AP Government Post #2

Read Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution.  Does Congress have too much power?  Is the “necessary and proper” clause outdated?  Are there enough checks and balances today?  Are there any powers of Congress that you would limit?  If yes, which ones?

Article 1 Section 8

This post will close on February 11 at 5:00 PM.  Please refer to the rubric on how points are earned.

78 thoughts on “AP Government Post #2

  1. I think that congress having the ability to control commerce and taxes is acceptable, but only because there is a balance of that and the federal government as well. The necessary and proper clause is still acceptable as well, though I would lke to have more my say in political issues, I don’t think the majority of Americans are capable of educating themselves enough to fully understand most of the issues they are voting on. as far as Powers go, I would limit the power when it comes to foreign affairs as i feel like that’s an issue both sides of government should have say on.

    • I agree that some Americans aren’t going to educate themselves on the things they vote on but I don’t think that their opinion should be discounted, they are citizens after all.

      • that’s very true, that is the foundation upon which America is built that all people are created equal and therefore would have equal say

    • I believe Congress does not have too much power due to reason of not being able to tax for benefits for private assets but have the power to tax for public needs…which are necessary. I also believe the “Necessary and Proper” clause is not outdated and mainly still useful and useable for the development and evolution for the country. Some powers of Congress I would limit is the punishing of individuals who defend themselves against authority abusing power threatening the individuals life.

    • While I agree about the commerce and tax power being acceptable, I think the power involving foreign affairs is properly limited because the legislative branch shares that power with the executive branch.

  2. I don’t think that Congress has too much power, but I do think that some of these powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 are a little outdated. I think the Necessary and Proper clause is not outdated because it allows for Congress to perform specific powers that are only implied in the Constitution, which saves time having to define all of them, and is still applicable as technology advances and there are more things to regulate that would not be mentioned in the Constitution originally. I would maybe limit Congress’ power to conduct commerce with “Indian tribes” because I think that, especially in Arizona, the local government might be an easier outlet for the Native Americans living on reservations than the federal government.

    • I also had some concerns with the “Indian Tribes” clause of this Article. It seemed like a regulation clearly written from the viewpoints of the white Constitutional framers of that time period, and the wording doesn’t seem to fit with modern Native American tribe’s jurisdiction.

      • I agree, especially since such tribes had no say in this Constitution it should be edited to reflect current politics.

      • I also had some issues with the wording “Indian Tribes” since it’s politically incorrect and an outdated term which is also particularly distracting for the readers. I also believe that it was unfair for Native Americans since it was their land and yet they were subjected to follow new rules from newly-arrived foreigners who had little to no knowledge of the lands.

    • I definitely agree that some of the powers listed are dated, and that the bit about “Indian Tribes” is inappropriate today, even if it was slightly more appropriate at the time.

    • it definitely is a little out dated (if not a lot) and the fact that it is implied powers as well is a tad sketchy though i think that has to do with the fact that our necessities change with time as well the powers congress would need then vs the powers it would need now are very different

  3. I don’t think that Congress has too much power as long as the right people are in power. The “necessary and proper” clause is not outdated but needs to be used only in very necessary situations. There aren’t any powers of Congress I would limit but it also depends on who the people in Congress are. I’d hope they have the best interest of the american people in mind and are very educated on the issues.

    • I fully agree that the limitation of congressional powers definitely depends on whether the correct people are holding that power. If certain members are completely corrupt and are not educated or working to improve America, then they should not be able to abuse their power.

    • I totally agree with the first sentence. The members who are elected in Congress could be corrupt and only used this political platform to gain power. Obviously a lot of Americans aren’t fully aware of the people in office but many are hoping that they will do what is in the best interest of the people.

    • I agree. The rules the Constitution created for Congress work well as long as the people in power are competent. I also agree the “necessary and proper” clause is not outdated, but it could be misused by the wrong people.

    • Good point with the first sentence about if the right people are in power. I feel like currently the congress has too much power because everything is controlled by one party at the moment. However, in general congress is balanced.

    • I agree with the sentiment that power is not the main concern, rather, it would be the people who hold that power to be penalized. As an American citizen, the least our elected officials can do is have the best intention for who they are responsible for.

    • I completely agree with everything you said and I believe that it all comes down to who we elect to use these powers, and there are sufficient limitations on the powers of congress as long as the people in charge have the best interest of the American people in mind.

