Is the American Dream Over?
Peter Marshall Commentary
“Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Last Sunday, at the behest of the President of the United States, the majority of the Democrat members of the House of Representatives violated their oath to uphold the Constitution, rejected the legacy of the Founders of this great nation, and betrayed the trust the American people had placed in them as their representatives.
Yes, this was accomplished by the threats, arm-twisting, and deal-making of the first socialist President voted into the Oval Office by millions of deceived people, most of whom are ignorant of American history and the principles on which our nation was founded. But the larger blame must rest on the Congress, for they are responsible for the laws which govern us.
Obama signed the bill into law on Tuesday, in a high-fiving kind of celebration too nauseating to watch, capped off by Vice-President Joe Biden’s self-disgracing potty-mouth remark to the President — sadly symbolic of the crudity and crass arrogance of this Administration.
Except for the Republicans (who all voted correctly for the first time in living memory!) and the few Democrats who early in the voting rejected the bill, the rest of the House violated the spirit, if not the letter of the Constitution, by turning over to the Executive Branch of the government the authority to manage another one sixth of the economy. Thereby they made a mockery of the sacrosanct separation of powers clause, for nothing in the Constitution allows the people’s representatives to simply hand over a large chunk of the American free enterprise system to the Federal employees of the Executive Branch.
The Congress rejected the constitutional form of government given us by the Founding Fathers, which was based on individual rights and free markets. There is nothing free about this healthcare bill, which mandates that you must buy a healthcare plan and that that plan must be acceptable to the “Health Choices Administrator” appointed by Obama, or else you will pay a fine. Oh, they call it a “tax” instead of a fine, to try and avoid running afoul of the Fifth Amendment, which says that no one can be deprived of property (including financial assets) without due process of law. But, since there is no provision to appeal or contest (with due process) this “tax,” it is definitely a violation of the Fifth Amendment. Further, there has never been a time in all of American history when the government has ever forced us to buy something upon threat of financial penalty, which is exactly what will happen to you if you choose not to buy health insurance! This is a thorough violation of the Constitution.
Will the courts find this unconstitutional, and void out the healthcare bill? Don’t hold your breath. Since the days of FDR, have the courts ever declared one of these massive social entitlement programs unconstitutional? And even if they did, the Supreme Court cannot enforce its edicts. Obama and company could, if they chose (and I wouldn’t put it past this bunch), to just thumb their noses at the Court, and carry on as before.
The Congress most definitely betrayed the trust of the American people by voting through this legislative disaster. A full 75 percent of the population says that they are satisfied with their healthcare plan, even though everybody wants the soaring costs of healthcare stopped and their premiums reduced. Every single poll taken on this healthcare bill indicated that the people were totally against it. But the Democrats in Congress have deliberately violated the will of the people and rammed this legislation down our throats.
If this bill were beneficial to the American people, why did the Democrats resort to every procedural trick available to get this legislation passed? If it had been a good piece of legislation, would the bribery of various Representatives and Senators have been necessary to get their votes? This bill was attended on every hand by corruption, fraud, lying, manipulation, and deceit, emphatically revealing its character.
In the first few days following Sunday, some were holding out hope that the Senate would pass amendments to the House bill, thereby forcing the House to take it back and produce another version. Not a chance. Yesterday, the Senate shot down every amendment offered.
Yesterday, the President issued an executive order stating that people would have to write a personal check if they wanted to purchase insurance covering abortion — i.e., the government subsidies are supposedly not going to pay for abortions. However, an Executive Order does not have the legal force to change anything in a law passed by Congress, and provision for government subsidy of abortions is in the bill Obama signed. Would Congressman Bart Stupak and others have thought it necessary to request the order from the President if the bill didn’t fund abortions? Of course, the most pro-abortion Administration since Roe v. Wade is going to find a way to use our tax monies to pay for further slaughter of the unborn. In other words, yesterday’s supposed keeping of Obama’s bargain with pro-life Democrats like Bart Stupak of Michigan, whose pro-life principles melted under Presidential heat, means nothing. It was just political show-biz.
