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E.J. Dionne Forgets that America Is a Constitutional Republic ^ | March 31, 2012 | Daniel Mitchell

Posted on 03/31/2012 6:31:44 AM PDT by Kaslin

My daily email containing the editorials and opinion columns from the Washington Post included an item written by E.J. Dionne entitled “Supreme Court activists: Conservative justices forget we’re a democracy.”

Surely this was a mistake.

I suspect he does understand, at least with regard to the first question. For instance, I’d bet a lot of money that he was correctly in favor of the Court’s decision to protect flag burning as a form of political speech, notwithstanding public opinion and congressional approval.

But he seems to join with other leftists in treating the interstate commerce clause as some sort of blank check for federal intervention into every aspect of our lives. And it shows up in various ways in his column.

…conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature…discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell… Sotomayor asked what was wrong with leaving as much discretion as possible “in the hands of the people who should be fixing this, not us.” It was nice to be reminded that we’re a democracy, not a judicial dictatorship. …This is what conservative justices will do if they strike down or cripple the health-care law. …a court that…sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws.

At the risk of being blunt, the conservative justices are doing exactly what they should be doing. They’re deciding if a law enacted by Congress is consistent with the powers granted to Congress by the Constitution.

America has a democratic form of government, but we are not a democracy. At least not in the sense that 51 percent of the people have the unlimited right to rape and pillage 49 percent of the people.

I have no idea of the Supreme Court will make the right decision, but I am overwhelmingly confident that the Founding Fathers didn’t envision mandated health insurance as a function of the federal government.

But maybe I’m just too old fashioned, because when I peruse the enumerated powers, I don’t see any authority for a Department of Energy either. Or a Department of Agriculture. Or a Department of Commerce. Or Department of Housing and Urban Development. Or Department of Education. Or a Department of Transportation. Or…well, you get the idea.

New Developments from Japan Show the Left Is Wrong on Two Big Fiscal Issues

There are several semi-permanent fiscal policy fights in Washington, most of which somehow are related to the big issue of whether government should be bigger or smaller.

Today, I want to focus on two of those battles, and point to developments in Japan to make the case that the left is wrong.

First, let’s look at a couple of sentences from a Wall Street Journal story about Japanese fiscal policy.

Top officials from Japan’s government and ruling party formally endorsed a revised bill to double the country’s sales tax, despite strong objections from other party members, in a sign of their determination to rein in the nation’s soaring public debt. …The legislation will double the current 5% sales tax in two stages by 2015 as a way to help pay for the nation’s growing social welfare costs as the population ages.

I realize I’m a strange person and I look at everything through a libertarian lens, but I think this story provides strong support for my viewpoint on two important issues.

1. Higher taxes lead to higher spending – Just like in the United States, politicians in Japan claim that they have to raise taxes to deal with deficits and debt. Indeed, the excerpt above includes that assertion, reporting that the VAT increase would be “to rein in the nation’s soaring debt.”

I think this is nonsense. Politicians are motivated by a desire to finance bigger government. And that’s what’s happening in Japan. Later in the article, we see that the real purpose of the tax hike is to “pay for the nation’s growing social welfare costs.”

2. The VAT is a money machine for big government – I’ve cited the European evidence to show that small VATs become big VATs in part because it is a hidden tax. My statist friends often respond by saying I need to look at Japan, Canada, and Australia, where VATs haven’t been increased. I then respond by saying it’s just a matter of time. So, even though I would like to be wrong, Japan is confirming my fears.

That being said, I must acknowledge the possibility that Canada and Australia may prove me wrong. And I will be happy if that’s what happens. Both nations have done a pretty good job of restraining the growth of government (see Table 25 of this OECD data), and I don’t see any immediate threat of VAT hikes. But I’m not holding my breath for what happens 10 years from now.

Last but not least, I’ve decided the title of this post is inaccurate. The left isn’t wrong. They know the higher taxes lead to higher spending, and they know the VAT is a money machine for big government. They just don’t publicly admit these are the results they want.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
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To: loveliberty2
First of all, thanks for another great post

Liberals may "believe" the "democracy," but when they do, they reveal their ignorance of the explicit explanations provided by America's founding generation and those who framed the Constitution.

The ignorance is evident 24/7/365

21 posted on 03/31/2012 1:12:44 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: sono; kjo; Kaslin
Edwards was right about one thing - there Are two Americas - the one for the EJ Dionne’s of the world and the one for those who believe in the Founders’ Constitution.

Then let's do it literally. Throw New England and downstate New York (about 30,000,000 people, 10% of the whole who make the other 90% miserable) out of the Union and force liberals in other parts of the country to leave for New England or Canada. The Marxists have captured half of America's voters with their bullshine and their puppet candidates -- now it's time for them to leave, and take their spoil with them.

Boot them out. All of them. Expelling the offending States, and introducing the Ostracon (ostracism) to expel the rest, will give us social peace and cohesion we deserve, and confine liberaldom to the hellhole it deserves.

22 posted on 03/31/2012 2:12:28 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: RobbyS

Where California goes the nation soon follows.

23 posted on 03/31/2012 7:35:24 PM PDT by RipSawyer
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To: hdbc

>>>There are two Americas, and ultimately I believe we may soon reach a point where secession is the only option. Let the libtards live in their socialist utopia and leave the rest of us to live as the founders envisioned. Far fetched? I don’t see how this country can continue with two totally different philosophies pulling in opposite directions.<<<

Yep, and here’s how it might go. The states might finally look at the contract signed with the federal government and see that it is no longer a representative republic. In that case, the union of the states is void. Each state signed on with the understanding that they’d be part of a republic, with limited powers, as outlined in the Constitution.

It’s the reverse of the Civil War. In this instance, the federal government was seceeded from the states. Once this little snowball starts rolling down the hill, it’s hard to imagine where it would go, but I would hope that the split would be amiable, as it was with the Czechs and the Slovaks.

However, I’m with you on this one. A house divided cannot stand. God help us.

24 posted on 04/01/2012 10:59:47 AM PDT by redpoll
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To: lentulusgracchus
There are far too many conservatives and libertarians in New England and in upstate New York to simply kick them out of the union. My state (NH) is dominated by Republicans in elected office and is currently more conservative than either North Carolina or Colorado (to name but two examples), at least if you consider party/ideology self-identification numbers.

If the issues between us were neatly geographical, I think we'd be further along the road to secession than we are. There are two fundamentally opposed visions of America at present, and only one can survive in a single nation. But the division does not appear as a line on a map, but in clusters and dots. Kind of like Bosnia. That's encouraging, isn't it?

25 posted on 04/01/2012 11:14:01 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: RipSawyer

Which is what Texas is trying to avoid. My fear is that as more Californians come to Texas, they will want to bring their political views with them. Travis has always been a liberal county, but now more so because of the Californians who have moved in.

26 posted on 04/01/2012 1:28:45 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: andy58-in-nh

Upstate New York. ought to secede from NYC etc.. That was they could draw business to them with lower taxes.

27 posted on 04/01/2012 1:32:04 PM PDT by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: andy58-in-nh
There are far too many conservatives and libertarians in New England and in upstate New York to simply kick them out of the union.

I would, I've pointed out elsewhere, partition New York at the Croton Reservoir and the middle of the Hudson channel -- leaving Chappaqua and Westchester with the Bronx and Long Island with the New Englanders, and keeping Staten Island and the Jersey Shore in the Union (and Sandy Hook, and Bedloe's and Ellis Islands -- the Socialists would get Ruyker's).

Egregious liberal exarchates in Upstate New York like Albany and Ithaca, City of Evil, would be mass-deported to the state line and driven across into Connecticut with whips and branding irons. Berkeley and Sausalito and The Castro would share their fate.

28 posted on 04/02/2012 6:45:06 AM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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