Every social program ever provided for by the Congress of the United States is un-Constitutional.
Has a bolder statement regarding the administration of the Federal government ever been made? Yet, it is true. It begins with the introduction of Social Security by President Roosevelt (FDR) in 1935 and continues on into the 21st century. How can this be? Doesn't Congress have the right to create and administer any program it chooses? Actually a strict reading of Article 1 (Section 8) of the Constitution and a simple view of the intent of the framers must argue that, "no", they don't have such a right. This portion of the Constitution which speaks specifically to the duties of the House and the Senate is very specific in its purpose and its intent. Its provisions are set forth below:
Powers of the Congress – (Section 8)
Lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay debts and provide for the common defense and General welfare. (Raising of Revenue arises from the House).
To borrow money
To regulate commerce with foreign Nations and inter-state
To establish a uniform law on naturalization and bankruptcy
To coin money
To provide for punishment for counterfeiting
To establish post offices and provide roads
To promote science and the arts by instituting copyright and regulating patents
To establish lower courts
To define and punish federal crimes
To declare war
To raise and support the armed forces
To oversee the District of Columbia
To make laws necessary for the execution of the foregoing powers
To introduce Impeachment – (Specific to the Senate)
So, given these duties, how could every social program ever devised by Congress (e.g. Social Security, Heath and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, etc.) be un-Constitutional? The common thread of the responsibility of Congress is as follows; all of these duties/responsibilities reflect an obligation to the GENERAL welfare – NONE to benefit specific individuals within the population. It begins with the pre-amble to the Constitution which states, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The Declaration of Independence both pre-sages and echos this same sentiment in its introduction, "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."
There is no provision in the Constitution for Congress to give the revenue it raises through taxes to any INDIVIDUAL person. Both the preamble and the specific duties of the Congress are very explicit in stating their "common" and "general" provisions. Could the intent of the framers be more clear? Any other framework would necessarily result in a society in which wealth is redistributed from those who pay taxes to those individuals who receive funds from the federal government and there is absolutely no provision in the Constitution for that.
Listed below are a few provisions/programs/departments provided for by Congress which are un-Constitutional because they provide funds that benefit individual citizens and not the common or general welfare as required:
SSA (Medicare) - Social Security Administration, including Medicare
HUD - Housing and Urban Development
EEOC - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
HHS - Health and Human Services
These programs MAY be provided by the states depending on their individual constitutions, but they are un-Constitutional at the Federal level. This point just serves to highlight how fundamental and broad the rights of states were in the eyes of the framers as opposed to those of the Federal Government. The predominance of states' rights begins to be undone with the New Deal provisions of the mid-30's and once that ball starts to roll, it's almost impossible to stop it.
Can these mistakes be undone? Yes, they could, but it would take first, the recognition by a complacent population in the ease of the current nanny-state that there even is a problem, and then a leader with vision and ability unprecedented in American history to change it. It would require taking us back to a strong states-rights form of republic, and at this point in history undoing the behemoth of the Federal Government seems unlikely. It is this writer's opinion that the tree of the Federal Government will eventually collapse of its own weight and you can look to the 30's and the institution of the New Deal as the root with the un-Constitutional social programs developed by Congress throught the ensuing decades as the fruit-holding branches. Shame on us for permitting it.