The price of gas continues to go up. And I’m pretty sure it’ll continue to go up until just after Memorial Day. For some reason I think I remember hearing that Memorial Day is traditionally considered the height of seasonal highs of gas prices; I dunno. I guess I could look:
Typically, prices peak in the summer months, or around Memorial Day, as has been the case in 2010 and 2011
[ I love the internet ]
So we have about 2 more months to look forward to rising prices at the pump. Other than this causing Obama extreme discomfort, this sucks. It hurts people directly and indirectly; things that depend on the price of gas are going up as well.
So we all wanna know what we can do. And the biggest call from the Right is for the administration to increase drilling.
But would it help?
One of the many arguments made by the supporters of Obamacare is that there exists a health care market. And, as such, congress can regulate it. This includes the requirement to purchase insurance. A counter argument to this line of reasoning is that the government can regulate commerce once contracted, but not before. That is, if you choose to purchase a car, congress can regulate things like seat belts and emission technologies. But they can’t require you to purchase car.
Which gets us to the point. Defenders of Obamacare will argue that we are already IN the market, by being alive we are in the “health care contract”. And this is because if we get sick or hurt and cannot afford to pay for our care, the rest of us must pick up the cost.
It’s hard to argue this line of thinking.
We ARE all in this market if you think of it this way. Either acting as people who are assuming a cost for those who act less responsibly or by acting in a responsible manner ourselves.
But then it occurred to me. The only reason that we are in this “market” to begin with is through government mandate to begin with. Which is, “You cannot turn away a patient based on ability to pay.”
If the government didn’t first require that I pay for all people’s irresponsibility, then I would not have costs ascribed to me that now require me to purchase insurance.
This is what the Court meant when they asked, “Can you create a market that forces everyone to participate and then regulate that market without limit?”
I used to think mathematics is about as straight forward as you can get; a thing is a thing and it’s always that thing. But I long ago realized that there is art in play. Certain observations have a mark of individuality. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all that law is the same way.
There is an art.
And here, via Althouse, is one artist taking another to school:
Paul Clement will attack the expansion of Medicaid. He’s talking about whether it’s “coercive,” because if it is, it won’t fit the Spending Power. Justice Kagan wants to know why a “big gift from the Federal Government” is coercion. “The Federal Government is here saying, we are giving you a boatload of money.” Page 3. Just a big old boatload of money is coercive, Clement says confidently. But the actual bill has a “very big condition.” Kagan interrupts, trying to make her point that a big boatload of money is not coercive. What if someone offered you a job and would pay you $10 million a year. Of course, you say yes, but you’re not coerced are you. Clement lays down one of the cleverist teasers I have ever heard: “Well, I guess I would want to know where the money came from.”
“Wow. Wow.” says Kagan. Has a Supreme Court ever said “Wow. Wow” before? She can’t believe you’d do anything other than snap up that money. “I’m offering you $10 million a year to come work for me, and you are saying that this is anything but a great choice?”
Clement springs his trap: “Sure, if I told you, actually, it came from my own bank account.”
Beautiful. And somewhat ballsy.
I suspect that Supreme Court Justices don’t enjoy being mocked in court. But hey, style points none the less.
The lesson, of course, is that the Liberal doesn’t know the money is already mine.
We all live in a dangerous world. Crime all around us. We spend untold amounts of money keeping ourselves safe. It might be stronger locks on our doors, cameras in the roof, alarm systems in the house.
I have a safe; two even.
And then we spend money on public infrastructure. We pay the local police, the state police and even federal law enforcement officials.
Given that private ownership of guns reduces crime, and that we are all living in a crime market, I would like to see the federal government mandate gun ownership.
The argument goes something like this:
By allowing people to make their own decisions, they pass costs on to other American citizens who make better and more correct decisions. Therefore, we can mandate that what we feel is a better and more correct decision; health insurance.
That’s the Left. That’s Obama. That’s what people who claim to love liberty want to embrace. That a beneficent government, acting in our best interests, can mandate behavior.
I’ve challenged this line of thought by asking if we could mandate blueberries. See, blueberries are one of the most healthy foods available. It consistently ranks in the top 5; heck, top 3. People who eat blueberries are healthier than people who don’t.
There is little scientific evidence to dispute this. If any.
Yet we know that we cannot mandate that people buy blueberries.
But if this health care mandate goes through, we are saying that the government CAN mandate blueberries. Heck, we then admit that the government mandate that we GROW blueberries.
And yet this argument has been ignored.
Antonin Scalia, asked if the government might require Americans to buy broccoli or automobiles. Returning to the limits thing, Scalia asked, “If the government can do this, what else can it … do?”
Sub green for blue and the argument is the same.
What can the government NOT mandate?
Don’t think that incentives matter?
Don’t think that government programs that enlarge the nanny state don’t result in poor behavior?
The government should be a ref.
In full disclosure both my finals teams are in the Dance; I have Kentucky Beating Kansas for the National Championship.
This breaks my heart.
I love Carolina and my only regret is that it took me 31 years to get here. I do so wish that it was going to be the Tar Heels beating Kentucky, but, sadly, our boys in Blue didn’t have the guns for the fight.
However, all of this is secondary.
You see, the University of Minnesota is in the Frozen Four having defeated The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux to get there.
There maybe one team we hate more than any other team, and that’s the bastard Badgers of Wisconsin. After that comes North Dakota. Historically we simply love to hate BU.
Here’s to what really matters. College hockey; there isn’t a better game in all the world.
My daughter dances and her Spring Show was the past week. The show is put on in a local high school. While walking around during intermission, I saw this:
Posted in Life
I’m reading a NY Times article on the lead up to the Supreme Court hearing of the case; some interesting facts surrounding a 1987 ruling regarding taxes and lawsuits.
Anyway, I come across this anecdotal story:
Some activists came with their own stories. Henrik Erslev, 58, a carpenter from Maryland, said he had come out to support the bill because his daughter, who just turned 26, was allowed to stay on his insurance policy through a cyst removal last year that Mr. Erslev said would have forced her into bankruptcy.
Now, assuming his daughter would have had to obtain her own insurance, something she’ll have to do in a year anyway, how much would it have cost her?