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The New York Times hung out with 4 people. #hangoutsonairMichael Cannon, Grace-Marie Turner, Snigdha Koirala, and Robert Reich
A Conversation About the Health Care Ruling
The New York Times and 4 others participated
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Ernie Conger's profile photoRichard French's profile photoGary Levin's profile photoStephen Miller's profile photo
30 comments
 
Where is the money coming from if we have 2.6 Billion in debt. 
 
The Law will severely affect small and large business, hiring, overhead, taxing  G-M-T you are always right about these things.
 
We're already spending the money, folks. Does anyone actually support a solution where zero money is spent on healthcare for these 40 million Americans?
 
We need health reform, no one wants anyone to be not covered. This is a living law and will be amended many times over as time travels..Do not despair, and try to keep calm.
 
Obamacare will kill good healthcare for the seniors, and disabled people. Here come the death panels! Well can we expect from people who think they decend from monkeys.... Also the largest middleclass taxation of the middle class in US history.
 
Obviously you haven't read the ACA. Only those people who refuse to get health insurance will face a tax, not the "middle class" like the right would like everyone to believe. Everyone is already paying more for insurance to cover the ER and hospital cost of those not insured now. The insurance companies have been the "death panels" by refusing to cover those people with existing conditions. ACA is good for the American people.
 
The role of the Federal government is to protect life, liberty and property. Health care is not a right and using force to take money from one individual to give to another goes against the individual liberty that the Constitution stands for.
 
Are you talking about the ACA tax or the income tax, or the gas tax or any other tax that federal, state, county or city places on us all. I have to pay a school tax but don't have any kids in school. People that have no insurance and go to ER's or hospitals take money from all of us to pay for their care, same as making people pay for auto insurance. People drive without insurance and it costs us all, but they can be fined, jailed and lose their driving license. Always a penalty for not doing whats right.
 
I have to echo the sentiment of +Ernie Conger's comment to +John Walker's comment. "Using force to take money from one individual to give to another" is inadequate as a test of either the constitutionality or the appropriateness of a government action. There is not a single government program which can meet that test. That's why it is government. The logical conclusion of John's view is zero taxes and zero government.
 
+Stephen Miller The only valid use of government is what it is authorized to do in the Constitution.  People that disagree with Natural Rights like to take it to that extreme of no government.  Government is in place to protect the rights that we have naturally. What I have a problem with is the government taking money from an individual to give to another individual or to provide specific services to a specific group.  That should be handled at the state level and not the federal level.
 
+John Walker Do I read you right, you're saying that only the federal govt takes money from one person to give to another person or to provide for specific services to a specific group? What about state, county and city govt's? Seems I'm paying county school taxes and I don't have kids in school. I pay county road and bridge taxes and yet my road floods during even light rain. The ditches on my side of the road aren't maintained but the ditches on the other side are cleaned and mowed regularly because that property belongs to a county official. I'm paying state taxes so the gov. can live in a $10,000 a month mansion (state does have a Gov. Mansion at the capital). I'm paying more and getting less for my state and county taxes than in federal taxes.
 
+Ernie Conger No, you're not reading him right. State, county, and city governments can take money from one person to give to another. However, the Federal government is given much more limited powers by the Constitution.
 
+Caleb DeLon So the Federal Govt is prohibited from redistributing taxes to individuals or specific groups. That might be news to small business owners and farmers among others that receive subsidies from our tax money. They are individuals or specific groups are they not?
 
+Ernie Conger You are absolutely right.  Those activities are prohibited by the constitution. On top of that they distort the market so resources cannot be used efficiently. Programs like farm/crop subsidies, corporate subsidies through loans or grants, and the Import/Export bank are just a few examples.
 
+John Walker If those activities are prohibited by the constitution how come the congress keeps passing bills to fund them? Where is the Supreme Court to tell us they're against the constitution? Congress passes legislation and the President signs them into law all according to the Constitution you say prohibits them.
 
+Ernie Conger Congress, the President, and even the Supreme Court stopped caring about the Constitution a long time ago. Many if not most government programs today are overreaches not authorized by the Constitution.
 
+Caleb DeLon Enlighten me on which programs you're talking about that aren't according to the Constitution.
 
+Caleb DeLon I think you raise an interesting point, but one that ultimately cannot be sustained.

If we attempt to assess the constitutional validity of the scope of government through such a very strict filter, then vast swaths of what is done now would have to be considered unconstitutional. That is one of the problems I had with the argument against Obamacare: if that were to be found unconstitutional, then Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, most every safety net program, energy programs -- you name it -- would be equally unconstitutional.

But there is obviously no desire among the electorate, except among very small factions, to go that way. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that we have decided, as a nation, to adopt a fluid view of the constitution. And once that fluidity is accepted, then Obamacare fits easily under the same tent.

I might liken this to certain of the treaties signed with native peoples in the 19th century. Taken literally, those peoples may have a claim to territory and rights vastly beyond what they currently enjoy. But there is a sense that the developments of the past 150 years, even if contrary to those literal words, cannot be undone. So too with the fluid progression of the Constitution. We DO have all those government programs, and that cannot be undone. And that is precisely why finding Obamacare to be constitutional makes perfect sense.
 
+Stephen Miller If we use a fluid changing view of the Constitution then there is no point in having it in the first place.  The founders allowed for the Constitution to be changed through the amendment process. If it is decided that all these programs are necessary and people are willing to give up their freedoms for them then they can be implemented through Article 5.

The reason the Constitution was designed to provide limited enumerated powers and difficult to amend was that so the country didn't change radically with the political winds.
 
"If we use a fluid changing view of the Constitution then there is no point in having it in the first place." That is an astonishing assertion. There are innumerable points of value in our constitution other than changelessness, The constitution has been evolving from day one.

If you fully embrace unchanging constitutional standards, then you would have to oppose the Supreme Court hearing the Obamacare case in the first place. Judicial review of the constitutionality of laws is not an enumerated power of the Supreme Court, and was not firmly established until Marbury v Madison in 1803.
 
+Ernie Conger I would put the programs Stephen Miller listed under the "unconstitutional" banner.
 
+Stephen Miller That's a good point. I would still take the position that we need to have a literal understanding of the Constitution regardless of how impractical it might be. I do believe it's possible to remove a large number of the unconstitutional programs, but it would be difficult to get widespread popular support.
 
+Caleb DeLon, that is precisely my point. If you take the position that the constitution is not meant to adapt over time, then almost all modern era federal activity is unconstitutional. That leaves you advocating for a government that organizes an army, post office, currency, and no more, which is an extremely radical viewpoint. It is not merely "difficult" to get widespread popular support for that ideology, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do so. Sorry, but that ideology cannot exist in the real world.
 
+Stephen Miller The Constitution allows for changes through amendments. If the support is that widespread then why have the changes been made through unconstitutional legislation, executive orders and judicial precedent? The truth is that the progressive changes that a vocal minority want have created a dependent class that needs the government programs to continue. If we are at the point that the unconstitutional programs cannot be removed then this country is toast. Because at that point the looters have been given authority to take from the makers and you destroy production and creativity.
 
I hear what you are saying, +John Walker, but all the same, I hope you know that "if we are at the point that the unconstitutional programs cannot be removed then this country is toast" is a view held by very few. No government has existed anywhere on the face of the earth for the past 200 years, successfully or unsuccessfully, that fits the original US constitutional model. Every static model of governance in history has failed. Just sayin'.
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