We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For 70 years, since the court in 1942 said the government could limit the amount of wheat farmer Roscoe Filburn could grow on his own land to feed his own animals, it has been generally assumed that the federal government's power to regulate the economy had no limits.
That assumption survived in liberal precincts even though the court in 1995 overturned a law banning guns in schools and in 2000 ruled unconstitutional parts of the Violence Against Women Act.
But the arguments, developed by Georgetown Law professor Randy Barnett and others, that it is beyond the powers conferred by the Constitution for Congress to mandate the purchase of a commercial product -- health insurance in Obamacare -- were certainly taken seriously by a majority of Supreme Court justices last week.
And the government's lawyers were unable to answer the questions of both liberal and conservative justices: If Congress can do this, what can't it do?
That question is likely to linger even if the court upholds Obamcare.
Economists say that diet and exercise have a greater effect on taxpayer spending on healthcare than rates of ownership of insurance, so if anything healthy-food and gym-membership mandates have greater constitutional warrant than what we’re dealing with now.
So when will the Feds try to mandate gym membership? For the greater good, of course?
I guess I don't really understand the Filburn decision.
If the court ruled that Filburn couldn't feed wheat raised above his quota because it would depress the price of wheat, the court ruled correctly. In the aggregate, it would depress the price of wheat if everyone followed suit. I do not see how the leap was made from such a decision.
If the question was whether or not the Government had the authority to manipulate the price of wheat, that is another matter entirely, and I understand how the leap was made.
If Obamacare is intact after the SC rules, Obama will propose that GM (Government Motors) build a new vehicle. It will be called the ObamaCar. It will, of course, be a hybrid (just like its namesake), and the internal combustion engine will run only on American Ethanol (made from corn). There will be a plug-in model which can only be recharged with electricity generated by sustainable resources (wind, solar). But, the key feature will be that everyone will be required to buy one, even if they don't want it or need it. Of course, there will be exemptions for favored parties (union members, etc.). Otherwise, those who don't buy the ObamaCar will be sent for "re-education."
The main (perhaps only) cogent argument Liberals can offer in support of Obamacare is that private healthcare for the entire nation is, in their words, "prohibitively expensive." Because private healthcare is so expensive, so their argument goes, the federal government should ignore the limits imposed by the Constitution on the (enumerated) powers of federal authority. But if that argument is valid for healthcare, why should it not also apply to food? Or to housing? Food and housing are needs as basic as healthcare, arguably more basic for more people than is healthcare. And over a person's lifetime, they are very expensive....even prohibitively expensive. Everyone needs food for nourishment; over a lifetime, one can no more avoid the need for food than the need for some form of healthcare (just to follow the Liberal argument for why inactivity is the same as activity). A relatively healthy person can put off going to the doctor for years, but who can put off eating for very long without suffering dire consequences?
So in the Liberal view, does that mean the federal government has superConstitutional powers, which entitle it to regulate food and housing just like healthcare? Does the federal government have the power to require individual Americans to buy specific foods from specific supermarket chains and grocery stores---all of which are involved in interstate commerce as much as are healthcare providers and insurance companies---in the same way the Obamacare law claims the government has the power to force individuals to buy healthcare insurance? Logically, that is what will surely come next if the SCOTUS finds Obamacare is within the powers granted by the Constitution. I think we can be certain that the most Liberal justices on the Court are now very busy hunting for heretofore unrecognized penumbras and emanations within the Constitution in order to save Obamacare. Heaven help us if they succeed.
Every Congressperson voting to pass a law should be required to summarize its contents in 25 words or less with a list of possible repercussions or be slapped with a felony. To boot, no law should be submitted that is more than 100 pages long (this healthcare bill is a killer!).
BTW, whatever happened to Sunset Clauses? Now that we're out of the depression and no longer need to drive up prices, isn't Wickard vs. Filburn out of date? Just asking.
Some of the Surgeon Generals of the United States have been pretty darn obese, including the present occupant of that office, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, who may be a wonderful doctor and a fine individual, but as a "fatty" sets no good example for the First Lady's crusade against obesity. It doesn't bother ME what Dr. Benjamin weighs or what she looks like, but these days, when Liberals are intent on controlling the lives of every American, you'd think Comandante Obama would have chosen a more svelte person for that position.