Tag Archives: Constitutional Law

Charles Krauthammer – Annals of executive overreach

Last week, a draft memo surfaced from the Department of Homeland Security suggesting ways to administratively circumvent existing law to allow several categories of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and, indeed, for some to be granted permanent residency. Most disturbing was the stated rationale. This was being proposed “in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” In other words, because Congress refuses to do what these bureaucrats would like to see done, they will legislate it themselves. Regardless of your feelings on the substance of the immigration issue, this is not how a constitutional democracy should operate. Administrators administer the law, they don’t change it. That’s the legislators’ job.

Read more via Charles Krauthammer – Annals of executive overreach.

Charles Krauthammer – Beware the lame duck

Leading Democrats are already considering this as a way to achieve even more liberal measures that many of their members dare not even talk about, let alone enact, on the eve of an election in which they face a widespread popular backlash to the already enacted elements of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.

Charles Krauthammer – Beware the lame duck.

America Is In A Societal Meltdown

July 08, 2010

By Chuck Baldwin

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” So said Founding Father and America’s second President John Adams. And he was absolutely right. And that is what is absolutely wrong with our country today: America is in a complete moral, societal, and cultural meltdown.

Founding Father and America’s first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay correctly summarized the reason our new nation (and the fight for its liberty and independence) was successful. He wrote in Federalist 2, “With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people–a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.”

In other words, a united constitutional republic can only exist within the framework of certain rather narrow and finite conditions. Remove those conditions and the framework for liberty and limited government falls apart. And the above statements by Adams and Jay succinctly summarize the conditions necessary for freedom’s framework.

“A Moral And Religious People”

At America’s founding, the principles of Christian philosophy and ideology were universally accepted. The vast majority of the colonists were churchgoing, Protestant Christians who firmly embraced and respected the sacred principles taught in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, the reason most colonists placed such a high premium on education was so that children would be able to read and study the Bible for themselves. It is more than interesting that America’s early educators all centered their curriculum upon the Bible. Include in this august list Benjamin Harris, publisher of the New England Primer; the “Father of American Education,” Noah Webster; along with one of early America’s most successful school textbook authors, William Holmes McGuffey.

Beyond that, when we talk about colonial America’s love of worship, we are not talking about what passes for “worship” in modern America. We are not talking about these Disneyland entertainment villages known as mega-churches. We are not talking about espresso Sunday Schools or glorified social clubs. We are talking about a place where preachers were bold and powerful proclaimers of truth and where people went to learn the Word of God (and how to apply it to every walk of life–including politics), not wallow in slurpy, sugary, shallow sermonettes that do nothing to prepare men for Christian warfare.

I challenge anyone to compare any of the sermons by colonial preachers such as Elisha Williams, Charles Chauncy, Jonathan Mayhew, Isaac Backus, Samuel Sherwood, John Witherspoon, Jacob Cushing, Samuel Cooper, Samuel Langdon, John Leland, Samuel Miller, Enos Hitchcock, Ebenezer Baldwin, or Jonathan Edwards with anything preached by Joel Osteen or Rick Warren.

Is it any wonder, then, that one cannot really distinguish the conduct and attitudes of professing Christians from those who make no Christian profession? Is it any wonder that churchgoing “Christians” seem to be as unkind, as deceitful, as lazy, as greedy, as unthankful, and as immoral as those who make no pretense regarding their unbelief? In fact, in some cases, those with no Christian profession put professing Christians to shame in matters of basic morality, decency, and civility. Why? One reason is the fact that the Church as a whole is no longer “the pillar and ground of the truth.” Rather, it is more commonly regarded as being a Big Business enterprise that is focused more on political correctness and entertainment than it is on possessing real conviction or spiritual power.

Add to the collapse of spirituality in America’s churches the collapse of morality in America’s culture. We’re talking about old-fashioned, basic morality. How is it that so many Americans seem to be so ignorant about the simplest moral principles? When did greed and ambition replace a desire for honest character? When did comfort and ease replace conviction for (and understanding of) good government? How is it that even “conservatives” have come to look to Washington, D.C., for answers to State or even personal problems? How is it that the fear of God is no longer relevant when choosing our civil magistrates? How can businessmen continue to sacrifice the sacred principles of liberty on the altar of financial profits? Are money and wealth really more important than liberty and peace? How can politicians blatantly disregard their oaths to the Constitution? How can they continue to grovel before special interest groups–and even foreign interests? How can they–so willingly and easily–violate the liberty principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence?

