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(Slate)   Old legal thinking: Obamacare is unconstitutional because it's too socialist. New legal thinking: Obamacare is unconstitutional because it isn't socialist enough   (slate.com ) divider line
    More: Ironic, Commerce Clause, minimum wage law, individual mandate, socialists, obamacare, United States District Court, status quo  
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1378 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Jan 2011 at 8:31 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2011-01-07 02:27:49 PM  
I hope congress scraps Obamacare and replaces it with a program almost all Americans could be happy with.

The Money already budget for Medicaid and Obamacare could be replaced with a program that would give every American and legal resident a universal healthcare voucher for private insurance valued at $4,000 a person at current budgeted amount without change to tax code, slight change in code could bump it to 6-7k a person. Family of 4 =16k

That would provide basic coverage to everyone and the federal government could dictate minimum levels of coverage for companies wanting the vouchers. People already with insurance would see a decrease in cost and no change in coverage.

They would have to be an insurance fund for long term illnesses but it would still be cheaper and better than what passed.
 
2011-01-07 02:42:30 PM  

eurotrader: I hope congress scraps Obamacare and replaces it with a program almost all Americans could be happy with.


national job killing healthcare FTW!!!!
 
2011-01-07 02:48:38 PM  

eurotrader: That would provide basic coverage to everyone and the federal government could dictate minimum levels of coverage for companies wanting the vouchers. People already with insurance would see a decrease in cost and no change in coverage.an increase in yearly premiums of approximately $4,000.

 
2011-01-07 03:32:29 PM  
Medicaid already cost Government around 500 billion a year, being able remove over half of the cost of administration coupled with market determining a little more reimbursement cost to healthcare providers and eliminating unreimbursed costs to hospital care except illegals, which will have to be repatriated to their home country for nonemergency care, will improve care.

The reason for the crazy prices for items in hospitals is to make up for the costs of the uninsured. It only really screws the uninsured middleclass by not having universal coverage. The poor are never going to pay anyway and the rich already have insurance.


The legal challenge would go away simply because no one would be force to buy anything.
 
2011-01-07 08:36:32 PM  
The only problem I really have with obamacare is that scumbag people will use it to take millions in taxpayer money, if they would include a clause that states those that are caught scamming the system loses one appendage for every $1k you steal then I many get on board.
 
2011-01-07 08:45:59 PM  
If the law were structured like social security or medicare, there really wouldn't be an issue. Individuals would pay taxes based on income like other entitlement programs.

As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

What we are dealing with here is an entirely different beast than anything before it. The question of constitutionality is valid and needs to be addressed. Whatever the answer is, it will be answered by SCOTUS.
 
2011-01-07 08:51:15 PM  
Any failures of the healthcare bill can be laid at the feet of the Republicans and their lackeys, the Blue Dog Democrats. The only thing I see happening now with a Republican House is that the Republican narrative of 'Obama Failure' is being spin into insanity. They're backtracking so much over themselves that their coded words really have no meaning anymore. People aren't confused by them, they just realize the Republicans are full of shiat and aren't going to do anything they promised because they got power, and that was the whole point.

The only thing the Republicans can do now is point and biatch for two years while the economy improves. Not only is it bad for America, but it's also bad for them. They have no plans, no method of action, and their crying is just making them look silly and petty, as usual. The only thing I see when I look at them is the pathetic screams of a pointless party that wants power at any cost. The cost seems to be that Obama can outdo them at anything and the Republicans are still stuck in 2008, pretending Bush never existed and that everything attached to them is somehow a gigantic mistake not of their own making.
 
2011-01-07 08:51:30 PM  
This fetish for privatization that exists here is a sick one.

The article is right -- if the constitutional problem with the law is the mandate to buy private insurance, the obvious remedy is to provide a public insurance option.

Of course the right wing slugs perusing the case think that the only remedy is really to get rid of the law altogether, but the genii is already out of the bottle. No matter what fiscal responsibility family values job creation bullcrap they come up with, when it comes down to it when you have people that have access to health insurance suddenly taken away from them for no good reason -- not even to reduce the deficit -- their house of cards will fall apart.
 
2011-01-07 09:04:53 PM  

GhostFish: So the government could tax you and then use that tax money to buy you health insurance, probably from the lowest bidder. But if they get less involved and just require you to buy the insurance of your own choice, that's illegal?