  4. While the phrasing of some parts of this Article is clearly outdated, I believe that the powers it outlines are still justifiably applicable today. Under this article, the nation is more unified by allowing Congress to make money, conduct foreign trade, and support an army. All parts of this section support unity, which has clearly played an instrumental part in making America the powerful nation it is today. But on that note, I believe that the “necessary and proper” clause is too vague to effectively check the powers of Congress. Under this discrepancy, the Supreme Court can essentially give any powers to Congress that they see fit under this clause.

    • I think that bringing up unity is a good point because it is obvious that allowing the Congress to do certain things better unify the nation especially when it comes to the army and foreign trade. I also agree that it is outdated, but I think that the Article is still necessary.

  5. I wouldn’t say that Congress has too much power, but that also depends on the people holding that power. With the correct people, Congress does not have too much power. I wouldn’t consider the necessary and proper clause to be outdated, although it could possibly be worded better. The necessary and proper clause is definitely still useful today as it gives Congress the right to act upon implied powers and allows for adaptations to advancements over time. I would say that there are enough checks and balances today, and I would also believe that as long as Congress is not completely corrupt, their current powers do not need to be limited.

    • I think the question of Congress being corrupt is an interesting one. How can such corruptness be counted? I think that you’re right about the checks and balances, as it keeps Congress’ powers from overstepping their boundaries.

    • I agree with you saying it depends on the people who are in power in Congress. If there are too many people in Congress that are corrupt, with an institution as large and far-reaching as Congress, it could result in a very dangerous situation. The problem of corruption does not completely lie in the politician, rather the people who continue to elect these corrupt politicians. There needs to be a moral awakening of the populous to get rid of corruption.

    • I found it difficult to distinguish the difference between the powers laid out to Congress and those who held that power. Ultimately though, I agree that the greatest standing problem is with those who maintain the seats. Checks and balances within the chambers and with the other two branches are fairly balanced, at least from what I can tell

    • I can definitely agree that with the right people in power, the level of that power does not matter, but that is not always the case. I do agree that there are enough checks and balances today.

  6. Congress doesn’t have too much power as long as the Congress continues to be elected by the people and work for the people. I don’t think that the ‘necessary and proper’ clause is completely outdated, because the Congress is always changing and it may need to develop more as society continues to develop. The Congress should be able to regulate out of country trade, make money, and control the army. However, some specific parts are outdated. When it comes to Indian tribes I don’t think that needs to be controlled by the federal government if it is confined in one state it can be controlled by the state government, which might be a limit I would put on the Congress.

    • I LOVED the first sentence of your response. I think the best check for Congressional power is the people, because when it comes down to it, they are the one’s whose support they need in order to get elected.

  7. I believe Congress doesn’t have too much power. The commerce and proper clause is outdated but situations are always changing so who knows when we might actually need it. There are enough checks and balances and as of right now there is nothing I would want to limit congress from doing.

    • I also think Congress doesn’t have too much power, but I also don’t think that those two clauses are outdated. The necessary and proper clause accounts for a major amount of laws being passed by Congress.

  8. I don’t think that Congress has too much power, but I do see how some of the powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 are outdated. I don’t think the Necessary and Proper clause is outdated because it has Congress perform specific powers that are only in the Constitution. Even in the 21st century, with all our advances, there are more things to regulate. In my opinion, as a Native American woman, I would limit Congress’ power to conduct commerce with “Indian tribes” because most tribes and members on the reservation already have their own form of government; laws, lawyers, and officers, that are more familiar with the matters on the reservation than the federal government. Unless a member of Congress has been or was born on a reservation, no one really know the things that go on inside.

    • I agree with that congress should not interfere with the tribes as like you said they already have their own government. I also agree that with all that has changed into the 21st century the necessary and proper clause is still needed since not everything is outlined in the constitution.

    • Yeah the section about controlling commerce with Native Americans felt off to me as well, and it would be better if they removed the clause.

  9. I don’t believe that the congress has too much power but that also depends on factors such as who is in power. In this article I think that some of the powers listed are outdated but one of them that still stands is the Necessary and Proper clause because it allows congress to do things that were created through the Constitution. I think overall the congress does not have too much power but that can easily be changed by having the wrong person put in there.

