Considering Constitutional scholar and Law Professor Barack Obama's regret over the restrictions placed on the government by the Constitution (a legal document) and its failure (or as I like to put it, "runaway success") to guarantee a right to your neighbor's property, I thought that maybe we should consider what the founders thought on the subject:
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
I suppose that means the Republic has been on the down slope since the ratification of the 16th Amendment (which may not be legal). I guess Barry's going to make America great again by destroying the Republic and calling Ben Franklin an old fool.
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816
So the author of the Declaration of Independence saw redistribution of wealth as a violation of every man's right to the fruits of his own labor. Oh well, what did he know about freedom and tyranny?
“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”
-Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801
So President Jefferson would see Barry Obama as unwise, unfrugal, and an advocate of "bad government". Remember though, Barry was President of the Harvard Law Review. He surely knows more about good government than Thomas Jefferson.
“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”
Not according to the Warren Court which wasn't that radical according to Barry.
“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
-John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787
Harsh words for Barry from another Founding Father. Does Barry seek anarchy and tyranny? All he wants to do is render the legal document that defines the government of our union null, void, and meaningless. Its not like he launched his political career in the house of an avowed anarchist or anything like that.
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
-James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794)
Does that put "spreading the wealth" out of the question? What did Madison know anyway. He's only the Father of our Constitution.
“…[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
So whenever someone talks about America's duty to help out the less fortunate in America (those richer than only 90% of the rest of the world) it flies in the face of what James Madison believed the Federal government's purpose was when the Constitution was ratified? Surely they teach this at Harvar- . . . never mind.
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
So the best way to help a poor person is not to enable them in their poverty but to motivate them to pull themselves out of it? Well, if that were true, then how did poverty completely end after the Great Society programs?
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
So happiness is not supposed to be benevolently bestowed upon us by the State? Huh, who knew?
I hate to say it Barry, but I think your "change" is the type of thing Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and the Constitution specifically intended to stop. But what do they know? They were only the most famous of the greatest collection of men assembled at one place and time in History. You were President of the Harvard Law Review!
Read more quotes at Conservative Colloquium and The Reference Frame.