Mandeville, LA – One of the casualties of the recently concluded “federal” elections was the discussion of monetary policy, this was NOT a Thomas Jefferson moment.
That the existence of the Fed, the Central Bank, now is not questioned by anyone lest they become labeled as radicals or extremists (see Ron Paul), tells us a lot about our sinking ship of state.
He who erects a bank, creates a subject of commerce in its bills; so does he who makes a bushel of wheat, or digs a dollar out of the mines – Jefferson
Our fellow citizens will not demand of the political class that monetary issues be dealt with in a morally sound and constitutionally correct manner. Thus the looming “Fiscal Cliff” appears and gives grist to what? New and more inventive ways to tax, borrow and spend instead of a solemn debate over how to decrease, stop and severely limit those items.
Thomas Jefferson fought this same battle in 1791, his nemesis was ours: Nationalists, led by Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson’s efforts went for naught but he ultimately knee capped the Bank by rising to the Presidency and selecting Alexander Gallitin to head up the Treasury. Here is part of Jefferson’s opposition to the bank. – Mike Church, 24 November, 2012
The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution.
I. They are not among the powers specially enumerated: for these are: 1st. A power to lay taxes for the purpose of paying the debts of the United States; but no debt is paid by this bill, nor any tax laid. Were it a bill to raise money, its origination in the Senate would condemn it by the Constitution.
2d. “To borrow money.” But this bill neither borrows money nor ensures the borrowing it. The proprietors of the bank will be just as free as any other money holders, to lend or not to lend their money to the public. The operation proposed in the bill, first, to lend them two millions, and then to borrow them back again, cannot change the nature of the latter act, which will still be a payment, and not a loan, call it by what name you please.
3. To “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the States, and with the Indian tribes.” To erect a bank, and to regulate commerce, are very different acts. He who erects a bank, creates a subject of commerce in its bills; so does he who makes a bushel of wheat, or digs a dollar out of the mines; yet neither of these persons regulates commerce thereby. To make a thing which may be bought and sold, is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling.
Besides, if this was an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every State, as to its external. For the power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State, (that is to say of the commerce between citizen and citizen,) which remain exclusively with its own legislature; but to its external commerce only, that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes. Accordingly the bill does not propose the measure as a regulation of trade, but as “productive of considerable advantages to trade.” Still less are these powers covered by any other of the special enumerations.
II. Nor are they within either of the general phrases, which are the two following:—
1. To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, “to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.” For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.
It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.