This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
A viral video of an Obama supporter touting her “Obama phone” has put the spotlight on an obscure federal program that provides discounted phone service to qualifying low-income Americans.
“Keep Obama as president,” the animated woman says on the video. “He gave us a phone.”
The video is drawing attention to the government program — Lifeline — as a national debate unfolds on entitlements and the growing percentage of Americans who pay no income taxes and get a long menu of government benefits. But even though some beneficiaries may credit President Obama for providing the phones, Lifeline is an extension of a program that has existed since 1985. Still, critics including Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., note the program has swelled from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion.
“It's a government-run, taxpayer-funded program that's running wild and costing more and more,” reads Griffin’s official House of Representatives website.
The program, according to FCC officials, has helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service, which is essential to finding a job or getting help during an emergency. To that end, the percentage of low-income households with phone service has increased from 80 percent in 1985 when the program began to nearly 92 percent in 2011.
The Administration vs, The Constitution.
US Constitution; Article I, Section 8 - Powers of Congress
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;
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;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; 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.
The US Constitution, Amendment 10
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.
We the People:
As you can see, the enumerated powers and the tenth amendment do not empower the federal government to pay for these. Yet we have allowed our leaders to ignore it. Leaders who capitalize power on such handouts cleverly claim that the Constitution is obsolete because of modern technology. They are wrong because neither their quest for power over others, nor some people’s acceptance of dependency in exchange for liberty is obsolete.
The woman in this video clip is not thanking you. She is thanking the President who violated the Constitution; and she is likely to vote against whoever tries to take away her phone. Our president is using your tax money to buy those votes… Can you hear me now?