Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Healthcare At Supreme Court--Good for Romney

None of us should put too much into oral arguments before the Supreme Court.  There are a ton of briefs backing up the positions unevenly advocated for over the past few days, and the decision could still go in any direction. 

That said, no one--and I mean no one--benefits more politically than Mitt Romney if the Supreme Court rules against the Government, even if it does so narrowly, for instance by only invalidating the individual mandate (and leaving the rest of the law on the books).

Here's why:

1.  Unfortunately, Rick Santorum is right.   Mitt Romney does have a problem when it comes to the Administration's linkage of Obamacare and Romneycare.  If the Supremes rule against Obamacare--something Governor Romney has vowed to work against/repeal if elected--then the "big issue" that the Democrats would have had against Romney largely goes away.  From there, its all about jobs and the economy.

2.  To the extent that it is raised by the Democrats (which it will be, in a big way, to "energize the base"), Governor Romney will be able to answer "yes, but the difference between us is that my approach was Constitutional, and yours wasn't.  Mine represented the will of a state, properly legislated, while yours constituted an incredible over-reach of federal power.  That's why yours doesn't exist anymore."

Let's all keep our fingers crossed, because no matter who the GOP nominee is, a Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare is a really good thing.


Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective from "Imagine that our current recession goes on, or even takes a turn for the worse. As John Maynard Keynes argued, in a time of economic anxiety and uncertainty, individuals will invariably act in a way that secures their own personal welfare, but which is disastrous to the overall economy: They will sit on their money and refuse to spend it. The bulk of Keynesian economics was to figure out how to get people back to spending their money on stuff, i.e., to increase the aggregate consumer demand....[W]hat if the president had a new super-Keynesian tool—a Congress that had been granted unlimited power to regulate economic activity and/or economic decisions? Under these circumstances, in the midst of a deepening and intractable depression, there would be a temptation to create a legislative solution that would be quite simple in principle. According to an index of their income, people would be mandated to purchase a certain amount of consumer goods. If they fell below this amount, they would then be compelled to pay the government a penalty."

Mudge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mudge said...

Anonymous - From what perspective do you find this interesting? Interesting as a potentially viable solution or interesting that anyone might believe that such an incredible overreach of government authority into our individual liberty would be justified in the United States of America?

Anonymous said...

Bryan - your final sentances about the debate made more sense than any Romney has said thus far on this. I hope he reads them and my compliments to you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting example that there is no limiting principle. Are you describing the mandate as an "incredible overreach?" I think that overstates it by quite a lot. Neither of us are constitutional lawyers, so I think it would be a bit presumptuous of either of us to make such definitive pronouncements either way. The idea there's no limiting principle and the mandate "opens the door" is very compelling. On the other hand, I've read others make the argument that the idea we are powerless against such next step overreaches as a bit ridiculous e.g., what's to stop them from taxing us at 100% or mandating broccoli purchases or penalizing overweight people?, b/c we can always vote the bums out.

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