This is something that all legislators, Democrat and Republican, should be doing. They should always question whether or not a policy or proposed bill has a basis somewhere in the Constitution.
I don't mean from court rulings or extensions of court rulings. I mean in the document itself. For any particular bill in front of Congress, can the sponsors cite Article and Section of the Constitution that gives the government the power to enact such legislation? If they cannot, then the proposed bill should be immediately thrown out.
For example, not one member of Congress can quote any part of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to retroactively impose taxes on a narrowly defined group of people. But I can certainly point to a section of the Constitution that unambiguously prohibits it.
That is why Michelle Bachmann is such a rising start in the GOP and among Conservatives in general. She is asking such questions. Here is a transcript of the exchange between Rep. Bachmann and Seccretary of the Treasury Geithner:
|BACHMANN: What provision in the Constitution could you point to ... to give authority for the actions that have been taken by the Treasury since March of '08?|
GEITHNER: Oh, well, the -- the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities.
BACHMANN: Sir, in the Constitution. What -- what in the Constitution could you point to to -- to give authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions that have been taken?
GEITHNER: Every action that the Treasury and the Fed and the FDIC is -- is -- has been using authority granted by this body -- by this body, the Congress.
BACHMANN: And by -- in the Constitution, what could you point to?
GEITHNER: Under the laws of the land, of course.
You'll notice that Geithner never answered her question despite the fact that it is a very legitimate question. In fact, Rep. Bachmann had to ask it three times. He punted and simply said "the laws of the land." Unfortunately for Geithner, the phrase "law of the land" appears in the Constitution only in Article VI and establishes the Constitution as the final authority over the several states. Article VI does not give the government the powers the Obama administration is taking for itself.
As for Old Media reporters, they should be asking the same questions. After all, they do style themselves as "watchdogs of government."
There are many unhinged libs at websites like the Daily Kos and Huffington Post who are stamping their feet like little children right now over the way Michelle Bachmann exposed Geithner's ignorance of the Constitution, but none of them are able to answer Rep. Bachmann's question either.
The truth is, there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the government any power whatsoever to go in and take over the businesses and firms in the private sector. None. If you believe there is, please respond to this post by citing Section and Article of the Constitution.
If you are able to do so, then you will have done something that the current Secretary of the Treasury was embarrassingly unable to do.
You can access the video on-line here:
Congresswoman Bachmann Questions Geithner & Bernanke About A Global Currency
March 24, 2009