Should Congressmen follow the Constitution?

4 04 2010

Should we expect our Congressmen to follow the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence?   Illinois Congressman Phil Hare said he doesn’t care if the health care bill (Obamacare) was constitutional.  He said, “I don’t worry about the Constitution. … It doesn’t matter to me.”   Listen for yourself:

Part of his argument is that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That’s true, although I don’t see how mandatory health care is implied with that.

I’m not looking to get into a debate on the health care bill itself — there’s plenty of blogs already discussing that.  I’m just trying to make a specific point with this post.  (And for the record, I think we do need reform in health care — there’s way too much corruption, and it is expensive and/or difficult to acquire if you have any serious medical conditions.  But I think the current bill oversteps what our government should do, what they can do effectively, and what they can afford to do.)

My point here is that all the government does must fit into the Constitution and the other various laws we have.  The Constitution is there to protect our freedoms and to prevent tyranny (too much control) by the government.  If there’s something in the Constitution that needs to be changed AND the majority of the citizens want it AND it’s what is best for our country, then that change should go through the proper legislative channels to be implemented.  But until such changes are made, our freedoms are destroyed when the government oversteps the boundaries that are there to protect us.

FYI, if you haven’t heard the discussion on how Obamacare is unconstitutional, here’s a short discussion from Sean Hannity’s program.

Regarding the claim in the first video of Phil Hare reading the bill 3 times, let’s take a quick look at the facts.  I don’t know the exact length of the final bill, but looking at H.R. 3200 RH (which is “Reported to House”), it is 2454 pages.  If he was reading at one page per minute (which might not be enough time for the depth of some of the content), that would be about 41 hours.  If he read it 3 times, that’s 123 hours.   If he read 8 hours a day (which seems unlikely, but we’ll use that figure for this illustration), that would take over 15 days to read the bill 3 times.  You can decide how likely that is…

While on this topic, I have a quick rant to make.  Did you notice in the first video how the Congressman sidesteps the issue being addressed by bringing up the good “talking points” of the bill?   Of course it will accomplish some good!  There are people who can’t afford health care, and it will help them.  (“Think of the children!  Think of the poor single mothers!”)  The politicians for it bring up the good points, which have their place, but usually fail to discuss the issues, such as whether the bill is unconstitutional, whether it may bankrupt America, whether it will make health care cost more to employers and workers, whether it creates a monopoly not subject to legal challenges, whether it will lead to more abortions, etc.  It seems like most of the discussion is one-sided (on both sides of the debate).  It gets old.  And all the one-sided talk and partisan “talking points” just makes people confused, and the politicians and analysts tend to put people into a box — you’re either for it or against it (and thus you either care about people or you’re against America and our rights).  This is the kind of mess that really disturbs me in politics.  It seems like the politicians prefer it to be a mess, that they don’t want us to know all about it and have an educated opinion, but to just trust them, to assume that they are doing everything in our best interests…

One more thing on this topic… Several big companies (including Caterpillar, Verizon, and AT&T) announced that Obamacare would cost them millions of dollars, so they will have to use layoffs and benefits reductions to pay for it.  Some analysts suggest that the total first-quarter cost to S&P 500 firms will be $4.5 billion.  And the government doesn’t want to hear this negative news, so they are investigating these claims… based solely on announcements…   You can read more here: The Brown Shirts Go After the White Collars.  (You should read the investigation letter — it sounds like serious stuff.)  And according to an article at The New York Times, 300 large corporations are urging for Obamacare to be repealed.   AT&T said they will take a $1 billion hit; Deere & Company a $150 million charge; Caterpillar a $100 million charge; 3M a $90 million charge; and so on.  Representative Henry Waxman is leading the investigation, saying this can’t be right, because Obamacare will save companies money.  Plus all these financial hits can’t be good for the job market or the economy!  Oh, what a tangled mess they have weaved…

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3 responses

4 04 2010
Thomas Wayne

Isn’t it refreshing when a politician is honest, open, and transparent? Well, except when he’s WRONG. But at least he was honest about it…

5 04 2010
American Action Report

He’s wrong on two counts. When he took the oath of office upon entering Congress, the Constitution became his “contract with America.” He violated the terms of his contract.
Many voters don’t know enough about the difference between a republic and a democracy to care about whether his vote was unconstitutional. They do, however, care that he was picking their pockets to enrich Big Pharma and health insurance companies.
I’m encouraging voters of all stripes–conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and non-aligned–to vote against congressmen who took sides against their constituents by voting for Obamacare, the renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act, or any of the bailouts.

5 04 2010
Say What?!

It is funny that this congressman says that the constitution doesn’t matter yet he quotes the declaration of independence.
Thomas Jefferson is important, right?
So if Thomas Jefferson thinks the constitution matters, shouldn’t our current congressman do the same???

Unless of course, if our politicians treat our constitution like a “living document” prone to being amended at a whim.

Is anything sacred in our country anymore?

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