'Radical' Republicans

Unfortunately, there is no basis for Obama's claims about the GOP's extremism.

Last week President Obama warned that if the Supreme Court stops Congress from forcing Americans to buy government-approved health insurance, it will be imposing restrictions on federal power of a sort not seen since the early 1930s, the late 1920s, 1905, or 1789. You can take your pick, since the president or his press secretary made all four of those assertions in the space of three days. 

But why get hung up on dates? The main point is that Republicans, who want the Court to overturn the health insurance mandate, are trying to undo the New Deal. Obama made a similar claim regarding the House Budget Committee's recently unveiled fiscal plan, which he called "thinly veiled social Darwinism,"  "an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country," and "antithetical to our entire history." 

In truth, however, neither the constitutional constraints nor the budgetary tinkering advocated by the Republicans would make the federal government any smaller than it is now. I wish they were half as radical as the president portrays them. 

At an April 2 press conference, a reporter asked Obama how he would respond if the Supreme Court overturns the individual insurance requirement. "Ultimately," he replied, "I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." 

Leaving aside the fact that the law squeaked through Congress on a party-line vote, the president seemed to be questioning the Court's authority to overturn unconstitutional statutes. The following day, answering a question after his "social Darwinism" speech, Obama insisted that was not his intention. 

Here is what Obama, who used to teach constitutional law, said he meant: "We have not seen a Court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a [sic] economic issue…at least since Lochner. Right? So we’re going back to the '30s, pre New Deal." 

Not quite. Lochner v. New York—which was decided in 1905, not in the '30s—involved a state restriction on bakers' hours, which the Court said violated the "liberty of contract" protected by the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause. Unlike the challenge to the health care law, Lochner had nothing to do with the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce. 

Perhaps Obama was thinking of Schechter Poultry v. U.S., the 1935 case in which the Court ruled that the National Industrial Recovery Act exceeded the authority granted by the Commerce Clause. His press secretary, Jay Carney, muddled matters further the next day, when he said the president either was "referring to 85 years of judicial precedent" or making "an unremarkable observation about 80 years of Supreme Court history," implying that the crucial year was 1927 or 1932. 

In any event, the challenge to the health care law was deliberately designed to avoid reconsideration of the Court's Commerce Clause precedents, including Wickard v. Filburn, the 1942 ruling that said Congress has the authority to stop a farmer from growing wheat for his own use because such self-reliance reduces aggregate demand, thereby exerting "a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce." Since then this absurdly broad "substantial effects" doctrine has proven spacious enough to accommodate virtually everything Congress has tried to do under the pretext of regulating interstate commerce. 

Obama's claims about the Republican fiscal plan were similarly overwrought. Like Obama, the Republicans want to increase spending, just not by quite as much. They imagine a total of $40 trillion in spending during the next decade, compared to Obama's $45 trillion. 

"If everything goes according to plan," notes Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, "we won't have a balanced budget for decades." The Republican proposal—which, as Investor's Business Daily analyst John Merline points out, begins by spending 46 percent more, adjusted for inflation, than Bill Clinton did during his last year in office—adds $3.1 trillion to the national debt by 2022. Sadly, there's nothing radical about that.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

© Copyright 2012 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Mickey Rat||

    I suppose to Obama and his fellow travelers, not micromanaging people's business relationships and keeping government expenditures from going beyond the horizon of reasonable expectations of revenues is a "radical" vision.

  • mr simple||

    If the republicans were trying to overturn the New Deal I might actually vote for them. That's why I voted for Rand Paul.

  • sarcasmic||

    "overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority"

    Constitution shmonstitution!

    Majority rules!

    Fuck the Constitution!

  • WTF||

    It's a lie, any way. Pelosi knew they didn't have the votes, so they 'deemed' it passed, on a purely partisan vote with zero republican support.

  • John||

    And they suffered the worst defeat of any party since the civil war in the election afterward. This thing was by a strong majority and supported by a majority of the people?

  • sarcasmic||

    It is supported by a strong majority of liberals.

    As far as liberals are concerned, nothing else matters.

  • John||

    It is Pauline Kael's world. We just live in it.

