Commerce Clause Gives Federal Government the Power to Do Everything

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Posted in category Totalitarian Government

Last week, the ornery Nancy Pelosi was asked, by CNSNews: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” The brilliant and philosophic Pelosi replied, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” From the CNSNews story:

Currently, each of the five health care overhaul proposals being considered in Congress would command every American adult to buy health insurance. Any person defying this mandate would be required to pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service.

CNSNews followed up with Pelosi’s press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, and inquired again, “Where specifically does the Constitution authorize Congress to force Americans to purchase a particular good or service such as health insurance?” All they got back was a September 16 press release titled “Health Insurance Reform Daily Mythbuster: ‘Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform.’” Some snippets from this 3rd-grade level literature:

Reform opponents continue to spread myths about components of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, including the nonsensical claim that the federal government has no constitutionally valid role in reforming our health care system—apparently ignoring the validity of Medicare and other popular federal health reforms.

…But the Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce.  Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life, from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited.

Backpedal to a 2003 column from Walter Williams – “Commerce Clause Abuse.”

In 1990, Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zones Act, citing their powers under the “commerce clause.” Namely, the possession of a firearm in a local school zone substantially affected interstate commerce. Why? Violent crime raises insurance costs and those costs are spread throughout the population. Violent crime reduces the willingness of individuals to travel to high-crime areas within the country. Finally, crime threatens the learning environment thereby reducing national productivity. While all of this might be true, the relevant question is whether Congress had constitutional authority to pass the Gun-Free School Zones Act. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled it didn’t saying, “If we were to accept the Government’s arguments, we are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate.” In other words, the hours children spend studying, the amount of rest they get and what they eat has something to do with learning. Congress could easily manufacture a case for the regulation of these activities based on their perverted interpretation of the “commerce clause.”

As Don Armentano wrote on Mises.org in 2005:

The original intent of the Commerce Clause was to make “normal” or “regular” commerce between the states; thus it was designed to promote trade and exchange not restrict it. Further, it was specifically aimed at preventing the states from enacting impediments to the free flow of “commerce” such as tariffs, quotas and taxes.

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9 Responses to Commerce Clause Gives Federal Government the Power to Do Everything

  1. Rob says:

    October 27th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Pelosi and the Congress can kiss my backside. I do not recognize their authority to mandate anything, and I also refuse to pay any “penalties” to their goon squad.

  2. Jeannie Queenie says:

    October 27th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    These guys are shameless…they should regularly carry toilet paper in their pockets for there always seems to be a little brown hanging around their mouths. Next thing you know, toilet paper will be the purview of the pernicious govt…if you buy two ply you will be taxed higher for the thickness, but one ply will let you off the hook. They would be too dumb to realize that you need twice as much with one ply. Either way, with the powers that be having not even close to one ply brain power, as far as the eye can see, one can visualize nothing but excrement in an eroding era of extreme erratic entitlements.

  3. Splash Daddy says:

    October 27th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    We are well past the point of no return. It’s not the swing of a pendulum; we’re beyond the slippery slope. The GOP has betrayed us and continues to do so. The likes of Newt Gingrich and company aren’t even faking it anymore – they tell us Ron Paul and Sarah Palin are the enemy. What to do?

  4. clark says:

    October 27th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I’m failing to see how Pelosi and Congress or the POTUS are any different than Kings and Queens, other than not being able to take a man’s virgin wife, what can they not do that a King or Queen could? Really though, under a Homeland Security whim, they Can take a man’s virgin wife – and put her in a cell somewhere where no one can hear.

  5. cousin lucky says:

    October 27th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    When the government told me that I had to enroll in their prescription drug program I ignored them!! I will also ignore this mandate!!

    Our elected officials have lost their ability to reason as well as losing their souls!!

  6. Jeannie Queenie says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Some sayings about the creeps kept in office—-”We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop—-”Those
    who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato——

    Politics, n: [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"] ~Larry Hardiman

  7. Michael says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Look at the historical context here: Why would the Founding Fathers, who recently won their freedom from His Majesty in a violent revolution, codify something in the governing document, the Supreme Law of the Land, that would basically give the federal government virtually unlimited power over the states and the people?

    The Commerce Clause is probably the second-most misunderstood section of the Constitution (of course Article I, Section 8, the Second Amendment and the Ninth Amendment are vying for top honors in this category).

  8. clark says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Poly tics – ahhahaha!

  9. The Freeholder says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Why shouldn’t the politicians torture the commerce clause until it screams for mercy? They done it to much of the rest of the Constitution.

    I have this idea for a short story that involves bringing the Founders back to life. Once accomplished, they are in the process of catching up, and during that time, they start watching CSPAN. Hilarity ensues as the begin fomenting revolution.

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