Tag Archives: socialism

Catholic Social Teaching and the 10th Amendment vs. ObamaCare

From the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of the lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.

This is an unusual topic for me to blog about; I don’t normally cover religious topics for a variety of reasons. Still, as I have watched the debate over ObamaCare unfold, I have noted with interest that the Catholic bishops in the United States have opposed socialized medicine only insofar as it would expand federal funding to abortion coverage. Their single issue opposition to ObamaCare has led to the perception that its funding of abortion is the only way it contradicts Catholic social teaching.

But that’s not the case. Tea Party activists have opposed ObamaCare on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which plainly says that the powers not reserved to the federal government or prohibited to the states should be reserved to the states or to the people. Catholic social teaching is similar in that it invokes the principle of subsidiarity, explained by the Catechism in the quote above. In essence, both the Tenth Amendment and the Catholic principle of subsidiarity are identical. Both make the case that a massive collectivist takeover of health care is not only unnecessary, but improper insofar as it “can threaten personal freedom and initiative.”

You’re reading that right: Both the United States Constitution and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repudiate collectivism and demand subsidiarity to preserve human freedom. On this issue, our founding fathers who wrote of our God-given liberty would be in lockstep with every pope since at least Pope Leo XIII.

Why point this out? It’s not just a “fun fact.” The bishops have opposed ObamaCare because it does, in fact, expand federal funding of abortion. But what if it hadn’t? Had the Stupak amendment been preserved, the U.S. bishops were prepared to support the bill — despite its clear violation of the principle of subsidiarity. Certainly the right to life and the preservation of human dignity are the paramount concerns, the very foundation, of Catholic social teaching. But the principle of subsidiarity has again and again been expounded upon by the papal teaching authority. It is no small matter.

The U.S. bishops were in a unique position, as both Americans and Catholic bishops, to connect the Catholic principle of subsidiarity to our constitutional principles. They had an opportunity to tell American Catholics that opposing ObamaCare is both a patriotic and religious duty. They utterly failed to do so. They missed an opportunity to boldly reaffirm a mostly forgotten principle of Catholic social teaching, to affirm the link between the Catholic and American commitments to human freedom, and to once again take up the Catholic Church’s historic leadership in the fight against global socialism.

Only the bishops can know why they have chosen not to take this opportunity. All we can do, as ordinary Catholics, is encourage them to elucidate this principle and its connection to American constitutional principles. In the meantime, as ordinary Catholics we can tell our fellow American Catholics, and all of our fellow Americans, what the Church teaches about God’s model of governance versus the collectivist model proposed by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

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Sin Taxes, Freedom of Choice, and Our Economy [UPDATED]

The guys at HillBuzz have a question: Do you support measures like “Soda Taxes” in cash-strapped cities raising revenue from unhealthy choices?

My answer is emphatically no, for four reasons:

1) It is a big government idea that restricts individual freedom of choice and discourages personal responsibility, which is the modus operandi of statist socialism.

2) It can be damaging to our economy, especially during a recession.

3) It encourages government to continue spending frivolously and beyond its means, then to pass the cost to the lowest income consumers in what amounts to a regressive tax.

4) There is evidence that, rather than raising revenue, sin taxes may actually have the (supposedly) intended effect of curbing the purchase of the unhealthy products in question. That’s all well and good, but it can lead to further budget shortfalls when government does not raise the projected revenue from the sin tax.

An in depth discussion of my reasons for opposing sin taxes beneath the fold…

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While You’re Sipping Eggnog…

While you’re celebrating Christmas with your family today, President Obama and his family are in Jakarta, Indonesia Hawaiiwhere he grew up, they say — “celebrating Christmas” as well. They will not be attending church, though. Apparently if it’s not Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his racist, communist ideology black liberation theology, the Obamas aren’t interested. And don’t forget all the Secret Service agents and others the Obamas are depriving of Christmas with their families because of their need to be in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, we wonder who is celebrating around a Christmas tree with ornaments that feature Mao, transvestite “Hedda Lettuce,” and Barack Obama’s face superimposed upon Mount Rushmore (see more commentary here, here, here, and here). Lest we forget, President Obama isn’t the first to toy with Christmas: Adolph Hitler did it, too (h/t Born Again Redneck).

