Ageless Wisdom Of The Founders
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.
It’s doubtful President Barack Obama has read much written by the Founding Fathers. If he did, he’s forgotten it, because his idea of government is a far cry from what the Founders envisioned.
Obama is the ultimate crony capitalist. He uses government to reward his friends and campaign contributors. According to his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he hopes to continue that trend. He said: “It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”
As we approach the beginning of another New Year, it’s common practice for many of us to make New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, we often break them before the first day of the New Year is done.
Instead of making one you know will be impossible to keep, how about this one from Benjamin Franklin?
Americans United for Separation of Church and State likes to use costly litigation and intentional disinformation to cow school districts into abandoning the recognition of religious holidays that for 200 years were staples of American classrooms. One example is the organization’s recent complaint about the inclusion of the song, “Silent Night” in a Christmas program at G.W. Trenholm School in Alabama.
The Continental Congress issued the first American Thanksgiving proclamation on Nov. 1, 1777. Here is the text of that proclamation: “Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God;