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Government Mandate

If the Supreme Court decides the government can force us to buy things I suggest every American be required to buy The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek.

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  1. 2011/02/05 at 01:46

    If the government can force us to not buy certain things, where does it end?

    As it happens, pretty much with drugs and extreme weapons.

  2. 2011/02/05 at 06:55

    But there you are talking about an entirely different proposition.

    “I want to buy a rocket launcher”

    The government can regulate how I do that. Via the commerce clause. When I go to buy my rocket launcher, and engage in commerce I will find that I can indeed buy a rocket launcher but the firing mechanism has been removed or otherwise rendered unusable (and of course it comes with no rockets).

    But there I have made the choice to engage in commerce. The power the government is claiming to have is forcing me to engage in commerce when I don’t want to. That’s completely different from restricting or requiring certain kinds of coverage if I do choose to buy it.

  3. 2011/02/05 at 12:28

    Or to quote the 2008 version of Barak Obama, “…if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.”

  4. 2011/02/06 at 03:47

    My argument was from pragmatism, but I digress.

    The government is using the threat of a fine in order to raise revenue for the purpose of providing health care access. It can certainly do that under the Commerce Clause.

  5. 2011/02/06 at 07:28

    The treat of a fine without due process, compelling you to do something that you may not have any intention of doing.

    It’s unclear whether they can do that or not, no court case has ever said so, and nothing like it has ever been tried.

    How about this: buy a house or we’ll fine you! You homeless person you!

    How do you suppose that would work? Buy a gun or we will fine you!

  6. 2011/02/08 at 13:26
  7. 2011/02/08 at 15:08

    Very few people see an issue with getting medical care for those who cannot afford insurance.

    The issue is being forced to buy a product or be punished for not doing so.

    They didn’t create a new tax to pay for it. They didn’t raise current ones. They have the power to tax not to punish without due process.

  8. 2011/02/08 at 18:36

    The government is using the threat of a fine in order to raise revenue for the purpose of providing health care access. It can certainly do that under the Commerce Clause.

    There is nothing in the Commerce Clause to suggest the federal government can require every citizen to purchase a specific item.

    On being forced to buy guns: http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/02/civic-republican-roots-of-individual.html

    This guy seems not to realize this act is a specific and enumerated power of Congress:

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

  9. 2011/02/08 at 23:50

    The courts have always held that the Commerce Clause allows the government to use the threat of a fine if the effort is simply to raise revenue.

  10. 2011/02/09 at 00:22

    The courts make a clear distinction between taxes and penalties. Calling something a tax does not make it so, especially when its clear that it is indeed punitive in nature.

  11. 2011/02/09 at 09:31

    The courts have always held that the Commerce Clause allows the government to use the threat of a fine if the effort is simply to raise revenue.

    In this case it’s not to raise revenue – it’s to force people to purchase something.

  12. 2011/02/09 at 09:50

    Well it does intend to raise revenue, but not for the government. That’s why it parallels somewhat being forced to buy a gun, that would certainly raise money for S&W but nothing directly for the government.

  13. 2011/02/09 at 18:37

    The Commerce Clause is a classic constitutional loophole. You’re right, it has been used to allow the government to do pretty much anything. That doesn’t mean it will continue to be ruled that way in the future, as I suspect.

  14. 2011/02/09 at 20:06

    But it’s for the ‘good’ of the country Michael (Hartwell)!

    I have to wonder if it were Bush trying to do the same thing if liberals would be as receptive…

  15. 2011/02/09 at 21:04

    Jack, you’re being silly. The point is to support our health care system going forward. We need revenue in order to do that. The threat of a fine supports that effort.

    But maybe I missed that whole part of the debate where the Democrats were saying it was wrong for someone to not want insurance.

  16. 2011/02/09 at 21:22

    The threat of a fine (punishment) for not buying something you don’t want is unconstitutional.

    Can you honestly say you believe the government to have the power to force Americans to engage in commerce if they choose not to? It still seem that you don’t understand the possible ramifications of that power.

  17. 2011/02/09 at 21:31

    What other things do you think the government should mandate for “the public good”?

    College?
    A particular diet?
    Annual dental visits?
    An electric car? That would help the electric vehicle business, reduce our oil consumption, that’s good for the public right?
    Pets?

    If they have the power you wish they did to enact this health care debacle the can of worms has no bottom. I wonder what you’ll be saying if this stands and a conservative administration comes in and mandates the purchase of something “for the public good”. I imagine you won’t say anything, but you’ll scream.

  18. 2011/02/10 at 00:23

    I don’t know what to tell you. The Commerce Clause allows the government to threaten fines if the purpose is to raise revenue for a program.

    As for the reductio ad absudum(s), people want to have access to fair health care. This has been an issue since the greater part of the 20th century. The same cannot be said for pet ownership.

