Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

DOES THE “GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE” OF THE U.S CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZE CONGRESS TO FORCE US TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE?

Defending The Constitution From It’s Domestic Enemies.

By Publius Huldah

CNSNews.com recently posted an article, “Hoyer Says Constitution’s ‘General Welfare’ Clause Empowers Congress to Order Americans to Buy Health Insurance”.  In the article, Steny Hoyer (Democrat House Majority Leader) said Congress has “broad authority” to force Americans to purchase health insurance, so long as it was trying to promote “the general welfare”.

Oh my! Does Steny Hoyer not know that his view was thoroughly examined and soundly rejected by our Framers?

The Truth is that Congress is NOT authorized to pass laws just because a majority in Congress say the laws promote the “general welfare”!  As shown below, James Madison, Father of The Constitution, and Alexander Hamilton, author of most of The Federalist Papers, expressly said The Constitution does not give a general grant of legislative authority to Congress!

Rather, ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers only. If a power isn’t specifically granted to Congress in The Constitution, Congress doesn’t have the power. It really is that easy – and our beloved Madison and Hamilton show us.

1. Let us look at the so-called “general welfare” clause:  Article I, Sec.8, clause 1, U.S. Constitution, says:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States…

Immediately thereafter, follows an enumeration of some 15 specific powers which are delegated to Congress. If you will spend 20 minutes carefully reading through the entire Constitution and highlighting the powers delegated to Congress, you will find (depending upon how you count) that only some 21 specific powers were delegated to Congress for the Country at large. This is what is meant when it is said that ours is a Constitution of enumerated powers!

2. But Steny Hoyer and his gang claim that the “general welfare” clause is a blank check which gives them power to pass any law they want which they say promotes the “general welfare”. Further, they claim the power to force their view of such on us.

3. Let us analyze this. Since words change meaning throughout time [200 years ago, “nice” meant “precise”], we must learn what the word, “welfare”, meant when the Constitution was ratified. “Welfare”, as used in Art. 1, Sec. 8, clause 1, meant:

Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government (Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828).

But The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), gave a new meaning: “Public relief – on welfare.  Dependent on public relief”.

Do you see how our Constitution is perverted when 20th century meanings are substituted for original meanings?  Or when the words of The Constitution are treated as if they have no meaning at all except that which the statists assign to them?

4. Both Madison and Hamilton squarely addressed and expressly rejected the notion that the “general welfare” clause constitutes a general grant of legislative power to Congress. In Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras), Madison denounced as an “absurd” “misconstruction” the notion that

…the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare….

In refuting this “misconstruction”, Madison pointed out that the first paragraph of Art. I, Sec. 8 employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the general terms. Madison also said:

…Nothing is more natural nor common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars. But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning, and can have no other effect than to confound and mislead, is an absurdity…

Madison was emphatic: He said it was “error” to focus on the “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; and to argue that the general expression provides “an unlimited power” to provide for “the common defense and general welfare”, is “an absurdity”.

In Federalist No. 83 (7th para), Hamilton said:

…The plan of the [constitutional] convention declares that the power of Congress…shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority was intended… [boldface added]

5. So!  It is clear from Madison and Hamilton that The Constitution does not bestow any general or unlimited grant of legislative power to Congress!

And what else did Madison and Hamilton say about the enumerated powers of the federal government?  In Federalist No. 45 (9th para), Madison said:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.  The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people….[boldface added]

Madison said it again in Federalist No. 39 (3rd para from end):

…the proposed government cannot be deemed a national one; since its jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignity over all other objects….” [boldface added]

In Federalist No. 14 (8th para), Madison said:

… the general [federal] government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects...[boldface added]

In Federalist No. 27 (last para), Hamilton said:

…It merits particular attention in this place, that the laws of the Confederacy [the federal government], as to the ENUMERATED and LEGITIMATE objects of its jurisdiction, will become the SUPREME LAW of the land…Thus the legislatures, courts, and magistrates, of the respective members, will be incorporated into the operations of the national government AS FAR AS ITS JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS…[caps in original]

6. Now, let’s look at the 10th Amendment:

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

Now, we can understand the true meaning of  the “general welfare” clause: OUR FOUNDERS UNDERSTOOD that the “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a civil government which was strictly limited and restricted in what it was given power to do!

7. So!  How did we get to the point where the federal government claims the power to regulate every aspect of our lives, including forcing us to buy health insurance?

Consider Prohibition:  During 1919, everyone understood that the Constitution did not give Congress authority to simply “pass a law” banning alcoholic beverages! So the Constitution was amended to prohibit alcoholic beverages, and to authorize Congress to make laws to enforce the prohibition (18th Amendment).

But with Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), the federal government abandoned our Constitution:  FDR proposed “New Deal” schemes; Congress passed them. At first, the Supreme Court opined (generally 5 to 4) that “New Deal” programs were unconstitutional as outside the powers granted to Congress. But when FDR threatened to “pack the court” by adding judges who would do his bidding, one judge flipped to the liberal side, and the Court started approving New Deal programs (generally 5 to 4).

Since then, law schools don’t teach the Constitution. Instead, they teach Supreme Court opinions which purport to explain why Congress has the power to regulate anything it pleases. The law schools thus produced generations of constitutionally illiterate lawyers and judges who have been wrongly taught that the “general welfare” clause, along with the “interstate commerce” and the “necessary and proper” clauses, permit Congress to do whatever it wants!

Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute nailed it in his recent post on Politico.com:

Is it unconstitutional for Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance or be taxed if they don’t? Absolutely – if we lived under the Constitution. But we don’t. Today we live under something called “constitutional law” – an accumulation of 220 years of Supreme Court opinions – and that “law” reflects the Constitution only occasionally. [boldface added]

Now you see how the statists justify the totalitarian dictatorship they are attempting to foist upon the American People.  The statists and the brainwashed products of our law schools go by U.S. Supreme Court opinions which reject The Constitution!

But We the People can reverse this by insisting that the people in the federal government obey The Constitution, as explained by The Federalist Papers.

8.  And is the Supreme Court actually the ultimate authority on the meaning of our Constitution?

NO! Hamilton said the people are “the natural guardians of the Constitution”, and he called upon us to become “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.” (Federalist No.16, next to last para).

Hamilton also told us in Federalist No. 33, 5th para:

If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify. [boldface added]

Folks! Your duty is clear:  Study The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Federalist Papers. Live up to the expectations of Hamilton and Madison; and throw off the chains which the usurpers are forging for you and Our Posterity.

October 27, 2009; revised Jan. 26, 2012

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October 27, 2009 - Posted by | General Welfare Clause, Health Care, obamacare

45 Comments »

  1. […] James Madison refutes that misconstruction in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras).  See also: Does the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution authorize Congress to force us to buy healt… […]

    Pingback by The Balance of Powers Act – How People Are Destroyed For Lack of Knowledge | American Conservative News Politics & Opinion - The Land of the Free | April 2, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] James Madison refutes that misconstruction in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras).  See also: Does the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution authorize Congress to force us to buy healt… […]

    Pingback by The Balance of Powers Act – How People Are Destroyed For Lack of knowledge | The Constitution Sentinel | March 26, 2013 | Reply

  3. […] James Madison refutes that misconstruction in Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras).  See also: Does the general welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution authorize Congress to force us to buy healt… […]

    Pingback by The Balance of Powers Act – How People Are Destroyed For Lack of knowledge « Publius-Huldah's Blog | March 25, 2013 | Reply

  4. […] To quickly dismiss the grammatical naysayers; this can be quickly answered by many sites like ”Understanding the Constitution”, and “What Does the General Welfare Clause Really Mean?” or many others. What one will find is […]

    Pingback by The General Welfare Clause « Blogs For Victory | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  5. […] of federal control over our lives [e.g., their “interstate commerce clause” & “general welfare clause” jurisprudence]; they outlawed the Faith of Our Fathers & used the 14th Amendment to bring about […]

    Pingback by The Oath Of Office: The Check On Usurpations By Congress, The Executive Branch, & Federal Judges. | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  6. […] expansions of federal control over our lives [e.g., their “interstate commerce clause” & “general welfare clause”jurisprudence]; they outlawed the Faith of Our Fathers & used the 14th Amendment to bring […]

    Pingback by The Oath Of Office: The Check On Usurpations By Congress, The Executive Branch, & Federal Judges « Veteran Patriot | March 30, 2011 | Reply

  7. […] of federal control over our lives [e.g., their "interstate commerce clause" & "general welfare clause" jurisprudence]; they outlawed the Faith of Our Fathers & used the 14th Amendment to bring about […]

    Pingback by THE OATH OF OFFICE « A Nation Beguiled | March 29, 2011 | Reply

  8. […] “Well”, you ask, “what about ‘the general welfare clause’?  Doesn’t that give Congress power to pass any law on any subject as long as it is for the […]

    Pingback by CONGRESS' ENUMERATED POWERS | October 21, 2010 | Reply

  9. Ken, you are so spot on with your comment, but I feel that there aren’t enough people out there that actually see the writing on the wall. We’ve been seeing this happening for several years now, and now that the government is showing its “teeth” many people are starting to realize this nation is on the wrong path, but its still not enough people waking up. Many of the people waking up seem to think this next election will fix it, & it might slow things down but it wont turn the country around and back to original intent.

    Comment by danette zak | April 16, 2010 | Reply

    • I agree danette in fact the people who do not pay attention,make uniformed decisions at the ballot box, or throw their arms in the air and say “nothing I can do about it” are actually more at fault than the politicians. The good news is people are waking up and those of us who have bothered to inform ourselves to whats going on today and know the truth about history (the history taught in school is so corrupt and in many cases false)have to try and get others involved and wake them up before its too late.

      Comment by Ken Harkins | April 23, 2010 | Reply

  10. This is one of the best explanatio of the so called “welfare” clause I’ve read yet. Thank you so much for the article, it will be well read by many.

    Comment by danette zak | April 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, Danette! I spent a lot of time working on it!

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | April 22, 2010 | Reply

  11. Publius/Hulda I am impressed by the thoroughness of your research and your dedication to educating the American people on their responsibilities. I have been reading your blog for the last few days after discovering it through a link on heritage.org.

    I hope the blog doesn’t become a discussion on the comparative value of men vs women. That would be even worse than discussing which ethnicity is better than another. Those who would like to see this great country reject their creator would be thrilled to see this blog devolve into such a divisive rant.

    Without being to aggressive in discussing how I feel about “new”discoveries regarding the Bible I will just say one thing. If you believe in the Almighty Creator and His promise to protect His Word then you cannot believe that something will just now come into the light that reveals a gospel any different than what he has already revealed.

    I can believe that knowledge will constantly be found that gives a better understanding of the cultures and history of the Bible but the message of salvation is complete. If I am misunderstanding the direction of your comments please let me know. I cannot imagine that one person be it a man or woman can attempt to convince us that everyone who came before them is wrong.

    You might point to the many scientific discoveries made throughout history but that would set the Bible up as just another intellectual document rather than the inspired Word of God. You must either believe in the power of God and His ability to protect His Word as He promised or you must reject Him altogether.

    This country was established on the principles of God’s Word and our rights all come from Him. It is those principles which show how valuable each of God’s children are to Him. It is only through ignorance that anyone can believe that another sex or ethnicity is of less value than another. If you reject the Bible or the principles that are promoted therein you are asking for the degradation of all humanity.

    Thank you for reading my post. I hope that I can continue to learn more from you and that my entire posting is based on a misunderstanding of the direction some of the previous posts have gone.

