Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not Digging It

If you thought the news was bad last week, the front page of Digby's Hullabaloo is enough to make stick your head in the oven.
In case you were wondering, the consensus on all the Sunday gasbag shows is that Obama is an abject failure because of his radical leftist ideology and that his only hope of even maintaining the presidency, much less winning a second term is to take a sharp turn to the right and enact the Republican agenda. Several commentators, including such luminaries as political cross dresser Matthew Dowd on ABC, insisted that the first thing the president has to do is pick a huge fight with the Democrats to show the country that he isn't one of them. Cokie said he should have asked John McCain from the beginning what he was allowed to do.

The historians and expert political observers on Fareed Zakaria's CNN show all agreed that Obama is no Reagan, a president who never governed ideologically and always worked across party lines. Oh, and he needs to be a president or a prime minister, but nobody could agree on exactly what that means except that he should try to be more like Scott Brown, the white Barack Obama, except without all the liberalism.

That was to be expected, of course, these worthless idiots have spotted their own chum in the water and are gearing up for the feeding frenzy.

What is more disappointing is that Obama is preparing to add his own blood to the mix and in very visible and culpable ways:
But evidently, the president does want to politically tie his hands securely behind his back by putting the deficit at the top of the agenda and making sure that the nation sees it as bigger threat to its well-being than the fact that we have 10% unemployment, a moribund real estate market and an economically crushing health care system. [...]

It goes without saying that actually delivering anything of value to the country is now off the table but I'm sure that between a fierce concentration on budget balancing and sounding really annoyed at bankers, the voters will be perfectly satisfied, so that's good


And, of course, part and parcel with the media turning is the revocation of all excuses and history—they no longer want to hear about Bush—it's all on Obama now, and only other Democrats are fair game...

Bush Who?
The Republicans have run against Jimmy Carter for the past 28 years. In fact, they're still running against him.Republicans understand two simple things. You must name your enemy and you must imbue that enemy with the characteristics people hate about themselves. The Democrats used to do it quite well themselves, but after Carter they lost their nerve. (I think the Villagers joining the Republicans with their utter disdain for anything that smacks of liberal idealism completely spooked them and they have never recovered.) If the party cannot run against the catastrophic failure of Bush governance, much less against the catastrophic failure of Republican ideology, then they literally have nothing to run on but empty slogans. And that doesn't cut it once you're in office and you haven't delivered. They need to name the culprits --- if they don't, they'll become the enemy themselves, by default.

2010 fucking sucks.

24 comments:

Toast said...

his only hope of even maintaining the presidency, much less winning a second term is to take a sharp turn to the right and enact the Republican agenda ... Matthew Dowd on ABC, insisted that the first thing the president has to do is pick a huge fight with the Democrats to show the country that he isn't one of them.

And lo and behold, that is exactly what he's poised to do with this "spending freeze" idiocy. I am reeling.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah. Tell me about it.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, there was a part of me still hoping at long last Obama would use the SOTU to come off the ropes swinging—somebody needs to grab hold of this worthless party and lead them.

Instead, he is staggering into the ring, leading with his chin.

This ridiculous spening freeze (while details are still unclear) is pretty much the equivalent to a Bush tax cut in this situation as far as policy goes.

Smitty said...

I quit.

How's the Canadian anthem go again? (J/k)

Unfortunately, Obama's chin-leading is a consequence of his relative inexperience meshed with his political philosophy of leading from the center.

The stuff some of the MSM idiots are saying is partially true...they just don't realize it. If Cokie was joking when she said Obama shoulda acksed McCain what he was allowed to do, she would be a snarky blogger. But the joke behind her quip is that's how Obama is behaving.

It doesn't helo when he has an entire congress behind him whose whole platform boils down to: not them.

steves said...

How much of this is a matter of perspective? I am not letting the media off the hook, but Republicans complained all the time about how the media hated Bush. How much of this do you think is related to the MSM's search for relevance? Many people are turning to other sources of news and gloom and doom probably sells more than optimism.

I think that Obama has done some stuff poorly, but I like his restraint and pragmatic caution in other areas. Unfortunately, most people probably want to hear BS and rah rah.

Bob said...

The spending freeze has been in the pipeline since July, so lets not act like this is a reaction to the political winds.

See the NY Times:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/f/federal_budget_us/index.html

I expected spending restraint from Obama since the beginning, which would likely have happend sooner if the economy hadn't melted down.

The difference between this freeze and what McCain proposed is that Obama excludes Social Security, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid and Medicare. It also excludes the military, which in normal times I would not agree should be excluded from cuts, but considering he is still attempting to conclude two wars, cutting funds for an overworked military would not help morale.

From a message point of view, Obama needs to say that spending in bad times is a good idea, but it was the last adminsitration that spent like mad during better times, tying our ability to reinviograte the economy when we needed it.

As far as the MSM turning on Obama, that is not a shock. It sells papers and air time.

From a political point of view, I think Obama should turn on the House and Senate a bit and tell them to step up and start doing what they were elected to do - put forward a progressive agenda. If they pass the Senate version of the health care bill, he should state that it is NOT everything he wanted and that Democrats need to continue to include everything the people want, including a public option.

A.W.Chuck said...

Wow. I've stumbled on the leftist of the left. I'm not right or left, I despise big government. Period.

Sounds like everyone here supports MASSIVE government...the healthcare reform, higher taxes for all, massive government expansion, greater entitlements and preferential treatment of government workers and unions, more social welfare programs and expanding deficit spending to support social security, medicare and medicaid which are poised to bankrupt the next three unborn generations.

Did I miss anything?

I only have ONE question for all you government behemoth feeding supporters...

How...do...you...pay...for...it?

steves said...

I can't say that I support MASSIVE government, but I do support pragmatic spending in areas like infratructure, programs for the needy and children, and improving the health care delivery system.

How...do...you...pay...for...it?

Stop...invading...every...country...in...the...mideast...for a start.

Mr Furious said...

Stop...invading...every...country...in...the...mideast...for a start.

Word.

Also, let...the...tax...cuts...for...the...wealthy...expire.

A.W. Chuck deserves a reply in more depth than I can give him right now. But I won't stop any of the rest of you...

Mr Furious said...

Oh, and with a rhetorical checklist like THAT, it's quite clear A.W. Chuck is right of even steves by a healthy margin.

A.W. Chuck said...

I am against big government, which includes war (outside of invasion), so I agree with steves that avoiding war is a savings, but definitely not near enough to pay for our debts.

The Constitution gives the Federal government less rights than I can count on one hand. None of them include rampant spending to "solve" every social dilemma known to man.

Since government is a wealth consumer and the private sector is a wealth creator, government must always take from the creators and give to the consumers...for every social dilemma it seeks to solve. Government does not produce ANYTHING, it must take all it needs from us.

At some point, you run out of wealth creators.

Funny part is, when you say "wealthy," you are talking about me. My wife and I don't qualify for any tax credits or any of the rebate checks and in several years we will probably be over the $250,000 limit Obama likes to call "the wealthy" and still be in our 30's. That means 40 more years of "wealth" taxes for us.

So...I drive a 1991 pickup with a rust stain on the roof the size of a basketball. My wife drives a 2003 Jetta. We rent a 2/2 apartment. We lose 1/3 of our income to taxes already. But...we have no debt.

If everyone lived debt free, they might realize that $250,000 is not "the wealthy." If you actually had to live within your means, set aside the maximum for yourself and your spouse in your 401k's, the maximum allowed for pre-tax education funding for each of all your children, set aside a $5-$10K emergency fund, took out life insurance and elderly care insurance...which we can all agree are GOOD and RESPONSIBLE things to do...you would find that there wasn't much left over even with $250,000 in income.

And after doing all those responsible things...with the little money you had left...you'd lead a rather mediocre, ordinary looking life.

