So I'm learning what's been going on back here in the states while I've been gone. I see we're discussing health care:

President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don't stand to gain from the extra care.
That has a very familiar ring to it. It's precisely the government's plan for Social Security, Medicare, and Federal pensions:
Taxpayers are now on the hook for a record $59.1 trillion in liabilities, a 2.3% increase from 2006. That amount is equal to $516,348 for every U.S. household. By comparison, U.S. households owe an average of $112,043 for mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all other debt combined.

Unfunded promises made for Medicare, Social Security and federal retirement programs account for 85% of taxpayer liabilities.
So why don't we change to the corporate-style accounting method?
The White House and the Congressional Budget Office oppose the change, arguing that the programs are not true liabilities because government can cancel or cut them.
That article was originally published in 2007, so this is not new. The government's standing position is that the "national debt" problem is not a serious issue, because they can always simply decide not to pay. No one can make them.

So, having paid ruinous FICA taxes and income taxes all your life, many of you will soon reach retirement to discover that the government has defrauded you. Only it's not fraud, you see, because they make the rules. The new rules will say it's OK that they break their word.

That's not new, but this is:
Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers' amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk's desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.
It's longstanding practice for Congressmen to vote for bills they haven't read. This is the first time, though, that I've heard of them voting for one that actually can't be read.

Back when "Campaign Finance Reform" was on the table, the Congress wrote a bill that both parties agreed was at least partially unconstitutional; the President signed it into law, although he also agreed that it was not constitutional. Both branches deferred to the SCOTUS to work out which parts were (and weren't) actually constitutional, rather than doing their duty themselves. SCOTUS, in turn, deferred to the legislature and the President.

All three branches set aside their duty, and so we obtained new restrictions on the freedom of speech, and political speech: the one kind of speech the Founders were most interested to protect.

Now the House is repeating the error, voting for a law that it hasn't read, because it can't be read. Someday people will go to prison for violating the new regulations and restrictions in this bill: they will be deprived of their homes, their families, and their liberty.

When they get to court, why can't they say that they were deprived of their right to due process? If the police or the prosecutor had been as inconsiderate of their duty as Congress is being, we would throw such a case out of court.

Isn't the writing of the law a part of the process? Are there not, therefore, minimum standards for the officials entrusted to exercise that power?

No comments: