The Instigator
DanT
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Mimshot
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The Constitution gives congress the the power of social welfare

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
DanT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,931 times Debate No: 22087
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

DanT

Con

Resolved: The Constitution gives congress the right to social welfare

Rules;
1.) No Supreme Court refrences
2.) first round acceptance only
3.) you must cite where in the constitution it grants congress the power of social welfare, and be able to argue that point without relying on an appeal to authority

Definitions;
social welfare: a governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need; in other words redistribution of wealth. Such policies would include bail outs, federal unemployment benefits, and federal subsidization
Mimshot

Pro

I accept this debate on the constitutionality of congressional spending on social welfare.

I accept my opponent's definition of social welfare. As a side point, I note that he has not really distinguished between the terms "pwer" and "right" but since under Blackstonian phylogeny Congress would only have "powers" and not "rights" I consider the debate to be about congressional power under the constitution.

From the our conversations on the forums, I know my opponent has thoroughly thought out arguments and is well read on the constitution, so I will simply say:

The Constitution grants Congress has the power to spend money on social welfare programs.

and...

good luck

Debate Round No. 1
DanT

Con


The powers of the Federal government are few and defined, while the powers of the states are many and indefinite. This is made clear by the 10th amendment, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”. (1)


The 10th amendment speaks volumes about our constitution, our federation, and the balance of power between the union state and the member states. The Federal Government may only exercise the authority specifically granted to it by the US constitution, which by its very nature is a restrictive document, establishing a limited federal government.


Whenever I hear someone argue in favor of social welfare, they also make reference to the welfare clause. There are two clauses in the constitution that have been considered the “welfare clause”, in an attempt to expand the power of the federal government.


The 1st “welfare clause” is in the preamble. The Preamble reads, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (2)


The preamble itself is not a grant of power, but an explanation for the document that follows. The preamble is nothing more than a preliminary statement or an introduction to the constitution, and nothing in the preamble should be misconstrued as a grant of power.



According to the oxford dictionary “welfare” simply means “the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group”. (3) The oxford dictionary also defines “general” as “affecting or concerning all or most people, places, or things; widespread”. (4) The term “General Welfare” thus refers to the health, happiness, and fortunes of all or most of the community”, in other words “the common good”. This correlates with the NH constitution, which predates the US constitution by 3 years.


Section 1Article 1 of the NH constitution reads, “All men are born equally free and independent; therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good.” Again in Section 1 Article 10 the NH constitution reads, “Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.” (5)This has the same theme as expressed in the US constitution, and the phrase “general welfare



The phrase “social welfare” has a much different meaning than “general welfare”. The prefix “social” implies a form of “social service”. The oxford dictionary defines “social services” as “government services provided for the benefit of the community, such as education, medical care, and housing.” (6) “Social welfare” thus refers to “government services that provides for the health, happiness, and fortunes of the community”, in other words a redistributive policy, such as housing, bailouts, or unemployment benefits.



As I already stated the preamble is not a grant of power, but there is also another clause often referred to as the “welfare clause”. It is located in article 1 section 8, and reads “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;” (7)


The phrase “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” can be shorten to “The congress shall have the power to collect a revenue”. Therefore it reads “The Congress shall have Power To collect a revenue, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;”


Notice where the punctuation marks are, and what is capitalized. The T is capitalized in “The Congress shall have Power”, and the T is again capitalized in “To collect a revenue” but the T is not capitalized in “, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;”, this means the first “To” is emphasized but the second “to” is not.


“The Congress shall have” (emphasis) “Power” (emphasis) “To collect a revenue” (comma meaning a pause) “to pay the” (emphasis) “Debts and provide for the common” (emphasis) “Defence and general” (emphasis) “Welfare of the United States;” (Semicolon, meaning an end of the clause).


The power granted in the clause is the power to collect revenue. The comma indicates a stipulation, or qualification of that power, which was “to pay Debts and to provide for the Defense and Welfare of the United States” The comma thus separates the grant of power, and the requirements to exercise that power.