  • ||

    "But everybody I know voted for McGovern!"

  • WTF||

    He can keep saying it though, because the MSM will never call him on it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    In Obama's defense,

    The SCOTUS did rule that it's constitutional for the government to round up citizens and ship them off to concentration camps on the presidents order.

    Even Obamacare isn't that bad.

  • Killazontherun||

    No, he introduced a Henry VIII era star chamber to his arsenal of instruments to use against citizen and foreigner alike. Not as bad at all.

  • ||

    "They imagine a total of $40 trillion in spending during the next decade, compared to Obama's $45 trillion. "

    Cheap bastards. sheesh!

  • Bardas Phocas||

    That's social darwinism right there, mister.

  • Ex Nihilo||

    27% ($40t) vs. 30%(45t) on GDP of $150t over the next decade.

    Whats 3% among friends?

  • Ashlyn||

    Apparently it's the difference between CARING and rounding up the poor, marching them down to the galleys, and making fun of their hand-me-downs while chaining them to the oars.

  • Ramjet||

    Yes! +1

  • Cloudbuster||

    The unconscionable thing about these budgets that purport to balance the budget and reduce the deficit many years in the future is that they are complete fiction. Future Congresses aren't bound by past Congresses' budgets. So they keep kicking the can down the road, putting the pain on some fictitious future Congress that's willing to shoulder it.

    Only radical cuts in the current term have any meaning.

  • sarcasmic||

    Any cut in the budget means a government worker loses their job, a government contractor loses their job, or someone loses their freebie.

    All of which are political suicide.

    Therefor there will be no cuts.

    Period.

  • Ex Nihilo||

    Therefor there will be no cuts.

    There will be cuts, but they will be forced, not planned. You cannot spend and print money forever without it coming back to bite you in the ass.

  • wareagle||

    liberalism depends on the massively uninformed for its survival. As long as folks like Obama talk about sticking it to some rich guy while preserving gimmes for those who see themselves as the little guy, Dems will always have a power base.

  • ||

    You can say that again!!!

  • wareagle||

    liberalism depends on the massively uninformed for its survival. As long as folks like Obama talk about sticking it to some rich guy while preserving gimmes for those who see themselves as the little guy, Dems will always have a power base.

  • ||

    Thanks!

  • Ashlyn||

    Posturing as a uniquely reasonable, moderate voice of sanity while making histrionic accusations? Tiresome, Mr. President. Very tiresome.

  • Rich||

    I'm sure Mr. President thinks of those accusations as *historic*.

  • ||

    The more I read about this Obama fellow, the more I think he might no really like the Constitution. And I'm really starting to think he doesn't believe in limited government.

  • Ramjet||

    Dear sir, you have an uncommon flair for the obvious. Bravo.

  • sarcasmic||

    You know who else made ten year plans?

  • John||

    No one. They made five year plans.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Of course you'd say that, you dirty wrecker.

  • sarcasmic||

    Commie sympathizer.

  • ||

    Yes, but ours are doubleplusgood.

  • Rich||

    Alvin Lee?

  • Ice Nine||

    Good one.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I wish [the Republicans] were half as radical as the president portrays them."

    Amen.

  • John||

    So much for hope and change bringing America into a post racial world. The country would have been better off electing Jesse Jackson. At least Jackson can give an interesting speech.

  • ||

    At least Jackson can give an interesting speech.

    "My fellow Americans. Kill whitey. Good night, and God bless America."

  • John||

    Jessee for all of his faults at least at one time was a hell of a public speaker. A lot better than the jug earned Jesus ever was. Hell, Al Sharpton would be a better President than Obama.

  • Ramjet||

    You make me laugh. Thanks.

  • mr simple||

    Dude, its okay. My dad apologized to Jesse Jackson and he accepted it.

    Jesse Jackson is not the Emperor of black people!

    But, he told my dad he was.

  • wareagle||

    Jesse was a captivating speaker; saw him in person a couple of times and the man knows how to rally a crowd. Besides, he NEVER suggested killing whitey; he is the anti-Sharpton in that regard. Jesse may be an opportunist, but he is not an outright fraud.

  • Killazontherun||

    I've seen video of him from 1960 from when he was the student body president of A&T Greensboro (which means at 21 years of age, he had more qualifications for the office of president than Obama did up to January 2005)) speaking to the owner of the Woolworth. Very persuasive speaker even then.

  • Rich||

    At least Jackson can give an interesting speech.

    And with those eyes, he doesn't have to bounce back and forth between the teleprompters.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    you mean like he had something to do with writing/editing the damn thing? TOTUS loves giving speeches, it a chance for the messiah to be surprised.

  • CLTFatcat||

    I think the social Darwinism comment (wrong as it is) comes from the fact that Ryan's cuts are focused on welfare subsidies and almost no military or other areas.

    Before I'm attacked, I do realize that these are the big problem areas long term. But if libertarians (which Ryan obviously is not) are going to win over our "liberal" friends, we can't just hammer away at welfare and ignore defense spending. It's much easier to justify balancing the budget "on the backs of" military contractors than poor folks.

    In fact, I think we'd have more allies if the focus was 90% reducing defense and ending the drug war. Then we might also make some progress.

  • tarran||

    Dude, that's what we have been doing.

    Our countrymen aren't listening.

    They think they live in a land where Uncle Sam can feed them milk & honey indefinitely.

    Only a hard blow from the 2X4 or reality will get them to look up from the trough.

  • sarcasmic||

    But if you don't fight teh terrorists there, they'll come here!

    There will be droves of Afghan peasants streaming from their dirt huts into American cities, setting up IEDs on main roads!

    It will be carnage in the streets!

    Dead Americans everywhere!

    Why do you want Americans killed?

    Why?!?

  • Harvard||

    You haven't spent a week in Del Rio, Texas in a while have you?

  • sarcasmic||

    I said Afghan peasants.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    Afghan, Mexican, all them little brown fuckers look the same to whitey

  • John||

    The problem is that defense is programed to increase every year. Defense isn't what is going to put the country into bankruptcy. Entitlements are going to do that. You can get your peacenik on and focus on defense. Have fun. But even if you succeed, we will still go bankrupt.

  • Ex Nihilo||

    John,

    That is exactly why you should cut defense. Show that you are willing to sacrifice some of your sacred cows so that the liberals will sacrifice some of their sacred cows. This takes the argument of

    balancing the budget "on the backs of" poor folks rather than military contractors.

    away from them.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think you understand what compromise means.

    Compromise means that liberals get their way without sacrificing anything.

    In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.
    -Ayn Rand
  • Ex Nihilo||

    Yes, unfortunately I understand this is exactly what they would do. And the MSM would back them 100%. You would end up with a "hollowed out military" AND balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.

    According the them, of course.

  • Killazontherun||

    Not true. I've given Good a generous portion of my profits many a time just to keep her from ratting me out.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    You're correct about that but I think that CLTFatcat is speaking of political reality: that refusing to cut the military establishment (most of which has little to do with "defense" anyway) and the "homeland security" apparatus plays into the hands of liberal demagogues.

  • John||

    The Homeland security apparatus needs to be cut. And you guys live in a bubble. Being willing to cut defense isn't going to get you anything. Liberals will gladly say thank you, cut defense and then tell you to pound sand when their turn comes. And second, defense is popular. People are not clamoring to cut defense. So you are wasting political capital to try and cut a program that is popular and the cutting of which won't save us from bankruptcy anyway.

    All it does is make sure the Libertarians are pariahs among the entire country rather than just one part of it. If Ron Paul wasn't a peacenik, he would probably be the Republican nominee right now.

  • sarcasmic||

    And second, defense is popular. People are not clamoring to cut defense.

    So are social programs. Medicare is very popular. Social Security is very popular. And why not? Your return is much higher than what you paid in. So what if it is bankrupting the next generation? By the time that happens the people who are enjoying it now will be dead. What do they care?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I guess you would know. This is, after all, your game. Libertarians, as you know damn well, would have no part of it at all.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    When you play the game of budgets you win or you go broke.

  • sarcasmic||

    If Ron Paul wasn't a peacenik, he would probably be the Republican nominee right now.

