Saturday, March 24, 2018

Is Welfare Constitutional? (Part II)

The Court has made some very questionable decisions during times of emergencies or crisis such as the Great Depression or times of War (Schenck v. United States, 1917 and Korematsu v. United States, 1944 to name a few). The Court found a way to pass Social Security because the economic calamity called for it. Of course, a crisis is one of the worst reasons to expand Congressional power. Why? Social Security did nothing to provide Americans relief during the Great Depression. Social Security was meant to be a tax when it was passed. And since the median age for life expectancy was 62 at the time of its passage, most people would never see Social Security. It was not designed to help Americans get out of the Great Depression. Why take money from individuals and companies at such dire times if it was to help people? Social Security was similar to the Agriculture Adjustment Act (also found constitutional) which paid farmers to not grow crops when people are starving. The government does some really dumb things during times of crisis or emergencies. Worse yet, Social Security is a permanent law that has diminished the Liberties of Americans by taking property without consent and eliminating citizen’s rights to make choices regarding their property. Finally, it is important to note that Social Security is not treated the same for all American citizens. Most public workers do not pay into Social Security, they pay into some other retirement schemes. Hence, Social Security is discriminatory and even if “general welfare” applied to individuals it must apply to all individuals equally, not in a discriminatory fashion.

In his famous decent in Plessy (1896) Justice Harlan said the “Constitution is colorblind”. After the Twentieth Amendment (women’s suffrage) supplanted the Fifteenth Amendment (only males could vote) the Constitution was also genderblind. And it can equally be noted the Constitution is socioeconomically blind as well. There is nothing in the Constitution that points to any federal government enumerated power to pass any type of welfare program. That power, should reside with the States. General welfare does not mean to protect whites, blacks, Hispanics, men, women, wealthy, poor, or intellectually challenged. General welfare is meant to protect all groups and all persons collectively, not to create class, ethnic, or gender warfare. In the past, the Court, has made numerous discriminatory rulings when dealing with race (Plessy v. Fergusson, 1896, Dred Scott v. Sanford, 1857, Grutter v. Bollinger, etc.), ethnicity (Korematsu v. United States, 1944), gender (Bradwell v. Illinois, 1872, Mueller v. Oregon, 1908), and intellectual capacity (Buck v. Bell, 1927). Justice Sotomayor says “race matters” but if that is true than so too does any other feature that makes Americans diversified. And the Court has failed time and time again to make proper decisions (nondiscriminatory) when facing issues regarding race or other diverse issues that make us all different.

The Fifth Amendment (Takings Clause) states: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This is fairly self-explanatory.

The Sixteenth Amendment states: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” The Sixteenth Amendment (along with the Seventeenth Amendment – popular election of Senators) were instrumental in destroying the unique federalism system (state and federal powers) set up by our founding fathers. These two amendments moved a majority of government power to the federal government at the expense of state governments. Congress now had the ability to tax and use coercive spending practices to get States to conform to federal legislations (see. South Dakota v. Dole).

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