Hope and Change … the Constitution

Larry Elder
Larry Elder

Human Events | by Larry Elder | 3/25/2010

We live in a fundamentally different country from that which existed only days ago. The government now requires that every American purchase health insurance. The Constitution has been attacked, interpreted in a way beyond its original intent. Therefore, we must change it.

Ignoring the will of the majority of the American people, the discouraging experiences of countries with socialized medicine, and the already staggering amount of entitlement debt, President Barack Obama and the congressional Democrats “reformed” health care. Once a nation under a Constitution that restricted government intrusion, we now want government to provide for our “needs” by calling them “rights.”

We now ask government to prop up failing businesses, make student loans, guarantee mortgages, build and maintain public housing, financially support state education from preschool though graduate school, fund private research, provide disaster relief and aid, pay “volunteers” and on and on.

Many in our nation happily submit to this bargain. They consider the Big Three entitlements — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — “rights,” their absence unimaginable in a modern “caring” society. It is out of the question to expect people, families and communities to plan for retirement. It is beyond reason to expect medical care, like any other commodity, to follow the laws of supply and demand — for prices and choices to allocate resources and for competition to drive down prices and improve quality. It is simply too much to expect the compassion, morality and spirituality of humankind to aid those unable to care for themselves.

We ignore history’s numerous examples of how good intentions produce bad results. Almost 50 years ago, another “transformative” president used government to launch a War on Poverty. But for many welfare recipients and their families, poverty became “structural.” People became dependent on government. After the government finally placed some restrictions on welfare, dependency declined. Much to the surprise of those who denounced welfare reform as cruel, people changed their behavior.

We ignore the experience of price controls. Government can dictate prices, but cannot dictate costs. Price controls result in rationing, drive producers out of business and cause lower quality and less innovation. America, because its citizens enjoyed greater economic freedom, built a superior health care system — which ObamaCare now threatens to dismantle.

Communism collapsed under the romantic but bankrupt notion of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” Taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive does damage to the incentive of both parties. European countries — “social justice” democracies — produce comparatively few private-sector jobs. Europe suffers from high taxes, choking union agreements that make it virtually impossible to fire unproductive or unneeded workers, and government policies that mandate paid vacations and other job-killing benefits.

Into this statist abyss we willingly jump.

Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern left the Senate after 18 years and bought a small business. It went under. He wrote: “(I) wish I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. … Legislators and government regulators must more carefully consider the economic and management burdens we have been imposing on U.S. businesses. … Many businesses … simply can’t pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.”

President Obama, like many members of Congress, has little experience in or understanding of the private free-market economy. Obama never started a business, ran one or struggled to meet a payroll. He shows little respect for the hard, long hours people put in to build successful businesses that compete to provide goods and services to customers and that hire people. He believes that unequal outcomes are unjust and that government exists to right this wrong by “spreading the wealth.”

If this means telling doctors how to practice, so what? If this means that people will be less likely to improve themselves through education and training in order to get “good” jobs with benefits, so what? If this means we make employers less likely to hire for fear of fines should they fail to offer health insurance, so what? And if the “wealthy” invest less and create fewer jobs because of higher taxes and expensive regulations, so what?

Now what? As many as 39 state legislatures have taken or will take action to block the mandate. Thirteen state attorneys general immediately filed suit, arguing, among other things, that ObamaCare’s insurance mandate violates the Constitution’s commerce clause. Expect more states to sue. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court broadly interprets the commerce clause — wildly beyond the intent of the Founders — to allow just about anything.

So, the Constitution must be changed. It must be amended to make what was once clear absolutely, positively, unavoidably clear. Two-thirds of the states can call for a constitutional convention, where an amendment can be proposed to prohibit the forced purchase of health insurance. Three-fourths of the states could then ratify it.

Implausible? So was ObamaCare.

HT: Human Events


1 thought on “Hope and Change … the Constitution

  1. Has our government changed a lot in the last few months? Yes it has, but it has been changing for the last 234 years, since 1776 when the country was first created. Our founding fathers saw a country being born to give everyone the ability to succeed, if they individually worked hard and took care of themselves, family and friends. The founding fathers wanted to be able to provide needs for all Americans. Since the Great Depression our government has taken “wants” (things that are not needed but wanted) and has made many people believe them to be “needs”.
    The Declaration of Independence stated that the rights or needs were “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These can be interpreted in very broad terms. The one that I want to focus on is “pursuit of happiness.” Many Americans now want happiness given to them. This takes out the pursuit. Personally growing up I believed and still do, that going to school, getting good grades, working while doing it, to get a better job that paid well with medical benefits was part of the pursuit of happiness. With congress passing a law that forces everyone to buy health insurance, it is taking a stand against pursuit of happiness.
    Since our government has come up with Medicare, and Medicaid, Social Security, and Welfare they are taking away the need for people to take care of themselves. After so many years, and people being born into this system, there are many people out there now that don’t see taking care of themselves as their own responsibility. The government has made it possible for people to be happy with no job, free money, free or low cost medical care, and no reason to have to plan for retirement, without the need of pursuit. It is now the people that do work hard, and make a lot of money, to provide for these people. Does everyone know that the top 5 percent of America pay over half of the money collected by income tax? If they did not know that I bet that they don’t know that over 40 percent of Americans don’t pay any income taxes. This is another example of those that try to do more, get hurt more by our government.
    Socialized healthcare, or ObamaCare, is another final straw of our government trying to mess up our country. Every country that has socialized health care has more problems than our own messed up health care system. Canada for example, they might be quick to get you in and give you a bunch of painkillers, but they put you on extremely long waiting lists to actually get your medical needs taken care of. Thousands of people die every year waiting to get taken care of because the Canadian government tells the doctors how to do their job, and won’t allow people to pay for expedited services. Thousands of people every year come across the border to America and pay out of their pocket to get taken care of. Why do we want our healthcare system to become like that?
    People in America need to start taking care of themselves, and stop relying on others to take care of them. If people have a hard time they need to rely of friends and family, not the government to help out. I understand that not everyone has friends and family that will help out, but if they planned properly ahead of time, they might have backup plans to help out. The biggest problem in the country is that our government has their hand in too much. They need to go back to defending our borders, building roads, and delivering our mail and get out of almost everything else. Then the people would be more motivated and make better products, like we used to, and the country would be a much better place to live.

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