Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – We’re having great conversations today about defunding Obamacare. That’s part of the national dialogue today, how we defund Obamacare. Everybody wants to know how to defund Obamacare. I’m going to tell you. Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: AG, if I ask you to name presidents from the 19th century, would you be able to give me a very complete or incomplete list?
AG: Very, very incomplete.
Mike: I think you’re not alone. I think you’re probably right about where most people are. After Lincoln, how many could you name, do you think?
Mike: The name Franklin Pierce, have you ever seen that on a list of presidents?
AG: I believe I have.
Mike: We’re having great conversations today about defunding Obamacare. That’s part of the national dialogue today, how we defund Obamacare. Everybody wants to know how to defund Obamacare. I’m going to tell you. On the date of 3 May 1854, the Congress of the United States sent to President Franklin Pierce entitled “An act making a grant of public lands to the several States for the benefit of indigent insane persons.” What this is is basically a Medicare or Medicaid or Obamacare act in 1854 to set up a program that the federal government would administer to provide medical services to the indigent insane, in other words for the homeless who were insane or who had mental problems.
Let’s just set this out. There’s no material difference between this act and setting up Medicare, setting up Medicaid. The Congress gives it its approbation. They send it over to Franklin Pierce, the president, thinking he’s going to sign it. He doesn’t. He sends the bill back with a veto message. If you read the veto message, this is the greatest smackdown of the congressional or federal welfare state you will ever hear of or read. It’s eleven pages long printed. I posted it in today’s feature story at the top of the home page at MikeChurch.com. I’ve highlighted the important passages, or the ones I think are important. I’m going to dwell on those for just a moment.
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If you’re looking for a way to defund Obamacare, if you do not believe that John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, got the Obamacare decision correct, you are in the right. If you do not believe that a former court held that social security is a constitutional exercise, even if you use the taxing power to cover it, you are correct. If you believe that the Medicare Act and then the Medicaid Act and then the AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or Aid to Families with Indigent Dependent Children, is an unconstitutional exercise to the federal leviathan, you are correct. We have it on good authority from President Pierce. By the bye, President Franklin Pierce is the great, great, great grandpappy of George W. Bush, just so you’ll know, or great uncle. I’d check the lineage, but they are related.
They pass this bill and the scheme is they’re going to take federal lands, what they call federal lands, and they’re going to sell them to raise the funds, and then they’re going to give the funds to the states. Under this massive federal program, they’re going to build these hospitals and homes for the indigent insane. They’re going to fund this by the continuing sale of lands. The federal government is going to sanction all of this under the Constitution. President Pierce says: No way. Here’s part of the veto message. If you’re looking for a way to shoot down Obamacare using the Constitution, this is it. As a matter of fact, this is a silver bullet. This just decimates the entire federal welfare state.
It can not be questioned that if Congress has power to make provision for the indigent insane without the limits of this District it has the same power to provide for the indigent who are not insane, and thus to transfer to the Federal Government the charge of all the poor in all the States. It has the same power to provide hospitals and other local establishments for the care and cure of every species of human infirmity, and thus to assume all that duty of either public philanthropy, or public necessity to the dependent, the orphan, the sick, or the needy which is now discharged by the States themselves or by corporate institutions or private endowments existing under the legislation of the States.
The whole field of public beneficence is thrown open to the care and culture of the Federal Government. Generous impulses no longer encounter the limitations and control of our imperious fundamental law; for however worthy may be the present object in itself, it is only one of a class. It is not exclusively worthy of benevolent regard. Whatever considerations dictate sympathy for this particular object apply in like manner, if not in the same degree, to idiocy, to physical disease, to extreme destitution. [Mike: In other words, if you’re going to cover the indigent insane, what about the handicapped? What about idiots? What about those that have cancer? This is all about medical care, in other words.] If Congress may and ought to provide for any one of these objects, it may and ought to provide for them all. And if it be done in this case, what answer shall be given when Congress shall be called upon, as it doubtless will be, to pursue a similar course of legislation in the others? It will obviously be vain to reply that the object is worthy, but that the application has taken a wrong direction. The power will have been deliberately assumed, the general obligation will by this act have been acknowledged, and the question of means and expediency will alone be left for consideration. The decision upon the principle in any one case determines it for the whole class. The question presented, therefore, clearly is upon the constitutionality and propriety of the Federal Government assuming to enter into a novel and vast field of legislation, namely, that of providing for the care and support of all those among the people of the United States who by any form of calamity become fit objects of public philanthropy.
