The Comm(unist) Clause
March 30, 2012 2 Comments
Assume for the sake of argument that Obamacare apologists are framing it correctly: we all ‘participate in’ the health care market, and Obamacare ‘merely’ redirects/governs how we finance that participation.
Why does the government have the right to dictate how, when, and how much we pay for something?
Is that mere ‘regulation of interstate commerce’ or something over and above that?
Let’s go with the left’s answer, which is that ‘regulation of interstate commerce’ includes telling everyone when-and-how-and-how-much to pay for things.
The interesting thing about that is that dictating how-and-when-and-how-much people pay for things is, if taken to its logical conclusion, full-on communism. There is no socialist/communist initiative that could not be cast as dictating how-and-how-much people pay for things. ‘You will pay $X and accept this basket of goods we have chosen for you. You over there: you pay $Y for the same thing.’ Perhaps some flavor of communism would instead bypass the middleman (e.g. maybe you don’t see your paycheck in the first place, you just get the basket), but economically, communism is precisely equivalent to being told when-and-how-and-how-much to pay, for everything you (are told to, or not to) consume.
Stalin’s Five Year Plan was (in a sense) ‘merely’ dictating how and when and how much people paid for things. I guess that too was simply ‘regulation of commerce’, and therefore, would pass commerce-clause muster, according to self-anointed Constitutional experts like internet economist James Kwak. (Of course, to some extent he does have Supreme Court precedent on his side…)
If ‘liberals’ genuinely believed what they are saying about the commerce clause, they’d have to believe that the Founders included it because they wanted to empower the nascent Federal Government to implement fully-centralized command communist-economics that could, on a whim, nullify any and all voluntary decisions about disposal of property and contracts. (‘Regulating the financing of markets you already participate in…’)
Of course, I still say they believe no such thing. No one with a brain possibly could. They just don’t care what the Constitution actually says or means in the first place. They are feeding us disingenuous, unscrupulous sophistry, and are shocked when we do not break out in applause.