Friday, March 26, 2010

HEALTH CARE AND THE EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT POWER


I have been ill recently and I apologize for not being in the game. Our school just finished Ohio Graduation Tests. The preparation was taxing on the teachers and students alike. Then we spent the last week watching people take tests. That's a little boring for sure. The upside is I got a book read. Try reading Judge Napolitano's book "Lies the Government Told You." I don't agree with the Judge on everything, but most of his rants I do. I subscribe to the theory that libertariansism would be a great theory if it wasn't for kids.

As for the health care debacle, I am interested that several states filed a lawsuit against the legislation the moment it was passed. That makes for an interesting debate in the courts. I don't see how it is constitutional to force Americans to purchase something they don't want. Health care is a good (economically speaking) and I don't feel the constitution will allow us to be compelled to purchase it. It's another one of those enumerated power debates. Commerce clause you say? You cannot be compelled to engage in commerce. Necessary and proper? Is it necessary to compel a citizen to buy something he doesn't want? I think not.

While discussing this in class I had a student bring up the car insurance deal. I patiently explained to her that driving is not a right, but a privilege. The government does not compel you to drive. You can choose not to. If you choose to drive, you must have insurance and a license. Pretty simple stuff. I spend a lot of time with the students on the constitution.

In my other class we listened to FDR's first inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1933. In it he lays out his plan to take control of the government in light of the crisis presented by the depression. You may want to skip to about 12 minutes into the speech to hear the carrot and stick approach he takes to force congress into to giving up its constitutional power to legislate. Listen to this:
It is to be hoped that the normal balance of Executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken Nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
FDR pioneered the use of a war metaphor for dealing with a domestic crisis, hence the war on the depression. In the speech he asks for far-reaching powers that usurp the legislative branch. Much to their detriment they abdicated their powers to the executive branch rolling over for FDR and the New Deal.

There are a lot of parallels between these two periods in our history. I guess the saying that you shouldn't let a crisis go to waste applies to both. When the government tries to expand its power and usurp the checks and balances, you have a problem and FDR clearly usurped his power in this speech and in his presidency. Look up the court packing scandal. FDR moved to the edge of dictatorial powers during his presidency. Look up the Blue Eagle and the National Recovery Administration (NRA) that was finally found to be unconstitutional. Isn't it instructive that Huey Long, an avowed redistributionist, was thrilled when it was?

The question then becomes, will the constitution be upheld or will we sink further into the abyss of big government?

10 comments:

Stopthepresses2 said...

This is my next question about Obamacare and where it will lead us. If the government can require you to purchase something i.e. health care then does it logically follow that the government can also determine "who can and who can't purchase something"? Does that sound familiar? Sounds almost biblical to me. http://sosssn.blogspot.com/

Law and Order Teacher said...

STP2,
That's a very good question. There's always a flip side to everything. We are trodding a nasty road, eh? Thanks for the visit.

Z said...

I believe Obama would push the constitution aside to get his way......he already has in regard to forcing people to buy healthcare.
The leftist media's found that Nixon advocated this and other Republicans since have also, including Romney, who has that it in his healthcare plan for Mass., but now's vehemently against it....
doesn't bode well for our side...

It's so maddening that Republicans get skewered and the Dems keep getting breaks from our mainstream media....

Obama believes in GOVERNMENT, not the CONSTITUTION......yes, he'll expand power more and more this year...
(thanks so much for your terrific input on police at my place, Law and Order, and I hope you're feeling better..and I apologize to you for my words to Ducky yesterday, I finally blew it and was harsh but I felt much better afterwards!)

Tapline said...

Outstanding analogy...You must be a teacher????The black robes are not readable....They have allowed the massive takeover of the Auto industry. Except for Ford... When are they coming after the energy department. They may as well already be in charge with all the restriction they place on the industry.....Again great post....stay well

TRUTH 101 said...

Law Teacher:

Please sir. The status quo says that anyone needing health care can go to a non profit health care provider and get it. And name me one person without health insurance that is going to let a loved one suffer because they think "freedom from health insurance" is the American thing to do.


