee of anything more than that the constitution wasn't worth the paper it was written on.
Dr. Tom Wood exposes O'Rourke's piece for what it is: an exceedingly disingenuous and ideologically motivated propaganda:

http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/some-guy-ron-paul-doesnt-know-the-constitution/
TOM WOODS ATE YOU ALIVE YOU TOOL:

http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/some-guy-ron-paul-doesnt-know-the-constitution/
Seems Tom Woods beat me to it. Although for anyone who has ever read his book about how the Catholic Church built western civilization, Mr. Woods is not without sin himself when it comes to selective history. This is a very well written piece but very biased and inaccurate. Not inaccurate with the facts reported, but what was not included. As Woods suggests, emphasis on what was done after ratification but none on those who actually ratified it. Can't say anything here that has not been said but to make an observation.

I find it very odd that so much effort is being put forth by liberal media outlets to tarnish or diminish a presidential candidate that the media has already told us, again and again, is a very bottom rung tier candidate, a gad-fly, a long-shot, and an obvious kook that has no chance of winning the Republican nomination or a chance at beating President Obama.

If that is the case, then why bother with him? Why not put more time into critiquing those candidates that are considered front-runners and legitimate contenders? Me thinks they doth protest too much.

If you're scared, say your scared. Because putting this much time and effort into such a well written piece to discredit a nobody is already saying it for you.
As it would take a lot of time to respond individually, I'll just make a bulk response and choose individuals at will. Many of you haven't read through the comments, and so are getting redundant. If you feel I'm responding to you, you may be right.

Here goes.

The alien and sedition act means nothing on the issue at hand.

None of the selective quotes refute Story's analysis, or the court's agreement with same. As it stands, that's the operative interpretation. If wishes were fishes, this would be a school of minnows.

The "inalienable rights" are not the basis of libertarianism, but liberalism.

Libertarianism's basic tenet is as I said, which was merely a cut-paste from Stanford. You can argue with them.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/

The first copy of the Constitution, as completed, was written by the convention "In Congress Assembled" That means they were a congress, assembled. Funny how that works. The official copy was produced by the first congress under the constitution.

Yes, the Louisiana purchase! Damn usurpers of liberty! Whatever. Funny point, still not relevant to art 1 sec 8.

Dither -- none of those quotes refutes Story's commentaries, or the fact of the Butler ruling. That is the operative version, decided by the USSC. The USSC is Constitutional, yes? Thanks for adding more fluff.

Prof Kevin is welcome to comment. Trying to bolster your position by using the aura of his being is pointless and kind of humorous. Go get your big brother! I'll regret picking on you! Tell teacher while you're at it.

Woods says Ron Paul is right. I'm guessing he divined that from Paul's clucking. I'll wait to see Paul's response. I visited Wood's site, and am waiting to see his response that knocks down the points I ask him to, not just pile on some facts. He seems like an OK guy, even if he's overly enmeshed with Ron Paul's easily bruised sensibilities.

purple,
You are also a braying jackass, and none of your incoherent statements amount to anything resembling a real argument. F-off, as they say, you're a piddling piddler.

Toward, ditto my response to purple, and your knowledge of "classical liberalism" is on a par with your knowledge of libertarianism and liberalism. In other words, you have no idea of what the hell you're saying. Study up and come back when you know the differences. Be sure to put a diaper on Bastiat, and ask him if that isn't too statist. Try to remember liberalism isn't libertarianism. Stanford's website will help you on your short bus journey through political philosophy. Your responses are too tedious and out of step with knowledge to be taken seriously, and spend any time addressing point by point. You're making it up as you go along. Now, go along.

Reagan was a "fusionist" (look it up). The stupid, economy destroying, debt building, deregulating theft, freedom to ship away jobs, etc, etc, etc, was very much libertarian inspired. This would make a good separate argument, so I'll leave it at that.

Somebody was asinine enough to say Hamilton? Or Adams? Was a Conservative, not a liberal. Hilarious. American Conservatism was always totally within liberal philosophy, so the actual term would be: Conservative Liberal. To the uninformed, that would be a mind-blower, if such a person actually had a mind to blow. At the time, a conservative would have been called a Tory. The American Revolution was a war between the American Liberals and the Conservative British.

Walter,
Rick Ungar's article on the 1798 law was about 18 months after my first one, and a few months after my 2nd one.. I would have appreciated HIS attribution. Some of it sure smells the same, as far as use of language and order of presentation. Probably coincidental. Greg Sergent, in the Washington Post, writing about Ungar's piece, did link to my article. If you would have checked the dates, you wouldn't have exposed yourself as a moron. It's best to keep moronosity a family secret.

Toward, I'll be here for a good long while. You may come here anytime you want to be owned. Your lengthy responses are twaddle, but if you'll shorten up, I'll spank you on the installment plan. You're too easy.

To all who cry about being ridiculed in response to your attempted
ridicule note it is not an argument. Saying stupid things and drawing ridicule doesn't mean you win your point.

anarcho--still hashing out the depression? it sure is easy to offer a 'factual"
analysis of mistakes when you know you can never prove yourself right,
or others wrong.

amid,
the merchant marines were not the Navy. Congress did open up the system to the navy the following year, in 1799. Read the damn article in question,
if you don't mind the strain.

King, an asinine assumption. However, I concede arguing against your version of me is easier. If you'd read through the comments you'd have known better.

OK, I'm taking another break. If you're about to comment, please read through the comments to avoid redundant questions, accusations, irrelevant factoids and insults.
"the merchant marines were not the Navy. Congress did open up the system to the navy the following year, in 1799. Read the damn article in question,
if you don't mind the strain."

The Merchant Marine is a civilian auxiliary of the Navy, so it is constitutionally permissible for Congress to provide for it.

Regarding this:

---
If Ron Paul were strictly "Jeffersonian," then he would embrace Jefferson's (and Hamilton's, and Story's, and the drafting Congress') version of the first art 1, sec 8 clause.
I'll quote Jefferson again:
“The 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.”
--

The quote above agrees with Paul's view of the general welfare clause.

When Jefferson writes "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", he is arguing that the general welfare clause is not an independent grant of power. It is a qualification on the taxing power, which is why he writes that "the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised."

The power is the collecting of taxes, not the providing of the general welfare. The latter is a qualification on the first.

Have you read the rest of the quote?

" 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 power completely useless. It 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. It is an established rule of construction, where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give that, which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that, which will render all the others useless. Certainly, no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up strictly within the enumerated powers, and those, without which, as means, those powers could not be carried into effect."


Again, I urge you to actually read what Jefferson had to say about the general welfare clause:

"Our tenet ever was... that Congress had not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were restrained to those specifically enumerated, and that, as it was never meant that they should provide for that welfare but by the exercise of the enumerated powers, so it could not have been meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action; consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money." --

Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1817. ME 15:133

I know it's a lot of reading, but if you're going to forward a position on an issue that affects 300 million people, you should take the time to understand it fully.
"Suck it in and educate yourself...you can't argue worth a crap anyway."

http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm

Ron Paul is more of a Rothbardian Anarchist than anything, but being a politician he must frame it in a constitutionalist angle to make it palatable. The discussion you all are engaging in is basically semantics; The rule of law is a myth. All law must be interpreted, and as such no law can ever be exactly used as it was written to be. Politicians of all ages know this, and abuse it well. That Adams, Hamilton, Madison, and even Jefferson (he sent Marines into North Africa without getting a declaration of war from Congress) abused the constitution is not surprising.

Grow up, guys. The State must be abolished for true freedom. This idea of a government being limited is silly.
CHAP. LXXVII – An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled -

That from and after the first day of September next, the master or owner of every ship

or vessel of the United States, arriving from a foreign port into any

port of the United States, shall, before such ship or vessel shall be

admitted to an entry, render to the collector a true account of the

number of seamen, that shall have been employed on board such vessel

since she was last entered at any port in the United States,-and shall

pay to the said collector, at the rate of twenty cents per month for every

seaman so employed; which sum he is hereby authorized to retain out

of the wages of such seamen.



SEC2. . And be it further enacted, That from and after the first day

of September next, no collector shall grant to any ship or vessel whose

enrolment or license for carrying on the coasting trade has expired, a

new enrolment or license before the master of such ship or vessel shall

first render a true account to the collector, of the number of seamen,

and the time they have severally been employed on board such ship or

vessel, during the continuance of the license which has so expired, and

pay to such collector twenty cents per month for every month such

seamen have been severally employed, as aforesaid; which sum the said

master is hereby authorized to retain out of the wages of such seamen.

And if any such master shall render a false account of the number of men, and the length of time they have severally been employed, as is

herein required, he shall forfeit and pay one hundred dollars.



SEC3. . And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the

several collectors to make a quarterly return of the sums collected by

them, respectively, by virtue of this act, to the Secretary of the Treasury;

and the President of the United States is hereby authorized, out of the same, to provide for the temporary relief and maintenance of sick or

disabled seamen, in the hospitals or other proper institutions now established

in the several ports of the United States, or, in ports where no

such institutions exist, then in such other manner as he shall direct:

Provided, that the monies collected in any one district, shall be expended

within the same.



SEC. 4. .And be it further enacted, That if any surplus shall remain

of the monies to be collected by virtue of this act, after defraying the

expense of such temporary relief and support, that the same, together ,

with such private donations as may be made for that purpose (which the

President is hereby authorized to receive) shall be invested in the stock

of the United States, under the direction of the President; and when,

in his opinion, a sufficient fund shall be accumulated, he is hereby

authorized to purchase or receive cessions or donations of ground or

provision for buildings, in the name of the United States, and to cause buildings,

when necessary, to be erected as hospitals for the accommodation of sick and disabled seamen.



SEC5. . And be it further enacted, That the President of the United

States be, and he is hereby authorized to nominate and appoint, in

such ports of the United States, as he may think proper, one or more

persons, to be called directors of the marine hospital of the United

States, whose duty it shall be to direct the expenditure of the fund

assigned for their respective ports, according to the third section of this

act; to provide for the accommodation of sick and disabled seamen,

under such general instructions as shall be given by, the President of

the United States, for that purpose, and also subject to the like general

instructions, to direct and govern such hospitals as the President may

direct to be built in the respective ports: and that the said directors

shall hold their offices during the pleasure of the President, who is

authorized to fill up all vacancies that may be occasioned by the death

or removal of any of the persons so to be appointed. And the said

directors shall render an account of the monies received and expended

by them, once in every quarter of a year, to the Secretary of the Treasury,

or such other person as the President shall direct; but no other

allowance or compensation shall be made to the said directors, except

the payment of such expenses as they may incur in the actual discharge

of the duties required by this act.



APPROVED July 16, 1798.
Posted above, because few seem to want to read the article, is An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.
Note it says seamen, not specifically "Merchant Marines." I use that term as it applies to sailors on ships involved in commerce, but the act itself doesn't use the term. As such, the seamen were not effectively members of the Navy. This is NOT a military act. It is a device to maintain seamen's health, and implies it's to encourage the flow of trade, which meant duties paid, which meant treasury funding.
It reeks of general welfare, and of commerce, but any way you want to view it, it was considered constitutionally permissible.

As to the supposed invalidity of art 1 sec 8 being a stand alone power, would one of you care to explain why the suits opposing the ACA - "Obamacare" do NOT use this supposedly solid general welfare objection? Instead, they attack under the commerce clause.

Anyone? Speak up. Explain why it's unconstitutional, and explain how "every ship or vessel" was part of the Navy?

I look forward to your powerful constitutional arguments.
The alien and sedition act means nothing on the issue at hand.

Then neither does the 1798 relief act for merchant marines. You can't have this both ways. If you're arguing that the 1798 law means that the constitution can be used in that way, then you must also argue that the Alien & Sedition acts nullify the first amendment (and per Ian Lackwit Millhiser we can dismiss you as a racist for being "pro-nullification"). I would maintain that both laws are indicative that the conservative party of post-revolution America didn't take the constitution's limits on power very seriously, and my view seems to be more in keeping with the historical record than yours.

Somebody was asinine enough to say Hamilton? Or Adams? Was a Conservative, not a liberal. Hilarious. American Conservatism was always totally within liberal philosophy, so the actual term would be: Conservative Liberal. To the uninformed, that would be a mind-blower, if such a person actually had a mind to blow. At the time, a conservative would have been called a Tory. The American Revolution was a war between the American Liberals and the Conservative British.

