“We started highlighting horrible Constitutional Authority Statements because there were so many of them,” said Brian Straessle, RSC spokesman....Well, they were only two clauses off. Oh, and, a fellows program doesn't provide for the general welfare of the United States. Oh, and the program in question actually has nothing to do with the welfare of the United States: it's directed at the problem of world hunger.
The Eva M. Clayton Fellows Program Act’s justification from Oct. 25 cited “Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution, [under which] Congress has the power to collect taxes and expend funds to provide for the general welfare of the United States.”
“This Constitutional Authority Statement would be fine were it not for the fact that words actually have definitions,” the RSC response said.
This is like cutting taxes in the absence of a balanced budget: they shrug when they can't collect as much as they want to spend, and just borrow money to spend instead. What we need is some sort of enforcement: if the stated constitutional authority doesn't really exist, the law should not be valid.
A big problem with that concept, of course, is this summer's demonstration by SCOTUS that it will crawl over broken glass to find a way to think a law is constitutional, even in defiance of the plain text of the law and the clear statements of intent by its authors.
So, really, the problem is the political class -- top, bottom, Congress and lawyers. Bureaucrats too.