Think Globally, or Oh Davy, We Hardly Knew Ye. . .greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I had originally intended to post this to E. Coli's thread, "Think Globally", but as I read it, I realized that it needed to stand on its own. It goes directly to the question E. asked, ". . .reinstatement of the U.S. Constitution as the "Supreme Law of the Land?"
From "The Life of Colonel David Crockett," by Edward Sylvester Ellis.
One day in the House of Representatives a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:
"Mr Speaker--I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on this floor knows it.
We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
"Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.
Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation.
"Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done".
"The next summer, when it began to be time to think about election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but as I thought, rather coldly.
"I began: 'Well friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates and---
"Yes I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine, I shall not vote for you again."
"This was a sockdolger...I begged him tell me what was the matter."
"Well Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting you or wounding you."
"I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest."
"But an understanding of the constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the honest he is."
" 'I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown. Is that true?"
"Well my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just the same as I did."
"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.
What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he.
If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity."
"Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life."
"The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from necessity of giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."
"So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you."
"I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:
"Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot."
"He laughingly replied; 'Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way."
"If I don't, said I, 'I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.'"
"No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. 'This Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you."
"Well I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye. I must know your name." "My name is Bunce." "Not Horatio Bunce?" "Yes."
"Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend."
"It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence, and for a heart brim-full and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote."
"At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before."
"Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before."
"I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him - no, that is not the word - I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm."
"But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted - at least, they all knew me."
"In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:
"Fellow-citizens - I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgement is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only."
"I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:
"And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error."
"It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so."
"He came up to the stand and said:
"Fellow-citizens - it affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today."
"He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before."
"I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress."
"Now, sir," concluded Crockett, "you know why I made that speech yesterday. "There is one thing which I will call your attention, you remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men - men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased--a debt which could not be paid by money--and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $20,000 when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), November 05, 1998
-- Uncle Deedah (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
Thank you for posting this marvelous quotation, Hardliner. I'm not sure if this means much,...but I'll post it nevertheless...I have never had much money...I'm a musician, and music teacher. I mostly make ends meet. What I have always considered the most valuable thing I can do to to "help others" is to give of my time,...something I value more than "stuff". Perhaps that is where my mind goes when pondering "thinking globally"...although I think that acting locally is the truest expression of that. I am attempting weekly to give time and talent to neighbors...I'm fiercely trying to get them to "let me" do so in my city....they are short on understanding, however.
What I got out of the Davy Crockett story is: I certainly don't want people I don't know appropriating my time and little money because it is a law or mandated in some way...I resist and duck and weave those mandates whenever possible...Politicians would be incrementally more palatable if they would stop appropriating what I could do...and calling themselves altruists...Gotta be careful here,..I sound a bit like Ted K., in his manifesto....
The Sheeted-One's rant: ACT locally, and refuse to be abused by the phoney altruists who call themselves "public servants"...As Shakespeare said: "Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds."
-- Donna Barthuley (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
That is a keeper (and print-outer)!! And an e-mail worthy post to all friends near and far. Bravo, Hardliner!!!
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
WOW! Thanks, Hardliner! This is certainly not the history being taught to our kids today!
-- Gayla Dunbar (email@example.com), November 05, 1998.
What couldn't we do with one such fine man in national office today! Thank you, Hardliner.
-- Faith Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 1998.
I have a sweet electronic friend over in Dublin, Ireland whos not yet Y2K aware. Im trying! At any rate, thought Id share:
Thanks for the Y2K and the Crockett stuff. I don't know if the Davy Crockett thing applies over here since we may have a different Constitution, however I suspect the principles are the same.
On the Y2K thing, I saw recently on UK TV a story about a leaked memo that indicates that the Scottish Home Office are very worried indeed about the Y2K "problem" - words and phrases such as "rioting" and "possible civil unrest" were used - needless to say they were savaged by the Opposition for this. Sorry I can't provide more details, it was on the TV and I was only barely paying attention! My father works for the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) here in Dublin, albeit in the international engineering division, and he's heard little enough about the problem, but he's going off to try to find out how the power stations in THIS country stand to cope. I'll let you know.
And the beat goes on... Diane
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), November 06, 1998.
http://webserv.vnunet.com/www_user/plsql/pkg_vnu_news.right_frame?p_st ory=67939 is an article re the Scotland military contemplations for rioting etc.
-- Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1998.
Jack, that link is currently not working. Here is a similar one:
-- Gayla Dunbar (email@example.com), November 06, 1998.
I share another e-mail from a friend. -- Diane
"What a great story. It's funny how all the years in school we have suffered through American History classes and none of the really important lessons were taught us. In any event stories such as this are very important right now. I think it is time we all took a hard look at the United States for what it has evolved into. The Constitution seems to be applied only to criminal defendants and "minority groups". As a result we have become a capitalist-socialist- democracy. None of which the Constitution intended. And from what I can see this combination is explosive. It started with the Great Depression and evolved from there. Maybe the Y2K debacle with be the beginning of a new era, one that goes back to the basics of people taking personal responsibility for their lives and their communities. Public representatives making law according to the wishes of their constituents not special interests and the need of "mob rule" ballot initiatives will end. Then finally the end of socialist groups such as labor unions, American Civil Liberties Union, and AARP to name a few. This is what I envision for the future. I intend to keep this vision alive for as long as I live. From what I have observed, I am not the only one with this vision of the future. If enough of us project this image, it will happen! Thanks for the boost of confidence!