Mike: My goodness, folks. Just in the fourth paragraph of Pierce’s veto message, he has demolished the entire constitutional foundation or alleged foundation upon which the welfare state sits. All of it is illegal. All of it is unconstitutional. Yet here we are, stuck with it. Let’s deal with the John Roberts court and the Franklin Delanobama Supreme Court claiming that because Social Security and Obamacare operate under the taxing power, then you can pretty much do whatever you want with them. Franklin Pierce, back in 1854, the President of the United States, sniffed that one out coming down the pike. In his veto message, he gave us all the reasoning and all the constitutional knowledge we need to shoot that one down, too. Wait till you hear this.
I shall not discuss at length the question of power sometimes claimed for the General Government under the clause of the eighth section of the Constitution, which gives Congress the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” because if it has not already been settled upon sound reason and authority it never will be. I take the received and just construction of that article, as if written to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises in order to pay the debts and in order to provide for the common defense and general welfare. It is not a substantive general power to provide for the welfare of the United States, but is a limitation on the grant of power to raise money by taxes, duties, and imposts. If it were otherwise, all the rest of the Constitution, consisting of carefully enumerated and cautiously guarded grants of specific powers, would have been useless, if not delusive. It would be impossible in that view to escape from the conclusion that these were inserted only to mislead for the present, and, instead of enlightening and defining the pathway of the future, to involve its action in the mazes of doubtful construction.
Such a conclusion the character of the men who framed that sacred instrument will never permit us to form. Indeed, to suppose it susceptible of any other construction would be to consign all the rights of the States and of the people of the States to the mere discretion of Congress, and thus to clothe the Federal Government with authority to control the sovereign States, by which they would have been dwarfed into provinces or departments and all sovereignty vested in an absolute consolidated central power, against which the spirit of liberty has so often and in so many countries struggled in vain. In my judgment you can not by tributes to humanity make any adequate compensation for the wrong you would inflict by removing the sources of power and political action from those who are to be thereby affected. If the time shall ever arrive when, for an object appealing, however strongly, to our sympathies, the dignity of the States shall bow to the dictation of Congress by conforming their legislation thereto, when the power and majesty and honor of those who created shall become subordinate to the thing of their creation, I but feebly utter my apprehensions when I express my firm conviction that we shall see “the beginning of the end.”
Fortunately, we are not left in doubt as to the purpose of the Constitution any more than as to its express language, for although the history of its formation, as recorded in the Madison Papers, shows that the Federal Government in its present form emerged from the conflict of opposing influences which have continued to divide statesmen from that day to this . . .
Mike: Then he goes on to quote The Federalist and Jefferson. Then he goes back to the issue at hand and does more demolishing of the idea that you can do anything under the taxing power that has anything to do with general welfare. In two strokes of the president’s veto pen, President Franklin Pierce demolishes the case for the entire federal welfare state. Even if you won’t accept that, he demolishes the case for the entire federal medical welfare state. It doesn’t exist. It had to be fabricated. What amendment made it possible? You might say there is no amendment. I would say you’re correct. There is no such amendment. By the way, Congress did not override this veto.
Answer the question then: What has changed since 3 May 1854 to 17 September 2013? Under what auspices, under what law, under what amendatory power has Congress assumed the authority to control the medical or other welfare activities or benefits of the people of the several states or of the several states themselves? Ladies and gentlemen, you know the answer to that. It’s under the federal judiciary. It’s called laziness, apathy, lack of interest, lack of courage, lack of inertia, you name it. In other words, we have been hoisted by our own petard. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind, after reading this particular veto message, that at any juncture in time, if the people of the several states wish to reclaim their powers, all they would have to do is say so and then maintain the political will to carry through the act, end of story. It cannot be any more clear than that, it cannot be. Yet we meander about, bellyache, whine and complain about how difficult it is, we can’t do anything, we can’t do this, can’t do that. Folks, you can do all these things. Saying you don’t have the political will to do them is another thing. It’s a tiger of a different stripe.
End Mike Church Show Transcript