A few quick words about small government

We don't have a lot of time for a big discussion today, but I wanted to take a second and talk about basic Federal Government economics as they apply to Rand Paul.

It is his stated vision to reduce the size of Government...and it is an undeniable reality that the vast majority of the Federal Budget is focused on only a few areas of spending. Today, we'll quickly run through that economic reality, and we'll challenge Dr. Paul to tell us where he stands.

So it's about as basic as this: the four biggest items in the budget are Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, the Department of Defense budget, and interest on the Federal debt.

Those four items are 80% of the total 2011 budget.

What does that mean?

That means you can get rid of every other thing that Government does--no more people overseeing oil drilling, no food inspections, or border security, no FBI or ATF or DEA or CIA, or OSHA or MSHA, no National Guard or air traffic control or Coast Guard or NASA...or Department of Agriculture or food stamps, either--you can get rid of all of it, and government will still be 80% of what it is today.

And that means that the only way you can really make the Federal Government smaller...is to cut one or more of those four core activities that Government is performing.

So which one will it be, Dr. Paul?

Are you against Medicare and Medicaid?
Should it be ended today?

What about Social Security?
Are you ready to tell Kentucky voters that Social Security should end, today?

Are you ready to tell Kentucky voters that you do not believe that the US should be the world leader in military technologies?

Do you think China should be the preeminent military power?

Let's get these questions in front of Dr. Paul, and even as he tries to dodge questions about the right of Woolworth's to keep its lunch counter white, let's make him face these questions as well...which are neither abstract nor obscure.

Comments

it's time for the tea party...

...to face actual reality, everywhere they are running candidates...and these would be the kind of questions they really don't want to answer.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Answering the Peanut Gallery

the four biggest items in the budget are Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, the Department of Defense budget, and interest on the Federal debt.

These questions are so easy, one doesn't even need to use most of their grey matter.

Only one of the four is an actual delegated responsibility to the federal government; that being defense. Medicare/Medicaid can be transferred to the States for the People to decide what they want to do with those worthless wastes of money. As far as interest on the debt, the People ought to simply rid ourselves of the Federal Reserve Bank and tell them they've already made enough money on unsavory fractional banking that we never should have adopted in this country in the first place. As far as our T-bills and other legitimate loans, we should try to actually pay that money back as soon as possible so as not to pass the burden onto the unborn.

As far as WoolWorths goes, isn't it the 21st century? Racism is dead and irrelevant today. Race baiting is only a tool for political expediency. I've never met an intelligent racist or race baiter, and one couldn't fill up a large room today with every racist in the country, so let's quit pretending this is some kind of 'real' issue today. Young people are LTAO at all the old fogies that still make their living off of trying to keep this dead horse alive today. Give us a break!

Wow, you must have your head

Wow, you must have your head buried in the sand if you truly believe racism is dead and irrelevant today! I guess people just put up a good front when you talk to them because I hear plenty of racist attitudes every week and much of it comes from young people. And that comes from all the races, not just white folks.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

for those who are having trouble...

...finding themselves some racism out there...why, you can just swing by here and get all you need.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I was thinking...

..of a different location ...

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Racism is Irrelevent

Wow, you must have your head buried in the sand if you truly believe racism is dead and irrelevant today!

OK, I'll bite. What racist group yields political power today to the extent that it forbids another man or woman from succeeding in this country?

The answer is obviously, it doesn't exit, therefore your assertion or premise is that you think it is the role of government to somehow get involved in your neighborhood and attempt to educate your ignorant neighbors as to the ridiculousness of their thinking. Personally, I don't think the tax payer can afford the fools errand. And besides, those that think skin color somehow dictates character most likely won't ever amount to anything of significance until they educate themselves so why worry about it.

Race baiting is just a political tool of professional politicians to get stupid people riled up and vote. It is so 1960s!

Racism is always the problem of the Dominant Culture

not that of its many victims--their problems are the CONSEQUENCES of racism. When white people accuse a person of color of playing the race card, what they are actually saying is: "Don't you dare question white privilege."

It would be far more accurate for white people to use the term "White Privilege" when discussing racism. By focusing on race, it becomes the responsibility of the non-dominant racial groups to prove racism and fix the problem because white people, with the exception of white supremacists, do not think of themselves in racial terms. They never have to, because white is the norm! Because of white privilege, racism remains outside of the realm of experience for many white people unless they go out and educate themselves. It's easy to pretend racism does not exist when it does not touch your life.

However, as America is getting more of a tan every decade and as the racial and class boundaries of the past are becoming more fluid, many white people are seduced or frightened into believing that it is the "others" who are unreasonable and unfair in their demands as they themselves cling even more passionately to their shrinking share of white privilege, angrily shouting that they "want their country back."

For anything to change for the better, it is the dominant culture that has to address its inherent racist constructs, both in its narratives and its institutions, and do so honestly and openly and with a great deal of courage. Without this basic recognition, no meaningful or lasting change will occur.

Unfortunately, blame-the-victim (or its well-meaning variant: save-the-victim) is the preferred mode of discourse by far too many members of the dominant culture because few people not directly affected by the consequences of racism question the status quo or are interested in studying their culture and its history critically.

