Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Will Hurt You More Than . . .

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution states:

"To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;"

Now, I'm no lawyer, and I don't play one on television, but I have to admit, when I read the above I have difficulty understanding just where Congress gets the ideas they have concerning their (apparently) unlimited power. Maybe one has to actually BE a lawyer to really muddy up the works and make "black and white" nothing but "shades of grey". When I read this I see the word "among" in the middle when referencing "the several states", whereas the word "with" is used when referencing the other two. Why? Relationships, my friends; relationships.

The ability to have commerce between the United States and foreign nations would be difficult if left in the hands of multiple state governments, each with their own regulations. What about the borders? Tariffs? Protection of shipping lanes? Very difficult for the state of West Virginia to control what enters the ports of New York. It makes sense for the central government to develop the relationships with foreign nations, negotiate treaties, and therefore "regulate" the commerce developed in the relationships. The same with the Indian tribes. They were widely scattered, and in many cases, mobile communities, that traversed state lines. A difficult relationship to secure if each state handled communications differently. But what about commerce and the states?

The word "among" is a relational word that is defined, in part, as "in the midst of", "with a share for each of", and "by all or with the whole of" ( This word denotes an established bond between the states already in existence. In other words, interstate business relationships. So, if there is commerce ALREADY IN EXISTENCE between states, the central government has the right to step in and regulate it for the good of the nation.

The point? The Congress' use of the "commerce clause" as a right to enforce a national health care mandate (i.e. "Obamacare") is a clear overstepping of their authority. There IS NO health care commerce ALREADY IN EXISTENCE between the states TO regulate! We in Ohio can't buy health insurance offered in Wyoming. Each state handles health insurance separately. The ability to purchase health insurance across state lines was one of the suggestions made during the debates leading up to the Obamacare vote. It was argued down. Apparently the federal government is far better at regulating better coverage at lower prices than the free market is. I guess that, in the eyes of Congress, socialism is far superior, and more effective, than capitalism. I'm thinking it would have been smarter to allow interstate commerce of health insurance, and THEN they would have something to regulate.
So, the next time you hear one of our illustrious leaders spout the "commerce clause" as their reason for regulating something, hand them a dictionary, and then tell them to turn their head and cough!!

©Emittravel 2010

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I just wonder if this is above the heads of most voters. President Obama's appeal is to the great mass of Americans who have never even read the US Constitution, let alone dissected the various articles and clauses.

    Ask someone why the constitution is important and see what they say. Then ask the same person if life would be better if everyone had a pony.

    The Obamasiah is promising to get everyone a pony knowing that very few of us bother to read the 'fine print' of the constitution. The only clause most voters care about is Santa Clause.