The Titanic Has Set Sail
The Titanic Has Set Sail
Over the New Year’s weekend, President Barack Obama’s chief policy adviser and closest strategist, Valerie Jarrett, told a talk show host that her boss would have a happy legacy because there was an absence of scandal in his administration. When first I heard this preposterous claim, I thought I had misheard it. Yet it is apparently true that President Obama and his team somehow can overlook recent history and behave as if events with which we are all familiar never happened.
Here is the back story.
When Obama became president in 2009 and enjoyed significant Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, he and his colleagues devoted themselves entirely to an issue nowhere in the Constitution — health care. They did not address other issues dear to them and their base, such as guns, abortion, taxes, war, jobs and civil liberties. Rather, they sought to alter radically the relationship of the federal government to every person in America by imposing upon each of us the obligation to purchase a product — namely, health insurance — whether we wanted it or not.
The abominable statute they enacted, which has caused millions of folks to lose their primary care physician and millions more to see their premiums skyrocket and still millions more to see their full-time jobs become part-time, has acquired the nickname Obamacare.
Instead of reducing taxes or regulations or spending so more folks would have better-paying jobs, the president and his folks were determined to tell us all how to stay healthy. Obamacare passed on a party-line vote, with not a single vote to spare in the Senate.
At the time it was enacted, the president argued vociferously that the financial consequence of not obtaining health insurance — the penalty for disobeying the law — was not a tax. He made that argument because he had promised Democrats — many of whom lost their congressional seats for going along with his utopian experiment — that he would not raise taxes to accomplish his purposes.
When the statute was challenged in the federal courts and the various challenges were consolidated before the Supreme Court, the challengers did not dispute the claim that the penalty was not a tax. A court cannot consider arguments or evidence not put to it. For instance, in an automobile accident, if all eyewitnesses state that a traffic light in question was green at the time of the collision, the court may not find that it was red.