No, that's not what it says. He thinks he's quoting Article I, section 8, which actually states:
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States."
Not only does Sen. Burrus misquote the Constitution, he also clearly doesn't understand the context of the passage he so sloppily slaughters.
This particular section deals with infrastructure and defense as well as commerce, and it goes on to state 15 specific things ranging from raising and maintaining a military, to building a capitol, for which taxes may be levied. Not one of them comes close to providing health care to the masses.
The Constitution is in fact a body of negative government rights, written with the express purpose of keeping our government from making criminals out of everyone in order to increase their power over us.
Just to make sure they were not misunderstood, the founders tacked on two additional "unalienable" rights in the form of the 9th and 10th amendments:
Amendment IX - The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X - 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.
The founders left a lot of rights to the people, and with them, a lot of responsibilities, like providing for the health and welfare of our own families through a free enterprise system.
Pelosi's health care bill, which narrowly passed the house with a 220-215 vote not only makes it mandatory that every American purchase a minimum $15,000 health insurance policy while heavily subsidizing lower income earners, it also punishes a failure to do so with up to 5 years in prison and huge monetary fines.
If this bill was about the health and well being of every American, then why is it so punitive?
There are many things I could criticize in this 2000 page disaster, like funding for abortions and deep cuts to seniors benefits — but I'd be way over my word limit on this column. The bill not only thumbs its nose at real cost saving improvements like Tort reform, allowing the purchase of policies across state lines and uncapping health savings accounts — it actually punishes those activities. The bottom line is, this bill doesn't promote real reform and just about everyone will be hurt by it.
The sinister part of the whole process was the absolute lack of debate and transparency. While claiming bi-partisan support, any opposition was literally locked out of discussion meetings.
The bill is un-American, unconstitutional and unhelpful to the idea of actual health care reform.
We must punish those who voted for the worst piece of legislation in American history by voting them all out of office next fall.
Leland Conway is the executive editor and co-founder of www.conservativeedge.com and the host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP.