Literacy is critical to liberty


We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, 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.


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

(Amendment IX)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

(Amendment X)

The statements above are taken directly from our United States Constitution. The Constitution is the document that we created to delegate limited authority to a federal government to act for us in a set of clearly defined and limited matters. In Article V of the Constitution, we established a clear and fixed process to amend or modify the Constitution, and thus the authority delegated to the federal government. That amendment process has been properly executed 27 times in the history of the nation. The process does not include assumption of authority not properly delegated by the legislative or executive branches or the creation of new authority or extension of existing authority by the judicial branch. In short, the Constitution is written in plain English to promote general understanding by all citizens and to preclude “interpretation” by elected representatives and others.

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution properly and clearly establishes the enumerated duties and authorities of the Congress. Once again, plain English is used to prevent confusion or misunderstanding. The common factor among those duties is to “provide for the common defense and general welfare.” The common definition of “welfare” is “health, happiness and general well-being.”

Nothing in the Constitution suggests or supports any action by the federal government to raise tax revenue to make loans to, or otherwise financially support, private banks or corporations. To the contrary, the Constitution requires Congress to establish uniform laws on bankruptcy. Nothing in the Constitution suggests or delegates authority to the federal government to create agencies that would serve as loan agents or as financial institutions dealing in speculative paper. There is no provision or authority for Congress to suggest or direct private financial institution to offer credit on terms other than those beneficial to the shareholders of the financial institution. The Constitution does not delegate authority to the President or Congress to force any private corporation into bankruptcy; to hire or fire corporate officers or directors; or to dictate the products of the corporation. Nothing in the Constitution delegates authority to the federal government to establish policies that are not consistent with its limited role and which may be directly detrimental to the “general welfare” of the peoples of the individual states.

Today, we have a federal government completely out of control and assuming power and authority that does not exist. Through government action, working at both ends of the issues, we have effectively brought a housing industry to its knees, destroyed the collective wealth of individual Americans and severely impacted the normal course of economic vitality of the nation. Now, we have a government that believes that it can dictate engineering outcomes and create scientific fact from whole cloth to impose further control over the liberty and freedom of individuals. How does a refusal to properly exploit national domestic energy resources facilitate energy independence? Energy independence does not mean independence from energy. How does refusal to employ proven energy resources today in deference to a possible future resource make economic sense? How does buying the required resources for a “clean energy” future from foreign sources change the energy independence relationship? How does destroying existing industries, in the hope that others will be more “appropriate” to a politically driven “vision for the future,” make sense?

Will someone please tell me just exactly how the current federal policies regarding money, personal credit, housing, economic development, transportation, health care and environmental protection are a delegated authority under the Constitution and correspond with the required duty of government to “promote the general welfare?” Perhaps a literacy test for elected representatives is required.

Jack Hamilton can be reached at gradiver@wavecable.com.

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