Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Section 8 - Powers of Congress The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States; To establish Post Offices and Post Roads; To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court; To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. Section 9 - Limits on Congress The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed. (No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.) No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State. No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another. No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time. No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State. Those are sections 8 and 9 of the U.S. Constitution. Those sections spell out what Congress / Government have a constitutional right and duty to do, and constitutional restrictions against certain things. (one thing I find very enlightening is that originally Congress (the government) was banned from direct taxation of citizens. By the twentieth century that would not do, so Congress voted themselves the authority to tax us) But, I digress..... Today I was listening to the radio as I was going to lunch and heard a news story about how some politician was upset at the Federal Trade Commission for not protecting American citizens from dangerous imported goods (as in the lead paint on toys, poison pet food, etc). I don't understand why Congress or the government should have anything to do with it. I know laws and enforcement of said laws do and should exist to protect citzens from fraud. However, I have not seen where the toys were labeled "lead free". What happened to "let the buyer beware". Consumers are pushing for lower and lower prices. The world's largest retailer has built itself on just that premise - lower prices. If there is a toy for $15 and a similar toy that cost $5, I think it should be somewhat on the consumer to ask "why?". At this point let me say that I do feel products that are mislabled constitute fraud, so in the case of the pet food and/or toothpaste that was poisonous ARE a subject for the laws to address. But, I digress again... The point is, the legislative and executive branches have specific powers and responsibilities spelled out in the constitution of the United States. In my lifetime people have come to expect "government" to be a parent-like figure and have allowed it to confiscate powers far in excess of what was planned by the founders of this nation (and spelled out in the Constitution). The real duty of the federal government was to protect and defend the country, its citizens, and its borders through the establishment of a "militia" (army), and through negotiations with other nation's governments. This is the area that IMHO the government is sorely lacking now. By spending TAXPAYER money (remember, there are no FEDERAL funds, or government money) on cradle to grave entitlements, and "pork barrel" vote buying, they are remiss in the real duties assigned to them. I could go on and on, but I bet not many of you have made it here without skimming something. Here is another outtake from the U.S. Constitution - "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". This is the clause that is used as the "separation of church and state". There is NO OTHER area in the Constitution where religion is mentioned. The words "separation of church and state" ARE NOT THERE! It is amazing that the part of the line that is quoted is the first about the "establishment of religion", while the second part about "prohibiting the free exercise of" is ignored. I have never understood why the Ten Commandments have to be taken down from public buildings based on the first part, when I feel they should have to be kept up based on the second. But I digress.... Stay tuned.