But does the U.S. Constitution allow it?

To the editor:

Twelve years ago, following President Clinton’s announcement of 104 policy initiatives in his State of the Union address, I went through the list to determine how many were legitimate functions of the federal government. I could find only seven.

Four years later, it was George W. Bush’s turn for the same test. He scored six of 31 (19 percent), which was better than Mr. Clinton’s seven out of 104 (7 percent). But no reason for celebration — they both flunked.

On Tuesday night, it was Barack Obama’s turn, and I invite you to review the 22 initiatives he announced to determine how many are legitimate functions of the federal government.

To make sure we are all starting from the same base, let’s not use the contemporary politician’s corrupt definition of “legitimacy.” Let’s use the general definition supplied by James Madison in Federalist Paper 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government are few and defined.” And elsewhere, “powers vested in Congress are specified and enumerated.”

In particular, let’s use the detailed definition supplied by Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. That’s where those “few and defined” powers are “specified and enumerated.” (And if you can’t lay your hands on a copy of the Constitution, shame on you.)

As for me, I find constitutional authority for only 13 of the 22 initiatives. At 59 percent, that score puts Mr. Obama considerably ahead of Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton. But it’s a moot victory because they all flunked.

By pursuing initiatives for which there is no constitutional authority, they all violate the oath of office they took when they were sworn in, which was to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Let us hope that our next president has the character and integrity to abide by his pledge.

Joe Schaerer

Las Vegas

Fair shot

To the editor:

The Review-Journal’s above-the-fold headline Wednesday, the day after Barack Obama’s campaign speech — I mean, State of the Union address — was “Obama urges fair shot for all.” The story said President Obama “pleaded for an active government that ensures economic fairness for everyone.”

If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t that the premise of a book titled “The Communist Manifesto,” written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels? Wasn’t that also the major goal of the former Soviet Union?

Isn’t that what is going on, as we speak, in wonderful countries such as Cuba and North Korea?

Government cannot “ensure” economic fairness, and trying to do so goes against every letter of our Constitution.

After adding more than $4 trillion to our national debt and growing government faster than any president since LBJ, Mr. Obama has the audacity to quote Abraham Lincoln, who said, “That government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves — and no more.”

The problem is, most Democrats — and Mr. Obama in particular — believe government is better at spending your money than you are.

Robert Gardner

Henderson

Investment income

To the editor:

My wife and I are retired senior citizens who worked and saved our entire lives. The money we saved is now invested in bonds, stocks and other income-earning investments. It is one of the major sources we use to cover our living expenses.

Thank goodness they are taxed at 15 percent. If the rate were any higher, we possibly could not make it.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of retired people are not rich, but are getting by on invested income that is taxed at only 15 percent.

Robert E. Smith

Las Vegas

U.S. sovereignty

To the editor:

I’m responding to Robert Salas’ Sunday letter to the editor about Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Hispanics.

Illegal immigration is just that. Illegal. It doesn’t matter whether you speak Russian, Chinese or Spanish.

It doesn’t matter to me what color or race a legal immigrant is. I’m proud to have them in our great United States. It shows me that they are willing to learn the customs and language and want to become productive members of our society.

Politicians who are in favor of the Dream Act view illegal immigrants as voters. They are pandering to a certain race. This is racism.

Illegal immigrants are not committing a minor legal infraction. They are violating U.S. sovereignty. To allow a politician to jump these illegal immigrants ahead of the legal immigrants is a slap in the face of those who did the right thing.

I had to show my birth certificate to get my driver’s license. To join the military, I had to show my birth certificate, ID and my Social Security card. To get a job, I had to show my ID, Social Security card and sign a form that I was a legal resident of the United States.

When traveling in foreign countries, especially Mexico, I’m required by that county to carry my ID with me.

Don’t Clark County School District officials claim one of the reasons for the district’s poor performance is non-English-speaking students? Didn’t the state prison system want to send illegal immigrants back to Mexico as a way of saving money?

By the way, federal law requires all aliens to carry an ID with them. Arizona merely wants to enforce something the federal government should be doing.

Forrest A. Henry

North Las Vegas

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