And this medicore, ordinary looking life is what this administration wants to call "the wealthy" and tax them.

You should all hope that your children finish college and go out into the world and be damn successful. So successful they make hundreds of thousands of dollars, love what they do, and lead a GREAT life! Isn't that what we want for our kids?

So, if your kids actually become successful, and you support all these wealth taxes, you're creating a conflicting message. You tell them to go to school, be ambitious, SUCCEED. And by the way...don't be too successful, because then you're those nasty evil "wealthy" people that make over $250,000 and that's bad.

So...go on kids...be successful, just not TOO successful.

A.W.Chuck said...

BTW

I assume when you referred to my list of the current administration's recent actions as a "rhetorical checklist" you meant to somehow depreciate the meaning of my list...to somehow, by simply suggesting it was rhetorical, pursuade others to think the list less true.

Unfortunately, rhetoric or not...every word in my "checklist" is absolute truth and we all know it.

I would also argue, that my "rhetorical checklist" does not in fact suggest that I am "right" of anything.

As I said before, I am not right or left, I am against big government. I don't apply labels to myself for exactly that reason...in accepting some aspects of a labels definition, I have to now be assumed to be acceptive of all aspects of that label.

And so because I am against social programs and healthcare reform, etc... you toss me in the "right" bucket because it's easier to attack the messenger rather than attack the message.

The best I can do is make my label NO BIG GOVERNMENT. Attack that instead, and feel free to use a rhetorical checklist.

Mrs Furious said...

Be careful kids if you don't make a lot of money you aren't successful.

I don't know maybe it is just me, but I kind of think raising my kids to live honest, fulfilling lives; to treat others with courtesy and respect; to give the benefit of the doubt; to be educated in the fields that they find meaningful and to apply their knowledge in a way they find personally fulfilling... I kind of think that is the definition of success.

The Furious house is a highly educated house. We are debt free. We have emergency funds. We live within our means. We own our OLD ass cars and a small house. And we do it on 65K a year. We do what needs to be done. We give back. We are successful.

Not every family is capable of earning 250K a year. The very notion that that isn't wealth is preposterous. Your age is showing. Some families while working at the height of their careers (educated careers) and living within their means cannot afford to set aside the maximum contributions to their 401Ks and 529s "which we can all agree are GOOD and RESPONSIBLE things to do"... let alone elderly care insurance. You have absolutely no idea what "not much left" means.

A.W. Chuck said...

I completely agree with you when you say that "honest, fulfilling lives" are happy lives.

How people fulfill their lives varies from individual to individual. I'm sure you agree.

If I choose to lead an, "honest, fulfilling [life]; to treat others with courtesy and respect; to give the benefit of the doubt; etc..." then am I also allowed to add 'wealthy' to what I find fulfilling in my life?

I'm sure you don't believe that having wealth, and being "honest, courteous, etc..." are mutually exlusive and can not occupy the same space at the same time, do you?

If part of my fulfillment is being wealthy, then why is it okay for the government to take my wealth away from me?

All of those things you mentioned that fulfill your lives, I do not try to, nor would I support a government that attempts to, take those things away from you.

So why would you support a government that takes part of my fulfillment away from me when I don't ask that it takes yours away from you?

In other news, when I talk about setting aside the maximums for 401k's and education funding, I assumed they would not live on the street to meet the maximums. I realize that families will do what they can, but the problem is, families don't do enough. And then the "wealthy" are expected to bail them out.

If they could afford to allocate 10% to their 401k's, they do 2% and buy a plasma with the rest. If they could afford to set aside 5% for education funding, they simply don't. If they should take out a 30 year fixed loan, they get a 2% teaser adjustable timebomb. If they are on welfare, they spend some of it on formula and diapers and the rest on new Nike's.

And before someone accuse me of not helping those in need, I believe in individuals supporting private non-profit organizations as well as direct contributions of their own time. This is not a function of government, nor was it a charter in the Constitution.

