| The fuzziness problem becomes even more troublesome as we move into words of a more abstract nature, such as we find in the United States Constitution. This instrument of allegedly “limited powers” contains a preamble that defines its purposes as the creation of “a more perfect Union,” which will “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” The specific grants of power to Congress are then spelled out in Article I, which include, among others, 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.” How do such words limit governmental power? What more would any tyrant need to justify his actions than these?

But Article I goes on to provide, among others, the power “To Borrow Money on the credit of the United States,” “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes,” and “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.” Where, in such words, does one find any clearly defined restriction on government power? Read Entire Article

By Butler Schaffer