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Old June 17, 2009, 10:21 PM   #26
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Join Date: February 11, 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 109
"promote the general welfare"

OK, what other grounds? Go ahead. Look at article 1, section 8 of our Constitution and find for me the authority by which Congress might write a law like the ESA
The second (or is it actually the first?), most abused element in the Constitution, after commerce, is in the preamble. The phrase, "promote the general welfare", is, however, a reason for the Contitution, not an authority granted to the government. In many folks minds, however, it justifies the exercise of umlimited federal authority to establish the most welfare for the people owning those minds.

Original question:
Could the United States continue as we know it if the Commerce Clause were interpreted more narrowly? If everything from the USDA to FDA to medical devices to gasoline in your fuel tank were suddenly regulated by the state instead of the Feds, would quality of life improve or would we see life become more complex and regulatory?
Some have already addressed this, but much of what the USDA, FDA, and other federal groups does is related directly to interstate commerce. Also, much of what they do is NOT related to interstate commerce. It is the latter that we really want to get rid of. Let's also throw in the Department of Agriculture which is more interested inpromoting food businesses than helping farming/farmers. The Department of Education (nothing to do with interstate commerce although justified by the commerce clause), and many, many laws and regulations.

I assume that we would face a little short term choas if we severly limited the authority of the commerce clause, but we would regain a lot of rights and freedom by doing so.
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Old June 17, 2009, 10:51 PM   #27
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
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ftd, I believe you are confusing the phrase of the preamble with how the phrase from the end of Article I section 8 clause 1 has been used:

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;

The underlined portion above, has been abused since it was penned. National Bank? the general welfare clause was used. Luisiana Purchase? National Forests, et al, the general welfare clause.

The power to tax was given for 2 purposes: To pay the debts of the U.S. To provide for the common defense and general welfare of the U.S. In context, the U.S. is the central government, not the citizens (the people) of a nation.
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Old June 18, 2009, 11:28 AM   #28
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Join Date: February 11, 2009
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Thanks for the correction. I usually read the whole Constitution before commenting on it, as it gets smokey for me between what it actually says and what I think it says. I was lazy this time and appreciate you fixing my error.
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