Comprehensibly terrible

Jeffrey Anderson at TWS, in Undoing Obamacare

But we shouldn’t miss the larger point here. The predicament in which the Court finds itself is plainly a product of President Obama and his party’s preference for massive, unwieldy, impossibly complicated legislation—the kind that you have to pass first to “find out what is in it.” Such legislation, as the oral arguments revealed, does not fit within our system of limited government. That’s because, as Charles Kesler has observed, Obamacare violates the basic notion of law in a free society. Kesler writes, “Sometimes the most obvious derangements of our politics are staring us in the face but we don’t see them”—like “calling this voluminous monstrosity a bill. Can you have a bill, a single law, that is almost 3,000 pages long? In the old days, that would have constituted a whole code of laws.”

In other words, it’s not just Obamacare that must go, but rather the whole liberal and progressive notion of “comprehensive” legislation for a nation of 300 million people. Obamacare is the epitome of that confidence in central planning by experts. Whether the Court strikes down Obamacare, or President Obama is defeated and Obamacare is repealed, or the Court strikes down part of Obamacare and a new president and Congress repeal the rest, last week’s historic hearings have made one thing clearer than ever: Attempts at “comprehensive” legislation compromise the very notion of limited government, in which the people’s representatives try to accomplish attainable goals in a free society. Comprehensive legislation is what happens when you have unlimited government. It is that effort, and the attitude underlying it, that need to be repudiated—by the Court and, more important, by the voters this November.

UPDATE:  4/3/12 WSJ, What to do the day after Obamacare:

The country can have a vibrant market for individual health insurance. Insurance proper is what pays for unplanned large expenses, not for regular, predictable expenses. Insurance policies should be “guaranteed renewable”: The policy should include a right to purchase insurance in the future, no matter if you get sick. And insurance should follow you from job to job, and if you move across state lines.

Why don’t we have such markets? Because the government has regulated them out of existence.

Most pathologies in the current system are creatures of previous laws and regulations.

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7 Responses to Comprehensibly terrible

  1. We are being buried in laws, so that we cannot fight them all at once. It’s a new strategy emerging from the DNC

  2. cafeproz says:

    I wonder, in principle what is the difference between a federal comprehensive law and a state comprehensive law… then again a state comprehensive law and county comprehensive law…

    Basically is the line crossed and what is the intellectual argument for that line being there?
    Case in point… helmets? Seat belts? why in the world are they required? They seem like a basic freedom violation…

    • John says:

      Thanks cafeproz. I believe the argument would be: local is more accountable and more in line with community standards. Then there’s also “Constitutional.” Lastly I’d add “effective.” Some of these one-size-fits-all solutions for a nation that spans a continent are just foolish.

      • cafeproz says:

        I agree with you in principle… I was just wondering if there is a rational argument for a specific line in the sand…

        Except for practical reasons, I can hardly imagine any Federal anything that cannot be organized at a state level (including the army). Hence my question where do rationally draw the line?

        Other question: is there a way that a Federal mandate can be implemented locally in line with community standards. Take Coca Cola or McDonalds. They sure have a global agenda and standard (Mandate), and there is such a thing as a universal bigmac, but trust me, their implementation is highly localized, effective and in line with community standards…

      • John says:

        Cafeproz – Wow, thanks. I just noticed this your most recent note. That is a great question. I apologize for not understanding your original question, and if my response was too shallow or glib.

        I don’t know. Got a lot of friends who think the Feds should defend the shores and let UPS deliver the mail (what’s mail again?).

        I can see some things organized at the national level to reduce friction in a national marketplace, which can benefit us all.

        The transfer payments that take place among the states help to stabilize society and unite a diverse, continent-spanning republic. For instance, and over-simplifying: when ND enjoys an oil boom, some of their tax dollars help ameliorate the downturn elsewhere. (Set aside for a moment the unstable/unfunded nature of some of those programs.) The point is: we’re all Americans and if one region’s boom helps another region weather a storm… I’m OK with that. Coupled with labor mobility that makes a big difference (ne Europe, today). Some of that also falls under the following:

        There’s a small-c conservative argument to be made that some things left the barn so long ago we ought to maintain them, perhaps after some reforms. Some things/policies work to keep the genie in the bottle, but once out… sigh.

        Slavery and Civil Rights are exceptions that maybe prove the rule, eh?

        Those global corps have the profit motive to keep them honest, make sure they strike the right balance – right? “We can stray this far from corp standards to meet local realities while staying true to our brand and maximizing shareholder value.” I think comparing them to govt might be apples & oranges. Wouldn’t it be nice if our “leaders” worried more about maximizing taxpayer value?

        Thanks again. John

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