Power Line – Is the stimulus bill unconstitutional?

This is big. Not only for the fact that it may portend a constitutional crisis but for yet one more demonstration of (a) the arrogance of the current Congress and (b) the lengths and depths to which this Congress and Administration will go to expand welfare and unemployment programs, each of which will surely hasten the destruction of the greatest country the world has known. Not only is this scary, but it is indeed simply, sad. America was built through hard work and entrepreneurship — not by motivating people to look for handouts!

From Powerline:

Is the stimulus bill unconstitutional?

March 15, 2009 Posted by Scott at 7:28 AM

Professor Ronald Rotunda is the prominent constitutional law expert now at Chapman Law School. In the column “Some strings attached” for today’s Chicago Tribune, Professor Rotunda looks under the hood of the so-called stimulus bill. In part the stimulus bill is calculated to expand welfare and unemployment programs. These provisions have prompted a few governors to reject the related funds.

Professor Rotunda points out that Congress anticipated these governors. Seeking to bypass such uncooperative governors, Congress added a unique provision to the bill (in section 1607(b)): “If funds provided to any State in any division of this Act are not accepted for use by the Governor, then acceptance by the State legislature, by means of the adoption of a concurrent resolution, shall be sufficient to provide funding to such State.”

Professor Rotunda asks: If state law does not give the state legislature the right to bypass the governor, how can Congress just change that law?

via Power Line – Is the stimulus bill unconstitutional?.

If we could but measure the matter, I fear that very soon, if not already, the numbers of people receiving what much of our society has come to regard as “entitlements” will outnumber the productive members of society.  And by “productive” I don’t refer to entrepreneurs or investors solely, but any person who puts in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage — whatever that may be.

In 2006 (the most current figures available) the bottom 50% of taxpayers pay only 2.99% of total taxes and the top 5% pay about 60% — see chart below. How can that possibly continue, especially in the times of economic downturns such as the 08-09 recession? It can’t.

As the top 2% makes less money, which is now occurring, then the 80% slice of tax generation will decline. What would be done then — raise taxes?  A bit of math will demonstrate that once the top tier is earning substantially less income, then even at a 100% tax rate the federal budget will not be funded. Exactly where that cross-over point is, I don’t claim to know. But what I do know is that we’re headed that direction — a direction which is a recipe for disaster.

And don’t assume it’s the “wealthy” who are paying the taxes: as seen from the chart below, the top 25% pays 86% of the total taxes and that includes taxpapers making over just $64,702 Adjusted Gross Income! That includes a lot of families simply working hard at honest jobs for a wage. Not “fat cats.”

Here is the chart from the National Taxpayers Union which attributes the figures to the IRS:

Percentiles Ranked by AGI

AGI Threshold on Percentiles

Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

Top 1%



Top 5%



Top 10%



Top 25%



Top 50%



Bottom 50%



Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

There IS a breaking point. Do we want to push to the very edge and find out where it is? I think not.

About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
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