Without an understanding of (and an appreciation for) basic morality, America will collapse. Money and military might cannot and will not replace the time-tested foundations of morality and fidelity. The collapse of basic morality portends the collapse of America itself.

“One United People”

Contrary to what one hears from the politically correct crowd today, unity–not diversity–is the key to America’s greatness. Jay said that early America was united with the same ancestors, language, religion, and principles of government, manners, and customs. And he was right.

By and large, America was a Christian nation, speaking the same language, reading the same Bible, worshipping the same God, understanding (and respecting) the same form of government (a constitutional confederation of free, self-governing states), and embracing the same concepts of culture (law, nature, manners, etc.).

No more!

Thanks to decades of federal dictation, public school indoctrination, and media and entertainment propaganda, the principles that once united us now divide us. And divided we are! I would even argue that America is hopelessly and helplessly divided. We are no longer united in our understanding of (or appreciation for) Christianity; we are no longer united in our English language; we are no longer united in our respect for our ancestors; we are no longer united in our respect for God’s Word; we are no longer united in our respect for the principles of federalism or constitutional government; and we are no longer united in our appreciation for the fundamental principles of self reliance, morality, and freedom.

In other words, it is “crystal clear” that America is in the midst of a complete and total spiritual, societal, cultural, moral, and political meltdown. And what is also abundantly obvious is that as long as Washington, D.C., continues to lord it over us (and who or what is going to stop it?), it is only a matter of time before the final collapse occurs. And at that point, freedom lovers will be fighting against their own countrymen for their very lives and liberty.

Accordingly, I think all this talk about “saving America” is largely a complete waste of time and energy. Instead, we need to be talking about saving our individual states (and the truth is, probably at least half of the states are beyond repair), saving our families, saving our communities, and saving our individual freedoms. To continue to focus on “saving America” or “changing Washington, D.C.,” etc., is utter foolishness! Washington, D.C., is not going to change; it is beyond redemption. Forget it! Circle the wagons around your State; cement your convictions; prepare your family; ready your resolve; and start planning for life after death–the death of liberty and law in America–because the meltdown of American society and culture has already begun.