Please understand that this healthcare bill is NOT about healthcare — it is about government takeover of 18 percent of the American economy. It is a huge government power grab — the greatest in our entire history. If it were about truly trying to reform the healthcare system, which badly needs reforming, the Congress would have long since passed legislation that addresses the major roadblocks to fairly providing all Americans access to competitive health insurance plans. Among the necessary chain-busting reforms are: tort reform (a ceiling put on the possible awards for mal-practice lawsuits, thereby lowering doctors’ insurance costs that they have to pass on to their patients); ending the insurance companies’ monopolies within the various states by throwing open the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines (as we do with car insurance), thereby increasing competition; establishing high-risk insurance pools in states so that those with pre-existing conditions can still obtain insurance at reasonable rates; ending the current tax discrimination against people who don’t have health insurance with their employers (everyone paying for healthcare should have the same tax benefits); and requiring the costs of all kinds of healthcare to be available so people can pick and choose. True reform plans that make these needed fixes have been in Congress for a long time (Representative Paul Ryan, R-WI, has an excellent one) but the Democrat majority will not let them see the light of day, because reform is not the objective — growing government power is.
Proof of the power grabs contained in this bill is a provision that takes control of all student education loans away from all private companies and lodges it in the Federal government. All education loans are now Federal. The 2700 pages of this horrible monstrosity contains innumerable instances of government takeover, but since no one has had the time to thoroughly digest what it contains, various horrors will continue to bubble to the surface in the coming months, like polluting oil from a sunken tanker.
Despite what the media and the Democrats are saying, this bill does fund abortions and will probably end up requiring participation in abortions by healthcare providers in spite of religious objections; it does provide free healthcare for illegal immigrants; and it does create rationing of healthcare, especially for senior citizens, for whom cost factors will dictate what operations and treatments are covered by insurance. It will put great pressure upon many insurance companies, undoubtedly driving many of them out of business and turning many more of them into shell companies of the government, just as the government took over General Motors and AIG. This will inexorably push health insurance toward a single, public option government-run healthcare provider system.
Do you realize that the IRS is now going to be managing your healthcare? That Federal agency is going to have the power to tell you what to do about your health insurance, because the IRS will give the details of your financial life to the Department of Health and Human Services in the process of determining whether you qualify within the acceptable standards of health insurance, or whether you are to be fined. All of your personal medical information, from the hospitals, physicians, and employers will also be turned over to the appropriate Federal agencies. A case could be made that this violates the Fourth Amendment protecting citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, but don’t expect that to get anywhere in the courts.
This legislation creates 159 new Federal agencies, and will require 17,000 new IRS agents alone. The percentage of American workers employed by government will pass 50 percent very quickly.
We have been turned into a European welfare state, where most people pay little or no income tax while becoming dependent upon government benefits. In 2004, about 20 percent of American households were receiving about 75 percent of their income from the Federal government, and another 20 percent were receiving almost 40 percent. Back then, about 60 percent of American families were receiving more government benefits and services than they were paying back in taxes — in other words they had a “net dependency” on government. It has recently been estimated that Obama’s first budget alone, even without this horrible healthcare legislation which contains further gross amounts of earmarks and payouts, increases the level of net dependency to 70 percent. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America!
Is the American dream over? Is the monstrous debt the Obama is piling up going to destroy the economy and wreck the hope of prosperity for our children and grandchildren. I see no way around it, unless the course of this Administration is reversed.
Obama claims over and over that this bill reduces the Federal deficit. That is simply a lie. The bill will bring the national debt to $2.4 trillion dollars, which is a completely unsustainable level.
This coming fall the Congress must decide whether to proceed with the cuts in the doctors’ reimbursement rates which this bill requires, or to postpone or cancel them, which will add to the impossibly huge Federal deficit the bill creates. The bill binds Congress to either trash Medicare or add to their fiscal irresponsibility.
This biggest entitlement program in American history will force a drastic raising of taxes. Not only will the Medicare benefits go down, high income earners will see their Medicare tax go up 3.8 percent, and their income tax rate rise from 35 to 39.6 percent. The bill also creates a 3.8 percent tax on interest and dividend income above certain levels beginning in 2013. All of this will further depress the economy.