    Comment by Aaron Amrhein | April 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Son! What on Earth are you talking about?

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | April 5, 2010 | Reply

      • Publius/Hulda I am referring to the statements made at the beginning of comments on this page that refer to male supremacists and findings that change the meaning of Biblical writings.

        Is this really a place to refer to one sex doing something 5 times better than another? You provide some very good info here and it would be a shame to turn people away from it with sexist language. There are many women doing jobs much better than their male counterparts but that is also true in reverse.

        I hope everyone will continue to focus on the real enemies of our country. The majority of our politicians may be male, but that is not the source of the problem. Women in the same positions are destroying this country just as gleefully.

        I am sorry that my comment seemed so out of place due to my lack of attention to the dates on the postings. I was intending to reply to those remarks rather than showing up at the top of the page with a lot of on topic posts in between.

        Comment by Aaron Amrhein | April 5, 2010 | Reply

    • Aaron, I remember, now! Consider it as hyperbole coming from intelligent, educated, mature & experienced women who have been marginalized and patronized by “christian” men. When I graduated from law school some 40 years ago, the men judges addressed women litigators as “young lady”, patted us on the head (if not the fanny) in front of clients, juries, etc. Well! The Bar Associations put an end to that! Judges got disciplined. We lose credibility in front of juries and even clients when we are treated disrespectfully by the judge. I worked very hard for many years in the trenches. Then, converted to Christianity and met “Christian” men. Oh my! You may not be aware of this but it is true: Many “christian” men marginalize women, patronize us, and treat us with disrespect. Many of them consider themselves intellectually superior to us. So, I met men, who professed themselves to be Christian, who were relatively ignorant, uneducated, didn’t know Logic and couldn’t think, never spent a day fighting in the trenches, etc., patting me on the head and telling me to shut up, sit down, and they would tell me what to believe. Do you see?

      Throughout my various papers, I have written on the failings of the church. Basically, the churchmen have done to the Bible what the lawyers have done to the Constitution. Both reject what the documents actually say, and substitute other doctrines. The church is in serious need of Reformation. But they are not willing to engage in intelligent discussion. I think they are not able to. They don’t seem to know the Bible.

      Our Country is falling down around us. I blame the pastors. They have had their hands over their eyes for over 150 years as the rot has been taking over our Land. They were too blind or cowardly to Fight the Evil. They exchanged their privilege and duty of speaking the Whole Word of God for a 501 (c) (3) tax exemption – they sold it!

      But I will go back and soften up my (hyperbolic) comments.

      About Bible translations: What do you mean? You do know about the papyri & inscriptions shedding light on the true meanings of words in the NT? There are a number of passages in the NT which have been mistranslated. And about Isaiah 3:12: The Septuagint is much older than the vowel-enriched Masoretic text. So what did you mean?

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | April 5, 2010 | Reply

      • Dear Publius/Hulda I thank you for your response and your consideration of my comments and feelings. I empathize with what you are saying although I have not lived through the experiences you have. I believe that society in general has much to answer for in light of our treatment of women, children, minorities and any other group you can name including white Anglo Saxon protestants.

        I hesitate to point out what I feel is an error to someone with the education and life experience that you appear to have. In fact I believe that much of what you are saying is correct even though it may be hyperbolic as you stated. We do need to hold pastors accountable for their tragic failing. We also need to hold men responsible for not fulfilling their God given obligations. However, women have also been given a responsibility by God and have corrupted and ignored it in the same way that men have done.

        I am sure that the comments you made regarding males were as you said hyperbolic rather than bigoted. There is nothing wrong with developing stereotypes based upon our life experiences. The term prejudice has been much maligned by many activists who lack an understanding of its true meaning or are intentionally perverting its usage. Each of us makes assumptions based on our education and experience. It is only when we refuse to change these assumptions when faced with new information that we become bigots.

