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Constitutionality is a matter of semantics (health care)

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Friedmanite Posted: Tue, Apr 3 2012 12:12 AM

I recently had this thought.  Many claim that it is unconstitutional for the government to mandate everyone to buy health insurance, and impose a fine of K dollars for not complying.   

However, the government, having the power to levy taxes, can raise everyone's by K dollars and refund the amount  to anyone who buys health insurance.   

Why is policy 1 unconstitutional, while policy 2 is when they are effectively the same thing?

 

 

 

 

 

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Policy 2 is still not constitutional.  The US Constitution is supposed to fund war and trade facilitation based on the revenue of tariffs.  Not give money to anyone from anyone else.

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Sixteenth Amendment

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

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Just because the power to levy taxes is expressed in the Constitution it doesn't follow that "therfore the Constitution effectively dictates the federal government can do whatever it wants with respect to spending and regulation"...which is effectively what you're arguing.

The majority of the argument against the Constitutionality of Obamacare is the fact that it does not fall within the expressly delegated powers of the federal government.  (This is essentially the cornerstone of every argument of unconstitutionality...as, something is "unconsitutional" if it goes against what the Constitution says.)

The counter-argument that proponants of Obamacare (and essentially any form of centralized power) respond with is a simple reference to the words "promote the general Welfare".  Essentially the argument is "the Constitution says it is within the purpose and power of the federal government to "promote the general Welfare"..."general Welfare" essentially meaning whatever the person talking is advocating.

The part which is most relevant to your question is the so-called "Taxing and Spending Clause" which 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

So essentially, proponants of any sort of government control or influence or mandate or, virtually anything, basically point to that one line and contend that whatever they are trying to force people into paying for is part of the "general Welfare" and therefore is Constitutional.  Like this: "[whatever I'm advocating] promotes the general welfare of society.  Bam.  Constitutional."

But obviously, if all you have to do is fit what government power you're trying to create into the bucket of "general welfare" and that makes it Constitutional, there's obviously no point to having a Constituiton at all.  Obviously this notion was recognized by the people who actually authored the Constitution.  Of course, Madison ("The Father of the Constitution") was quite vocal on it:

  • "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions. It is to be remarked that the phrase out of which this doctrine is elaborated, is copied from the old articles of Confederation, where it was always understood as nothing more than a general caption to the specified powers, and it is a fact that it was preferred in the new instrument for that very reason as less liable than any other to misconstruction. [emphasis original] 
    -Letter to Edmund Pendleton (1792-01-21)
  • "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." 
    -Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, page 170
  • "— that is the General Welfare Congress may raise money to provide for, which words plainly refer to the Stipulated Powers of the Government"
    -[coincidentally enough, from another letter to Pendleton in 1792 (Feb 8)]
  • "What think you of the commentary (pages 36 & 37) on the terms “general welfare”? The federal Govt. has been hitherto limited to the Specified powers..." 
    - letter to Henry Lee, 1 January 1792
  • With respect to the words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." 
    -Letter to James Robertson (1831-04-20)

 

And have a look at what he said would happen if this actually were to happen:

If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare. 
-remarks on the House floor, debates on Cod Fishery bill, (February 1792)

 

Smart guy, no?

In essence, the whole point of the Constitution is to restrain federal power.  Not grant the central government the authority to do whatever it wants.  Again, you don't need a Constitution for that.  And the colonists certainly didn't need a revolution for that...they already had that situation under the king.

The United States Constitution clearly states:

"All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in the Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.''

Then it says,

"The Congress shall have power To...[A];
To [b];
To [c];
[...]
To [s]."

So to summarize, it states "everything we list here can be done by Congress (i.e. House & Senate)." Then it lists what can be done. Nowhere does it state anything about forcing people to buy things, providing health care, providing insurance, providing education, or any of the other things the federal government currently does or that people want it to do.  (Meaning nowhere does it say anyone but the Congress can do what is listed...as in, including the President.) And to go a step further, later in the Constitution it says specifically: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Therefore, if it's not in the enumerated powers, Congress can't do it.  And if it is in the enumerated powers, no other federal governmental body can do it.

