When the United States
Constitution was corrupted in the 1930’s to change the meaning of the
Interstate Commerce Clause to include unlimited federal powers in the
economy, it was the US Congress that was made omnipotent.
Only the Congress has the authority to control interstate
commerce under the Constitution.
The powers of Congress waxed for decades after the 30’s steadily
protruding into all aspects of American life.
once again that legislatures with a lot more power than necessary end up
failing at the important roles only government can perform, our Congress
has now withered to a body wholly focused on gamesmanship.
Half of a congressman’s time is spent on trying to maneuver
federal spending in his or her district’s favor.
The other half is spent raising campaign money and spending it.
There is simply no time left for the powers the Constitution does
directly grant to Congress.
Congress has not exercised its obligation to declare War since World War
II even though the country has waged six wars across the world since
authorization from Congress concerning the invasion of Iraq explicitly
gave the President the war-making power to use or not to use as he saw
The Gulf of
Tonkin Resolution that launched America into the War in Vietnam did
not contemplate a full-scale war.
The President committed the nation to that war largely on his
times of peace, there is no power given to Congress by the Constitution
that is more central to the nation’s long-term prosperity and
international standing that the power to coin money.
History is replete with republics that destroyed their way of
life through the irresponsible use of paper money.
Long ago, Congress gave the authority to determine the nation’s
money supply away.
Federal Reserve, a private company owned by the wealthy across the
world, has grown to unimagined powers.
Congress was silent when the Federal Reserve backed by FDR
and later Richard Nixon ended the dollar’s backing with gold reserves.
Just last year the Federal Reserve secretly handed $10 trillion
to Wall Street for liens on junk assets.
The Fed still refuses to disclose those payments even to
taken no action in reply.
Congress takes up the President’s budget, not its own,
even if a President of a different party occupies the White
difficult matters arise, like reducing entitlement growth or
eliminating outmoded military bases or investigating the most
devastating attack on the United States ever, Congress’
responsibility is delegated to specially invented commissions.
Congress is openly known to be too partisan
and venal to do its work when
it matters the most.
Democratic Congress was pushed around easily by George W. Bush
through to the very end of his administration.
Congress’ voice in making broad policy decisions is now a
mouse squeak as much as ever.
The new President makes all important legislative
initiatives and sets all priorities.
The miracle of free markets has
brought us the goods and services we need and desire at
constantly decreasing cost (in real dollars) in nearly every
private sector category EXCEPT health care. Or at least
that is how it appears.
The perception that health care has become unaffordable has led
us to the brink of abandoning capitalism itself, so it would be
good to step back and look at the reality of this perception and
what can be done about it, from a libertarian perspective.
Is health care really that expensive? That depends on
what health care you are talking about, today’s health care, or
health care from the “good old days.”
years ago, the cost of health care was not a hot political
thirty years ago, if your child was diagnosed with Leukemia,
your doctor’s advice would have been to start trying to have
another child while you were still young enough.
Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants cost a lot more than a
pat on the shoulder and a supply of narcotics to keep your dying
child’s screams down to a tolerable level.
Is that really a cost increase or something new and
better than what was previously available?
if you don’t die cheaply at 65 of a heart attack, which was
pretty much an average fate for men thirty years ago, you face
the likelihood of a far more expensive death of cancer or
neurological deterioration in your eighties or nineties today.
What is the proper price for that extra twenty to thirty years
of healthy retirement?
The point of which is that health care today, in part,
costs more because it is worth more and we should not
confuse that with ‘out of control cost increases’ as the
advocates of socialized medicine would like us to believe.
The fact is that health care DELIVERY is actually pretty
efficient and competitive. It is worth noting that in segments
of health care not covered by insurance, like cosmetic surgery
and laser eye surgery, the market works and prices are falling.
It is the hidden costs and, especially, the manner in which we
pay for it that makes health care so difficult to afford.
Those hidden costs include, famously, the cost of malpractice
litigation, and, more importantly, the practice of ‘defensive
medicine’ and increased specialization driven by fear of
In a sense, we
already have universal health care in this country in that no
one goes untreated when they really need it. That treatment
often comes in the worst, and most costly, venue, the emergency
room, but you can always get treated. Under State and
Federal laws, hospitals cannot refuse treatment for acute
illness to a patient who is uninsured or does not have the
capacity to pay. They can try to collect after the fact, but
they must provide treatment. Someone has to pay for the cost of
that unpaid treatment, and that someone is you, either through
your insurer or through taxes, if not directly. That cost
shifting is by far the largest contributor to the overhead
costs of providing your medical care.