View Full Version : Enumerated Powers

01-06-2012, 01:46 PM
(1) To lay certain taxes;
(2) To pay the debts of the United States;
(3) To declare war and make rules of warfare, to raise and support armies and a navy and to make rules governing the military forces; to call forth the militia for certain purposes, and to make rules governing the militia;
(4) To regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the States, and with the Indian Tribes;
(5) To establish uniform Rules of Naturalization;
(6) To establish uniform Laws on Bankruptcies;
(7) To coin money and regulate the value thereof;
(8) To fix the standard of Weights and Measures;
(9) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting;
(10) To establish post offices and post roads;
(11) To issue patents and copyrights;
(12) To create courts inferior to the supreme court; and
(13) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Laws of Nations.
Other provisions of the Constitution grant Congress powers to make laws regarding:
(14) An enumeration of the population for purposes of apportionment of Representatives and direct taxes (Art. I, § 2, cl. 3);
(15) Elections of Senators & Representatives (Art. I, §4, cl. 1) and their pay (Art. I, § 6);
(16) After 1808, to prohibit importation of slaves (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1); **
(17) A restricted power to suspend Writs of Habeas Corpus (Art. I, §9, cl. 2);
(18) To revise and control imposts or duties on imports or exports which may be laid by States (Art. I, § 10, cl. 2 &3)
(19) A restricted power to declare the punishment of Treason (Art. III, §3, cl. 2);
(20) Implementation of the Full Faith and Credit clause (Art. IV, §1); and,
(21) Procedures for amendments to The Constitution (Art. V).
The 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, & 26th Amendments grant additional powers to Congress respecting civil rights & voting rights, the public debt [lawfully incurred], income tax, successions to vacated offices, dates of assembly, and appointment of representatives from the D.C.
The Constitution authorizes Congress to exercise throughout the States these and only these powers!
4. Two provisions of the Constitution grant to Congress broad legislative powers over specifically defined geographical areas:
a) Article I, §8, next to last clause, grants to Congress “exclusive Legislation” over the following geographically tiny areas: the seat of the government of the United States (not to exceed 10 square miles), forts, arsenals, dock-yards, and the like. As James Madison said in Federalist No. 43 at 2., it is necessary for the government of the United States to have “complete authority” at the seat of government, and over forts, magazines, etc. established by the federal government.
b) Article IV, §3, cl. 2 grants to Congress power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other property belonging to the United States (as opposed to property belonging to individual states). As these territories became States, Congress’ powers under this Article were terminated.
5. Thus, Congress has NO AUTHORITY to bail out financial institutions, businesses, and homeowners who don’t pay their mortgages; NO AUTHORITY to take control of our health care; NO AUTHORITY to pass laws denying secret ballots to employees who are solicited for membership by labor unions; NO AUTHORITY to take away your IRA’s and other retirement accounts, NO AUTHORITY to pass laws respecting energy consumption or “emissions”, education, housing, etc., etc., etc.

01-06-2012, 02:33 PM
This is a topic that's already been discussed here recently.

I will say that there is nothing wrong conceptually with such an analysis, although of course, there is a consensus to the contrary that has prevailed for some time among the halls of power.

But equally or more so, I have read analyses that fairly well prove that nobody or hardly anybody anyway is subject to an individual income tax. And I find those analyses sound, as sound as this guy and others.

And I also know that despite the fairly rigorous reasoning from the COTUS and associated SCOTUS rulings that shows few people ought to be subject to the individual income tax at all, still, it is not safe to think one will win in court. Attorneys will typically refuse to argue your case that way, and if you take your own case in pro se, your arguments will be gaveled into silence, the jury instructed to ignore your argument, and ultimately, you'll be fined, owe the money plus interest and penalties, and jailed if things really go badly.

So I do not try to avoid paying my taxes on that theory, although I think it is sound, because I know how this would go in real life.

Isn't that about the same thing with regard to this limited government analysis? That is, the argument has been waged, and the winners are those who've expanded the limited and enumerated powers via the usual clauses (commerce, general welfare, and necessary and proper) to be almost anything one can imagine.

Not that it's a slam dunk that expanding the powers by that argument is either sound practice or sound theory, but since that is and has been the long-standing interpretation, that counter-arguments will be futile and of limited practical application-- of academic interest only, and not providing an action agenda for future policy, as the horse is already out the barn door?

01-06-2012, 05:09 PM
The fundamentals of the constitution are sound.

01-07-2012, 10:47 AM
I am very sympathetic to your income tax issue as one, along with my father, who has gone to federal court after years of being involved in the tax protest movement over 30 years ago. However it is not the same thing at all. The Founders along with common sense recognized that the federal government needs resources to carry out even those limited powers and thus, the Constitution provides for the collection of taxes both in Art. I, Sec 8 and the 16th Amend. At the heart of the tax protest movement was the abuse of power by the feds and it wouldn't surprise me if the Tea Party movement might take on that mantle at some point.

More to the point is that the Founders and common sense also recognized that government, by its nature, has police power and therefore it was essential to limit that power if individual liberty had any chance of survival. The Constitution was therefore designed to make clear precisely what those specific limits are and a way to amend it as required.