 

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That's a lengthy response, but it's not particularly germane to this discussion (at least, anything beyond your first paragraph).  What I'm saying is that one can consider Obamacare as it is, with the individual mandate, unconstitutional for reasons you just stated.   But, it is perfectly constitutional, as most would agree, for the government to raise everyone's taxes, and give them a refund if they decide to purchase health insurance.

That's essentially the same thing as forcing everyone to buy health insurance, and imposing a fine on those who don't comply.  

 

Same policies, wording makes one constitutional and the other unconstitutional.   I find this particularly troublesome.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ultimately, everyone values his own situational interest higher than any documented code.  It's easy to know which agenda anyone sides with.  Those that want it one way will refer to clues about the intent of the authors of said document.  Those that want it the other way will focus entirely on the words.  I've seen the same war of interpretation happen with innumerable other documents.  Basically, none care about documents, but all want to pretend to care to appeal to tradition.

Example: If I'm insulted by everything, everyone that says anything to me is in violation of forum rules.  So, the only real rule is whatever the mods feel like doing.

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Same policies, wording makes one constitutional and the other unconstitutional.   I find this particularly troublesome.

Welcome to the world of rhetoric and politics.

Sure, one country can liberate or retaliate against (even percieved) threats, but they cannot invade.  tsk tsk tsk.  The same act of war define differently.

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Friedmanite:
That's a lengthy response, but it's not particularly germane to this discussion (at least, anything beyond your first paragraph).  What I'm saying is that one can consider Obamacare as it is, with the individual mandate, unconstitutional for reasons you just stated.   But, it is perfectly constitutional, as most would agree, for the government to raise everyone's taxes, and give them a refund if they decide to purchase health insurance.

Mea culpa, I was talking about Obamacare as a whole.

 

So what you're asking is if raising federal taxes is constitutional, and tax exemptions/ tax credits are constitutional, is it not constitutional to raise taxes and then enact an exemption or credit for people who purchase something.

I suppose one could make the argument that that is effectively the same thing as mandating everyone to buy health insurance and imposing a fine on those who don't comply, however just because something creates a similar (or has the potential to create the same) result, doesn't mean it's the same thing.

Yes I understand your uneasiness about the concept, but your question essentially boils down to: "my mom says I can't eat cake.  But if I go have an operation and install a cake into my stomach, it's still going to be cake coming out of my behind, just as if I had eaten it.  So why is the seond option not breaking my mom's rule?"

As I said, essentially what makes something unconsitutional is the fact that it violates what the Constitution says.  If the actions of the government are within the scope of the powers enumerated, (i.e. as long as it is expressly mentioned in the document), that by definition would mean it is "constitutional".

Now your problem is: "well that just means that as long as they work the gymnastics correctly, they can force me to do whatever they want".

The response to that is:

(a) When was the last time that wasn't the case?

(b) That's a great argument against the idea of a constitution

(c) In part because of (b), that's a great argument against the idea of a government.

 

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If still want a more "legalized" answer, you might have found it by using the search function:

Healthcare Individual Mandate Constitutional:

As recently as 1996, the Supreme Court reiterated the crucial distinction between a penalty and a tax. It ruled that "[a] tax is a pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property for the purpose of supporting the Government," while a penalty is "an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act" or - as in the case of the individual mandate - an unlawful omission. The individual mandate is a clear example of a penalty, where Congress requires people to purchase health insurance, and then punishes them with a fine if they fail to comply.

 

Therefore, the mandate is not a tax because the mandate pre-exists the government expropriation of funds from the individual.  Ergo, it does not follow that "taxation is constitutional, so a mandate is constitutional."  The mandate is unconstitutional because it is not a tax, and nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about the government being allowed to create such a mandate.

I do realize this doesn't address your overall concern head on, as you're whole thing is "if the result is the same, how can one means be constitutional, and another means not constitutional."  But (a) I addressed that above, and (b)...just think about that.