The word “provide” means “make adequate preparation for” (8) therefore” congress has the power collect a revenue, in order to make preparations for the military, and prosperity of the nation” The power of congress to provide for the common defense appears in a later clause in article 1 section 8, therefore, if congress had the power of “social welfare” it too would appear it later clauses. The so called “general welfare clause” is actually a revenue clause, and the term “welfare” is used in a restrictive sense rather than a general grant of power, as was the phrase “common Defense” in the same clause.



Nowhere in the constitution is the phrase “welfare” used in the sense of “social welfare”, nor is there any place in the constitution, which uses it in a way that grants power to congress. It is instead used in a restrictive sense, as a qualification of the government’s power to collect a revenue, and unlike the phrase “common defense”, no other clause grants the government the authority of providing for the “welfare” of the nation, which leads me to believe the term “general Welfare”, was used to refer to any legislation not dealing with defense, being a qualification of the power to collect a revenue.


Works Cited

1. [Online] http://www.usconstitution.net....


2. [Online] http://www.usconstitution.net....


3. [Online] http://oxforddictionaries.com....


4. [Online] http://oxforddictionaries.com....


5. [Online] http://www.nh.gov....


6. [Online] http://oxforddictionaries.com....


7. [Online] http://www.usconstitution.net....


8. [Online] http://oxforddictionaries.com....


Mimshot

Pro

This is a debate about whether Congress, under the U.S. Constitution, has the power to spend on social welfare programs. This is not a debate about whether we think that the current social welfare system in the United States is well run, whether we think social welfare programs are a good idea in general, nor whether it was wise of the founders to give Congress as much latitude as it has. This is a debate about law, not about policy.

My opponent has spent a great deal of time refuting an argument he thinks I'm going to make -- an argument that confuses the word "welfare" as it appears in the resolution as in "social welfare" with "general welfare" as it appears in the constitution. Let me assure him, I have no intention of equating the two. To this end, I will never refer to "welfare" in the abstract, but rather always to either "social welfare" (SW) or "general welfare" (GW).

1. No Restriction Cited
There are two ways a congressional action could be unconstitutional. First, as my opponent points out, because of the doctrine of limited powers as enumerated by the 10th amendment, if the action does not fall within one of the broad powers granted to congress, it is unconstitutional. Most of these broad grants of power appear in Article 1 Section 8 [1]. The other way an action can be unconstitutional is if it falls within one of the broad grants of congressional power, but is prohibited by one of the specific limitations on congressional power. Most of these limitations are in Article 1 Section 9, and the bill of rights [2,3].

My opponent has made no argument that SW spending is specifically prohibited by the constitution. Consequently, any such argument is waved. I thank him for this as it allows us to focus the rest of the debate on the far more interesting issue of whether SW spending falls within one of the broad powers granted to Congress by the Constitution.

2. Welfare clause grants plenary spending power
So as to not confuse things with the preamble, if I refer to the "general welfare clause" I'm referring to the first subsection of Article I Section 8, which grants Congress the 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;"[1]

I accept my opponent's definition of the word "welfare" as it applies to GW:

"the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group"[4]

Two powers are granted to Congress in this clause. First it grants congress the power to "lay and collect" taxes. Second, it specifies what Congress can do with the money. It can pay the U.S.' national debt and it can "provide for the common defense and general welfare."

This spending clause is an astoundingly broad grant of power. It grants Congress the power to spend money (using my opponent's definition of GW) to "provide for the common defense and the [health happiness, and fortunes] of the United States". That is, once money has entered the U.S. Treasury (either through borrowing or taxation), Congress can spend that money on any program that it believes promotes the health, happiness, and fortunes of the people of the United States. Our congress, for better or worse, has decided that spending money on food stamps promote the collective or "general" health, happiness, and fortunes of the U.S.

3. The founders agreed the spending clause was broad
Alexander Hamilton, one of the authors of the constitution, believed that the spending power of congress was "plenary"[5]. He stated of the phrase "general welfare" that "The phrase is as comprehensive as any that could have been used."[5] Thus, once again we see the broad spending power granted to congress. Congress does not have the power to place a stoplight at every intersection, but it does have the power to pay for them if the states decide to install them.

