Yes, Usually it’s Partisan; Get Over It

One criticism leveled against nullification is that it is usually a “partisan thing.”

In other words, most of the proponents of nullifying Obamacare are Republicans.  Also, a vast majority of proponents of nullifying the war on drugs are Democrats.

This is a true statement.

With most nullification efforts now underway, the effort is partisan.  This is not a real argument against the movement; it is simply an observation.  In reality, any effort, with certain exceptions, will of necessity be partisan. (As it will be nullifying an act of the federal government controlled at the time by one party or the other).

Of course, these same critics would hold up the Patriot Act (passed by a Republican, and sustained now for five years by a Democrat) as some shining example of good governance.  To these people, the fact that an act passed Congress, the Senate, and was signed by the president, gives automatic legitimacy, as long as some of the people who passed the bill were on both sides of the “aisle.”  They would have you believe that the acts of Congress all represent the consensus  of the nation at large.

But what is consensus?

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Bipartisanship, Republic, and Nullification

Often times, when politicians do something that is illegal (for the feds the word illegal is a synonym with unconstitutional), they attempt to defend their actions by claiming it’s “bipartisan.”

This status is supposed to put their actions beyond suspicion. This tactic is used by Republicans, and Democrats alike. It is an amusing exercise to examine the issues that are bipartisan. Usually, these are the things government is doing that has the least support amongst the citizenry. Things like going to war or spying on citizens, are usually bipartisan. The Patriot Act was bipartisan when it passed. So was TARP, bailouts, the Iraq war, etc.

In reality of course, mere bipartisanship does not elevate government actions above the law. For instance, no amount of support for the 2012 NDAA can reconcile the kidnapping citizens without due process (or even outright assassination, depending upon the interpretation by the president) with the Constitution. No amount of agreement can justify the invasion of a foreign country by the president without congressional action. No amount of proper procedure and agreement among parties can justify the blanket violations of life liberty and property that are endemic to the Obamacare bill. No amount of agreement, even among citizens, can justify a violation of the Constitution. Period. If the necessary agreement does exist, an amendment still must pass to make the action legal. That is what it means to live in a republic.

If we lived in a democracy, then simple agreement could justify such things. If we lived in a democracy, a vote to steal our neighbor’s possessions because he has more than we do would be sufficient to justify theft, and a vote to assassinate a fellow citizen because he scares us would be sufficient justification to kill him. In fact, a 50 percent+1 majority would be sufficient to do anything the majority wanted. Indeed, these are the reasons that a democracy is eternally at war with itself.

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Will the Left Get it Right on Nullification?

We’re sometimes wrongly accused of being a right-wing, anti-Obama hate group. The truth of the matter is that the Tenth Amendment Center – which was founded in 2006 during the Bush Administration – is neither right-wing or left-wing.

You see, fidelity to the Constitution can and should appeal to both “conservatives” and “progressives”.

Frank Cagle recently wrote a pretty good article for Metro Pulse in which he proclaims, “It’s time progressives joined conservatives to preach the virtues of the 10th Amendment.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

Whether they realize it or not, those who support drug prohibition and those who support drug decriminalization have one thing in common: neither of them can site the article or clause in the US Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to prohibit or allow drugs. The feds simply don’t have jurisdiction. It’s up to the states per the 10th Amendment.

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The Cost of Third Parties and the Founder’s Economic System

Recently, Harry Reid, said “We must work past medical insurance, to a one payer system.”

Well I agree with him, (for once). But my one payer system is this – individuals responsible for their own healthcare.

We need to get back to pay for your services healthcare.  We need to have the third party control over our healthcare removed.  This includes the government, insurance companies and employers.

With all of these out of the way, the cost of healthcare will be subject to the marketplace, and this will allow healthcare costs to drop.  This is because the individual consumer of healthcare will now be courted by healthcare providers.  And we all know, if a business wants to attract customers, they offer a better quality product at better prices than competitors.  Costs go down and better quality services and products result.

The disconnect between patient and medical cost is what has allowed those costs to soar far beyond the pocketbook of most people.  The evolution to a system of third party payers created a situation where developers do not need to concern themselves with a product that will serve many.  They can go out and create all sorts of expensive abstract medical equipment without having to worry about whether there is a need.  All that research and development is expensive, and since there isn’t a consumer for the pie in the sky products, the cost is spread over all the other products the company offers.  I am not bashing big industry here. It is reasonable that they must cover their costs in some way.  However, in a free marketplace where they need to focus on lowering costs to attract users to their products, they will more likely choose an item that will have more usefulness.

Those of you who read history, might recall that there was a time when an injury or illness that required a doctor might include bartering for the doctor’s services.  Chickens, milk, corn, a quilt or even a return service would settle the bill.  Well, you might say things are so much more expensive now; you can’t do that. But I am hearing of local physician groups offering outside of insurance, healthcare.  Depending upon the area you live, the costs vary.  Your costs could be $100/month for entire family.  When you need the services of the doctor, you just call for an appointment.  I have heard in some other areas, its $10/month for a person.

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Republicans have a replacement for Obamacare. It’s unconstitutional, too.

Former Republican Presidential Candidate and promoter of the “9-9-9″ economic plan Herman Cain recently wrote an article to rebut the claim that Republicans don’t have an answer to our nation’s health care “crisis”.  The article champions HR 2300 - Empowering Patients First – as “vastly superior to the train wreck we’re facing right now” with Obamacare.

Mr. Cain ends his article with an interesting combination of irony and hypocrisy by quoting James Madison, commonly referred to as the Father of the Constitution, and labeling Obamacare - but not HR2300 - as “government malfeasance”.

Now I’ll agree with Mr. Cain that Obamacare is terrible legislation as well as government malfeasance.  The assumption of power that the federal government has made by enacting the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” interferes with the right of the People of the States to regulate health care as they see fit, and makes a mockery of James Madison’s assurance in Federalist #45 that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”

I’ll also even entertain the unlikely possibility that HR 2300, introduced by Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price, may be less terrible than Obamacare.  Rep. Price is a doctor, after all.

However I have a few questions for Mr. Cain:

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Do you believe in self-rule?

Do you believe in self-rule?  Can people determine for themselves how to live and what kind of governmental system that they will live under?

Sure you do!

Right?

But are you sure?

Please, consider the following questions:

Should the federal government be involved in regulating marijuana?

Should the federal government be involved in regulating other drugs?

Should the federal government establish a central bank?

Should the federal government declare anyone an enemy combatant without due process?

Should the federal government regulate marriage: gay or straight?

Should the federal government take either the Pro-Choice or Pro-Life stance on abortions?

Should the federal government regulate guns?

Should the federal government interfere in the health care market?

Should the federal government interfere in education?

If you answered “Yes,” to any of these questions, then on some level you don’t believe in the concept of self-rule.  Therefore, you are imposing your values or morals on others who might not share them.

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A Tenther’s Guide to the Fiscal Cliff

Watching Republicans and Democrats squabble over the so-called fiscal cliff is like watching a duo of burglars arguing over who keeps your flat screen television. No matter which party prevails, you lose.

Tenthers, as a class, tend to be more pre-occupied with the liberty cliff, whose precipitous incline we fell off long ago. The other various cliffs – fiscal, debt, tax policy, entitlements – are really just the jagged rocks we’ve met on the way down. Which is why Tenthers tend not to wade into the whole fiscal cliff debate. If your causes are liberty, constitutional rule of law and sound currency, then it seems downright silly to sweat the details of how much the federal government should raise the debt ceiling to pay for foreign wars, Obamaphones and highways named after U.S. Senators.

