THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 601, January 1, 2011
"Okay, here's THE PLAN"
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
The Congress that just adjourned did an awful lot of work after the 2010 election. The end of don't ask don't tell and the decision not to impose taxes on Americans (and letting tax cuts expire is imposing taxes), especially as this involved rejecting the class warfare increases of taxes "on the rich" soi disant Progressives sought, are not anti libertarian (getting rid of taxes altogether would have been ideal but let's not kid ourselves). Of course there was the extension of unemployment benefits which runs up the debt our children and grandchildren will face. There was also ratification of the SALT Whatever Treaty, ratifying that we and the Russians will continue to disarm from the Cold War. Now we need to get the other nuclear powers involved, including those who aren't in the game yet but want to join.
Please note that all these actions were taken by the lame duck Congress, men and women who had been voted out of office,retired, or who have two years to "make up" for the harm they've done. Liberals, Conservatives, and Libertarians can argue as to the merits of these and other bills passed between 2 November and 23 December, 2010 and I'll be glad to jump in, maybe even backing a liberal or conservative position I don't support just because the argument is fun (It's called playing Devil's Advocate). However, I have a problem with the fact that for all practical purposes these laws were passed by a Congress that was totally unaccountable for its actions. I thought the idea was that Congress voted on major issues before the elections. so that the people would be able to judge as to whether or not they wanted to re-elect people to office. That this is not the case this time around is unacceptable. Even if you agree with this, that, or the other action taken by Congress at this time, I'm sure you agree that it is a betrayal of the ideals our system of government make pretensions of expressing.
In a related matter, at President Obama's instruction the agency that administers Medicare will now begin compensating physicians for end of life counseling. This is the "Death Panel" issue brought up by opponents of Obamacare. Congress voted against including this in the Health Care Reform Bill. It has been enacted by bureaucratic fiat.
Now come the day I have to be deciding on what conditions I should let a Do not Resuscitate order kick in for me I surely want a doctor or two, a padre, secular ethicist, and lawyer advising me and it would be a good thing if my insurance covered the bill. Contrariwise I don't want a hospital administrator anxious to free up bed space and aware that my benefits are about to run out to pick a couple of cronies and vote to pull the plug on my care before my insurer pulls the plug on my money. This is not the point.
The point is that Congress, acting in obedience to the will of the American people mad it clear they did not want their tax money used to pay for such consultation and Obama has decided to override the will of the people by bureaucratic fiat. I can understand Executive Branch regulations to enforce the will of Congress. I can even see the need for such regulation to interpret the will of Congress. But when the Bureaucracy, encouraged by the President, begins to enact and enforce regulations intended to supersede and override the will of Congress I have a problem.
A Congress that does most of its work during its lame duck session amd a bureaucracy that enacts laws that counters the express will of the legislative branch are both exercising power in a manner that faces no accountability. I suggest that no matter how benevolent their intentions or beneficial their actions they have slipped over into tyranny.