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The Constitution requires providing for the general welfare of the states, not individuals.

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Congress and President Ignoring Constitution

The Constitution requires providing for the general welfare of the states, not individuals.

The catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is a horrific example of what happens when Congress and the President don’t do the jobs that the Constitution requires them to do.

The U.S. Constitution says that Congress is to “provide for the common defense and general welfare of the united States of America.”  The preceding sentence doesn’t contain a typo.  The word “united” was not capitalized when it was written and signed in its original form.  The Constitution was telling the Congress that it was to provide for the general welfare of the states.

Congress has often used the “welfare clause” to pass legislation that allows them to reinterpret the Constitution as they like in order for them to “provide for the… general welfare” of individuals, and this has led them to routinely violate our individual rights as citizens while ignoring their obligation to provide for the general welfare of the states. 

That means being fully prepared for natural or man-caused disasters, and having resources standing by to be immediately employed when needed.

What Congress has not done, is to act to “provide for the general welfare of the united States of America” by putting in place safeguards and emergency measures to be applied when (not if) a disaster of the magnitude of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill should occur.

Congress has known for many years that with 6 million barrels of oil a day arriving in the U.S. by ship and with nearly 4,000 offshore oil-drilling platforms in the Gulf, the occurrence of a major oil spill was a distinct possibility, even a probability. 

They also knew what havoc such a spill would wreak on the entire nation.  Yet they had incredibly weak policies in force to assure the integrity of the offshore platforms, and no response mechanism in place to contain the oil spillage in the event a disaster should occur.  That is a truly shocking malfeasance.

Congress has no plan, no process, and has no emergency measures or equipment in place to be utilized immediately.  Even today, nearly two months after the disaster began, the Congress has done nothing, and the President proclaims, “I’m in charge here” while pointing a finger of blame at everyone except the federal government.

The 111th Congress spent nearly an entire year cramming healthcare “reform” that no one wanted down the throats of the American people, while doing nothing about the job they are elected to do:  “Provide for … general welfare of the united States of America.” 

It’s time that Congress concentrates on doing the job that the Constitution requires them to do, and stops doing the things that interfere with our individual rights.

Written By

Mr. MacDougald is the founder and CEO of The Free Enterprise Nation, a non-partisan research and advocacy organization fighting for the economic interests of businesses and their employees by harnessing collective voting power to protect sound economic principles.

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