ObamaCare: An Unmitigated Disaster


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May 01, 2010

ObamaCare: An Unmitigated Disaster

By Janice Shaw Crouse

Americans are learning that ObamaCare will pile on insurmountable debt and cause government to encroach on every area of our lives.  ObamaCare is, as Yuval Levin said, an “unmitigated disaster — for our health care system, for our fiscal future, and for any notion of limited government.”  And the more we learn about the specific provisions, the more we discover that the bill does not reflect our values — faith, family and freedom — nor does it strengthen those principles that are the foundation of a great nation.
Each day while Democrats are criss-crossing the country to declare that ObamaCare is not a government takeover of health care, a new government expert releases figures indicating that ObamaCare is going to be outrageously expensive and won’t do what the president promised it would.  Now they tell us!
Many Americans were outraged after ObamaCare passed when a report from the Office of the Actuary of Medicare indicated that the costs of the bill would increase rather than cut the costs of health care in the United States.  In an April 23 appearance before the House Appropriations Committee, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius declared that nobody really knows what ObamaCare will cost.  Ed Morrissey, the prominent blogger on Hot Air, called the $5 billion appropriated for ObamaCare just a “spit-balling number,” because “no one has the faintest clue how much money will actually get spent on this program.”  There is clear evidence, however, from the Congressional Budget Office that the average fine for those three million middle-class Americans who are expected to pay a penalty for not having health insurance will amount to more than $1,000 per person.  The report estimates that the government will collect about $4 billion per year in fines from 2017 to 2019.
In addition to questions about cost, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll reveals that over half of Americans are confused about what the law means (55 percent) and what impact it will have on them (56 percent).  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), ranking Republican on the Budget Committee and a leader in explaining Obamanomics, believes that the nation is at a “tipping point” and could be on a “very dangerous” path toward a social welfare state.  He says ObamaCare “has $2 trillion in higher taxes, doubles the debt in five years, triples the debt in 10 years,” and consists of the “largest entitlement” expansion in 35 years where the “majority of Americans are more dependent upon the government than they are themselves.”  More than 70 percent, Ryan claims, will get more benefits from the government than they pay for in taxes — making 3-out-of-10 families either supplement or supply the income for the other seven families.
Numerous polls indicate that the public’s trust in government is at an “historic low.”  The Pew Research Center reported that only 22 percent of Americans trust government today.  A Quinnipiac poll notes that the President’s approval rating is down to 44 percent, and Congress’s approval is 25 percent.  Daniel Henninger, of the Wall Street Journal, said, “The American people have issued a no-confidence vote in government.”  Henninger thinks that the distrust is because, with almost universal access to the Internet, the “veil was ripped from the true cost of government” so that everyone could see how much spending — $9 trillion — was out of control.
ObamaCare contains $670 billion in tax increases.  For the middle class, there are at least 14 different tax increases signed into law that target taxpayers making less than $250,000 per year.  In Massachusetts, a state that enacted health care reforms similar to the national plan, more than a half-dozen lawsuits were filed to stop double-digit premium increases.  The Boston Globe warned that ObamaCare could result in similar lawsuits at the federal level.  Indeed, Richard Epstein, a constitutional lawyer writing in the Wall Street Journal, stated that regulated public utilities have a right to a “risk-adjusted rate of return on their invested capital.”  Others are predicting federal lawsuits where courts will slap down “efforts to control by fiat the price of the insurance” that Americans are legally mandated to buy.  Attorneys general in more than a dozen states are working to challenge the legal mandate in federal court as unconstitutional.
Finally, officials are owning up to what most Americans already knew.  ObamaCare means higher costs and lower quality; ObamaCare means rationing and higher taxes – including a Value Added Tax (VAT).  It means mandating and penalties.  President Obama and his liberal colleagues on the Hill jettisoned the world’s best health care system for the dubious honor of having achieved “health care reform.”  Now, in addition to figuring out how to pay for the trillion dollar government takeover of health care, we have to untangle the budgetary gimmicks, bureaucratic mess, and disastrous financial crisis that the nation faces as a result.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/obamacare_an_unmitigated_disas.html at May 01, 2010 – 03:13:15 PM CDT

Krauthammer’s Take – NRO Staff – The Corner on National Review Online

Monday, April 26, 2010

Krauthammer’s Take [NRO Staff]

On the Arizona immigration law as a response to increased kidnappings, cross-border killings, and drug-trafficking:

And the reason is that the feds have not done what they are required to do to secure the border. When Napolitano says it’s the best level of security ever — did you hear in that sound bite she said we are throwing the most resources at it?

It’s a typical liberal assessing the policy on the amount of stuff on the inputs into it, rather than on the results and the output. Output is kidnappings, murder, mayhem, fear at the border.

When the president says as he said today that the reason all this is happening is because the federal government has not acted, he’s right about that. But he’s completely wrong in implying, as he does, that a solution is what he’s going to advocate, which is amnesty. Amnesty is exactly the wrong answer. . . .

What the feds ought to do is not amnesty, [but] secure the border. And here, I cannot understand — I have never heard a coherent argument against a fence across the border. On the parts in which a fence already exists, there has been a huge decrease in illegal immigration.

Of course there’s always going to be a person or two who gets across. But a fence all across the border would turn a river of illegal immigrants into a trickle, and that would change the whole country.

via Krauthammer’s Take – NRO Staff – The Corner on National Review Online.

Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?

Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?
Friday, April 16, 2010 at 10:09am

Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it. America’s military may be one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever seen, liberating countless millions from tyranny, slavery, and oppression over the last 234 years. As a dominant superpower, the United States has won wars hot and cold; our military has advanced the cause of freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan and kept authoritarian powers like Russia and China in check.

