ZeraLand, USA

On the Nature of "Nation"

United States Constitution – Article I sec 8

This section lists (enumerates) powers explicitly assigned to Congress. Some are also mentioned elsewhere in the Constitution. Some are more specific than others. This is not the complete list.

Section 8

(clause 1)

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Congress has the power to raise revenue by imposing and collecting:

  • Taxes,
  • Duties,
  • Imposts,
  • and Excises.

Note that Taxes were not included in the uniformity requirement. As the word “Excises” is followed by a comma instead of a semicolon, I take it to mean that this power to raise revenues is only for the purpose of:

  • Paying the Debts of the United States.
  • Funding the common Defense of the United States.
  • Funding the general Welfare of the United States.

The big question here is just what falls under the umbrella of “general welfare”?

(clause 2)

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Congress must authorize the borrowing of money. Pretty straightforward stuff. Of course, it comes with the implied mandate to maintain the credit-worthiness of the United States, and to repay borrowed money. The Framers would have known, they had the debt accumulated from the Revolutionary War to repay. One of the reasons for a strong central government was the inability of a weak central government to repay that debt.
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October 23, 2011 Posted by | Article I, Const. Review, Const. Second Reading | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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