Hard Questions for Conservatives In the Wake of SCOTUS Ruling
As everybody knows by now, the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare. Bush appointee John Roberts cast the deciding vote, allowing the "individual mandate" to proceed as a "tax" - even though the Obama administration argued that it wasn't.
Welcome to socialized medicine in the U.S.A.
At this point, conservatives need to ask themselves some very hard questions:
1. Roberts is the latest in a long line of supposedly "conservative" Republican Supreme Court appointees to vastly expand government power. Earl Warren, Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, Sandra O'Connor, and David Souter all advanced left-wing policies to make them part of mainstream constitutional law. As Dwight Eisenhower said, he made two mistakes as president -- and they were both on the Supreme Court.
Obviously, hitching conservative fortunes to Republican judicial appointees, and the Republican Party generally, has been a failure. Is it time for a conservative third party?
2. The United Sates is not "becoming" socialist. It is already socialist. The Federal government spends approximately 25% of GDP, and when you add in state and local taxes, the average government take is closer to 40% of GDP - and higher for some income brackets. And frankly, a lot of people like it that way. The American public loves socialist programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which consume some 40% of the annual budget.
The SCOTUS simply made America more socialist than it already was. How are conservatives going to convince large segments of the public to give up their socialism? Is it even possible to do so?
3. Even before the SCOTUS decision, wise legal analysts realized that even if the "individual mandate" were ruled unconstitutional, Medicare and Medicaid have already set precedents enabling the government to create a tax-funded single payer system if it wanted to. This is true. The problem from a conservative perspective it that it is almost impossible to talk about "limited government" and "enumerated powers" as long as the 16th Amendment, which created the income tax, is in place. Money is power, and the 16th Amendment created a vast pool of money for the Federal government to spend in policy areas that the Founders would have objected to.
Are you willing to support a constitutional amendment limiting federal revenue to a specific percentage of GDP in order to curb Federal power?
4. Conservatives have lost on almost all major issues -- from abortion to socialized medicine to affirmative action to illegal immigration to gays in the military. Is it even possible to advance a conservative agenda any more in the United States as presently constituted ?