News Should ACORN lose Government Funding?

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skippy1729

1. They engage in political activities.

2. Their finances are not transparent.

3. There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing such funding.

Any other questions? Skippy
Several people have mentioned Article 1, Section 8. Here is what Thomas Jefferson has to say about that provision:

"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the U.S." that is to say "to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare." For the laying of taxes is the power and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the U.S. and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they pleased. It is an established rule of construction, where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers, and those without which, as means, these powers could not be be carried into effect." 15 Feb. 1791Papers 19:275--80

So, I will repeat, There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing such funding.

Skippy
 
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skippy1729

YES one BIG question
who funded the witch hunt ?
and paid for the fake pimp expenses ??????????

will fox ever show the tapes from acorn offices that rejected
the fake ho and pimp ?????
or the full unedited tapes of the people who are charged with misconduct ???
They borrowed the fur coat from one of their mothers. They financed the project with $1300 of their own money. If they make a million as a result of all this, it isn't enough.

Skippy

PS My source was one of their interviews on FOX last week.
 
Several people have mentioned Article 1, Section 8. Here is what Thomas Jefferson has to say about that provision:

:snip:

So, I will repeat, There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing such funding.

Skippy
Can you please explain why exactly you seem to think that government funding of ACORN would be precluded?
 
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skippy1729

Can you please explain why exactly you seem to think that government funding of ACORN would be precluded?
It is not covered by any of the enumerated powers.

Skippy
 
It is not covered by any of the enumerated powers.

Skippy
So then for them to fund ACORN the constitution should say "Organizations named ACORN will be funded by federal monies"? I asked for further explanation of your rationale (that it is not covered by any of the enumerated powers), not a reiteration of your claim.
 
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skippy1729

So then for them to fund ACORN the constitution should say "Organizations named ACORN will be funded by federal monies"? I asked for further explanation of your rationale (that it is not covered by any of the enumerated powers), not a reiteration of your claim.
No. Cheers, Skippy

PS If you want to continue this conversation please re-read the opinion of Jefferson, read the enumerated powers and tell me which one of those powers covers such an expenditure.
 

russ_watters

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Haven't been in this thread in a while, but....
Several people have mentioned Article 1, Section 8. Here is what Thomas Jefferson has to say about that provision....

So, I will repeat, There is nothing in the Constitution authorizing such funding.

Skippy
The quote you posted provides the basis for how such programs are allowed to be funded. Furthermore, it is a reality and a historical fact that social funding is done using that as a Constitutional basis. In essence, it means exactly the opposite of what you think it means. You're arguing against reality here.

There is plenty of literature on this subject as it has been much debated throughout history:
At the time the Constitution was adopted, some interpreted the clause as granting Congress a broad power to pass any legislation it pleased, so long as its asserted purpose was promotion of the general welfare. One of the Constitution's drafters, James Madison, objected to this reading of the clause, arguing that it was inconsistent with the concept of a government of limited powers and that it rendered the list of enumerated powers redundant. He argued that the General Welfare clause granted Congress no additional powers other than those enumerated. Thus, in their view the words themselves served no practical purpose.

In his famous Report on Manufactures (1791), Alexander Hamilton argued that the clause enlarged Congress's power to tax and spend by allowing it to tax and spend for the general welfare as well as for purposes falling within its enumerated powers. Thus, he argued, the General Welfare clause granted a distinct power to Congress to use its taxing and spending powers in ways not falling within its other enumerated powers.

The U. S. Supreme Court first interpreted the clause in United States v. Butler (1936). There, Justice Owen Roberts, in his majority opinion, agreed with Hamilton's view and held that the general welfare language in the taxing-and-spending clause constituted a separate grant of power to Congress to spend in areas over which it was not granted direct regulatory control. Nevertheless, the Court stated that this power to tax and spend was limited to spending for matters affecting the national, as opposed to the local, welfare.
http://www.answers.com/topic/general-welfare-clause

Note the last line about the scope being limited to national matters. This could potentially be used as an argument against targeted local social welfare groups, but by now ACORN is large enough to be considered national. In any case, by the founders and the USSC, there really isn't any serious debate on the issue of the meaning of the clause among those who'se opinions matter.


Please note: I'm a person who thinks we've gone way too far with social programs, but you won't get much traction with that line of reasoning. It just won't fly with the people who actually make the decisions (congress and the USSC).

My reason for saying ARCORN shouldn't get funding has more to do with the dual-purpose nature of the organization. It was riding a very thin line with running afoul of campaign finance and charitable organization vs political organization laws.
 
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skippy1729

The U. S. Supreme Court first interpreted the clause in United States v. Butler (1936). There, Justice Owen Roberts, in his majority opinion, agreed with Hamilton's view and held that the general welfare language in the taxing-and-spending clause constituted a separate grant of power to Congress to spend in areas over which it was not granted direct regulatory control. Nevertheless, the Court stated that this power to tax and spend was limited to spending for matters affecting the national, as opposed to the local, welfare.
At the time of this ruling the Supreme Court was under pressure from FDR to allow his social programs or have him pack the court with new justices until it did. This was more in the nature of a coup d'etat than a reasoned judicial interpretation of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court were ever to dare to reverse that decision the Congress, robbed of their "cash cow" would surely move to pack the court.

