Ageless Wisdom Of The Founders
After years of bristling under the rule of a monarchy, Americans were loath to create another monarchy. Antifederalist Philadelphiensis warned that the U.S. Constitution was creating an executive with even more power than a king.
The political class loves to pit one class against another. It does it in rhetoric to win elections. It does it in policy to win campaign donations from and provide favors to special interest groups.
Because of it, rather than a Nation united, we are a Nation divided.
As we approach another Presidential election, we face a Morton’s Fork. On the one hand is the Marxist President Barack Obama who in speeches has committed himself to empire America and to policies subjecting Americans to trickle-up poverty while he and his cronies enjoy the perks of power. On the other hand is the corporatist/fascist Mitt Romney who has pledged to grow the military-industrial complex while growing America’s debt almost as fast as Obama.
In October 2009, while the Barack Obama Justice Department was watching guns purchased from U.S. border gun stores “walk” into Mexico straight into the hands of narcoterrorists, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “Conventional arms transfers are a crucial national security concern for the United States, and we have always supported effective action to control the international transfer of arms.
“The United States is prepared to work hard for a strong international standard in this area by seizing the opportunity presented by the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations. As long as that Conference operates under the rule of consensus decision-making needed to ensure that all countries can be held to standards that will actually improve the global situation by denying arms to those who would abuse them, the United States will actively support the negotiations. Consensus is needed to ensure the widest possible support for the Treaty and to avoid loopholes in the Treaty that can be exploited by those wishing to export arms irresponsibly.”
During the Constitutional Convention, there was much discussion about the chief executive, how much power he should have, how long his term should be and whether there should be more than one. In fact, the lack of a chief executive was considered one of the glaring weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
Save Alexander Hamilton and James Wilson — who advocated for a strong chief executive similar to a monarch — delegates were most concerned that the executive would turn into a virtual king. During the Philadelphia Convention, Charles Pinckney said he was “for a vigorous executive, but was afraid the executive powers of the existing Congress might extend to peace and war, &c.; which would render the executive a monarchy of the worst kind, to wit, an elective one.”
Senate Republicans are softening their “hard-line stance against raising tax revenues to slash the deficit, with a number of Republicans willing to go further than their party’s standard-bearer in the face of a looming showdown over the budget,” Politico reported yesterday.
Most the Framers and Ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution feared paper money. For that reason, Article I, Section 8, which deals with credit, commerce and coinage, was a much-discussed section.
As the consensus moved toward restricting the issuance of paper money and establishing a sound money policy, the Framers pondered what to do about the government’s debt. Many argued that, without the ability to print money, there was no way to discharge the debt. But the Framers knew from experience that printing money led to inflation. So Clause 5 — which restricted money to coins — was inserted to negate the effects of fiat money. Clause 2 of the section, which gives Congress the power to “borrow money on the credit of the United States,” was finally settled upon, though not without objection.
Congressional aides call it “Taxmaggedon.” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calls it “a massive fiscal cliff.” “It” is Jan. 1, the day taxes increase because the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire and Obamacare taxes kick in.
According to The New York Times, it will mean a typical middle-class household making $50,000 will see a tax increase of about $1,750. If not addressed, according to The Times, inflation-adjusted, after-tax income will fall to 1998 levels.
One of the oldest plays politicians pull out of their playbook is class warfare. President Barack Obama campaigned on it, as did George W. Bush before him and Bill Clinton before him. It’s a despicable way of pitting one group against another and drawing attention away from important issues and onto ancillary and unimportant ones.
In Embematical Representations, Ben Franklin wrote:
Where did the Founding Fathers come up with the term “natural-born citizen” that they used in the qualifications for President?
The term comes from The Law of Nations by Emerich de Vattel in 1758.
The Founders, all very learned and scholarly men, referenced many works as they deliberated on exactly what the Constitution should say: those of John Locke and Sir William Blackstone among them. But their ideas on citizenship obviously came from Vattel.