    Yeah, that damned Ron Paul not wanting to have our military kill Muslims all around the world in revenge for what some suicide attackers did a decade ago!
    Damn him!
    I mean, he'd use our military to protect our borders instead of for advancing our own political agenda in foreign nations.
    How fucked up is that?
    Why would anyone vote for this guy?
    I don't get it.

  • CLTFatcat||

    More than half the country voted for Obama largely because of his "end the wars" rhetoric and to a smaller extent "stop the drug war crackdown" (although not "end it"). It seems to me to be worthwhile to attempt to tap into that mentality given that it elected a president.

    Ideologically, transitioning from liberal or conservative to libertarian is a gradual process. For me it started with being an anti-war liberal and then getting an Econ degree followed by much needed real-life perspective from living in NYC for 2 years.

    I say you hook them in with the common ground and then show them the error of their thinking. Because lets be honest, a big difference between lib/con and libertarian is not thinking through issues.

    Sorry for the long post.. I also just want to say that I'm talking on a ground level here as well as congress. This is how to convert your acquaintances. Continue what Ron Paul has started from 08-12.

  • Killazontherun||

    What do you mean end the wars rhetoric? Obama clearly stated he was expanding the war in Afghanistan as it was the war being neglected by the Bush regime. He never minced his words about this. He didn't have to, his voters were going to hear what they wanted to hear no matter what.

  • ||

    Dude seriously? There are plenty of places to cut Defense without shrinking the military and compromising our post as world police.

    And what's wrong with wanting to take a defensive stance instead of an offensive stance?

  • Ron||

    So True
    Reagan said I'll cut taxes and you cut the budget, the budget was never cut.
    Bush 41 cut the military, a program that was carried over to the Clinton years, but nothing else was cut. They need to be simultanious cut not promises to cut.

  • Killazontherun||

    Actually, it was raise pay roll taxes if the Democratic congress agreed to a spending cut. One third of deficit reductions covered by raising taxes, and two thirds by spending cuts. That was the deal. Only the first part where Reagan got suckered actually went through.

  • Ron||

    your right and didn't the same thing happen to Bush 41 when broke his promise and raised taxes?

  • wareagle||

    But if libertarians (which Ryan obviously is not) are going to win over our "liberal" friends....
    ---------

    Just stop right there. Here's a news flash, Sparky: libertarians are NEVER going to win over liberals. Never. Accept it. Any idea that calls for one dollar in giveaways to be cut or requires people to account for themselves or stops separating folks into pre-approved victim groups will be opposed by the left.

    Liberalism is not your allow nor will it ever be. It requires a massively uninformed populace for its survival. Libertarians may often argue among themselves, but uninformed is something they are not.

  • sarcasmic||

    Liberals only understand force and authority.
    They cannot comprehend the idea of someone doing something without either being ordered or first asking permission.

    The notion of liberty, of being free to act without asking permission or taking orders, is repugnant to them.

    So yes, libertarians will never win over liberals. Or conservatives for that matter.

  • wareagle||

    but with conservatives, there can be inroads made. I suspect a good many on the right would be willing to make some defense cuts IF they believed similar cuts could be made with social programs. There is a difference between fisc-cons and social-cons. The latter are statists of a different type; the former can be persuaded. Maybe I'm wrong but I like to think there is a chance.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is a difference between fisc-cons and social-cons.

    Yeah. One is imaginary and the other is real.

    Fiscal conservatives are willing to cut government, just not anything that will result in lost jobs or reduced entitlements.

    That leaves, well, nothing.

  • aelhues||

    Fiscal cons aren't willing to cut entitlements? Strange...I must be under the wrong heading. Oh, and if it's an inefficient waste of space and cash job, cut it...

  • sarcasmic||

    Get your government hands off my Medicare!

  • purple_persuader||

    Would Ron Paul have been elected as a Democrat? Justin Amash, Mike Lee, Rand Paul? If inroads are to be made anywhere, I would argue they would be in the Conservative/Republican territory. IMO there actually is a higher percentage of people there who can be won with convincing arguments.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's because Democrats are at least honest in their aims to grow government.

    Republican politicians give lip service to smaller government, which allows for people who actually want smaller government to get elected under their banner, but in practice they're just big government liberals who oppose abortion.