So, the difference between your income tax issue and one of limited government is fundamental; taxes are essential and provided for but unlimited government is not, in fact the Constitution is itself a statement of limits. As I am sure you are aware, the Bill of Rights was added specifically to insure some of those limits even though that seems to have proved counterproductive in hindsight.

What the Left always wants to do is make everything look very complex and esoteric in order to persuade people that the very smart should be in charge and it is better if they plan everything from Washington. It is simple, however, to observe and understand that as we lose our freedom, we are losing it to government with its police powers. Unfortunately, leftists have been very successful, to the detriment of our nation as it sinks into the moral and economic abyss.

Gayle in MD
01-07-2012, 11:57 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What the Left always wants to do is make everything look very complex and esoteric in order to persuade people that the very smart should be in charge and it is better if they plan everything from Washington. It is simple, however, to observe and understand that as we lose our freedom, we are losing it to government with its police powers. Unfortunately, leftists have been very successful, to the detriment of our nation as it sinks into the moral and economic abyss.

We have a system of check and balances in this country, unless of course, we have a REpiglican President, who uses signing statements profusely, to refuse to honor it, in the way that George Idiot Bush used them.

I take it you don't think that the many efforts pushed by Tea Party Representatives, and there have been unprecedented bills introduced by them in this last Congress, which seek to limit a woman's right to control her own body, under the Constitution of the United States, to be paid equal pay for equal work, and to use whatever kind of birth control she wants, which clearly amounts to the RIGHT, the Tea Party Representatives, trying to use police and government to destroy the personal freedom of women, and Gays, in many ways.

George Bush, for example, flying back to Washington to use the government and police force, to interfere with the right of a husband to fulfill his wife's wishes, not to live on in a vegatative state?

Hispanics, having the right not to be racially profiled by the police, unfairly searched, unfailly targetting by the police, simply because they are Hispanic.

The country being kept in the dark by Dick Cheney holding secret meetings with energy corporations, to set the nations energy policies?

George Bush censoring scientific studies, that we the people paid for, to protect the corrupt, polluting oil industry from scrutiny, to allow them to hide the toxicity of the Fracking Chemicals, which polluted the lands, air and water of people's private wells, creating severe health safety, included in Cheney's Secret Energy policies through the Halliburton Loophole?

Bush illegally tapping the phones of Americans, breaking the FISA laws, in secret, snooping into what people read from the public library?

George Bush, censoring and redacting information about the Saudi's from the 9/11 report, the country from which 15 of the 19 terrorist who attacked us on 9/11, originated, and the country that has been a known financier of al Qaeda? You think it is the left who thinks that the government is smarter that the public? LMAO!!!

You refuse to acknowledge that it is the Republican Party, and the Religious Tea Party Nutjobs, which have a history of trying to remove human rights from others in this country, and even to this day, Republicans like Rand Paul, think that business owners should have the right to discriminate against people and bann them from public restaurants, if they don't like what color they are.

Santorum, who lies about the poor, suggesting that they are all black, when 77% of those on food stamps are white. Useing references to blacks, and then denying that he said the word that the whole country heard him say, when he tried to push the idea that those without jobs, or those who lived in poor neighborhoods, didn't have fathers who went out to make a living.

You yap about individual liberties, yet praised here for years a murderer who hid in the bushes and killed an innocant man, who was performing legal proceedures for people who were facing morbidly difficult circumstances? Stated yourself that you infringed into another person's space, trying to force your religious opinion upon women at an abortion clinic? then you have the nerve to yap about fREEDOM???

The gross hypocrisy of you, of all people, blaming Liberals, and accusing them of trying to remove personal liberty, is one for the books,

It was a LIBERAL president, who accomplished working to install the equal rights amendment which BTW lost him support from Southern Bible States.

It has been the Republicans, who have protected those filthy crooks on Wall St., the polluting oil industry, and coal industry, and those corrupt Health Insurance CEO's from accountability for gouging, polluting and stealing from everyone in this country.

Thankfully, the country is waking up. The Republican Congress has the lowest approval ratings ever seen.

Brace yourself, you are about to see Americans fed up with your RW, Religious radical efforts, and all of the Repiglican BS about freedom, and take a firm stand against the corrupted, un-American, disastrous spending, borrowiong, lying dictating policies of the Repiglican Party, and the ignorance of the idiot Tea Party Zealots.


01-08-2012, 12:51 PM
Respectfully, llotter, I think you have this backwards, as to which is a more important transgression of the COTUS, and which is worse to allow be transgressed.

For the power to tax is the power to destroy (dicta from Chief Justice John Marshall).

The power to tax INDIVIDUAL INCOME is the power to destroy the individual as able to support himself or herself and the family, rendering them subject to needing support from the state, and thereby, control from the state.

I don't have to tell you the COTUS originally forbade an individual income tax, and this was so obvious that it required amending the COTUS to allow it (although that didn't prevent the state from laying on an income tax before such an amendment, until the SCOTUS struck several down).

