The Mandate Represents What’s Wrong With Democrats
6:00 AM, Jun 27, 2012 • By JAY COST
The individual mandate is an overwhelmingly unpopular item that requires a patently unjust transfer of wealth for the purpose of paying off the interest groups that have the biggest financial stake in health care. Considered next to Jackson’s veto message: It is a signal that the Democratic party has become the opposite of what its founders intended to be. The individual mandate is a testimony to the broken nature of the modern party. It is a symbol that, despite their egalitarian rhetoric, contemporary Democrats are ready, willing, and able to bend the policy needle toward the interests of “the rich… and the potent,” at the expense of the “farmers, mechanics, and laborers.”
Let us hope that the Supreme Court has the good sense to do away with this awful innovation.
Despite what liberals may say, the individual mandate represents a qualitative expansion in the powers of the federal government, the likes of which we have not seen since the 1930s. We can be confident that the Democratic party as it is currently constituted lacks the ability to use this new power in a socially responsible way.
If the Court allows Washington to mandate commerce in order to regulate it, this will open new, terrible avenues for the Democrats to pay off their client groups, at the expense of the public good. Today it is a mandate to buy a policy from Aetna; but who knows what tomorrow may bring? Clever Democrats could surely find some “compelling” reason for private parties to contract with the SEIU, AFSCME, the UAW, the Sierra Club, NOW, or any of the wide assortment of narrow interests that depend on the Democratic party for their patronage.
Jay Cost is a staff writer for THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the author of Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, available now wherever books are sold.
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