Justice Roberts to Blinder: “I don’t care”

If Alan Blinder understood why Tommy Lee Jones’ character said, “I don’t care,” in the scene below from The Fugitive, I doubt wouldn’t have written this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting what he fears will be the Supreme Court doing its job.

Blinder admits:

I claim no special expertise in constitutional law…

It shows with his closer:

This is another real shame. If we are going to have political decision-making, at least elected politicians should do the deciding. Come to think of it, they already have.

But, it doesn’t take an expert in Constitutional law to know what all of us should have learned by the 10th grade.

We have political decision-making, but what can be decided on by our representatives in Congress is limited by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution for very good reasons.

The individual mandate may be good, it might cause a disaster or it might do nothing. But, that’s not what the Supreme Court will be judging. Much like Tommy Lee Jones’ character in The Fugitive, it isn’t the Supreme Court’s job to care about that. Jones’s job was not to judge Harrison Ford’s character’s innocence or guilt. His job was to catch him.

The Supreme Court shouldn’t be judging the merits of the individual mandate. Their job is to determine if the Constitution gives government the power to force people to buy insurance.

Now, if the Supreme Court decides against the mandate, there is a very simple way for proponents of an individual mandate to give government the power to enact it: Amend the Constitution using Article V, by getting the legislatures of three-quarters of states to agree to the amendment.

That is another element of the political decision-making process that folks like Blinder are clueless about. If we want to change the power of government, there is a political decision-making process for that. Why do they want to short-circuit that process? Is it ignorance or do they only have respect for the political decision-making processes that they think will yield their desired results?

I was disappointed that the Wall Street Journal was willing to publish an op-ed that should be able to be debunked by any 10th grader.

“I’m not your best friend, I’m your only friend”

Mitt Romney should adapt this speech from Larry the Liquidator, from the movie Other Peoples Money, for his campaign.

I especially like Larry’s 10-year analysis. Here’s Larry’s version (to shareholders):

For the last ten years, this company has bled your money. Did this community ever say, ‘we know times are tough, we’ll lower taxes, reduce water & sewer.’ Check it out. You’re paying twice what you did 10 years ago.

And our devoted employees, who have taken no increases for the past 3 years, are still making twice what they made 10 years ago.

And our stock? 1/6th what is was 10 years ago.

Here’s a version for Romney:

For the last 10 years, our government has bled our money. Did they ever come to you and say, ‘we know times are tough, we’ll share your pain, we’ll lower government spending so you can invest more and grow the economy, that way we’ll all do better?”

No. They increased spending in the good times and increased it more in the bad. They don’t care about you. They care about growing their power and telling you its for your own good.

Check it out. They’re spending twice as much as ten years ago.

Our debt? It’s tripled in the last 10 years. It was about $16 thousand for every man, woman and child back then. That was plenty. Did you just have a baby? Congratulations! She was born owing $50 thousand.

Other parts of Larry’s speech that I really liked:

  • It doesn’t pay to grow market share in shrinking market. The last buggy whip maker was probably the best, but you wouldn’t have invested in it.
  • Take the buyout, then go invest your money in growing businesses. You’ll help the economy, you’ll create jobs and “God forbid, you’ll make a couple bucks!”

That last one is another good one for Romney.  “God forbid that I pursued the American dream and SUCCEEDED. You can too!”

Spoiler alert: Other Peoples Money had a happy ending. Larry the Liquidator gained control of the company off the strength of his speech (hint, hint Romney), but discovered that the company could produce something useful.  I believe it was kevlar or gore-tex fabric, or something like that. So everyone got to keep their jobs and the company became a success again, without being liquidated.