by RoseAnn Salanitri, ©2013, blogging at TPATH

(Aug. 9, 2013) — The United States Constitution was written by men with a keen understanding of the darker side of human nature.  They had lived through a time when government overstepped its bounds and crossed the line from being fair and just to being tyrannical and elitist.  This understanding and the failures of the Articles of Confederation guided them in writing a foundational document that has lasted through the centuries – our U.S. Constitution.  As a result, many little gems can be found in this document that are often overlooked or misunderstood.  The word “uniform” is such a gem.  It appears in Article 1, Section 8, ¶1 of our Constitution, in the section that specifies the enumerated powers of government.

Why is this word so important now?  It has always been important but at no time more important than today when members of our Congress have blatantly excused themselves from living under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that they foisted on the rest of us.  Amidst the protests of a great majority of our citizens, this abomination of a law was literally shoved down our throats by the man now living in the White House and his cohorts.  To add insult to injury, it is a law that they, themselves, refuse to live under and abide by.

The citizen protests against this law were well-justified, as is becoming increasingly evident.  Congress and this Administration have taken the best healthcare system in the world and turned it into a disaster.  It is true that the system needed some work and could have been made better, but ironically, all the things they could have done to improve the system, they didn’t do – like tort reform of allowing us to purchase healthcare across state lines.  And now, on virtually the eve of its implementation, they see the disaster they have created and have exempted themselves from it while leaving the rest of us to bear the burden of the beast they created.  This elitist attitude is insulting and egregious, but more importantly it is unconstitutional.  However, if we have learned anything about this body of interlopers that live the good life off the backs of everyday Americans, it is that they care little for the Constitution that they took an oath to uphold, preserve and protect. This makes them not only incompetent elitists; it makes them oath-breakers as well.

What is often referred to as the “Uniformity Clause” in the Constitution is really the impetus behind this writing. Actually, the “clause” isn’t a clause at all, it is a phrase that preempts the powers that the Congress shall have to create and collect taxes, among other things.  The part that applies to taxes is what makes this important, since Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority in the Obamacare case, specifically stated that this is a “tax.”  If it is a “tax,” then it falls under the guidelines for taxes in the Constitution, which specifically states that all taxes must be “uniform.”  The language in Article 1, Section 8, ¶1 specifically states:

“The Congress shall have the Power (sic) To (sic) lay and collect Taxes (sic), Duties (sic), Imposts (sic) and Excises (sic), to pay the Debts (sic) and provide for the common Defence (sic) and general Welfare (sic) of the United States; but all Duties (sic), Imposts (sic) and Excises (sic) shall be uniform throughout the United States. (Emphasis added.)

Our Founders inserted the word “uniform” for a specific reason.  While the phrase was partially constructed to protect geographical areas from discrimination or preferences, the word “uniform” was specifically inserted to protect the populace from being subjected to unfair taxation while others received preferential treatments.  The Heritage Foundation commented on this word by explaining that our Founding Fathers feared that the new government they were creating would abuse its powers by oppressing politically weaker groups and thereby strangle the economic activity that the Framers hoped to produce.

In its earliest exposition, the Supreme Court declared that a tax is uniform if it “operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found” (Edye v. Robertson,  1884).  Clearly, the Congress, which resides in the United States, should be subject to the same taxes we are – and once again, according to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, this is a tax.  While those who call themselves our representatives may have exhibited outrageous elitism by refusing to live by the same laws they have imposed upon us, their incompetence and lack of allegiance regarding all things Constitutional cannot be adequately or logically defended. Even more illogical would be their re-election when their terms end.  Right now, while the wounds are fresh, make sure you know how your representative voted.  Write it down as a reminder when he or she is up for re-election.  They may not care what you have to say while they sit comfortably in their ivory towers, but come one November day in the near future, you will have the option of not caring about their sweet-talking lies and excuses.  For the sake of the entire country, I pray that you will remember and that your vote will be evidence that you have remembered. No matter how sweetly they may talk, or how dapper they may dress, or how well they may photograph, they are bums just the same, and bums should not be representing us in government.

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  1. Clarification sorely needed—– I have no use for any of these congress critters, but I swear that I heard on Fox that the Congress being exempted from Obamacare was Executive Fiat by our Dictator Obama / Bounnel. In other words, congress critters did NOT have to vote. Am I wrong on this matter?

  2. Which amendment is it that says “Congress shall make no laws and exempt themselves from it”?

    Everyone should read this article.

  3. Lest you forget, the word “uniform” was also used at Article 1 Section 8 Clause 4, also in the ‘enumerated powers section;

    To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, … … throughout the United States;

    The Constitution is Statutory in its construction, (Marbury vs Madison), and as such must be read in light of the Rules of Statutory Construction & Interpretations.

    That requires not only interpreting what the words say, but then also what the effects of the words then require.

    …..(anything) is uniform if it ” operates with the same force and effect in every place where the subject of it is found” (thx for citation)

    Lest we forget, the “subject” of “naturalization” IS “Citizenship”……

    As for the “subject” of this article I would suggest Ann Barnhardt’s