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.
Beck points to Ayn Rand for an easy way to distinguish whether a right is in accordance with the Constitution. After any right is proposed, simply ask the question “at whose expense?” Is there a universal right to a college education or healthcare? At whose expense? Your right to life and liberty was not to come at expense of anyone else. As Ayn Rand wrote, “The government was set to protect man from criminals, and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.” Individual rights were to supersede any government power.
Could it be that government “help” has just escalated the cost of healthcare and education? While published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007, the median family income rose only 147 percent and healthcare cost rose only 250%. Are those increases a result of true costs to improve education or are they a result of the fact that they can get away with such charges because government provides more loans and grants? Parents, students and taxpayers are left with more debt because government tries to “help” by throwing your money at the “problem!”
How can citizens afford the cost of college and healthcare? By keeping most of the money they now give to government.
John Stossel, in Give Me a Break, shows Federal spending from 1789 to 2003. The line is all but flat until World War II. When America began, government cost the average citizen $20 in today’s money. That’s $20 a year! Taxes rose during wars, but for most of the history of America spending never exceeded a few hundred dollars per citizen. During World War II, government got much bigger. It was supposed to shrink again after the war. It never did; it just kept expanding. In 2010, federal spending ($6.3 trillion) cost every man, woman and child in this country just under $20,000 a year! If you aren’t paying that, you’re making your neighbor pay your share!
It’s not too late. Support politicians who are fighting to take back America to what it was formed to be—a beacon for liberty and opportunity not an invitation to dependence on big government!