        I can be a very negative and angry person but I try to keep it under control as I know even righteous anger can turn people away from the message I am trying to present. I have been reading the books of Michael Savage lately and have found them somewhat enlightening but I am disappointed by his antagonistic approach. Although I know I personally have wanted to beat the stupidity from someone on occasion I understand that it will only cause them to reject my message.

        I apologize for the length of my responses here as your statements have convinced me that you are an upright person and I was reading to much into your comments. I am thankful that you have taken the time to respond as I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to learn from individuals such as yourself and that I might impact the lives of those around me in as positive a fashion as I imagine you to be doing.

        I would be interested in further information on the papyri and inscriptions that you refer to. I hope that the mistranslation you refer to is not a misunderstanding of the gospel of salvation but rather an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history and culture presented by the Bible. I pray that your pursuit of the intellectual has not caused you to be lured away from the spiritual.

        I say this in all humbleness and with great respect for you as I am a just another sinful human being. I hope my comments are not taken as judgment of you as a person since I don’t know you well enough to begin to do so even if it were my responsibility. I again want to thank you for your work and I hope that you enjoy a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

        P.S. If you are ever on facebook I would love to have you as a friend and enjoy your support as I try to educate my friends on their social responsibilities.

        Yours In Christ and in support of the United States Constitution
        Aaron Amrhein

        Comment by Aaron Amrhein | April 6, 2010 | Reply

        • Aaron, I haven’t forgotten you. Just been so busy! The “papyri & inscriptions” are everyday documents (contracts, letters, inscriptions on graves, etc.) written in koine Greek during the time the NT (also written in koine Greek) was written. We started finding these papyri & inscriptions 100 or so years ago. Since then, we have found many! These writings reveal for the first time, what many words in the NT actually meant when they were written. Remember that knowledge of Greek was completely LOST in Europe during medieval times. During the time of Erasmus, European scholars had to go to Italy to learn Greek. But the Greek they learned there was “classical Greek” which was different from koine Greek. But it was those word meanings of classical Greek which were used when Englishmen started making English translations of the Bible. Words change meaning throughout time! 200 years ago, “nice” meant “precise”; 400 years ago, “cute” meant “crippled”; 50 years ago, “gay” meant jovial. See? So to understand what any text means, one needs to know the word meaning current when the text was written. The KJV is based on a very poor knowledge of the meanings of koine Greek words. There are some important differences between the mistranslated KJV and the modern translations using the correct definitions as revealed by the papyri & inscriptions. Ayn Nyland’s The Source New Testament with extensive lexical notes on Greek word meanings, reflects the correct word meanings. To a lesser extent, so does The Revised English Bible (Oxford University Press, 1992). I’ll write more later.

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | April 8, 2010 | Reply

      • We also need to hold men responsible for not fulfilling their God given obligations. However, women have also been given a responsibility by God and have corrupted and ignored it in the same way that men have done.

        When I study what Christians are all to do, I see no “pink” and “blue” differences. We ALL are to be humble, to serve the others, to build up instead of tearing down, and… get this… to follow Jesus’ example as “servant/leader”. See? Women are not exempt from following ALL that Jesus modeled, just as men aren’t. We ALL have the same responsibilities as believers. And “pastor” is a gift, not an office, and they are no more or less responsible for using that gift than anyone else.

        I could write volumes, but stopped at one book:

        But I agree with Publius/Huldah that church leaders have been bought, and for generations. It’s a HUGE problem and an ancient one. An excellent website on that angle:

        Comment by Paula | April 6, 2010 | Reply

  12. We women just have to be 5 times as good as the men. Fortunately, that isn’t difficult!

    :•)

    So far I’m getting by on using biblegateway.org for quick online searches, but I’m not sure if Logos runs on a Mac or not; I’ll have to check it out. I also have been building my own interlinear text and software <a Here based on a variety of sources including I'm only using the Strong's numbers for reference for now, and I only have the gospel of John finished (first draft anyway). I've got bare-bones definitions in but hope to improve those eventually.