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 06, 1998.
Bravo!! Made ten copies at work today, mailed out four and gave out the rest. Most won't understand why this is such a great, but sad story. It saddens me that we have drifted, so far so fast. The ride down is always faster than the ride up.
-- Bill (email@example.com), November 07, 1998.
For a different point of view, another friend e-mailed me. -- Diane
I read the Davy Crockett story, and I'm sorry, but I don't get it. If Congress had not levied money during the Great Depression to help people survive, we may have lost the Constitution in anarchy or worse. If there were no aid to the poor or people put out of jobs in terms of welfare and unemployment, there would be major disaster. If we did not have disaster relief to victims of earthquakes and floods, there would be even more people homeless and destitute...
So, what's the story supposed to mean? The people in Congress don't give of their own money? I am certain they give to charity functions and many forms of private giving to those in need. What's it supposed to mean that Davy gets up in front of a group of conservative farmers and says their taxes will not go to help people in need, and he wins the election. Sounds like an ulta-conservative Republican to me, who says we cannot pay for all those bums out there, ala Rush Limbaugh (gag)...instead we're supposed to put them in prison for stealing bread to feed their kids. We're not supposed to have insurance for millions of families who are trying to work, thus they don't qualify for medicare, but have no way to afford insurance. Ala [another friend] who now has two daughters who need braces and need to have their teeth filled first. She can afford neither, but somehow must find a way to do it. We're supposed to throw all those damn emigrants, even if their legal off of our medicare system and deny them coverage, so they can die out of sight and out of mind?
Maybe you have a wholly different view of this article. What does it mean to you?
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 1998.
Diane, tell your friend if we didn't pay so much in taxes we would have a lot more for what we personally need. Do you think that the person whose child needs braces would get them if she had about 33% more money? The whole idea of the story is that Congress should not spend OUR money on their every whim. If it was THEIR money, they would be more careful with it and wouldn't be so quick to give to every little cause.
-- Davy fan (email@example.com), November 07, 1998.
If we didn't pay taxes, we'd have 33% more money in our pockets. Great. I don't think I could afford to buy a well maintained highway with that much more money in my pocket though.
The problem is not the taxes, the problem is the people. People NOT voting, or voting irresponsibly. People not taking the time to research a candidate then pulling the lever. People not getting involved and demanding accurate accounting from politicians.
It's always easier to blame the other guy or the politicians than ourselves.
-- NotaDavyFan (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 1998.
I read the Davy Crockett story, and I'm sorry, but I don't get it. If Congress had not levied money during the Great Depression to help people survive, we may have lost the Constitution in anarchy or worse.
Another "Don't Get It."
Your point is that we may> have lost the Constitution in anarchy. Rather than run the risk of this happening we threw the Constitution away to socialism instead. That was an assured loss.
If there were no aid to the poor or people put out of jobs in terms of welfare and unemployment, there would be major disaster.
Hypothetical, and totally unproven. In fact this aid has been the grease that has aided our slide down from greatness. It has resulted in the new right to feed at the public trough.
If we did not have disaster relief to victims of earthquakes and floods, there would be even more people homeless and destitute...
No, if we didnt have these things people would not perpetuate the folly of living on the river banks or in hurricane prone areas, or in areas that have a high probability of earthquake. People do not repeatedly do costly things. If living on the banks of the Mississippi is costly because of the floods, people wont live there. Some people want to live on the river, others on the Outer Banks, others still on top of an earthquake fault. We are simply subsidizing these peoples misguided behavior by providing both disaster relief and low cost insurance for people who want to live in these areas. There are exceptions, but this is the general rule.
So, what's the story supposed to mean?
The story means, quite simply, that Congress does not have the right to take money from the public treasury and give it to any given class or individual. That was the meaning of the original Constitution, and it was a meaning that was obscured when the people first learned that they could vote themselves a chunk of every one elses pocketbook.
The people in Congress don't give of their own money? I am certain they give to charity functions and many forms of private giving to those in need.
This is trivial
What's it supposed to mean that Davy gets up in front of a group of conservative farmers and says their taxes will not go to help people in need, and he wins the election.
Interesting choice of words, especially considering that those "conservative farmers" were the people who built this nation. What it means, again, is that the original nation provided certain things to our citizens. Among these were life, liberty, and the pursuit of hapiness. This concept that we have to use tax money to look out for everyone who decides they cant or dont want to look out for themselves is none of the above. Your assumption is that because someone is in need the government should help them. That misguided bit of logic began to blossom with the Depression and massive federal spending. It exploded in the early 1970s with LBJs War on Poverty. Weve subverted the Constitution to attempt to provide life, and happiness. Liberty is gone, as is the pursuit, because we now must claim success for all.
