An Open Letter to Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

December 27, 2009

Dear Senator Hagan,

It is with great disappointment that I contact you about your support of the Senate’s version of healthcare reform.  Not only will the legislation that you and 59 other misguided souls passed today not address the ills facing our healthcare system, the measure is plagued by the 4 “c’s” – constitutionality, cost, corruption, and consent.

I realize that questioning the constitutionality of Congress taking up healthcare reform in the first place will fall on deaf ears, but humor me for a minute.  All congressional powers are enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 of that document.  Healthcare is not one of them specified in that section therefore it is a power retained by the people or the states through Amendment 10.

Now, I know you are next going to bring up jurisdiction under the “General Welfare” clause in that same section, but suffice it to say it is illogical to construe that the framers of the Constitution intended to give Congress unlimited powers through that clause and then in the same section go on to enumerate specific powers of Congress. 

There is also the question of the meaning of the “interstate commerce” clause.  Power grabbing members of Congress use this one all the time for such things as banning guns in schools and imposing a playoff system on college football.  I am sure members of Congress would argue that healthcare reform also falls under interstate commerce.  Under this convoluted thinking everything could be regulated by Congress.  Y’all seem to ignore the original purpose of the clause – to prevent states from imposing protectionist measures against each other’s industries.  Case in point is our inability to purchase health coverage from other states. 

Of course, the legislation also brings up other Constitutional issues besides whether Congress has jurisdiction over healthcare.  There is the issue of forcing American consumers to purchase something against their will.  There is also the concern that the Medicaid money for Nebraska that bought Senator Nelson’s vote is a violation of the equal protection clause since other states will have to foot the bill for their portion of the increased Medicaid costs that the bill will cause.  Any way you slice it the Senate healthcare reform bill is fraught with all sorts of constitutional issues.  You should have voted against the measure simply to honor your oath to the Constitution.

The second “c” plaguing the healthcare reform bill you voted for is cost.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, claims the legislation would save Medicare $246 billion are erroneous.  In a statement, the CBO indicated that members of your party were essentially “double-counting the impact of the savings the legislation would generate” because the savings “can’t both finance new programs and help pay future expenses for elderly covered under the federal program.” 

In your speech after voting for the measure you indicated that the bill will both reduce costs and expand coverage.  With all due respect, these two things are mutually exclusive.  The subsidies Uncle Sam will pay to the millions of uninsured Americans so they can afford coverage will be enormously expensive.  States will be burdened with paying their share of expanded Medicaid costs.  Furthermore, your statement is reminiscent of the politicians’ claims in 1965 when Medicare Part A  was passed.  They claimed that costs would be $9 billion by 1990.  The actual cost was $67 billion.  In 1987, Medicaid added a special hospital subsidy to its coverage which was projected to cost $100 million.  By 1992, costs stood at $11 billion per year.  You politicians have a hard time saying no to people.  Thus, given logical deduction and historical evidence it is easier to believe that the Senate plan will dramatically increase costs.

The third “c” afflicting the Senate health care bill you supported is corruption.  Thirteen got special perks for their votes totaling tens of billions of dollars.  The most infamous were Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” and Ben Nelson’s “Nebraska Compromise.”  If the bill was so good why did Harry Reid have to bribe members of his own party to vote for it?  How could you support a measure that was laced with so much unfairness to your North Carolina constituents?  Perhaps the biggest question is: since Reid needed every liberal vote three times to end debate why didn’t you hold out for a special perk for North Carolina especially given our state’s budgetary woes?

Lastly, the Senate lacked the consent of the American people to pass the measure.  By 53 percent a majority of Americans disapproved of the legislation.  By 73 to 18 percent a huge number of Americans don’t believe you when you say the legislation will reduce future deficits.  These polls are indicative of how far out of touch members of Congress have become. 

In the final analysis, the Senate healthcare bill does nothing to tackle the causes of rising costs in healthcare.  It does not provide for more consumer responsibility by addressing the 3rd party payer issue.  It does not address the high cost of medication by allowing Americans to purchase cheaper American made drugs from foreign countries.  It does nothing to streamline the approval process imposed by the Food and Drug Administration on drug companies which limits competition and contributes to higher costs.  Most importantly, attempts to curb healthcare costs are in vain as long as Congress continues to allow the reckless inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve to exist.  The Fed’s politically motivated pumping of new dollars and credit into the economy combined with our insatiable demand for healthcare bids the costs of services higher.  Only until we have a sound monetary system will we realize cost reductions in medical care.

In closing, you should be ashamed of your support for Harry Reid’s healthcare boondoggle.  The Senate bill you voted for lacks constitutionality, will not contain healthcare costs, was passed in a corrupt fashion, and was not what a majority of the American people wanted.  May the forces of nullification awaken to confront Congress’ stupidity on this issue!

Your constituent,

Kenn Jacobine


You Should be Furious!

December 16, 2009

There are certainly a lot of things that Washington does that should make the average American citizen furious.  I would like to point out just four: the hypocrisy of the illegality of purchasing foreign prescription drugs, federal employee salaries, the job busting cap and trade legislation, and the wanton destruction of the dollar.

