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Beware the "necessary and proper" clause in Article 1 section 8!

I work with a self described hard core socialist. He interprets the Constitution's Article 1 section 8 by referring to the last paragraph of it which states:

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

To his way of thinking Article 1 Section 8 does not limit the govt to just those powers explicitly listed in the paragraphs there. Instead he believes the govt may do anything it deems to be necessary and proper...period.

I still think that the only thing which will save us is not forming a new party, not joining either or both major parties, but simply enlightening our fellow countrymen about the freedom philosophy, be they democrats, republicans, independents or apolitical.

Knowledge is power in a battle or war of ideas. What is crucial is for each of us to take the trouble to read many of the same books, especially the books which deal with the premises underlying the different issues about which we agree or disagree.

I used to be apolitical and didn't know the left from the right. Many books and articles have provided me with perspective. Ron Paul's books are good and I agree with him on most matters but not all. He did recommend Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and I agree that it is worth reading as are her essays in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness.

I know there are those who have disagreements but I think AYn Rand's ideas are thought provoking and she defines her terms and uses reason and logic in a most lucid manner. I think we should all at least read her essays and then talk and debate here.


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Very interesting indeed.

Thanks for sharing. I read Atlas Shrugged some time ago I may have to reread it. I remember the woman in the book was one tough lady and the man in it was long winded. The people in the book sure lived exciting lives and had strong opinions. I don't think the ordinary person actually feels strongly about anything except what they watch on tv or sports. LOL Because people don't know what they really believe it makes them a easy sell for whatever the rulers are pushing. That is why I love the DP, it challenges my beliefs and makes me question history.

If you were stranded on a island with a group of people, how do you see the group's best chance at survival? How would you see yourself in this group?
If the group is working together is that Communism? If there is an elected head of the group is that a Democracy? Is it inevitable that jealousy and desire for power will bring down all social structures. I would appreciate any thoughts on this.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Hamilton Wanted a Permanent King

But he settled for the "General Welfare" Clause.

A clause that he championed, and made it so big that you could drive a team of horses through it.

The Confederate Constitution was a carbon copy of the U.S. Constitution with the exception that the "General Welfare" clause was removed (DiLorenzo).

In Hamiltonian terms, "General Welfare" was always sold as some sort of public good, but always only benefited the power elite.

Abolish the 16th Amendment.
Abolish the 17th Amendment.
Repeal the Federal Reserve Act.
Abolish the General Welfare clause.

"The consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of the ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it."

- Robert E. Lee, 1866


It's a two part test and should be restrictive....

1) It must be a proper thing to do, AND
2) It must be a necessary thing to do.

If you are a strict constitutionalist, there's a two part test. Maybe going to Iraq was a proper thing to do (debatable), but it was not a necessary thing to do. Maybe Public Education is a necessary thing to do, but it is not a proper thing to do, given Article I, Section 8's confines. (States should handle it--it's not interstate commerce.)

What is 'necessary' and 'proper' is much more loosely defined to power lovers, and they tend to think of it as 'necessary' OR 'proper'.

"Necessary: without this, it cannot happen." (Logic Arguers will remember that 'necessary' condition is not the same as 'sufficient' condition).
"Proper: Within the confines of Article I, Section 8, restricted by the Bill of Rights (including 9th and 10th.).

Federalist Paper #33 discusses it in detail, among other sources:


Federalist Paper #44 REALLY lays it out that it's for those itemized things in Article I, Section 8 only and nothing else. (After Fed papers 41-43 go through the Article I, section 8, bullet point by bullet point as if to drive the idea home.)


Anti Federalist Papers #1 and #44 present arguments against broad interpretation.



Life, Liberty, Property

fireant's picture

The last two clauses of Article I Section 8...

are what many consider to be what actually set up a dual federal function, one being the Constitutional Republic, the other being a Constitutional dictatorship. In order for the latter to be fully implemented, the 14th Amendment was necessary. That being the case, corrupting influences were present from the getgo, and the Constitution is not as pure as we think, nor expressed in language for the common man. In my view, any "revolution" will have to have as it's goal a complete housecleaning from the 14th forward to today, and a serious review of those clauses, especially the establishment of DC clause. Good luck with that.

Undo what Wilson did

proper and necessary of only mentioned powers

and not an exstencion of those powers . recently started reading atlas shrugged and wish all would read it to bad it seems hopeless when they look at the size of the book. yet i am thinking that the only requirement i'll have for any future hirings of people shall be asking them to read it and come back to me for a second interviw when they do. Refusal shall do the weeding out.