Consider the numbers. The federal government now spends $3,800,000,000,000.00 per year. Various taxes supply about $2,900,000,000,000.00 of that amount. The free ride component – the annual deficit – has now accrued to a staggering $16,000,000,000,000.00 in national debt.

Faced with these appalling details, the Democrats (and Paul Krugman) respond with calls to tax and spend more. Republicans, the supposedly more fiscally continent of the two parties, grumble on about tax increases and then invariably capitulate to more borrowing and spending. And with the deck chairs on the Titanic nicely rearranged, the American people are once again free. By “free” I mean free to watch Dancing with the Stars and Real Housewives of Cleveland while an omnipotent federal government further enslaves us into a highly regulated, pathetically dependent blob of couch potatoes.

So what would a Tenther do? I’m glad you asked!  Here’s 4 steps a Tenther would take:

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Consistently supporting liberty and the Tenth Amendment

One of the main obstacles to getting the “tenther” movement and the message of freedom to spread is that too many people claim they are for freedom on some issues (guns, taxes), but simultaneously claim to be anti-freedom on others (marijuana, gay-marriage).

Our two-party political system has raised people to believe that based on which party you subscribe to, you are supposed to advocate for either the federal government to get out of the way in regard to things that you like and to get in the way of people doing things that you don’t like. This is the essence of the problem. To truly embrace freedom and the tenth amendment movement, people need to start opposing federal involvement in EVERY area that is not authorized under the Constitution and not only in the activities which they personally disapprove.

For example, I know many republicans who constantly decry government interference in gun ownership and business, but practically BEG for it when it comes to banning gay marriage and drug use. The same goes for the other side; I know many democrats who say that government needs to get out of the way when it comes to marijuana and gays in the military, but they decry any attempt to lift the federal ban on abortion and/or repeal federal gun laws. It just doesn’t make any sense.

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What If This Were Bush?

cross-posted from The Beacon

It goes without saying that if Bush had presided over a phony end to the Iraq war, expanded the Afghanistan war, extended its reach into Pakistan, solidified the state secrets doctrine and claimed in no uncertain terms the right to assassinate American citizens without due process, the left would be up in arms. The partisan hypocrisy concerning war-related issues is clear.

But what about economic and domestic policy? What if the Bush administration had sunk the country another trillion dollars into debt with the explicit promise that his plan was all that could prevent a 9% unemployment rate – only to then stumble for a year with an unemployment rate closer to 10%? What if the Bush administration had imposed a mandate forcing Americans to patronize the health insurance industry? What if the Bush administration had been in place for these two years since the financial collapse, overseeing an obviously sheepish economy whose only signs of recovery are transparently superficial and temporary bumps in consumption and the employment for census workers? And speaking of “transparency,” what if Bush had vowed to have his deliberations with the medical industry out in the open, to put every major bill on the web before it was voted on, and to have the health care debate on C-Span for all the world to see, only to renege totally on these assurances and every other promise of transparency? What if the Bush administration had simultaneously designated carbon to be a “pollutant” while proposing to create a market in the right to pollute, with credits given to big firms to be bought and sold on Wall Street? What if the Bush administration had overseen the BP oil spill, with regulatory agents asleep at the wheel and had decided, unilaterally, to cap the company’s liability? What if the Bush administration had won an election on one major domestic promise – to take the corruption and chaos out of the financial markets and steady the economy back on track – only to preside over an expansion of the power of the very same agencies that led the markets astray, all the while those markets showed little sign of improving? What if the Bush administration had established such a flurry of ad hoc interventions as to frighten investors away from wanting to invest in the private economy?

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The Tenth Amendment Coalition

I’m not sure how you can have a Tenth Amendment web site without linking to the Tenth Amendment Center, but there it is.  The videos are interesting, anyway.  A couple Beltway insiders talking about the Tenth Amendment.

http://restorethetenth.org/

Part 1

Part 2

cross-posted from the Pennsylvania Tenth Amendment Center