Thursday, October 18, 2007


...State Children's health insurance program.

Could someone show me where in the US Constitution it says the Federal government has any business paying for any citizen's health insurance? Sure, we do it for veterans, but they did something for us - they directly protected the government, or were ready to, at least.

I am not interested in 'promote the general' from the preamble, or 'provide...for the general welfare' of Article on, section 8 - if the founders meant for these two statements to justify anything anyone wanted, why have a constitution?

The reason this sort of thing has grown so common is a result of the withholding of federal taxes by employers from 'taxpayers.' Ninety-three per cent of people making money in the US are wage earners. I don't think any of them has been required to actually sit down and write a check to the feds for their federal income tax. Sure, at the end of the year, if enough has not been withheld by their employer, they must cough up the diff, but if this 'diff' gets too big, the feds have ways to make you pay it throughout the year.

So this means it's the employers who are actually paying the tax, as a function of the size of the check he gives to the employee every two weeks to deposit in, and spend from, his own bank account.

In the end, the employee has no feel at all for the vast amounts of bucks flowing into the US Treasury every day, and no interest to see where it is being spent. The employer does feel it, but he can pass it on to his customers in higher prices. So these big big bucks the the public is more than happy to find a reason for getting some, is being sucked, near painlessly, from 'the soft underbelly' of the US economy, with no one taking any direct responsibility of where it is being spent.

Withholding may be convenient, but it also robs us of our responsibility of watching to see that it is spent under the rules of the Constitution. You go back to the old way, make the feds work for that money by collecting it directly from each individual taxpayer, and soon enough those taxpayers will start voting for people who follow the Constitution.

Then, if the public really thinks federal management of health costs is the most efficient way to keep us healthy, propose an amendment saying so, pass it by 2/3 vote of both houses, and get it approved by 3/4 of the state legislatures, the old-fashioned way.


At the far opposite end of talk of the US Constitution I think the most clear thot on the US Constitution in the fewest words was by James Taranto in his Tuesday, October 4, 2005 Best of the Web column (

"This column is moderately pro-abortion, but ... we are also pro-democracy, and Roe v. Wade is a constitutional and political monstrosity that should be overturned yesterday...."


The past ten days I've had a few occasions to take the Foster Ave bus here in Chicago west to California Avenue. Three blocks short of there is the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, and on the southwest corner is a big drug store. Maybe 35 years ago there was a row of two flats facing facing Foster, I learned in Finland, of all places.

I've been in Finland a half dozen times, mostly in the '80s. Once I went to breakfast in a hotel I was staying at in Helsinki and sat at a table for maybe eight. Pretty soon a party of four sat down w/ me, and started talking. One was a Finnish woman, speaking pretty good English, a friend of the couple, parents of the fourth, a baby. Well the couple sure spoke good English - he was from Naperville, and his wife grew up in one of those two flats, and was really ticked that they had been torn down for an Osco!

All four lived in Finland now, but were on their way for a week in Sweden. The Finish woman was going with them to Sweden to improve her Swedish (She said something like "Every Finn should know how to speak good Swedish," a thot I did not find common in Finland.) The husband of the couple had some high-powered engineering job or something in Finland, but they wanted to do a little sightseeing. The Finnish lady said of the Naperville guy: "He speaks the best Finnish I've ever heard by anyone (including any of her Finnish fellow citizens.)" I guess besides being a good engineer, he was pretty good at languages, too.


Just about my favorite movie line of all time is Fast Eddie Felson, explaining the most important rule of pool, in 12 words, in response to Minnesota Fats' request, (interrupting Fast Eddie's long lecture on life) to "[stop talkin' and] Shoot pool, fast Eddie"): "I'm shootin' pool, Fats - when I miss, you git ta shoot pool!"

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