Thursday, June 28, 2012

The ObamaCare Ruling: Why its Over for America

I am in Montgomery, Alabama this weekend to speak at a homeschool convention.  On Saturday one of the speeches I am delivering is entitled, "Is Socialism America's Destiny?"  How fitting...

Somewhere on a country highway today I learned of the gutless assistance John Roberts gave the liberals on the Supreme Court in ruling that the federal government has the Constitutional right to tax all of us if we refuse to purchase something the government demands that we purchase.  Roberts said that the government cannot require us to buy health insurance but can "tax" us if we do not.

This means that if the government decides some day that a certain type of car is best in fighting global warming or that a certain type of school is best for our kids or that a certain type of food is best for our health that we will not have to buy the small car, go to the local school or buy carrots but can be taxed on these decisions to not partake of these goods.

Folks, I am sorry, but it is over for this country.

Let's look at it.

1913 - the creation of the power to tax income.  This destroyed the right to property and privacy.
1935 - (see Butler vs. the United States) - the ruling that the government can spend our taxes on anything it wants to in the name of the general welfare.  This converted plunder into a legal right.
1937 - the ruling that the government can alter private contracts concerning wages.  This eliminated the right to determine wages freely between willing buyers and sellers.
1973 - the ruling that allows women to end the life of the unborn - even though the Constitution protects the right to life.  This - arguably - ended the lives of millions of free human beings.
2001 - The Patriot Act - we are no longer secure in our papers, effects and communications with one another.
2005 - the eminent domain ruling that told us that we can lose our homes to any other private entity.  This ended the right to physical property in America.
2012 - the ruling that we are not free to decide what we will or will not purchase.  This ended the rest of economic liberty as we know it.

In 1849 Frederic Bastiat wrote:

"If the natural tendancies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendancies of these organizers are always good?  Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race?  Or do they believe that they themselves are made of finer clay than the rest of mankind?  The organizers maintain society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse.  The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and give it a saner direction.  Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority."

Bastiat understood - as did the Founding Fathers - the arrogance of politicians and judges.  And now we are paying for what they always saw coming.

I believe Thomas Jefferson would say, "But of course" upon reading today's Supreme Court decision. 

The fact is, as we approach the 236th birthday of this dying experiment that it is somewhat of a miracle that a republic could have lasted this long.  The "makers" in our nation are now so outnumbered by the "takers" that we will most likely not be able to get back the liberty we have now lost.

Historians will record, with bewilderment, that the people who were given the gift of liberty on this Earth turned over their gift to the same forces that always destroy liberty to begin with.

I do not know how to tell the folks in Alabama this weekend that the only thing they are really accomplishing by teaching their kids the meaning of free markets and individual liberty is to buy their children a little more time before it is all over.  In effect, I am selling caulk to the guests on the Titanic.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for turning me on to Frederic Bastiat. "The Law" was one of the first books I read because it was so short. Soon followed by Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" and a steady stream of political history. Although sometimes I wish I had never started because now I am sometimes disheartened about the future of America when I see how others are so quick to accept legislation when it benefits them even when it is to the detriment of others.

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    1. As am I. Thank you for your kind words...

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  2. This is a very pessimistic post, Prof. Chambless!!! I still believe that there is a chance for America and Americans to turn this over. Yes, it won't be easy, but I still believe it is possible. As I understood, the majority of the Americans are against the decision. Besides movements like the Tea Party are very well alive and kicking and being well informed by the conservative online media. I admire you as a people, because you fight for what you believe. Or at least, there are a lot of American who still do that. I live in Denmark and here we are way too much into the socialism to get out, which is a shame. Here we rather have peace of mind instead of freedom. But I still believe America will get out of this mess.
    Now one thing that truly disturbs me about the SCOTUS is that supreme judges are always appointed. This is an absurd!! Of course they will be biased!!! I should be changed, and should be changed fast!!!

    Great post as usual!!! Like your blog immensely.