John Adams wasn't a terribly liberal man, unless you're using the term as we do now. Because he was a moral busybody that believed in overpowering central government and distrusted the ability of the hoi polloi (and please don't be a muttonhead and make a lame stab at ridicule, I'm well aware of the Greek meaning of the term) to govern themselves. So, yes, Adams and much of the Federalist establishment would fit in well with modern Democrats and their terror at the thought that people might be enjoying themselves without the government's permission. But what he wasn't was a liberal by his contemporary standards. And, no, the revolutionary war wasn't "American liberals vs. British conservatives". Someone sold you a bum tip there. The revolution did start with a couple of American radicals pushing the Massachusetts Bay Colony into open rebellion, but there were an awful lot of conservatives that eventually joined them. While Sam Adams was an open admirer of the rather liberal culture of the late colonial period, his cousin John had high hopes that the new polity would discourage frivolity amongst the masses. (And he certainly wasn't alone in that.)
Paul,

"Note it says seamen, not specifically "Merchant Marines." I use that term as it applies to sailors on ships involved in commerce, but the act itself doesn't use the term."

That's irrelevant. You're trying obfuscate from the fact that Congress has a constitutional right to provide for a Navy, and that the Merchant Marine, whose members the Act covered, is an auxiliary of the Navy.
I just want to respond to this specifically because you seem to have a misconception about what the 'Merchant Marine' is:

"Note it says seamen, not specifically "Merchant Marines.""

All seamen on US-flagged ships that engage in commerce in US waters are members of the Merchant Marine.
EH,
"If you're arguing that the 1798 law means that the constitution can be used in that way, then you must also argue that the Alien & Sedition acts nullify the first amendment"

An absolutely ridiculous and illogical assertion. However, you're in good company here.
You guys may now rub each others bellies, as I'm off to sleep. Enjoy, and be sure to tell your friends.

I will dream of a time when every ship or vessel that sailed to America and up and down the rivers were official Navy vessels. Ol' Huck Finn and Joe will be thrilled with their commissions.
It is you who do not understand the Constitution. The "Act for Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" dealt SPECIFICALLY with "commerce between the states and foreign nations," not with intrastate commerce, as do current government medical programs.

President Thomas Jefferson, in his message to Congress on Tuesday December third, 1805, discussing a recent fever outbreak, stated that the federal government was “to certify
with exact truth, for every vessel sailing from a foreign port, the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails,” but that any government action on the fever WITHIN the borders of the United States would have to be undertaken by state authorities charged with the care of the public health.” See the Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873.

This is fully consistent with Jefferson's often-expressed view that "The states can best govern our home concerns, and the [federal] government our foreign ones." The "Act for Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" was under the federal government's purview as covered by the Commerce Clause; federal-level laws which govern intrastate health care are not.

Furthermore, the interpretation of the Constitution as limiting the federal government to its enumerated powers did not by any means whatsoever "quickly die off" among the Founding Fathers, but rather was espoused by most of them until their deaths. Here is a veto message sent by President James Madison to Congress on March 3, 1817:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled "An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements," and which sets apart and pledges funds "for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense," I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation with the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.

"The power to regulate commerce among the several States" can not include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.

To refer the power in question to the clause "to provide for common defense and general welfare" would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms "common defense and general welfare" embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared "that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.

A restriction of the power "to provide for the common defense and general welfare" to cases which are to be provided for by the expenditure of money would still leave within the legislative power of Congress all the great and most important measures of Government, money being the ordinary and necessary means of carrying them into execution.

If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill can not confer the power. The only cases in which the consent and cession of particular States can extend the power of Congress are those specified and provided for in the Constitution.

I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it can not be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest.

James Madison,
President of the United States"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is Ron Paul who espouses an accurate, faithful interpretation of the United States Constitution, and you who distort it to mean what is politically expedient to you.
Holy Christ in heaven, Paul, that bloated, cowardly, insubstantial and sophomoric response was the most piss-poor and flaccid attempt at defending oneself I have ever seen. What a perfectly seamless line of nonsense and stupidity from beginning to end. At the very least, one can't deny your consistency in that.

For now, rest easy knowing that the hour is late and I have just arrived home to retire to bed. I will eviscerate you further tomorrow, but, in the meanwhile, prepare yourself and try to worry as little as possible. After all, your extreme delusions and mental failings serve as an effective shock-absorber in the same manner that, due to the insect's eternal mental shortcomings, it is impossible for man to convey to a trapped insect just how relatively insignificant, inferior, and powerless that insect actually is -- the pain of knowing the reality is not something the insect has the ability to bear. As one can exercise their intellectual jurisdiction over you with astonishing ease, many others have also saw fit to do so, so I'll leave them to it until I can join the party at a later time.
Toward,
I'm shaking in my boots. Keep your comments shorter and I'll do what I said earlier. Your comments are full of wind, but lacking substance. I doubt you can attain substance, but at least moderate the wind.
Toward,
Actually, now that you have an Open Salon account, you should craft your own post. In the marketplace of ideas, see how well it sells.
That would be more fun than having your vast pool of knowledge hidden down a long page of comments.
Throw it out there, Toward. Don't rely on me to be the sole receptacle of your wisdom.
"I will dream of a time when every ship or vessel that sailed to America and up and down the rivers were official Navy vessels. "

You don't need to dream. Any US flagged merchant ship is a civilian auxiliary of the Navy and always has been.

Today, under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, all ships transporting goods/services in between US ports must be US-flagged, US-owned and US-manufactured, and their crew must American citizens. A major justification given for this act was the role the Merchant Marine plays in national defense.
Basically what he is saying is that Ron Paul is a "jackass" and we're all wrong because we view the Constitution like Jefferson and Madison and he doesn't care that we view the Constitution in that manner - since we don't agree with Joseph Story's personal interpretation and Federalist John Marshall's confirmation of said interpretation, everybody is an idiot including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Paul J. O'Rourke, hundreds of years later, has made up his mind that a random author Joseph L. Story and Federalist John Marshall are the only credible sources (Joseph Story's book, however, was written nearly 50 years after the Constitution was adopted) and those who were actually intimately involved in the battle for Independence and their views of the document are completely irrelevant and disregarded as such.

It's merely Paul J. O'Rourke's delusional beliefs and the way he defends it is by tossing insults around (sometimes sprinkled with confirmation bias here and there) and he still can't answer the simple question of why he's taken so much time to not only create this topic on such nonsense - but continue to exhaustingly argue about it until he literally passes out (see his "I'm going to bed" post).

