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Old 25th Aug 2018, 03:01
  #15569 (permalink)  
ethicalconundrum
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 92
Here's where we've gotten into trouble with; 'provide for the common defense and general welfare'.

When the US was a new nation, we were pretty poor. We'd just fought the Rev war, and didn't have a lot of money in the bank. The words "common defense" are not ambiguous at all. It means quite clearly to defend the commons. In modern days that would mean the states. No one doubted after the Barbary war that the US needed, and was right to have a standing navy, and a navy is provided for in the constitution. the sticky wicket came in with those two next words; 'general welfare'. Obviously, anytime someone writes a law or policy that says 'general' it is open to great interpretation. And further 'welfare' in those days did not mean what it does today. In the time of the new republic, general welfare meant those things that the entire population would find gainful to advancement of a stable society. Roads, bridges, post offices, a library, and courts for determining disputes.

As we move forward in time, and the US becomes richer, and our form of govt gains more power and expands, the meaning of general welfare also expands. New programs grow up like Social Security. They are paid for by taxes. Finally we reach the modern times and have decided that health care for everyone is covered by the 'general welfare' clause. And - it is a reasonable consideration that as we've agreed, everyone needs health care at some time in their lives. So it could technically fit under the welfare clause, and be justified by the collection of taxes. This is the single payer system. And - believe it or not, I'm not actually against a general welfare that includes health care. But - we go back to the start of the code and it says 'common defense'. Everyone is entitled to common defense by the armed forces. It benefits everyone, and the budget for that is paid by all kinds of taxes, including but not limited to income tax.

Here's where things go off, and why I brought it up a while back. Taxes must be apportioned on a 'uniform basis'. This has never been enforced, and I believe that everyone, no matter their station should be required to pay for these 'common defense and general welfare'. Alternately, define health care as a specific and not a general welfare and let the states operate as they see fit. The problem with the section is that "general welfare" can mean whatever a pol wants it to mean. And as the HR of our govt is elected every two years, and they are the ones responsible for laying and collecting taxes, and apportioning payments, the power of the giveaway has gotten too great to manage.

Which is why I took exception to another poster mentioning that of course the govt should "give" everyone health care. Once they start paying their taxes for it, then they get health care. This is uniform. But if only the wealthy or a certain strata pay for health care, and everyone gets it, we have violated the most important tenet of good govt; All men are created equally.
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