December 23, 2009

Defining "Dictators"

The final hurdle to passing the Democratic Senate's version of government health care rationing is a challenge by Republicans that a requirement in both the House and Senate versions that Americans must buy government-mandated insurance is unconstitutional.

Conservative critics contend that the provision violates the Constitution's "takings clause," which says "private property [cannot] be taken for public use, without just compensation."

Democrats counter that the mandate is necessary to make the planned overhaul of the health-care system work, and ensure that as many people as possible participate in the system. Under the Senate bill, individuals who don't purchase coverage would face a financial penalty up to $750.

Democrats say the courts have given Congress wide authority to impose rules under its powers to regulate interstate commerce.

"We feel very sound in our position," Mr. Reid said.

Interesting. Reid doesn't even attempt to claim that his health care bill is constitutional, just that people must be forced to purchase it or the scheme won't work (utterly leaving out the fact that no large-scale government-run program has ever worked, fiscally). He only comes as close as saying that he has his bets on the courts allowing such a scheme, based upon hotly-disputed precedents.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barack OBama and all their radical allies in the Democratic Party are literally declaring that they have the power to force you to buy a specific product or a specific service. The only qualifier—according to Reid himself—is that the product or service must be necessary according to the arbitrary and capricious decisions of Democratic policymakers.

They are in word and deed dictators, dictating what we must buy in order to support and increase their control over us. This isn't the American dream. It is the beginning of an American nightmare.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 23, 2009 01:38 PM

Everybody I know owns a gun. None of us will be communists. I think we really need a Constitutional convention to avoid an insurrection that will make the civil war look like volley ball practice.

Posted by: Odins Acolyte at December 23, 2009 02:05 PM

Reid is claiming that they can force this based on interstate commerce?? What an ass. According to the law, you cannot buy health insurance across state lines. Therefore, NO interstate commerce. It is all Intra-state. Maybe he confused the two? Get this ass-hat a dictionary.

Posted by: Tim in Philly at December 23, 2009 02:48 PM

You buy SSI with every paycheck. All of you will collect Social Security at some point. Why is Social Security not unconstitutional?

Posted by: Dave at December 23, 2009 11:51 PM

For Odin's Acolyte,
My Sharps and my Number 1, Mark III SMLE are at your service. As well as a sharp blade. Blame the English for that one.
And I have survived kidney cancer. What are those assholes gonna do to me, anyway?

Posted by: Glenn Cassel AMH1 USN Retired at December 23, 2009 11:56 PM

You buy SSI with every paycheck. All of you will collect Social Security at some point. Why is Social Security not unconstitutional?
Posted by Dave at December 23, 2009 11:51 PM

It is unconstitutional.

I also won't collect it. It will run dry in seven years, which is before my 30th birthday.

Posted by: Britt at December 24, 2009 12:47 AM

Wonder if Reid has a liberal group all set to take the Constitutionality of this up before the 9th Circuit. Let it fester between the 9th and the lower courts for a couple of years and then hope for a 5-4 score in the Supreme Court.

I have more expectations to experience the sun rising in the west than I do for collecting from SSI. My SSI deductions from my 19 years of work have gone to pay for other people to sit at home and complain that I don't work hard enough or that they don't get paid enough to sit at home. The SSI Trust Fund is less real than the flux capacitor.

Posted by: JAFAC at December 24, 2009 01:57 AM

You buy SSI with every paycheck.

Nobody is compelled to have a paying job in this country with SSI deductions.

In fact, if all of your "income" is based on capital gains, its quite possible to go through life without ever having contributed a dime to Social Security when you retire.

Also, you're not "buying" anything with those social security deductions, you money goes right back out the door again to someone else. Social Security is a transfer program that moves dollars from the young to the retired. The only thing you get is a (supposed) promise that when you retire, some younger persons will be sending you money...and even that "promise" is being considered dubious by a lot of people these days. I've still got a ways to go, and I'd bet money today that I'll never see a dime out of social security, and I'm planning accordingly.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 24, 2009 02:04 AM

Social Security benefits haven't gone "right back out the door again to someone else." for many, many years. Not since Lyndon Johnson opened the flood gates and allowed those funds to be "borrowed" by his Great Society administration. There's nothing left in that till except IOUs from a variety of unfunded, federally mandated, entitlement programs.

I've worked - and contributed mightily - to the Social Security System for over 40 years, and I don't plan on getting any of it back, either! In fact, I'm still working - despite a disability - because I can't afford to retire! I'm NOT complaining; just pointing out a couple of facts that seem to get quite altered with dicussion.