  10. I do not believe Congress has too much power. I believe the system of checks and balances makes sure this is true. The Necessary and Proper Clause still works today because it allows Congress to make choices on decisions that the Constitution might not include. This Clause is especially important today because of how much the U.S. has changed since the Constitution was created. There are no powers Congress has which I would limit.

    • I agree that the system of checks and balances ensures that the Congress does not have too much power. I also agree that the U.S. has changed a lot and is still changing, therefore the Necessary and Proper Clause still holds true.

  11. I dont think congress has too much power in the case of taxing because we saw how the articles of confederation worked without taxes, there were no public services. I dont think the necessary and proper clause is outdated becasaue it allows congress to keep up with what has changed since the constitution was created. I think there are enough checks and balances and there aren’t any specific powers i would limit for congress

    • I agree that the Necessary and Proper Clause is not outdated. I believe this clause is one of the reasons the Constitution still works today. The Necessary and Proper Clause allows Congress to adapt to new problems in the government.

  12. I think that congress has too much power over taxation especially because people have a lot of different laws and rules that need them to pay and that I think checks and balances were created to make those limits for congress.

  13. Does Congress have too much power? Is the “necessary and proper” clause outdated? Are there enough checks and balances today? Are there any powers of Congress that you would limit? If yes, which ones?
    I think Congress can have too much power but as long as they act fairly and aren’t power-hungry, it’s harmless. As long as they have the American people’s best interests at heart, I have no issues with the amount of power Congress has. I think the “necessary and proper” clause is outdated because it empowers Congress to make all laws necessary for executing its other powers and those of the federal government as a whole which could be dangerous, depending on the Congresspeople currently in house.

    • I definitely agree with you in that as long as congress holds the people’s best interest at heart then there should be no issue with the amount of power congress has. While I disagree with your view on the relativity of the Necessary and Proper clause, I can see where you are coming from as they could end up abusing it. Although with that being said there is always the Judicial or Executive branch which could balance out that.

    • I agree that as long as Congress does not act out of hand, no harm can be done. I also agree that the “necessary and proper clause’ is in fact outdated.

  14. Although it seems like Congress has many responsibilities and duties, they are all rightfully placed on Congress. It is better for a branch that has 535 members, directly elected by the people, to have such responsibilities because it is the closest government branch to the will of the people. They are also well checked by the executive and judicial branches, and have their own system of checks and balances between the two chambers, the House and Senate. While it may seem like Congress has a lot of power, that is the reason why there is 535 elected officials within it to distribute that power, and to move our country forward.

    • I agree with this 100 % because as long as the power is distributed correctly and not over used it should not be an issue, as it is the people voting for these officials.

    • I agree that the checks and balances that are in place are good. Congress has a ton of power, and that comes with a lot of responsibility, and you can’t trust them to keep themselves responsible. So fairly distributing the checks and balances is very important.

  15. I do not think that congress has too much power, and if anything it has just the right amount or too little power. This is not necessarily a bad thing as most of the time congress acts with good intentions through the will of the people as representatives, and senators are voted for directly by the people. I do not feel that the necessary and proper clause, however vague it might be , is outdated by any means. Although there will be times where this clause will be used questionably, at the end of the day the people/the states may not be right and so congress will have to exercise this authority.

    • I agree that, for the most part, congress and the officials in it act with the best intentions of the people in mind. They have to because they are elected and reelected by the people, so it is in their best interest to listen to the people. Due to the nature of public scrutiny, congress must act with good intentions.

  16. Although it might seem that Congress has a lot of power, I feel that the issue is not a matter of mass amounts of power, rather, I feel that the issue that could be presented is the abuse of power or the elected officials are manipulating others because of their mass amounts of power. So, as long as the right people are elected, there would not be an issue of abuse of power. I do not feel that the “Necessary and Proper Clause” is outdated and I would not limit any powers of Congress unless these officials break the trust instilled in them.

    • I agree that it would be hard for power to be abused as long as the right people are elected. To be in congress, officials have to be elected by the people, and it is not a permanent position. Thus, it is in the official’s best interest to not abuse their power and to represent the people as best they can. As long as democracy is kept in place for the election of members of congress, it is unlikely that issues of abuse of power would emerge.

    • I agree, the issue that should be presented is the abuse of power, not power in general.

