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Enumerated powers of the federal government
(This is part one of a two-part piece. I intend to offer some solutions in next week’s opinion piece.)
There are only 23 enumerated powers granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution, 18 are from the original Constitution, and five are from amendments to the Constitution.
As you read this list of powers that the U.S. government is limited to, think about everything else that the federal government does, that it has no authorization to do, and has been doing so at your expense.
- The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
- To borrow on the credit of the United States;
- To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
- To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
- To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
- To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
- To establish post offices and post roads;
- To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
- To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
- To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Law of Nations;
- To declare war, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
- To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
- To provide and maintain a Navy;
- To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
- To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
- To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
- To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings; and
- To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
- The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
- New states may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new state shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.
- The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular state.
- The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
- Pursuant to the authority conferred upon it by §3 of the 20th Amendment, Congress shaped the Presidential Succession Act of 1948 to meet the situation which would arise from the failure of both president elect and vice president elect to qualify on or before the time fixed for the beginning of the new presidential term.
The federal government is still beholden to the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, wherein it states: “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.”
Nowhere in this list of federal authority is mention for the funding of the Departments of Health and Human Services ($1.286 trillion/year), Agriculture ($151 billion/year), Education ($68 billion/year), Housing and Urban Development ($60.3 billion/year), or the Department of Energy ($31.7 billion/year); or the Science Foundation ($8.28 billion/year), the Smithsonian Institution ($1.05 billion/year), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($445.5 million/year), the Federal Communications Commission ($388 million/year), or the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities ($153 million/year). …That is a whole lot of “bank” coming out of your paycheck, and this is only the tip of the iceberg of unconstitutional government usurpation of power and authority from the states, and we the people.
The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for a law which violates the Constitution to be valid. This is succinctly noted in the following Supreme Court decisions:
– ‘All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.’ Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803).
– ‘When rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.’ Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.
– ‘An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.’ Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425 p. 442.
– ‘The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. – ‘No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.’ 16 Am Jur 2nd, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256.
If something is important enough to take money from the citizens to pay for it, then amend the Constitution to legitimize that endeavor. Until then, those departments are not authorized by our Constitution, and therefore, the funding of those departments at the expense of the taxpayer is unconstitutional!
Through overreach, the federal government has taken your rights and your powers from you, and they are making YOU pay for that overreach. …Are you angry yet?