Right now, my best estimate is that if you don't have a quarter of a million dollars set aside for retirement, you'll continue working, too! Not counting inflation, it will cost you at least $25K per year just to exist. You do the math.

Posted by: Dell at December 24, 2009 04:32 PM

Oh....and the topic!

I don't see how the current health care legislation is any different than the poll tax. And that went South many years ago....after enjoying a long run in most all 57 states.

Posted by: Dell at December 24, 2009 04:34 PM

The poll tax didn't affect everybody, that's a difference. This thing is going to screw everyone over.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.-Winston Churchill

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by: Britt at December 24, 2009 06:13 PM

SSI is a tax paid to the government. There's no dispute that government has the power to tax. In this instance, we will be legally obliged to buy a product sold by an insurance company. The nature of the transaction is different.

The other analogy is "same a having to buy car insurance", which fails because people can choose not to drive / own a car.

IMO, Reid et al. would welcome a court ruling saying the insurance mandate is unconstitutional. Their response will be "Well, we TRIED to do it in the private market, but the courts said we can't. We'll just have to have a government run system - there's no question we can tax people to pay for it."

Posted by: BD57 at December 24, 2009 07:56 PM

BD57 may be correct. I hope that they do take this issue through the federal court system.

Really, our opinion, no one's opinion, has any bearing on the constitutionality of this issue, except for the 9 SCOTUS judges.

If they rule it to be unconstitutional (doubtful that they will rule it to be) it is interesting to consider that such a ruling would indeed open the door to a universal coverage single payer system, also known as a government owned and operated insurance company.

Thankfully, that's what we'll end up having one day, anyway. It's just a matter of time. And, we'll be a better nation for it.

Posted by: Dude at December 24, 2009 10:54 PM

"I think we really need a Constitutional convention to avoid an insurrection that will make the civil war look like volley ball practice.
Posted by Odins Acolyte at December 23, 2009 02:05 PM"

Have you checked the constitution recently to see what's required to call a constitutional convention? Do you have any idea what would be at stake if we did have a convention?

It ain't gonna happen. You know why? 'Cause everything in the constitution could be changed, including the Bill of Rights.

It ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Dude at December 24, 2009 11:02 PM
It ain't gonna happen. Posted by Dude at December 24, 2009 11:02 PM

True. By the time the pressure from the states gets high enough to seriously consider a Constitutional Convention, the pressure valve of Constitutional Amendments will be in play.

Plus, there is the reverse of FDR's "court packing" threat which blackmailed the SCOTUS into the current unlimited interpretation of the Commerce Clause. An overreaching SCOTUS is just as vulnerable as the rest of the federal government to state pressure.

It will be fascinating to see what happens. The threat from Rick Perry regarding Texas secession might be either hot air or a harbinger. The Medicaid debacle part of the health care bill will definitely inflame the states rights concerns even more.

But a Constitutional Convention just ain't going to happen...great threat though!

Posted by: iconoclast at December 27, 2009 12:03 PM

A few points based on the comments.

SSI is technically not an insurance. It is a tax. That is what FDR intended as the constitution prevented his implimentation of an old age pension system similar to the Europeans. Somehow, probably due to the success of internal revenue, they figured the tax would pass the courts.

Now, it you think you are going to avoid the issue by not working. Think again. My understanding is that is the situation that got our Treasurey secretary. You see, if you make any money and are not working, then you have to pay a self employment tax. I have to do that and don't care for it at all as I now have to incorporate to reduce the exposure.

I agree that the only way to change this government is following the advice of Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: David at December 27, 2009 01:02 PM

The rhetoric from Rick Perry and ALL other secession advocates is nothing but hot air. We've been through this before and it didn't work out very well for the states that attempted to leave the Union. What would make any rational person think that the outcome would be different if it were tried again?

Any attempt by any state to secede from the United States of America would be crushed like a cockroach scurrying across the floor. The foolish people who talk of secession are a very small minority of unhappy "conservatives". The vast majority of conservatives know this, too.

No, Texas isn't going to secede from the Union. Neither is any other state. Furthermore, they have no constitutional right to do so.

For those of you who are unhappy with our current national leadership, you'll have an opportunity in less than a year to replace Congressmen and some Senators with whom you disagree. History shows us that, traditionally, the party in power will lose some of their seats in the mid-term elections.

Posted by: Dude at December 29, 2009 02:52 PM