Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hoyer's Got a Feevah

by Smitty

He needs more General Welfare Clause cowbell.
Hoyer, speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, was asked by where in the Constitution was Congress granted the power to mandate that a person must by a health insurance policy. Hoyer said that, in providing for the general welfare, Congress had "broad authority."

"Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect that end," Hoyer said. "The end that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility."
Readers having shred #1 of common sense interpret Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution as giving a limited set of powers to Congress, as well as enough wiggle room to carry out those powers.

The subsequent Amendment 10 should have been a firewall against this Progressive Hoyer-hooey. But there sits Amendment 16: Congress has eminent domain over YOUR WALLET. It's a century-old problem. The best vehicle I've seen for steamrolling the rampant Hoyerism is The Federalism Amendment.

The question is how bad things have to get to trigger an Article 5 cram-down. You know these neo-aristocrats are going to pay as much attention to the American People now as George III did back then.

I say this coming from a district with a bullet-proof piece of work in office, VA-8. At the Green Tea Party, I said to a speaker who was from Hoyer's district "I'll trade you Jim Moran for Steny Hoyer." That speaker (no recollection of his name) allowed that he was unsure which of us would be receiving the bigger screwing.

Back at TFA:
David B. Rivkin, a constitutional lawyer with Baker & Hostetler, told that Hoyer’s argument was "silly," adding that if the general welfare clause was that elastic, then nothing would be outside of Congress' powers.

"Congressman Hoyer is wrong," Rivkin said. "The notion that the general welfare language is a basis for a specific legislative exercise is all silly because if that’s true, because general welfare language is inherently limitless, then the federal government can do anything.

"The arguments are, I believe, feeble," he said.
Now, for those lacking common sense, or enjoying a Federal collar on the neck, a feeble argument is no disqualifier, as long as it's backed with government cheese.


  1. The Tenth Amendment was enacted precisely to limit the interpretation of the general welfare clause. When legislating for the general welfare (which all laws are supposed to do), Congress is strictly limited to the enumerated powers in the Constitution. All others powers - all of them - are reserved for the states and the people.

  2. I'm still waiting for somebody, anybody, to bring suit against this administration for taking over GM and firing its chairman Rick Wagoner; also for pushing Chrysler creditors to set aside their legal rights under bankruptcy law in favor of the union's claims. I'm also waiting for somebody to recall (or impeach, or whatever) every single blankety-blank member of Congress who voted for the stimulus bill UNREAD (this was misfeasance at a minimum, and certainly a violation of their oaths of office).

    Who's got legal standing to initiate any of this? I think our Founding Fathers never foresaw that there might come a time when the entire Executive Branch would be venal, corrupt, and beholden to outside interests (and totally indifferent to the well-being of our country and its citizens.)

    Unfortunately, I believe that we've gone past the tipping point; I think that more than 50% of voters are quite happy to elect those who promise them "free government money". The rest of us know there's no free anything --there's always a piper who WILL be paid one way or another-- but now we're a minority and we're S-O-L.

  3. This "general welfare" clause is in the Preamble. It is part of the mission statement of the constitution. It is not the legislative language, nor is it meant to be binding other than as a broad goal of the articles and amendments. It's overreach of the worst sort.

    The preamble only says "this is what we want to do", and segues into the articles, which is "how we are going to do it".