For those who are interested in discovering how racism shapes their dominant culture, the key question is: who benefits? And if we are honest, we must accept the fact that we as members of the dominant culture benefit greatly and are –consciously or unconsciously--complicit in perpetuating the racist constructs of our culture on a daily basis.

If we truly value justice and equality above our narrow self-interest and are willing to put our values to the test, then we, who have been the beneficiaries of white privilege since before we were born, can begin to have a real conversation about racism. And the first sentence needs to be: "Racism is OUR problem."

Resistance is Fertile

Racism is for Fools

It would be far more accurate for white people to use the term "White Privilege" when discussing racism.

I feel sorry for you, because you've been programmed to see the world through the shade of one's skin. As far as 'privilege' goes, someone always benefits from some sort of 'privilege' whether it is who you know or your family connections, or whatever.

You would benefit greatly if you could dump the eugenics nonsense and instead simply accurately assess your own individual strengths and then seize on them rather than whine about skin color.

Seriously, nobody cares anymore. I'm not black, but then again, I wouldn't care if I were. We all have our own unique strengths and weaknesses, whether real or perceived. I choose to be successful because I'm not afraid to take risk and work hard. It is that simple.

Again, you failed to provide the racists that are supposedly keeping people from achieving success and happiness. The honest truth is, only politicians and government benefit from racism since they propagate the problem for their own expediency. There's big money and power in racism. I simply choose to not engage in such intellectual sissyism as racism.

I've never met an intelligent racist or race baiter.

when florida purges its voting rolls...

...and by a stunning coincidence virtually all the purged are black...or when the same thing happened in ohio...or indiana...or georgia...were those racist acts, and if so, were organized groups required, or just a willing secretary of state?

when elections in texas require the intervention of the department of justice...it's probably because of racism--but it might not be a single, organized group.

your garden-variety cross burnings and noose threats of course aren't necessarily organized, but do you think law enforcement should ignore them, or, perhaps, provide a bit of education for those who really are profoundly ignorant?

we do agree on this, however:

Race baiting is just a political tool of professional politicians to get stupid people riled up and vote. It is so 1960s!

i think the difference is, over here we're constantly surprised that so many conservatives keep doing it.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Racism is Irrelevent

I hear plenty of racist attitudes every week and much of it comes from young people.

That's impossible because we've passed a million laws and spent billions of tax dollars ridding the country of the ridiculousness called eugenics!

First, who cares if you happen to hang out with intellectual sissies that think skin color is any different than hair or eye color.
The bottom line, are these mental midgets will amount to nothing in life and have absolutely no influence within society.

Second, then why are we passing laws and confiscating so much money in a vain attempt to squash something that appears to be a natural part of some human behavior?

The answer: Because it is so politically expedient! Have you ever noticed that nobody seems to be able to 'name' an actual racist. It's like UFOs or sasquatch; supposedly they exist but nobody can actually dime them out so the rest of us can ridicule them in public for their own good. Peer pressure is how society rids itself of undesirable behavior, not taxation and retarded professional politicians passing nonsensical laws.

Actually, I was referring to

Actually, I was referring to teenagers. They are developing their intellect, so your judgment is a little harsh. They are our leaders of tomorrow, not mental midgets.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Voting for Idiots

They are our leaders of tomorrow, not mental midgets.

You're right! I can't help but think of that Representative that thinks islands float. Listen, if they think skin color has anything at all to do with the quality of character, then they're idiots - period!

If someone votes for them to represent them in government, then the electorate are idiots - period!

Let's be honest, the vast majority of Americans don't tolerate such nonsensical thinking today.

I've never met an intelligent racist or race baiter.

you never met george wallace...

...or william f buckley.

fools both, but not stupid.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Delegated responsibilities

Only one of the four is an actual delegated responsibility to the federal government; that being defense.

Well, it depends on which version of the Constitution of the United States one reads...

The version I read includes the following specific responsibilities of the legislative branch in Article 1 Section 8:

-- To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
along with a previous responsibility to pay the debts of the United States, implies that paying interest on the debt is also part of that responsibility.

-- To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof...
The framers of the Constitution and the earliest administrations and Congress considered all kinds of ways to deal with debt incurred in waging the Revolutionary War. The idea of a central bank was odious to some, but was seen as essential by others, most notably Alexander Hamilton, who had great influence over President Washington.

-- ... provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States It seems the Framers put the "common Defence" and "general Welfare" on equal footing.

Your mileage may vary.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

you're exactly right...

...and i make the same point below.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

You're partly right.

But you have misunderstood the "general welfare" clause phrase. It is not a blanket authorization for the federal government to do anything that some politicians think is good for the American people. If it were, then the entire rest of Article 1, Section 8 would have been completely redundant, which the Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution obviously did not intend.

In the first place, contrary to the sloppy language employed by some people, you need to notice that there is no General Welfare clause in the U.S. Constitution. In English, a clause is set off by commas, and the phrase "general welfare" is not. The actual clause in question reads as follows:

, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,

So call it the "debt repayment, common defense & general welfare" clause.

 

It is part of a sentence describing the purposes and types of federal taxation to be permitted, and it forms a category description for the specific 16 enumerated powers of Congress which follow, all of which are in the category described by that phrase. The term "general welfare" was intended to limit the scope of federal authority to purposes which concern the entire nation, and prohibit the federal government from taxing and spending for local or special-interest (i.e., not "general") purposes. It was never intended to be a grant of federal authority.

