What will history say? What say you?
lounsbury | September 19, 2009 at 11:25 amby
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Conservatives, when speaking of the concept of limited government, are speaking to the issue of the Constitutional limits of the federal government as our Constitution so clear states in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.
welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being. [<ME wel faren, to fare well] Source: AHD
Welfare in today's context also means organized efforts on the part of public or private organizations to benefit the poor, or simply public assistance. This is not the meaning of the word as used in the Constitution. In Middle English the phrase "wel faren" from which welfare is derived, was a compound word that meant in a satisfactory manner to get along. Clearly the phrase would have been understood to be in reference to the duty of Congress to create (promote) favorable conditions for individuals and states to be prosperous.
Another oftentimes overlooked aspect of Article 1, Section 8 is that where specificity was required, specificity was used. Specifically a limit of 10 square miles was allocated to the creation of the nation's capitol. Why would they be so specific in regards to the size of the nation's capitol, and as liberals contend, so loosey-goosey with a term such as welfare if we are to believe it means what they contend that it means?
Fact of the matter is that the United States Constitution is a document that does several things:
1) It lays out the structure of the U.S. government
2) Establishes checks and balances of power to limit the size and scope of federal authority in respect to states and persons
3) It allows for adjustments to be made to it when the proper state and legislative support is achieved
4) Limits the federal government in power and scope
You can read a fascinating story about a debate in 1828 in regards to a request to give federal money to the widow of an Army general, General Brown, who died as a result of a disease contracted while in the Army. It was approved by Congress, but the debate is very telling of the view of Congress before we had embraced the faulty notion that things such as Czars out the ying yang are even remotely Constitutional.
I can't post the text, but here are the pages for you to read from the Library of Congress:
Summary: "...if gentlemen who intend to vote for the bill could reconcile it to their constructions of constitutional law, it lay between them and their constituents. The gentleman from South Carolina had estimated the tax on his constituents at one tenth of a cent, but if it were than that, he would give what he had no right to give under the constitutional law. It was made an argument in favor of the bill, that we should not give tyrants an occasions to taunt republics with ingratitude. What would history say of us, if for fear of tyrants, we consent to tear out this leaf of our constitution?"
So what will history say?
What say you?
Hugh AskewThese members have powered this story: