12/20/09

Two Definitions

There is a lot of discussion lately, with regards to this government entrapment of the people health care bill being justified by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which authorizes Congress to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States".

However, I believe this is a shortsighted argument - based on two definitions.

The first definition comes from Merriam-Webster's dictionary on the word "amend":

1 : to put right; especially : to make emendations in (as a text)
2 a : to change or modify for the better : improve (amend a situation) b : to alter especially in phraseology; especially : to alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition (amend a constitution)

Specifically, I'm referring to definition 2b: to alter formally by modification, deletion or addition (amend a constitution). By adding an amendment to a document, the preceding terms listed are altered and new terms may be added. In the case of the United States Constitution, amendments are added to further restrict the powers of government (exceptions: 16th Amendment, authorizing Congress to collect taxes; 18th Amendment, restricting the rights of the people, which was repealed by the 21st amendment).

As a direct example of how amendments change the terms of those that precede them, all we need to do is look at Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 (authorizes Congress to collect taxes) and the 24th Amendment (abolishing the poll tax). The federal government was granted a right and the United States Constitution, which inherently distrusts government, was amended to restrict this granted power.

This brings me to the second definition arguing against government-controlled health care - the 10th Amendment:

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.


Now, Congress is authorized to provide for the "general Welfare". This is plainly written in Article I, Section 8, Enumerated Powers and not open for dispute. The United States Constitution, as we know, does not trust the federal government and the 10th Amendment, which I believe the Founders intentionally placed at the end of the Bill of Rights, explicitly states if the United States government is not explicitly granted a power by the Constitution, it is reserved to the States or the people.

For those who hold the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment sacred (as we all should), I implore you to look at the other 24 amendments in this boon of Liberty. The 10th Amendment was not placed last in the Bill of Rights because it was the least important. It is there because, as is fitting for any amendment to a contract, it is the most important in limiting what the government may do to the people.

5 comments:

RonnyEngrish said...

Wow. Hap man. You continue to impress me with the way that you think and your observations of current events.

I tip my hat to the teacher as I am ever the student.

Hapkido said...

Ronny,
Thank you for the incredibly generous compliment! I do try to be eloquent as much as I am appraised of current events.

Of course, I only get a gem or two a year. You're cranking them out like a DeBeer's mine!!!

Idlike2bnTX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Idlike2bnTX said...

Most sagacious and perspicacious. You should share this with Mr. Beck and Mr. Hannity.

Harvey said...

As I understand it, the "general welfare" clause isn't a power in itself, but rather a restriction on how the enumerated powers may be used.

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