 

This was well explained in The Federalist Papers, which were the most important and widely read explanation of the Constitution which informed the ratifying process:

"In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity." -Publius (Federalist No. 14) [Madison, in collaboration with Hamilton and Jay]

Thomas Jefferson put it succinctly:

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


Moreover, in case there could have been any misunderstanding of the meaning, that should have been put to rest by the 10th Amendment, which explicitly prohibits the federal government from exercising any powers not explicitly enumerated and granted to it by the Constitution:

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.

I hope this clarifies the meaning of the phrase "general welfare" in the U.S. Constitution.

Dave

Thanks, Dave

If "general welfare" is not a "clause" but a "phrase," then how is the phrase "common defense" somehow more "enumerated" than the phrase "general welfare"? and what difference does it make, whether it is a "clause" or a "phrase"?

The Federalist Papers were essentially propaganda pieces, meant to gain popular support for ratification. In #1, Alexander Hamilton clearly lays out the reason for the essays: to defend the proposed Constitution against numerous public attacks on the document, for the people of New York. The essays often reflect the personal opinions of the authors, particularly Hamilton's dismissal of the need for a Bill of Rights in #84. Hamilton's rationale was that any enumeration of rights would lead to the notion that the people enjoyed ONLY those rights. In many ways, his fears have been realized through those who attack the "right to privacy" as some invention of activist courts, since the "right to privacy" is not specifically enumerated.

James Madison dismissed the idea that the essays were an authoritative expression of the intent of the framers of the Constitution. Part of Madison's concern was based in his very narrow view of government power, including his belief that the executive branch should not exert any influence over the workings of the legislature. He would not even comment on any legislative debates until the Congress delivered to him a bill to either sign into law or veto. Such a "strict construction" of the text is laughable today.

Finally, there are many laws enacted by the earliest Congresses and signed into law by the earliest Presidents that demonstrate not only an interest in the "general welfare," but provide specific benefits or relief to specific individuals or groups. In my mind, that is the most convincing evidence that the "general welfare" clause or phrase or whatever is intended to be interpreted "liberally."

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

You've partially misunderstood the objection

You've partially misunderstood the objection of Madison, Hamilton & Jay to a Bill of Rights, as explained in Federalist No. 84 (though I'm quite impressed that you've read it -- most liberals haven't).

Here's the meat of it:

[B]ills of rights are, in their origin, stipulations between kings and their subjects, abridgements of prerogative in favor of privilege, reservations of rights not surrendered to the prince. Such was MAGNA CHARTA, obtained by the barons, sword in hand, from King John. Such were the subsequent confirmations of that charter by succeeding princes. Such was the Petition of Right assented to by Charles I., in the beginning of his reign. Such, also, was the Declaration of Right presented by the Lords and Commons to the Prince of Orange in 1688, and afterwards thrown into the form of an act of parliament called the Bill of Rights. It is evident, therefore, that, according to their primitive signification, they have no application to constitutions professedly founded upon the power of the people, and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing; and as they retain every thing they have no need of particular reservations. "WE, THE PEOPLE of the United States, to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our State bills of rights, and which would sound much better in a treatise of ethics than in a constitution of government.

But a minute detail of particular rights is certainly far less applicable to a Constitution like that under consideration, which is merely intended to regulate the general political interests of the nation, than to a constitution which has the regulation of every species of personal and private concerns...

In other words, the Constitution is akin to a limited power of attorney, in which The People grant certain specific enumerated powers to their national government, automatically retaining all other powers.

If you write a limited power of attorney, which grants someone the authority to act on your behalf with respect to the matters listed therein, it goes without saying that he has no authority to act on your behalf w/r/t any other matters. To suggest that the limited power of attorney should contain a list of particular powers that he is is to be denied is to invite confusion as to the nature of the instrument.

It was for this reason that Madison, Hamilton & Jay were reluctant to endorse a Bill of Rights: not because it would limit the authority of the federal government, but because they feared it could lead to an expansion of that authority. Ultimately, they gave in to pressure to add a Bill of Rights, but it was that fear of an unintended expansion of federal authority which led the Framers to include the all-important 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights, making explicit the broad reservation of all unenumerated powers from the federal government.

Of that 10th Amendment, Thomas Jefferson wrote,

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." [XIIth amendment.] 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, no longer susceptible of any definition.

Dave

And speaking of Thomas Jefferson...

He was in Europe during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. His opinion on the general welfare clause or phrase or whatever is just an opinion.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was, indeed, serving his country in France during the Constitutional Convention, but his expertise & scholarship w/r/t Constitutional interpretation was nevertheless unquestionably second to none. Here's another quote from him, explaining specifically the "general welfare" phrase in the U.S. Constitution:

‘‘[T]he laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They 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. 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.

It is an established rule of construction where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. 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...’’
3 WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 147–149 (Library Edition, 1904).

Jefferson's explanation is absolutely compelling.

How sad he would surely be to learn what has become of the Party he founded.

Dave

Second to None?

Jefferson was, indeed, serving his country in France during the Constitutional Convention, but his expertise & scholarship w/r/t Constitutional interpretation was nevertheless unquestionably second to none.