Acts of the first Congress are generally held to be constitutional because many of the legislatures were authors of the constitution and presumably knew what it meant. There were at least two laws enacted by the first congress that clearly establish Congressional plenary spending power to promote GW. They are chapter IX, "An Act for the establishment and support of Lighthouses, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers"[6] and chapter XXIV "An Act providing for the payment of the Invalid Pensioners of the United States"[7]. Neither of these actions fall under any of the grants of power outside of the GW clause. In fact, the lighthouses act is actually the first congressional earmark stating: It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide ... a lighthouse near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay.[6]

If congress has the power to take over payments of pensions to people who were made invalid during the Revolutionary War, then it has the power to make payments to people today. Congress has the power to spend on anything (such as lighthouses) that is not specifically prohibited elsewhere. Again, whether the use of this power to make SW payments is wise or not is irrelevant to this debate.

4. New Hampshire constitution.
The NH constitution is completely irrelevant to the current resolution. Although it states that governments instituted for the "general good" (again a very broad power) rather than the "general welfare", this makes no difference to my argument. This point regarding the NH constitution is only relevant to rebut wordplay confusing SW with GW. I have no intention of making such an argument.

5. Capitalization and punctuation
My opponent makes a few points regarding capitalization and punctuation, that I believe lack merit but I will address briefly nonetheless.

First my opponent attempts to make a point that the 'T' in "To collect a revenue" is capitalized and the 't' in "to pay the Debts..." is not. First, he give no explanation of what he thinks the significance of the discrepancy is. He claims only that the uncapitalized "to" has less emphasis. He leaves the implication that this somehow means that the clause to follow is less important but doesn't even make this point explicitly, much less argue why it is so.

The reason for the discrepancy between "To collect" and "to pay" is obvious if you look at the complete section. Rather than writing several complete sentences that would all use the same independent clause "Congress shall have the Power", the authors used a sort of shorthand. That is, rather than writing:

Congress shall have the power to lay and ...
Congress shall have the power to borrow ...
Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce ...

They wrote:

Congress shall have the power
To lay ... Excises, to pay ...
To borrow ...
To regulate commerce ...

They wrote the first part of all those sentences once and then just wrote the second half on its own.

While I have no doubt that some lazy language arts teachers have said a comma represents a "pause" rather than going into coordinating conjunctions and prepositional phrases, we need a little more precision here. The sentence "Congress shall have the power to lay ... taxes ..., to pay ..." has two prepositional phrases (PP), each following the word "to". The comma in this sense is used to separate two PPs from each other. Whereas one does not typically separate a prepositional phrase that follows the independent clause.[8]

References
[1] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[2] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[3] http://www.law.cornell.edu...
[4] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[5] http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu...
[6] http://en.wikisource.org...
[7] http://en.wikisource.org...
[8] http://owl.english.purdue.edu...





Debate Round No. 2
DanT

Con

1. No Restriction Cited
My opponent seems to think that because I did not cite a specific restriction, that I cannot, or will not mention one over the course of this debate, as part of a rebuttal.

2. Welfare clause grants plenary spending power

My opponent has dropped my argument about the general welfare clause being a qualification of the power to collect revenue, rather than a separate general grant of power.
Again, if it was a grant of power, than like “common Defense”, it would be listed more specifically in later clauses of article 1 section 8. This was not the case, because it was a qualification of the taxing payer, meaning that the government may only collect a revenue to provide for “the common Defense” aka military, and “general Welfare” aka legislation not dealing with the military. This can be seen with in another clause where is reads “[Congress shall have the power] To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”, here it again insists that congress has a limitation on their ability to collect a revenue, and that limitation is to fund the immediate “common Defense and general Welfare”. Furthermore the clauses in article 1 section 8 typically ended with a semicolon, not a comma.

3. The founders agreed the spending clause was broad

My opponent has chopped up a quote by Hamilton, in an attempt to misrepresent his beliefs regarding “general Welfare”

“A Question has been made concerning the Constitutional right of the Government of the United States to apply this species of encouragement, but there is certainly no good foundation for such a question. The National Legislature has express authority "To lay and Collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the Common defence and general welfare" with no other qualifications than that "all duties, imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United states, that no capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to numbers ascertained by a census or enumeration taken on the principles prescribed in the Constitution, and that "no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state." These three qualifications excepted, the power to raise money is plenary, and indefinite; and the objects to which it may be appropriated are no less comprehensive, than the payment of the public debts and the providing for the common defence and "general Welfare." (1)

In other words Hamilton believed that “the common defence and general welfare” were qualifications of the appropriation of taxes, but he believed that the term “general welfare” was broad, and thus so too was the qualification. Madison, the primary author of the constitution, on the other hand held a more limited view on the power to appropriate taxes, and believed certain things could not be funded by the tax payer. Appropriation just means drawing money from the treasury. In Hamilton’s view the clause gave congress the power to draw money from the treasury for military matters, but the later clauses established what congress’s powers regarding the military were. So too does this apply to general welfare.