This isn't anything new. This guy could just simply do what the mainstream media does and ignore Ron Paul - but he doesn't. Which makes me think that this whole charade is more about getting attention than anything else.
An absolutely ridiculous and illogical assertion. However, you're in good company here.

I'm not the one arguing that a law passed by Federalists at the dawn of the republic means that the laws intents and actions are necessarily constitutional, you are. You want to simultaneously argue that one law makes something constitutional, but except the other law from your argument. If you're not willing to stand by the Alien & Sedition Acts, then you need to let go of the argument, because it's a bad and illogical argument.
The problem you of the libertarian religion have is the facts simply aren't on your side. This compels you to want to argue anything but the relevant facts. Your "but-but-what if-and that- if only-woulda-coulda-shouldas carry zero weight.

As soon as the messiah of fact arrives on your mountain top for the first coming, you're by-golly gonna show everybody!

That's the problem with cults.
That's actually precisely your problem. You write an entire article based on ONE random guy's interpretation of what the Constitution really means 50 years after it was adopted and back it up by Federalist Judges who confirmed it. You entirely disregard everybody else involved in the process and the slew of factual quotes that prove this one random author and Federalist judges wrong.

We provide countless facts and statements from countless amounts of those who were alive during the war for Independence, during the signing of the Constitution, and during what happened after and all of those people are ignored entirely in favor of those who weren't.

Therefore, it is clearly YOU who has openly refused to understand logic or reasoning and simply find any form of information (regardless of reputation or association) that backs up your controversial stance that seems to purposely exist only for your own mere entertainment.
The problem you of the libertarian religion have is the facts simply aren't on your side. This compels you to want to argue anything but the relevant facts. Your "but-but-what if-and that- if only-woulda-coulda-shouldas carry zero weight.

As soon as the messiah of fact arrives on your mountain top for the first coming, you're by-golly gonna show everybody!


Before you get carried away with your limp attempts at insulting other people (and they are pretty pathetic), let's review, shall we? I'm not the one making an argument at all. You are. You're arguing that a 1798 law proves that any similar law must be constitutional because of its timing (i.e. the law was passed by Federalists of the constitutional era, therefore any similar law must be constitutional). I've simply pointed to another set of laws passed by the exact same congress and asked you to defend their constitutionality.

You are, rightly, by the way, saying that to defend censorship by pointing to the Alien & Sedition acts is absurd on its face. Congratulations, it is. Just as any similar argument would be The Fifth Congress isn't some golden arbiter of constitutionality, as their passage of the Alien & Sedition acts demonstrably proves. If you're positing the Fifth Congress as some uniquely qualified arbiter of constitutionality, then you need to accept all their decisions. If they're not a uniquely qualified arbiter of constitutionality (and they're not), then appealing to their decisions as proof of constitutionality is an illegitimate appeal to authority.
Are you guys still arguing about this???

I still haven't seen an answer to my question:

How does a deficit, and a 14+ trillion dollar debt promote "general welfare"?

Here is a new question:

Why are you hell bent on using the so-called "general welfare" clause to keep this country in debt?

As I said yesterday...have a fantastic day!
Optimist,
I have the law behind me. What's behind you that couldn't also be described as what's up your behind?

EH,
That argument is getting stale. We can go back farther and cite the First Bank of the United States. Now George Washington is a constitutional usurper. Yes, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and even Madison are crazy, and you're sane. Hell, I may even vote for you now.

Pyro,
Nothing about the 14 trillion in debt assists the general welfare. Of course, once you remove statist restrictions and surrender statist revenues to those nice libertarian supporting anti-statist oligarchs, debt is bound to follow.
"That argument is getting stale"..translation, " I can't refute it, so I will refuse to answer it, and try win by mocking it and those who put it forward.

As E.H. Munro said, as others have said, as I have said, you can't have it both ways. Either the same congress was perfect in it's constitutional fidelity, or it committed violations. If it committed violations, i.e. the Alien and Sedition Acts, then using it as a standard for correctness and proof of constitutionality fails.

Going from there we must then find another standard for constitutional correctness. You have offered another alternative, and that is rely on men who were writing after the US constitution was ratified, but that fails because for what one group of men wrote, another group wrote something different. So what do we have left? We must then go to the people who framed it, those who argued for it and what they said concerning it, and what those who ratified it said. There is nothing else.

On a side note, just to show you how you also continue to get facts wrong. You said that the A of C congress drafted it, and I said no. Here is part of the record from the last day of the convention......

Mr. WILLIAMSON suggested that the signing should be confined to the letter accompanying the Constitution to Congress, which might perhaps do nearly as well


Docr. FRANKLIN. It is too soon to pledge ourselves before Congress and our Constituents shall have approved the plan.

They were not congress, but an extra-legal convention, though they were approved as representatives. Indeed they were intentionally planning on doing away with the A of C, which stated that any changes in the Union had to be unanimous, not 9 of 13.


Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
That argument is getting stale. We can go back farther and cite the First Bank of the United States. Now George Washington is a constitutional usurper. Yes, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and even Madison are crazy, and you're sane. Hell, I may even vote for you now.

So now you're saying that political censorship is constitutional? Leaving aside the fact that I called no one, even yourself, crazy. You've responded by saying that all laws passed at that time were constitutional, meaning that you're now calling yourself stupid.

