Morning Bell: Is Obamacare Consistent With Our First Principles?
Conn Carroll /
During one of Sen. Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) early health care townhalls in Lebanon, Pennsylvania; mother of two Katy Abram told the audience: “I don’t believe this is just about health care. It’s not about TARP. It’s not about left and right. This is about the systematic dismantling of this country. I’m only 35 years-old. I’ve never been interested in politics. You have awakened the sleeping giant.” Abrams is dead on. Our federal government has, unfortunately, long been drifting away from the limited government principles first envisioned by our founders. But over the past eleven months, that drift has turned into an all out sprint towards an undemocratic, technocratic, leviathan state … a type of government that our Constitution was specifically designed to prevent.
As Abram points out, both political parties have been complicit in the rapid deterioration of our founding principles. It was after all President Bush who pushed for and signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). When the Bush administration submitted their legislation to Congress we warned: “From a constitutional standpoint, the current versions of the legislation are different in scope, and especially in kind, from almost any federal legislation that has come before.” Specifically we identified: (1) Congress’s enumerated power—or lack thereof—to intervene with private markets in the manner contemplated, (2) the lack of meaningful standards to guide the extremely broad grant of discretion to the Treasury secretary (the “legislative delegation” problem), (3) limitations on judicial review over the exercise of that almost limitless discretion, and (4) related separation of powers concerns. (more…)