Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Supreme Court Sends Obamacare Back to the People, Where it Rightfully Belongs.

“Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.”  William Shakespeare

Like many conservatives I had come to hope the United States Supreme Court would not only put an end to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, but would also breathe life into the 10th Amendment by placing much needed limitation on the “Commerce Clause”. That hope was awkward and indeed misplaces as one who has opposed judicial activism relying on the court to overturn a legislative act was uncomfortable. It ended just after 10 am yesterday as the court essentially upheld most of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. In doing so the court put Obamacare exactly where it belonged, in the hands of the American People who will almost certainly decide its fate at the ballot box November 6, 2012.

John G. Roberts, 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

To be clear, I disagree strongly with Chief Justice Roberts and his majority opinion, believing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s strong dissent was on firmer constitutional ground. Yet my faith in the constitution and the institutions it defines necessitates respect for the decision of the court. I suspect history will long debate the words we first read yesterday but the fate of Obamacare has now passed back to the legislative branch the people who elect their representatives.

We can play “who wins the polls” all day and do nothing but waste hot air. What is clear is Obamacare has failed to secure the majority support among the American people that any major piece of social legislation (think Civil Rights which had strong majority bi-partisan support) has in modern American history. The President and the Democratic leaders in congress were hard pressed to pass the legislation despite strong majorities in both houses of congress. Indeed in all votes more Democrats voted in opposition to their own parties proposal than Republicans voting for healthcare. Then Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi famously told Democrats they had to pass the bill so the public would come to understand and support healthcare reform. Without a doubt this was the central issue in the 2010 Congressional election which resulted in significant Democratic losses in the senate and a near record loss in the House which saw control pass to the Republicans. Throughout the 112th Congress Obamacare has continued to be the focus of debate with the House passing legislation repealing and Senate democrats killing those bills without a vote. Indeed the repeal votes have been little more than political theater since with Barack Obama in the White House, no repeal can ever become law. So Republicans have had to settle for preventing key elements of Obamacare from being funded (such as IRS agents being hired to enforce the taxation elements).

Obamacare

Obamacare is the Largest Tax Increase in American History

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, the solution to this situation seems crystal clear as Obamacare now stands to be one of if not the central issue of the 2012 Presidential & Congressional elections. Indeed, it would seem that in authoring that decision, Chief Justice John Roberts may have helped the conservative cause much more than was first apparent. Clearly, the Obama fabrication that Obamacare was not a tax increase was undermined by his own Solicitor Generals oral argument and was killed in Roberts ruling. Republicans how have a clear case to present that Barack Obama has put into place the largest tax increase in American history, for the middle class and every other class. While initially less apparent but potentially of greater long term significant, Chief Justice Roberts has for the first time in modern history placed significant limits on the Commerce Clause, indeed stating that if the act had relied upon that it would have been unconstitutional. This guidance will live on for generations and many liberals may come to have considerable indigestion over this.

Mitt Romney Pledges to Repeal and Replace Obamacare as First Act Upon becoming President in the Wake of June 28th Supreme Court Decision

Thus Obamacare will be put to its most significant vote exactly where the decision should be made, by the American People. Mitt Romney was quick to say that if he is elected president and sworn in on January 20, 2013 his first act will be to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Given the GOP has a strong majority in the house and with 23 Democrats to just 10 Republicans up for election in the senate this year, a President Romney would almost certainly have majorities in both houses of congress. Obamacare would soon find a place of honor on the ash pile of history. However, if President Obama is reelected, it much less likely he would have both houses of congress, yet he would have a real mandate to move forward with Obamacare. He may well have to finally negotiate in a truly bi-partisan manner to realize the funding required to implement Obamacare, but he would have a moral mandate to move forward (even though we conservatives would like it no better). The only way Obamacare can be implemented as it now exists would be for the American People themselves to show their support by not only re-electing President Obama but giving the Pelosi-Reid Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress.

So the battle lines are drawn and the fight has been joined. Within 24 hours of the court’s decision Mitt Romney raised more than $5 million in small donor online funds and a yet unknown non-online donations. While many things have been said and debated about Barack Obama, one thing is for certain, he is the great unifier of Republicans. Mitt Romney in one day has seen significant divisions in his own base evaporate and conservatives find enthusiasm for his candidacy. Mitt Romney has become the great, if unlikely, savior of free market health care in America. Barack Obama is now clearly the advocate of socialized medicine and the massive tax increases which will be needed to affect such a program. To be certain there will be other issues in the 2012 election such as America’s role in the world, keeping American’s Safe and restoring our nation’s economic base and getting millions of Americans back to work. Yet the fate of health care in America is almost certainly to be decided in this election and the debate over it pivotal to the election itself.