Moreover, and this is key, the rulings of the courts and stated limits by the government (at first) said even WITH the amendment, there still could be no widespread income tax that was non-apportioned among the states. (That is, the income tax allowed still had to meet that other COTUS requirement.)

Somehow, and somewhere, this became an ignored (although previously admitted) limitation. Why? To support the debt involved with having very large standing armies and wars.

So I make this the original sin of government's over-reach. Of course, you are right that the raising of taxes IS allowed. But how, and in what manner, does carry continuing COTUS prohibitions, and ESPECIALLY, as to taxing wage income from labor.

01-08-2012, 03:11 PM
If i were king there would be no tax of any sort.

01-09-2012, 08:31 AM
You are again diverting attention away from the 600 lbs gorilla that's eating everything in sight, including the seed corn. Yes, taxes are the power to destroy but but it is the spending that drive the taxes and it is the liberals that have the deserved reputation as taxers and spenders. Even today, all the Left wants to do is raise taxes and destroy the taxpayers.

Blaming the excessive taxes on an overly large standing military totally misses where all the tax money is actually being spent. In JFK's time, the military consumed 50% of federal spending and now it is 20% and heading further down. Various redistribution schemes now consume over 63% ($2.3T in 2010) and was well under 10% in 1961. Redistribution is not part of our Constitution, they are totally missing from the above list of Enumerated Powers, so you should be agreeing with me that we should be looking at where the money really is if we want to decrease the 'power to destroy'.

01-12-2012, 07:02 PM
Historically, your analysis is faulty.

Each and every large increase of the federal debt was accompanied by either wartime, or a large increase in spending for the military.

And some were accompanied by extremely meager social spending increases, as there were no such social spending programs in place until SS, and yet very large increases in debt associated with the Civil War, the Great War, WW II, and the entire Cold War period.

When Reagan's 8 years saw the tripling of the debt stated in nominal terms, look up social spending during that time. It went up about 4% a year in nominal terms, not even keeping up with the average inflation rate (hence, DECREASING in real terms), whereas the military budget was doubled in nominal terms. Although the Cold War enemy collapsed, and there is no continental-sized super power to oppose us across the world, spending on the military has tripled from the Reagan budgets.

No less a personage than then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said this about out-of-control military spending: that he was declaring war, not on a foreign enemy, but on a party closer to home: on the Pentagon bureaucracy. That the state of affairs was 'terrifying.' That it was a 'matter of life and death,' quote unquote. That the Pentagon could not account for the expenditure of $2.3 trillion dollars (approx. 8 full years of its budgeting as of that time), and up to 25% of its annual expenditures, on an on-going basis.

Partially quoted here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rRqeJcuK-A&feature=related)

So, you were saying?

01-12-2012, 07:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Historically, your analysis is faulty.
it's even hysterically without merit....(IMHO)

01-13-2012, 04:10 AM
So MEDICARE, MEDICAID, foodstamps, EPA, Dept of Education ... and many more such things ... never happened during the Cold War?

It's amazing what one can believe once they abandon reality.

01-13-2012, 08:01 AM
crawl back in your effing hole.

01-13-2012, 09:01 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">crawl back in your effing hole. </div></div>

In his defense ... he's only doing as he's told.

01-13-2012, 01:56 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So MEDICARE, MEDICAID, foodstamps, EPA, Dept of Education ... and many more such things ... never happened during the Cold War?

It's amazing what one can believe once they abandon reality. </div></div>

Which of those programs, individually or collectively, is missing $2.3 trillion dollars? As the SecDef said was true of the Pentagon? Ignoring this 'terrifying' (Rumsfeld's words) situation, which is a 'matter of life and death' (Rumsfeld's words), in a situation where the Head Start Program has more Congressional oversight than this phenomenal amount of spending (per Levin's claim), is the real abandoning of reality.

Most of what you list above were rather late in coming into effect, decades into the Cold War. LBJ did Medicare and probably Medicaid, Nixon did the EPA, and Carter did the Dept. of Education.

Food stamps are the main exception, dating back to the '30s, but instituted as agricultural support programs, and defense needs required for national security purposes, not as a 'welfare' program (except for agricultural interests). A large number of the male population were rejected for the draft in wartime because of nutritional deficiency diseases that rendered them unfit for service. The amount of money spent on food stamps is de minimus, as a percentage of the national debt.

01-14-2012, 05:58 AM
That was a most lame deflection.

That being said ... these programs would be in awesome shape had it only been defrauded of $2.3T over time.

01-15-2012, 01:08 PM
You must not be familiar with the concept of triage.

For you are ignoring the dire hemorrhaging of a sucking chest wound to concentrate on capillary damage.

I suppose it is possible for death to occur from a thousand paper cuts, but as of pre-9/11 (coincidentally, I'm sure, Rumsfeld's warning of his 'declaration of war' occurred on 9/10/2001), fully 25% of the then-$400 billion in military spending couldn't be accounted for, nobody could say where or on what it was being spent. Along with the <span style='font-size: 14pt'>'missing' 8 years worth of full budgeting that was also unaccounted for</span>?

That was before military spending was jacked up to $1 trillion a year.

Your reaction is as if Rumsfeld was joking, or wholly mistaken.