That said, people make bad decisions. They make them in spades. But because of their bad decisions, why am I expected to subsidize education, subsidize their retirement, subsidize their mortgage bailout, subsidize their baby's sneakers?

Why do I have to make a withdrawal from my "fulfillment" to pay for someone else's bad decisions, by force, by my government?

People are capable of making way too many bad decisions for me to pay for them all.

As far as who is wealthy...

I could just as easily say that there are other "highly educated families" living just as fulfilling lives as yours without any debt as well, but on $40,000 a year.

Could we lower the "wealthy" bar to $65,000 then? Would you be okay with that?

steves said...

I support a reasonable tax structure and certainly don't want to return to the days where the top brackets were above 50%. I also think that the federal gov't and state gov'ts waste an assload of money on stuff that doesn't really help the public good.

I think there are many social programs that work, such as Head Start, which has the support of numerous longitudinal studies that show the program helps kids that would have otherwise been at high risk for crime and other negative behaviors.

The Constitution gives the Federal government less rights than I can count on one hand. None of them include rampant spending to "solve" every social dilemma known to man.

Actually, the gov't has powers, not rights. Only the people have rights. I think one could probably make an argument that some of the powers the feds claim to have are not ones they should have, but there is nothing preventing the states from rampant spending.

A.W.Chuck said...

steves:

Power...rights...the point is that the government is limited in what it has authority to do.

This was Priority #1 for the authors of the Constitution. They knew that as sure as water runs downhill, government will spend every minute of every day trying to get bigger.

That is why when you say, "reasonable" tax structure, I get nervous. What is reasonable? What is reasonable to someone making $40,000 is galaxies away from what is reasonable for someone making $500,000.

Who decides? You? Me? Our gifted elected officials?

I agree with you that there are many programs that work. I also agree that there is much wasteful spending both at the state and federal level.

California is a poster child for that problem.

Where we differ is that I believe that the powers not explicitly given to the federal government belong to the state, and to the people. As says the Constitution.

I don't know enough about Head Start to know if it works or not, but assuming it does, it should either be privately funded by an organization that takes donations from people like you and me who would support it, or subsidized by the state, and ONLY that state.

It only makes sense that some states will need more funding for that program than others and that state's citizens should decide first if they even want the program and second, how much it gets. A program working well in one state will be adopted by others, and vice versa.

The key element of keeping costs relegated to states instead of the federal government is that when states spend too much, people can leave. They can vote with their wallet. They can go to states where taxes are lower because spending is lower and the state government has a workable, balanced budget. That new state will enjoy that extra tax revenue which encourages that state's officials to keep their budget in check...to stay competitive.

Depending on who you follow, California is #1 or #2 in the most taxed citizenry. So...they are leaving. Educated individuals and businesses are going to where the taxes are lower and the standard of living is higher.

As a result, CA is another $20B in the red. Even after raising taxes last year and cutting billions already, they will now be forced to cut into the bone of all their union contracts and social programs that grew too fat, bloated and inefficient.

One day perhaps, California will again be competitive enough to draw talent and business back in and can enjoy that returning tax revenue. But not today.

But when the federal government gets fat, bloated and inefficient...where can we go? Leave the country? We are stuck paying the bill. There is no pressure on them to cut fat or get efficient because none of us can leave for somewhere else. They simply raise taxes and get bigger and we must pay.

States are like companies competing against each other for us, their employees. If they are not competitive in salaries and compensation, we can go somewhere else and the company (state) will lose all its talent and fail.

But what happens when there is only one company in the whole country? What can we do then if they pay us poorly and treat us unfairly? Nothing.

The federal tax structure should be for only those powers provided to the federal government by the Constitution. That's it. Tax structures for everything else should remain within each state, decided upon by that state's people to spend how they see fit.

Power to the states.
Power to the people.

That is what keeps the federal government in check and water flowing uphill.

Bob said...

