The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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March 11, 2013

Readers' Forum 3-11 | Legislators should back Corbett’s liquor plan

(Continued)

— General Welfare Clause being abused

The General Welfare Clause is the claimed source of authority for federal spending and federal mandates on state governments, which are rules and regulations that the federal government requires the states to follow at the expense of the states.

These unfunded mandates (not funded by the feds but the states have to abide) cause problems for state budgets. An example is regulation of schools. There are several requirements that states and local districts must follow, yet the feds don’t fund all of their mandates.

This principle applies in other areas, too, like welfare, Medicaid and transportation. It’s a subtle way to expand federal control/power. This allowed the federal government to expand in spending and power.

This clause wasn’t meant to give Congress power to spend on anything it wanted. If it could, then the Constitution would be meaningless. The original intent was that the federal government could not spend on what the states were competent enough to handle – not spend on anything the Congress wanted. Federal spending also had to benefit all Americans.

In 1936, the Supreme Court allowed Congress to spend on anything. Spending has skyrocketed ever since on anything that has to be voted on.

The states are competent enough to handle transportation, education, health care, welfare and many other areas. Defense is an area where the states aren’t competent (proven under the Articles of Confederation). We should be demanding leaders to stay in the lines of the Constitution.

Unfortunately, many voters care more about who’ll keep on spending, thus increasing reliance on government.

Ryan Hill

Johnstown

 

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