A conservative view of national, state and local politics by Steve Fair
Monday, July 2, 2012
Winning a Battle- Lose the War!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
WINNING A BATTLE- LOSE THE WAR!
by Steve Fair
The ruling on federal
mandated health insurance by the Supreme Court of the United States
has dominated the news in the past week.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the four liberal justices on the
court to uphold the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy health
insurance or to pay a fine.
majority opinion, Roberts and the other four justices evidently based their
decision on ObamaCare being a ‘tax.’
President Obama and the Democrats have long argued the mammoth federal
health care program was not a tax. Conservatives
had argued that forcing Americans to buy a product was a violation of the
Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution.
The justices agreed that the government could not force us to buy a
product, but then in their 5-4 ruling contradicted themselves by saying it
could be done if it was called a ‘tax.’
about the ruling:
ruling surprised most people because the ‘tax’ argument was not expected to be
the basis of the ruling. It is true
Congress is given the constitutional authority to tax, but is ObamaCare a
tax? Not according to Justice Scalia,
who wrote in the dissenting opinion, “To
say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the
statute but to rewrite it.” And President Obama has repeatedly said the
fines and penalties imposed on Americans who do not buy health insurance are
not a tax. On Sunday, his chief of
staff, Jack Lew said on CNN’s State of the Union
that the penalty for failure to buy health insurance is not a tax. "This
is a penalty," Lew said "It's something that only 1 percent of the
people who could afford insurance -- (and) who choose not to get it -- will
pay." So while the SCOTUS rules
the Individual Mandate a tax, the White House doesn’t want to have it labeled a
tax in an election year.
mandated health insurance is most certainly a tax. Webster defines a tax as: a sumofmoneydemanded
or required by a government for its support orforspecific
facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property,sales,etc.
Federal mandated health insurance fits the
definition of a tax. As Shakespeare
said, “A rose by any other name would
smell as sweet.” Penalties are a
form of taxes just as are tolls, tribute, import duties, customs, and excise
fees. Calling a tax a tax can be political suicide,
so politicians have conveniently re-labeled taxes and called them mandates and penalties,
but that doesn’t change what they are.
Third, you never
know about Supreme Court justices. Most
presidents nominate candidates who broadly share their ideological views,
although a justice's decisions often end up being contrary to a president's
expectations. According to the U.S.
Constitution, “The President of the United States
appoints justices "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.” The current nine members include two
appointees by Presidents Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. Clarence Thomas, the most conservative member
of the court, was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. Once appointed, justices have life tenure
unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment. The current justices age range from 52 to
79. There are three women on the
court. Chief Justice John Roberts was
expected to be a reliable conservative on the court, one who would rule based
on the Constitution. That didn’t
happen. In the dissenting opinion, the
four conservatives on the court firmly stated the case should have been tossed
out because the individual mandate was unconstitutional. So how did Roberts, a constitutional expert,
get this wrong? Charles Krauthammer, a
conservative commentator who disagreed with the ruling, says Roberts made the
ruling to avoid the appearance of politics on the high court and because he
carries two identities. “Jurisprudentially,
he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and
sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court's
legitimacy, reputation and stature,” Krauthhammer said.
ruling is really a nightmare for the Democrats.
It allows them to claim victory in a battle, but it could cost them the
war. President Obama said the ruling was,
“ a great victory for all Americans,’ but 69% of the American public have said
they don’t want ObamaCare. Rush Limbaugh says it was the largest tax increase in world history. Now the Democrats must take ownership of that TAX. In the
majority opinion Roberts wrote, “We do not consider whether the Act embodies
sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We
ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the
Court ruling told the American public ObamaCare can be overturned the same way
it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress.
FAIR- because that's my name and BIASED because the truth is we are all biased-either for something or against it. What's important is that our bias(opinions) are based on right- on absolute truth and not on changing values. What's right cannot change based on a change in circumstances. That is the basis for situational ethics.