As our president downplays and degrades one of our most treasured holidays, we remember how another president handled his first Christmas as our head of state (h/t GayPatriot, text at RedState):

More beneath the fold…

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Rock the Vote — Radical, Partisan, and Coming to a Civics Class Near You

Warning: The source material for this post (the video below and a transcribed excerpt from the video) contain explicit language that is not safe for work and which may not be suitable for children.

Rock the Vote claims that it is a nonpartisan organization. But you should take a look at their latest web ad on health care reform, featuring Californication’s Eva Amurri and Friday Night Lights star Zach Gilford, and judge for yourself:

Just so we’re super clear, this is the pledge — transcribed verbatim from the video — that Amurri and Gilford are asking young Americans to take:

We pledge ourselves to the health and liberty of young Americans, and to government for the people. We pledge to educate ourselves; to stand against those who fight us with mind, body, and spirit; and to never fucking you if you are against us. We will vote against you, work against you, and once again, in case you forgot, never ever, never ever, never ever, never ever fuck you.

I have added emphasis to illustrate the significant differences between the video pledge and the print pledge that appears on the RtV website:

We pledge ourselves to the health and liberty of young Americans. We pledge to educate ourselves and to stand with those who fight for us and against those who do not. We demand health care, and we are willing to hold out for it.

Given these huge discrepancies between the video pledge and the print pledge, you would almost think the folks at RtV know how inappropriate their web ad is. Ya think?

More beneath the fold…

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Generations Y and Z, This is Your Wake-Up Call

The Democratic Party is waging an intergenerational war. Their primary targets? Those of us who are 35 years old and younger. The question is: Are we going to fight or are we going to surrender?

Socialists, by definition, are the enemies of youth. The Marxist imperative — “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” — exhorts socialists to enslave the young, requiring our hard work and then taking what we earn from our work and giving it to older generations.

Who will pay for insolvent entitlements for the elderly like Social Security and Medicare? We will. Those well over the age of 35 initiated the government takeover of health care, but we will benefit the least from it while paying the most for it (h/t The Two Malcontents). Those over the age of 35 are engaging in massive deficit spending primarily for their own benefit, but we will bear the responsibility of paying that debt back. Congressmen and senators who are far older than 35 are planning to implement the largest tax increase in American history in the dubious pursuit of curbing carbon emissions, but citizens under 35 will pay those taxes and suffer through the job loss created by such stifling taxation.

Democrats at the state and local levels won’t balance their budgets by cutting spending. So what do they do instead? In Pittsburgh, they tax your college tuition to pay pensions, insisting that providing income for the retired is more important than your education. You can bet that a similar tax is coming to a college town near you. Meanwhile, in California, college tuition is going up 32% because of the ineptitude of liberal Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic legislature. Here in Ohio, at my own Ohio University, I’m looking forward to a 3.5% tuition increase next year because of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of Gov. Ted Strickland and OU administrators.

People from our generation turned out in record numbers to elect Barack Obama last year and give Democrats huge majorities in both chambers of Congress. Maybe you were one of them. I was, and I’m smart enough to regret it today because I see them using their power to subjugate my future to the insatiable hunger of the state. How many Pittsburgh students do you think helped elect Democratic Mayor Luke Ravenstahl? How many UC students helped elect the legislators responsible for their 32% tuition increase? How many OU students hit the ballot box for Ted Strickland?

If you were duped like I was duped, it’s a forgivable offense. The genius of socialism is that it exploits youthful inexperience and idealism to its own advantage. Socialists make utopian promises of hope and change, of slowing the rise of the oceans and healing the planet, but they never explain to the young people they’re busy mesmerizing that these promises come at a cost. The cost is your freedom and prosperity, yours specifically.

If you were duped, you’re forgiven. But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I began this post asking a very simple question: Will we fight or will we surrender? If we turn our heads and ignore the political process next year and in 2012, we surrender. If we get all wrapped up in fads and third parties that aren’t electorally viable, if we declare ourselves Anarchists or Greens or Libertarians, we surrender. If we go back to the ballot box and cast votes for the same Democrats who are waging intergenerational war against us, we surrender.