It is in America’s and the world’s interests for our country to remain a dominant military superpower, but under our great country’s new leadership that dominance seems to be slipping away. President Obama has ended production of the F-22, the most advanced fighter jet this country has ever built. He’s gutted our missile defense program by eliminating shield resources in strategic places including Alaska. And he’s ended the program to build a new generation of nuclear weapons that would have ensured the reliability of our nuclear deterrent well into the future. All this is in the context of the country’s unsustainable debt that could further limit defense spending. As one defense expert recently explained:

The president is looking to eliminate the last vestiges of the Reagan-era buildup. Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “ended” (not “won”), the arms control treaties signed, and defense budgets held at historic lows while social entitlements and debt service rise to near-European levels, the era of American superpower will have passed.

The truth is this: by his actions we see a president who seems to be much more comfortable with an American military that isn’t quite so dominant and who feels the need to apologize for America when he travels overseas. Could it be a lack of faith in American exceptionalism? The fact is that America and our allies are safer when we are a dominant military superpower – whether President Obama likes it or not.

– Sarah Palin

RealClearPolitics – Video – Krauthammer: It’s In Obama’s “Character” To Ridicule Tea Party Movement

RealClearPolitics – Video – Krauthammer: It’s In Obama’s “Character” To Ridicule Tea Party Movement.

Bill Clinton Links Talk Radio, Tea Parties to Non-Existent Terrorism

Bill Clinton Links Talk Radio, Tea Parties to Non-Existent Terrorism.

Charles Krauthammer – Obamacare’s next trick: the VAT – washingtonpost.com

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 26, 2010; A25

As the night follows the day, VAT follows health-care reform.

With the passage of Obamacare, creating a vast new middle-class entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind near-universal in Europe is inevitable.

We are now $8 trillion in debt. The Congressional Budget Office projects that $12 trillion will be added over the next decade. Obamacare, when stripped of its budgetary gimmicks — the unfunded $200 billion-plus “doctor fix,” the double counting of Medicare cuts, the 10-6 sleight-of-hand (counting 10 years of revenue and only six years of outflows) — is at minimum a $2 trillion new entitlement.

It will vastly increase the debt. But even if it were revenue-neutral, Obamacare preempts and appropriates for itself the best and easiest means of reducing the existing deficit. Obamacare’s $500 billion of cuts in Medicare and $600 billion in tax hikes are no longer available for deficit reduction. They are siphoned off for the new entitlement of insuring the uninsured.

This is fiscally disastrous because, as President Obama himself explained last year in unveiling his grand transformational policies, our unsustainable fiscal path requires control of entitlement spending, the most ruinous of which is out-of-control health-care costs.

Obamacare was sold on the premise that, as Nancy Pelosi put it, “health-care reform is entitlement reform. Our budget cannot take this upward spiral of cost.” But the bill enacted on Tuesday accelerates the spiral: It radically expands Medicaid (adding 15 million recipients/dependents) and shamelessly raids Medicare by spending on a new entitlement the $500 billion in cuts and the yield from the Medicare tax hikes.

Obama knows that the debt bomb is looming, that Moody’s is warning that the Treasury’s AAA rating is in jeopardy, that we are headed for a run on the dollar and/or hyperinflation if nothing is done.

Hence his deficit-reduction commission. It will report (surprise!) after the November elections.

What will it recommend? What can it recommend? Sure, Social Security can be trimmed by raising the retirement age, introducing means testing and changing the indexing formula from wage growth to price inflation.

But this won’t be nearly enough. As Obama has repeatedly insisted, the real money is in health-care costs — which are locked in place by the new Obamacare mandates.

That’s where the value-added tax comes in. For the politician, it has the virtue of expediency: People are used to sales taxes, and this one produces a river of revenue. Every 1 percent of VAT would yield up to $1 trillion a decade (depending on what you exclude — if you exempt food, for example, the yield would be more like $900 billion).

It’s the ultimate cash cow. Obama will need it. By introducing universal health care, he has pulled off the largest expansion of the welfare state in four decades. And the most expensive. Which is why all of the European Union has the VAT. Huge VATs. Germany: 19 percent. France and Italy: 20 percent. Most of Scandinavia: 25 percent.

American liberals have long complained that ours is the only advanced industrial country without universal health care. Well, now we shall have it. And as we approach European levels of entitlements, we will need European levels of taxation.