My opponent has cited several acts of congress that does not redistribute wealth, as in the agreed upon definition of social welfare.

The 1st was establishing lighthouses. Lighthouses are necessary for international trade, as ships carrying imports could easily crash into rocky cliffs, thus the necessary and proper clause applies. Lighthouses are not social welfare.

The second was pensions for revolutionary war veterans, which falls under the “common Defense” category. (2) Soldier pensions are not a form of social welfare.




4. Capitalization and punctuation

Pro made the claim that I did not explain why the capitalization and lack of capitalization was important. I thought I made it clear that the founders capitalized words they wished to emphasize, just like how we use colored or bolded font today. Back in the days of quill pens, when a speech was written, one would capitalize the first letter of words they wish to emphasize or highlight. (3)
Again look at all the words they chose to capitalized “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;”

If it was short hand, as pro claims, than “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, “ and “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States” would not be separate clauses, as pro has been suggesting.
You can’t claim that the reason “to” in “to pay the Debts” is not capitalized because they wrote it as “Excises, to pay the Debts”, yet also claim “Excises” and “to pay the Debts” are in different clauses.

Freehand explains some of the capitalizations, but most in that clause are from emphasis.

For example
“The Congress shall have the Power…”
“To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, and to pay the debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;...”
Notice how “Defence” is capitalized but common is not, and “Welfare” is capitalized but “general” is not. It’s because they were emphasizing that the purpose of appropriation of money is “Military” and “Prosperity”, and the words “common” and “general” are simply used to denote a common benefit of the whole community.
Once again, clauses were separated by semicolons in article 1 section 8.

You have yet to prove that the term “general Welfare” is not a qualification of the appropriation of taxes. You also have yet to site where in the constitution it grants them a specific power of social welfare.

Works Cited
1. [Online] http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu....
2. [Online] http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com....
3. [Online] http://home.hiwaay.net....


Mimshot

Pro

My oppoent has confined all his responses to my enumerated poinfs from the last round, so I will continue to do so as well.

1. No restriction cited
For two rounds now my opponent has failed to name any provision of the constitution that specifically prohibits SW spending. Now, he purports to reserve the right to do so. Is he planning a surprise argument perhaps? Clearly this argument has been waved.

2. GW clause grants plenary spending power
I have not dropped my opponent's argument about this clause being a qualificaion on the power to grant revenue. Rather I have thouroughly refuted, his proposterous reading. My opponent would have us believe that the founders intended Congress to have the powers of taxation but no power to spend (despite clearly saying they did). He merely rehashed his original argument for this point in this round, so I won't refute it the same way again, but I extend my arguments from last round. Let's look at a less politically charged example. Consider the following:

I ride my bike to go to work -- Clearly the speaker both rides his bike and goes to work.

I have the power to ride my bike, to go to work. -- Again, clearly the speaker has both the power to ride his bike and the power to go to work. If you didn't otherwise know that he had the power to go to work, you do now.

I have the power to ride my bike, to go wherever I please. -- Like above the speaker has the power to go wherever he pleases, unless a particular prohibition is stated elsewhere.

The one other point I would add on this topic is regarding my opponent's attempt to distinguish common defense and general welfare, in that there are additional defense related powers granted in Art. I sec. 8. This is because there is more involved in creating an army than just spending (unless you use mercenaries of course). Congress needed to have the authority of conscription, to construct its own armories, to pass laws governing the military like the UCMJ. These did require a separate grant of Congressional power, whereas pure spending to promote common defense or general welfare did not.

3. The founders agreed the spending clause was broad
My opponent seems to think that by quoting more of my source it somehow changes the meaning. I encourage the reader to read his quotation again. Quite clearly Hamilton is arguing for the ability of congress to spend on whatever it wants. He even says of the question whether it has such power, "There is certainly no good foundation for such a question."