I, for one, am going to fight. If you want to fight, if you’re not willing to give up your freedom and prosperity in exchange for empty utopian promises, then you should join me. The alternative, the only alternative, is the only existing political opposition — and that is the Republican Party. It’s at a crossroads right now, a time of soul-searching and getting back to basics. Those of us who are under 35 have a historic opportunity to participate, to push for a libertarian Republican Party with a live and let live agenda consistent with our generation’s principles. We can either participate or we can withraw. But remember, withdrawal is surrender and your future, yours, is at stake.

Don’t surrender. Fight. Join the Republican resistance and demand freedom and prosperity for Generations Y and Z. This is your wake-up call.

UPDATE: Eric Dondero has graciously decided to feature this post on his blog, Libertarian Republican. Go check it out, leave some comments, and tell your Generation Y and Z friends.

UPDATE II: Now cross-posted to RedState.

Defeat is Only for the Defeated

Cloture. It’s a word that’s leading to despair in some circles, following the Senate vote last night in which all 60 Democrats voted for and all 40 Republicans voted against proceeding to a simple majority vote on ObamaCare. We’re doomed, some are saying. They’re saying that America, like Western Europe, is now destined for a permanent shift toward socialism — so that even conservatives will become pseudo-socialists who know that it is politically untenable to take on big government. The sky is falling, they say, and we have proven to Benjamin Franklin that we cannot keep a republic.

Well, Chicken Little, I’ve got just one thing to say to you: Defeat is only for the defeated. And I’m not defeated. Why are you?

Sure, the bill has now passed both chambers of Congress. It’s likely that it will eventually make it to the president’s desk for his signature, but it would be a serious mistake to give up now when there’s still work to be done in trying to kill the bill while the House and Senate are trying to reconcile it. But even if ObamaCare becomes law, Democrats have built their own defeat into the very fabric of the legislation. It will not take effect until 2014, which means that we still have time to repeal it.

There are others who agree with me that now is not the time for defeatism, like Allahpundit (Hot Air) and Dan Riehl (Riehl World View). The guys at Hillbuzz — Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton, remember — are reminding us that it should be our mission to get rid of all 60 of these senators, starting with the list provided by Moe Lane at RedState. And the guys at Hillbuzz are in a fighting mood, as is Far Right Democrat. So are Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. You should be too.

Unrepealable? Really, with 61% of the public on our side? I just can’t accept that. This is not a victory for Democrats, not really. As RedState and GayPatriot are pointing out, this is political suicide. They’ve given us the ammunition to fight them, and win, in the next two election cycles. If we play it smart and if we fight hard, we will win, and we will repeal this.

But I think it’s really The Anchoress who is striking the right note, by reminding us that the Democrats have chosen a truly inauspicious time to try to make opponents of this bill — 2/3 of Americans, remember — feel defeated.

We are now wrapping up the season of Advent, on the verge of celebrating Christmas. This is the time of year when we are reminded that faith and hope are not just nice sentiments, wishful thinking, or idealistic naivete. Faith and hope are gifts from our God, the God who made us to be free. Real hope, true change, is reserved to the Lord who is the Author of Hope, to the One who sent his angels to a few shepherds in a field thousands of years ago to declare that he was making all things new. He is still declaring it to us, here and now, millennia later, as we finish Advent and prepare for Christmas. Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

This is the time to fight, to pray fervently, and to trust that God had a plan when he led the founders of our nation to realize that he had created man for freedom. This is the time to hope, and to hope radically in the face of despair, that the Spirit of God will inspire us to boldly speak the truth about what is going on in America and to believe, with all of our hearts, that the truth will set us free. We believe. We hope.

SEIU Demands Eternal Life from Congress

On a lighter note, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) would really like it if Congress could promise “no more empty chairs at Christmas.” Apparently the government now has the secret to eternal life within its grasp, if only it will just reach out and grab it.

But then, why shouldn’t Congress be able to conquer death if the president can slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet? This all reminds me of when I used to watch that show Captain Planet and the Planeteers, which I now realize was ecosocialist propaganda. Can’t you just picture it? “Marx! Lenin! Stalin! Mao! Castro! By your powers combined, I am Captain Communist! Now I will slow the oceans, heal the planet, and we will all live forever!”

If religion is the opiate of the masses, this must be some really good shit.