  • aelhues||

    While there are some of those, the reality is that most Republicans are for smaller government. There is unfortunately the problem with the establishment being first for their own power, and second for good government.

    In my view, and experience, republicans and libertarians aren't far apart on most issues that don't involve recreational drugs, and abortion.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is a difference between Republican voters, and Republican politicians.

    Republican voters want smaller government. Just don't cut the part that benefits them. Cut the part that benefits that guy, but leave my job or entitlement (or my spouse's job or entitlement, or my parent's job or entitlement, or my child's job or entitlement, you get the idea) alone.

    Unfortunately such cuts do not exist.

    Any and all cuts would result in some Republican voters, or someone very close to them, losing their job or their entitlement.

    Which means that in practice Republican politicians don't cut government.

    They just create more jobs and entitlements, while promising to cut government. Just not the part that affects Republican voters.

  • Michael||

    But if libertarians (which Ryan obviously is not) are going to win over our "liberal" friends, we can't just hammer away at welfare and ignore defense spending.

    It's cute that you believe you'd ever be able to win over your dumb hipster friends with libertarian ideas. Your chances of success are a fart in the wind, but you still might want to consider at least differentiating military spending from defense spending.

  • CLTFatcat||

    I guess we're all just born libertarian, eh? The point I was making is that starting a conversation with "cut welfare" has the same effect as comparing someone to Hitler. It just ends all rational exchange.

    Also, defense is just the rhetorical word politicians use to make you think you need it.

  • Michael||

    The point I was making is that starting a conversation with "cut welfare" has the same effect as comparing someone to Hitler.

    You could start the conversation with "adorable, fuzzy bunnies" if you want, but once you work your way to the "cut welfare" part all they will hear is "Hitler". It doesn't matter how you spin it; barring an epiphany, most liberals are pretty adamant about not slaughtering their own sacred cows. This is reality.

  • John||

    You guys are just racists who can't deal with a smart black man. A Georgetown sociologist told me so.

    Georgetown sociologist Michael Eric Dyson thinks people who object to President Obama's attacks on the Supreme Court are racist. Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.com notes Dyson's comments on ABC's "This Week":

    "When you hear Republicans say that President Obama is being a bully, you hear racial subtexts?" ABC host Jack Tapper asked.

    "Of course," Dyson answered.

    He continued: "Bully--I mean look this guy--if--if you can't deal with this reasoned, articulate expression of difference and dissent and calling that bullying. And on the one hand Obama has to be worried about, I can't be an angry black man. I can't speak up in a certain way. He's already constrained by the stereotypes that prevail. If you can't even take his dissent as an expression of legitimate disagreement and instead of ascribing to him bullying--

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....TopOpinion

  • Rich||

    "you hear racial subtexts?"

    I suppose that's better than seeing dead people.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    The tossing of the "racist" card is drearily predictable, isn't it?

    And this: "And on the one hand Obama has to be worried about, I can't be an angry black man. I can't speak up in a certain way. He's already constrained by the stereotypes that prevail." is just nonsense. A white president can't be "an angry white man" either. Presidents are constrained by expectations about their behavior, one of which is that they don't let their emotions run away with them. We kinda don't want that in a man who controls nuclear weapons.

  • John||

    Exactly. And a President doesn't have to act angry. Any President has an army of hack journalists and Congress critters to go out and be nasty in his stead. This allows the President to get his nasty attacks out while hanging back and looking like a nice guy. It is a hell of an advantage for a sitting President. And an advantage this President is too immature and petulant to use.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    "Petulant" is the perfect word for Obama. I always get the impression from him that he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, and he's irritated at having to explain himself to those he regards as his inferiors.

  • Ken Shultz||

    For what it's worth, I do see plenty of invective aimed at Obama for being black. Not around here, so much, but elsewhere. I see that sort of thing aimed at women on both sides of the aisle (say both Palin and Pelosi) as well. ...again, not around here, as much, but elsewhere.

    For what it's worth, I also think Romney has some stigmas to overcome, not just for being Mormon either. Being an ex-investment, white guy in a business suit comes with certain baggage, too.