No, it's unconstitutional (maybe). Whether an act of Congress is unconstitutional or constitutional has almost nothing to do with whether or not it's a good idea. It only matters if it falls within one of the powers enumerated in Article I (and doesn't violate any other provision). The power to tax and spend for the general welfare is already in the Constitution. If Congress wants to raise everyone's taxes and then use that money to pay for health insurance for everyone, they can do that.

But they can't necessarily force you to use your own money to buy health insurance. Maybe they can, maybe they can't. It depends on your interpretation of "interstate commerce" of the tax power, and most importantly the "necessary and proper" clause.

And it was never unconstitutional because it was "Too Socialist." There's nothing in the constitution that bans socialism. Communism maybe, but not socialism. The argument about the constitutionality of HCR has always been about the limits of the commerce clause and the taxing power.
 
2011-01-07 09:07:15 PM  
Old legal republican't/teabagger thinking: Obamacare is unconstitutional because it's too socialist. New legal republican't/teabagger thinking: Obamacare is unconstitutional because it isn't socialist enough.

Jesus guys, at least PRETEND to hate it on principles and not because of the guy who wants it.
 
2011-01-07 09:13:31 PM  

Talondel: But they can't necessarily force you to use your own money to buy health insurance. Maybe they can, maybe they can't. It depends on your interpretation of "interstate commerce" of the tax power, and most importantly the "necessary and proper" clause.


And that's the heart of the matter, not whether or not it's "socialist".

It's intellectually lazy to characterize every argument in terms of "socialism", whether you're a republican or democrat. Just stop!
 
2011-01-07 09:27:34 PM  

GhostFish: So the government could tax you and then use that tax money to buy you health insurance, probably from the lowest bidder. But if they get less involved and just require you to buy the insurance of your own choice, that's illegal?


That's what the courts stated during FDRs term, yes. SS was set up as a shared benefit. Your payout is directly tied into what you pay in. This is how the courts "justified" FDR's programs. HCR bill taxes everyone, but only pays out to some in the form of waivers or assistance. This was not justified under the court's ruling found during the case for SS. It is not a shared benefit in that some are paying who get no benefit in return.
 
2011-01-07 09:27:39 PM  

fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.


There is something similar at the state level in that most, if not all states, require the purchase of insurance in order to drive an automobile. I think there is precedent here for what is being asked of citizens.
 
2011-01-07 09:29:12 PM  

Lunaville: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

There is something similar at the state level in that most, if not all states, require the purchase of insurance in order to drive an automobile. I think there is precedent here for what is being asked of citizens.


Umm... States get extended rights beyond what the federal powers due, per the constitution. How many times does this have to be stated for you retards? Just because a state can legally do something does not mean the federal system can.
 
2011-01-07 09:30:43 PM  
due = do. I suck at heterographs =/
 
2011-01-07 09:33:52 PM  

eurotrader: The Money already budget for Medicaid and Obamacare could be replaced with a program that would give every American and legal resident a universal healthcare voucher for private insurance valued at $4,000 a person at current budgeted amount without change to tax code, slight change in code could bump it to 6-7k a person. Family of 4 =16k


That would also cost 1.24 trillion dollars a year.
 
2011-01-07 09:45:11 PM  

MyRandomName: Lunaville: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

There is something similar at the state level in that most, if not all states, require the purchase of insurance in order to drive an automobile. I think there is precedent here for what is being asked of citizens.


Umm... States get extended rights beyond what the federal powers due, per the constitution. How many times does this have to be stated for you retards? Just because a state can legally do something does not mean the federal system can.


I don't believe that I said that the federal system is necessarily allowed to do anything a state can legally do ... only that there is precedent here. It may not be federal precedent, but Americans have been required by certain governmental entities to purchase certain products. I'm not sure how many Americans are going to see a real difference between Vermont, Alabama, or California requiring them to make a purchase and the Federal government requiring them to make a purchase. I think the objection will be met with a big, fat "Well, what can you do? ... Did you remember to buy the beer and chips?"
 
2011-01-07 09:54:30 PM  

eurotrader: I hope congress scraps Obamacare and replaces it with a program almost all Americans could be happy with.


Almost all Americans are quite happy with Obamacare - that is, when you stop calling it that stupid name and ask them about its actual provisions.
 
2011-01-07 10:14:10 PM  

Aarontology: eurotrader: The Money already budget for Medicaid and Obamacare could be replaced with a program that would give every American and legal resident a universal healthcare voucher for private insurance valued at $4,000 a person at current budgeted amount without change to tax code, slight change in code could bump it to 6-7k a person. Family of 4 =16k

That would also cost 1.24 trillion dollars a year.