And, because these tax increases will be needed for just a partial funding of the Obama healthcare horror, the looming bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare will not even be touched. That means that a future Congress will have to either cut Medicare benefits or raise taxes again on the middle class.
The financial chickens are coming home to roost. No welfare state has ever been able to sustain itself for long. The American dream will be over unless there is drastic change.
What can be done?
There obviously is no redress until November. I personally think that the court challenges will come to nothing, and that any attempt to do anything in Congress is going to be blocked by the Democrat majorities. The only hope is this: If the anger of the American people at Obama and the Congress for selling out the American experiment in self-government and freedom continues to rise, it is just possible that we could see a conservative revolution that would throw the socialist-minded Democrats and Republicans (and there are some!) out of Congress and replace them with men and women of principle determined to clean the corruption out of Washington. But make no mistake, it will take a revolution the likes of which as not been seen in this country since 1776. We cannot simply elect to the Congress Republicans who talk about changing this or that — that’s not enough to save the Republic. Folks, in the entire history of the country, no entitlement program has ever been repealed. Once people start feeding at the public trough, they never deny themselves and give up their addiction. The only hope for repeal is that the Congress becomes convinced that the terrible high price and pain of this legislation will be far worse than the supposed benefits, and becomes willing to take drastic action.
Therefore, we must send people to Washington who are fiercely determined to roll back this tide of socialism, and restore America to its founding principles of free enterprise, free markets, low taxes, and a vastly reduced government that is responsible to the people.
If (and it’s a very big if) this happened, a truly conservative Congress could, upon arrival in January of 2011, simply refuse to pass the appropriations bills necessary to fund this socialist monstrosity. It would thus be unfunded, which would effectively kill it until more sensible healthcare legislation could be crafted. And, there is a window of time (several years) in which to reverse things before the horrible tax increases hit.
Can it be done? I honestly don’t know. It will take a miracle of God not seen in America since the victory over the British in the War for Independence. Our Lord Jesus has promised us that “with God all things are possible.” But, the American people are going to have to rise up and take back control of our lives out of the hands of government. Is there enough understanding and will in the hearts of the people to do this? Are enough of us free of a welfare mentality to restore American freedom?
Perhaps. If the November elections were to be held tomorrow, we might see fairly sweeping results. But I don’t think people yet realize to what extent things need to be overthrown. I don’t think that the average American grasps the magnitude of the revolution that alone will save us from becoming another socialist welfare state. The whole trend of the last 60 or 70 years has to be reversed. From FDR’s New Deal, to Lyndon Johnson’s (Not so) Great Society, to Barack Obama’s Yes We Can (Make America Socialist), government has steadily become more and more obtrusive and controlling in our daily lives.
My fear is that the resolve to change things, which is quite high at the moment, will dissipate by November. The memory of the American people is notoriously short. What will happen between now and then is in the hands of the Lord, however. We must pray fervently for His intervention, for His hand to stir the hearts of the people to accomplish what needs to be done. And, it is quite possible that this ideologue President and his crowd will continue to alienate and exasperate the people with more socialist programs, keeping the pot boiling until the fall.
What I know for sure is that the lights are dawning in the hearts of the people. They’re starting to understand what Washington is doing to them. The anger and the resistance is growing. For the first time in many of their lives they’re getting involved in public issues; they want to try and change things. They realize that it’s not just about them — the futures of their children and grandchildren are at stake.
The revolution is building, it’s growing. Pray, pray. God is still on His throne. He called this nation into existence, and He is not going to allow some deluded politicians to destroy it. He will not abandon us.
Don’t give up, and don’t despair. Choose hope.
In the darkest days of the Civil War, Iowa Congressman James Wilson brought a group of clergy to Lincoln in the White House, urging him to do more to abolish slavery. One of them told the President that he believed God might well allow the Union to be destroyed if we didn’t deal with it. Lincoln uncoiled his long limbs out of his chair, rose to his full height, and pointing his finger at the man, said: “My faith is greater than yours. . . (for) I believe He will compel us to do right in order that He may do these things (abolish slavery), not so much because we desire them as that they accord with His plans of dealing with this nation, in the midst of which He means to establish justice.”
And so it came to pass.
I believe Lincoln’s words are still true today.