That was so full of misinformed drivel, B.S. and Fox talking points, I do not know where to start.

I will just start here. If you think the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to create a national health care system or other programs, then why hasn't anyone successfully sued?

Lawyer up and test your theory. Until the Supreme Court decides, it is just tea-bagger bullshit.

steves said...

That is why when you say, "reasonable" tax structure, I get nervous. What is reasonable? What is reasonable to someone making $40,000 is galaxies away from what is reasonable for someone making $500,000.

Who decides? You? Me? Our gifted elected officials?


I don't know. The tax structure that is in place now is probably close to reasonable, IMO. As for who decides, our elected officials, gifted as they may be. We live in a republic, so I think that is what is supposed to happen.

Where we differ is that I believe that the powers not explicitly given to the federal government belong to the state, and to the people. As says the Constitution.

I agree with you, but there are several issue here. The language of the Constitution allows for some fairly expansive interpretations, specifically "interstate commerce." There have been some limitations to this, but Congress just finds ways to work around them or just ignores them. The other issue is that, realistically speaking, we are unlikely to see the feds roll back any time soon.

I think that in some areas, money would be better spent on the state level instead of going up to the federal level and having to work it's way back down, but this depends on the program and the state, so it is hard to dicsuss without specifics.

I don't know enough about Head Start to know if it works or not, but assuming it does, it should either be privately funded by an organization that takes donations from people like you and me who would support it, or subsidized by the state, and ONLY that state.

Funding from the state may work, but I doubt private funding would. I have some experience in both the private and public mental health system. In both cases, there were some private funds, but they were no where near enough to fund what was needed. I just don't think this is realistic.

A.W. Chuck said...

Thanks for your comments Bob.

Believe it or not, I don't watch Fox, except for Kitchen Nightmares, I love that show. I have heard though that Fox is the conservative mecca.

Like most talking heads in the MSM, I prefer to get my information from the source and do my own research. It's time consuming, but sometimes I find that what is said on TV or the radio is not always entirely true.

A phenomenon I call "truth through ommission," which is the act of telling only the points that support your argument and staying silent on anything that does not. Not really a lie, but not really the truth either.

Just last night I was working on a post about how many Democrats are retiring in the face of the Massachusetts defeat. It was all over the net, bloggers saying the Dems are running for the hills and such. I did more research and found out that something like a dozen Republicans are retiring too, so now the purpose of my post is that the Dems retiring is not a big deal, because all of these Republicans are too.

Anyway, as you may be aware, the constitutionality of the healthcare bill currently under consideration would have been challenged in several areas, had it passed into law. For the past few months many Constitutionalists have brought up the unequal treatment of the states such as Senator Ben Nelson's sweetheart deal in exchange for his vote. This is unconstitutional.

There was also an argument made that the federal government can not force a citizen to buy something, such as healthcare, which this would have done.

Those are a couple examples of how this bill would have been challenged.

If the bill had passed I was going to do a post on all of the potential constitutional challenges.

As far as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...these are also unconstitutional but the price paid per cap is small...and Americans are willing to let it slide. They see it as a "donation" of sorts to help the elderly and the poor. Tyranny, socialism...does not happen overnight...it's done through the small, incremental chipping away of freedoms.

What's that expression? If you drop a frog in boiling water it hops out, but put it in cold water and slowly bring it to a boil and it will cook to death? Medicare, Medicaid...that's cold water to a boil, but the recent universal healthcare bill was a rolling boil when Obama presented it, Massachusetts was the people leaping out of the pot.

As to your other views, rather than accuse me of being misinformed, why don't you just inform me?

Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government has the right to create a national healthcare plan and force my participation? Maybe it does, and if so, what does it say?

Perhaps the fundamental difference between us is that I am not willing to tax anyone, you or anyone, for what I believe (and the Constitution believes) is not a fundamental human right.