    Re. political issues, I was interested in the Constitution Party until I found out it was headed by the father of the infamous Doug Philips of Vision Forum. There is way too much "prairie muffin" mentality among conservatives, and I've had to distance myself from various organizations for this reason. I will not support any org. that thinks women are a sub-species of human or holds to the gender version of that old "separate but equal" crud. I do hope that this phallus-worshiping fad will die out as soon as possible, but human pride is a tough weed to pull.

    Now to check out your Isaiah 3:12 paper!

    Comment by Paula | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  13. This sort of semantic anachronism fallacy is happening all the time, on any given topic, not just the Constitution. People have been mangling the Bible in this way for a long time, as well as many historical documents. And our language changes rapidly, such that one does not have to try hard to find people misinterpreting even recent history.

    Comment by Paula | March 19, 2010 | Reply

    • So true! That’s why I tell my students that they must use an old American dictionary for word meanings.

      Re the Greek NT and the Septuagint, we must use the new word meanings revealed by the papyri & inscriptions!

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | March 19, 2010 | Reply

      • And most people don’t know that the Hebrew text (Masoretic) post-dates the LXX by hundreds of years, and that it was preceded by the rabbi’s own Greek translation with Messianic prophecies muted, because the Christians were proving from the LXX that Jesus was the Messiah. Also, there were important discoveries in the 1970s and 1890s that were never used to update the Bible dictionaries, or at least not extensively. One must suspect that many careers and reputations would have suffered if too many truths were brought to light. ;-)

        Comment by Paula | March 19, 2010 | Reply

        • Wow! have you seen Dr. Ann Nyland’s translation of the Greek NT? She uses new word meanings revealed by the papyri & inscriptions – very interesting! PH

          Comment by Publius/Huldah | March 19, 2010 | Reply

          • Yep! Got it both in hard copy and electronic. I also have her booklet, “More than Meets the Eye”, which exposes translation control in high places.

            I just wish I could find out what her sources are (pun intended) because those who refuse to recognize her scholarship demand to see them– though of course they never make such demands of some very outrageous claims made by her detractors.

            I’d also dearly love to see her debate one of them, and see how she’d answer the charge that since her expertise is not in Koine Greek but classical, that she’s not committing various fallacies associated with word meanings.

            Comment by Paula | March 19, 2010

          • I read that she is working on a dictionary of Koine Greek which will have citations to the papyri & inscriptions. And she wants to make the papyri & inscriptions readily available. But she already gives some citations in her footnotes in the edition of the Source NT which has the lexical notes. Also, I have the big Liddell-Scott (1996) which has cites to papyri & inscriptions. They updated 20% of their definitions because of the new discoveries in word meanings! Also, Nyland IS expert in all dialects of Greek from Homeric to Koine. Seems she started learning koine at her Father’s knees, & her Ph.D. is in New Testament lexiography. So, she really is expert in Koine. But the male supremacists will never acknowledge it. Did you see my paper on Sarah Palin & Isaiah 3:12? Dr. Nyland inspired me to learn koine Greek and I was pleased to discover that it is not a difficult language. Once you get behind the alphabet, it seems that half of our English words are Greek in origin. And in format & structure, it is the typical Indo-European language. PH

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | March 19, 2010

          • I’d be interested in that dictionary! As for the citations in The Source, what I didn’t clarify is that we need some we can check online, because it’s just about impossible for us all to own or get access to those sources. I am still trying to decide on a dictionary, because whatever I wind up getting will no doubt be pricey. And for a geek like me, the latest gadget usually wins out on Christmas. :-P

            I only dabble with Greek and have learned what I could online. Got the alphabet down and have decided to learn modern Greek pronunciation because I read somewhere that it’s likely closer to Koine than classical, and of course the Erasmian is artificial. I’d like to find some lessons that (1) use modern Greek pronunciation and (2) teach it like any other language, a la Rosetta Stone, instead of those intimidating verb charts. I know, I want the world.