Most of the European countries with universal health care have about 75% of their health care spending come from the government. Assuming that pattern would hold in America, that would put America's total health care spending at about $1.66 trillion. That's about $900 billion less than what we spent in 2009, or about 11.6% of our GDP. That's basically what Switzerland spends.
 
2011-01-07 10:22:38 PM  

Serious Black: Most of the European countries with universal health care have about 75% of their health care spending come from the government. Assuming that pattern would hold in America, that would put America's total health care spending at about $1.66 trillion. That's about $900 billion less than what we spent in 2009, or about 11.6% of our GDP. That's basically what Switzerland spends.


That's true. But wouldn't European numbers include all costs? For a lot of people four grand would be more than enough. But there would be people who would blow through that in a week, and would either have to pay the rest out of pocket, or turn to a private insurer. And anybody can have an accident.

Since those people would be higher risk, and the risk pool would be smaller the costs would necessarily increase. The vouchers aren't necessarily a bad idea, but there would need to be something else too.
 
2011-01-07 10:28:54 PM  

Lunaville: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

There is something similar at the state level in that most, if not all states, require the purchase of insurance in order to drive an automobile. I think there is precedent here for what is being asked of citizens.


Requiring car insurance for driving is one thing. No one is forcing you to drive.

Requiring health insurance simply for being a citizen of the country is different. The government is requiring you to enter into a contract with a third party, simply for being alive.

There is a difference.
 
2011-01-07 10:31:24 PM  

fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.


This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.
 
2011-01-07 10:39:43 PM  
If it's a question of Constitutionality, then obviously we need to consult RON PAUL!
 
2011-01-07 10:49:34 PM  

HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.


Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.
 
2011-01-07 11:00:47 PM  

eurotrader: I hope congress scraps Obamacare and replaces it with a program almost all Americans could be happy with.


When have all Americans ever been happy about anything?
 
2011-01-07 11:06:47 PM  

fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.

Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.


So what you're saying is that, if Obama raised everybody's taxes by $1000, then offered a $1000 tax credit for maintaining health insurance, that'd be fine. But a $1000 tax penalty for not maintaining health insurance, even though the end outcome is exactly the same, is beyond the pale. I understand that. But why? Help me understand that bit.
 
2011-01-07 11:08:50 PM  

fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.

Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.


I can't think of another incident where you can be fined by the federal government for failing to do something. But there are other areas where people are compelled to act in a certain way or face consequences that could be deemed punitive. For instance, immunizations are required to attend school here, public as well as private, without proof of immunization a child can be denied admission to school. Of course, a parent can get a note of exemption from a sympathetic doctor or homeschool. Also, males are required to register for the draft or they can be denied student financial aid such as the Pell grant. Although, we compel children to attend school from k through 12, college is considered a privilege. So, requesting financial aid is definitely not the same as merely existing. And speaking of a draft, aren't there fairly punitive measures that are typically doled out if a person is drafted and refuses to comply?

None of these examples are perfect, but there are probably others.
 
2011-01-07 11:13:29 PM  

HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.

Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.

So what you're saying is that, if Obama raised everybody's taxes by $1000, then offered a $1000 tax credit for maintaining health insurance, that'd be fine. But a $1000 tax penalty for not maintaining health insurance, even though the end outcome is exactly the same, is beyond the pale. I understand that. But why? Help me understand that bit.


No. What I am saying is that offering a tax credit to offset the costs of purchasing health insurance would be fine. You could find a thousands of examples of credits and deductions, all designed to encourage people to engage in an activity.

Requiring individuals to purchase a product from a third party, under threat of a punitive fine, is different.

Tax credits and deductions are available to those who engage in an activity. The fine is levied against individuals for economic inactivity. It hasn't been done before, therein lies the problem.
 
2011-01-07 11:18:29 PM  

Lunaville: fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.

Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.

I can't think of another incident where you can be fined by the federal government for failing to do something. But there are other areas where people are compelled to act in a certain way or face consequences that could be deemed punitive. For instance, immunizations are required to attend school here, public as well as private, without proof of immunization a child can be denied admission to school. Of course, a parent can get a note of exemption from a sympathetic doctor or homeschool. Also, males are required to register for the draft or they can be denied student financial aid such as the Pell grant. Although, we compel children to attend school from k through 12, college is considered a privilege. So, requesting financial aid is definitely not the same as merely existing. And speaking of a draft, aren't there fairly punitive measures that are typically doled out if a person is drafted and refuses to comply?