My very reasonable position is that the Federalists never took the constitutional restraints on power very seriously (and their actions in multiple regards bear this view out). I might point out that you seem to be under the misapprehension that the Supreme Court failing to strike down all those laws in the first 15 years of the republic means something more than that the Supreme Court had yet to appoint itself as the arbiter of constitutionality. Which, of course, it didn't until 1803 when Marshall claimed that power for the court. The Jay court specifically refused to claim that power for the court despite having an opportunity during Washington's first term. And, no, the power isn't granted the Supreme Court in the constitution, it's one the court claimed for itself under Marshall. (And, again, to forestall a stupid attack from someone that knows very little history I'm not saying that the Supreme Court claiming the power as a check on the legislative & executive branches is a bad thing. It's the same reason that I think that Madison & Jefferson were right in their reasoning when they wrote the Kentucky & Virginia resolutions, just as the Supreme Court needed to claim a power not expressly granted to it to check the abuses of the other two branches of government, the states needed to assert the power recognised in the tenth amendment to protect their citizens from the central government.)
Unfortunately Mr. O'rourke, I dont think you have the slightest clue on what your talking about. Ridiculous arguments like yours have no bearing on reality whatsoever. If it was up to you, I'm sure we could just rewrite the constitution to simply have the welfare clause, the supremacy clause, the commerce clause and screw everything else. Your side (the big government side) only ever brings up these 3 clauses and simply considers everything else in the constitution irrelevant. We can argue constitutional interpretation till we are blue in the face, so I am going to switch this up a bit. It's safe to say that you are a big government proponent that thinks the constitution grants the federal government the authority to regulate anything and everything and allows them to hold the majority of power in this country. Your philosphy on government has been mainly implemented in our society over the last 60-70 years, so lets take a snapshot of our country today and see how it is working out.
Currently, we are no longer a nation, but an empire. How many wars are we in now? I've lost count. We are in a state of never ending perpetual war. We bomb other countries and kill innocent people on almost a daily basis. No one cares as they seem to think the ends justify the means. We bribe other countries into doing what we want, and if they disobey, we bomb them. We are completely bankrupt as a country with no resolution in sight. We currently have the largest debt anyone or any country has ever had in the entire known history of the planet. Only if we had more taxes right? Its never government ineptitude or inefficiency that is problem. Just lack of tax revenue. We have a never ending drug war that has shown zero results, yet we continue to spend money we dont have to continue it. We now have largest % prison population then any other country out there. Our education system is a joke. We continue to spend more and more money on education while adversely our quality of education keeps going consistently downwards compared to other countries. We have become such a nation of cowards that we now have to have government goons grope 6 year old girls at airports to make sure they are not secretly carrying weapons to hurt us. More and more people are becoming conditioned and dependent on government, needing government handouts, food stamps and welfare just to survive day to day. They have become so dependent and addicted to government, that pretty soon they will need an agency to tell them how many pieces of toilet paper should be used to wipe their ass with. We no longer let business succeed or fail on their own. The government now decides what companies are worthy to stay in business by giving bailouts to failing institutions. We have secret prisons where we can just lock up anyone without due process. It has even become acceptable to torture people now. Our federal government has become so unsustainably large, that they now tell us what we can and can not eat, drink, smoke, and put in our own bodies. They tell us what kind of light bulbs we should use, what kind of insurance to buy, and what we should teach in our schools. We are apparently too stupid to make any decisions for ourselves any longer. Everything I just listed is not indicative of a free society. The argument you have been trying to make on here has helped create everything I listed above. None of what I listed has been brought upon by Libertarian or Ron Paul ideas or values. So, please keep in mind, when you continue to ignorantly try to make your argument on your false interpretation of the constitution, you are making an argument for everything I listed above. This is the type of shit that occurs when centralized power is allowed to reign. I expect you will retort by saying that you either A. Like wars, like killing innocent people, like molesting little girls at airports, like locking up millions of people in cages, like dumded down dependents, like centralized planning and like wealth distribution. or B. Blame everything I stated above on Libertarians. I think your going to go with B.
I'll rephrase:
That fallacious argument is getting stale.

You guys have nothing but what ifs.
You keep clicking those ruby slipper heels together, but you still can't get back to Kansas.

Your argumentum verbosium can be said to be rambling on for well over 200 years, but still hasn't carried the day. To continue to argue with the flaming flappers of fallacious foolishness would mean I would risk, by infectious inference, becoming a boorish babbler of bombast as well.

You have accounts, write your blog posts. Who knows? Maybe the majority of Americans who disagree will be inspired to abandon their citizenship franchise and follow you guys to the mountain top to await the end of daze.
by Mr. O'Rourke: "Nothing about the 14 trillion in debt assists the general welfare. Of course, once you remove statist restrictions and surrender statist revenues to those nice libertarian supporting anti-statist oligarchs, debt is bound to follow."

It doesn't seem like any restrictions are being followed currently, and that is the point. You argue that "general welfare" has broad application but if congress followed a narrow interpretation, as suggested by Ron Paul, then they would be further restricted in spending and the debt would decrease. It would also allow the lowering of taxation on the people thus improving the economy.

Your argument makes no sense. If there is any oligarchy going on, it is a banking and big corp co-op.
Paul,

"The problem you of the libertarian religion have is the facts simply aren't on your side. This compels you to want to argue anything but the relevant facts. Your "but-but-what if-and that- if only-woulda-coulda-shouldas carry zero weight.

As soon as the messiah of fact arrives on your mountain top for the first coming, you're by-golly gonna show everybody!

That's the problem with cults."

Let's review the facts here:

You are the one that claimed a Merchant Marine health care law supports the unlimited view of the General Welfare clause. I pointed out that the Merchant Marine is an auxiliary of the Navy and thus Congress is permitted by its enumerated power to provide a Navy to provide for it.

What's your response? Empty denials.

You are the one that claimed Jefferson agrees with you. When I pointed out that Jefferson's view of the General Welfare clause was that it was a mere qualification of the taxing power, using a number of his own quotes as evidence, what do you do? Ignore it.

Now you are resorting to ad hominem and baseless claims that us libertarians are behaving cult-like.

The only person behaving like a brainwashed cultist is you. You've resorted to smears against Ron Paul based on a shoddy understanding of history, and rather than addressing the facts others have brought up in response to your article, all you've done is deny, obfuscate and make snarky personal attacks.

It's you who is putting ideology ahead of truth.
That fallacious argument is getting stale.

What argument are you referring to? The only argument I'm aware of here is your argument that the legislative action of the 5th Congress establishes something's constitutionality, and argument that you're retracting when we're addressing another set of laws passed by the same congress that were unconstitutional on their face (the US Supreme Court has recognised this on multiple occasions in retrospect, most lately in Sullivan v. New York Times). At least I think you retracted it as you then moved on to say just the opposite in your pathetic attempt at mockery (and they are pretty pathetic, as a professional I can tell you that you really need to work on your insults). But, again, you wrote that they 5th Congress passed a law, and therefore the law must be constitutional. But, in fact, that isn't the case, as it passed laws that were regarded as unconstitutional at the time, and have been regarded as unconstitutional since. So they have no special status as an arbiter. And any appeal to their authority is therefore illegitimate.