Jefferson's "expertise & scholarship w/r/t/ Constitutional interpretation" is certainly second to the fifty-five delegates who participated in debates for the more than three months of meetings in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Jefferson's expertise is certainly second to that of James Madison, the universally-recognized Father of the Constitution.

I choose to defer to the actual Framers of the document. And Mr. Jefferson, whatever else his accomplishments, is not counted among them.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Madison

You just finished dismissing Madison's Federalist Papers (written as a close collaboration of Madison, Hamilton & Jay) as "essentially propaganda pieces." But now you say you choose to defer to him?!?

Well, that's okay. It actually doesn't matter whether you defer to Madison or Jefferson on this issue, because Madison (oft called the Father of the Constitution) and Jefferson (oft called the Father of the Declaration) were of one mind.

Although Madison collaborated with Hamilton to do most of the writing of The Federalist Papers, and Hamilton wrote no. 84, they worked together closely. There is no more evidence of a divergence between Madison's opinion and the words in Federalist No. 84 than there is of a divergence between Madison's opinion and the words in Federalist No. 14 (which Madison wrote):

"In the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects..." -Federalist No. 14 (Madison)

Dave

Jefferson and Jesus

I'm guessing you've compartmentalized Jefferson by admiring his brilliance on matters of intellect but discounting his belief that Jesus was the illegitimate offspring of a woman, whom history tells us was raped by a magic ghost.

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“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

while the opinions...

...of the authors of the "federalist papers" are of historical interest, a more dispositive opinion might be u.s. v. darby, 312 us 100, from 1941:

"...The power of Congress over interstate commerce is not confined to the regulation of commerce among the states. It extends to those activities intrastate which so affect interstate commerce or the exercise of the power of Congress over it as to make regulation of them appropriate means to the attainment of a legitimate end, the exercise of the granted power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce..."

"...While this Court has many times found state regulation of interstate commerce, when uniformity of its regulation is of national concern, to be incompatible with the Commerce Clause even though Congress has not legislated on the subject, the Court has never implied such restraint on state control over matters intrastate not deemed to be regulations of interstate commerce or its instrumentalities even though they affect the commerce..."

"...Congress, having by the present Act adopted the policy of excluding from interstate commerce all goods produced for the commerce which do not conform to the specified labor standards, it may choose the means reasonably adapted to the attainment of the permitted end, even though they involve control of intrastate activities. Such legislation has often been sustained with respect to powers, other than the commerce power granted to the national government, when the means chosen, although not themselves within the granted power, were nevertheless deemed appropriate aids to the accomplishment of some purpose within an admitted power of the national government..."

"...Our conclusion is unaffected by the Tenth Amendment which provides: 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the [312 U.S. 100, 124] States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people'. The amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers. See e.g., II Elliot's Debates, 123, 131; III id. 450, 464, 600; IV id. 140, 149; I Annals of Congress, 432, 761, 767-768; Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, secs. 1907, 1908.

From the beginning and for many years the amendment has been construed as not depriving the national government of authority to resort to all means for the exercise of a granted power which are appropriate and plainly adapted to the permitted end. Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304, 324, 325; McCulloch v. Maryland, supra, 4 Wheat. 405, 406; Gordon v. United States, 117 U.S. Appendix, 697, 705; Lottery Case, supra; Northern Securities Co. v. United States, supra, 193 U.S. 344, 345 , 24 S.Ct. 459, 460; Everard's Breweries v. Day, supra, 265 U.S. 558 , 44 S.Ct. 631; United States v. Sprague, 282 U.S. 716, 733 , 51 S.Ct. 220, 222, 71 A.L.R. 1381; see United States v. The Brigantine William, 28 Fed.Cas. 614, 622, No. 16,700. Whatever doubts may have arisen of the soundness of that conclusion they have been put at rest by the decisions under the Sherman Act and the National Labor Relations Act which we have cited. See, also, Ashwander v. Tennessee Valley Authority, 297 U.S. 288, 330 , 331 S., 56 S.Ct. 466, 475; Wright v. Union Central Ins. Co., 304 U.S. 502, 516 , 58 S.Ct. 1025, 1033..."

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

fake, It's late, I'm tired,

fake, It's late, I'm tired, but I am interested. Could you provide the cliff notes for this? Maybe a two or three sentence summary of what it means.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

happy to do it.

this case was about whether the congress had the power to impose federal wage and hour standards on a company from georgia, a state which had no wage and hour standards at the time.

part of the defense was that the 10th amendment prevented the federal government from engaging in a non-enumerated act, meaning that the feds had no power to impose standards on georgia.

the supreme court found that such power did exist; that, in fact, the federal government is allowed non-emunerated powers:

"From the beginning and for many years the [10th] amendment has been construed as not depriving the national government of authority to resort to all means for the exercise of a granted power which are appropriate and plainly adapted to the permitted end."

in this case, the "granted power" was the article 1, section 8 direction to provide for the regulation of interstate commerce, but the same analysis would apply when considering questions of congress' power to act to provide for the "common defense and general welfare", which is another granted power under article 1, section 8.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Thanks!

n/t

I'm a moderate Democrat.

There's Only One Version

Well, it depends on which version of the Constitution of the United States one reads...