My opponent concedes that I have named acts of the first congress that spent on things not explicitly granted in the Constitution when he says:
"My opponent has cited several acts of congress that does not redistribute wealth, as in the agreed upon definition of social welfare."

His qualification is correct; these acts are not intended to "redistribute wealth." Now he is the one confusing SW with GW. My point was not that congress has the power to redistribute wealth, it was that congress has the power to spend on anything it wants, unless prohibited elsewhere in the constitution. The phrase "redistribute wealth" appears nowhere in the constitution.

My opponent's claims that lighthouses and pensions for widows of a war that happened before the federal government was created are related to common defense (and thus somehow, again "common defense" matters in the clause while GW doesn't) is clearly baseless. By that logic, having a well fed population means better soldiers, so SW spending on nutrition (aka, food stamps) is related to common defense.

4. NH Constitution
My opponent completely abandoned this point and renumbered the others to obfuscate this fact. I extend my arguments under this heading.

5. Capitalization and punctuation
"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"
Note that all and only the nouns are capitalized. My opponent continues his argument that the capitalization of words means they are emphasized (rather than just being nouns). He then further claims that this has some legal meaning. His source clearly refutes this argument. To quote his reference 3 from the last round:

"One of the persistant myths among political dissidents is that such usages and initial or complete capitalization of names indicates different legal entities or a different legal status for the entity... They also attach special meanings to the ways words may be capitalized or abbreviated in founding documents, such as constitutions or the early writings of the Founders. Such people seem to resist all efforts to explain that such conventions have no legal significance whatsoever."

I agree with his source completely.

My opponent's rehashing of his argument about commas that I already refuted is fully dealt with by my example under point 1.

6. Burden of proof and summary
Finally, my opponent concludes by saying:
"You have yet to prove that the term “general Welfare” is not a qualification of the appropriation of taxes. You also have yet to site [sic] where in the constitution it grants them a specific power of social welfare."

First, let me point out, that my opponent has the burden of proof since he advocates the change from the status quo. His formulation of the topic as "Congress has the power..." rather than "Federal Social Welfare programs are unconstitutional..." notwithstanding.

On my opponent's first point, I agree completely that the GW is a qualification of the appropriation of taxes. It qualifies congress (by his definition of GW) to spend to promote the general health, happiness, and fortunes of the people of the United States. Somehow my opponent doesn't appreciate that this is an incredibly broad grant.

I also agree that I have not named a location where Congress is given "a specific power of social welfare." Instead I have given a location where congress is given the power to spend on anything it wants. Congress does not have a broader power to enact social welfare regulations, only to spend. Congress, pursuant to limited government principes, does not have the power to pass a law mandating that people eat broccoli. It does, however, have the power to say, here's some money if you want to eat broccoli.




Debate Round No. 3
DanT

Con

1. No restriction cited

I’m not planning on a surprise argument. The powers of the Government are limited to those in article 1 section 8, and the limitations on article 1 section 8 is listed in article 1 section 9, or the amendments. There would be no point in arguing this unless to refute a power listed in article 1 section 8.

2. GW clause grants plenary spending power

After attacking my reading skills my opponent has gone so far as to misrepresent my stance on the “welfare clause”. I never once claimed congress did not have a power to spend, but quite the contrary. I said that congress’s power to collect revenue is limited to the appropriation, and the appropriation is limited to the common defense, and general legislation. Appropriation means drawing money from the treasury. I have also stated that the common defense and general welfare clause are not a grant of power, but rather a qualification of the power to collect and appropriate taxes, and that the actual grants of power resides in later clauses.

He merely rehashed his original argument for this point in this round, so I won't refute it the same way again, but I extend my arguments from last round. Let's look at a less politically charged example. Consider the following.

My opponent has used a bike analogy but was using a half truth. Also the analogy has to be worded the same, otherwise it loses relevance.


I have the power to sell my car. -- The speaker has the power to sell his car.


I have the power to sell my care, to pay for my bills and to provide for living expenses and for my family – Obviously the speaker is not using the money from selling his car to buy video games, but rather to pay off his bills, and to fund his living expenses, and his family’s expenses. Thus the latter is a qualification of the sale.

