Surrendering the republic without firing a shot

Jefferson presents the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress
Governor McDonnell issued an “Independence Day Statement” that perfectly captures the traditional view of the occasion, It reads in part:

For 236 years, our nation has served as a beacon for the ideals of freedom and democracy, exemplifying the principles that have made us the greatest nation in the world and inspired countless other peoples to stand up against tyranny and oppression wherever it is found. Jefferson, Madison, Henry, Mason, Washington and others, great Virginians who gave birth to this country, drew inspiration from the Commonwealth’s beauty and its bounty to stand up and declare our own fledgling country’s freedom on July 4, 1776. America was born in Virginia. And the ideals personified and promulgated by our founder’s are alive and well today in our great state, which is now home to the largest naval base in the world, the Pentagon, more than 823,000 veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much to defend our freedom, and scores of other important national treasures and military installations. In Virginia you can see our nation’s founding, our nation’s journey, and our nation’s future, all side by side.

I take a far more jaundiced view of the state of our independence.

On June 28th, the Supreme Court upheld a massive expansion of federal power. The Court allowed the full nationalization of the health care sector to proceed under a tortured reading of Congress’ taxing authority. And while some saw nuggets of hope in the majority opinion, I see only an accelerated loss of liberty.

Perhaps it’s coincidence, but the 28th was also the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson presenting the draft Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress. It represented not just the desire for a change in the form of government, but in society as well. In his book “The Radicalism of the American Revolution,” Gordon Wood quotes South Carolina historian and physician David Ramsey on just how big this change was:

People were to be ‘changed from subjects to citizens,’ and ‘the difference is immense. Subject is derived from the latin words, sub and jacio, and means one who is under the power of another; but a citizen is an unit of a mass of free people, who, collectively, posses sovereignty. Subjects look up to a master, but citizens are so far equal, that none have hereditary rights superior to others. Each citizen of a free state contains, within himself, by nature and the constitution, as much of the common sovereignty as another.

Is this still true?

We have, sometimes gradually, sometimes with great leaps, surrendered our sovereignty to the state. The Robert’s opinion on Obamacare is but the latest episode in this long, inglorious march back into servitude.

It can be argued, and has by the likes of Ken Cuccinelli and others, that the Roberts’ reading of congressional taxing power means more and greater opportunities for the public to hold their elected representatives accountable. Want to tax folks if they don’t install solar panels on their homes? There’s a strong remedy for such idiocy at the ballot box.

Or so it’s hoped.

In 2010, some of those politicians who trumpeted the federal heath care law, cap and trade, the stimulus and other expensive Washington baubles were returned to private life. Not all, and certainly not enough. We will have the chance to send more of these buffoons packing in November. But not nearly enough of them will lose.

And what will they be replaced with? Certainly not politicians who understand that the federal government is one with limited powers. On the contrary. The current crop of seat warmers has managed to keep alive any number of odd, extravagant, and wasteful programs like the Export-Import Bank, the Essential Air Service program, the Economic Development Administration, and more.

The federal government continues to subsidize student loans (with bipartisan approval). It continues to own major stakes in insurance companies, car companies, and managed to find a spare trillion dollars to subsidize farmers (and even dream up new ways to make sure they are insulated from market forces).

One might think that all this spending of money we don’t have would offer ample opportunity for voters to hold their representatives accountable. But that’s unlikely. The benefits are concentrated, the costs diffuse, so the chances of anyone being sent to the showers for profligacy are slim.

And so it may be with Obamacare, and any other magic nostrum Congress foists upon the people under the guise of a tax.

We can hope that voters still have the steel to enforce discipline on the political class — that by tossing the most rotten apples out of the congressional barrel, we can make a somewhat palatable cider out of the rest.

I hope so.

If not, we will have come full circle. Only this time, rather than being the subjects of a single foreign master, we will be the subjects of a rapacious ruling class on the banks of the Potomac.

Сейчас уже никто не берёт классический кредит, приходя в отделение банка. Это уже в далёком прошлом. Одним из главных достижений прогресса является возможность получать кредиты онлайн, что очень удобно и практично, а также выгодно кредиторам, так как теперь они могут ссудить деньги даже тем, у кого рядом нет филиала их организации, но есть интернет. - это один из сайтов, где заёмщики могут заполнить заявку на получение кредита или микрозайма онлайн. Посетите его и оцените удобство взаимодействия с банками и мфо через сеть.