I'm only aware of ONE version. As you outlined above, Medicare and Social Security aren't included in the list contained in Art 1, Sec 8. Coining money isn't a problem leading to our debt other than the fact it isn't backed by anything.

The question was what do we get rid of. The answer is everything not contained in Art 1, Sec 8. Real simple. Those living on the federal plantation aren't going to like it, but 'oh well', too bad. Consider it a gift all these past years.

as we've discussed elsewhere on this page...

...the argument you're presenting is well rejected by both logic and the supreme court, and you might want to review the comment just above that incorporates the language from the opinion in us v darby, 312 us 100.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Who is Darby and Who Cares What Judges Think?

the opinion in us v darby, 312 us 100

And, one needs a guy dressed up in a black robe to explain what the Constitution says because....?
There's no magic contained within the linen of the black robe. Man, these Justices are almost as saintly as Catholic Priests it would seem.

And, why are we arguing over what that old moldy parchment says? We haven't followed that thing for approximately 150 years!

You can keep your watered down Civil Liberties; I'll keep my Inalienable Rights!

if you're wondering why we care about...

...what judges think, please see marbury v madison.

if you're wondering why we are a nation of laws, and not faith, there's lots of material available to help you with that, and thomas paine's "common sense" would probably be as good a place to start as any.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

i'll start at the bottom...

...and work my way back up.

racism is dead? perhaps you have forgotten that just last summer we had a big national stink because a swim club in pennsylvania seems to have ejected a group that pre-paid for access to the club...based on race.

do you recall denny's agreeing to pay $46 million a few years back to settle claims by nearly 300,000 customers that they had been discriminated against, based on race?

this is not ancient history by any means.

now as for the 10th amendment discussion: "delegated responsibility" is, frankly, a silly argument that does not stand up to actual constitutional scrutiny. to carry the argument out, there is no constitutional delegation to have an air force, or an fbi, or any one of about a thousand other things that government is supposed to be doing...in many cases because it is impossible to make this country work otherwise.

as you presumably know, article 1, section 8 allows the federal government "non-enumerated" powers; this being the controlling language:

"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;"

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

You must feel warm and fuzzy and all such beings as how you have

such a wonderful grasp of all our problems and how to fix them. No matter that the actual intents of SS, Medicare and Medicaid are worthwhile and that it's generally a bunch of greedy, dishonest pigs in both government and business that have practically destroyed them. Some of the same is true for Defense...since no honest person would sell a hammer or toilet seat for $thousands, and no ethical government official would permit such bills to be paid. I have lived in a lot of places and if you think racism is dead and irrelevant it's only because you aren't seeing it and you're not affected.

Medicare and Medicaid are not worthless wastes of money. People who dishonestly work the system are the ones to blame...suppliers and recipients both. Did you know that, for example, even though Medicaid requires recipients to be to be practically destitute before they qualify for Skilled Nursing care, the family is allowed to retain one automobile....and that until the loophole was closed some wealthy folks would buy Daddy a Bentley to spend him down before applying? Whose fault is that?

Social Security would be fully funded if Congress had not spent the monies received...on things other than SS. Whose fault is that? Not the people who paid into it with an expectation that the deal would be honored.

Fractional banking is what allows banks to loan money. If banks had to keep 100% of their deposits immediately available for redemption there would be no money to lend. Prudent, honest and ethical bankers know how to make mostly good loans...and how to make enough money to cover the bad ones. The Fed sets the minimum reserve requirements. There are other big problems with the Fed...but the concept of fractional banking is not the problem you make it out to be.

As far as the debt...two ways to fix. Cut spending and raise taxes. Lets start with getting our troops out of the Middle East and stop pouring a $million an hour down the toilet. Lets tax the hell out of any publicly owned business who pays their execs more than (you pick a number...say 100) times the average annual wage of the average hourly employee in his/her business.

There are lots of creative and legitimate ways to solve the problems without "throwing the baby out with the bath water." It just takes enough honest, ethical and decent men and women to do it. In our current Congress? Pshaw!

Stan Bozarth

I'll pick a number

Lets tax the hell out of any publicly owned business who pays their execs more than (you pick a number...say 100) times the average annual wage of the average hourly employee in his/her business.

How about 100 times the annualized Federal minimum wage? Tying your "luxury tax" to the Federal minimum wage just might provide some incentive to increase that minimum wage...

______________________________________________________________________

The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

it is an article of conservative faith...

...that raising the minimum wage is bad for the economy.

it was also an article of henry ford's faith that paying his workers well above the prevailing wage would build a stronger middle class, which is why he paid his people that famous "$5 a day" wage.

so who has the better track record at creating a strong economy in this country...the club for growth, or henry ford?

i'm picking ford, and that means workers making more money is a good thing.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

There's a great idea. All those big Pharma execs would be

pooping nickels when their $10,000-$250,000 per DAY salaries evaporated. Maybe they'd stop hiring Sally Fields for big buck commercials and provide Boniva, for example, for less than it's current $95.00 per pill.

Stan Bozarth

boniva has to be $95 a pill...

...after all, you only take it once a month, and if you don't charge that much...well, you might only get $20 per month per customer--and that's not going to pay for big time sales incentives.

something's gone wrong with the marketing program, however, as sales have dropped precipitously, according to glaxo smith-kline.

by the way, it appears an application was filed for generic boniva. the boniva patent expires in march 2012.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Maybe some of the problems / side effects are coming to light.