Let the fight begin, it sure will not be boring.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Congress, Constitution, Free Markets, Health Care, Mitt Romney, Obama Administration, Politics, Supreme Court of the United States, Taxes, The White House, United States House of Representatives, US Senate

America, a Nation of Legal Immigrants

I am proud to be an immigrant; honored to be American by choice. Legal immigration is part of the DNA of a nation founded and built by immigrants. Unless you are a pure blood Native American, you are the product of immigrants, even if you are a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I embraced the American ideal of achievement based on your ability and hard work as opposed to the neo-socialist nanny state of my native Canada. My path to citizenship involved crafting my career to achieve the skill set needed to immigrate to America. What followed was years of filing forms and dozens of trips to the then Immigration & Naturalization Service and its successor the U.S. Citizenship and immigration Service. This was not easy, convenient or even at times logical but it was the process established by my new home. Forms were diligently completed and the legal system embraced. The day I raised my right hand and took the oath of citizenship was among the proudest of my life, second only to the day I married my wife.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus from “The New Colossus”

 

As an immigrant I truly understand what attracts millions to aspire to not only move to America but to embrace the culture that defines being American, I feel it in my heart. America needs immigrants to sustain growth and to enrich the very fiber of the country. Yet the foundation of any immigration policy must be one of the core elements of America, the rule of law. As an immigrant, there was much of the process I found to be nonsensical, the test of American History so simple and uninspired no idiot with a pulse could fail; the one sentence of monosyllable words test of English competence. But this process was defined by law, American law, and it was the first test of citizenship to be passed. The American People must define our nation’s immigration policy, not those who aspire to join the American family.

While the debate has been dominated by radicals on both sides of the issue, fundamental immigration reform must be affected for both the economic and national security interest of the nation. The core principles below would provide the foundation for sensible and sustainable immigration reform.

  1. Respect for the Rule of Law: At the core of citizenship is respect for the rule of law; any immigrant must fully embrace and respect those laws even if they do not agree with them. If ones first act upon entering the United States is to violate its national laws, that person has disqualified themselves from the privilege of making America their home. Any form of amnesty, direct or back door, is a slap in the face to all of us who have followed the legal path to enter America. Further, those illegal’s who have been in America for years have violated our laws by either working “off the books” or by using falsified or stolen identities to maintain a legal appearance. Those who violate our laws must never be rewarded for their illegal activities and should be deported and barred from reentry into the United States.
  2. The Defense of the Boarder is one of the Fundamental Responsibilities of Government: The current administration has failed in its obligation to secure the nations boarders. To the south illegal migrants pass through the boarders with little difficulty. To the north world’s largest undefended border with Canada is utterly unprotected with little more than warning signs in most places. Given Canada’s open immigration policy, particularly from countries who wish America harm, necessitates securing that border in the same manner as our border with Mexico. If the Department of Homeland Security cannot adequatly secure the nations boarders, then the assistance of the Department of Defense must be sought.
  3. Immigrants must Embrace American Culture & Institutions: A nation is defined by a common culture, language and legal structure. Those who wish to come to America must in their hearts embrace these before seeking to live on our shores. Those who hate America and what it stands for must not be allowed to abuse a welcoming nation to do it harm. Competence in the English language is essential to a successful immigrant experience and must be mastered before arriving at the gates. Political activism and dissent are at the foundation of our fundamental rights, but these must be done within the rule of law and our political system. In short, America, love it or stay home.
  4. All Immigrants Should be on a Path to Citizenship: We want those who come to America to embrace the American experience and seek to be a permanent part of our society. Temporary work permits simply allow American corporations to bring foreign workers to America, often at wages well below paid to American workers and use their temporary status to keep them from complaining. If a legitimate need exists for bring a foreign worker to America, they should be brought in on a single immigrant track and subject to the same requirements and controls. The concept of “Permanent Resident” status, the so called Green Card should be ended. Foreigners should not be allowed to reside in America indefinably without becoming citizens and fully participating in American Society. At the end of a single 10 year residency period (the valid period of a current Green Card) an immigrant has not become a citizen, they should return to their country of origin. A permanent sub class of residents does nothing to elevate the nation as a whole.
  5. Knowledge of American History, Government and the English Language is Required to be a Productive American: All immigrants should be expected to have the same understanding of American History and Government as is expected of an American high school graduate (leave aside what high school graduates actually know). In the same way competence in the English language is essential to take part in the public discourse and succeed economically. Those who cannot, or will not, achieve these should not be welcomed to America.
  6. Multiculturalism and Hyphenated Americanism are a Cancer on the Nation: While it is fine to have pride in one’s heritage and fore fathers, at the core of citizenship is becoming an American in ones heart and soul, not only the color of the passport. One can be an American proud of their heritage, but being American must come first, last and always.
  7. Immigration must be Maintained at Sustainable Levels: Recognizing the danger to the very fabric of the United States, the levels of immigration must never be allowed to exceed the number of immigrants who can be effectively assimilated into American society. We must cherish and protect the melting pot of our society and its ability to bring newly arrived immigrants into our communities. To allow levels of new immigrants to overwhelm American society not only does a disservice to the immigrants themselves, it represents a danger to the future of the nation itself.

I am sure there will be many on the left and the right who will disagree with these views, such is the American way. Yet balancing the conflicting interest will require compromise. What cannot be compromised is maintaining the fundamental qualities of what it is to be an American. Many, such as the current Administration seek to place their political interests in before those of the nation. It is the responsibility of the American people to prevent this from destroying the very character of our nation.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus from “The New Colossus”

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Filed under 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Department of Defence, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration, Politics