 

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About penalty vs. tax - if you take the idea that private property itself is immoral/illegal, taxation could then be labeled as a penalty. Penalty vs. tax can easily be circumvented.

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Isn't everthing government do is like this?

What about public schools? Government tax everyone and build public schools. Compare that to government make it mandatory to send your kids to public school and pay for it and then fine people for not sending kids to public school.

Say everyone start of with 10 unit of money. Say public school cost 5 unit. Also assume everyone has the same number of kids (an assumption I would relax latter)

 

 

Option A ( I am getting dizzy my self). Tax everyone fund public school.

Parents Send Kid to Public School: 10 -2.5 public school tax  - 2.5 other tax = 5. Their kid is in public school.

Parents send kid to study online for free: 10-2.5 public school tax  -2.5 other tax = 5. Their kid is not in public school.

Notice that even though studying online is more cost efficient than public school, people choose to send to public schools anyway due to government intervention.

Option B fine people 5 for not sending kid to public school. Also because there is no tax, people start of

Parents Send Kid to Public School: 10 - 5 public school fee = 5. Their kid is in public school.

Parents send kid to study online for free: 10-5 public school tax = 5. Their kid is not in public school.

Other taxes are gone in option B because governments got 10 unit of revenue and only spend 5 for public school.

Replace public school with obamacare, and you got the exact same structure. We know that public schools do exist right and so far, your supreme courts doesn't bitch about it's constitutionality.

We presume everyone make the same amount of money and have the same number of kids. Also notice that public schools are beneficial mainly for the poor and not the rich. Let's relax that a little bit.

Option B, which is equivalent with option A, is effectively forcing the poor to make kids. Obamacare effectively force people to be sick and force sick people to make kids. Is that constitutional? Looks like it is.

 

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Mtn Dew replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 9:35 PM

Public schools are run by states, not the federal government. If a state makes education compulsory and uses taxes to create government run schools it's not a federal issues as states are allowed to do that. The federal government has no authority to do what you described.

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Hefty replied on Wed, Apr 4 2012 11:34 PM

I recently had this thought.  Many claim that it is unconstitutional for the government to mandate everyone to buy health insurance, and impose a fine of K dollars for not complying.   

However, the government, having the power to levy taxes, can raise everyone's by K dollars and refund the amount  to anyone who buys health insurance.   

Why is policy 1 unconstitutional, while policy 2 is when they are effectively the same thing?

Seems that the only difference between your two scenarios is that in the first (mandate) they can secure further coercion and socialism in the future because of rising medical costs and the problems they will create in the economy. They can just blame it on capitalism and greedy employers.

With the tax however people will actually get upset more at the government. Obviously inflation is the solution to this problem... if only they weren't restricted by the do-nothing congress...

I was thinking about this the other day when I was thinking about the obamacare defense. I was afraid that if it is deamed unconstitutional then obama can just issue an executive order and pay for it with counterfeit money. Why not?

There should be separation of X and state... for all X.
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Wheylous:
About penalty vs. tax - if you take the idea that private property itself is immoral/illegal, taxation could then be labeled as a penalty. Penalty vs. tax can easily be circumvented.

Show me a legal argument that "private property itself is illegal".  (I think in this context whether it's immoral or not is irrelevant).

 

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John James,

Your legal interpretation of the limits of the general welfare clause as well as (I assume) the commerce clause will certainly be compelling to at least three justices (Thomas, Scalia and Alito.)  We all know that Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor will most likely support the individual mandate.  The real question is how Roberts and, in particular, Kennedy will rule.  I am not well studied in Kennedy's commerce/tax position but I don't think he's an originalist.

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I must say I'm flattered that you would come back after a year and a half absence just to reply to my post

 

But yes, it's been pretty well exhausted in the media that Kennedy (and maybe Roberts) would be the deciding votes.  Kennedy has always been known as the "swing vote".

