The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court's health care decision

On first appearance, Chief Justice Roberts' opinion on “Obamacare” seemed to look good — the Commerce clause does not authorize Congress to pass such a law. But as I read further, it became clear that the Court decided that, despite the Obama administration's claim that this was not a tax law, the Court considered it as such, and therefore the individual mandate — because Congress has power to tax when needed to support the general welfare — was constitutional, because the Court has the task of considering an act as constitutional if any Constitutionally-delegated power authorizes it. So Justice Roberts said it was simply a tax on people who do not have health insurance, and constitutional on that ground.

Certainly not the way I hoped it would rule, but explained on that basis it makes some sense. Congress can tax all sorts of things, and though this is not “regulation of interstate commerce,” this was an argument that I foresaw as the one thing that might save it. What surprised me is that the Court employed it even though that was not the basis on which the defenders of the act argued for its constitutionality. I never expected that the Court would say that a clause of the Constitution which was not invoked by those defending the law would be the primary basis for the Court's ruling in its favor.

The Court has spoken. It will not strike down the law. So it is now up to a Congress (and hopefully President) taking into account that the people do not want this law — hopefully elected this coming November — to repeal the most objectionable elements of the law.

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