What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits

I caught a song on the radio yesterday, from one of my favorite vinyl efforts by the Doobie Brothers, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. A great album, fitting for a generation that took to the vices of drinking and smoking cigarettes among other things… The same generation found such habits are hazardous for one’s health, and are a lot harder to get rid of than they were to attain. Governments are like the people who compose them, they are subject to bad vice and habits

Our federal government has had a certain vice for over a century now, since Theodore Roosevelt broke Standard Oil and Woodrow Wilson created the Federal Reserve, our government has invaded our once “free enterprise” system with consistently disastrous results. For instance, when the Doobie Brothers were just hitting the road, our federal government invaded the health care sector through the Social Security Act, creating Medicare and Medicaid; and has since been on the march to nationalize the whole industry. At every step of the takeover, government interference has meant skyrocketing healthcare costs. At every step, this takeover has meant much higher taxes for taxpayers.  Both higher prices and higher taxes are direct consequences of the growing government bureaucratic “control” of America’s healthcare sector.

As a matter of habit, the Administrative State formed Fanny and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants which now underwrite 90% of all home mortgages in America. This government interference in our once free enterprise system first led to skyrocketing home prices, then it led to the housing and stock market crash of 2008.  Today, the government “commands and controls” 100% of the home mortgage market.

At the same time the housing and stock markets crashed in 2008, the federal government set out to “help those who cannot afford to go to college” by taking over the student loan industry. It was once one of a family’s proudest moments, to go to the local bank, take out an affordable loan, and send a family member to college, so their life might be afforded greater opportunities… That was until our federal government, exercising an old vice that has become a habit, decided to take control of another sector of our once free economy.

The federal government now “commands and controls” 100% of the student loan industry. Prices for a college education since 2008 have predictably reached unprecedented levels, far in excess of inflation, just as in the health and housing sectors of our economy. There is nothing else on earth that produces higher prices at a faster rate in any sector of our economy than guaranteed government assistance. The result has been prices so high that no one can afford college education without a government loan.  Prices have risen so fast, the amount of student loan debt in America today is $1,700,000,000,000.00.  Given that sort of a number, it must be a government operation…

Which brings us to another vice particularly exercised by our own Democratic Party -- that of ignoring the Constitution, our highest law of the land, in favor of its own Administrative State. This vice began 100 years ago, during the Wilson administration, and became a regular habit of every Democratic president since… The habit consists of assuming the agencies of the Administrative State can exercise legislative, judicial, and executive authority in whatever cases suit the party at the expense of our Constitution’s representative, legislative process.

The case for ignoring the Constitution last week was student loan forgiveness.  The cost of government “help” has been so costly, the Democratic party sought to use the Education Department, as a subsidiary of the Executive Branch, to shift $500,000,000,000.00 of debts from persons who signed valid loan contracts, to taxpayers who didn’t.  The Democratic Party sought to do this without a single vote being cast by the people’s representatives. All taxes, per Article One of the Constitution, are to be voted on by the legislature. Any other method is an abuse of the highest order against our highest law.

For the Democratic party it is the same… whether we pay higher consumer prices or higher taxes because of their policies does not matter -- their policies always do both. Neither does it matter to Democrats whether taxes are raised through the legislature as prescribed by our Constitution, or by an end run around the Constitution. Only the will of one political party getting its way does. You see, they only want to help!

The Democratic Party has a century-long habit of helping themselves to wealth and power at the expense of every consumer, every taxpayer and every citizen who believes in our common Constitution.

There are many fellow citizens of the Doobie Brothers generation who suffer very poor constitutions these days from those vices that became poor health habits -- habits they could not break. As citizens of a once great country, we need to break our government’s vice of invading the economy.  We need to do so for the financial health of every consumer and every taxpayer, and for the health of our common economy. We also need to break the Democratic Party’s habit of ignoring our highest laws as writ in our Constitution. We need to do so for the sake of every citizen’s birthright to live under a healthy Constitution.

Every citizen owes the Supreme Court a great thanks for beginning this necessary intervention.

Richard C. Lyons, author of The DNA of Democracy: Volume I and Shadows of the Acropolis: Volume II  is a third generation printer, whose early career centered on religious and special education publishing. Lyons has since engaged in literary pursuits as a poet, essayist, screenwriter and indie publisher.

Image: Pixabay, Alexas Photos

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