What I've said here is nothing new, of course.  I mean, I quoted Madison, so of course the understanding of the Constitution that I've presented here (which of course is the correct one) has been known since the document was ratified.  Tom Woods has of course done plenty of documentation on this.  (Of course the various books are in order as well).

As for how the case went, it doesn't look good for the defense, as can be seen in the Obamacare thread.

 

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bloomj31 replied on Thu, Apr 5 2012 10:35 AM

Well let's hope that Kennedy finds the originalist position compelling.  

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Yeah, if you check out that obamacare thread, you'll see the legal analyst didn't find the defense's argument very compelling...leading him to think things don't look so good for Pelosi and friends.

 

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bloomj31:
Well let's hope that Kennedy finds the originalist position compelling.

There's not even a single originalist position. Essentially from the start, the language of the US Constitution has been interpreted in multiple ways. In this case, I think the crux of the issue hinges on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the general-welfare provision of the Taxing and Spending Clause. Will they interpret it as granting Congress a separate, non-derived power to "provide for the general welfare"? Or will they interpret it as granting Congress the power to tax in order to "provide for the general welfare"?

Over time, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Taxing and Spending Clause increasingly broadly. This has especially been the case since 1936 (see above link). I, for one, wouldn't be surprised if the Supreme Court takes things a step further this time and completely decouples the power to "provide for the general welfare" from the power to tax.

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Autolykos:
There's not even a single originalist position. Essentially from the start, the language of the US Constitution has been interpreted in multiple ways.

The people who wrote it have written pretty clearly on what it meant.  And the minutes of the convention help flesh this out as well.  The Constitution was sold in the ratifying convention to the states as a total lockdown on the federal government.  There is no possible way the states would have signed on to the idea of a federal government with the kind of arbitrary and virtually limitless power people like Nancy Pelosi would have you believe is there.

 

In this case, I think the crux of the issue hinges on the Supreme Court's interpretation of the general-welfare provision of the Taxing and Spending Clause.  Will they interpret it as granting Congress a separate, non-derived power to "provide for the general welfare"? Or will they interpret it as granting Congress the power to tax in order to "provide for the general welfare"?

I went through this already.

 

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John James:
The people who wrote it have written pretty clearly on what it meant.  And the minutes of the convention help flesh this out as well.  The Constitution was sold in the ratifying convention to the states as a total lockdown on the federal government.  There is no possible way the states would have signed on to the idea of a federal government with the kind of arbitrary and virtually limitless power people like Nancy Pelosi would have you believe is there.

The people who wrote it and their contemporaries were almost immediately in dispute over what it meant. And here we are, over two centuries later.

John James:

No you didn't.

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Autolykos:
The people who wrote it and their contemporaries were almost immediately in dispute over what it meant. And here we are, over two centuries later.

Would you care to offer some examples of this, preferably specific to this particular clause?

 

No you didn't.

Well sure I did.  I even provided you the link for it.  Easy click access.

 

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John James:
Would you care to offer some examples of this, preferably specific to this particular clause?

There's an example in the link I provided - which is from the same Wikipedia article that you previously linked to.

John James:
Well sure I did.  I even provided you the link for it.  Easy click access.

You did not address the possibility of the Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution contrary to James Madison. I think that possibility is quite likely, given the Supreme Court's history (especially it's recent history).

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Autolykos:
There's an example in the link I provided - which is from the same Wikipedia article that you previously linked to.

Well, I realize you used the broad term "from the start", but I think it says a lot that Hamilton only brings up this interpretation after the states have signed on.  Makes one wonder why a power-hungry statist like that would allow the states to ratify a document under the impression it meant the government was extremely limited, and then once the ink dried (or maybe even before) he's saying how they basically signed their slave contract, doesn't it.

 

You did not address the possibility of the Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution contrary to James Madison. I think that possibility is quite likely, given the Supreme Court's history (especially it's recent history).

The entire basis for the post was that notion of "'provide general welfare' means whatever I'm advocating".  Read the first 6 paragraphs.

 

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John James:
Well, I realize you used the broad term "from the start", but I think it says a lot that Hamilton only brings up this interpretation after the states have signed on.  Makes one wonder why a power-hungry statist like that would allow the states to ratify a document under the impression it meant the government was extremely limited, and then once the ink dried (or maybe even before) he's saying how they basically signed their slave contract, doesn't it.

I would take it to mean that Hamilton and his ilk already saw loopholes in the Constitution's limitations. As far as history goes, they were more right than they could have ever dreamed.

John James:
The entire basis for the post was that notion of "'provide general welfare' means whatever I'm advocating".  Read the first 6 paragraphs.

I did before I ever posted in this thread. What James Madison took "provide general welfare" to mean has no necessary bearing on what today's Supreme Court justices take it to mean.

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Autolykos:
I would take it to mean that Hamilton and his ilk already saw loopholes in the Constitution's limitations. As far as history goes, they were more right than they could have ever dreamed.

You mean they felt like they could get around it.

 

I did before I ever posted in this thread. What James Madison took "provide general welfare" to mean has no necessary bearing on what today's Supreme Court justices take it to mean.

1) You sure about that?

2) What does that have to do with what we're talking about?  You essentially said I didn't address the non-Madison understanding of the clause.  I pointed out that that (mis)understanding formed the basis for the entire post.

 

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John James:
You mean they felt like they could get around it.

No, I mean they already saw loopholes in the Constitution's limitations.

John James:
1) You sure about that?

Yes.

John James:
2) What does that have to do with what we're talking about?  You essentially said I didn't address the non-Madison understanding of the clause.  I pointed out that that (mis)understanding formed the basis for the entire post.

No, I didn't say that, essentially or otherwise. I said that you didn't address the possibility of today's Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution contrary to James Madison's interpretation.

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I don't think it's really worth arguing about how the Justices will have arrived at their decisions until after the judgement is released.  At that point the majority, concurring and dissenting opinions will be available for public view and we will be able to see their respective lines of reasoning.

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Autolykos:
No, I mean they already saw loopholes in the Constitution's limitations.

"They felt like they could get around it [by pretending it meant something other than what it said, and what the people who ratified it understood it to mean]"

 

Yes.

Would you care to offer your proof that the writings of Madison have no bearing on what Justices of today might reason/rule?  They've all told you perosnally Madison has absolutely no influence (directly or indirectly) on their understanding of the document?

 

John James:
No, I didn't say that, essentially or otherwise. I said that you didn't address the possibility of today's Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution contrary to James Madison's interpretation.

I addressed the two most popular "interpretations" and said 'here is what some people say, and here is what the document says and here is what the 'Father of the Constitution' said".  It sounds like you're arguing that because the words "A Supreme Court Justice might take one of these stances" weren't included somewhere in the post, the notion that that is a possibility was completely absent.

Obviously if the notions exist, it's possible that a Justice might take one of those stances.  Just because I didn't mention the fact that one of the Justices might shoot himself in the face before he cast his vote, it doesn't mean that's not a possibility either.

Just admit you didn't fully read my post and came in with your trite platitude and are now trying to save face by clinging to a semantic technicality.

 

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John James:
"They felt like they could get around it [by pretending it meant something other than what it said, and what the people who ratified it understood it to mean]"

I don't see how that's equivalent to what I said.

John James:
Would you care to offer your proof that the writings of Madison have no bearing on what Justices of today might reason/rule?  They've all told you perosnally Madison has absolutely no influence (directly or indirectly) on their understanding of the document?

I said that Madison's interpretation of the Constitution has no necessary bearing on how today's Supreme Court justices interpret it. Logically speaking, there's no necessary connection there. How one person interprets something has no necessary bearing on how another person interprets it.

John James:
I addressed the two most popular "interpretations" and said 'here is what some people say, and here is what the document says and here is what the 'Father of the Constitution' said".  It sounds like you're arguing that because the words "A Supreme Court Justice might take one of these stances" weren't included somewhere in the post, the notion that that is a possibility was completely absent.

