Paul Krugman recently wrote a celebratory little piece about the projected budget shortfall in Texas. Krugman was overjoyed that a low tax state filled with conservatives may have to deal with a deficit, it was pathetic. Kevin D. Williamson at National Review absolutely blasted Krugman out of the water, but one point I want to emphasize from Williamson’s piece was that much of Texas’s projected budget shortfall is due to new Medicaid costs imposed on the state by Obamacare.
Take a moment to let that sink in, states are seeing their budgets blasted with deficits because the federal government has written laws forcing them to enroll more people in their Medicaid programs. So the Obamacare bill, which supposedly reduced the federal government budget deficit by $143 billion (over ten years) is jacking up the deficits among the states, essentially outsourcing the deficit pain to the state level in order to make the Obama administration look good. Ouch! What state governor wants to deal with major new deficits to burnish President Obama’s fiscal credentials? You can bet not many of them now that the GOP controls a majority of the gubernatorial seats in the country.
Continued pushing around of the states via federal government orders will have a divisive effect on the relationship between state and federal government to be sure. The constitution is approximately 4,500 words long (plus the amendments) and can be read and understood by the average nine year old. It was written to be thus. In the 1780s, literacy rates weren’t what they are today. Congressmen, Senators, the President and most everyone in federal government have taken an oath to protect the constitution. And yet these very same people pervert the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause into sources of unintentional power. Any congressman that uses these clauses to justify legislation under the new constitutional citation rules should be scheduled for redeployment in 2012.
Only a little over 10% of the wording in the constitution details the powers of Congress. And most of those deal with very specific powers, like the power to build post offices and post roads. The words health care, education, full employment, and Federal Reserve do not appear anywhere in the text. The cherry picking of the words general welfare, and necessary and proper as justification for Obamacare and the Federal Reserve should have a whole new generation of young readers flocking to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative.