Alarming News

March 23, 2010

Our leadership in action

One of the brilliant ideas in the healthcare bill passed is that every person must purchase health insurance. Is it constitutional for our government to force us to purchase a good or service?

Let’s ask Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman.

Why yes, he believes the constitution does allow for the government to require the purchase of a good or service.

Under what clause?

Well, that’s obvious: “Under several clauses, the good and welfare clause and a couple others. All the scholars, the constitutional scholars that I know — I’m chairman of the Judiciary committee, as you know — they all say that there’s nothing unconstitutional in this bill and if there were, I would have tried to correct it if I thought there were.”

Except, of course, there is no “good and welfare clause”.

Via Allahpundit’s twitter.

Posted by Karol at 11:37 AM |

I’d like to know what the “couple of others” are.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at March 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm

It’s the “wonderful and awesome” clause and the always popular “terrific and sensational” clause.

Posted by: Karol at March 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I think it’s Clause 12 of Emanation 73, Penumbra 42.

Posted by: Hubbard at March 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

“Constitutional scholars” my ass. Every single one of them is a damned liar.

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” And remember, James Madison wrote most of the thing himself.

These clauses must be from the same place as Gittin 91a. (Gittin ends at 90.) It reminds me of a semi-serious joke about a pastor who ended his sermon with a mention of next week’s: lying. He asked the congregation to raise their hands if they had read Mark 17. Everyone did. “You are exactly the people I need to talk to,” the pastor solemnly said. “Mark ends with chapter 16.”

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I hope everyone reserves this same righteous fury for January after the House changes hands. Just an observation.

The lesson I’m taking from this whole fiasco is the GOP needs to have a primary challenger for every “bipartisan” SOB who couldn’t wait to jump in front of the cameras and proclaim their willingness to work across the aisle when Clan Elephant was in charge. Sorry, but as Lindsey Graham found out in the early stages of this bill, bipartisanship only works one way. If we’re sitting here in a little over 2 years with a GOP supermajority and a Republican President, I fully expect you guys to give them just as much hell for _not_ repealing this and starting to shove things down liberal’s throats.

Posted by: James at March 24, 2010 at 6:58 am

it aint called the good and welfare clause but…

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and PROVIDE for the common Defence and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States
[and "taxes" are not defined]

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Posted by: j at March 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

J, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t sure what “taxes” is defined as. This is not a tax, in fact if they had called it a tax it would have never passed. If it were a tax, it would be the public option, because it would be collected by the government and used to fund the healthcare of the taxpayer. As you may recall, the mere mention of the public option caused the American public to howl in protest. This is a law that requires the purchase of a service from a private company. Nowhere in the constitution is such a thing authorized.

Posted by: Karol at March 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

the point there is that the constitution is not a statute and it wasn’t meant to be. it doesn’t define any term. but the bill doesn’t mandate that you buy insurance. you can refuse to buy insurance, but then you will be taxed – incentivizing insurance buying. and of course it wouldn’t have passed if they called it a tax because congress rarely publicly debates issues, they debate buzzwords and they stay away from that one

Posted by: j at March 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

“and of course it wouldn’t have passed if they called it a tax”

So, j, you’re admitting that the health care bill wouldn’t have passed if the truth had been told?

Tell me something. Article I gives Congress the power to…do whatever the hell it wants? That is precisely what you’re arguing.

Once again, I cite Madison:

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” – Federalist 45

Then there are those little things called the 9th and 10th Amendments. What was the purpose of saying that whatever isn’t defined is reserved to the states or the people, if Congress was meant from the start to have power over everything? Or are you going to admit that courts have completely abandoned the Constitution in not striking down powers that Congress was never meant to have?

You liberal fools love to throw out “general welfare” when you either don’t know what it means, or you do know and pervert it anyway. It does not mean that people get things like health care at the expense of others. “General” does not mean that some benefit at the expense of others (q.v. “Pareto optimality”).

Now, I’ll play your little game. I’ll go by your own standards. It’s not a “tax” when Americans are forced to buy insurance, you say? But any Americans will pay a tax penalty if they don’t have insurance — which is a bill of attainder, ergo very much unconstitutional.

“but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

This also means it’s unconstitutional to make only some people pay the tax penalty while others don’t have to.

I suggest you stop getting your Constitutional law lessons from Obama, HuffPo and Talking Points Memo. Try reading the damn document for yourself, ok? That’s not doing us a favor, that’s doing yourself a favor.

Final question for you: how are you going to keep health care costs down when you’re “incentivizing insurance buying”? Prices rise when demand increases without a commensurate increase in supply. Oh, but costs will be controlled because Medicare/Medicaid payouts will be cut, right? Doctors are already talking about retiring, or not accepting Medicare/Medicaid patients at all. So if anything, Obamacare will decrease supply.

The biggest myth in all this that Americans “need” health insurance. There are plenty of young people, like when I was single, who are healthy enough to accept the risk of no health insurance. In the rare case I went to a doctor, I paid out of pocket.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm


Your problem is that, as J is clearly demonstrating, that most people are ignorant of the Founding Father’s original intent. Let’s just say James Madison, for all his talents, either had a momentary judgment lapse or pulled a sleight of hand with writing the 10th Amendment. (See Marbury v. Madison).
Once upon a time most schools taught the Constitution as a graduation requirement (i.e., sometime before high school commencement students were ostensibly introduced to the nation’s foundation document). Rumor has it that the number of schools that do this has declined since the late ’80s. Between that and several courts which have found penumbras for just about everything (no Virginia, you do _not_ have a 1st Amendment right to wear a tuxedo to the prom), is it any wonder the general population isn’t raising Cain about the constitutionality of this health care bill?

Posted by: James at March 25, 2010 at 6:44 am

I think you guys should just stop whining about this so-called Constitution and start bowing to the Saudi King.

Posted by: A Guy Named Barack at March 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm
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