Situation Ethics is a theory that is concerned with the outcome or consequences of an action; the end, as opposed to an action being intrinsically wrong. In the case of situation ethics, the end can justify the means. There are no absolutes. Your actions are guided only by your conscience.
A person's view of right can be subjective. But there is a way mankind can definitely know what's right and that is revealed in God's Word- the Bible. As His creatures, we should be biased toward things our Creator is for and biased against those things He is against. May God grant us the grace and understanding to know the difference.
PARTY AFFILIATION IS IMPORTANT! by Steve Fair- written in 2009
How important is political party affiliation? Some people mistakenly believe only politicians need political affiliation, which they use for support to get elected. They contend the electorate or voters, do not need to be aligned with any Party. These same people often state they “support the man, not the Party.” But whether they recognize it or not, they are supporting a party when they “support the man.” Most of the Founding Fathers had a negative view of political parties. In his farewell address to the nation, George Washington warned about political parties saying, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” In spite of Washington's warning, political parties were formed anyway. From 1796 to 1828 the first political parties were formed. Starting with the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, two opposing factions arose. Each was concerned with how the new government was to be organized. The Federalists believed in a strong central government. Their philosophy and beliefs would closely mirror the Democrat Party today. The Anti-Federalists strongly supported the rights of the states. They would more closely align with Republicans today. Since the mid 1800s, the Ds and Rs have been the two major political parties in our country. Political parties flourished in our government mainly for legislative organization and expediencies sake. Why is Party affiliation important for the average voter? Party affiliation is important for three very simples reasons. First, party affiliation is the first vote a citizen casts. When a citizen registers as a Democrat, then they are aligning philosophically with the values, beliefs, tenets, and positions of the Democrats on the issues. Party affiliation “defines” you are and what you stand for. It should be taken as seriously as a vote for a specific candidate. Research what each Party stands for, their positions on issues, and then align with the Party that is closest to your values. Copies of both major Party platforms are available on-line or at the local library. Second, legislatures organize themselves and conduct business using party affiliation. The legislative branch of government is the most powerful arm of the three branches of government. Legislative bodies hold closed meeting of party members, called a caucus to decide on questions of policy or leadership. The Republicans hold a caucus meeting and the Democrats hold a caucus meeting-both at the state and federal level. Unfortunately, conservative, moderate and liberal philosophies do not hold caucus meetings or control the legislative agendas- parties do. When someone says they vote for “the man,” not the party, they fail to understand the power and function of a caucus system in a legislative body. The Party in the majority controls appointments, Chairmanships, the agenda and countless other things through the caucus. Third, party affiliation should be a matter of conviction, not convenience. Often, people align with a party so they can vote in primary elections or based on family tradition or geographies. Even candidates will align, file and run affiliated with a Party they have little philosophical agreement with. That decision is made out of convenience, not conviction. While no political party is perfect or has all the answers, there is a distinct difference between the two major parties and honest citizens should align with the Party that reflects their convictions. The Democrat Party is more liberal than the Republican Party. Liberals believe in more government control of business, the environment and speech, using large bureaucratic programs to address real or perceived social ills and constant reinterpretation of the Constitution. Liberals are more inclined to trust government than the people themselves. They see the role of government as a great provider of goods and services and have little faith in the individual to solve his own problems. Republicans are more conservative than Democrats. Conservatives believe in less government control of the environment and business. They want fewer and less comprehensive government programs to address real or perceived social ills. They believe in personal responsibility and trust individuals to make decisions for themselves. Republicans believe in a strict literal interpretation of the Constitution. A person should find out which of these philosophies best fits their view if they wish to actively participate in the political process. Party affiliation is important. Washington’s prophecy has come to past, and political parties have been used to empower “unprincipled men,” on both sides of the aisle, but like it or not, political parties are a reality in our system of government. Each concerned citizen should evaluate the philosophy, values, beliefs and tenets of each Party and align their party affiliation accordingly.
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