I suspect the generic will be manufactured elsewhere...say India?

Stan Bozarth

the vast majority of generics...

...are either manufactured in india, the usa...or, surprisingly, israel.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

100x minimum wage

Restricting corporate execs to 100 times the federal minimum wage is not much of a restriction. 100x the current minimum wage is $1.45 million / year. Not very many execs make that.

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/post200/2006/executives-by-compensation/
http://projects.nytimes.com/executive_compensation

Dave

Are we looking at the same data?

Seems that every one of the top execs in the Washington Post article you link to enjoys compensation of at least $3 million a year.

Of course, many of them claim next to zero salary, in order to avoid the tax man. And for those who wonder why we don't have a "flat tax," there's the reason -- but that's another discussion.

______________________________________________________________________

The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

i love this response:

one, for the points being made--but also for the artful way you worked a bit of "ah-nold" into it as well.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Your Public Education is Showing Again

I have lived in a lot of places and if you think racism is dead and irrelevant it's only because you aren't seeing it and you're not affected.

I choose not to pay attention to retards that think skin color is important. I don't have time for such nonsense. I also don't think a professional politician or bureaucrat is going to protect you from idiots for a portion of your labor. Let us know how that whole 'government is going to fix my world' thing works out for you.

Medicare and Medicaid are not worthless wastes of money. People who dishonestly work the system are the ones to blame...suppliers and recipients both. Did you know that, for example, even though Medicaid requires recipients to be to be practically destitute before they qualify for Skilled Nursing care, the family is allowed to retain one automobile....and that until the loophole was closed some wealthy folks would buy Daddy a Bentley to spend him down before applying? Whose fault is that?

It's called human behavior, Stan. Again, let us know how that whole 'government is going to fix my world' thing works out for you.

Social Security would be fully funded if Congress had not spent the monies received...on things other than SS. Whose fault is that? Not the people who paid into it with an expectation that the deal would be honored.

They're called professional politicians, Stan. Again, let us know how that whole 'government is going to fix my world' thing works out for you.

Fractional banking is what allows banks to loan money. If banks had to keep 100% of their deposits immediately available for redemption there would be no money to lend. Prudent, honest and ethical bankers know how to make mostly good loans...and how to make enough money to cover the bad ones. The Fed sets the minimum reserve requirements. There are other big problems with the Fed...but the concept of fractional banking is not the problem you make it out to be.

It's called the economic history of the United States. Your facts are simply wrong. The economy of the early Colonies did not utilize fractional banking and we were doing better than almost anywhere else on the planet. The Rothchilds banking dynasty in Europe couldn't allow the Americans to continue with a sound banking system and purposely set out to establish fractional banking in the New World - it's been a disaster ever since. I'm not going to convince you even with facts; you probably think a 13 trillion dollar debt is good for the country too, right?

As far as the debt...two ways to fix. Cut spending and raise taxes. Lets start with getting our troops out of the Middle East and stop pouring a $million an hour down the toilet. Lets tax the hell out of any publicly owned business who pays their execs more than (you pick a number...say 100) times the average annual wage of the average hourly employee in his/her business.

I'm all for quitting U.S. imperialism, but good luck getting either party to stop that nonsense. Even Obama has assumed the title of American Emperor. As far as 'taxing the hell' out of people, that's a little too communistic for my American sensibilities. I'm not a big fan of the 'Manifesto'. Income taxation is nothing more than the 21st century version of slavery and I'm against slavery in whatever form it takes. I would, however, support a VAT as long as it replaced income taxation. Cut spending??? Please!!! The retards in Washington will continue to give the whining sheeple what they continue to cry for - our unborn children's money.

Your opening comment implies you are so insufferably pompous

you believe anyone who attends or attended public school hasn't the wherewithal to understand your brilliance. This is not the first time you've implied such to me and to others. Your attitude is frequently condescending and insulting. Are you this boorish in your everyday life...or only when hidden behind your keyboard?

Stan Bozarth

I'm boorish in public as well

Are you this boorish in your everyday life...or only when hidden behind your keyboard?

Most likely I'm boorish at all times and places, and my keyboard makes no difference. I've never had a problem making a fool of myself in public or in private.

As far as public education goes, let's face the facts. Most problems today have to do with the fact that we don't teach or develop critical independent thought, and all of us that suffered through that failed system are at a disadvantage. It is like alcoholism. If one doesn't accept the fact that their public education is worthless, they'll never do anything to fix the problem. If one realizes that their public education was a complete waste of time, then perhaps, they'll fix the problem and head straight to the library to offset the damage done.

Fractional banking is a disgrace. Just think about the concept of having to pay a banker interest on something that doesn't even exist! It is insane! I'm sure all those involved in the lucrative banking business (and especially the Federal Reserve) will espouse the glories of fractional banking since they benefit directly from stealing the hard earned labor of the citizenry for the unethical practice.

I can't help but think you've been programmed to espouse the glories of socialism, communism and totalitarianism! Anyone that relies on professional politicians and their glorious all-knowing government for success and happiness in life, and favor coercion over consent, is not a progressive liberal! Some of these posts are down right scary to read, and it is no wonder America finds itself in the position we're in with our 'what is the government doing for me today' electorate that can't even answer 5th grader questions, but is instructed what to think by self-serving politicians.