Our founding fathers attempted to have three co-equal branches of government but the Congress is the most powerful of the three. For example, the 14th amendment was illegally ratified by a voice vote in the House of Representatives after failing to be ratified by the states.

Cheers, Skippy
 
No. Cheers, Skippy

PS If you want to continue this conversation please re-read the opinion of Jefferson, read the enumerated powers and tell me which one of those powers covers such an expenditure.
I read the quote from Jefferson. I have read the enumerated powers. It would seem to fall under '...provide for the [...] general welfare...'. I see nothing in Jefferson's quote that would say otherwise.

So if you believe other than what is accepted as congress's power to provide such monies I think the burden is on you to demonstrate it.
 

russ_watters

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At the time of this ruling the Supreme Court was under pressure from FDR to allow his social programs or have him pack the court with new justices until it did. This was more in the nature of a coup d'etat than a reasoned judicial interpretation of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court were ever to dare to reverse that decision the Congress, robbed of their "cash cow" would surely move to pack the court.
The decision is more than 70 years old. If were ever going to be reversed it would have been by now!

Anyway, I'm not sure what you are talking about after that: Congress doesn't appoint USSC justices, the President does. It smells an awful lot like unfocused conspiracy theory. Certainly non sequitur, though. The bit about the 14th Amendment, also non sequitur, is factually wrong.

You're going to need to watch your step here, skippy: we have rules against conspiracy theory and misinformation in order to maintain the quality of the forums.
 
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skippy1729

I read the quote from Jefferson. I have read the enumerated powers. It would seem to fall under '...provide for the [...] general welfare...'. I see nothing in Jefferson's quote that would say otherwise.

So if you believe other than what is accepted as congress's power to provide such monies I think the burden is on you to demonstrate it.
Duh!

Try reading it again. I could try re-writing it but I doubt if I can make it clearer than Mr. Jefferson.
 

russ_watters

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Duh!

Try reading it again. I could try re-writing it but I doubt if I can make it clearer than Mr. Jefferson.
Duh, indeed. It is clear and it clearly means the exact opposite of what you claim. This is a straightforward issue. You are arguing against reality. Also, parroting is seen here as being intentionally argumentative: ie, trolling. This is also not allowed.
 
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skippy1729

Duh, indeed. It is clear and it clearly means the exact opposite of what you claim. This is a straightforward issue. You are arguing against reality. Also, parroting is seen here as being intentionally argumentative: ie, trolling. This is also not allowed.
"It is an established rule of construction, where a phrase will bear either of two meanings, to give it that which will allow some meaning to the other parts of the instrument, and not that which would render all the others useless."

If the "general welfare" phrase is interpreted to allow any expenditure which the Congress deems beneficial then the enumerated powers become meaningless.

The true power of this phrase was "to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare"; the actual provisions were intended to be limited to those enumerated.

Skippy
 

Evo

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At the time of this ruling the Supreme Court was under pressure from FDR to allow his social programs or have him pack the court with new justices until it did. This was more in the nature of a coup d'etat than a reasoned judicial interpretation of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court were ever to dare to reverse that decision the Congress, robbed of their "cash cow" would surely move to pack the court.

Our founding fathers attempted to have three co-equal branches of government but the Congress is the most powerful of the three. For example, the 14th amendment was illegally ratified by a voice vote in the House of Representatives after failing to be ratified by the states.

Cheers, Skippy
Hi Skippy, please post sources for all of your claims in this thread before you post again. We require any statement of fact to be backed up by proof. Or you can opt to retract if these are opinions and don't have documented sources.

Thanks.
 
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skippy1729

russ_watters

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According to the Wiki article, the "court packing" bill failed miserably and the allegations of a deal to avoid it by the sitting USSC fail due to the fact that the cause and effect don't overlap in time.

That article does not support your position on that issue.

To save some time, if you would like to post the Wiki article on the 14th amendment, please note that it also directly refutes your claim about it.
 
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skippy1729

According to the Wiki article, the "court packing" bill failed miserably and the allegations of a deal to avoid it by the sitting USSC fail due to the fact that the cause and effect don't overlap in time.

That article does not support your position on that issue.

To save some time, if you would like to post the Wiki article on the 14th amendment, please note that it also directly refutes your claim about it.
The legislation was unveiled on February 5, 1937. Several weeks later the Supreme Court upheld a Washington minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish[4] by a 5–4 ruling, after Associate Justice Owen Roberts joined with the wing of the bench more sympathetic to the New Deal. Because Roberts had previously ruled against most New Deal legislation, his apparent about-face was widely interpreted by contemporaries as an effort to maintain the Court's judicial independence by alleviating the political pressure to create a court more friendly to the New Deal. His dramatic move came to be known as "the switch in time that saved nine".

This is a direct quote from the wikipedia article. The court folded their tent and the legislation was allowed to die.

