I applaud Breck England for appealing the the Founding Fathers for guidance on how the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted ("Founders' intent," Sept. 29).
Going to the Founding Fathers is always a step in the right direction. Unfortunately in this case, Mr. England has only taken half of a step and has left out a crucial point. He uses a quote from Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufacturers" stating that Congress has the ability to tax and spend is with little restriction and may be used for any purpose which promotes the general welfare of the country.46 comments on this story
This is all true, but right after the statement quoted by Mr. England, Hamilton writes: "No objection ought to arise to this construction, from a supposition that it would imply a power to do whatever else should appear to Congress conducive to the general welfare. A power to appropriate money with this latitude, which is granted, too, in express terms would not carry a power to do any other thing not authorized in the constitution, either expressly or by fair implication." In other words, the power to tax and spend does not allow Congress to make laws outside the clearly enumerated powers in the Constitution. Since Obamacare includes forcing states to set up exchanges, forcing people to get full health insurance coverage, and countless other coercive provisions, it falls well outside of a mere expenditure and is clearly by Hamilton's own words a violation of the Constitution.