  19. 2011/02/10 at 11:15

    I’ll post two bit of the constitution and you show me how you get from “regulation” to mandating the purchase of something.

    [The Congress shall have Power] 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.

    Whats interesting is there is no court decision saying what you are saying, therefore it surely must be found in the constitution, right?

    It’s a huge stretch to say that it is necessary and proper for the government to mandate everyone purchasing a private product. Particularly since this isn’t even a tax, they have the power to tax but not to arbitrarily fine.

    In the entire history of this country the government has never tried to use this power you claim they have. They may have the power, but I think it’s more likely not the case.

    As far as pets, I’ve never seen any study that said pets do anything other than extend your life and make you happier and healthier. Shouldn’t the government mandate a puppy dog for everyone? Think of it! If the government has the power to mandate purchases than everyone got a puppy dog or kitty cat than the country would be happier on the whole!

    I mean who doesn’t want to be happy and healthy after all. Right? You think getting a pet is a personal choice? Sorry, that freedom is costing America happiness, happiness is more important.

  20. 2011/02/10 at 13:29

    Jack, you’re being silly. The point is to support our health care system going forward. We need revenue in order to do that. The threat of a fine supports that effort.

    But maybe I missed that whole part of the debate where the Democrats were saying it was wrong for someone to not want insurance.

    I don’t think you even realize what you are arguing for. The purpose isn’t to ‘raise revenue’, it is to manipulate the cost of a good in the market by increasing the number of people purchasing that good. It’s a protection for insurance comapanies that are now being required to insure people with pre-existing conditions.

    As President Obama once realized (before he didn’t), this basically removes any limit to what Congress can force people to do via the commerce clause. If this interpretation of the commerce clause holds, Congress would be free to mandate the purchase of any good by those who could afford it in order to make that good cheaper for another group of people.

  21. 2011/02/10 at 13:41

    Particularly if they wrap it in the cloak of “for the common good”. Cars, life insurance, food.

    They could create jobs by mandating the purchase of any number of things, could they not? One of the problems was consumer confidence was low o people weren’t buying things, right? Well now we have a mechanism for that, mandated purchases. No such issue as consumer confidence now.

  22. 2011/02/11 at 00:29

    I don’t think you even realize what you are arguing for. The purpose isn’t to ‘raise revenue’, it is to manipulate the cost of a good in the market by increasing the number of people purchasing that good. It’s a protection for insurance comapanies that are now being required to insure people with pre-existing conditions.

    Being blinded by the ideology that forces you to hate this law is no excuse for not understanding the Commerce Clause.

  23. 2011/02/11 at 13:30

    Being blinded by the ideology that forces you to hate this law is no excuse for not understanding the Commerce Clause.

    Blinded by hate? How bizarre.

    I think it’s a bad law, won’t accomplish it’s purpose and unduly increases the power of government in an unconstitutional manner. You said nothing to refute this or show you understand it. What you think it has to do with ‘hate’ I have no idea, other than it is another emotional outburst.

  24. 2011/02/12 at 02:36

    It’s amazing how poorly you grasp arguments. I said your ideology forces you to hate this plan. But let me summarize just so you realize how embarrassed you ought to be:

    Michael: Jack, you’re blinded by an ideology that makes you hate this law.

    Jack: I’m blinded by a hatred? Hate? So it’s hate you said blinds me? Hate is at the root of it? That was your point, right? Hate, hate hate? I’m pretty sure you said hate.

    Michael: Sigh.

    I don’t know why I bother with someone so dramatically unintelligent.

  25. 2011/02/12 at 10:05

    I just want to know how you think this is permitted under the commerce clause, or legal precedent.

    It’s ‘unprecedented’ so we know there isn’t any legal backing (and I’ve done exhaustive searching). We also know exactly what the commerce clause says, and there is nothing there to justify this mandate.

    I don’t like the law as a whole, but the law itself is legal in my view. What I do take offense to is the government mandating I buy insurance, something that the CBO now says will not have it’s costs constrained by the bill.

    How many Americans are going to be able to afford the “average family health policy” costing 13,375? Even if it were to get cut by half and not grow as expected, the answer is very few.

    Although it wasn’t needed to address the problems the insurance market had they still forced a public mandate with no apparent constitutional backing, and you talk to me about being ideological?

    When we are talking about being ideological with this, you’ll find its those people with the little (D) by their name that have been so.

  26. 2011/02/12 at 17:15

    @Michael

    Let me know when you start bothering to make any arguments at all.

  27. 2011/02/13 at 00:37

    Let me know when you decide to ever be honest, Jack.

  28. 2011/02/13 at 01:12

    Don’t make me turn this car around! (reaches into the backseat and flaps arm around)

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