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    1. Thank you to my Denmark follower. I always appreciate your responses. I wish I could be more optimistic but history and time are not on our side. We are on the precise path that doomed Rome. The people who value liberty seem to be outnumbered by those who want "peace of mind" as you accurately put it. I hope I am wrong - as I have been before - but in the meantime it is a dark period in our Republic.

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  3. There is a lot to be said for having "peace of mind". There is also a lot to be said for having adequate health care at an affordable price. The whole health care system in America needs to be overhauled so people can be healthy and have peace of mind at the same time.

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  4. The citizens of the Soviet Union had the "peace of mind" of not having to worry about their property, whom to vote for, how much of this or that good or service to buy or what church to attend. Peace of mind means security. Security is the opposite of liberty. Free people create their own "peace of mind" with their productive efforts and the fruits of those efforts. When government creates "peace of mind" through force we lose the right to choose for ourselves whether we want the peace of mind they force on us.

    No overall of health care will make people healthy. What about the obese, the smokers, the drug addicted? We cannot force them to act right and our decisions are a huge part of the health mess.

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  5. There are many people including young children who are sick without being obese or being smokers. I have a friend whose 6 year old daughter battled cancer and now as a grown woman has serious health problems as a result, but she has no insurance. She tried getting insurance but was denied due to her prexisting condition. Even her parents who could afford to buy her insurance could not help her get coverage. Life is challenging enough without having to worry if one can afford to see a doctor or not.
    The new law is a "tax". In our working life they deduct the "tax" for Medicare from our paychecks and as seniors we are forced to continue paying our Medicare premiums every month. In matter of fact, they deduct the premium for Medicare before they depost your money. Your secondary insurance requires you to use Medicare as your primary insurance, if not they will drop you, so you pay two premiums to have adequate coverage and then co-pays and deductables to boot. So why should not everyone join in and pay the "tax" for their own coverage. After all, we have always covered everyone else who would rather spend their money on other things besides health care. Being young and healthy is not always a guarantee that life will not present you with unexpected health problems.

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  6. As an afterthought about freedom.....there are millions of people who work at jobs they hate to keep their health care coverage or to get coverage. In my opinion that is not freedom. I honestly believe we are total slaves to our health care system. A simple MRI costs between $7,000 and $8,000 if you do not have insurance. I would have nightmares if I got bills like that when I sprained an ankle or God forbid needed surgery of any kind. I cannot see where anyone could have self respect or peace of mind having bills like that hanging over their heads....

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  7. But, people choose their jobs and choose to have children. Do they not bear the responsibility for both choices?

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  8. One of my sons would be very tempted to leave the job that is causing him so much stress, and one of the reason that keeps him in his present position is his great health insurance.
    As to choices...we all make our choices and sometimes even when we think we are making the right choice it can backfire. This goes for marriage and a divorce that we did not anticipate. Or life can be great one minute and a spouse gets seriously ill.....ultimately even when we make "choices" life has a way of throwing monkey wrenches in our path and we have to make lemonade out of the lemons.
    I do know one thing for sure, the worst feeling in the world is when someone in your family is sick and the choices are few.

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  9. I agree, but you are somehow missing the point that there is no way government can fix this. It will only get worse.

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  10. One government that seems to be working is Medicare. We have used Medicare for one of our family members for twenty years and I have been eligible for two years without any problems.

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  11. But is Medicare working for the taxpayers? The unfunded liability of Medicare and Social Security is almost $100 trillion. That means that younger Americans and those not even born yet will have to pay through the nose to keep Medicare going. How is this working well for them?

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  12. To Anneliese: Could not staying in a job solely for "health insurance" be completely counter- productive? Stress of remaining in a job that you are unhappy in is documented to produce sickness and diseases along with the inherent stress on your body. Not to mention, you have a choice as to where you work, what you do, to have a family or not/etc. Lastly, securing private insurance is an affordable alternative.