None of these examples are perfect, but there are probably others.


I understand what you are saying, but none of those examples results in a punitive fine for economic inactivity. The question is whether the government can fine you for not buying health insurance.

I'm not saying I have the answer to the constitutionality of it, but it seems clear as day as to why this is even being brought up.
 
2011-01-07 11:26:04 PM  
I do favor a single payer system myself. And I think we are all becoming a little wary of a government that at once seems both too powerful and too under the thumb of corporate interests. I've begun to think, it isn't so much whether government is big or small. The real issue is does the government serve the people?
 
2011-01-07 11:32:12 PM  

Lunaville: I do favor a single payer system myself. And I think we are all becoming a little wary of a government that at once seems both too powerful and too under the thumb of corporate interests. I've begun to think, it isn't so much whether government is big or small. The real issue is does the government serve the people?


A single payer system has its faults but is probably better than what we have.

That being said, I still question the constitutionality of the current law.
 
2011-01-07 11:45:53 PM  

fenianfark: Lunaville: I do favor a single payer system myself. And I think we are all becoming a little wary of a government that at once seems both too powerful and too under the thumb of corporate interests. I've begun to think, it isn't so much whether government is big or small. The real issue is does the government serve the people?

A single payer system has its faults but is probably better than what we have.

That being said, I still question the constitutionality of the current law.


Well, maybe the law will need to be tweaked to bring it in line with the constitution. If that leads to a single payer system, I truly believe that would lead to a a stronger America in the long run and that some of the people who are most afraid of a single payer system would be among its' biggest beneficiaries. Some of the people opposed to single payer are so sincerely frightened, it would be nice to see them benefit; to have a measure of relief and peace.
 
2011-01-07 11:48:36 PM  

fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: HeartBurnKid: fenianfark: As it stands, the government plans to coerce citizens to enter into a contract with a third party. If one does not do that, they are punitively fined. There is nothing else like that.

Even something like John McCain's idea of a tax credit to offset the cost of purchasing healthcare wouldn't be questionable.

This is what I don't understand.

"If you buy health insurance, you pay $1000 less in taxes" = fine and dandy

"If you don't buy health insurance, you pay $1000 more in taxes" = UNCONSTUTUTIONAL!

What's the reasoning here? It seems like mere semantics.

Can you think of another activity where the government will punitively fine you for not doing?

Tax credits and deductions are supposed to coerce individuals to engage in activities that have been deemed favorable by the legislature.

The healthcare plan is something new, something untested. That is why there is a question of constitutionality. Only SCOTUS has the answer for this and it's going to be a while.

I don't understand why people can't see the difference.

So what you're saying is that, if Obama raised everybody's taxes by $1000, then offered a $1000 tax credit for maintaining health insurance, that'd be fine. But a $1000 tax penalty for not maintaining health insurance, even though the end outcome is exactly the same, is beyond the pale. I understand that. But why? Help me understand that bit.

No. What I am saying is that offering a tax credit to offset the costs of purchasing health insurance would be fine. You could find a thousands of examples of credits and deductions, all designed to encourage people to engage in an activity.

Requiring individuals to purchase a product from a third party, under threat of a punitive fine, is different.

Tax credits and deductions are available to those who engage in an activity. The fine is levied against individuals for economic inactivity. It hasn't been done before, therein lies the problem.


OK, let's take this one step at a time. If we scrapped the "fine" (tax penalty in reality, but whatever), and instead, Obama raised everybody's taxes $1000 and offered a $1000 credit if you maintained health insurance, would this be a constitutionally valid thing to do?
 
2011-01-08 12:19:32 AM  

BuckTurgidson: eurotrader: I hope congress scraps Obamacare and replaces it with a program almost all Americans could be happy with.

Almost all Americans are quite happy with Obamacare - that is, when you stop calling it that stupid name and ask them about its actual provisions.


"Look, Obama proposed it and created it, and we don't care if we have to dismantle the whole thing and rewrite it EXACTLY THE SAME WAY; we're going to scrap everything he did and make it Republicancare, why can't you understand that?"
 
2011-01-08 12:21:01 AM  
OK, while health care reform did accomplish some things, the individual mandate sucks. Of course I'd like some sort of Nationalize Health insurance but I would have been happy with a public option like Obama originally proposed. Instead, he and the Democrats caved to the Republicans and went with what was originally a Republican idea and now the Republicans don't like it because they are just assholes. When will the Democrats learn that you can't cave to these bastards because they will screw you regardless of what you give them.
 