You guys have nothing but what ifs.
You keep clicking those ruby slipper heels together, but you still can't get back to Kansas.


I have no "what ifs" at all.

Your argumentum verbosium can be said to be rambling on for well over 200 years, but still hasn't carried the day. To continue to argue with the flaming flappers of fallacious foolishness would mean I would risk, by infectious inference, becoming a boorish babbler of bombast as well.

I hate to break it to you, but you are a "boorish babbler of bombast". And alliteration is no substitute for wit. Here's an example of a real insult, "Were you any denser you'd achieve critical mass." Just a helpful tip from uncle E.H.

You have accounts, write your blog posts. Who knows? Maybe the majority of Americans who disagree will be inspired to abandon their citizenship franchise and follow you guys to the mountain top to await the end of daze.

You're seriously appealing to majoritarianism? After the 19th & 20th centuries? I mean, really?
@12:26..Who knows? Maybe the majority of Americans who disagree will be inspired to abandon their citizenship franchise and follow you guys to the mountain top to await the end of daze.

So after all it is not the constitution that matters, but whether a majority of some people who have defined themselves as Americans will allow me my liberty. Right and wrong for you is what others define it to be, and not an absolute standard which we can apply in governance. Sure that's reality, but why then argue anything, especially from a position of being right, when what is right or correct is malleable?
Mr. O'Rourke,

I appreciate the better manners you've displayed on Mr. Woods web site. The libertarian position is thoughtful and serious, as I'm sure this experience has shown. And rest assured, Mr. Paul has read both Story and Upshur. He has a detailed knowledge of history and economics, much as being a doctor required similar detail. Please refrain from calling names. It belies an anti-intellectual attitude unbecoming from someone as bright as you. Now go home and get your f**king shine box.
Who the FUCK do you think you are? Your some schmuck with a blog!!! Ron Paul is the closet thing that we can possibly have to a real Constitutional president! Let me guess, you voted for O'bama AKA Barry Soetoro... ? I am sure of it. And if you said Mccain then your just as bad! Rep or Dem is just a two headed demon, and your a minion..just keeping the misinformation going! I could post clips of anything and make them fit my agenda! Has anyone see "Agenda: Grinding down America"?

If not you should! Progressive is the current nice term for COMMUNIST! I refuse to give up my freedom for security! I can protect myself!

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."
You people disgust me!!!
Paine,
I was nice because it wouldn't have served me to not be nice, even though Woods launches a weak rebuttal. I;ll be as unkind as I wish on my own website, as even though I pity the suckers who think the adolescent concept of libertarianism represents true liberty.
I like Tom Paine also. He was the inspiration for social security and those other programs that followed.

You're funny. Funny how? You amuse me, like a clown.
I posted my response to Tom Woods on this blog.
The only libertarians to show up have been crickets.
I figure responding to him as as good as to all of the above, and takes far less typing.
Consider this an invitation.
****NOTICE******
THIS WAY TO THE
LIBERTARIAN CRICKET SHOW!

http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_j_orourke/2011/05/20/some_guy_zips_up_ron_pauls_pants
I am a bit saddened that my previous post, which very clearly and factually refuted Mr. O'Rourke's contention, was not met with any response.
To reiterate:

It is you who do not understand the Constitution. The "Act for Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" dealt SPECIFICALLY with "commerce between the states and foreign nations," not with intrastate commerce, as do current government medical programs.

President Thomas Jefferson, in his message to Congress on Tuesday December third, 1805, discussing a recent fever outbreak, stated that the federal government was “to certify
with exact truth, for every vessel sailing from a foreign port, the state of health respecting this fever which prevails at the place from which she sails,” but that any government action on the fever WITHIN the borders of the United States would have to be undertaken by state authorities charged with the care of the public health.” See the Journal of the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873.

This is fully consistent with Jefferson's often-expressed view that "The states can best govern our home concerns, and the [federal] government our foreign ones." The "Act for Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" was under the federal government's purview as covered by the Commerce Clause; federal-level laws which govern intrastate health care are not.

Furthermore, the interpretation of the Constitution as limiting the federal government to its enumerated powers did not by any means whatsoever "quickly die off" among the Founding Fathers, but rather was espoused by most of them until their deaths. Here is a veto message sent by President James Madison to Congress on March 3, 1817:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Having considered the bill this day presented to me entitled "An act to set apart and pledge certain funds for internal improvements," and which sets apart and pledges funds "for constructing roads and canals, and improving the navigation of water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give security to internal commerce among the several States, and to render more easy and less expensive the means and provisions for the common defense," I am constrained by the insuperable difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the United States to return it with that objection to the House of Representatives, in which it originated.

The legislative powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, and it does not appear that the power proposed to be exercised by the bill is among the enumerated powers, or that it falls by any just interpretation with the power to make laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution those or other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States.

"The power to regulate commerce among the several States" can not include a power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate, promote, and secure such commerce without a latitude of construction departing from the ordinary import of the terms strengthened by the known inconveniences which doubtless led to the grant of this remedial power to Congress.

To refer the power in question to the clause "to provide for common defense and general welfare" would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms "common defense and general welfare" embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared "that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.

A restriction of the power "to provide for the common defense and general welfare" to cases which are to be provided for by the expenditure of money would still leave within the legislative power of Congress all the great and most important measures of Government, money being the ordinary and necessary means of carrying them into execution.

If a general power to construct roads and canals, and to improve the navigation of water courses, with the train of powers incident thereto, be not possessed by Congress, the assent of the States in the mode provided in the bill can not confer the power. The only cases in which the consent and cession of particular States can extend the power of Congress are those specified and provided for in the Constitution.

I am not unaware of the great importance of roads and canals and the improved navigation of water courses, and that a power in the National Legislature to provide for them might be exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity. But seeing that such a power is not expressly given by the Constitution, and believing that it can not be deduced from any part of it without an inadmissible latitude of construction and reliance on insufficient precedents; believing also that the permanent success of the Constitution depends on a definite partition of powers between the General and the State Governments, and that no adequate landmarks would be left by the constructive extension of the powers of Congress as proposed in the bill, I have no option but to withhold my signature from it, and to cherishing the hope that its beneficial objects may be attained by a resort for the necessary powers to the same wisdom and virtue in the nation which established the Constitution in its actual form and providently marked out in the instrument itself a safe and practicable mode of improving it as experience might suggest.

