I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

- de Tocqueville 1831

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unconstitutional Charity?

In my last post, I asked what government programs could be considered unconstitutional; and even if they aren't, should we consider keeping them regardless?  The argument breaks down to how the constitution is viewed.  One side believes that our government was founded by men inspired to create an exceptional form of governance dedicated to maintaining freedom through the ages.  The other side views the constitution as a "living document " that changes with time to fit into an ever-changing society.  I believe that our nation's founders were men inspired of God and that the Constitution is sacrosanct and that the federal government should do only what is enumerated in this exceptional document.  Since the 1930s through today our government has spent phenomenal amounts of money to improve our society.  What is often overlooked is the power gained by Congress and presidents; they are essentially bribing the electorate with their own money.

  I recommend that everyone read the following link, an excerpt from the book The Life of Colonel David Crockett written by fellow congressman Edward S. Ellis.  Ellis tells of a bill in Congress that would pay money to the widow of a military veteran.  Davey Crockett stood in opposition of said bill and because of Crockett's speech the bill was voted down. When Ellis asked why Crockett would oppose this humanitarian gesture from Congress, he told of an encounter with one of his constituents who was going to vote against him in the next election because of Crockett's vote on an earlier bill (a bill that would pay to reconstruct a widow's house after a fire). The reason this constituent would be against this outpouring of good will is illuminating and instructional.

 In the speech that Crockett gave in opposition to the bill, he offered to pay a week's salary to start a fund for the widow.  No other congressman would put up their own money. It is far too easy to spend other people's money and without personal commitment, how can it be considered charity?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Original Intent?

During the town hall meetings last year, it was asked of our representatives and sentators, "Where in the Federal Constitution is it written that the government should run our health care system?"  This is a valid question,  a just question,  a question that is overdue in the asking.  What begs to be asked is what other programs have been started and run by the Federal government that is not enumerated by the Constitution?  Arguably, Social Security,  Medicare,  Medicaid and hundreds of other programs, subsidies and mandates are not in the purview of the Constitution.  Would we be better off if these programs did not exist?  Are there programs that would best be run by the Fed that is not enumerated in the constitution?  I will share my viewpoint in my next post, but I wanted to hear from others first.