Is Washington now the new Gotham City?

In the underbelly of society, normal rules of right and wrong do not apply. Normal rules of fairness, honesty and integrity aren’t considered. Welcome to Gotham City! Where those who are to represent the citizens are actually the ones pillaging the citizens. Citizenry, a man named Bruce Wayne answered the call in the fictional Gotham City, and became the Dark Knight himself: Batman. When are America’s “Dark Knights” going to rise up out of the ashes of apathy stand up for liberty and justice?


Ron Paul on the General Welfare Clause

by Roger Pilon, cross-posted from Cato-at-Liberty

Now that Rep. Ron Paul is again a presidential candidate, his constitutional views will come under increasing scrutiny, as happened when he was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Not surprisingly, critics immediately leapt on Paul’s “crankish view” that Social Security, Medicare, and other such programs are unconstitutional. Even Wallace seemed taken aback, citing the document’s General Welfare Clause:

The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes … to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.

“Doesn’t Social Security come under promoting the general welfare of the United States?” Wallace asked, incredulously.

One does not have to agree with everything Paul has said or stood for over the years to grant that he has a point, and a very important one. It’s a mark of how widespread our constitutional misunderstanding is that so many Americans take it for granted, at least until the Tea Party came along, that most of what the federal government does today is constitutional.

In a nutshell, the Constitution was written and ratified to both authorize and limit the government created through it. It was designed to do the latter not through the Bill of Rights — that was an afterthought, added two years later — but through the doctrine of enumerated powers. Article I, section 8, grants the Congress only 18 powers. Nothing for education, or retirement security, or health care: Those responsibilities were left to the states or to the people, as the Tenth Amendment makes clear.