It is quite clear that the deceptively-named “Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare), was NOT supported by “We the People” when it was crammed down our throats three years ago so we could “see what’s in it”. Its popularity has plummeted since then as we’ve found out. Support has dwindled in recent months among the middle and lower classes whose very jobs are threatened by it as employers cut work hours to avoid it, and traditional Democratic “bases” like unions realize they’ve been deceived. Even arch-O’supporter Warren Buffet is now on record against it.
One response by the administration—arguably illegal—is to grant “waivers” to Friends of Obama. Waivers are rapidly becoming the new version of a “tax loophole” for politically connected companies. If one business gets a waiver and its competitor does not, it is cronyism in its worst form, similar to the way targeted tax breaks use the power of Washington to punish the productive in protecting the politically connected.
In a development only beltway bandits can appreciate, we are now hearing of even some conservatives (we thought) who are wavering themselves on whether Congress can or even should defund the ACA.
Fortunately, the Founders answered these questions over 200 years ago. In Federalist #58, James Madison addressed the very issue of steering the government through financial restrictions or “the power over the purse”. The issue was and is whether the smaller population states (in the Senate) and a possibly tyrannical Executive could essentially override the true will of the people’s House of Representatives. Does this sound familiar? He explained, after discussing many other checks on the other two branches that,
“…Admitting, however, that they should all be insufficient to subdue the unjust policy of the smaller States, or their predominant influence in the councils of the Senate, a constitutional and infallible resource still remains with the larger States, by which they will be able at all times to accomplish their just purposes. The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure…” [bold emphasis added]
This seems especially appropriate on Constitution Day when the “big government” Senators and House Members don’t seem to think the House can or should defund Obamacide.