The GOP must have a clear vision of its path going forward if it plans on keeping conservative Americans satisfied. The new plan to offer a bill cutting spending every week is a great talking point, but the targeted $100 billion in nondefense discretionary spending is a drop in the bucket, and puts America no closer to fiscal stability than it was yesterday. As Avik Roy wrote in National Review this morning, “Growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending…accounts for nearly all the projected future growth in government outlays relative to GDP.”
The GOP needs to focus. It needs to focus on dismantling the welfare state, and breaking down the protections that Democrats have given it. Roy calls for an articulated GOP vision of what healthcare in the U.S. should look like. Putting the issue back to the states should be every conservative’s first thought. While Roy and others may look for free-market solutions at the federal level, the constitution already outlines the role the federal government ought to have in healthcare, none. Medicaid is already a burden most states have to bare; allowing them to do what they want in their own way would free them from overwhelming federal mandates.
The new Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi wrote in this morning’s Wall Street Journal that “The Constitution grants Congress only specific powers—it does not empower Congress to pursue its policy objectives by any means necessary.” In her play by play of the debate over Obamacare so far, Bondi tells us that the Department of Justice, led by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, attempted to beat back criticism of the individual mandate by arguing that Congress had the power to regulate commerce, even if that meant only that someone may be “thinking” about commerce. What a whopper! Bondi responds to this line of thinking thusly, “If the courts deem the federal health-care law to be constitutional, then there are no meaningful constitutional restraints on Congress’s power to regulate virtually every facet of our lives.”
This goes back to Senator Tom Coburn’s questioning of then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan during the hearings to confirm her as the next Supreme Court Justice. Coburn asked if Kagan thought the commerce clause allowed Congress to regulate what Americans eat. To even the Senator’s surprise, Kagan equivocated, leaning towards granting Congress that power!
Adding another Kagan-like progressive to the Supreme Court is not and option. Americans of all walks of life will see their freedoms evaporate, and federal government expand rapidly if Justice Anthony Kennedy, or worse one of the four conservative justices, is replaced by another Sonio Sotomayor or Elena Kagan. Kagan was placed on the bench almost exclusively to protect the legacy of her friend Barack Obama, and his most influential achievement so far, Obamacare.