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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Can Arkansas's Legislators Stop Obamacare in Arkansas?

Obamacare May Have a Fatal Flaw
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author:  In a curious and perhaps fortuitous alignment of events for the almost 75% of Arkansans who are opposed to Obamacare, Arkansas’s legislators may have an opportunity to shut down Obamacare in the State.

EVENT ONE
The first half of the equation comes from the Cato institute in Washington, D.C. In his podcast, “ObamaCare Glitch Could Unravel Law,” The Institute’s Michael Cannon discloses his discovery in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that allows a critical part of the Act to function only through state-run health-care exchanges.

Cannon also wrote about the glitch:

Investors Business Daily reports on the latest glitch found in ObamaCare‘s 2,000-plus pages:
Because of a quirk in ObamaCare, people who buy health insurance through a federally run exchange may not be eligible for premium subsidies.

Government-created exchanges are places for individuals to shop and purchase health insurance. ObamaCare will require individuals and families to buy insurance, starting in 2014.
Those with incomes at 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for taxpayer funded subsidies — a tax credit to help pay for the premium. It turns out that the legislation isn't so clear, the latest example of what analysts predicted would be a stream of surprises from the mammoth health law.
Section 1311 of ObamaCare instructs state governments to set up an exchange. If a state refuses, Section 1321 lets the federal government establish an exchange in the state.
Yet ObamaCare states that the tax credit is available to people who are enrolled in an “an exchange established by the state under (Section) 1311.” It makes no mention of people enrolled in federal exchanges being eligible for the tax credit.
“There is this technical problem in the law,” said James Blumstein, a professor at Vanderbilt Law School. “I don’t see how you get around that.”

I guess the folks who chanted, “Read the bill!” seem a little less crazy now.

Regrettably, the IRS has tried to “get around” the clear meaning of the law. In a proposed rule, the IRS writes that taxpayers will be eligible for ObamaCare’s “tax credits” — which are more government spending than – if they are enrolled in a health plan “established under section 1311 or 1321” [emphasis added]. But that’s not what the law says.

As I told IBD:"Congress did not delegate this discretion to the IRS,” Cannon said. “Congress created a tax credit for A, and the IRS is saying it applies to A and B. If the IRS offers this tax credit to federally run exchanges, the IRS will be assuming powers the Constitution vests only in Congress to alter the tax code and spend money.”

Citizens have until October 31 to share with the IRS their thoughts about the agency’s overly broad interpretation of its powers (see here).

More broadly, this bug feature means that states can block ObamaCare’s new entitlement spending, and possibly the entire law, just by refusing to create an Exchange:
“The whole structure of the law collapses without a state-run exchange,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “That forces Congress to either repeal ObamaCare or significantly alter it.”

Yesterday, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) helpfully suggested that the so-called “Super Committee” should meet its target of $1.5 trillion in spending reductions by cutting ObamaCare’s new entitlement spending:
The Select Committee is getting to work, and I encourage both parties, all 12 members, to put the Affordable Care Act on the table, alongside other entitlements in need of reform…The easiest money to save is money you haven’t yet spent…This new select committee could easily achieve almost their entire target of reducing the nation’s deficit, and…almost every dollar would come from benefits that do not yet exist.

The wonderful thing about this newly discovered feature of ObamaCare is that states don’t have to wait for Congress to act. They can reduce federal spending simply by not creating a health insurance Exchange.
EVENT TWO
The second half of the equation is furnished by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe. The Governor is reported to have said that “he’ll require a show of support from legislators before allowing the state to apply for a second round of exchange-planning grants from the federal government.” (Let it be noted, dear reader, that a grant from the federal government is not, as some Arkansas bureaucrats would have you believe, “free money.” A “federal grant” is your tax money, dramatically shriveled by its trip through Washington.)

Arkansas Insurance Department commissioner Jay Bradford has reportedly said that “not applying for a second-round of will trigger the federal exchange because ‘we will have quit planning.’” If Arkansas’s legislators refuse to support the implementation of state-run Obamacare exchanges, Arkansas may have the unexpected opportunity to do exactly what Michael Cannon proposes – “force Congress to either repeal ObamaCare or significantly alter it.”

Arkansas State Representative Jon Hubbard (R-Jonesboro) sent an email to Republican members of the Arkansas House this week urging them to continue to oppose Obamacare’s implementation in the State:

 I think that we as a Republican Caucus, both House and Senate Members, need to send the message LOUD & CLEAR to Governor Beebe and Insurance Commissioner Bradford, that the people of Arkansas DO NOT want Obama care imposed upon them against their will!!! According to Commissioner Bradford’s request to a group of Republican Legislators last week, if we as a Legislative group do not send a letter to the Governor before the September 30th deadline encouraging him to apply for the Level 2 grant to implement this unconstitutional mandate upon the people of this state, he will “bail”. What better opportunity could we wish for to derail this fiasco!!! Beebe’s and Bradford’s scare tactic has always been that “if we do not implement our own form of Obama care at the state level, then the Federal Government will step in and implement their version of this plan.” If we haven’t yet figured out how this Obama regime operates, understand that the Federal Government IS going to “step in” and implement their own plan, REGARDLESS of whether a state has implemented their version or not, plain and simple!!!

