Here are some links relevant to the show….
James Madison implied that it was paranoid to think Congress would use the general welfare clause to overstep its bounds. Do you think he should have been less trusting of all-powerful government to limit itself without strict parameters of authority? I think so.
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
they may take the care of religion into their own hands;
they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
and pay them out of their public treasury;
they may take into their own hands the education of children,
establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;
they may assume the provision of the poor;
they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;
in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
down to the most minute object of police,
would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power
of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,
it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.
Now that we have a Department of Education, Department of Transportation, Interstate Highways, Food Stamps, Welfare, etc., we know Madison & the rest should have more clearly defined the power of Congress just as the Georgia legislature should more clearly define the limits of the Department of Community Services, or better yet, not create it in the first place.
A note on Zach’s call in hour 2…he points out that roadblocks are legal and I failed to respond that this is the ultimate consequence of allowing the government to involve itself in commerce. If the government did not seize a monopoly over the roads (as Madison said they would never do!), they wouldn’t be able to claim the right to police them in this way. Before the Civil War there were hundreds of private road companies. If roads were not provided and subsidized by the government, energy companies, real estate developers, automobile manufacturers and the like would build them out of self-interest. That’s just one way of looking at how the road system would exist without government. Similarly, if we didn’t take away by force people’s right to use recreational drugs of their choice (rather than limiting the choice solely to varieties of the highly dangerous drug alcohol), we wouldn’t have an excuse to militarize the police or allow no knock raids. Libertarians aren’t against government overreach because we’re greedy or debauched, but because we know that every area the government controls it uses the only tool at its disposal: force.