The constitutional republic known as the United States of America
July 4, 1776 to November 6, 2012
My response to the recent comments of Mr. Champ-Doran require a more lengthy response than permitted in the comment section. I am therefore placing it here in the original article
Allow me to correct your errors on the Constitution and constitutional law.
First, under Article IV, section 4, the United States guarantees a republican form of government. Thus, any attempt to take one clause of the Constitution out of context to justify a socialist form of government is in direct violation of said article.
The power of Congress to lay and collect taxes and provide for the "general welfare" does not give constitutional authority to fundamentally change our basic form of government.
By its very nature, the federal government is a limited government. In fact, this point was so strong in the minds of the founding fathers that they drafted the 10th Amendment making it crystal clear that any power not expressly given to the federal government is expressly reserved to the States or the people.
Second, where do you see the power to redistribute wealth in the Constitution? By definition, redistribution of wealth is taking from the wealthy so as to redistribute it to whomever you wish, usually the poor.
Under the very same section you site, it is stated that all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform.
Additionally, the power to levy an income tax is not in the original Constitution. That power comes from Amendment XVI which was ratified on 2/3/1913.
Third, there is no reference to a "social contract" in the Constitution. The Constitution was the joining of the States into a limited federal government. Not one single member of the men who debated and wrote this Constitution ever envisioned the federal government running private industry or becoming cradle to grave financial security.
Now, let's discuss your non-constitutional points. First, class warfare. You argue against my point of class warfare with a blatant class warfare argument.
Nevertheless, looking at your discussion of a wealthy man (you say white man, though race and gender are not relevant because there are wealthy men and women of all races in this country), you fail to mention something important. The man in question EARNED his money. Income taxes were paid on his money at the top level long before he invested said money into various companies. Now, his money was taxed for the second time as capital gains.
That is not enough. Now, you want that money taxed a third time at the maximum income tax level even though it was already taxed.
I take further note that you seem to express contempt for someone who inherited money from their father or parent. What is wrong with that?
A man works his entire life, pays taxes, and succeeds. He then passes his legacy to his children. The children have to pay inheritance taxes on that money even though it was already subject to income taxes. Your comment regarding Mr. Trump suggests that somehow his inheritance is not justified. I see nothing wrong with a man or woman passing on their financial legacy to his or her sons or daughters.
The big part of class warfare is this irrational hatred of successful people and the idea that somehow that they do not deserve to be wealthy despite their personal or familial success. Success is to be encouraged not mocked.
Then, to justify this irrational hatred, the wealthy are attacked for resenting those who live off the public dole even when they have the ability to work.
The various public assistance programs exist to help those who cannot help themselves. Unfortunately, these well intended programs have been inundated with claims from people fully capable of working but who would rather live off the dole than go out and earn a living.
This is unfair to those who actually require the assistance and unfair to those who are working and have to continually pay higher taxes to support those truly undeserving of public support.
Finally, your comment that feeding the poor and educating people should not be our responsibility is pure straw man.
Of course we have a moral obligation to care for the poor and down trodden. However, if you read the Constitution carefully, it is not the federal government that bears that burden. It is the burden of each of the States or the people per the Tenth Amendment.
The bottom line is that you are taking clauses of the Constitution out of context to justify socialism as some form of contractual or moral obligation.
Is it not ironic that people such as myself who are pro-life are told we cannot force our morality upon people? Yet, you seem to be arguing that your sense of morality is actually written in the federal Constitution albeit in invisible ink.
While I disagree with your constitutional points, I am enjoying our debate. I am going to extend an invitation to some people I know through Facebook who are knowledgeable on the Constitution and ask them to join by posting comments. To be clear, the people I speak have varying interpretations. Some are conservative, some liberal, and some are libertarian. Libertarians' interpretation of the Constitution are often the subject of fascinating debate. (I mean that in a positive way). I am not seeking to stack the deck, but rather extend this thoughtful and respectful debate.
To your comments ...
I admit that my initial article is hyperbole to a point. The country is not dead, though I believe we are heading full speed toward being a socialist democracy. One of the methods being used to further this unworthy goal is redistribution of wealth.
The basic definition of "redistribution of wealth" is the transfer of money, wealth, or property from one of means to one of limited or no means in order to right a perceived social wrong. In theory, there can be the reverse which is sometimes referred to as "regressive redistribution". I suppose one might actually refer to my definition above as "progressive redistribution".
You argue that redistribution is constitutional because it can be accomplished via taxes or social welfare programs that the Supreme Court has upheld. I respectfully submit that the means may be constitutional, but the ultimate goal is contrary to the United States Constitution.
We can both agree that the term "redistribution of wealth" does not appear in the Constitution; however, I think it apparent that the intent of the framers of the Constitution makes clear that redistribution was never intended or desired. Allow me to provide some examples. I know Thomas Jefferson was not part of the constitutional convention, but he is largely regarded as a "founding father". I have therefore included some of his quotes and writings.
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that is the end of the republic." -- Benjamin Franklin
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of
his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or
whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to
violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to
everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by
it.” -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816
“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one
another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits
of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor
the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” -- Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
“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, the Father of the Constitution, in a letter to James Robertson
"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, Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792
On another point, you stated that you selected Donald Trump because he has suggested a revolution. I can understand your concern over his use of the word revolution. However, I close by quoting James Madison from his speech to the ratifying convention of Virginia on June 16, 1788. He said, "There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people
by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent
and sudden usurpations.”
I believe the last four years and the re-election of Barack Obama, as well as the push for redistribution of wealth, constitutes "gradual and silent encroachments" of the freedom of the people of the United States of America.
I await your reply, sir.