Perhaps I'm boorish, but at least I've chosen the red pill (from the movie, the Matrix). Republocrat politicians won't fix our problems. It is not in their own self-serving interest to do so. Politics is a game to be played by the ignorant. The American empire is in decline and won't last much longer. My heart felt hope, is for everyone to achieve life, liberty, and true happiness, and that isn't something dispensed by government. It is in government's own self-serving interest to propagate problems and dissent among the People-something they do very well.

I could choose to be smooth, polite and overly sensitive in order to ensure I don't offend, but I'd rather be honest. If that makes me boorish, so be it. At least you know exactly what I think, regardless of whether or not you agree or like it.

There's a difference between being foolish

and being disrespectful. Being offensive in the supposed cause of your intellectual honestly is an excuse you use to self-justify your poor manners/behavior. The only person you're fooling is yourself. It is not a badge of courage. What will it matter if your "red pill" thoughts and ideas and predictions are 100% correct yet your enduring legacy is that you are/were "at all times and places" an insufferable @#%& ? Think about it. You really want to take pride in that?

Stan Bozarth

...and insufferably pompous!

Stan, besides my own shortcomings, which I can assure you are much more extensive than merely being 'pompous' and 'boorish', how about responding to the content of the post?

Why have Americans become so risk-averse, safety conscious, whiners?

Why have Americans become comfortable spending our unborn generations money in order to create a make believe safety net from life?

Why have Americans chosen not to prepare our children for today's challenges and fix our failed education system?

Why do Americans think there is a nickel's difference between Republicans and Democrats?

I could go on and on, but there's no point. Unfortunately, everything I've predicted will come true - our fiat currency will meet its intrinsic value and America will experience a Greater Depression due to our own complacency, and politicians will blame the other party for our failure.

Agree on one thing

I could go on and on, but there's no point.

As a person who shares much of your disdain for our two party system and none of your admiration for American exceptionalism, I am flummoxed by your continual tilting at windmills. Aside from "dismantle everything" and "throw the bums out," I've yet to hear you make a practical suggestion about what to do in any specific area.

You may be right in your predictions about whatever happens to be passing through your thoughts at any given time. You may be right that racism is a figment of the imagination. And you may just as easily be wrong. It really doesn't matter either way.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Racism

Racism for the most part in the media and on most other media venues is basically whites against "people of color". It think our countrys people now know that this is a lot of bull. Racism exists in every ethnic group and every color group. This is no longer old white people sticking to the "N"-word racism today. Racism in our country is and has forever been in existance and will remain so even though we as a country has accepted just about every race and religion and ethnic custom-set. No other country on earth has ever had the ethnic and race and religious differences within its boarders with the success we have had. I have seen so many people on this blog and on other similar blogs say so many disparaging things about old white people when it comes to race, but that is not the truth in America. It is time we see that race relations in this country is no better or worse than it ever has been and that it will probably not ever be better or worse. This is the human condition. Like it or not. We are a testiment to acceptance and inclusion but in our past we have required more than just being different. We have required being Americans and working to be inclusive in Americas customs and mores and direction. Working against that is not American. Being different is honorable and accepted. But being different is not a reason to change our country. Our country has been the most giving country on earth and the most dedicated ally against wrong agression and the most sincere advocate of human rights so long as those rights do not include taking from people that give willingly to support the indigent and underpriviliged and disparaged.

i think we misunderstand, sometimes...

...how to apply law.

you absolutely won't succeed in outlawing racism. in fact, your right to be a racist is protected by the first amendment to the us constitution.

what the civil rights act says, however, is that if you operate a "public accommodation" (say, a gas station) you can't pick and choose what races are allowed to buy gas there, just as you can't operate a "men's only" gas station, or a "no jews" gas station.

the problem for rand paul is that he is on the record saying, over and over, that in a free america it is ok to operate a "no jews" gas station, even as most americans do not see that as a freedom that should be protected.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

So true about Rand Paul

Rand Paul is the quintessential libertarian in that he takes things so literally that he does not understand the nuances in definitions.

Racism exists today and will exist tomorrow but this does not preclude us from working against its negative affects on our populace. Paul seems not to understand this.
Good call Fake.

i'll add to your comment:

when cases come before the supreme court, it's often because two groups have rights which are in opposition to one another.

what paul seems to believe is that the court just takes rights away from one group or another, as opposed to what really happens: having to balance one group's claim of rights against another's.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

if you don't think government will be capable...

...of protecting you for a portion of your income, i assume you're working hard to shut down the police, fire department, and military.

you are busy, in your community, doing that, right?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

General Welfare

President John Adams signed into law in March 1799 an act that would impose a tax on "officers, seaman, and marines of the Navy of the United States," of 20 cents per month. The proceeds of that tax would then go into a fund that would provide relief for "sick and disabled seamen." Library of Congress

That sounds a lot like Social Security.

______________________________________________________________________

The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

it also sounds like...

...mandatory group health insurance, but we all know adams would never do anything all socialist, now would he?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Debt of the United States

In 1790 the 1st Congress passed "An Act Making Provision for the Debt of the United States," which included provisions for paying interest on the debt, and establishing a network of Commissioners in each state to collect duties and tariffs due to the central government.

