If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.
The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it would be well to provide in our constitutions that there shall always be a twelve-month between the ingross-ing a bill & passing it: that it should then be offered to its passage without changing a word: and that if circum-stances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it should take two thirds of both houses instead of a bare majority.
–Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, 1787
If only we paid more attention to the brilliance of our founders…
There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong…. In fact it is only reestablishing under another name and a more specious form, force as the measure of right.
—James Madison, letter to James Monroe, 1786
We are a nation of laws, a republic. Not a mob-rules democracy.