    It ain't as heavy as the baggage Obama's gotta carry, though. If we're gonna throw Obama out on his ass, I think we're gonna have to learn to be sensitive about that. If sensitive swing voters think we're being mean to him just because he's black, we'll end up with him for another four years.

    I'd certainly prefer to make it plain to people that we're sensitive to race issues, rather than suffer another four years under Obama's pathetic leadership.

  • Fate||

    For me, the thing is, I am NOT generally sensitive to race issues. Typically, I could not care less. Race is (and ought to be) a non-factor.

    I care about the individual involved. Who he's descended from? Who give a flying.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I care about the individual involved. Who he's descended from? Who give a flying.

    Well, if you're being smeared as the opposite of that, and not being clear about caring about the individuals rather than the race, then making a point to counter the charge that you're a racist should probably be a priority.

    If we want swing voters to throw Obama out on his ass.

  • Fate||

    I think there is a rather obvious trap in this. Aside from a very, very small group of rather loud imbeciles, no one seems to be attacking Obama on race. It all seems to be on policy and personal belief.

    Then a huge number of commentators, media stooges etc start screaming "You don't like him 'cause he's black!", and then that's all the damn conversation revolves around, because everyone has to stop for the obligatory round of "I'm not racist!" statements.

    It's used to derail debates constantly, and responding to it doesn't seem to have helped at all.

    Personally, I tend to respond to "You don't like him 'cause he's black, you racist!" with "What the hell is wrong with you?" - and then continue the damn conversation I was having.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, it's like that. There's a cognitive bias to associate the loudest representative of a group with the whole group. There are people who think that the Westboro Baptist Church is in some way representative of all Christians, or all Republicans...

    And when some loudmouthed racist jackass, who calls himself a libertarian, says something racist, that becomes what people judge us by...

    Unless we counteract that.

    We have to live in the world the way it is; we don't get to live in the one where people are rational. The world we live in might continue to ignore libertarians and reelect that jackhole Obama if we don't start dealing with it the way it is.

    If we're not racists, then when people say we are, we really should speak up.

  • wareagle||

    oh stop, Ken. Most folks figured out there was some black in Obama the first time they saw him. It's not his black skin; it's his microscopically thin skin. He is a darker, male version of Palin - a huge ego clearly not ready for prime with an inability to handle even the slightest criticism.

    Obama's blackness is used by those who have no substance on which to stand. Given POTUS' record, it's not like they have another choice. And I would submit to you that a greater number of Americans voted FOR Obama in '08 because of his color than against him.

  • Killazontherun||

    So little self awareness here you show, Shultz. You do realize you are judging people by the color of their skin as how they will react to you, don't you? No, you don't or else you would not have made such a stupid comment.

    Obama is president of the freakin' United States. It was that affirmatively active babying of him like you are doing that got him the job. Time to smack his punk ass down, and keep him smacked down.

  • rac||

    This is the frustrating thing about this issue. Certainly, some Republicans are trying to reduce government, or at least, slow down its growth. I suppose we can all be very pure and pooh pooh that, but what you get is....Obamaworld. I think that is worse. So, I will support Ron Paul (I did vote for him in VA). And will speak out against the Leviathan to any who will listen. But, when push comes to shove, I'll vote for the Republican. Unlike Jacob, I won't feel dirty about it.

  • aelhues||

    That's pretty much where I stand. I have many days when I start to think I can't have anything more to do with republicans, but the reality is if I want to try to keep the country from accelerating towards the cliff ahead, I have to vote republican in most cases. I wish I could vote pure conscience, but my calculated decisions trump that.

  • freeforall232||

    You guys did read the article, right?

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Obama's absurd whining about the S Court overturning the Health Care is, well, absurd. However, Rep. Ryan's "plan," which I would describe as a "lie" rather than a "plan," would essentially eliminate non-military federal spending. Yes, most of it should be eliminated, but those of us who believe that programs like welfare (what was AFDC) and Food Stamps, are necessary have a right to complain. Although he won't come out and say so, Ryan's plan would simply eliminate all funding for programs that assist the poor. And why not? These people never vote Republican anyway.