Our most fundamental right is the freedom of choice. If what we choose does not violate someone else's rights (such as the right to not be violated by someone's choice) then we are free to make those choices. Choices that do violate someone else's rights are subject to the law & punishment.

Perhaps you have chosen to feel that universal healthcare is a right. To pay for that right, the rights of everyone else who have not chosen to believe the same as you must be violated by forcing them to pay for what you have chosen to believe.

You have the freedom to choose that belief, just as I have the freedom to choose mine.

Where we differ is that I will not support any bill that impinges on anything YOU choose to believe, but it would seem that you will.

A.W.Chuck said...

I don't know. The tax structure that is in place now is probably close to reasonable, IMO.

Remember that the current tax structure is for our current budget and running deficits. There are only 3 solutions, cuts, more taxes or both. Since I am against big gov’t, I would want all deficits to be recovered through cuts…that won’t happen.

The last 2 solutions involve higher taxes, which brings us back to, who decides who pays how much? For everything someone in America wants the gov’t to provide, someone else in America has to pay for it.

I don't trust our officials because they don’t represent their citizens, they represent their special interest groups, their unions or their own financial interests. It's a Republic for Pfizer and Dow...not for us, not anymore.

The healthcare bill was a great example of that. Republicans, Democrats & Independents pressed Congress that this is not what they wanted, but the unstoppable freight train of ideology pressed on. If it weren't for the MA Senate race, they would still be ignoring the people.

The language of the Constitution allows for some fairly expansive interpretations, specifically "interstate commerce."

Completely agree. I read several times that the interstate commerce clause is the big loophole in the Constitution and I don't know enough about it to talk intelligently, but I have wanted to research and post on it for some time now.

I believe it started with a case brought by a farmer. He produced and consumed all of his goods in his own home, but the fact that he produced any goods at all affects the price of goods nationwide which subjected him to this clause and this somehow meant more regulation & expenses for him. Again...I need to research it.

Funding from the state may work, but I doubt private funding would.

A few points on this. First, so much money is wasted using taxes as funding, with estimates at $0.80 on the dollar.

Second, most people feel they are taxed enough as it is, & so do not donate, or donate less to charities than they would otherwise. If we reduced tax burdens they would have more money to donate. More importantly, if people knew that charities were completely dependant on OUR funding, I believe MOST people would donate more.

There will always be those that never donate to anything. There is nothing we can do about them. But look at Katrina, Haiti, China or Indonesia and consider the millions of dollars that poured into those regions. I believe Americans would donate more if they understood it was up to them now...and in return they got lower taxes.

Consider a simple tax credit. If I donate $5K in 2010, I get a $5K tax credit. That way, 100% of my donation went to the charity, it goes where I want it, I owe $5K less to gov’t, and it would encourage people who don't donate to do so since they would rather see their money go to charity than the gov’t.

We don't have these discussions because we think that the current way is the ONLY way....but there are dozens of more efficient and more productive ways we could do this.

Also, corporations love to support local charities to get local consumer support. If they were given tax breaks, and local charities and citizens urged them for support, reminding them that it's "our job" now, they would contribute more.

There's also nothing stopping a state or a private company from creating a non-profit that distributes donations to a list of charitable (but necessary, like mental health) causes that tend to be under funded. In such cases the charity could put the call out and Americans would respond. Red Cross does this w/ ads (probably run for free on local TV) that ask for donations or blood…and people respond.

Right now, people feel they gave at the door in their taxes. Maybe it wouldn't work...but for $0.80 on the dollar, I am willing to give it a shot. The worse thing that could happen is we return to the status quo. The best thing that could happen is...it works.

steves said...

Anyway, as you may be aware, the constitutionality of the healthcare bill currently under consideration would have been challenged in several areas, had it passed into law. For the past few months many Constitutionalists have brought up the unequal treatment of the states such as Senator Ben Nelson's sweetheart deal in exchange for his vote. This is unconstitutional.

