A Crisis in Courage

Chief Justice Roberts voted to sustain Obamacare, ensuring its survival by a 5 to 4 vote in the Supreme Court. His vote was the deciding vote. Four other justices voted to invalidate Obamacare in its entirety. Roberts was nominated for the Court by George Bush, but he voted with the liberals on the bench. Why?

Roberts said it was not his job to protect the citizenry from the consequences of its political decisions. This is true. But it is his job to protect and defend the Constitution, and he failed miserably. His vote was result driven, not process driven. Even he agreed that the Administration’s argument for the law on the basis of the Commerce clause was not valid. Even he argued that the mandate was not a penalty as argued by the Administration, but a tax. As Kennedy said, the Supreme Court should not be in the business of rewriting law, but that is precisely what Roberts did. The law was passed with pledges from Obama that it was not a tax. The bill would not have passed if it was considered a tax. Yet Roberts said that despite the fact that the Obama Administration has steadfastly maintained that it is not a tax, it nevertheless could be considered as a tax. Roberts seemed more concerned with the outcome than in the process. Justice Anthony Kennedy dissented, saying Roberts was “guilty of vast judicial overreach” and of attempting to “force on the nation a new act.”

Roberts appeared cowed by the attack that he knew the Left was preparing to launch against the Court. After the Court’s involvement in the Bush-Gore presidential election, the political profile of the Court has risen. He seems as though he was trying to preserve the stature of the Court as above politics. But in trying to preserve the stature of the Court, he has abandoned the Court’s mission which is to protect the Constitution. What is the Court if it has sacrificed its mission? What has Roberts preserved? If he did not have the courage to defend the Constitution, he should not have accepted his nomination to the Court.

Obama has publicly declared that he does not believe in the Constitution even though on taking the oath of office he swore to protect and defend it. He also has steadily diminished the role of the legislature and he is trying to do the same to the Court. It seems that the Chief Justice is aiding and abetting him.

The liberal justices are never driven to protect the Constitution. They don’t like it, even though they have sworn to defend and protect it. They are driven by agenda, not law or the Constitution. They do not back off. Their votes are never in doubt by the Left. The problem with moderates and conservatives is they still believe in compromise; the Left does not. This means that slowly and steadily America as we know it is being dismantled. The State is growing like a cancer and destroying America.

This country is being fundamentally transformed by Obamacare which was pushed through Congress in a highly partisan way, using questionable legislative techniques, and is now being validated by the Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision. Is this really the way we want to move our country forward?

Liberalism and “Economic” Justice

America since its founding has been all about political justice. To this end the founding fathers established the democratic foundations of this country. Since FDR, however, there has been a fundamental shift in the nature of justice. Liberals have been pushing hard for economic justice, and they have been willing to sacrifice the pillars of our democracy to pursue it. In essence political justice is now being sacrificed for “economic” justice.

Economic justice for liberals means redistribution of income and wealth. For them it is not right that some should have more material wealth than others. They are uninterested in who creates wealth and of the nature of economic growth; they are solely interested in the distribution of wealth. For liberals this is economic justice. It is not justice that people get what they contribute to the economy and in meeting the needs of others which is the notion of economic justice created by our founding fathers and which is embedded in our market oriented economy. For liberals someone who does not want to work and is a drain on the community should get rewarded out of the fruits of the labor of others.

In talking about the redistribution of income to help the poor, it is important to understand what we mean by the poor. It is recognized in this country, unlike in most of the world, that in talking about the poor we are not talking about people worried about survival. They have food, shelter, and health care. Almost all also have television sets and many other modern conveniences. What we are talking about then is not survival, but rather seeing to it that most everybody has the same level of wealth and material well-being. We are talking about relative, not absolute, wealth and well-being. Where does this stop? Should everyone have a Mercedes, a mink coat, a house? Of course, it is the latter, the attempt to see that everyone would have a house which caused the financial crisis of 2008, but this of course does not divert the liberal from his course. The massive damage done even to those they purport to trying to help does not seem to register.

For liberals the government should deliver economic justice through taxation, public spending, and regulatory action. Government can impact both vertical and horizontal equity; that is it can lead to redistribution away from higher income earners to lower income earners, and can also shift income and benefits between people of equal economic status. Regarding horizontal equity, government intervention has favored public sector employees over private sector employees, and those who willingly do not work and act responsibly. You have public sector employees deliberately underperforming on the job and overusing sick leave, because they know they cannot be fired. You have people deliberately dropping out of the labor force to collect unemployment insurance. You have people in the underground economy receiving their income in cash and evading taxes, while at the same time collecting benefits and financial assistance from the government.These problems of inequity between people of roughly the same economic status should cause liberals to wince, but one does not hear concern from this quarter.

Liberals are only concerned about vertical equity; you never hear them complaining about horizontal equity.  Liberals do not complain about this, perhaps because they do not want to draw attention to the shortcomings of government and also because they do not want to risk offending some their constituents, the takers or parasites on society who game the system out of selfishness. Moreover, to the extent that this kind of inequity helps grow the government, this is to the liking of liberals who are bent on growing the power of the State and the ruling class.

Taxation for the purpose of income redistribution can be considered as a theft of a person’s labor. In paying taxes most of us are in effect working several months out of the year for the government. Does the State own me or do I own myself? Do I have a right to the output of my own labor or does the State? Most of us would argue that we own ourselves and likewise are entitled to the product of our labor. If the State can’t take one of my kidneys or one of my eyes to help someone who in their judgment needs them more than I do, why can it take the product of my labor to give to someone else?

The record for liberal efforts to impose economic justice has been dismal. Liberal anti-poverty programs have been a well-acknowledged failure. Horizontal equity problems have been significant and cannot be justified. Economic growth and prosperity have been adversely affected. And the threat to liberty from massive government intervention is a clear and present danger to our democracy.

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