Skippy
 

russ_watters

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If the "general welfare" phrase is interpreted to allow any expenditure which the Congress deems beneficial then the enumerated powers become meaningless.

The true power of this phrase was "to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare"; the actual provisions were intended to be limited to those enumerated.

Skippy
Agreed - no one is saying that the power is absolute. Unfortunately for your argument, though, neither the Constitution nor that Federalist paper define what it means for a law to "promote the general welfare", but nevertheless that's one of the enumerated powers. And that's where the court came in with the decision I brought up. It provided at least one constraint to what the "general welfare" must include (previously mentioned).

Again, again, again, again, again: it does not support your position.
 

russ_watters

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The legislation was unveiled on February 5, 1937. Several weeks later the Supreme Court upheld a Washington minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish[4] by a 5–4 ruling, after Associate Justice Owen Roberts joined with the wing of the bench more sympathetic to the New Deal. Because Roberts had previously ruled against most New Deal legislation, his apparent about-face was widely interpreted by contemporaries as an effort to maintain the Court's judicial independence by alleviating the political pressure to create a court more friendly to the New Deal. His dramatic move came to be known as "the switch in time that saved nine".

This is a direct quote from the wikipedia article. The court folded their tent and the legislation was allowed to die.

Skippy
Please read THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE OF THE ARTICLE.

Wiki has an additional article that goes into it in more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_switch_in_time_that_saved_nine

This is getting tiresome, Skippy.
 

mheslep

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Stating some Congressional spending action has authority 'nowhere in the constitution' is not helpful. When the indefinite and ambiguous words 'general welfare' went on the page, the ability to make simple declarative statements about Congressional authority not otherwise prohibited in the constitution was put at risk, and today we are left with interpretations.

I certainly am in Jefferson's and Madison's camp on their interpretation of the general welfare clause, and I think their predictions of the consequences of the wider interpretation have been realized: a federal government without clear limits. But note that Jefferson made his denouncement of the "do any act they please" interpretation in 1791 - four years too late. Madison made probably the most http://economics.gmu.edu/wew/articles/fee/constitution.html" [Broken] on the subject with his “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.” That was 1794 while he was serving in Congress, and also too late. (The spending went through despite Madison). The point being that their views did not explicitly make it into the 1787 constitution. Hamilton then was within reason to hold the wider view, as Russ's source showed, and his view triumphed in the 1930's (unfortunately).

If the founders had wanted strict scrutiny the words 'general welfare' should never have been placed on the page.

Detailed history of the phrase:
http://american_almanac.tripod.com/welfare.htm
 
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Evo

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Skippy can't post anymore in P&WA unless it is to provide a suitable source.
 
J

Jasongreat

So then for them to fund ACORN the constitution should say "Organizations named ACORN will be funded by federal monies"? I asked for further explanation of your rationale (that it is not covered by any of the enumerated powers), not a reiteration of your claim.
I believe we would have to convert our present constitution into a napoleonic constitution for it to have to be worded that precisely, but according to our present constitution it has to be enumerated or it is left to the states or to the people(individuals not a collective).
I would assume that skippy was trying to say that it is possible that an organization that by thier own admission only speaks for 400,000 members, in 1,200 neighborhoods, in 75 cities across 40 or so states, could hardly be considered as general(applying to all or most of a group) welfare(benefit: something that aids or promotes well being). Since I believe the general welfare clause is the most prostituted clause and would be the enumerated power stated to empower the federal or more accurately the national government to fund Acorn or any other private enity non-profit or for-profit. How can it be justified as general welfare when it encompasses so few? In those 40 or so states it is a lot closer match, in the 75 cities still closer, in the 1,200 neighborhoods its closer and when we reach the 400,000 members it is a perfect match as to general. I also think it fits pretty good for welfare, the members get the satisfaction and joy of giving, the recipients get the benifit of the help, and this is 100% voluntary, 100% charity as opposed to .5% voluntary, 10% charity and 89.5% coercion(all percentages are guestimites).
IMHO Acorn should lose the national governments funding, as there is not anywhere it is enumerated, although that could change if a large enough group of states agree and ammend the constitution. Acorn may have a case with getting state, city or other local government funding, but thats as high up the chain they should go.
Acorns' mission statement pretty much says they want to organize a low to moderate income majority, because those are the best advocates for thier communities. That doesnt sound like general welfare to me, more like general misery.

http://www.acorn.org" [Broken]
http://www.constitutionus.com" [Broken]
 
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mheslep

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Video
6-8 minutes in. Underage, illegal aliens broached by reporter several times with ongoing cooperation by Acorn employee.
 
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K

kyleb

The video starts out with the narrator claiming the employ was being asked a question, and then playing back her answer. Lacking an unedited video of the incident, I can't rightly say if the voice on the narrator properly represented the question the employ was asked. Again, have you seen unedited video to substantiate the claims made by the narrator, or are you just taking him at his word? At this point I can't take what you presented any more seriously than one of the Daily Show's obviously spliced interviews.
 

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