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The Wisdom of Old Documents

SS - Jason Hartman Income PropertyThere is much value to be gleaned from old documents. The Bible is one. Though not quite as old, the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution are two others we should ignore at our own peril. It is this last one (the Constitution) we turn our attention towards today and ponder how the heck our power-mad federal government has wandered so far from the original idea of enumerated powers and state supremacy?

As a recovering public school system graduate, Solomon Success founder, Jason Hartman, who fully embraced the dream of unfettered capitalism and earned his first million dollars by the age of 27, is acutely aware that a certain percentage of Americans might be woefully naïve as to exactly what the U.S. Constitution has to say about the limits of government. Here it is, straight from Article 1, Section 8 of that document:

“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 a 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 Offenses 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.”

There you have it. This is the sum total of the powers the founding fathers intended for the federal government to exercise. It makes us at flinch when we look around the United States today and take note of the seemingly endless extent to which governmental tendrils have infiltrated our lives. To paraphrase a famous freedom-loving president and B movie actor, “Mr. Obama, tear down this government!” Or at least make it smaller. Please. (Top image: Flickr | elPadawan)

* Read more from Solomon Success

The High Cost of Knowledge: Private Student Loans on the Rise

Do Big Lenders Lack Mercy and Truth?

The Solomon Success Team



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