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  13. I apologize for the longevity of this post beforehand - Anneliese - I wholeheartedly understand the feeling of helplessness as a result of unanticipated illness. I had a healthy lifestyle when I was suddently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 17 just one year ago - it completely changed my life. Suddenly, I wasn't just a teenager going off on her own to college. I had a chronic disease, no insurance, parents who worked hard but did not make a great deal of money, plus college AND very, very expensive medication to pay for. This is a huge burden for any person to bear, especially someone of my age. It's frightening. And yet I get no "peace of mind" from the thought of government managing my health care. Actually, it fills me with dread. I enrolled in Medicaid through my mother (who works very hard owning her own business, but makes about $12000 in profit a year) and received it because I was under the age of 18 - however, come October I will turn 19 and my Medicaid will not be renewed. In Florida, unless you are pregnant, have children or are "disabled" enough by the state's standards, you no longer qualify for Medicaid. Despite the new health law taking effect, Florida has chosen (which I support, because it's an incredible drain on state budget) to not take part in the Medicaid expansion - so while I am a poor college student with a chronic, forever insulin-dependent disease I will now be forced - oh, I'm sorry, "taxed" to purchase health insurance on top of my college bills - health insurance that doesn't cover everything I need, will be managed by people who have no idea about my disease, nor care, and which is actually more expensive than buying my drugs online from Canada, shopping around for generic medications, test strips, blood testing facilities, different doctors and managing my health very wisely to prevent future expensive medical complications (per annum this cost comes to about $300 (down from about $1200) a month if I handle my purchases and actions very wisely - i.e. eating more low carb and healthy in order to use less insulin). And if my new health care doesn't cover all of my costs... has high copays... etc... I will be responsible for paying for healthcare each month AND the rest of the still expensive medication I need. In short, many of the very people that people such as yourself claim will be benefited from this bill actually end up being harmed from it. From my personal experience, I find that the Government rewards laziness and lack of hard work - but turns its back on people that actually do want to work hard, make a life for themselves, and be successful. Where is help for people such as myself? It isn't there, but I don't expect it. I am not entitled to it - I want to work hard and earn the right to peace of mind, not entrust my "peace of mind" to people in the government that don't know me and certainly don't care about me (or else maybe they'd give their own money to pay for my medical costs!) In the future (5 years) I will be graduated from college and have a job as a physical therapist where I will make more than enough to pay for my medical costs - well, if the government doesn't tax it all away...! Will the next few years be a struggle? Undoubtedly. I work in college managing my own children's entertainment business, my parents will help pitch in for costs as they can, and it's hard, but we will find a way and I will get insulin. Certainly you must realize this "overhaul" of health care is not an overhaul! - it's a government takeover! And from my own experience, I do believe that quality of health care will suffer, not become better(continued below).

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  14. Based on my own research (and on this matter I know a great deal) Type 1 Diabetics such as myself will have old bottles of insulin and some syringes covered - did you know most private insurances don't even allow coverage of better treatments such as the insulin pump, shown to improve quality of care? I am currently on an insulin pen myself - a remarkable device - slightly more expensive than insulin bottles, but not by much, and I'd willingly pay the extra - that doesn't require me to carry around 5 syringes every day in my purse or worry about an air bubble in my insulin killing me - and yet with health insurance, this will no longer be covered, which let me tell you makes a HUGE difference in my quality of life. So I think you're missing the point, in some ways. How will the government managing our health system make it better when it does not encourage people to be healthier (lowering costs for preventable health problems), perhaps find a way to work with drug companies in order to bring down drug costs, encourage people to shop around for their drugs, discourage frivolous lawsuits in order to bring down Drs. Insurance costs, or really do anything positive at all to bring about a good, much-needed change into our most certainly broken health care system? The bill is no more than a bandaid on a still gaping wound. Yes, we have a problem and we need to fix it, but government is not the only answer to all of your problems. If it is, I'd suggest taking a long hard look at many other government owned and operated facilities (such as the DMV) and asking yourself twice if you really want people who manage things like that to be responsible for your health care and that of those around you.

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  15. Lacy,

    I would love to see you shorten this and send it to the Orlando Sentinel. It is exactly what people need to read. Thanks for sharing this amazing story and your awareness of what it wrong with what is coming...

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