“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.”
– James Madison, 4th President of the United States, principal author of the original Constitution, and the man most responsible for the Bill of Rights. He was, apparently, also a visionary prophet and knew where his country would eventually take itself. He made these remarks during the 1st Congress, for which he was a Senator, in regards to a bill subsidizing cod fishermen. Congress’ first “pork package,” as it were.