Fixing America would be so simple if Congress knew and understood the Constitution. Especially in regards to how the word Welfare is used. It was certainly not used in the same context that it is today. If it was a derogatory word I do not think they would have used it in the Constitution. In this day and age Welfare is spoken of like some parasitic scourge on society.
There is a problem with the government in America today. It is broken and no one seems to know how to fix it. It has come to a grinding halt. It is effecting not only the countries economics, but the ability to create jobs which sustain the system. It is my belief that part of the problem stems from a misunderstanding of what the Constitution says and what it is suppose to do. If you will read the Constitution it is pretty clear what the Founding Fathers expected those who came after them to do. The opening sentence says it all.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
What many Americans do not know or understand is that the war with England had been over for almost five years before America decided to create the Constitution. During the five year period from the end of the war till the Constitution the colonies operated under the Articles of Confederation. The problem was that under the Articles there was no central government that had any authority to force any state to do anything. Each state operated independently.
However a situation arose after the war and even during the war that made the need for a central and unified government apparent to the former colonies. As soon as America declared Independence from England a state of war existed. England therefore no longer protected the ships of the colonies on the high seas. In fact England started attacking them. American ships traveling in the Mediterranean Sea were open to attacks by pirates. That is where the verse in the Marine hymn, "The shore of Tripoli" come from. With the end of hostilities the former colonies had no Navy to protect American shipping. The pirates being aware of this situation attacked American ships without fear of attack. It created a situation that made the former colonies realize the need for a military force to protect American interests. England, France and Spain were also occupying the western territories that were supposed to be America’s after the war. Section Eight directed the newly formed government to create an Army and a Navy. These things the new Congress did.
In fact the new government did four out of the five of the things mentioned in the opening sentence very well. It is the fifth one that kind of got over looked or misinterpreted. The Founding Fathers understood it and within three years of the ratification of the Constitution they started building the White House and the Capitol in Washington, DC. In other words they started creating infrastructure. Much of it was damaged in the War of 1812 and they immediately started the rebuilding process. They did not hesitate to maintain the infrastructure. The nation and the infrastructure continued to expand. The sale of land in the west funded much of the governments growth.
At the start of the Twentieth Century a new method of creating funds was put in place by the government. It was the income tax. It was approved by a Constitutional Amendment. The real reason for the creation of the tax was somewhat hidden for years but the government had no problem with spending the money. That issue is covered in one of my earlier blogs.
The problem was that none of the funds raised were dedicated to maintaining the infrastructure in America. What was and is needed is a permanent plan to maintain and expand the infrastructure to meet the needs of the nation. A well maintained and current infrastructure adds value to the nation. That is not and has not been the practice in America. During the Great Depression programs were put in place to create jobs. It helped some, but as soon as World War II broke out it was forgotten. At the end of the war things started getting back to normal. During the Eisenhower Administration a program was created that helped keep the economy moving forward. It was the interstate highway system. Which was followed by several wars and the space race. The economy kept going for some time, but then things started to slow down.
Government for the sake of government started expanding and no new programs that created jobs or industry were being built. In fact a trend started of sending American jobs overseas to take advantage of cheap labor. What should have happened at that point did not. Companies should have been taxed or had high duties placed on their goods coming into America. It should have been enough to maintain America’s standard of living, but it did not happen. Government has continued to grow, while the tax base that should have been supporting it has started and continues to shrink. The standard of living for the first time in American history is declining.
