The Founders vs. ObamaCare

The Founding Fathers would not be condemning House Republicans for their effort to defund ObamaCare. They would be applauding them. On the subject of who authorizes spending, the Constitution could not be more clear. According to Article 1, Section. 7, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives."

It is the job of the House of Representatives to spend, or not spend, the people's money. Based solely on the huge deficits our nation now faces, they have been up to this point derelict in their duty. Refusing to fund ObamaCare, whose exorbitant costs and incredible waste are now becoming apparent, would reassert the fiscal function the "Great Compromise" entrusted them with and demonstrate their care for how the people's money is disposed of.

It is instructive to see how that compromise came about. In late June of 1787, the Constitutional Convention was hopelessly deadlocked. Benjamin Franklin, in his inimitable way, explained the problem:

"The diversity of opinions turns on two points. If a proportional representation takes place, the small States contend that their liberties will be in danger. If an equality of votes is to be put in its place, the large States say their money will be in danger. When a broad table is to be made, and the edges of planks do not fit, the artisan takes a little from both, and makes a good joint. In like manner here both sides must part with some of their demands, in order that they may join in some accommodating proposition."

By July 2, Roger Sherman, delegate from Connecticut, noted that the Convention was "at a full stop." He then suggested a committee be formed consisting of one delegate from each state to find a compromise. Franklin was appointed as the member from Pennsylvania.

Robert Yates, member of the committee from New York, recorded, "These remarks gave rise to a motion of Dr. Franklin, which after some modification was agreed to, and made the basis of the following report of the committee. . . That the subsequent propositions be recommended to the convention, on condition that both shall be generally adopted. . . That all bills for raising or apportioning money, and for fixing salaries for the officers of government of the United States, shall originate in the first branch of the legislature, and shall not be altered or amended by the second branch; and that no money shall be drawn from the public treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations to be originated in the first branch.

That in the second branch of the legislature, each state shall have an equal vote."

In the debates following Franklin's proposal, James Madison noted, "Dr. Franklin did not mean to go into a justification of the Report; but as it had been asked what would be the use of restraining the 2d. branch from medling with money bills, he could not but remark that it was always of importance that the people should know who had disposed of their money, &how it had been disposed of. It was a maxim that those who feel, can best judge. This end would, he thought, be best attained, if money affairs were to be confined to the immediate representatives of the people."

On July 16 in an extremely close vote, 5 states to 4 with one state divided, the resolution passed.

Franklin's "Great Compromise" is the lynchpin of the Constitution. Without it, there would be no United States. In this period of fiscal irresponsibility, it is time to remind each and every member of the House the burden and responsibility that was placed on them at the Convention. They are the ones, the people's representatives, who are charged with spending and disposing the people's money. Our country is broke; those who oppose more spending on wasteful programs such as ObamaCare should not be condemned, but rather applauded. They are finally doing the job they were elected to do.