This is our chance to show the people of Arkansas that the Republican legislators of this state have the backbone to not only “STAND UP” to, but to “STOP” this Obama regime’s reckless and unconstitutional mandate toward socialism. If we fail to act against this regime and it’s State level emissaries in the destruction of America, the people of Arkansas will not forget, and they will express their anger at the ballot box!


I propose that we draft a statement to this effect, and everyone sign on as a statement of solidarity and strength, and send it to Governor Beebe and Commissioner Bradford. We cannot allow these two representatives of the Obama regime embedded within our own State Government to cram this abomination down the throats of our people!
If Arkansas’s legislators continue to stand with the majority of Arkansans in rejecting Obamacare and its exchanges, and if Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute is right in his assessment of the Act, and if Gov. Beebe stands by his reported statement to not pursue additional federal taxpayer-money grants, then Arkansas might just have the perfect opportunity to stop Obamacare in Arkansas – or at least dramatically reduce federal spending for this unconstitutional and unaffordable new federal overreach.
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Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY~GEORGE WASHINGTON DELIVERS HIS FAREWELL SPEECH

On SEPTEMBER 17th, 1796, George Washington prepared a final draft of his presidential farewell address. Two days later, the carefully crafted words appeared in Claypoole's American Daily Advertiser, published in Philadelphia, officially notifying the American public that Washington would voluntarily step down as the nation's first president. The decision was extraordinary: rarely, if ever, in the history of western civilization had a national leader voluntarily relinquished his title. The action set a model for successive U.S. administrations and future democracies.

Historians have since discovered that Washington dated the draft of the address to coincide with the nine-year anniversary of the adoption of the first draft of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Scholars agree that Alexander Hamilton, former aide to Washington during the Revolutionary War and the first U.S. secretary of the treasury, wrote much of the address. Washington was greatly influenced by his federalist cohort Hamilton throughout their professional relationship, much to the frustration of the Republican members of his government, particularly Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. It was Madison who had helped pen a farewell draft for Washington at the end of his first term, which Hamilton had initially used as a template for the final farewell address. That version was ultimately tossed aside, however, in favor of one drafted from scratch by Hamilton. He and Washington spent the summer of 1796 finalizing the speech, which was delivered for printing in September.

Many Americans had hoped or assumed that Washington would serve another term or even until his death. As Washington's second term came to a close in early 1797, he was in poor health, exhausted from years of internal squabbling amongst members of his cabinet and ready to retire to his beloved plantation in Virginia. According to biographer Ron Chernow, although Hamilton wrote much of the speech, it was faithful to Washington's style and tone. In addition to laying out his hopes for America's future, the address called for an end to partisan politics and maintained that Washington's decision not to run for a third term was in the best interests of the country. "I have...contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable," he humbly admitted. Desiring the "shade of retirement," Washington reminded the people that his position as president was designed to be temporary. He believed it was his patriotic duty to uphold the Constitution and pass on his role as the nation's top public servant to someone else.

 ****~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~****
George Washington's Farewell Address
Delivered September 19, 1796 
(There is an outline and a select dictionary at the end of this Address.)

Friends and Fellow-Citizens:

The period for a new election of a citizen, to administer the Executive Government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this previous to the last election had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence impelled me to abandon the idea. I rejoice, that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty, or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.

The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.

In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude, which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me, and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead; amidst appearances sometimes dubious; vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging; in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution which is the work of your hands may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger natural to that solicitude, urge me on an occasion like the present to offer to your solemn contemplation and to recommend to your frequent review some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget as an encouragement to it your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.

Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.

But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.

The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the same agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and while it contributes in different ways to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water will more and more find, a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.

While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined in the united mass of means and efforts cannot fail to find greater strength, greater resource, proportionately greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations, and what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalries alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is, that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole, with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavour to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our union it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminationsÑNorthern and Southern, Atlantic and WesternÑwhence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head. They have seen in the negotiation by the Executive and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi. They have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties – that with Great Britain and that with Spain – which secure to them everything they could desire in respect to our foreign relations towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the union by which they were procured? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?

To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute. They must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay by the adoption of a Constitution of Government better calculated than your former for an intimate union and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This Government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community, and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by common councils and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

Toward the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your common interests in a country so extensive as ours a Government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest Guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name where the Government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual, and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils, and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true and in governments of a monarchical cast patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose; and there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to abuse it which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, "where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?" And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in times of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives; but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the Government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct. And can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period a great nation to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that in the course of time and things the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred or an habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation prompted by ill-will and resentment sometimes impels to war the government contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject. At other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility, instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations has been the victim.

So, likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld; and it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation) facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country without odium, sometimes even with popularity, gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practise the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak toward a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter. Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens), the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial, else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people, under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by our justice, shall counsel.

Why forgo the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand, neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the Government to support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish – that they will control the usual current of the passions or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good – that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism – this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe my proclamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the index to my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice and by that of your representatives in both Houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined as far as should depend upon me to maintain it with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my Administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love toward it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government – the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.