James Madison,
President of the United States"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is Ron Paul who espouses an accurate, faithful interpretation of the United States Constitution, and you who distort it to mean what is politically expedient to you.
So this is where the "tools" hang out!! No wonder why America is in the shape it is with so many stupid S.O.B's like paul o'rourke, tom cordle and the rest of the welfare gubbermint goons!!!

YOU GOT 'PWNED BY TOM WOODS, YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAGS =)

Get some ICE because you just got BURNT!!!!
"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” -Thomas Jefferson

“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.” - James Madison

Any questions?
"I'm shaking in my boots. Keep your comments shorter and I'll do what I said earlier. Your comments are full of wind, but lacking substance. I doubt you can

attain substance, but at least moderate the wind."

Well, naturally, and that goes without saying. All one has to do is hold a mirror up to your line of vision and the image returned is such a horrifying display

that it would shock, frighten, and enrage even the most brave and strong of souls who happen to gaze upon it. To know that such an image was a reflection of

myself -- Christ almighty, I can only imagine such a horrible curse and remain forever thankful that, in reality, I'll never be subject to such an experience.

Why would I keep my comments shorter? In your current state, you don't matter worth a shit. You're absolutely insignificant and you don't get to establish any of

the rules whatsoever. In order for you to be made less of an ignorant retard, you're going to need to invest significant time and effort into the endeavor. Due

both to your worthlessness as well as the utter impossibility of the request, you don't get to walk in a theoretical physicist's lecture hall and say "Hey, man.

I'm a complete idiot and can't understand any of these concepts. Nonetheless, I'm going to need you to go ahead and teach me everything you know in the next 5

minutes. I can't pay attention any longer than that and anything that takes longer than that to explain is something I don't have the ability to understand". The

entire request is totally nonsensical. The subject cannot be explained within 5 minutes, and with all the time taken necessary to explain it adequately, you don't

have the ability to comprehend it even then. Even in the most promising and custom of circumstances, you're still a hopeless cretin. You get to sit down, shut up,

listen, and pray to whatever god you answer to that you might be granted -even if only ephemerally and for the duration of the lecture- with the ability to

comprehend the teachings being directed at you.


"Actually, now that you have an Open Salon account, you should craft your own post. In the marketplace of ideas, see how well it sells.
That would be more fun than having your vast pool of knowledge hidden down a long page of comments.
Throw it out there, Toward. Don't rely on me to be the sole receptacle of your wisdom."

We've finally reached the portion of the discussion where you lose the ability to contain your desperate inner cry that someone, anyone, comes to your rescue. If

you can't argue against or even comprehend the ideas being explained to you, well, SURELY someone else can and SURELY someone else out there has the ability to

pick up the torch that you dropped barely past the starting point. Right?

Paul, I'm all over the marketplace of ideas. I am fucking EVERYWHERE. It wasn't a mere random occurrence that I managed to find this idiotic drivel that you put

up on the internet. When it comes to competitive discussion of ideas, I seek it out constantly and without end or satisfaction. With you, however, this isn't even

a competition. It's an outright massacre. It's like going hunting for food and finding a boar flopping and rolling around on the ground with all of its legs

broken.

Thing is, Paul, this isn't about ME. This is about rational thought. This is about being an intelligent and productive member of society -- two characteristics

which you clearly are without the ability to ever hold. This is about tearing apart the moronic ideas that you ignorantly champion. Although your invalid logic is

exposed with precise detail elsewhere and in many different places, you and your cognitively-insufficient supporters have clearly managed to avoid education on

such issues. See, we don't even expect you guys to actually understand any of the reasoning behind why it is you are all such imbeciles. Such a request is

equivalent to asking a retarded moose to understand the same laws of logic. Since all you can do is parrot and regurgitate whatever's been shoved down your

throat, the least I can do is help you to, at the very least, start parroting the ideas that are actually intellectually sound.

I'm here, Paul, to bring this shit directly to YOU. Partake of the wisdom and be enlightened, you overgrown infantile retard.
You're a nobody, and you proved it.
This piece is absolutely moronic and Tom Woods rips it to shreds.
http://lewrockwell.com/woods/woods170.html
I love it you had to delete my comments because the comments are to close to the truth. While you pretend to "scholarly" know something about the Constitution, in fact along with so many other mischief makers and legal thieves, you present your "findings of fact" to promote your brand of politics. Your politics is simply to take what you didn't earn or to protect what should not be protected.

Your Constitution allows for legalized stealing of another's Life, liberty, property and dignity. You force by your politics free people to fund YOUR dreams, schemes, wants, desires, pleasures, bailouts and so on. Your politics when "legitimized" will use the force of government even to murder anyone that seriously thinks different than you.

Once again, Ron Paul promotes the Constitution (an imperfect document) as being the creature of people for their equal benefit and protection. Where as you interpret (by a higher mind of thievery) that makes the Constitution an instrument of socialized acceptable robbery of the people's basic natural rights of Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness. In fact you step on anyone to keep your brand of happiness.
ifree,
Stick around. While the above article summarizes a Great Truth, and my response to Woods is based on his hilariously illogical inferences, I will let history speak for itself, and it will show Ron Paul wrong. At this point, I can assume Woods wrong every time he abuses a keyboard and be right 99% of the time.

Come back in a day or two and I'll let you argue, for or against, with Madison, Jefferson and Hamilton.

As far as your description of my motivations, you're a simple-minded, unschooled, inadequate to the discussion dullard, so any wished impact didn't hit home.
But that's just it isn't it. You want to "argue". BTW I sent Tom an email that he's simply arguing with a mischief maker; the left and right arguments of a thoroughly corrupted system. I have not argued yet. I've learned that you cannot win "arguments" with lawyers and debaters. As you know the Constitution is written by men or people. Some to protect the interests of freedom and liberty; others to protect their own interests at the expense of others. In other words, you would have a hard time robbing me personally of anything. But, you can legitimize your interests in what I have by legalizing your robbery through legislation or corrupt courts. So pulling out your favorite case, or quote is simply a game lawyers play in a system that is like playing Monopoly as if it is real everyday life (a virtual reality of legalized truth). How's that go, "...you can always check in, but you can never check out." So after all your words, you really mean, "well after all it is legal, isn't it?"

