Both major political parties had the power to control or end enslaving national debt the last 50 years. Both failed, and neither party even tries to end it anymore. Neither party has the intestinal fortitude to say “no” to government gifting, and now they offer only more debt on our defenseless children and grandchildren. The hard truth is there will be no Social Security for the today’s children. The present path offers only loss of liberty and bankruptcy.
The national debt exceeds $23 trillion. To pay this debt today each taxpayer owes $186,578, immediately. The largest creditors in order are: Medicare/Medicaid $1,253,523,000,000, Social Security $1,044,752,000,000, defense/war 673,433,000,000, income security/welfare $301,114,000,000, net interest on debt $374,060,000,000, federal pensions $287,602,000,000 and food/agricultural subsidies $151,840,000,000, according to www.USDebtClock.org.
Even with the present robust Trump economy, which is the best in several decades, it has continued to escalate by $4 trillion the last three years. The nation faces economic Armageddon which, at this late date, may not be avoidable.
The nation has indebtedness, because both political parties failed to keep their oath of allegiance to the Constitution. If the country does not get back to the Constitution with a strictness that it is not accustomed to, the new slaves, or those encumbered by the debt of those before, will not even have freedom. If the Republic falls because of this national debt threat, the new tyranny will not restore the government gifting programs responsible for the fall – the above programs disappear either way.
Yes, the expensive programs will have to go at least on the federal level regardless, but the nation can yet save the Constitution and liberty, if it has the will. All power not listed in Article I, Section 8, or elsewhere in the document, or added by way of amendment to the Constitution thereafter, is a state power, according to the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution … are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
Of the seven highest creditors listed above, only common defense was specifically authorized in the Constitution. Constitutionally, the others should have necessitated Article V authorization, an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the states. This step did not happen. Most of the programs of the 20th century, most policies presently advocated by the Democratic Party and the infrastructure program advocated by President Donald Trump are outside Article I, Section 8 and are state prerogatives as per the 10th Amendment, and thus cannot be implemented constitutionally without state permission. The hard truth is they lack specific constitutional authority. All six others, although they now seen as “sacred cows,” are entwined with government gifting which has accelerated beyond the nation’s ability to control.
The Legislative branch was limited to only four areas of law-making power: to tax, to pay the debts, to provide for the general welfare and to provide for the common defense. These powers are laid out in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 before the first semicolon, so they are essential to the proper interpretation of Section 8. The power to tax needed a qualifier, which said the tax must be “uniform throughout the United States,” but in the same article, Section 7, Clause 1, the power to tax must originate in the House of Representatives. To pay debts needed no qualifiers. But no one in the Constitutional Convention trusted Congress with a free hand in deciding the other two powers: general welfare and common defense. Either power could mean anything to a power-grabbing federal congress. Each of these interests needed eight additional qualifiers for clarity, so Clauses 2-9 include the law-making powers of Congress with respect to general welfare and Clauses 10-17 discusses issues respecting the common defense.
The long 18-paragraph sentence – yes, sentence – ended with Congress having the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers…” Congress was never given power to make any law they thought desirable but only those within four perimeters and 17 qualifiers. Section 8 is the most ignored and the most abused part of the Constitution. The hard truth is Congress was not empowered to make any law outside the 17 qualifiers without Article V permission from the states – even if every member of both houses approved.
A careful reading of Section 8 revealed that the Founding Fathers gifted no individual or group. It only provided a level playing field, enabling citizens to gift themselves by their work ethic and talent.
So what is the constitutional solution ending enslaving national debt? End government gifting.
Begin by initiating a bill or amendment that requires all future requests for gifting to accompany the constitutional wording that authorizes it. If such wording does not exist, the new bill cannot proceed.
Next, begin to remove all existing gifting measures of the past that are not specifically identified in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1-18, or added by a constitutional amendment thereafter – even those longstanding and sacred. These gifts should be transferred to, and entirely funded by the states as soon as possible. States that wish to retain portions of the gifting are not prevented from doing so under the Constitution as written, nor are states that wish not to do so prevented. But each state must fund their programs without federal help.
There is hope. The Constitution can save the U.S., but only if the country has the resolve to use it as written.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.