American presidents take an oath to defend the Constitution. Then, if you are George Bush or more abusively Barack Obama, you simply proceed as you wish with little attention to the strict guidance mandated by the Constitution.
Two of the more blatant violations of our Constitution come with the regular bastardizing of the General Welfare Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Here I turn to The Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon for clarity and guidance (buy Roger’s great pocket Constitution and Declaration of Independence here). I know Roger well and get together with him at every Cato conclave I can attend. Roger is Founder and Director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies, as well as publisher of Cato’s Supreme Court Review. Roger Pilon has a Ph.D. from The University of Chicago and a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law. Read what Roger has to say about the General Welfare and Necessary and Proper clauses:
To illustrate how enumeration limits power, consider the General Welfare Clause of Article I, section 8. Were the passage containing that clause to be read simply as authorizing Congress to tax and spend for the general welfare, as some read it today, Congress would have been granted all but unlimited power and the enumeration of other powers would have been to no purpose. Thus, the passage must be read as permitting taxing only for enumerated ends; and the clause restricts such funding to the general welfare only, not to the welfare of particular parties. Similarly, the power given Congress to regulate “commerce among the states” could not have been a power to regulate anything that “affects” commerce, which in principle is everything, for that too would have made pointless any limits imposed by enumeration. Rather, the Commerce Clause was meant primarily to restrain state power: to ensure the free flow of goods and services among the states, Congress was given the power to regulate such commerce—to make it “regular.” Those limitations are reinforced by the Necessary and Proper Clause, which limits the means available to Congress to those that are “necessary” for executing enumerated powers—without such means, the enumerated powers could not be executed—and “proper” for a government dedicated to liberty.
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