Roger Pilon Quote

“Under our Constitution, the federal government has delegated, enumerated and thus limited powers. Power is delegated by the founding generation or through subsequent amendment (that makes it legitimate); enumerated in the constitution (that makes it legal); and limited by that enumeration. As the 10th Amendment says, if a power hasn’t been delegated, the federal government doesn’t have it. For 150 years, that design held for the most part. When faced with a welfare bill in 1794, for example, James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, rose in the House to say that he could find no constitutional authority for the bill. A century later, when Congress passed a similar measure, President Cleveland vetoed it as beyond Congress’ authority. That all changed during the New Deal as both congress and the president sought to expand federal power. When the Supreme court objected, rather than amend the Constitution, Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to pack the court with six additional members. The scheme failed, but the threat worked. Thereafter, the court started reading the Constitution’s General Welfare and Commerce Clauses so broadly that the doctrine of enumerated powers was essentially destroyed—and with it limited government.”

~ Roger Pilon

Founders Intended Only Limited Powers, USA Today, Friday, July 21, 1995.

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

One opinion drawn from a very accurate observation and assessment.

Byron, Fort Collins, CO

I never knew how bad FDR was for America until Obama got elected. For that and only that reason am I glad Obama got elected.

J Carlton, Calgary

A little history that we should all be aware of. Abolish the Fed, Restore the Republic.

Mary - MI
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Mary - MI    6/17/11

Roger Pilon gave a clear, concise assessment of the ruinous and manipulative actions of the Progressive/socialist Franklin D. Roosevelt.

jim k, Austin, Tx

90% of the people in our government don't care a hoot about the Constitution. It is merely a speed bump on their road to a socialist America.

Waffler, Smith

The Cato Institute should be dismantled. If Pilon was such a thinker from a think tank he should know that the Feds started welfare at least as early as when they put Native Americans on Reservations gave them blankets and whiskey, if they would just stay out of white mans way. I am sure their are earlier instances of welfare and will report it when I find it. But helping people to fare well is or should be the primary function or purpose of government, don't you think?

E Archer, NYC

Absolutely right on. Sheesh, Waffler, you have topped yourself again. Yes, one could equate government 'welfare' with putting native Americans on reservations and numbing them with alcohol as long as they stay out of the government's way. You may call that the government "helping people to fare well" but I call it servitude, and NO, that is not, nor is it supposed to be, the primary function of government -- far from it. You want a king, Waffler, so you won't waste time kissing the wrong ass.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, thank you again for clarifying your patronage in the (immoral, unlawful, unconstitutional) statist theocracy infesting this land. Helping people to fare well is, or should be one of the primary functions and purposes of religion. Such is absolutely NOT ! ! ! a function or purpose of free government. Mixing the functions and purposes of a moral imperative (an arm of flesh not thought through but mandated should do - religion) and, functions of the laws of nature and of nature's god (gravity, physics, fiscal etc.) and justice makes an unconstitutional / non-representative republic theocratic despotism.

J Carlton, Calgary

Is it just me or does Waffler get a little more insane every day?

jim k, Austin, Tx

J, it's hard to see how he could get more insane but I guess it's possible.

Bill, Mexico Mo

Waffler, I think that you're walking backwards and talking upside down but you're making people think and react. We need you, Waffler and all the people like you. I truly mean that. It does little good to merely speak among like minded people. We need to get the debate in the largest segment of the population possible. We need a national debate, a passionate one. We need the people to take back the responsibility for the way this country functions. So, thank you, Waffler. Keep up the good work!

Waffler, Smith

Thanks Bill, what a great compliment. Now can you get these other guys to thnk for themselves. I have no idea of what direction they are walking but they are in lock step and that scares the hell out of me. Do any of them have a shred of an idea of what government is or should be other than simply EXTINCT?

Waffler, Smith

Mike what a great sales gimmick for religion. Can you suggest one that helps people fare well or must they pick and choose based on the locale they find themselves in, like Saudi Arabia, Tibet etc.

J Carlton, Calgary

Waffler you are absolutely unteachable. Most of us advocate Libertarianism or Constitutionalism...neither advocate that government should be extinct. Merely that it should be extremely limited in is function. Socialism is a disease and we are trying to rid the nation of it.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, no sales gimmick, just the truth (by definition accurate, not trying to hide behind a veil of smoke, mirrors, or false propaganda, - calling it what it is - the truth will set you free). Some religions embrace principles to better man, some embrace a destructive nature. Your socialist church with your Federal Reserve god, being superior to all other religions (allowing no competitors) ranks right up there with the most destructive religions ever perceived by man. I can suggest a God, with subsequent religion, that you honor with your lips, but your heart (apparent by your here posts) is far from. I am speaking of a religion that practices the teaching of "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Waffler, and all other fathers out there, happy father's day.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

The virtue of the limitation of government is apprehended only by those Sovereign Individuals whose Virtue illumined understanding reveals to them that the commission of Constitutional government is not the wanton cultivation of sloth, immorality, irresponsibility and base government dependency, at the nominal socioeconomic top and the actual socioeconomic bottom of society.

Durham, Birmingham, AL

Before FDR, the regressive "progressives" started their campaign to destroy our republic and replace it with a representative democracy. Since our government schools teach the lie that our government is a democracy, you may want to share this link with your youngsters.

Chuck Woolery, Rockville, MD

The context of the time was understanding that without the welfare of 'we the people' our nation security would be threatened. The first anti-hunger program was instituted because too many young Americans joining the US military at that time were malnourished. Even before that, during the last year of WW I the Spanish flu killed more US soldiers that the war. Many historians believed WW I ended largely because the global pandemic had made war time logistics well as many civil functions in every major power. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the horror's of WW II was a attempt to prevent future wars. Too bad the concept of human rights espoused in our Declaration of Independence wasn't instituted into our U.S. Constitution. That error cost more US lives during the civil war than all the wars since. If you still believe that the 'general welfare' of the population isn't essential to our own survival and sustainability you simply don't understand what the founders did when they wrote it. The Constitution is unfortunately about the protection of states rights and not human rights. BIG freakin error.


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