2011-01-08 12:35:53 AM  

Aarontology: Serious Black: Most of the European countries with universal health care have about 75% of their health care spending come from the government. Assuming that pattern would hold in America, that would put America's total health care spending at about $1.66 trillion. That's about $900 billion less than what we spent in 2009, or about 11.6% of our GDP. That's basically what Switzerland spends.

That's true. But wouldn't European numbers include all costs? For a lot of people four grand would be more than enough. But there would be people who would blow through that in a week, and would either have to pay the rest out of pocket, or turn to a private insurer. And anybody can have an accident.

Since those people would be higher risk, and the risk pool would be smaller the costs would necessarily increase. The vouchers aren't necessarily a bad idea, but there would need to be something else too.


The way Singapore does it is they offer catastrophic insurance (Medishield) and provide incentives for young people to purchase coverage by lowering rates once you hit 70 based on your loyalty to the program. The insurance is community rated with risk adjustment for age, so you pay a lot less as a youngster than you do as an older person. They have about 85% coverage through Medishield.
 
2011-01-08 01:02:36 AM  
Attention: You got your liberal rears handed to you nation wide in the last election so by all means keep pushing the very policies and ideas that got you kicked out of office in record numbers.

Go ahead. Make Obama a one term president. Return complete power of the federal government back tot he Republicans. Just keep telling yourselves that people just 'don't understand it' and keep chanting that people aren't really rejecting your ideas.

And when the American people deliver another cold hard reality check in the form of even more Republican victories at the ballot box you can watch not only the laws you forced down everyone's throats get repealed but you can watch laws you hate be put in to place.
 
2011-01-08 01:27:31 AM  

randomjsa: Attention: You got your liberal rears handed to you nation wide in the last election so by all means keep pushing the very policies and ideas that got you kicked out of office in record numbers.

Go ahead. Make Obama a one term president. Return complete power of the federal government back tot he Republicans. Just keep telling yourselves that people just 'don't understand it' and keep chanting that people aren't really rejecting your ideas.


I seem to remember hearing those exact words in 1994. In fact, at that time I was saying them (before insanity took over my former party).

I'm perfectly comfortable with the Republicans trying to throw kids off insurance due to pre-existing conditions, bringing back the donut hole in Medicare, eliminating regulations that ensure that premiums actually go to health care, letting kids get thrown off parents' insurance again, and putting back annual and lifetime caps. Particularly after campaigning that the Dems wasted time on health care instead of jobs. Sounds like a winning Repub strategy.

Somehow, I'm not all that worried about 2012. :)
 
2011-01-08 02:11:51 AM  
You will never ever lose by doing what is right. Not long term. The Democrats are, on all major planks, on the right side of History. They lost in november because many of them forgot that and tried to hide from their own, right, principles.

Apparent weakness is guaranteed failure.
 
2011-01-08 02:12:31 AM  

bujin: randomjsa: Attention: You got your liberal rears handed to you nation wide in the last election so by all means keep pushing the very policies and ideas that got you kicked out of office in record numbers.

Go ahead. Make Obama a one term president. Return complete power of the federal government back tot he Republicans. Just keep telling yourselves that people just 'don't understand it' and keep chanting that people aren't really rejecting your ideas.

I seem to remember hearing those exact words in 1994. In fact, at that time I was saying them (before insanity took over my former party).

I'm perfectly comfortable with the Republicans trying to throw kids off insurance due to pre-existing conditions, bringing back the donut hole in Medicare, eliminating regulations that ensure that premiums actually go to health care, letting kids get thrown off parents' insurance again, and putting back annual and lifetime caps. Particularly after campaigning that the Dems wasted time on health care instead of jobs. Sounds like a winning Repub strategy.

Somehow, I'm not all that worried about 2012. :)


The thing our friend random keeps forgetting that even though Obama and the Democrats are unpopular. The Republicans are even more unpopular.

Independent voters helped the Republicans retake the House. If the GOP just wastes this time political grandstanding and the like, then they're be out on their butts come next election.
 
2011-01-08 02:17:33 AM  

gaspode: You will never ever lose by doing what is right. Not long term. The Democrats are, on all major planks, on the right side of History. They lost in november because many of them forgot that and tried to hide from their own, right, principles.

Apparent weakness is guaranteed failure.


Absolutely. During the election time last year, there was a statement made that stuck with me: to paraphrase, they said "power is not meant to be held, but to be used". They could have held power by not accomplishing anything, but they pushed hard for health care because it was the right thing to do. It's certainly better than not legislating in fear of losing an election.
 