To take this steps further let’s make it resemble all of article 1 section 8;

I have the power To sell my care, to pay for my bills and to provide for living expenses and for my family;

To use a credit card;

To put my kid through college;

To purchase food;

To purchase clothing;

To finance medical treatment;

To pay for anything necessary for and related to the above listed; - -

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as though the power to spend the money has become even more limited for the speaker.



My opponent makes the claim that later clauses were added because more is required than just spending. However “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;” clearly is a spending power; the power to hire troops, and the power to purchase supplies for the troops. This would be similar to the social welfare power “To pay unemployment benefits, and provide food stamps”, which is absent from the document. Obviously social welfare is not covered by article 1 section 8. (1)


3. The founders agreed the spending clause was broad

My opponent still seems to think Hamilton believed that General Welfare was a grant of power, but if you read on, he continues to say;

“It was not fit that the constitutional authority of the Union, to appropriate its revenues shou'd have been restricted within narrower limits than the "General Welfare" and because this necessarily embraces a vast variety of particulars, which are susceptible neither of specification nor of definition.

It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the National Legislature, to pronounce, upon the objects, which concern the general Welfare, and for which under that description, an appropriation of money is requisite and proper.” (2)

Meaning general welfare is a qualification of the appropriation of money, but it is up to congress to determine what that qualification’s limits are, because the qualification is broad.

Hamilton goes on to say “That the object to which an appropriation of money is to be made be General and not local; its operation extending in fact, or by possibility, throughout the Union, and not being confined to a particular spot.” (2)


Not once did I concede that the first congress passed acts not listed in the constitution. In fact to the contrary I pointed out how they were listed in later clauses of article 1 section 8. The quote my opponent provided for this claim gives no indication that I conceded to that idea.

My opponent has conceded that the acts he provided were not examples of social welfare. However as I showed in the last round the powers to pass these acts were provided for in the constitution.


My opponent has made a huge leap from war veteran pensions, to feeding the population, since some of them may enlist. One cannot compare veterans’ pensions to food stamps for people who may or may not enlist. Those are two completely different scenarios, dealing with completely different time frames, and completely different people.


4. NH Constitution
My opponent has already agreed with my definition of “general welfare” thus there is no point in arguing this further.

5. Capitalization and punctuation

My opponent has once again taken a quote out of context, this time from my source.

The full quote says

They also attach special meanings to the ways words may be capitalized or abbreviated in founding documents, such as constitutions or the early writings of the Founders.

Such people seem to resist all efforts to explain that such conventions have no legal significance whatsoever, that they are just ways to emphasize certain kinds of type, to make it easier for the reader to scan the documents quickly and organize the contents in his mind.”

My source also says “Nonetheless, it is obvious that for hundreds of years, styles of cases and other legal materials were frequently capitalized for purposes of emphasis. The custom of capitalized styles of cases continues even today.”



If you look at Amendment 6, there is very little capitalization. If my opponent was correct, there would be more capitalization in this paragraph;

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

The only words capitalized are “In”, which started a sentence, “Assistance” which was near the end of the paragraph, and “Counsel” which again was at the end of the paragraph.



6. Burden of proof and summary

My opponent has claimed that I have the burden of proof because I quote “ advocate the change from the status quo. “ This is false. My opponent is the one making the statement, thus he has the burden of proof. Furthermore I am not advocating any changes to the status quo, and that statement was unsupported by any argument or proof of the status quo.



7. Appropriation of Money and Executive Agencies

Appropriation is a law passed by congress authorizing the Executive to draw money from the treasury. In order for congress to appropriate money, the executive agency must already be established. This means before the appropriation bill is drawn, congress must have already passed an enabling act establishing the agency to begin with. Congress may only create agencies that are constitutional. So for Congress to appropriate money, the agency must be authorized elsewhere in the constitution.

Conclusion

The constitution does not grant congress the power of social welfare. It does grant congress the power to appropriate money for general legislation, but that legislation must first be constitutional. The so called “general welfare clause” is a qualification of the power to appropriate money, and not a general grant of power.

Works Cited

1. [Online] http://www.usconstitution.net....

2. [Online] http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu....

Mimshot

Pro

Mimshot forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
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