Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court ruling

Today, June 28th, 2012 is a historic day. The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as Obamacare, as constitutional. The basis for constitutionality is not the commerce clause, as the Obama administration argued, but the taxing authority. Rather than extending the reach of congresses ability to regulate to allow compelling actions in the name of regulating commerce, the Supreme Court has stated that congress has the authority to compel action through taxation. This means inaction is now a taxable activity.

What does this mean for those of us advocating for limited government? This is a huge set back and a massive expansion of government power. This ruling officially marks the end of any constitutional limits on federal power. However the government wants to remake society, they are authorized to compel compliance through a fee and call it a tax.

A interview claimed there was a silver lining. However, everything that congress could have done to abuse the commerce clause if the mandate were upheld on that basis, they can still do through the new taxing power.

Given that Obamacare is widely unpopular, this is a huge victory for Mitt Romney. Though he would never denounce Obamacare by pointing to how Romneycare has decimated health insurance in Massachusetts, he can gain support by promising to repeal Obamacare. Since Republicans will need to hold the House and win the Senate in order to gain enough support for repeal, we may see a sweeping change in the balance of power.

Unfortunately, the failure of the Supreme Court to uphold the limited and enumerated powers nor the clear intent of the tax laws cannot simply be repealed by government action. And why would we expect congress to want to repeal their new powers? The only way we can ever expect to get back to limited constitutional government is if we make our voices heard.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Corporate Personhood

Are corporations people?
The answer to this question depends on the meaning. I won't get bogged down in the metaphysical definition of person. There are 2 different possible meanings to this question and we need to address which meaning we intend to convey.
The first meaning is that a corporation is a person separate from all human people and created at the time of incorporation. When people on the left say that corporations are not people, they are I hope referring to this meaning. Legally, a corporation is a person in this sense.
There is a second sense in which a corporation is people. A corporation is a group of people coming together for a common goal. Some corporations produce goods, others services. The corporation is made of managers, workers and shareholders.
When I say corporations are people, I mean it in this second sense. The issue of corporate personhood comes up in several contexts. Corporate taxes are not paid by some soulless nonperson but by the individuals who make up the corporation or by the people who buy the goods and services made by the corporation.
In the same sense, when the corporation says something, it is not a personless entity making unprotected speech, it is a collaborative effort by the people within the corporation exercising their right to free speech in a collective manner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fixing problems

When ever a problem arises, the first step in solving the problem is to determine the cause of the problem. If the new problem is a symptom of some other underlying issue, attempting to address the problem directly is merely treating the symptom. There are many instances where politicians are proposing solutions to problems while ignoring the underlying causes.

While this same issue is relevant to other problems in our daily lives, since government policy effects every person in the country, I would like to focus on those issues. There are problems in health care, education, the economy, etc. and I hope to deal with each one in turn. For now, I would just like to emphasize the importance of not just trying to deal with the apparent issue but rather seek the underlying cause and address it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Laws as violence

Few people think about what it means to pass a law. All laws are threats of violence. If you do A or fail to do B, the government will enact violence upon you perhaps by forcibly detaining you or taking your property.
Violence is an appropriate response in defense against violent acts. That is why no one disputes laws against murder, rape, theft, etc. These laws threaten violence when violence is committed.
However, responding to non-violent acts with threats of violence is wrong. Something to consider when you voice support for a law against a non-violent act.