Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 30, 2013

Obama, Utopia and the Constitution

Post-shutdown, I’m still mulling two things: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t seem to know what the House of Representatives is supposed to do, and President Obama doesn’t seem to know the way “checks and balances” are supposed to work. Either way, We the People are in danger until more leaders with an affinity for the U.S. Constitution are elected.

Reid first. Throughout the shutdown, House Republicans passed “mini” spending bills to fund key government functions, each of which Reid blocked from coming to a Senate vote.

This was the Democrats’ “all or nothing” strategy. They kept “all” of the government closed so that “nothing” (Obamacare) would be subject to compromise. In other words, no matter what those talking heads, headlines and microwaves targeting your brain tell you, the Democrats were the Mr. No’s of this shutdown.

Rankled by House votes to open parts of the government, Reid asked: “What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government gets funded?”

What right? The answer is “they” — House members — have every right; in fact, it’s their job! Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution says: “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” Of course, we never think of Congress “raising revenue” to spend as they go, item by item. They just seem to fund everything.

But not this time, not for 16 days. House Republicans, who were returned in the majority in 2012 to defund Obamacare, tried, along with their conservative counterparts in the Senate, to hold the line for their constituents.

It didn’t work. There are still too many tax-and-spend liberals in Republicans’ clothing in Washington: GOP legislators who have less in common with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) than with Harry Reid, not to mention Barack Obama. Washington’s crocodile tears over the “cost” of the shutdown (the figure $24 billion is flying around) shouldn’t fool anyone — not when the Congressional Budget Office projection for Obamacare’s first decade is $1.8 trillion, and this same establishment doesn’t bat an eye. And what about that “debt ceiling” they refuse to bring any closer to earth?

Text Only
Opinion
  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

  • Big insurers need better oversight Could Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. threaten the stability of the financial system? The U.S.’s top regulators are asking themselves this question as they consider whether Berkshire and other large insurers should come under Federal Reserve

    July 25, 2014

  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks