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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

A healthy debate

Our editorial page disagrees with The Indianapolis Star's about the appropriateness of state Attorny General Greg Zoeller's decision to add Indiana to the 13 other states challenging the constitutionality of health care reform.

The Star editorial's headline says the suit is "tainted by politics," but the body of the piece acknowledges that the law's requirement that individuals buy insurance or face a tax penalty "appears to be unprecedented" and is "at the very least worth questioning." So, it's tainted by politics but raises a valid point? How to get out of that dilemma?

. . . it's debatable whether Zoeller and other attorneys general are the proper plaintiffs to bring the challenge. It would be better for individuals affected by the new law, not state governments, to raise legal objections to the insurance mandate.

But the state has standing because of all the extra Medicaid spending it will have to do, and Hoosiers are citizens of the state -- the whole point of the 9th and 10th Amendments is that the states and the people have all the powers except those very few explicity granted by them to the federal government. And this is a gigantic power grab by the federal government.

Which is the point of our editorial, another futile gesture brought on by my lifelong, quixotic quest to make the "living Constitution" quacks at least feel guilty about their systematic destruction of federalism:

But the federal government is all powerful, the states and the people subjected to the ever-growing demands of Washington. The Constitution has been used to make the power grab or, in many cases, ignored to facilitate the takeover. We are almost to the point where the constitutionality of a Washington initiative doesn't even matter.

Health care reform will take us beyond that point. The mandate for individual health insurance alone is breathtaking in its disregard for the proper relationship between citizens and government. Americans will be required, as a condition of citizenship, to buy a commodity or face a fine. That is intolerable.

The Star makes a valid point that Zoeller hurt his credibility on the matter "by recently blasting three school districts that sued the state over what they believe to be inequities in the school funding formula." But as they teach in Logic 101, an idea can't be responsbible for who holds it.

A charge of hypocrisy might make us feel good about pointing out the hypocrite's moral failing, but it's not a good argument for or against something.


Mon, 04/05/2010 - 4:37pm

Mr. Morris, it is always a pleasure when I can agree with you. (I'm sure Bob and Tim with condemn us both.)
But those lawsuits are political stunts, doomed to lose. They are a waste of taxpayers' money.
I'm sure you're aware similar suits were filed against the federal income tax a century or so ago. Those suits all lost. They all wasted taxpayers' money.
But when an attorney general has his eye on the governor's mansion, he feels obliged to do something stupid. Here we go.

tim zank
Mon, 04/05/2010 - 9:17pm

How much ya figure the lawsuit is gonna cost us taxpayers Littlejohn? The AG and his staff are salaried right? How much can the filing fee be?

And why do you keep using the century old tax lawsuit comparison? It's like apples and oranges and besides that, just asking us all to lay back and enjoy it when barack gives it because lawsuits against the feds failed in the past is like asking Butler to stay home tonight cuz they've never won a national championship before so why waste the schools money?

Bob G.
Tue, 04/06/2010 - 9:42am

NO matter who "sides" with this clusterf$ck...the Constitution CLEARLY states you can't have the FEDS FORCING "We, the people" to PURCHASE anything "they" happen to be selling....simple, huh?

As to the school funding:
Well, Miitch might have missed the rim on that one, but at least my assessed house (worth $76K, according to the county, but couldn't get $40K for it because of the neighborhood) is being UNFAIRLY TAXED (like it was vefore the tax caps.

Maybe if the school systems CUT BACK on such things like FREE & REDUCED LUNCHES (65% of FWCS kids are on this - guess what passes as PARENTS can't figure out HOW THE HELL to make a damn sandwich, hmm?)

These people want to have their cake and eat it too.
(sorry folks, can't be done with the current set of physics)

But hey, on the good side, VASELINE is still a bargain!


tim zank
Tue, 04/06/2010 - 10:44am

Are 65% of FWCS seriously on free or reduced lunches? Does that translate to 65% of the FWCS enrollment is below the poverty line?

Bob G.
Tue, 04/06/2010 - 6:03pm

You tell me...
That's what I heard from our very own 6th district councilman, Glynn Hines!
It was on that "state of the 6th district" meeting they show on CITY TV.
I had to admit, I caught some good "intel" as well as more than a few laughs...!
Cable Access - whatta hoot!

Still, having been a product of a much better run school system from another era, I find it REALLY hard to believe that 65% are indeed "indigant".
That makes the majority of this city's people sound like hillfolk from W. VA!

I believe many are feigning in order to obtain. (that must explain all the CADDYS and new SUVs down here...lol)

I will also maintain it comes down to "parents" (using that word loosely) who can't figure out the cereal/bowl/milk and the bread/lunchmeat/cheese thing...
And that's the future?

WE should demand a "do-over".