Under your argument, they are unnecessary, period.I'll agree to 1) The explicit clauses are unnecessary under the Hamilton view, except as perhaps the starter laws, as the government first forms.
Under your argument, all that was necessary is the 1st and last clause.
And yet, there are 16 more. Why? If the intent was to create a goverment with virtually ulimited power, why include those 16 clauses?
The primary argument against the bill of rights was that by specifying certain rights in such a bill the implication was that these were the only rights held by the people. This led to the 9th amendment, whuch states this is not the case.I don't know what the 9th amendment has to do with this - it is dealing with explicit and implicit rights, not powers. Please explain.
This is an example of the midset of the people creating the constitution -- 'all that's there is what is specified' - that by specifying certain powers in a section described as 'the powers of Congress', the implication was that these were the only powers held by congress.
If there was any thought that the Constitution was intended to confer virtually unlimited power to Congress, there would have been a similar discussion regarding those 16 superflous powers, in that they might be construed to mean that these were the only powers Congress was to have.
Thus, the inclusion of those powers defeats the argument that the intent was to that virtually unlimited power.
And the, there's the 10th amendment:
If the federal government was to have unlimited power, what powers then are reserved to the states? Under ths 'unlimited power' argument, the 10th amendment is meaningless.
This then clearly the argument is unsound, as a federal government with 'unlimited power' is what the constitution was intended to avoid.I'll agree again 2) that this interpretation provides unlimited power.
So you agree that the implementation of the Hamiltonian view by the court is nothing more than a 'because we said so'.Once again 3) I agree.
Given that, why support it?
That said, I am awfully worried about the growth in entitlement spending. In another thread, for 2009 I computed $660 billion for DOD and GWOT, and $1.7 for entitlements (SS, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment) and growing.
HA!Because it gets me what I want.
You do know that's not a sound argument, right?
Tell me: What argument do you have to counter the 'unlimited power' argument when its something that you do NOT want?
You are correct.If we have to go the proper course, in light of a more restrictive General Welfare Clause, then I would need a Constitutional Amendment to get mandatory healthcare, correct?
The amendment process, BTW, is another argument against the 'unlimited power' argument.
I thought of a way to enforce a more restrictive General Welfare Clause other than a SCOTUS decision. You could pass an amendment that locks in the enumerated powers. Then we would need an amendment for healthcare, welfare, social security. Again, I think these things should be handled at the state level, but with the federal government helping to pay for them to make them 'mandatory'.
Dude, the lawmakers weren't stupid. The Constitution was written ambiguously so the details could be worked out in the political process. Otherwise, they would have never gotten it adopted.
Instead, I think the 16 specific powers listed are intended to be the minimum powers retained by congress under all circumstances. They can have others, but never less than those 16.
To be quite honest, I think that that particular section of the constitution (as well as several others) was written to be ambiguous on purpose. The people who wrote it were all smart enough to realize that in the future, situations would come up that they couldn't have conceived of when the document was written, and that dealing with them might require some flexibility in the constitution. A little ambiguity gives the people of the country the room to interpret it in whatever way they decide is best.
If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
That you can do this in no way nullifies my point....but you can ask the reverse question as well. If those were the only powers congress was to be given, why put in the 'to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States' clause and muddy the waters?
That said, the reverse question is easily answered - it explains why congress was given the power to tax and spend; said preamble, gives no more power to the governmen than does the actual preamble to the Constituion.
They did.Why not come right out and say that the powers listed are to be the only powers given to congress.
When something says you "shall have the power to..." and lists a number of powers, anything not found in that list is not a power you shall have.
This is unsupportable, especially given the 'unlimited power thru the general welfare clause' argument. Under that argument, all of these powers are already included, as they all relate to the general welfare and/or common defense.Instead, I think the 16 specific powers listed are intended to be the minimum powers retained by congress under all circumstances. They can have others, but never less than those 16.
Hamilton was first among those that argued against the bill of rights, for the reason I supplied - that to specifically list certain rights would lead to the denial of those not listed.This is clearly not universally true. Hamilton helped create it, and he argued that those were not the only powers held by congress.
In that light, if he did indeed hold that the enumeratesd powers were not the only powers of Congress, where are his argument against the enumeration of powers itself, in that specifying certain powers in a section described as 'the powers of Congress' denotes that these were the only powers held by congress, and would then lead to the denial of those not listed?
This is unsupportable, especially given the 'unlimited power thru the general welfare clause' argument. Under that argument, all of these powers are already included, as they all relate to the general welfare and/or common defense.An equally plausible argument is that the general welfare clause does grant much broader power to congress and the 16 specific powers listed were to be the minimum powers it had.
To be quite honest, the only people that see ambuguity are those that want the Federal Government to do something that they know it has not been given the power to do -- thus, the 'general welfare' argument.To be quite honest, I think that that particular section of the constitution (as well as several others) was written to be ambiguous on purpose.
I fully agree - That's why they included Amendment X and Article V.The people who wrote it were all smart enough to realize that in the future, situations would come up that they couldn't have conceived of when the document was written...
Last edited by Goobieman; 11-19-09 at 02:04 PM.