It is not that America quit being the leader in creating new industry and jobs. It was and is that American business became hooked on the cheap labor. That in and of itself is not bad. America needs to create a new program for rebuilding its infrastructure and upgrading for the future. It may take a new tax dedicated solely to infrastructure, but is has to be matched by a downsizing of the Federal government and its out of control spending. Cutting the programs that help those hurt by the changes is not the answer. It will take reexamining all of the governments expenditures. Do we need the size military we now have? Do we need to spend billions on a drug war that is not accomplishing a thing. Especially when some states like Colorado are actually taxing and creating a revenue base off of a product that the Federal government can not seem to control. Supposedly Colorado not only created jobs regulating medical marijuana it collected seventy million dollars in taxes. It expects that amount to increase. If you multiply that times fifty states it would create well over three and a half billion nationwide. That is just on medical marijuana. Legalization would allow the creation of many more products from hemp rope, to canvas and even bio-diesel. That is not to mention the hundreds of thousands of jobs, growing, processing into products and tax enforcement. It will grow on the worst ground and even in ditches. The potential to create billions of dollars of trade revenue and taxes, not to mention jobs is something that needs to be seriously looked at. Giving billions of dollars in unemployment and food stamps to people to do nothing but sit on their asses is not exactly productive either. That money could have been spent to start infrastructure programs but it is easier to give it away and increase the debt level of America. It is time to start thinking outside of the box we seem to have gotten ourselves into.
Our prisons full of drug abusers. Is that a sound way to spend money? Why make criminals out of citizens that have a substance abuse problem. If that is the answer why not round up the drunks and those who smoke cigarettes. Why because the government taxes those commodities. Why not legalize and tax drugs and those products made from the residue like canvas and rope for starters. It would be more Christian and humane to give treatment to the ones who totally abuse the drugs. Addicts would no longer need to steal and break into homes to get the funds to support their high dollar habits. Aren’t the lives worth saving of those who are being killed by using polluted drugs. Dealers cut and dilute drugs with who knows what to increase profits. Take the profit out of it and the drug dealers will be gone. Admittedly they will just find a new way to make money. However they will not be dealing dirty drugs and killing people. Take a look at prohibition. Thousands died from polluted alcohol. The stories of out of control gangsters is American legend. Did they keep selling booze when liquor was legalized? No they did not. They created the drug industry. It is time to cut the money off from the gangs. It is time to start saving lives and creating new legal industries and products to sell overseas. Not to drag religion into the issue, but even the Bible in Genesis 1:29 says every herb with seed was given for man to use. Don’t you think God knew the potential effect of every plant and its ability to be made into a drug. It is strange that almost every continent has plants that can be used to ease pain and suffering of people with illnesses. Why should people be forced to become criminals to ease their suffering or forced to give up everything they own to get medical attention from an out of control health care industry. Sure some people abuse drugs just as they do alcohol and tobacco. From another perspective though some of our Founding Fathers grew marijuana on their properties. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are just two that are documented. The final point in this argument is that it should be an issue decided by the states. The Constitution gave the right to decide issues not covered in the Constitution to the states. Drugs are not covered in the Constitution. The Federal government has violated states rights in creating laws that take away states rights.
America can not legislate morality. It did not work for alcohol during prohibition and it is not going to work for drugs. The government also needs to realize it can not spend its way out of debt. Things need to change or America will become another third world country. A short quote from the Declaration of Independence shows the intent and thoughts of the Founding Fathers.
“and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-”
They did not attempt to guarantee Happiness, but the right to pursue it. They based that on rights endowed by their creator and the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God. Based on those statements I am sure rights given by God to use all plants bearing seed for mans benefit, should not be revoked by the laws of man.
Having said all this it seems to me that it would make better sense to legalize and tax the use of drugs. Then at least the ones using the drugs are the ones paying for the treatment and regulation of the drug industry and not the taxpayers who do not, and will not use drugs regardless. Think about this a moment. If you do not drink, smoke or use drugs are you going to use them just because your government says you can? If you answered yes to that question you need some serious moral and values training. So why should you be taxed to waste money trying to enforce laws that do not and will not work.
Based on all the above the government needs to create a program to provide for the welfare (needs) of America. A person who provides for the welfare of his family is one who provides shelter, food, clothing, protection and even safe paths. (Even if it is only to the outhouse) Should the nation provide any less for its citizens. I think not. Welfare is a duty of the government under the Constitution. It is time for Government to do its duty.