Archives for March 2012
If you were hoping that the Supreme Court would punt on a ruling on the controversial health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), you’re no doubt disappointed in yesterday’s oral arguments. It appears, based on comments from various Justices, that there is no appetite for punting on the issue.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the oral arguments below and read the transcript from the Supreme Court’s website:
While Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are poking at Mitt Romney over his advisors “Etch-A-Sketch” remarks, Ron Paul is running a new ad that notes how this gimmick is taking away from the real issues facing the country:
A lot of conservatives lament the decline of “American Power” around the World. Just this week Bill O’Reilly had a rant about that. But to those who love Liberty, American Power is just another phrase for Government Power, and the less Government there is at home and abroad the better the lives of all individuals around the world will be.
Thoreau had a great quote about that:
“I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have”.
I look forward to the day when men are prepared for a government that governs none at all. But until then the Leviathan that is the State with its Coercive Power will be with us. Our job for those who love liberty is to educate ourselves and others about the True Nature of the State and the Blessings of Liberty.
Franz Oppenheimer made it crystal clear the difference between how the State acquires what it desires and the way free individuals voluntarily trade to gain what they desire:
With ObamaCare coming to the Supreme Court this week, Nick Gillespie and Reason TV offer three reasons that the law needs to be ended, permanently. The reasons aren’t new, but they are important since the law only grows government and spends far more than originally estimated.
I was more than a little frustrated with our very own Jason Pye last week. During my lunch break on Monday, I was sitting in a Chick-fil-A working on an idea for a post about the possibility of Rand Paul on the GOP ballot this fall as a Vice President candidate. The rumors flying about the alleged Romney-Paul alliance have also included the thought that Mitt would get Dr. Paul’s support if Rand were the VP on the ticket, and that’s an interesting possibility to consider.
My rough draft and basic outline were scrawled on that napkin, and I was going to finish the post Monday night. Before I sat down to write it, I took some time to catch up on the blogs I read regularly and found that Jason had already written the same content I had just drafted at lunch. It’s like he had eyes in Chick-fil-A reading over my shoulder. (If you know Jason, you’ll know that’s not too far outside the realm of probability.)
I don’t want to just kill the post idea, because it’s a good discussion to have. I also don’t want to plagiarize what Jason wrote. (I’d never hear the end of that.) So I’ve decided to make this post a follow up to Jason’s. To recap Jason’s post, Jason said he likes Rand Paul but doesn’t think he should be a VP candidate because Paul doesn’t have national influence and is still “rough around the edges” politically.
Rand Paul is a great senator, and not just because he is Ron Paul’s son. He can be counted on to regularly stand firmly for principles of limited government. That’s about all I ever ask for in a politician. I know he’s not perfect, but when it comes time to take a stand and show some backbone, Rand does a great job. One day I hope to see Rand Paul run for VP (or even President), but I’ve got to agree with Jason: it’s not yet Rand’s time.
This isn’t exactly a surprise, but the Club for Growth has purchased air-time in Indiana as they hope to derail Sen. Dick Lugar’s bid for re-election. The ad the Club is running ties Lugar to the $15 trillion national debt and slams him for backing the Wall Street bailout, gas and payroll tax hikes, and opposing spending cuts.
Lugar has faced some problems recently. As we’ve noted, the Marion County Board of Elections determined that Lugar was not eligible to vote in the county, presumably nowhere else in the state, finding that his primary residence is in Virginia. Richard Mourdock has also been creeping up on Lugar in the polls. And he secured an endorsement from former Sen. Arlen Specter, who left the GOP in 2010 for the Democratic Party when it became clear that he would not beat Pat Toomney.
Here’s the ad from the Club for Growth:
I view the Washington Post as sort of the New York Times’ little brother. It’s definitely a liberal paper, leaning towards seeing left-wing politicians elected at every opportunity, almost constantly carping for greater government influence in our lives. It does, however, have a small contingent of vocal conservatives that brings some (weak) balance to the field, and it doesn’t seem to go as far as the Times does. Sure, there’s Ezra Klein, Greg Sargent, and then E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson, but on the whole its more sane.
But something I found on Twitter gives me pause.
It’s called “Five myths about the health-care law,” but I can’t tell if its trying to dispel myths or create them. It is literally so nutty that I had to scroll to the bottom of the second page to discover that its author was Walter Dellinger, a Clinton Administration lawyer and acting Solicitor General (you know, the guy who defends the government whenever it gets sued) and “filed a brief on behalf of the Senate and House Democratic leadership defending the health care law in the Supreme Court.” In other words, this isn’t journalism—not even really opinion “journalism,” but rather public relations using a poorly created facade.
As today is when the Supreme Court will be reviewing the case against Obamacare, it is all the more important to go through and knock out these misunderstandings so that the public will not be misled. Let’s begin:
1. The “individual mandate” forces everyone to buy health insurance.
I wouldn’t think this would even be debateable, since, you know, this is the whole raison d’etre of Obamacare and the individual mandate, but Dellinger writes:
Today, the Supreme Court will take up perhaps one of the most important cases we’ll see in our lifetime. Over the next three days, members of the nation’s High Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ObamaCare.
While we’ve seen several important cases over the 20 years that have dealt with economic and civil liberties — including property rights, free speech, and habeas corpus, Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida deals directly with the limitations placed on Congress by the Constitution.
The question of whether or not ObamaCare is good policy is meaningless to the Supreme Court. The issue at hand isn’t that law won’t keep health insurance premiums, or because it raises taxes or that it is unpopular with the American public. The only thing that matters, or at least should matter, is the Constitution.
During today’s oral arguments, the Supreme Court will hear an hour of arguments on whether or not legal challenges to the individual mandate are barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. The reason for this question is because the penalities that would be imposed by the individual mandate won’t be in place until 2014. Since no one has been necessarily impacted by the policy, the theory is that the court could punt until it’s implement.
Let’s say you’ve voted to let the government choose what you’re going to eat for lunch. Would you be happy with that choice? Would other people around you be happy? Would everyone be in harmony or rather trying to brain each other because some fool ordered everyone peant butter and butter sandwiches? (Don’t laugh; my father eats those. I’m serious.)
Just think about it in a group of your friends. Nobody eats the same thing. I couldn’t imagine getting even the United Liberty group to agree on the same meal; George wouldn’t be a fan of alcohol, Doug would be upset if there wasn’t any alcohol, I would would crinkle my nose at anything more than token representations of vegetables, Brian would ask for our meal to just be Shamrock Shakes (and nothing else), Jason would be noting how many carbs everything has, Luthi would have mushrooms out the wazoo*, and…well frankly I have no idea what Tom would eat. Considering he’s from Georgia, probably the governor. Or since he’s a newspaper owner now, his competitor.
Professor Antony Davies from Duquesne University, in this latest video from the Economic Freedom Project, explains why that one scenario precludes the government from ever managing our economy, and the three criteria it would need to meet in order to make a command economy work. (Naturally, it fails three out of three. It wouldn’t even make it to the First Fourm, let alone the actual March Madness tournament.) So if it couldn’t even order lunch for a half-dozen people, why on earth would we think it could run an economy for over 300 million?
(Just for the record, I don’t know what Luthi would actually eat, either. Does he eat? I’m not sure.)