______________________________________________________________________

The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

the power to do those things...

...is also specifically laid out in article 1, section 8.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

I don't think it is 80%

I not sure that your numbers are quite right, fake consultant. I think that SS+Medi*+Defense+interest add up to more like 70%, these days, rather than 80%.

 

Here's a federal spending pie chart (click on it for a bigger version):

I typed in the list of budget items there:

 21.05 Social Security
 13.34 Medicare
  7.32 Medicaid and CHIP
 11.77 Unemployment, welfare, etc.
  8.50 Interest on federal debt
 16.85 Dept. of Defense
  4.75 Global war on terror
  2.30 HHS
  1.93 Education Dept.
  1.46 Veterans Affairs
  1.26 HUD
  1.25 Dept. of State & international programs
  1.23 Homeland Security
  0.82 Energy Dept.
  0.68 Agriculture Dept.
  0.66 Justice Dept.
  0.58 NASA
  0.41 Treasury Dept.
  0.38 Interior Dept.
  0.35 Labor Dept.
  0.34 SSA
  0.27 EPA
  0.23 NSA
  0.21 Judicial
  0.15 Legislative branch
  0.15 Corps. of Engineers
  0.02 Executive office of the President
  0.01 SBA
  0.24 other agencies
  1.27 other off-budget discretionary spending
 -----
 99.78

Of the above, these would seem to be mostly in your categories:

 21.05 Social Security
 13.34 Medicare
  7.32 Medicaid and CHIP
  8.50 Interest on federal debt
 16.85 Dept. of Defense
  4.75 Global war on terror
------
 71.81 (your categories)

I don't see the off-budget postal service listed, however. Its spending equals about 2% of the federal budget. If you include it, then that 71.81% drops to about 70.4%. Subtracting CHIP would further reduce your categories, I think by about 1/3 of 1%, to right about 70%, even.

 

Here's another site, with a different breakdown:

 26.6 Military
 20.1 Health assistance
 13.6 Interest on federal debt
  9.8 Government
  8.5 Income security & labor
  7.2 Housing & community assistance
  3.7 Food assistance
  3.5 Veterans Benefits
  2.5 Environment, Energy & Science
  2.0 Education Dept.
  1.3 International Affairs
  1.3 Transportation
-----
100.1

Splitting it into "your categories" vs. "not your categories," we have:

  9.8 Government
  7.2 Housing & community assistance
  3.7 Food assistance
  3.5 Veterans Benefits
  2.5 Environment, Energy & Science
  2.0 Education Dept.
  1.3 International Affairs
  1.3 Transportation
 ----
 31.3  (not your categories)

 26.6 Military
 20.1 Health assistance
 13.6 Interest on federal debt
  8.5 Income security & labor
 ----
 68.8 (your categories)

The odd thing about this one is that I don't see Social Security listed. So I think they must not be counting the "off-budget" social security and post office. If so, then when you add in Social Security your categories would add up to about 73%. Subtracting CHIP and the Labor Dept. would reduce it, I think by about 1/3 of 1% each, leaving your categories at a little over 72%.

 

On a related topic, here's a look at what's been happening with the federal deficit; click on it for the article:

Dave

so here's how i came by that number...

...i simply went to this website and added up all spending not in those four areas.

that total ($631 billion) works out to 17.36% of the 2011 budget authority ($3.634 trillion), which means the exact amount of spending represented by those four core areas of activity is closer to 83%, which was then rounded down for ease of reference.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Wow !

21.05 Social Security
13.34 Medicare
7.32 Medicaid
11.77 unemployment & welfare etc..(takes in much not listed)
2.30 HHS
1.26 HUD
___________

57.04

WOW! I do not know how accurate those figures are but I am able to see that entitlements are a very big cost to us. Social Security is going to get bigger I expect since people are getting older and life spans are expanding I think that is true.

It would be interesting to see what impact the expenditures on illegal immigrants are in many of these categories.

without a valid social security account...

...you're not eligible to collect social security.

in fact, there is a fair amount of money coming into the system from illegal workers who are paying the social security tax, but unable to collect.

a quick comment on lifespan as well: much of the increase in average lifespan over the centuries is actually related to a reduction in infant mortality. lots more kids used to die befiore age 5, and that would drag down the average lifespan for all.

i was told, but i haven't confirmed this myself, that the actual average lifespan, excluding infant mortality, is only up about 4 years in the past couple centuries or so.

of course, if you consider that lots more people now get to be old, as they don't die in infancy, i would assume that is having an effect on social security.

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution guy

claims that that because of poor diet, Americans born today will live a shorter life than their parents. He says that's the first time in history that has happened.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

add this to the discussion:

the school lunch program that we're all familiar with was started, not out of a concern for the welfare of poor children, but because the defense department had determined that about 10% of wwII draftees were ineligible for service due to conditions caused by poor nutrition.

so not only is our poor diet medically expensive (and let me tell you right up front that i'm one of the guilty), but it's apparently a national security problem as well.

mcdonald's: enemy saboteur?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

True, fake consultant

It doesn't take much to confirm what you have said

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/03/social-security-for-illegal-immigrants/