Rep. Paul Ryan’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union provides a clue to the political battle that is coming: “The principles that guide us; they are anchored in the wisdom of the founders in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and in the words of the American Constitution. They have to do with the importance of limited government and with the blessing of self-government. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that the pursuit of happiness depends on individual liberty, and individual liberty requires limited government.”
There is no compromise on opposite principles; it’s either empowered individuals or an all-powerful government. Thankfully the recent overreach by President Obama on healthcare reform, the Republican gains in November, and recent court decisions are moving things closer to a showdown in the Supreme Court and in the coming budget battle.
Judge Roger Vinson of Federal District Court in Pensacola, Fla., concluded that it was unconstitutional for Congress to enact the Affordable Care Act that required Americans to obtain commercial insurance. Judge Vinson argues that to allow the law to stand, would fundamentally transform our constitutional scheme from limited to unlimited federal power and narrow the scope of individual liberty. In Judge Vinson's words, "the more harm the statute does, the more power Congress could assume for itself under the Necessary and Proper Clause. This result would,…allow Congress to exceed the powers specifically enumerated in Article I." A Supreme Court decision looms on the horizon.
As President Obama delivers his 2012 Budget this week, the battle will accelerate. With Republicans looking to cut the size and spending of government by cutting the funding for implementing the Affordable Care Act, additional stimulus investments, and relief for debt-ridden states, the battle of all battles will begin. Glenn Beck, in his well-documented book Broke, challenges conservatives to focus the fight on the Constitution and core principles. Our founding fathers fought for equal rights, not rights to benefit some at the expense of others.
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