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Worst President Ever Number of the Day: $1.15 Trillion And why Obamacare and Romneycare are Fundamentally Different

From Jawa Report: That’s how much Obamacare is going to cost us. That’s trillion, with a “T”.

This is what that number looks like when written out completely:

$1,150,000,000,000.00

As explained at The Tatler:

A new study out this morning finds that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is expected to add as much as $530 billion (and at least $340 billion) to federal deficits while increasing spending by more than $1.15 trillion.

Great job Obama!

I don’t much like Romneycare, either. But when conservatives are no longer able to distinguish between the powers granted to state governments (unlimited, except where specifically prohibited) and the powers granted to the federal government (limited, except where specifically granted), then they’ve ceased to be conservatives and have morphed into something else.

That’s the legal distinction, and it’s what is at the heart to the Obamacare challenge in the Supreme Court.

If you don’t understand this not so subtle distinction between Romneycare and Obamacare then you’ve kind of missed out on Constitution 101.

The point being that the “Romney and Obama are indistinguishable from each other” crowd are just dead wrong on this issue. They think there is an amorphous “government” which is limited by the Constitution. Not the case. Not the case at all.

The Founding Father’s specifically left out of the original writing of the Constitution a Bill of Rights. Why? Here’s Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 84. Remember, the Left often says he’s the guy who believed in some sort of unlimited federal power:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?

In other words, they didn’t want a Bill of Rights because implicit in the notion that “these are the things the Federal government can’t do” is an underlying premise that it has some sort of general power.

Which it doesn’t. All of the Founding Fathers, even the ones like Hamilton with a notion of a somewhat more expansive Federal power, agreed that the Federal government was limited to those things enumerated in Article I, sec. 8 of the Constitution.

But those limitations did not apply to the states.

Which is why, when they finally relented and adopted the Bill of Rights as a political maneuver to win over those states wavering on the question of ratification, they adopted the 10th Amendment.

Call it an exclamation point to the argument that states are generally all powerful but the federal government isn’t (!). It reads simply:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So, was Obamacare based on Romneycare? Yes, but that misses the entire point of the lawsuit and Constitutional claims against it.

The real question is: Does the federal government have the exact same powers to regulate the health, safety, and morals of the citizenry (the “police power”) that the states do?

The answer of course is NO!

I support many things at the state level which I do not support at the federal level. This does not make me a hypocrite, it makes me an informed citizen.

The same applies to Romney. It is perfectly consistent to support state health care mandates and oppose federal mandates modeled after them. It does not make one a hypocrite or “etch-a-sketch” wishy-washy just because one supports something at the state level but opposes them at the federal level.

It just makes you a believer in the Constitution. Something I thought we conservatives were all about?

I’m not saying that Romney is perfectly consistent across all of his policy views. But frankly if we wanted perfectly consistent we’d nominate Ron Paul.

Consistency, like all other values, is of prime importance. Until it’s not. At some point on the political spectrum consistency begins to look a lot less like something of value and a lot more like extremism or pie-in-the-sky romanticism.

I guess I’m saying that I’m tired of this particular albatross being tied around Mitt Romney’s neck when in this case it just isn’t a fair criticism. Obama can say all he wants that his health care “reforms” were modeled after those of Mitt Romney. But what this “Constitutional scholar” does not get is the Constitution itself. That what he studied and taught in law school was not Constitutional scholarship at all, but rather sophisticated liberal apologetics about why the Constitution really means any thing liberals want it to mean.

James Madison, in Federalist #44 prophesies of this particular election. No, I’m not claiming divine wisdom here, but he was rather on the nose when he responded to those objecting to the necessary and proper clause which claimed that Congress would use it as a way to expand the very limited powers given to the Federal government. He says:

If it be asked what is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution, and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning.I answer …. the success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.

Obama and the Democratic Congress have usurped their Constitutional powers. Ultimately, the way to redress this problem is to throw them out of office and elect officials who pledge to honor the Constitution’s limitations on federal power. We’ve already done this in the House. Now it’s time to do the same in the Senate and in the White House.

Realistically, only one man stands a chance of beating Obama and overturning Obamacare and the trillion dollars of new spending it represents. That man is Mitt Romney.

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