            Another one who learned Greek as a child is Suzanne McCarthy, do you know her? She gets no respect either, yet she reads the classics for pleasure and can mop the floor with Grudem’s claims on the Greek.

            Sorry, haven’t seen any of your papers, as I was just given a link to your site today. Link please? Thanks!

            Comment by Paula | March 19, 2010

          • Yes, the papyri & inscriptions are in various universities and museums here & there. I too would love to see them collected & published (on-line) Liddell, Scott, Jones is the definitive Greek-English lexicon. It’s published by Oxford Univ. Press. They have a condensed version and an unabridged version. Their latest unabridged edition (1996) contains revisions reflecting the then available papyri & inscriptions. More have been discovered since. The hard bound ed. is in tiny type. But Logos has the unabridged version on CD-Rom. I think it is about $135. Oh, I love it! I looked at the other lexicons, and they seem to have obtained their definitions from Tyndale’s or the KJV! (Apparently, they do NOT teach Logic in the seminaries. The graduates don’t recognize circular reasoning even when it’s right in front of them!) I too decided to learn modern Greek pronunciation! I was immersed in my Greek texts, grammar, and dictionary until political events pushed me to turn to back to the Constitution. But there is much good stuff on-line. And I LOVE verb charts! The male supremacists will never respect us. Their ego is based on imagined superiority. When I started started trying cases (long ago) the men lawyers & judges didn’t respect us either. So! We women just have to be 5 times as good as the men. Fortunately, that isn’t difficult! The male supremacists will eventually die out. Suzanne McCarthy: the name is familiar. I’ll google her. My paper on Sarah Palin & Isaiah 3:12 is on my website. I can refute – demolish – every argument they make on this issue. It’s very easy! PH

            Comment by Publius/Huldah | March 19, 2010

  14. Publius/Huldah,
    Boy, I sure am glad to have stumbled across your blog (by way of SmartGirlPolitics!)! My friend Suzanne and I were discussing the need to learn the Founding thoughts/documents just last night! And thank G-d, there you were! You go girl! Thank you!

    Comment by SaraJean | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  15. Good work with this blog my man. Glad to see others educated and spreading the word.

    Comment by presregan | January 21, 2010 | Reply

  16. If the General Welfare clause meant what the Statists claim it means, then the rest of the Constitution would be a moot point. Why write an entire Constitution if it is all to be disregarded because of a single clause? The entire document was written with the purpose of limiting the federal government, so I hardly believe they would contradict all of that with a single clause.

    Comment by Douglas V. Gibbs | January 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Well, YOU can think – what you say is perfectly logical. But our law schools have taught for a long time that the “general welfare” clause permits Congress to make laws which serve the “general welfare” – and the Courts decide whether it in fact serves the “general welfare” (or one of their other pet clauses). We did not read the Constitution in law school. The Federalist Papers were not mentioned. 99.9% of the lawyers simply HAVE NO IDEA OF THE CONCEPT OF “ENUMERATED POWERS”. Lawyers only read court precedent – THAT’S what they go by.
      The ignorance all around us is astonishing, and we are subjected to a constant spew of misinformation.

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | January 16, 2010 | Reply

      • Why do you think over so many years that educators decided they should teach students that the “General Welfare” meant anything Congress wanted instead of the real intent?

        Secondly, Where did you learn your constitutional law? Is that what you practiced in your law career?

        Comment by Bill Person | February 12, 2010 | Reply

  17. Steny Hoyer would have a lot better case for application of the general welfare clause if they actually cared about the general welfare. The fact that they so diminished our border security – not coincidently along with the signing of the NAFTA agreement, that it allowed our country to be invaded by millions of foreign nationals and compounding the insult, they haven’t yet to this day given serious effort to deporting these people.