The price of prescription drugs in the United States has increased by 9 percent in the last year.  Certainly the ever increasing cost of drugs is a major reason for the pressure on Congress to reform our healthcare system.  However, currently it is illegal for Americans to import cheaper prescription drugs from outside the United States.  Drugs produced by American companies, but sold in foreign markets are usually between 35 to 55 percent lower in price due to price controls of other countries.  It is an outrage to me that we are not able to take advantage of the stupidity of other governments and import and buy their cheaper American made drugs.  The same bleeding hearts in D.C. that whine about how people are dying because they can’t afford prescription drugs are standing in the way of those folks getting cheaper drugs.

Now, an argument given for keeping importation illegal is that the safety of the drugs cannot be guaranteed.  Nonsense!  We are talking about countries like Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada which have product protection mechanisms in place.  Personally, I’ve lived in the developing world for 8 years and my family has never had an issue with unsafe drugs in those countries.  The bottom line is that there is an easy way to cut drug costs and provide much needed medication to the financially strapped sick, but Congress refuses to do the right thing.

Then there is the story reported by USA Today that the number of federal employees who make $100,000 or more jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of all bureaucrats during the first 18 months of the recession.  The average federal worker’s salary is now $71,206 compared to $40,331 for private sector employees.  To put it in even greater perspective, in December 2007 the Transportation Department had one employee earning $170,000.  By June of 2009 the department had 1,690 workers with salaries above $170,000.  Substantial pay raises and new salary rules were the reason for the jump in salaries.  So while 7.2 million Americans were losing their jobs, not only were financial institutions and car manufacturers bailed out, your tax dollars also went toward ensuring the comfort and security of our ruling bureaucrats.  Not only did Uncle Sam not cut back on labor costs like the rest of America, he handsomely rewarded those that produce very little if anything that benefits society.  All Americans should be furious.

Turning to the environment, if Congress was intent on destroying jobs in these tough times it would have immediately passed the 1500 page cap and trade legislation.  The painful new taxes the legislation would have imposed on all of us would have increased business costs and reduced aggregate demand thereby making an awful job market that much worse.  Additionally, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson admitted during a Senate committee hearing that the bill would not significantly reduce global carbon concentrations in the atmosphere.

Fortunately, Democrats have sat on the legislation given the political risks to their careers of passing it.  But, just one minute, because to the rescue comes the EPA.  This past week the agency issued an “endangerment finding” that global warming is hazardous to human health.  In addition, the enviro-nazis at the EPA threatened Congress that if it didn’t pass cap and trade then it, the EPA, “would act on its own—and in a far more blunt fashion than Congress preferred.”   According to one anonymous administration official, ,” the EPA is going to have to “regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

Why is the EPA going to impose regulations that it admits will not significantly reduce global carbon concentrations in the atmosphere?  Why does Congress put up with this extortion?  Wasn’t the EPA created by Congress and thus answerable to it and not the other way around?  Why would Congress allow a bunch of unelected bureaucrats to decide policy?  The answer is easy: to deflect blame for stupid policy.  The EPA is doing Congress a favor – it is going to further drain our economy with expensive regulations and when your congressperson runs for reelection he/she can blame the EPA.  Of course, the question that should be asked at town hall meetings is, can’t Congress take away the EPA’s power?  Yes it can, and as Americans get wiser about what charlatans their elected leaders are they will press them more and more for upright answers.

Lastly, and most importantly, the American people should be outraged at the wanton destruction of their currency by the Fed, Congress, and two presidents.  In the last 3 years alone the dollar has lost 30 percent of its value!  What do you expect the way money has been thrown at financial firms, car manufacturers, and so forth.  For their part, the banks seem to have done well investing their bailout funds since they seem to be turning profits without loaning money.

The federal philanthropy continues – on Saturday, the Senate cleared the way for the passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill.  The vote was held up for an hour to allow Senator Lieberman an Orthodox Jew to walk more than 3 miles to the Hill on the Sabbath to cast the 60th vote to end debate.  Now, I am not an authority on Orthodox law, but didn’t the Senator consider voting in the Senate chamber work?  I suppose, like the Constitution that body continues to violate, when it serves their purpose members of Congress fell free to violate whatever parameters will get the job done.

All the bailouts and all this additional spending with money we do not have on aid for car dealers, loan guarantees for steel companies, and 5000 pork barrel projects for individual members continues to devalue our money making it that much harder for those already struggling to make ends meet in this horrendous economy Washington has given us.  Members of Congress are either charlatans or economic imbeciles because their inflationary policies hurt the same people they purport to help.  The whole thing is a stupendous outrage.

So, what is there to do?  I already think it is too late?  We owe 12 trillion dollars with none of our problems resolved.  Congress and the President seem hell-bent on making sure America is further bankrupted by every giveaway scheme imaginable – everyone knows the litany by now, too big to fail, too important to fail, so called environmental protection, cash for clunkers, homebuyer credits, etc, etc, etc….  I suppose we have the mid-term elections to look forward to next year, but given past experience if Republicans take Congress it will be akin to going on a diet and drinking Bud Light instead of Regular Bud.  Bottom line:  both are bad brands. 

