Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Taxes for Defense

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.8.1: "The people of the states empower the Congress to spend taxes for the common defense."

The phrase "common defense" means to defend all of us - the entire nation. This constitutional principle means that Congress has the authority to spend some of the revenue collected from the people to "provide for the common defense" of the nation.

It is important that we remember that the men gathered in Philadelphia to write the Constitution were veterans of the Revolutionary War, a war that lasted for eight long years. We also need to remember that our soldiers were not adequately dressed or received proper food for much of that time because the Continental Congress did not have the authority to assess taxes to pay for the military.

Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war; therefore, Congress also needs the authority to fund any such war.

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