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   Government Debates
     Welfare Medicare and Education
       The Const. and the current Federal Government

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Patriotandproudofit

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Are Welfare, Medicare, and Education Constitutional activities for the Federal Government to be involved in?

Please refrain from using "look how much good/bad it has done" arguments. Stick to the Constitution and Original Intent documentation please.


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Posts: 51 | Posted: 8:41 PM on January 8, 2003 | IP
dsadevil

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Original intent plays no role. Everytime I hear about "original intent" I wince. The only "intent" that needs to be followed today is that the founders meant for the constitution to be a fluid document that would adapt to the times. So we'll stick to the constitution as written, but that's all.

Now with regards to that, the federal govt. has not stepped outside its bounds in Welfare, Education and Medicare, b/c of the way it finances these activities (block grants to the states). B/c the govt. technically is giving money to the states for them to carry out the program, there is no constitutional conflict. The states are perfectly free to refuse the money.




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"If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" -Will Rodgers<br><br><br>"Neither man nor nation can prosper unless in looking at the present, thought is steadily taken for the future." -T. Roosevelt<br><br>"Might I remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater<br><br>

Respect through Excellence only
 


Posts: 789 | Posted: 10:38 PM on January 8, 2003 | IP
Patriotandproudofit

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By "Original Intent" I simply meant things like, "The Federalist Papers" and "The Anti-Federalist Papers." Documents where the founders expounded upon their intention for certain clauses of the Constitution. Do you disagree with using such documents for explaination purposes?

Where did you learn that the Federal Government gives the money to the States so they can use it for the programs? I am VERY interested in learning about this kinda stuff.


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Posts: 51 | Posted: 11:17 PM on January 8, 2003 | IP
fallingupwards84

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why do you and david seem to worship the constitution and our founding fathers? why not open up to fresh new ideas?


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i am a liberal chrisitian and proud of it!!!

"Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most - that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least." - Eugene Debs
 


Posts: 971 | Posted: 11:26 PM on January 8, 2003 | IP
Patriotandproudofit

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I certainly don't "worship" the Constitution or the founding fathers. I know that both have many flaws. What "fresh new ideas" should I be opening up to?


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Posts: 51 | Posted: 11:30 PM on January 8, 2003 | IP
dsadevil

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Umm...how about "slavery is wrong." there's an idea not shared by the fathers that I would hope you would be open to.

Using those documents is useful for historical purpose, but they arent and shouldnt be legal precedent. Even if Madison ranted and raved against a "welfare" state, if its not in the constitution, it doesnt matter.

The "block grants" thing is just the way these programs are funded. It is quite clever really. I know it b/c I partake in student congress compititively, and if I ever do a bill on one of the above issues, I make sure to make it block grants so it is still constitutional. That's how real congress does it too.


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"If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" -Will Rodgers<br><br><br>"Neither man nor nation can prosper unless in looking at the present, thought is steadily taken for the future." -T. Roosevelt<br><br>"Might I remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater<br><br>

Respect through Excellence only
 


Posts: 789 | Posted: 4:30 PM on January 9, 2003 | IP
Patriotandproudofit

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"slavery is wrong." I wholeheartedly agree, but that is not "fresh new ideas." I have known that for quite some time now. Anything else I am supposed to be opening up to?

Thx for explaining the method of funding Dsadevil. I am not necessarily saying I agree, but at least I see how Congress funds those activities.


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Posts: 51 | Posted: 12:13 AM on January 10, 2003 | IP
dsadevil

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It's merely an example that there are some ideas out there that the founding fathers disagreed with that we need to accept today. Perhaps an active govt. committed to insuring the general welfare (that is a direct quote from the constitution) is one.


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"If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" -Will Rodgers<br><br><br>"Neither man nor nation can prosper unless in looking at the present, thought is steadily taken for the future." -T. Roosevelt<br><br>"Might I remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater<br><br>

Respect through Excellence only
 


Posts: 789 | Posted: 2:55 PM on January 10, 2003 | IP
Patriotandproudofit

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Dsadevil,

Again, I agree. The power of the federal gov't to "provide for the...general welfare" (Art. 1, Sec. 8, cl. 1) is a legitimate one, but only in its context.

"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..."

The taxes Congress collects, according to the Constitution, must be used to "pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare." The "general Welfare" clause is what is used to justify the allocating of money, by the federal gov't, to be given to those on the "welfare" program. But look at the language again: "general Welfare of the United States." This clearly shows that the allocating of money by the federal gov't to benefit a specific group of people is unconstitutional. Any money given for the "general Welfare" must benefit all of the States, not necessarily the people.

I am open to "fresh new ideas." I just want them to be Constitutional ones. Any others?


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Posts: 51 | Posted: 5:24 PM on January 10, 2003 | IP
dsadevil

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The argument you make just doesn't hold water. You say it is impossible to promote the welfare of all by helping some? It seems to me that targeting programs at those who need it, over the long term, will do more overall benefit to everyone than prohibitivly expensive programs that target everyone and merely drain the treasury. As Rep. Danny Davis once said "A rising tide lifts all boats." It is proven, sound economics that working from the bottom up will do more in the long term than trying to make everyone happy. Even if you dispute this, you can't dispute the idea that congress can at least come to the conclusion that targeted programs are the best way to promote the general welfare. If they decide that (and they apparently have), then they are free to implement it. Your standard would get rid of everything from medicare to a progressive tax system, and I think it is placing alot of weight on the word "general." Stretching general to make everything that isn't done entirely equally unconstitutional is just that, a stretch.

But even if that standard is accepted, which it really can't be, congress has convienantly managed to sidestep this problem by the whole block grants deal. So its an irrelevant point anyway.


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"If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" -Will Rodgers<br><br><br>"Neither man nor nation can prosper unless in looking at the present, thought is steadily taken for the future." -T. Roosevelt<br><br>"Might I remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater<br><br>

Respect through Excellence only
 


Posts: 789 | Posted: 10:59 PM on January 10, 2003 | IP
    
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