Obviously if the notions exist, it's possible that a Justice might take one of those stances.  Just because I didn't mention the fact that one of the Justices might shoot himself in the face before he cast his vote, it doesn't mean that's not a possibility either.

What I got from your post is that there's only one correct way to interpret the Constitution. I categorically disagree with that.

John James:
Just admit you didn't fully read my post and came in with your trite platitude and are now trying to save face by clinging to a semantic technicality.

I see nothing to admit there, because that isn't the case. I did read your post fully before I posted. And as far as I'm concerned, what I posted isn't a trite platitude and I'm not trying to save face in any way whatsoever. No amount of personal attacks by you will make me think otherwise.

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Autolykos:
I don't see how that's equivalent to what I said.

That's too bad.

 

I said that Madison's interpretation of the Constitution has no necessary bearing on how today's Supreme Court justices interpret it.

Oooooooo.

 

What I got from your post is that there's only one correct way to interpret the Constitution. I categorically disagree with that.

Oh yeah.  I forgot who I was talking to.

 

I see nothing to admit there, because that isn't the case. I did read your post fully before I posted. And as far as I'm concerned, what I posted isn't a trite platitude and I'm not trying to save face in any way whatsoever.

Whatever you say, chief.

 

No amount of personal attacks by you will make me think otherwise.

But they will intimidate you, right?  Or was it "won't" intimidate you?  I forget.

 

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You must love bickering with Autolykos, because the quickest way to make him go away is to actually engage him in a discussion.  Now you guys are just gonna go back and forth over nothing...

 

 

PS I don't really mean "go away", Autolykos!  heart

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gotlucky:
PS I don't really mean "go away", Autolykos!  heart

.. Then what did you mean?

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I meant end the discussion, but I was trying to empathize with JJ, or is it sympathize?  I can never remember which is which.

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Lotta love in this forum.  smiley

 

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Dude, you are awesome!  It's all so simple, isn't it?  Everyone wants money and power and freedom, etc.  But relatively few understand how all of that money and power were created here in America.  So they literally seek to kill the goose (the constitution) that laid the golden eggs.  Just freedom; that's the answer, the solution to all of our problems.

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Autolykos replied on Thu, Apr 12 2012 8:00 AM

Right, so where was I?

John James:
That's too bad.

So in other words, you're apparently not concerned with actually helping me to understand how those two statements must be equivalent. What are you concerned with here, John?

John James:
Oooooooo.

That's right.

John James:

As if that's going to shut me up. I would think you'd know better by now.

Perhaps you'd like to explain how definitions aren't (ever?) arbitrary.

John James:
Whatever you say, chief.

My opinion has not changed. Again, it doesn't seem to me like you're concerned with changing my opinion. So what are you concerned with?

John James:
But they will intimidate you, right?  Or was it "won't" intimidate you?  I forget.

Sure you do.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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To actually answer your question, Friedmanite: Yes, policy 2 is constitutional and would probably never even reach the Supreme Court. The federal government does have the authority to levy a health care tax and offer refunds for those who buy an insurance policy. The problem is that doing so means admitting that it's a tax, which would not get enough votes in Congress. Instead, the administration is trying to get the same result via the commerce clause, allowing them to claim they have not raised taxes. But just because it accomplishes the same end does not make the means constitutional.

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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John James replied on Thu, Apr 12 2012 10:26 AM

Autolykos:
Right, so where was I?

You will not intimidate me.

 

What are you concerned with here, John?

Not being intimidated.

 

That's right.

You cannot intimidate me.

 

As if that's going to shut me up. I would think you'd know better by now.

Perhaps you'd like to explain how definitions aren't (ever?) arbitrary.

That's not going to intimidate me.

 

So what are you concerned with?

Did you seriously just ask me the same question in the same post...before I would have a chance to answer?

I'm not intimidated.

 

But they will intimidate you, right?  Or was it "won't" intimidate you?  I forget.

Sure you do.

 

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