    And that is just for starters. The court would be buried in documentation of how they have failed to consider the general welfare of the American people.

    Comment by Vicky Davis | January 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Excellent point, Vicky. Their endgame is clear and it is NOT the well-being of the people.

      Comment by SaraJean | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  18. […] PubliusHuldah.wordpress.com Posted by Mike Filed in General, Politics Tags: Abortion, Alexander Hamilton, Congress, Constitution, DeMint, enumerated powers, federalist papers, general welfare, Graham, Harry Reid, health care, James Madison, Nancy Pelosi, nelson, Obamacare, public option, Steny Hover, sweetheart deals, Thomas Jefferson Leave a Comment » […]

    Pingback by DOES THE “GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE” OF THE U.S CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZE CONGRESS TO FORCE US TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE? « www.offmyfrontporch.com | December 29, 2009 | Reply

  19. This is the best, most well researched answer I have yet seen to this question. I would like to add a note mentioning Washington’s farewell address which warned the young nation of pretty much all the problems we are seeing in our government today. In particular he warns that circumventing the constitution without proper amendment would eventually lead to the failure of free government.

    The question for us as citizens is HOW DO WE NOW GET BACK OUR NATION. The Declaration of Indenpendance squarely puts the responsibility of “righting or abolishing” a “destructive goverment” in the hands of the citizens. Unfortunately decades of inaction and complacency by the citizens has given the power to the government and allowed the system to seemingly be broken beyond repair without a complete overhaul. Most Americans today take the attitude of “I cannot do anything about it so why try” or are more worried about themselves and after such a long run of being a world power and great country, most do not even fear what may be in our future if we continue down this path. Every great power history has seen has 1 thing in common, they all thought they were too powerful to fail and that lead to their failure. We are approaching a crossroads in America’s history which may be as profound as The Civil War or The Revolution itself and it is up to those of us who can see the writing on the wall to inform our fellow citizens and do what we can to save the vision of the great men who gave so much for this Nation and preserve the Constitution which is the model for all that have come since as well as the instrument which lead a young upstart to be the Global Powerhouse we are in the first place.

    Comment by Ken Harkins, NJ | December 12, 2009 | Reply

    • Ken, it is incumbent upon those of us with the knowledge, to go out and inform others. I see progress when even one “new” fellow citizen “gets it.” As they say, “one Patriot at a time.” And, though it does not absolve any of us, if we hope to save our country, and save we must, we already see that the traction does indeed take hold! Charge! (ala Allen West!)

      Comment by SaraJean | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  20. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. These details are missing from our schools and sorely need to be taught. The challenge is to overcome the monolyth of statist think environment. I will continue to follow your posts.

    Comment by paul anthony | December 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Thank you, Paul! But how do we overcome the monolyth? Our people seem to have lost the ability to think!

      Comment by Publius/Huldah | December 9, 2009 | Reply

      • We must chip away at it, as best we can, steadfastly. Similar to what the Jihadists are doing to America: slicing away at our liberties, unbeknownst to the gentle sheeple, preparing for their next phase.

        Steadfast WE must be and the truth will prevail!

        Falter, and we lose.

        Comment by SaraJean | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  21. Thanks, Charlie!
    Before you posted here, I visited your website and tried to post. But when I typed in my wordpress address,it insisted I had illegal characters and wouldn’t let me remove the [alleged] illegal characters! So, I thought, I hope he write me. You did! Thanks and stay in touch! PH

    Comment by Publius/Huldah | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  22. I originally read this on canadafreepress.com, and left the following comment:

    Additionally, Madison & Jefferson offered similar viewpoints when asked about the role of the “general welfare” clause:

    http://thadcook.blogspot.com/2009/09/about-general-welfare-clause.html

    (contains more quotes from the Framers, as well as an early & correct interpretation by SCOTUS)

    Comment by Charlie | October 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks, Charlie! Super link!

      Comment by SaraJean | February 24, 2010 | Reply


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