Our company believes that we serve the public good, also known as the common good, through our commitment to give primacy of place to the news and information that pertains to our nation’s top priorities; the news and information that matters most. In other words, we believe that the popularity of a person, issue, or story should not dictate what is published or broadcast.
Instead, journalists, editors, and producers should rely on the Constitution of the United States, the lessons of history, the plans of the current administration, legislative and judicial acts, as well as the issues the American people considers most important, when selecting and presenting the top news and information.
Toward that end, we our editorial team periodically reviews the nation’s top priorities, and produces or curates content accordingly. The following explains this further.
Powers of the Government Under the Constitution
It does not take very long to read the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land, including its 27 amendments. Nor does it take a long time to read the beautifully written, and compellingly relevant Declaration of Independence. It remains relevant today because many of the reasons our founders decided to revolt against the oppressive and unjust governance of King George III of mother Britain are those we must constantly be on guard against still today. In other words, we don’t want this chapter in American History to repeat.
However, you do not have to read the entire text to determine what the Constitution outlines as the proper role and scope of the federal government, leaving the rest to the states. Article 1, Section 8 does most of the work for you. This section is often referred to as the “enumerated powers” clause. When our government works within this framework, and the results are significantly above or below average, or the consequences are significant, or it strays outside of these limitations, this generally concerns all Americans and is generally a top news story.
While some of the provisions of Article 1, Section 8 have been modified legislatively, below is the original text from the U.S. government’s official archives.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Our colonial founders were not all in favor of he War for Independence. Some were loyal to Britain and therefore did want a revolution. Others were apathetic toward it; while others were very much in favor of it.
Clearly, from the beginning Americans had differences of opinion on what should be done by government, and what should be left to the citizens to workout on their own. In a very real sense, the nation has always been divided on its top priorities and how best to address them.
Still, as American history unfolded, and with the ability to look back and reflect on what was really important, and what was not, you can get a better understanding of what is most important to know and understand about our government, our nation, and the world.
Below is a partial list of some important national issues pertaining to our national government and the American way of life that have withstood the test of time. (Alphabetical Listing)
- Commerce (Includes interstate commerce, transportation, markets, and trade)
- Defense & Security (Includes foreign and domestic as well as intelligence)
- Executive Branch
- Foreign Affairs & Policy
- Judicial Branch & Rulings
- Legislative Branch & Laws
- Liberty (Includes the ones in the Bill of Rights; the first 10 amendments)
- Money & Banking
- National Heritage
- Science & Technology
- Sovereignty (national and personal)
- States’ Rights
Note that not all of the above are specifically listed in the enumerated powers clause of the Constitution. Instead, they are addressed under what is known as the “general welfare” clause found in the preamble, or first paragraph of the Constitution. There has been much debate about how this clause should be interpreted and applied.
Still, unless our national defense and security is given its due first and foremost, in the long run nothing else really matters since even the strongest economy, lowest unemployment figure, and best education system would mean little if our country was overtaken by an enemy, especially an enemy of the free market system and our individual liberties. Therefore, our national defense and security is rightly considered our nation’s number one priority, and its budget and administration should be carefully established to help ensure our long-term prosperity.
From time to time, various research organizations conduct surveys to help gauge the level of importance Americans place on various issues.
While even the best surveys have limitations, they can help determine if our elected representatives are focused on what Americans see as the nation’s top priorities.
The accompanying charte is the 2015 Public’s Priorities Report by the Pew Research Center, a non-profit organization. Our editorial team uses this report, other survey results, and our internal research to determine the top news stories to cover.
There are dozens of pollsters in the U.S. While polls can be interesting and informative, they do have their limitations.
For instance, polls often do not identify how well-informed the participants are on all national top priorities, much less the level of knowledge they have about the Constitutional limitations of the government.
In addition, the construction and phrasing of the questions in a poll can have a significant impact on the poll results.
Further, polls often do not identify the degree to which the participant is dependent on the government or whether or not he or she is an employee of the government. In these cases there is an obvious conflict of interests.
Still, opinion polls can be a good indicator of public sentiment and are used by our editorial team for that purpose. However, since both polls and surveys have significant limitations, and often the results are contradictory to the results of others, the value is very limited.
— GCF —
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