Would socialism be constitutional in the U. S.?
Steven Miller · Originally answered Feb 26, 2019
Presidents could not find anything in the U.S. Constitution to allow socialism or any kind of welfare for individuals. Your Constitution was ratified under the assurance that it would never be interpreted to provide welfare to individuals.
To counter those rumors that the “general welfare” clause in the proposed Constitution would authorize any kind of welfare, James Madison, in Federalist Paper #41, explained its clear intent. He stated that it “is an absurdity” to claim that the General Welfare clause confounds or misleads, because this introductory clause is followed by enumeration of specific particulars that explain and qualify the meaning of phrase “general welfare”.
In 1792 congressman and future President James Madison voted against a congressional appropriation to assist war refugees who had fled to America. He said:
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”
This was still true when Congressman Davy Crockett made his famous “it is not yours to give” speech. It is not their money to give, not even for disaster relief in a federal territory.
In the 1891 naturalization case of Mr. Sauer, Title 81 Federal Reporter page 358, the court held that Mr. Sauer, although an industrious and law abiding man, could not become a citizen because he claimed to be a Socialist. That’s right. SOCIALISTS CAN NOT BECOME U.S. CITIZENS.
President Franklin Pierce in 1854 vetoed a health care bill to help the mentally ill. His veto said:
“I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity…. [this] would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.”
Abraham Lincoln, September 11, 1858:
“Accustomed to trampling on the rights of others you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.”
Abraham Lincoln, second Inaugural Address, 1865:
“It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces …”
Grover Cleveland’s veto of government pensions, June 21, 1886:
“… encourages those who for gain urge honest men to become dishonest. This is the demoralizing lesson taught [to]the people … against the public Treasury …”
1897 President Grover Cleveland vetoed an appropriation to provide disaster aid to victims of a Texas drought. His veto stated:
“I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds… I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution. The lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people should support the government, the government should not support the people.”
Footnote: 1897 was 2 years after the Supreme Court ruled that income tax was unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan Co. (157 US 429, 158 U.S. 601)
Teddy Roosevelt speech to the New York City Chamber of Commerce November 11, 1902:
“the traditional American self-reliance of spirit which makes them scorn to ask from the government, whether of State or of Nation, anything but a fair field and no favor; who confide not in being helped by others, but in their own skill, energy, and business capacity to achieve success. The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show not only the capacity for sturdy self-help but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others.”
For more information on how you waived your rights, read my essays at Essays Do Not Be Fooled by Government