George Washington

OUTLINE

  1. Retirement from office.
    1. He realizes people must be thinking about his replacement, therefore he declines re-election.
    2. He has thought it through, and feels like it is in everyone's best interest.
    3. He wanted to retire earlier, but foreign affairs and advice from those he respected caused him to "abandon the idea."
    4. Now that everything is calm, he is persuaded that the people will not disapprove of this "determination to retire."
    5. He is convinced his age forces retirement, and he welcomes the opportunity.
    6. He offers gratitude for the people's support.
    7. He offers a blessing "that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence. . ."
  2. Scope of the Address.
    1. His sentiments are for the people's "frequent review," he wanted us to read and re-read the Address.
    2. His only motive was as a friend.
    3. He felt no need to recommend a love of liberty – it was already there.
  3. Unity of Government.
    1. Unity is a "main pillar" of "real independence":
      1. for the support of "tranquility at home"
      2. for "your peace abroad"
      3. for "your safety”
      4. for "your prosperity”
      5. for "that very liberty which you so highly prize."
    2. Common attributes of unity:
      1. same religion
      2. manners
      3. habits
      4. political principles.
    3. The most commanding motive is to preserve the "union of the whole."
    4. The North, South, East, and West all depend on each other.
    5. Unity leads to greater strength, resources, and security.
    6. Unity will help "avoid the necessity of . . . overgrown military establishments" and will be the main "prop of your liberty."
    7. He questions the patriotism of anyone who tries to "weaken its bands."
    8. It was unity that brought two valuable treaties:
      1. with Great Britain
      2. with Spain.
    9. Government for the whole – via the Constitution – is indispensable; not just alliances between sections.
      1. the adoption of the Constitution was an improvement on the former "essay."
      2. respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, and acquiescence in its measures are fundamental maxims of true liberty.
      3. the people's right to alter constitutions is the basis of our political system.
  4. Spirit of Party.
    1. Parties are "potent engines" that men will use to take over the "reins of government."
    2. Washington warns against parties' "baneful effects":
      1. leads to the absolute power of an individual
      2. "discourage and restrain" the spirit of party
      3. leads to "jealousies and false alarms"
      4. "animosity of one part against another"
      5. can lead to "riot and insurrection"
      6. opens "door to foreign influence and corruption"
      7. "it is a spirit not to be encouraged."
  5. Spirit of Encroachment.
    1. Leads to "a real despotism."
    2. There is a necessity of "reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power."
    3. If a problem arises, correct it by an amendment, not by "usurpation."
  6. Religion and Morality.
    1. Are "indispensable supports" for "political prosperity."
    2. Are the "firmest props of the duties of Men and Country."
    3. The oaths in our courts would be useless without "the sense of religious obligation."
    4. "And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion."
    5. "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
    6. "Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge."
  7. Debt.
    1. "Avoid occasions of expense by cultivating peace . . . ."
    2. "Timely disbursements to prepare for danger" are better than "greater disbursements to repel it."
    3. Avoid debt: in time of peace, pay off debts..
    4. Public opinion should "cooperate" with their representatives to pay off debt.
    5. Some taxes are necessary even though "inconvenient and unpleasant."
  8. Foreign Policy.
    1. We should exercise "good faith and justice towards all nations."
      1. "religion and morality enjoin this conduct"
      2. we should be guided by "an exalted justice and benevolence."
    2. Replace "inveterate antipathies" (hatred) and passionate attachments with "just and amicable feelings."
      1. "passionate attachments" produce a variety of evils
      2. these attachments will lead you into "quarrels and wars"
      3. they will also lead to favoritism, conceding "privileges denied to others."
    3. Foreign "attachments" are "alarming" because they open the door to foreigners who might:
      1. "tamper with domestic factions"
      2. "practise the arts of seduction"
      3. "mislead public opinion"
      4. influence "Public Councils."
    4. "Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government."
    5. "The great rule of conduct for us": "as little political connection as possible."
      1. we should fulfill obligations, then stop
      2. we should not get involved in Europe's affairs.
    6. Our "detached and distant situation . . . enables . . . a different course."
    7. "Steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world."
    8. However, we may have "temporary alliances, for extraordinary emergencies."
    9. Maintain "a liberal intercourse with all nations.”
  9. Conclusion.
    1. Washington hopes his counsel will:
      1. "help moderate the fury of party spirit"
      2. "warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue"
      3. "guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
    2. He believes himself to be guided by the "principles which have been delineated" above.
    3. A "neutral position" is the best course to take regarding the "subsisting war in Europe."
      1. that neutrality is the right course has been "admitted by all."
      2. our "motive has been to endeavor to gain time for our country to settle and mature" until America has "command of its own fortunes."
    4. Washington asks "the Almighty" to correct any unintentional errors or defects from his administration.
    5. He looks forward to retiring and enjoying "good laws under a free government."
    6. Closing words.


VOCABULARY
acquiescence – agreement without protest. Consent.
actuate – put into motion. Motivate.
admonish – to counsel against. Caution.
alienate – to cause to become unfriendly. Exclude.
alliance – a formal pact between nations. Partnership.
animosity – bitter hostility. Hatred.
antipathies – strong feelings of hatred or opposition. Aversions.
apostate – abandoning one's principles. Defective or Traitorous.
appellation – a name or title.
appertaining – relating to.
apprise – to give notice; to inform. Notify.
arduous – demanding great care, effort, or labor. Difficult.
artifices – subtle but base deceptions. Tricks.
assuage – make less burdensome or painful. Relieve.
auspice – protection or support. Authority.
auxiliary – giving assistance or support. Supplementary.
avert – to turn away. Prevent.
baneful – causing death, destruction, or ruin. Harmful.
belligerent – inclined or eager to fight. Hostile.
beneficence – a charitable act or gift. Kindness.
benevolence – an inclination to do kind or charitable acts. Goodness.
benign – tending to promote well-being. Beneficial.
beseech – to call upon earnestly. Request.
bias – to cause to have a prejudice view. Distort.
conceded – acknowledged as true, just, or proper. Given.
conjure – to call upon or entreat solemnly. Call upon.
consigned – turned over to another's charge. Delivered.
consolation – the comforting in time of grief, defeat, or trouble. Comfort.
contemplation – thoughtful observation. Meditation.
countenanced – to give or express approval to. Approved.
covertly – concealed, hidden, or secret.
cultivate – promote the growth of. Develop.
deference – yielding to the wishes of another. Consideration.
deliberate – planned in advance. Intentional.
delineated – depicted in words or gestures. Outlined.
despotisms – political system with one man in absolute power. Oppression.
diffidence – the quality of lacking self-confidence. Humility.
diffusing – causing to spread freely. Spreading.
diffusion – the process of diffusing. Spreading.
diminution – reduction. Decrease.
disbursements – money paid out. Expenditures.
discriminations – acts based on prejudice. Prejudices.
dispositions – an habitual tendency or inclination. Tendencies.
diversifying – giving variety to. Varying.
dubious – causing doubt or uncertainty. Uncertain.
edifice – a building of imposing appearance or size. Structure.
efficacy – power to produce a desired effect. Effectiveness.
encroach – to advance beyond proper limits. Intrude.
enmities – deep-seated mutual hatred. Hostilities.
ennobles – raises in rank. Elevates.
envenomed – poisoned or embittered. Poisoned.
evinced – to show clearly or convincingly. Demonstrated.
exemption – a freedom from obligation or duty. Freedom.
exigencies – situations needing immediate attention. Necessities.
expedients – something adopted to meet an urgent need. Schemes.
facilitating – making something easier. Assisting.
fallible – capable of making an error. Imperfect.
felicity – great happiness or bliss. Happiness.
fervently – having great emotion or warmth. Earnestly.
hypothesis – something considered to be true. Assumption.
impostures – deceptions through false identities. Deceptions.
inauspicious – unfavorable.
incongruous – not consistent with what is logical, customary, or correct. Disagreeable.
indispensable – not able to be done away with. Essential.
indissoluble – impossible to break or undo. Indestructible.
inducement – something that leads to action. Influence.
indulgent – granted as a favor or privilege. Agreeable.
inferred – figured out from evidence. Understood.
infidelity – lack of loyalty. disloyalty.
insidiously – spreading harm in a subtle way. Dishonestly.
instigated – stirred up or urged on. Aroused.
intercourse – communication between persons or groups. Business.
intimated – to announce or proclaim. Spoken.
intractable – hard to manage or govern. Stubborn.
intrigue – secret schemes or plots. Affairs.
intrinsic – having to do with the very nature of a thing. Natural.
inveterate – firmly established and deeply rooted. Established.
inviolate – not violated or changed. Unchanged.
invigorated – given strength and vitality. Energized.
inviolable – not able to be violated. Unchanging.
laudable – deserving approval. Praiseworthy.
magnanimous – noble of mind and heart. Idealistic.
maxim – fundamental principle or rule of conduct. Principle.
mitigate – to make less severe or intense. Weaken.
monarchy – a state ruled by an absolute ruler, such as a king or emperor.
obligatory – legally or morally binding. Required.
oblivion – the condition of being completely forgotten. Nonexistence.
obstinate – hard to manage, control, or subdue. Uncontrollable.
odium – a strong dislike for something. Disfavor.
pernicious – causing great harm and destruction. Destructive.
perpetrated – to be guilty of bringing something about. Committed.
perpetual – lasting for eternity. Unending.
plausible – appearing to be valid, likely, or acceptable. Believable.
posterity – future generations.
precarious – lacking in security and stability. Uncertain.
precedent – an act used as an example in future situations.
predominant – having great importance, influence, or authority. Important.
procured – obtained or acquired.
progenitors – a direct ancestor. Ancestors.
propensity – a tendency to do something. Tendency.
propagated – cause to multiply. Spread.
provocation – a reason to take action.
prudence – good judgment and common sense. Wisdom.
recompense – payment for something done. Repayment.
requisite – essential or required.
scrupulously – to do something with ethical considerations. Conscientiously.
seduction – the act of leading away from proper conduct. Misleading.
solicitude – the state of being concerned or eager. Concern.
specious – appearing to be true, but being false. Deceptive.
subservient – under the control of something. Subject.
subvert – to undermine the character, morals, or allegiance of. Overthrow.
suffrages – votes.
supposition – the idea that something is true. Idea.
tenure – the terms under which something is held. Terms.
tranquility – the state of being free from disturbance. Peace.
transient – passing away with time. Temporary.
umbrage – offense. Resentment.
usurpation – the seizing of power by force and without legal right. Overthrow.
vicissitudes – changes or variations. Changes.
vigilance – alert watchfulness. Watchfulness.
virtuous – morally excellent and righteous. Pure.
weal – the welfare of the community. Welfare.

Source:  Wallbuilders

Sunday, September 18, 2011

THIS DAY IN HISTORY-CAPITOL CORNERSTON IS LAID-SEPTEMBER 18, 1793


Capitol cornerstone is laid
 Sep 18, 1793:

On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

As a young nation, the United States had no permanent capital, and Congress met in eight different cities, including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, before 1791. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which gave President Washington the power to select a permanent home for the federal government. The following year, he chose what would become the District of Columbia from land provided by Maryland. Washington picked three commissioners to oversee the capital city's development and they in turn chose French engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant to come up with the design. However, L'Enfant clashed with the commissioners and was fired in 1792. A design competition was then held, with a Scotsman named William Thornton submitting the winning entry for the Capitol building. In September 1793, Washington laid the Capitol's cornerstone and the lengthy construction process, which would involve a line of project managers and architects, got under way.

In 1800, Congress moved into the Capitol's north wing. In 1807, the House of Representatives moved into the building's south wing, which was finished in 1811. During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol on August 24, 1814. A rainstorm saved the building from total destruction. Congress met in nearby temporary quarters from 1815 to 1819. In the early 1850s, work began to expand the Capitol to accommodate the growing number of Congressmen.

In 1861, construction was temporarily halted while the Capitol was used by Union troops as a hospital and barracks. Following the war, expansions and modern upgrades to the building continued into the next century.

Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres.
Source: History.com

My Response To Buffett And Obama-by Ex-CEO of American Express Harvey Golub

 My Response To Buffett And Obama

"Before you ask for more tax money from me, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely."


By HARVEY GOLUB

Over the years, I have paid a significant portion of my income to the various federal, state and local jurisdictions in which I have lived, and I deeply resent that President Obama has decided that I don't need all the money I've not paid in taxes over the years, or that I should leave less for my children and grandchildren and give more to him to spend as he thinks fit. I also resent that Warren Buffett and others who have created massive wealth for themselves think I'm "coddled" because they believe they should pay more in taxes. I certainly don't feel "coddled" because these various governments have not imposed a higher income tax. After all, I did earn it.

Now that I'm 72 years old, I can look forward to paying a significant portion of my accumulated wealth in estate taxes to the federal government and, depending on the state I live in at the time, to that state government as well. Of my current income this year, I expect to pay 80%-90% in federal income taxes, state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and federal and state estate taxes. Isn't that enough?

Others could pay higher taxes if they choose. They could voluntarily write a check or they could advocate that their gifts to foundations should be made with after-tax dollars and not be deductible. They could also pay higher taxes if they were not allowed to set up foundations to avoid capital gains and estate taxes.

Warren Buffett courtesy of
Bloomberg News
 


What gets me most upset is two other things about this argument: the unfair way taxes are collected, and the violation of the implicit social contract between me and my government that my taxes will be spent—effectively and efficiently—on purposes that support the general needs of the country. Before you call me greedy, make sure you operate fairly on both fronts.

Today, top earners—the 250,000 people who earn $1 million or more—pay 20% of all income taxes, and the 3% who earn more than $200,000 pay almost half. Almost half of all filers pay no income taxes at all. Clearly they earn less and should pay less. But they should pay something and have a stake in our government spending their money too.

In addition, the extraordinarily complex tax code is replete with favors to various interest groups and industries, favors granted by politicians seeking to retain power. Mortgage interest deductions support the private housing industry at the expense of renters. Generous fringe benefits are not taxed at all, in order to support union and government workers at the expense of people who buy their own insurance with after-tax dollars. Gifts to charities are deductible but gifts to grandchildren are not. That's just a short list, and all of it is unfair.

Governments have an obligation to spend our tax money on programs that work. They fail at this fundamental task. Do we really need dozens of retraining programs with no measure of performance or results? Do we really need to spend money on solar panels, windmills and battery-operated cars when we have ample energy supplies in this country? Do we really need all the regulations that put an estimated $2 trillion burden on our economy by raising the price of things we buy? Do we really need subsidies for domestic sugar farmers and ethanol producers?

Why do we require that public projects pay above-market labor costs? Why do we spend billions on trains that no one will ride? Why do we keep post offices open in places no one lives? Why do we subsidize small airports in communities close to larger ones? Why do we pay government workers above-market rates and outlandish benefits? Do we really need an energy department or an education department at all?

Here's my message: Before you "ask" for more tax money from me and others, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely. Then you'll need less of my money.