2011-01-08 04:20:27 AM  

HeartBurnKid: OK, let's take this one step at a time. If we scrapped the "fine" (tax penalty in reality, but whatever), and instead, Obama raised everybody's taxes $1000 and offered a $1000 credit if you maintained health insurance, would this be a constitutionally valid thing to do?


Raising taxes is something that Congress is empowered to do, and that is pretty unambiguous. A tax incentive would fall under that power to collect taxes; however a punitive fine wouldn't. It'd have to be justified as regulating interstate commerce, or something else entirely.

Take, for example, the following argument from T. Jefferson against the Federal government forming a national bank:

To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, "to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare." For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.

It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.


See the distinction? He's arguing that the government can't do whatever they want for general welfare (such as to form a national bank in this case), but they can raise taxes for the general welfare. Because the Constitution says that they can.

It may seem like semantics, but it's not; the argument isn't over the outcome. It's over the breadth of powers granted to the government..

/Jefferson lost that one, BTW
//First Bank of the United States was chartered in 1791
 
2011-01-08 04:30:29 AM  

And subby's headline reminded me of this:

t2.gstatic.com

I think Obama's health care plan goes too far!

And I think Obama's health care plan doesn't go too far enough!

 
2011-01-08 07:54:43 AM  
Isn't it odd how the majority of people who are against a government-sponsored health-care program are also for reinstating the draft?

"We have no problem with the government forcing you to kill people we disagree with, just so long as they don't try to help keep you healthy."
 
2011-01-08 08:37:27 AM  

sendtodave: See the distinction? He's arguing that the government can't do whatever they want for general welfare (such as to form a national bank in this case), but they can raise taxes for the general welfare. Because the Constitution says that they can.


Which of course, makes no sense in the context of the Necessary and Proper Clause. In this circumstance, Jefferson, as a planter, did not want a bank, because it would allow Hamilton's merchant class to acquire a lot of power fairly quickly. Just like many politicians today, he found it useful to couch a policy difference in terms of essential liberty.
 
2011-01-08 08:53:16 AM  

AnotherDisillusionedCollegeStudent: Which of course, makes no sense in the context of the Necessary and Proper Clause. In this circumstance, Jefferson, as a planter, did not want a bank, because it would allow Hamilton's merchant class to acquire a lot of power fairly quickly. Just like many politicians today, he found it useful to couch a policy difference in terms of essential liberty.


Yeah, as you probably know, his argument was basically "Is a national bank really necessary? It's be nice, but Congress can carry out the enumerated powers without it, so, no."

Same line you hear from small-government types to this day. "Do we really need such-and-such to be done by the Federal government? Even if it's a good idea, it's not necessary!"

/Louisiana purchase wasn't necessary, blah
 
2011-01-08 11:32:03 PM  

sendtodave: Take, for example, the following argument from T. Jefferson against the Federal government forming a national bank:

To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, "to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare." For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase, not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please, which might be for the good of the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.


Oops, guess we faarked that part up since 1965.
 
2011-01-09 12:20:41 AM  

Animatronik: Oops, guess we faarked that part up since 1965.


Since well before that. I guess you missed the "First Bank of the United States was chartered in 1791" part.

Jefferson's narrow interpretation is interesting, don't get me wrong. It's just not the accepted interpretation, and it hasn't been for most of our history.

Even Hamilton argued how silly it was:

It is certain that neither the grammatical nor popular sense of the term requires that construction. According to both, necessary often means no more than needful, requisite, incidental, useful, or conducive to. It is a common mode of expression to say, that it is necessary for a government or a person to do this or that thing, when nothing more is intended or understood, than that the interests of the government or person require, or will be promoted by, the doing of this or that thing. The imagination can be at no loss for exemplifications of the use of the word in this sense. And it is the true one in which it is to be understood as used in the Constitution. The whole turn of the clause containing it indicates, that it was the intent of the Convention, by that clause, to give a liberal latitude to the exercise of the specified powers. The expressions have peculiar comprehensiveness. They are thought to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."

To understand the word as the Secretary of State (Jefferson) does, would be to depart from its obvious and popular sense, and to give it a restrictive operation, an idea never before entertained. It would be to give it the same force as if the word absolutely or indispensably had been prefixed to it.


And we are still having the same argument. It's an old, pointless argument.

Broad interpretation, strong Federal government. Deal with it.
 
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