  17. I do not think Congress has too much power, I think most of the responsibilities of Congress are necessary in order to have a strong centralized government, while still giving the people extensive freedom. I do not think the necessary and proper clause is outdated because it still has effect on governmental policies. There is enough checks and balances today because new legislation takes a long time to be passed, as it must go through all branches of government, allowing for refined and effective legislation. I do not think any of Congress’s powers should be limited.

  18. I am on the fence about Congress having “too much power”. I can see how some may think they do but I can also see how some may think they do not. Although, personally, the Necessary and Proper Clause is a little bit of a ‘stretch’ of power. The Necessary and Proper Clause was only added to the Constitution because the Article of Confederation limited federal power too much. I do believe the Necessary and Proper Clause is a outdated. Its sole reason is for Congress to make actions, not listed anywhere, be ok. Personally, I think we can modify the Clause by pushing back the power. I can say that there enough checks and balances to go around. Although it does slow the process, there are enough. The only thing I would change is to modify the Necessary and Proper Clause.

  19. I don’t believe that congress has too much power, as I believe that the jobs and needs in congress are just right to have a strong central government. The necessary and proper clause is not outdated because it still has its effects on us till this day. The powers that congress has are to be used properly and fairly towards the freedom of the people. I would not limit any powers to the congress.

    • This is a very interesting viewpoint. Congress does not have too much power because circumstances maintain a strong central government. I don’t really agree with what you wrote about the “necessary and proper” clause, though; just because something still is in effect does not mean it should still be in effect, in my opinion.

  20. Like many of my peers, I believe that Congress does not possess too much powers; rather, the issues that stem form the chambers lie with who is allowed power. Returning to elitist theory, many of those in power do not support popular policies and instead serve the status quo. What is seen as necessary and proper for securing the rights as individuals often exists in ways that only suit a particular set of ideas. For instance, it is not seen as necessary and proper to lay taxes on large corporations to support the welfare of the needy. Another concern is military leadership that is constantly maintained across the world when unnecessary or dangerous. Some powers enumerated and implied are important, though. Having post offices and roads, arts and sciences, patents, etc. are useful qualities that might not be reliable if relegated to the market or another leader. It appears to me that the written checks and balances are well enough, though some are archaic, but simply are not practiced well by it’s current holders. This could either be the fault of its architects or how Congress has been managed through the centuries.

    • I agree; this is a complex, multifaceted question with different answers depending on which aspect of the government is analyzed. Issues with corrupt politicians often result from the decisions of individuals rather than a flaw in the government. I also completely agree with your statement on how what is “necessary and proper” is typically used to suit individual gain.

  21. I feel the issue of the power of congress is much less polarizing than it once was in the past. Many today are fine with having a strong national government, in contrast to the opinions of those in the late 1700s. The necessary and proper clause is not outdated; in fact, it is less controversial than it was during its inception. A strong government and congress are more favored than they once were so it is still useful to this day. As for whether it affords too much power to congress is more complicated. For one, there are proper checks and balances in place that are able to limit all facets of government. Furthermore, elected officials are under constant public scrutiny and are not above the same standard as every American, so it is difficult for one person to consolidate power entirely in their own hands. These principles ensure that congress itself does not get too powerful. The powers of congress are only as large as the power people believe they should possess. In the powers listed in section 8 of article 1, no power seems out of the scope of what congress should be responsible for, so I believe that, at this moment, there are not any powers that congress possesses that should be limited.

    • I like the point you made regarding the necessary and proper clause, very interesting and ironic that it’s less controversial now than it was in its inception. Overall, I agree with your comment especially the point of elected officials being under scrutiny to uphold a proper power.

  22. I do not believe that Congress has too much power because they do not have authority to tax for benefits. The “necessary and proper” clause, I believe, is not outdated. The clause has been used on many different challenges. Such as, Obamacare, legalizing marijuana, and collective bargaining because it allows Congress to make all laws necessary. I believe there are enough checks and balances as of today, and I would not limit any powers that Congress has. Unless decided to abuse the power.

  23. i don’t think that Congress has too much power as long as the right people are in power. The “necessary and proper” clause is not outdated however, it needs to be used in situations where it is needed. I would not limit any powers of Congress although it does depend on who the people in Congress are. I’d hope they have the best interest for people in mind when making decisions and are very educated on the issues.