Sounds like an ulta-conservative Republican to me, who says we cannot pay for all those bums out there, ala Rush Limbaugh (gag)...instead we're supposed to put them in prison for stealing bread to feed their kids. We're not supposed to have insurance for millions of families who are trying to work, thus they don't qualify for medicare, but have no way to afford insurance
The put in prison for stealing food for their kids is a strawman. Its nonsensical garbage that has nothing to do with the proposition.
Who guaranteed people free health care? At what point does it stop? Realize that this free health care, and free this and free that isnt free..........it is paid for by others, without their consent, and taken from them by confiscation. And if you dont think IRS seizure isnt confiscation, have another think.
Ala [another friend] who now has two daughters who need braces and need to have their teeth filled first. She can afford neither, but somehow must find a way to do it.
Right. Do you suppose that somehow she could find a way if the tax rate were far lower? Sorry, but are braces an absolute necessity----- or are they possibly cosmetic? What right do you have to assume that I, or someone else should pay for this?
We're supposed to throw all those damn emigrants, even if their (sic) legal off of our medicare system and deny them coverage, so they can die out of sight and out of mind?
Our medicare system? And, how about the illegal immigrants? Why should I pay for some one elses medical care when they first arrive in this country? More importantly, why is money taken from me, without my consent, to be used for this purpose?
The entire Davey story relates to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is a dead document. It has been ripped to shreds by the very courts that were sworn to uphold it, but I like the ideals of the founding fathers and the early fathers. Yep, Davey had the right idea!
-- rocky (email@example.com), November 12, 1998.
darn, and I checked all the italics html closes 3 times, but forgot the bold. Oh, well.
-- rocky (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 12, 1998.
I haven't been here for awhile, but decided to check it out today, and found this great post. Yes, it's a keeper. I'm making copies to send to our local politicians. I live in a wealthy county, and our public servants fight for the right to hold office here, and spend, spend, spend. I think they should have a copy of this.
Just one thought on people not having enough money to fix kids teeth, etc., Even if some got to keep more of their tax money, it doesn't mean they would spend it on necessities. My cousins wife was a case worker for Division of Family Services and said that many people on welfare, even though they needed it, had no idea how to manage it when they got it.
-- gilda (email@example.com), May 08, 1999.
THIS is brilliant.
Sincerely, Stan Faryna
P.S. If only the ghost of Horatio Bunce might have a little talk with Professors Mark Tushnet and Chai Feldblum of Georgetown University, the end of our Democracy might not be at hand.
-- Stan Faryna (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 1999.
To me, one of the underlying points of the story is simply that Congress was never delegated the power in question. The action was unauthorized. The "agents" were acting beyond the scope of the specific and limited power granted to them.
*********** "The question is not what power the Federal Government ought to have but what powers in fact have been given by the people." United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 63 (1936).
********** "...This Amendment [10th], which was seemingly adopted with prescience of just such contention as the present, disclosed the widespread fear that the national government might, under the pressure of a supposed general welfare, attempt to exercise powers which had not been granted. With equal determination the framers intended that no such assumption should ever find justification in the organic act, and that if, in the future, further powers seemed necessary, they should be granted by the people in the manner they had provided for amending that act. It reads: '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.' The argument of counsel ignores the principal factor in this article, to wit, 'the people.' Its principal purpose was not the distribution of power between the United States and the states, but a reservation to the people of all powers not granted. The preamble of the Constitution declares who framed it,-'we, the people of the United States,' not the people of one state, but the people of all the states; and article 10 reserves to the people of all the states the powers not delegated to the United States." State of Kansas v. State of Colorado, 206 U.S. 46 (1907)
From Carter v. Carter Coal Co., 298 U.S. 238 (1936):
"The proposition, often advanced and as often discredited, that the power of the federal government inherently extends to purposes affecting the Nation as a whole with which the states severally cannot deal or cannot adequately deal, and the related notion that Congress, entirely apart from those powers delegated by the Constitution, may enact laws to promote the general welfare, have never been accepted but always definitely rejected by this court. Mr. Justice Story, as early as 1816, laid down the cardinal rule, which has ever since been followed-that the general government 'can claim no powers which are not granted to it by the constitution, and the powers actually granted, must be such as are expressly given, or given by necessary implication.' Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 1 Wheat. 304, 326. In the Framers Convention, the proposal to confer a general power akin to that just discussed was included in Mr. Randolph's resolutions, the sixth of which, among other things, declared that the National Legislature ought to enjoy the legislative rights vested in Congress by the Confederation, and 'moreover to legislate in all cases to which the separate States are incompetent, or in which the harmony of the United States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual Legislation.' The convention, however, declined to confer upon Congress power in such general terms; instead of which it carefully limited the powers which it thought wise to intrust to Congress by specifying them, thereby denying all others not granted expressly or by necessary implication. It made no grant of authority to Congress to legislate substantively for the general welfare, United States v. Butler, supra, 297 U.S. 1, at page 64, 56 S.Ct. 312, 102 A.L.R. 914; and no such authority exists, save as the general welfare may be promoted by the exercise of the powers which are granted."
For more text: http://www.snowcrest.net/siskfarm/natpub.html
-- marsh (email@example.com), May 09, 1999.