Yours, and the views of others on the right are very hypocritical on the thought of mandatory health insurance in that your's claims to be the party of personal responsibility. For the millions with no health insurance their way of paying is ither public aid or bankruptcy.


It is logical and totally in agreement with the outward ideals of the right for health insurance in order to responsibly pay for one's health care as a opposed to the government paying for it.



This also makes everyone contribute to the system. Not just the wealthy or smokers or whomever. That also is fully reconcilable with right leaning thinking.



The government is getting ready to sell it's Citigroup stock for a profit Tapline. Now you're against profit? When GM offers it's nw shares back the government will be repaid also. Why are you against repaying debts?


Your views are blinded by a hatred for Obama that is when looked at objectively and after seeing the results, quite skewed with anti Obama bias. You talk the way you talk not because of facts and data. But simply because you don't like our President and Democrats.



LT: The guy that posted the pro T101 thing came from a site called Stumble Across, or something like that. I don't know who he was. But he is obviously a man of culture and intelligence.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
The constitution is our guiding document. Strangely enough, the expansion of government was what the constitution was designed to prevent. It is now the letter of the law. Interesting days ahead. Thanks for the visit.

Tap,
Thanks for the visit my friend. Government takeovers was never contemplated by the Founding Fathers, but alas they have occurred. Now it's a matter of where do we go from here?

Truth,
As always thanks for the visit. I respect your intellect and humor. I don't in any way advocate "freedom from health insurance." I advocate that the government cannot force me into it as a matter of constitutionality. Buy this because we say so, that's why. Buy a Chevy because we own it. Really?

I have car insurance because it's a prudent thing to do. I have life insurance because it's a prudent thing to do. I don't want the government telling me what's prudent in their opinion. I'll make that decision myself based on what's best for my family, just as my dad and grandfather did.

When government sticks its nose into things they become broken. Social engineering never works. Period. I have a question for you: Why has auto and life insurance flourished as a private concern, while the post office, social security, medicaid, medicare etc., failed?

Can I answer? Government is terrible, inept, and completely unable to make a fiscally responsible decision about anything. Plain and simple, government cannot make a one size fits all policy of people problems.

And government requires that because it is by definition monolithic. In our health debate I set forth a free market solution for health care. I won't belabor the point. When it comes to ecomonics government sucks.

As for Anon. post. He's obviously a discerning consumer of information. Nice.

TRUTH 101 said...

But you bring up that driving is a privilege and not a right. With privilege comes responsibility. What other entity can set and enforce the rules that people must abide by to keep their privileges?


Being able to pay for damage one may cause is a responsibility. Mandatory insurance, health or car, helmut laws, helps ensure the irresponsible are responsible.



Once again, these laws are fully compatible with right leaning beliefs about personal responsibility.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Truth,
But you see, I'm not required to buy health insurance, I choose to. I'm not required to wear a helmet by law in Ohio, I choose to. I'm not required to buy life insurance, I choose to. Insurance is against a catastrophic occurrence not everyday operation or life. I choose to buy these things.

When government takes over your life, that's a bad thing. What I choose to do is within my rights as a person. I believe in natural rights given by God. Therefore the government works for "We the People" not the other way around.

The only reason for government to exist is to protect the rights of the people. Positivists like you believe government gives rights and therefore you are required to obey what the government says.

Natural rights are mine because "we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights among these is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Government can't force compliance with any laws because they haven't done so yet. I was a cop and we were shoveling the ocean with a pitchfork. People act in their own self interest and for no other reason.

Just a thought.

Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your thoughts and great points.

TRUTH 101 said...

And your job was to catch scum who denied me my right to "happiness" Law Teacher.

After going through the system their "rights" to liberty were taken away.


Everything is a privilege. We're privileged through the grace of God and the fastest sperm to have been born in America.



With privilege comes responsibility.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Truth,
I agree that it's a privilege to be an American. It's not a privilege to be free, it's a right. Natural rights are endowed by our Creator. They can be abridged if you violate the natural rights of others, but they can't be taken away. The system can only abridge your rights in reference to violating someone else's rights. The government can never take your rights away. It exists only to protect them.