Interesting argument, but this has happened before, so I am unaware of any successful challenge. Who are these Constitutionalists? I have read several critiques from some think tanks in that a national health care plan would not be Constitutional, but I have also read several other that say the "Interstate Commerce" clause and the "Necessary and Proper" clause would make it past muster.

I am sure there will be challenges, but the fact that other gov't run health programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, have survived any challenge tells me that this will also probably be ok.

There was also an argument made that the federal government can not force a citizen to buy something, such as healthcare, which this would have done.

This may be a legitimate challenge, but I am sure supporters of this provision will argue that having uninsured people places an undue burden on the health care system, because they are expensive to treat when they show up in the ER.

Our most fundamental right is the freedom of choice.

This is, unfortunately, illusory. Going back to the founding of this country, there have been numerous laws that have restricted this. Our country has never been a place where we have been free to do whatever we want if it doesn't harm or infringe upon someone else.

steves said...

A good Interstate Commerce Clause primer would be almost any Constitutional Law casebook. I can recommend a few if you are interested. The case you are referring to is Wickard v. Filburn, which was not the first, though it greatly expanded previous interpretations of the ICC. I think Gibbons v. Ogden was the first case, though I will admit it been some time since I seriously studied the ICC.

Mr Furious said...

Alas, I don't have time to wade into the discussion right now...

Carry on.

A.W. Chuck said...

Interesting argument, but this has happened before, so I am unaware of any successful challenge.

I can't say that I know if it's happened before or not, but I'm sure it could have. My understanding of this case was that Medicare/Medicaid is a federal program that each of the states pay into, and what 10Senators did, in exchange for their yes on healthcare reform, was to reduce their liability portion to the federal government...but not the costs...so all of the other states would have to dig deeper into their own citizens pockets to make up for the discount the other states were getting. And that was the unconstitutional part, that the federal government can not give some states discounts and then pass the cost of those to other states.

Not a far cry from certain subsidies in various industries that naturally help some states heavy in those industries over others, etc... I'm sure there are many more subtle examples of this happening.

I think the issue here, and the reason it would be constitutionally challenged is that first, it's an in-your-face wealth transfer from one state to another. It's also about approving the healthcare reform bill...which is no small thing and will impact every citizen directly and profoundly. Third, it really smells of vote buying. If the healthcare bill is so great, why did TEN Senators use their yes vote as leverage to secure special deals? Lastly, Americans are the kind that don't push back until they are all the way to the wall. They want to be left alone to pursue whatever their dream is. That leaves others, who would re-engineer the country to their expectations to make millions of tiny changes that erode liberties slowly. But when the reengineers move too fast, all at once...it wakes everyone up from those dreams.

supporters of this provision will argue that having uninsured people places an undue burden on the health care system, because they are expensive to treat when they show up in the ER.

Well, that is the marrow. What to do with the uninsured. I can't say that I have the answer. This is what everyone is trying to figure out, myself included. All I can say is that, IMO, this healthcare reform bill was not the right solution. Just because I don't know the right one, doesn't mean people can't agree when one is the wrong one. "Better than nothing" should not be an answer.

Our country has never been a place where we have been free to do whatever we want if it doesn't harm or infringe upon someone else.

I will let a couple of my favorite passages from Thomas Paine answer to this one...

“Government like dress is the badge of lost innocence, the palaces of kings are built on he ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish the means for the protection of the rest…; and this he is induced to do, by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows, that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.”

“Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government. Viz. freedom and security.”

“Society in every state is a blessing, but Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.”

It may be true that we have already given gov't too much control...but that doesn't mean we have to let it take more or that one day we can't take it back.

Before it's too late and there is only one solution left.

A.W. Chuck said...

Wickard v. Filburn

That sounds right to me. If you could recommend some books, that would be great. The ICC is something I definitely want to know inside and out.

Almost forgot, when I refer to Constituionalist, I mean that in the broad stroke definition. No particular group or affiliation, more a reference to a belief system and interpretation of the Constitution that leans away from government expansion and towards personal liberties.