Obama set out to be a consequential president, on the order of Ronald Reagan. With the VAT, Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism. Liberals have long complained that Reagan’s strategy was to starve the (governmental) beast in order to shrink it: First, cut taxes — then ultimately you have to reduce government spending.

Obama’s strategy is exactly the opposite: Expand the beast and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation. Now that, with the institution of universal health care, we are becoming the full entitlement state, the beast will have to be fed.

And the VAT is the only trough in creation large enough.

As a substitute for the income tax, the VAT would be a splendid idea. Taxing consumption makes infinitely more sense than taxing work. But to feed the liberal social-democratic project, the VAT must be added on top of the income tax.

Ultimately, even that won’t be enough. As the population ages and health care becomes increasingly expensive, the only way to avoid fiscal ruin (as Britain, for example, has discovered) is health-care rationing.

It will take a while to break the American populace to that idea. In the meantime, get ready for the VAT. Or start fighting it.

CNSNews.com – IRS to Enforce Health Reform

CNSNews.com

IRS to Enforce Health Reform
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
By Matt Cover, Staff Writer


IRS income tax forms.(AP file photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Internal Revenue Service will function as the government’s chief enforcer for health care reform, should President Obama sign the bill into law as expected, monitoring both businesses and individuals to certify whether they have the insurance coverage the government requires.

The tax collection agency will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the individual and employer insurance mandates which form the backbone of the Democrats’ hard-won reforms.

The bill states that the purpose of the mandates is to regulate “economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is purchased.”

The mandates require that all Americans carry a minimum level of health insurance or pay a separate tax for every month they are without such coverage. All employers with 50 employers or more will also be required to provide their employees with that same minimum level of coverage.

While that minimum level of coverage will be defined at a later date by the Department of Health and Human Services, it will be the responsibility of the IRS to monitor individuals and employers and to punish those who do not comply.

Under the bill, which passed despite bipartisan opposition March 21, starting in 2014 the IRS would be responsible for monitoring which employers are complying with the mandate and which ones are not. The IRS would begin such monitoring of individuals’ health insurance status in 2014 as well.

The IRS would monitor individuals and businesses’ health insurance statuses through the mandatory reporting the bill requires. Under the law, every individual and most businesses are required to report to the IRS, on their tax returns, whether they have purchased or provided the required level of coverage and disclose to the IRS which months, if any, in which they failed to do so.

Using this information, the IRS would then determine whether an employer or individual falls under the mandate, which contains exceptions for religious conscience, hardship, incarcerated persons, and members of Indian tribes.

If either an individual or a business has failed to comply with this mandate for any month out of the year, they are required to pay a separate tax to the IRS. For individuals this is a maximum of $750 per person (up to $2,250 per household) and $750 per uncovered employee for businesses.

Because these penalties would each apply on a monthly basis, individuals and employers would have to pay 1/12th of the maximum penalties for each month they failed to comply with the mandates.

In order to carry out its new monitoring and enforcement duties, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the IRS will need $10 billion in additional funds, funds which were not made available under the health reform bill.

An analysis done by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that this $10 billion could go to fund an additional 16,500 new IRS agents and other personnel to monitor and enforce the new mandates.

“[T]he IRS could add more than 16,500 additional agents, auditors, examiners, and administrative support personnel to enforce large portions of the nation’s health insurance system,” the report said.

The IRS will also be in charge of collecting the new taxes on high cost insurance plans and on so-called unearned income from couples making over $250,000 per year and single filers making over $200,000 per year.

Both of these provisions could be modified should the Senate approve a budget reconciliation measure the House also passed March 21. Whichever final form they take, they are both direct taxes and thus will be directly administered by the IRS.

Because these new mandates and taxes are under the purview of the IRS, taxpayers and businesses could incur additional penalties normally reserved for normal income tax cheats, paying fees over and above those for not complying with Congress’ new mandates.

The IRS currently charges potentially hefty penalties for, among other things, filing false or fraudulent returns, filing late returns, and failure to pay a tax on time.

Taxpayers and businesses could be hit with these extra penalties because they are required to use their tax returns to prove to the IRS that they are complying with the mandates and because they will have to pay any tax penalties to that agency as well.