Thursday, March 29, 2012

Less Tyranny is More Tyranny

David Frum, former Bush speechwriter and one of my favorite conservatives, made a very interesting point in one of his blog posts recently about constitutional opposition to Obamacare:
"The crazy thing about the litigation over the Affordable Care Act is this, (a point made yesterday on Twitter by many including Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memoand also myself) because of Helvering v. Davis, nobody disputes that Congress has full authority to set in motion a national healthcare program. Congress could tax all American at any rate—or any schedule of rates, no matter how confiscatory for those at the top—and then use the money to fund a British-style National Health Service.

The question we're debating is whether Congress can constitutionally go less far, enact a less interventionist, less statist, and less centralist program, one that leaves more scope to private enterprise and more choice to the states.

In this, the analogy is strong to the Militia Acts of the 1790s: instead of creating a large, permanent national army (as it had power to do), Congress told the states to raise militias, and ordered private persons to buy the equipment necessary to serve in those militias."
Again, the same point that I've made day in and day out about this entire case. No one questions Medicare's constitutionality, and Medicare constitutes something that is actually socialist and more "tyrannical," if you will. But heaven forfend if the government tries to pass a more modest, not socialist system of health care. Logically speaking, if the court chooses to overturn Obamacare, it must then overturn Social Security and Medicare, too. That'll go down well, I'm sure.