I'm talking about the root and you about a different root and how it looks so pretty from your point of politics while it poisons those that touch your flowers. This is the critical question.

What are the documents or law of the land that grant or give people freedom in America?
Thanks for calling me simple. That's what I am. However, I think your less than truthful when you say my first comments didn't hit home. Then why remove them?

Oh I love how you hold up your opinions as "Great Truths". However, you like to stroke yourself I guess is your business. Actually the great truths you tossed out. It bugs you when someone can read through your "highly educated" BS, doesn't it.
I guess I can't help myself. Words do have meaning. I'm sorry but I don't know how a highly educated man as yourself, could not understand the words of "...a simple-minded, unschooled, ...dullard" in my first comment you hid? However I don't think I questioned your motivations? I did write these words, "Whereas for you to act so on an individual basis towards your neighbor would make you simply known as a common criminal: an armed robber and gangster."

I am referring to your character here. Then again, being ..."a simple-minded, unschooled, ...dullard" as you make me out to be, I may have not communicated very well that you're simply a legal thief and legal robber. Society does allow legal stealing and robbery. Are you not justified because it's legal? You really shouldn't take offense.

BTW thank you for taking the time to step off your high perch to pass on your "great insights" to write to someone like me just "..a simple-minded, unschooled, ...dullard". Thanks for slumming around with me.
Karl,
Impressive, but ill-argued. The point isn't your idea of property right. The discussion is the American system of liberty, not the libertarian one.
The point is Ron Paul is wrong -- not only in his opinion, but as a fact. The clause with general welfare is not a preamble, never has been, wasn't intended to be, and no amount of fogging will change that fact.
Educate thyself:

http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/does-that-1798-act-make-obamacare-constitutional/
YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG, and citing court cases from centuries after the fact does not help your case in expressing what the founding fathers stated themselves. How about you educate yourself before you embarrass yourself further

James Madison said, in a letter to James Robertson, “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.”

James Madison also said, “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.” James Madison laid out what he saw as constitutional limits on federal power in Federalist Paper Number 45 where he explained, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined . . . to be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce."

Why don't you read the constitution and other facts about its writers. James Madison opposed many others, such as Alexander Hamilton, in his support for a national bank. Not every founding father agreed and the constitution is still flawed, and enacting certain laws and articles in the constitution over these past centuries has only contributed to more control of the federal government not intended by the founding fathers.
Lucy,
Madison's "sell the Constitution to anti-federalists: statement that the semi colon after the first enumerated power linked it to what followed was never taken seriously and, eventually, not even by Madison. That you repeat it here is a snoozer, and as wrong in practice as it is in the actual record of the Const. Convention, as it is and was in English grammar and logical construction.

Quoting Madison's objections to taking either side of the spending clause as separate powers was joined by Jefferson, and as far as I can tell, everyone else. Madison was arguing against the 1st Nat bank under that idea. However, that argument didn't prevail, is not definitive, and even Madison, after the war of 1812, advanced the creation of the 2nd bank of the US.
The point is Madison isn't arguing against the clause, he, like Jefferson and many, many others realized the tax and spend parts were linked, and the Bank of US wasn't based on taxing. A good argument, but one that lost to Hamilton's argument along C Clause lines and necessary and proper.

The other quotes you seem to take as definitive without knowing what actually transpired or as one man's opinion transcending how the Constitution was actually applied are meaningless. If you think the founders didn't know the Constitution would be better defined by practice than theory, then you haven't read much. Evidently you're just another indoctrinated not-know-much who has only read disputations you want without having a wider, non-ideologically-driven, worthy of leaving in a comment....somewhat educated opinion.
Lucy,
Madison's "sell the Constitution to anti-federalists: statement that the semi colon after the first enumerated power linked it to what followed was never taken seriously and, eventually, not even by Madison. That you repeat it here is a snoozer, and as wrong in practice as it is in the actual record of the Const. Convention, as it is and was in English grammar and logical construction.

Quoting Madison's objections to taking either side of the spending clause as separate powers was joined by Jefferson, and as far as I can tell, everyone else. Madison was arguing against the 1st Nat bank under that idea. However, that argument didn't prevail, is not definitive, and even Madison, after the war of 1812, advanced the creation of the 2nd bank of the US.
The point is Madison isn't arguing against the clause, he, like Jefferson and many, many others realized the tax and spend parts were linked, and the Bank of US wasn't based on taxing. A good argument, but one that lost to Hamilton's argument of necessary and proper to perform the functions of a government.

The other quotes you seem to take as definitive without knowing what actually transpired or as one man's opinion transcending how the Constitution was actually applied are meaningless. If you think the founders didn't know the Constitution would be better defined by practice than theory, then you haven't read much. Evidently you're just another indoctrinated not-know-much who has only read disputations you want without having a wider, non-ideologically-driven, worthy of leaving in a comment....somewhat educated opinion.
This article is so idiotic, it is hardly worth responding to. It is Mr. O'Rourke who is totally wrong about the General Welfare clause and not Dr. Paul. The act he cites about the seaman is a great example of pretzel logic. Apparently, rather than flap his arms, Mr. O'Rourke flaps his mouth, which it would seem, may be detached from his brain! Anyhow, the article at this link thoroughly refutes O'Rourke's embarrassingly ignorant, bluster-filled, pile of nonsense! http://www.mikechurch.com/Today-s-Lead-Story/mike-church-deconstructs-pj-orourkes-fallacious-constitutional-interpretation.html
It would be one thing if O'Rourke honestly questioned Paul's assertions, but this venomous article is chock full of negative emotion and not reasonable intellect. O'Rourke apparently has some major issues with Congressman Paul and his devoted supporters.
True Seeker,
You mean this Mike Church?

http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_j_orourke/2011/06/14/mike_church_-_conservative_shock_jock_constitutional_clod

Another Mike Church idiot. What fun! Showing how big a dumbass Church is was tedious, but easy. Showing what a moron you are is easier, as you believed the display of constitutional incompetence that is Mike Church. You get your history lessons from disc jockeys...who taught you math? The guy who changed your tires?

You should start a genius club, Seekie. All you need are another 139 people with matching IQs.

You're a dipshit, and couldn't argue this issue if you had a roadmap and a guide dog.
Mike Church....hee-freakin'-larious.
Now go get your shine box.