Defeating the Romneycare Challenge
Amendment then further states that anything not specifically listed within those 17 items falls outside of federal jurisdiction and instead becomes a state issue. The “general welfare” clause doesn’t refer to individual entitlements. It refers to those things that are meant to benefit the citizenry as a whole (i.e. protection from invasion, standard currency, standardized rules of both interstate as well as foreign commerce, etc). There is no mention whatsoever of healthcare or any of the many other programs that have been taken over nationally such as education, welfare, Social Security, etc. either. Like it or not, our founders put a heavy emphasis on personal freedom and personal responsibility over centralized control. Therefore, none of these items should have ever been addressed at the national level to begin with.
There are 3 reasons why our founders setup our government to function in such a manner. The first reason is that they wanted to expressly limit the power and scope of a federal government in order to protect our nation from potential tyrants. The idea was that if a tyrant did attempt to take over our government they would simply lack enough authority to ever get very far. The second reason is that by moving most issues off to the state government it provided recourse for citizens. The first recourse is through a statewide referendum. We saw a perfect example of this last year here in Ohio with Issue 2. The state passed a bill that the people didn’t like so the people defeated the bill through a public referendum. At the state level the will of the people outweighs the will of the legislature. The second recourse would be to simply pack up and move to a different state that has laws more to your suiting without having to sacrifice your citizenship as a whole. For example, people who don’t like the heavy taxes in New York are currently moving to income tax free states like Florida and Tennessee in droves based on this premise.
The third reason, which is the one that Romney should refer to, is that our founders set things up the way they did to allow for legislative experimentation. Not every bill is perfect. Furthermore, with such a vast and diverse nation not every bill should be a one size fits all solution either. By having new bills “tested” at the state level, failures don’t create an automatic adverse affect on the nation as a whole. However, if a bill does prove successful then it can easily be adopted by all the other states if it fills a need for them as well. Basically, if Romneycare is a failure it only affects Massachusetts and can be easily repealed by the citizens of that state. If Obamacare is a failure it dooms us all. This third reason is exactly what Romney should be pointing out in the debate. He should also be pointing out that Obama, being the Constitutional lawyer he claims to be, should have not only fully understood the potential Constitutional challenges that would arise from Obamacare, but should have also understood the reasoning behind why our founders did what they did. When challenged, Romney shouldn’t fall into the trap of attempting to defend Romneycare. He should instead force Obama to defend his own Constitutional ignorance.
Last week I suggested how Romney can successfully navigate the abortion issue should it arise in the upcoming debates so that it not only makes him come across as reasonable on the issue, but at the same time paints Obama as the true extremist. Today I would like to suggest how he could also handle any questions concerning Romneycare as well so that he sounds practical while also making Obama look foolish on the subject at the same time.
At some point either the moderator or Obama is certain to challenge Romney on how he could possibly be so against Obamacare when it was Romney himself who invented the very program that it was supposedly modeled after. I’m sure Obama thinks he can win the argument simply by saying that if he created a foolish disaster than Romney is no smarter than he is for having created the exact same disaster. However, there is one extremely profound difference between the two programs that sets them completely apart. And it’s a sin that Obama should have known better than anyone else not to commit.
The question for both of these programs isn’t whether or not either was an intelligent thing to do. In truth they are both disasters. The real question is whether or not either of them was even a legal thing to do. In the case of Romneycare it was legal. In the case of Obamacare it wasn’t. As a supposed Constitutional lawyer, Obama of all people should already know the reason why. Keep in mind that what has been debated in the Supreme Court so far hasn’t been a challenge to the Constitutionality of Obamcare in general, but only to those sections concerning mandates.
Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution lays out the 17 enumerated powers granted to a centralized federal government. These 17 items represent those things that our federal government “must do”. The 10