    And, Jake, I have to say that the constitutionality of a law is not determined in the least by the size of the vote or whether it was "party-line" or not. (And since when did "Reason" become a fan of bi-partisanship?)

    Obamacare effectively passed by a 58-42 margin in the Senate, though this was obscured by the fact that Republicans used parliamentary tricks to prevent a straight up-and-down vote. But whether it passed 100-0, or 51-50, the margin would have no relevance to the question of constitutionality. In fact, it's a good bet that 100-0 laws are more likely to be unconstitutional than those that pass 51-50.

  • ||

    I believe there was a chart somewhere that showed that Ryan's cuts to things weren't all that drastic compared to Obama's. I could be misremembering it though.

  • Ron||

    Tricks they may have played but the law was still passed anyway wasn't it. So thats another useless comment to blame the republicans for what? breathing, They couldn't prevent it its just a silly argument to blame the failures of Obamacare on some else. They might as well blame Bus for that as well.

  • ||

    You should stop getting your news and analysis from Democratic Underground. The Ryan budget doesn't actually "cut" 1 single penny from the federal budget. It just shrinks the pre-programmed rate of growth. Considering that the entire military budget is good for about 1/3 of the current annual budget deficit, eliminating it entirely would get you... about 1/3 of the way to a "balanced" budget. By contrast, the 100 trillion dollars in unfunded liability of our federal social programs are a wee bit bigger in terms of big-picture fiscal impact. Try harder.

  • ChrisO||

    I don't really focus much anymore on what this jackass says. He's been in permanent campaign mode for at least six years.

  • sarcasmic||

    All politicians are. That's the beauty of campaign finance reform. By limiting contributions is forces every elected term to be once continuous begathon.

  • ChrisO||

    True, but it seems like Obama has taken it to a new level.

  • ||

    "Here is what Obama, who used to teach constitutional law..."

    Hang on here. Did he or did he not actually "teach" constitutional law? I read a lot of law blogs and no one can confirm he was a professor. The best I get he was a lecturer in electoral law and race relations of some kind at Univ. of Chi. and Harvard.

    Obviously, there has to be more to this?

    Can anybody out there (cue Pink Floyd's 'Is anybody out there'), confirm he was a professor with solid research credentials into constitutional law?

  • ||

    You probably could if anyone had access to any of his academic records, but the most transparent president in history has elected not to make those available for public scrutiny.

  • wef||

    The Republican proposal—which, as Investor's Business Daily analyst John Merline points out, begins by spending 46 percent more, adjusted for inflation, than Bill Clinton did during his last year in office—adds $3.1 trillion to the national debt by 2022. Sadly, there's nothing radical about that.

    Yet another example of the vermin republican party as a delusion, a mockery and a snare. The bewildered “conservative” public whipped-sawed between two teams of con artists. And left wondering, why does the state continue to expand and where does all the money go? Smarmy, we’re-on-your-side repube parasites tut-tut about the other side, and promise to do better. And that Obama is sooooo bad! And then as part of the scam, republicans willingly serve as convenient foils for their supposed opposition.

    The republican party must be destroyed.


    (And for the sophomoric posers out there, the democrat party must be destroyed too. Happy?)

  • ||

    Not really since its pretty obvious by now that you only really care about destroying one party and not the other (hence your sarcasm in parentheses). Call me when you get a clue that the Democrats are just as bad and should be destroyed simultaneously with the Republicans.

    Cause right now, your alternative destroys one and leaves the other unchecked. (If you were calling only for the absolute destruction of just Team Blue I'd bust your balls too, just so you know.)

  • ||

    I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about destroying the Republican party and comparing it less favorably to the Democratic party except for the slightly inconvenient fact that Obama has accumulated more debt in 3 years as president than every administration up to George W Bush combined. And even compared to GWB, Obama has slammed the accelerator on spending. He's racked up as much debt in 3 years as Bush did in 8. "They're worse because they lie to us" is a great argument on principle. But it ignores the important practicality of the actual, real-world implications of policy.

  • ||

    Not having insurance would just be completely crazy. I am an accountant and in my local area "Penny Health" is the best health insurance finder I ever had. Yes my insurance does cover dental and eye insurance which is a big help to my life.

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