  24. The system of government does not necessarily have too much power; rather individual politicians are corrupt. One section that is very relevant to this topic is the “necessary and proper” clause. This is extremely vague and essentially grants the government freedom to determine what they decide is “necessary and proper.” This clause gives the government a little too much power in my opinion, but overall the government–especially today–has a system of checks and balances that generally prevents one section of government from becoming too powerful.

    • I agree with the first sentence. The system of government itself does not have to much power however depending on the person elected and their mindset, they could have to much power.

    • I agree. I think that the government is limited due to checks and balances and the necessary and proper clause is definitely not outdated.

  25. Although it could come off that way, I do not think congress has to much power. I think that depends more on who is elected. According to this article, the powers included are outdated. Yet I think in order to have a strong system these powers are actually really necessary.

  26. I think the government does not have too much power in regards to taxes and commerce due to checks and balances. Such a system limits the power of the government. The necessary and proper clause is not ourdated.

  27. I believe that the government does not have too much power, they have power so that they can keep the world moving. The necessary and proper clause is not outdated, it is actually the most important clause because it allows congress to approve of the laws that matter. No, there are not enough checks and balances. If I could limit a power of congress then I would limit taxes because it keeps raising and its for everything.

  28. personally, I see no problem with Congress’ power since everything specified already seems to be under moderation. Although the necessary and proper clause could use some updating in regards to making some of the insinuated rules a little clearer and less shady. And with this opinion I would not limit any powers that Congress has that were stated.

  29. I do not think that Congress has too much power. While there is a lengthy list of what they are actually capable of, and many of these capabilities are very impactful, the system of checks and balances, as well as the sharing of powers between branches keeps Congress in control. I wouldn’t say that the necessary and proper clause is outdated, because it’s needed for a great amount of legislative actions today. The checks and balances, to me, seem like they are perfectly adequate. There are not any significant times when one branch can really power through the limitations set on it by the other branches, Looking at the list of powers that Congress has, none of them stand out to me as needing limitations, because they are all kept in check and appropriately utilized.

  30. I believe that the congress doesn’t have to much power,although there is plenty things the have control over the checks and balances.I think the extensive list of powers that have been given are outdated

  31. I don’t think that Congress has too much power, However I do think that we need the right people to be elected to use these powers. I do not believe that the necessary and proper clause us outdated, because as society advances we will need to use the Clause to create updated laws that are not originally mentioned in the Constitution. I don’t think I would limit any of the powers because I think we need to elect people that we believe would use these powers in the right way.

  32. I do not believe that congress was given to much power. I believe that they were given things that were mandatory to help make us the great country we are today. With out any one of those clauses it could change many things such as wars our economy or, the way that our courts operate. The number of checks and balances in place will always be in question therefore voting in proper officials is very important to make sure no one is abusing power. On big thing I think that we need to start limiting is the amount of money we are borrowing. We are increasing our debt by trillions of dollars. This is just putting generation after generation in a sot that might one day ruin the country.

  33. I agree the nation is more together by allowing Congress to make money, conduct foreign trade, and support an army.Also Congress although it does depend on who the people in Congress are.

  34. I don’t think that congress holds too much power, it just has to do with putting the right people into positions of power. And I don’t think that the necessary and proper clause is outdated.

  35. I do not feel that Congress has too much power. If the right individuals have that power, then it is fair. The Necessary and Proper Clause may be a little outdated and may need to be tweaked. It allows Congress to create any laws that are necessary and allows for adaptations to advancements over time. I believe that there are enough checks and balances today and that as long as all powers are used respectfully, no changes need to be made.

  36. I don’t think that congress has too much power. It is more the people that have the power mostly do things to push their own agenda. I do not think that the necessary and proper class is outdated because as society advances and changes it will be important for Congress to be able to make and change laws that may be outdated. I think that there are enough checks and balances today however when it comes to certain individuals I would limit their power but that’s almost impossible.

  37. I don’t believe that congress has too much power. The power given to congress was given to protect the people and to make our country better. I do not believe the clause is outdated, I believe that there is still things in there that can be used on our country today. The number of checks and balances there are today is still questionable so there are still things that need to be done to make sure no one is abusing the power thats given to them. When it comes to certain people in congress there are powers that need to be limited such as declaring war and approving laws but since everything is set in stone it is very less likely for that to happen.

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