111 Congresses Later, Senate Puts Liberty on a Ventilator

I don’t usually write about the socialist takeover of 1/6 of our economy sorry, health care reform, because it makes me so angry that I can’t usually form rational thoughts on the subject. It was the issue that made me realize voting for Barack Obama last year was the biggest mistake I’ve made in my life (and I’ve made some whoppers).

But I can’t let this moment, the moment that the United States Senate put liberty on a ventilator, pass without some comment.

Dan Perrin (RedState) notes that not a fired up right, nor overwhelming public opinion, nor even the anger of Democrats’ liberal base could stop this bill from passing the Senate. Of course this surprises no one at this point. Haven’t the Obama administration and the congressional leadership proven time and time again that they couldn’t care less about what anyone else thinks about what they’re doing?

The kicker is that Harry Reid got to 60 votes for a bill that taxpayers don’t want by bribing senators with taxpayer money. Most have already heard about the $300 million in Medicaid funding that Reid secured for Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, but today she’s looking like your average street corner whore. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson is the new high-priced callgirl, securing for Nebraska complete exemption for having to pay anything for Medicaid. Taxpayers in the other 49 states will now have to foot the bill.

Americans for Tax Reform has a list of the new taxes that ObamaCare will impose, including taxes that will hit those making less than $250,000 a year even though President Obama promised that no such taxation would occur. Presumably we can now expect the president to veto this bill. But don’t hold your breath. (By the way, Riehl World View’s favorite new tax is the 10% excise tax on tanning services. It’s replacing the “botax” on cosmetic surgery, and one wonders if this was due to the objections of Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, et al., who certainly need such surgery. In any event, my favorite new tax is the individual mandate surtax that Candidate Obama opposed).

Hillbuzz thinks that we need to start screaming and yelling at our congressmen and senators, in person. I will certainly be giving Charlie Wilson, Sherrod Brown, and George Voinovich an earful.

Little Miss Attila says, quite bluntly: “Fuck Ben Nelson.” Me too, but better than that: Fuck the whole damn government.

But, and this is important, it ain’t over ’till it’s over. Once the votes are in and the Senate version of ObamaCare passes, it will have to be reconciled with the House version and both chambers will have to vote for the final bill. The House version has a public option while the Senate version does not, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus might side with Howard Dean and the nutroots who want the bill killed.

Abortion is still proving contentious as well, because the Senate version is not as stringent as the House version in prohibiting federal funding for abortion coverage. Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak, the author of the House version’s abortion restrictions, finds the Senate version “unacceptable.” Should the final bill prove to be just as unacceptable, it’s possible that there will be enough pro-life Democrats in the House to defeat the final version of ObamaCare.

Call. Your. Congressman.

My predictions if the bill passes? Glad you asked:

  • A Republican House for the 112th Congress;
  • A Republican majority in both chambers for the 113th Congress (if, in fact, this doesn’t happen next year);
  • And Sarah Palin sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2013.

That may, in fact, be the only silver lining in all of this — that Democrats might seal their own defeat with this bill, and that it might happen in time to repeal the monstrosity. At least we hope.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Socialist Plot

We’ve seen the Obama administration appoint czar after unconfirmed and unaccountable czar. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared carbon emissions a threat and is now prepared to impose emissions standards by executive fiat if Congress fails to pass cap and trade legislation. The health care reform monstrosity making its way through Congress would alter the Social Security Act to give the executive branch unprecedented new power over Medicare, which could potentially allow the president to impose a single-payer health care system on the nation without congressional approval.

Libertarians and conservatives have condemned the consolidation of power in the executive branch. We worry about the impact on our republican system of government, which is threatened whenever the separation of powers is rejected and any branch of government can act without checks and balances. We’re raising questions and sounding the alarm bells, and we’re pointing to parallels between what’s going on here and now and what has gone on under socialist regimes elsewhere. And then the left calls us crazy conspiracy theorists, hate and fear mongerers. Our opponents insist that socialism is not behind the breathtaking expansion of executive power.

Contrary to the left’s adamant insistence that there is no socialist plot (methinks they doth protest too much), socialists certainly do seem enthusiastic about the executive power grab — so enthusiastic, in fact, that the largest socialist organization in the United States is hoping that the executive branch will impose sweeping new rules that would give labor unions more power over the American economy than ever before.

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