If this article has irritated you even just a little bit, understand that there is a lot more that Washington spews that is awful.  From prescription drugs to federal salaries it seems like Washington only cares about it special constituencies and not the rest of us who are hurting.  And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

“Sic Semper Tyrannis”

December 6, 2009

The government run schools in America were founded with the goal of indoctrinating the masses to become good citizens of the state.  In the 1800s it was the new immigrants to America that needed socializing in republicanism.  In the latter half of the Twentieth Century, the public schools have done an exemplary job of brainwashing Americans about the virtues of big government.  Generations have been taught to revere such leviathan builders as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln in particular has been deified as the noble republican (small r) who rose from economic squalor to unify a torn nation, free the slaves, and in the end heroically give his life for his country like Jesus gave his for his followers.

According to Thomas J. Dilorenzo in his book, Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, the above characterization of the poor rail splitter could not be farther from the truth.  In his book, Dilorenzo smashes the Lincoln myth that has been fed to schoolchildren as gospel for many generations.  In fact, after reading it one realizes that Honest Abe was probably the most anti-constitution, undemocratic, and anti-free market presidents of all time.

First of all, Dilorenzo argues rightly that the States were viewed by the Founders as sovereign entities that joined the union voluntarily and could secede voluntarily as well.  The fact that the States elect presidents through the Electoral College and ratify amendments through their legislatures or conventions instead of directly by the voters was/is indicative of the fact that States were/are sovereign institutions independent from the national confederation.  Additionally, the meaning of the term “State” is different today from what it was in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.  Then it meant a nation.  Today, we use it to describe the political jurisdiction over a definite territory.

Thus, Lincoln invaded sovereign States and perpetrated a war that killed over 600,000 Americans.  The southern States that seceded were only guilty of having the temerity to secede.  But even then, before they broke away Confederate peace commissioners along with Napoleon III of France attempted to broker a peace deal.  Lincoln would have none of it.

Of course what is taught in our schools is that the justification for the Civil War was the freeing of the slaves.  And we are taught that on this issue Lincoln was not willing to negotiate.  But, according to Dilorenzo Lincoln’s actions do not justify this claim.  Before he became president he favored a constitutional amendment that would have restricted the North from regulating slavery further.  It is true that he was the first president to meet with freed slaves but it was not a goodwill gesture but an effort to persuade them to emigrate to Liberia because he felt the two races (white and black) would be better off if they lived apart.  It is true that Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery to the western states but as Dilorenzo makes clear it was for political purposes not humanitarian goals.  He and the new Republican Party wanted to maintain their numeric advantage in the Congress and allowing any new States to be admitted as slave states would have bolstered the cause of the Democrats.

And this was the true Lincoln that was depicted by Dilorenzo – a political animal.  Dilorenzo dispels the myth that he was poor and pious.  Lincoln married into an affluent Kentucky family that owned slaves.  As for himself, he made a very good living as a railroad lawyer and lobbyist.  Coming out of the defunct Whig party, Lincoln was politically well-connected statewide in Illinois.  He favored a strong centralized government, protective tariffs, a national (central) banking system, and perpetual public spending and debt to build a national infrastructure of roads, bridges, canals, and especially rail lines.  In essence Lincoln and his Whig cronies, now calling themselves Republicans, sought to provide federal largess to their buddies in industry in an effort to preserve their party’s control of Washington for generations.  Given that for the most part Republicans were the dominant national party from the Civil War until the Great Depression the plan worked.  Of course, FDR’s New Deal turned the tide and made the Democrats the majority party for more than a half century afterwards.   Make no mistake about it the economic policies and the political domination of his party were Lincoln’s justification for the Civil War.  It had nothing to do with freeing any slaves.

Besides depriving the southern States of their constitutional right to secede and directly causing the deaths of over 600,000 Americans what else did Lincoln do that was so awful?  The answer: plenty.  According to Dilorenzo, he censored telegraph communications, rigged northern elections, shut down over three hundred opposition newspapers, used the military in the North to jail thousands of northern critics without due process, unconstitutionally suspended the writ of habeas corpus, imprisoned several and even deported one elected northern official due to opposition to the war, created West Virginia illegally, and set General Sherman lose on southern civilians.  Remember these things were not done to free the slaves but to impose on the whole nation Lincoln’s economic and political philosophy.  If you are having a hard time comprehending this I understand.   You probably attended public schools. 

But, that is the very purpose of the skewed account of Lincoln we are taught in the schools – to make us ridicule any other accounts of him we may hear.  After all, how can any of this be true when they built that huge monument to him in Washington, D.C.?  It is true.  Thomas J. Dilorenzo’s book is a good survey of Lincoln’s transgressions against the Constitution, the free market, and the American people.  It is a work that will make any open minded American reconsider the meaning of John Wilkes Booth’s words “Sic semper tyrannis” (Thus be to tyrants).