Mr. Golub, a former chairman and CEO of American Express, currently serves on the executive committee of the American Enterprise Institute.
Source: Wall Street Journal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Obama's aunt says US obligated to help her-interview 9/20/2010

(Video Date: September 20, 2010)

President Barack Obama’s aunt, who lived for years illegally in South Boston, says in her first interview since being granted asylum that the United States has an “obligation” to grant her citizenship.

Zeituni Onyango tells WBZ-TV that she came to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 but couldn’t afford to leave when she was originally denied asylum in 2004. She says she fell critically ill and was hospitalized. When she was discharged, she lived in a homeless shelter for two years before being assigned public housing.

She says she never asked for public assistance.

She also says President Obama, whom she referred to as “my child,” never intervened in her immigration case.

Onyango still lives in public housing and collects $700 monthly disability.

Interview Parts 1 and 2:

Video & Text Credit: WBZ-TV http://www.wbztv.com
Video Date: September 20, 2010

September 21, 2010
President Barack Obama's aunt, who lived for years illegally in South Boston, says in her first interview since being granted asylum that the United States has an "obligation" to grant her citizenship.

Zeituni Onyango tells WBZ-TV that she came to the U.S. from Kenya in 2000 but couldn't afford to leave when she was originally denied asylum in 2004. She says she fell critically ill and was hospitalized. When she was discharged, she lived in a homeless shelter for two years before being assigned public housing.

She says she never asked for public assistance.

She also says President Obama, whom she referred to as "my child," never intervened in her immigration case.

Onyango still lives in public housing and collects $700 monthly disability.

August 17, 2010

As the debate rages about illegal immigration, the suspicion that a well-connected immigrant may get special treatment dogs the president.

President Obama's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, has been living in Boston public housing for years despite being turned down for asylum twice during the decade she's been in the U.S. illegally.

We are now learning that the immigration judge who finally gave her asylum earlier this year did so because of what he called the reckless release of information about her by an anonymous Bush administration official.

The judge, a republican appointee, says that violated Onyango's privacy and made her a target in her homeland of Kenya.

So, she gets to stay to get a green card and a Boston public housing apartment.

The White House insists the president had nothing to do with any of it.

Onyango is the half-sister of Obama's late father who died in a car crash in 1982.

The president met Onyango during a trip to Kenya in 1988 and included her in his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father.''

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY-Our Founders Signed The Constitution of the United States

 On Saturday, we celebrate the Constitution, a document that enshrines our nation’s first principles: free enterprise, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government.


Eleven years after the Declaration of Independence announced the birth of the United States, the survival of the young country seemed in doubt. The War for Independence had been won, but economic depression, social unrest, interstate rivalries, and foreign intrigue appeared to be unraveling the fragile confederation. In early 1787, Congress called for a special convention of all the states to revise the Articles of Confederation. On September 17, 1787, after four months of secret meetings, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention emerged from their Philadelphia meetingroom with an entirely new plan of government–the U.S. Constitution–that they hoped would ensure the survival of the experiment they had launched in 1776.

They proposed a strong central government made up of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial; each would be perpetually restrained by a sophisticated set of checks and balances. They reached compromises on the issue of slavery that left its final resolution to future generations. As for ratification, they devised a procedure that maximized the odds: the Constitution would be enacted when it was ratified by nine, not thirteen, states. The Framers knew they had not created a perfect plan, but it could be revised. The Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times and stands today as the longest-lasting written constitution in the world.

On September 17, 1787, two days after the final vote, the delegates signed the engrossed parchment shown in the Rotunda's centerpiece case.


The Founding Fathers
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention
On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress resolved that:
...it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States be held at Philladelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation...
The original states, except Rhode Island, collectively appointed 70 individuals to the Constitutional Convention, but a number did not accept or could not attend. Those who did not attend included Richard Henry Lee, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Adams and, John Hancock.

In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution. The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton, aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions in a sedan chair.

Biographical Index of America's Founding Fathers
For brief biographies of each of the Founding Fathers who were delegates to the Constitutional Convention, select the names or the states below.
* indicates delegates who did not sign the Constitution
Connecticut
William. Samuel Johnson
Roger Sherman
Oliver Ellsworth (Elsworth)*
Delaware
George Read
Gunning Bedford, Jr.
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jacob Broom
Georgia
William Few
Abraham Baldwin
William Houston*
William L. Pierce*
Maryland
James McHenry
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer
Daniel Carroll
Luther Martin*
John F. Mercer*
Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Elbridge Gerry*
Caleb Strong*
New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman
New Jersey
William Livingston
David Brearly (Brearley)
William Paterson (Patterson)
Jonathan Dayton
William C. Houston*
New York
Alexander Hamilton
John Lansing, Jr.*
Robert Yates*
North Carolina
William. Blount
Richard. Dobbs Spaight
Hugh Williamson
William R. Davie*
Alexander Martin*
Pennsylvania
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robert Morris
George Clymer
Thomas Fitzsimons (FitzSimons; Fitzsimmons)
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouverneur Morris
South Carolina
John Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler
Rhode Island
Rhode Island did not send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
Virginia
John Blair
James Madison Jr.
George Washington
George Mason*
James McClurg*
Edmund J. Randolph*
George Wythe*


The Founding Fathers: A Brief Overview
The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were dominant in their communities and states, and many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental forces, most of them in positions of command.

Political Experience
The group, as a whole, had extensive political experience. At the time of the convention, four-fifths, or 41 individuals, were or had been members of the Continental Congress. Mifflin and Gorham had served as president of the body. The only ones who lacked congressional experience were Bassett, Blair, Brearly, Broom, Davie, Dayton, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mason, McClurg, Paterson, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Strong, and Yates. Eight men (Clymer, Franklin, Gerry, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) had signed the Declaration of Independence. Six (Carroll, Dickinson, Gerry, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, and Sherman) had affixed their signatures to the Articles of Confederation. But only two, Sherman and Robert Morris, underwrote all three of the nation's basic documents. Practically all of the 55 delegates had experience in colonial and state government. Dickinson, Franklin, Langdon, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Randolph, Read, and Rutledge had been governors, and the majority had held county and local offices.

Occupations
The delegates practiced a wide range of occupations, and many men pursued more than one career simultaneously. Thirty-five were lawyers or had benefited from legal training, though not all of them relied on the profession for a livelihood. Some had also become judges.

At the time of the convention, 13 individuals were businessmen, merchants, or shippers: Blount, Broom, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Gerry, Gilman, Gorham, Langdon, Robert Morris, Pierce, Sherman, and Wilson. Six were major land speculators: Blount, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Gorham, Robert Morris, and Wilson. Eleven speculated in securities on a large scale: Bedford, Blair, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Franklin, King, Langdon, Robert Morris, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Sherman. Twelve owned or managed slave-operated plantations or large farms: Bassett, Blair, Blount, Butler, Carroll, Jenifer, Mason, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Rutledge, Spaight, and Washington. Madison also owned slaves. Broom and Few were small farmers.

Nine of the men received a substantial part of their income from public office: Baldwin, Blair, Brearly, Gilman, Jenifer, Livingston, Madison, and Rutledge. Three had retired from active economic endeavors: Franklin, McHenry, and Mifflin. Franklin and Williamson were scientists, in addition to their other activities. McClurg, McHenry, and Williamson were physicians, and Johnson was a university president. Baldwin had been a minister, and Williamson, Madison, Ellsworth, and possibly others had studied theology but had never been ordained.

A few of the delegates were wealthy. Washington and Robert Morris ranked among the nation's most prosperous men. Carroll, Houston, Jenifer, and Mifflin were also extremely well-to-do. Most of the others had financial resources that ranged from good to excellent. Among those with the most straitened circumstances were Baldwin, Brearly, Broom, Few, Madison, Paterson, and Sherman, though they all managed to live comfortably.

A considerable number of the men were born into leading families: Blair, Butler, Carroll, Houston, Ingersoll, Jenifer, Johnson, Livingston, Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris, both Pinckneys, Randolph, Rutledge, Washington, and Wythe. Others were self-made men w ho had risen from humble beginnings: Few, Franklin, Gorham, Hamilton, and Sherman.

Geographic and Educational Background
Most of the delegates were natives of the 13 colonies. Only eight were born elsewhere: four (Butler, Fitzsimons, McHenry, and Paterson) in Ireland, two (Davie and Robert Morris) in England, one (Wilson) in Scotland, and one (Hamilton) in the West Indies. Reflecting the mobility that has always characterized American life, many of them had moved from one state to another. Sixteen individuals had already lived or worked in more than one state or colony: Baldwin, Bassett, Bedford, Dickinson, Few, Franklin, Ingersoll, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Luther Martin, Mercer, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Read, Sherman, and Williamson. Several others had studied or traveled abroad.

The educational background of the Founding Fathers was diverse. Some, like Franklin, were largely self-taught and had received scant formal training. Others had obtained instruction from private tutors or at academies. About half of the individuals had at tended or graduated from college in the British North American colonies or abroad. Some men held advanced and honorary degrees. For the most part, the delegates were a well-educated group.

Longevity and Family Life
For their era, the delegates to the convention (like the signers of the Declaration of Independence) were remarkably long-lived. Their average age at death was almost 67. Johnson reached the age of 92, and Few, Franklin, Madison, Williamson, and Wythe lived into their eighties. Fifteen or sixteen (depending on Fitzsimmon's exact age) passed away in their eighth decade, and 20 or 21 in their sixties. Eight lived into their fifties; five lived only into their forties, and two of them (Hamilton and Spa ight) were killed in duels. The first to die was Houston in 1788; the last, Madison in 1836.

Most of the delegates married and raised children. Sherman fathered the largest family, 15 children by 2 wives. At least nine (Bassett, Brearly, Johnson, Mason, Paterson, Charles Cotesworth, Pinckney, Sherman, Wilson, and Wythe) married more than once. F our (Baldwin, Gilman, Jenifer, and Alexander Martin) were lifelong bachelors. In terms of religious affiliation, the men mirrored the overwhelmingly Protestant character of American religious life at the time and were members of various denominations. Onl y two, Carroll and Fitzsimons, were Roman Catholics.

Post-Convention Careers
The delegates subsequent careers reflected their abilities as well as the vagaries of fate. Most were successful, although seven (Fitzsimons, Gorham, Luther Martin, Mifflin, Robert Morris, Pierce, and Wilson) suffered serious financial reverses that left them in or near bankruptcy. Two, Blount and Dayton, were involved in possi bly treasonous activities. Yet, as they had done before the convention, most of the group continued to render outstanding public service, particularly to the new government they had helped to create.

Washington and Madison became President of the United States, and King and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney were nominated as candidates for the office. Gerry served as Madison's Vice President. Hamilton, McHenry, Madison, and Randolph attained Cabinet posts. Nineteen men became U.S. senators: Baldwin, Bassett, Blount, Butler, Dayton, Ellsworth, Few, Gilman, Johnson, King, Langdon, Alexander Martin, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, Paterson, Charles Pinckney, Read, Sherman, and Strong. Thirteen served in the House of Representatives: Baldwin, Carroll, Clymer, Dayton, Fitzsimons, Gerry, Gilman, Madison, Mercer, Charles Pinckney, Sherman, Spaight, and Williamson.

Of these, Dayton served as Speaker. Four men (Bassett, Bedford, Brearly, and Few) served as federal judges, four more (Blair, Paterson, Rutledge, and Wilson) as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.

Rutledge and Ellsworth also held the position of Chief Justice. Seven others (Davie, Ellsworth, Gerry, King, Gouverneur Morris, Charles Pinckney, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney) were named to diplomatic missions for the nation.

Many delegates held important state positions, including governor (Blount, Davie, Franklin, Gerry, Langdon, Livingston, Alexander Martin, Mifflin, Paterson, Charles Pinckney, Spaight, and Strong) and legislator. And most of the delegates contributed in m any ways to the cultural life of their cities, communities, and states. Not surprisingly, many of their sons and other descendants were to occupy high positions in American political and intellectual life.

The Scene at the Signing of the Constitution, oil painting (reproduction) 
by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940



In drafting the Constitution, the delegates consulted the wisdom of the ages, sifting through the contemporary political tracts of their own day, as well as the histories of ancient civilizations. They understood power to be corrupting and humans to be subject to their worst instincts.

The debates inside the meeting room were heated and contentious. The delegates examined every phrase of the constitution through the prism of the conflicting interests they represented: large states and small states, states with commercially based economies versus states with slave-based agricultural economies. History, political theory, their own interests, and devotion to the American experiment, all informed their thinking, as they hammered out a practical scheme of government.

Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC

The Constitution of the United States: 
A Transcription
Note: The following text is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form.
Items that are hyperlinked have since been amended or superseded
.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.

Article. I.

Section. 1.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section. 2.
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Section. 3.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.

No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Section. 4.
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Section. 5.
Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Section. 6.
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Section. 7.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

Section. 8.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties,

Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Section. 9.
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Section. 10.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

Section. 1.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Section. 2.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article III.

Section. 1.
The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;-- between a State and Citizens of another State,--between Citizens of different States,--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Article. IV.

Section. 1.
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2.
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.

Section. 3.
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Article. VI.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, the Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson Secretary
done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independance of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

G°. Washington
Presidt and deputy from Virginia
Delaware
Geo: Read
Gunning Bedford jun
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jaco: Broom
Maryland
James McHenry
Dan of St Thos. Jenifer
Danl. Carroll
Virginia
John Blair
James Madison Jr.
North Carolina
Wm. Blount
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Hu Williamson
South Carolina
J. Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler
Georgia
William Few
Abr Baldwin
New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman
Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham
Rufus King
Connecticut
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Roger Sherman
New York
Alexander Hamilton
New Jersey
Wil: Livingston
David Brearley
Wm. Paterson
Jona: Dayton
Pennsylvania
B Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robt. Morris
Geo. Clymer
Thos. FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
James Wilson
Gouv Morris

For biographies of the non-signing delegates to the Constitutional Convention,
see the Founding Fathers page.

Here's how you can celebrate:

In Washington, D.C., The Heritage Foundation continues to preserve the Constitution with this a series of events (link in PDF) including a lecture by legal scholar John Yoo and a panel discussion on Reagan on the Constitution).

There are many Constitution Day festivals around the country. Americans for Prosperity is likely hosting one near you. In addition, We Read the Constitution has a list of Constitution parties in 16 states. Add your state to the list and sign up to host your own party. And if you’re near Fredericksburg, VA, stop by to see Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky and Robert Gordon at the Constitution Day Jubilee.

There are also some great online resources for education activities for your family or school. Many of them, such as the National Constitution Center and the Bill of Rights Institute, produce teachers’ lessons that help bring the Constitution into the classroom. Teaching American History has the most comprehensive and user-friendly resource on the Constitutional Convention debates available on the Web.

Heritage has several excellent lectures on the importance of the Constitution over the past several years: For instance, Harvard scholar Harvey Mansfield argues that the future of conservatism rests on its ability to defend the Constitution, and Judge Janice Rogers Brown calls on the current generation to reinvigorate the American regime of liberty by returning to first principles.

Lastly, don’t forget to crack open your Heritage Guide to the Constitution, which provides a clause-by-clause analysis of the entire Constitution from top legal minds. Don't have one? Order your copy today!





RELATED LINKS: NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER