A Simple Solution

Late last Saturday night, our House of Representatives passed, by three votes, the biggest power grab ever dared by our voracious Federal Government. Stunning in its breadth, the so-called healthcare bill, at a cost of $1.2 trillion, is loaded with taxes, regulations and pork. We can thank a simple majority, or in this case three representatives, for approving a measure that fundamentally changes the role of the Government.

What to do about it? Right now, there’s a lot of loud talk about turning these arrogant, power-hungry hounds out of office. And, a tsunami of rejection may be headed their way. After all, nothing beats the power of the ballot box for getting rid of the unwanted.

But, there is a problem with that remedy. It does nothing to prevent these bills from passing in the first place. The ballot box is an after-the-fact remedy. After the horse has left the barn. After the house has burned down. After the damage has been done. And, thanks to the power of pork, the ballot isn’t the remedy it once was.

So, is all lost? Are we prisoners of those who would remake our Country into their own image? Is there no before-the-fact preventative that can stop these wholesale changes in their tracks, before they get going?

Yes, there is a solution and it’s a simple one. Do not let bills that federalize entire business industries or that penalize inherently lawful behavior pass by a simple majority vote. Legislation that pervasive and invasive should not skate through using politics-as-usual tactics. Strong-arming and favor-swapping are way too easy when only a simple majority is needed.

Instead, passage of these bills should require a two-thirds majority of elected representatives. With a “supermajority”, we stand a chance of defending ourselves, of having bills win on the merits rather than through bald manipulation.

How can we tell when an industry is threatened with Government takeover? Well, for starters, when politicians brag about it, like they’re doing with healthcare. Then there’s the size of the bill and its price tag. Jamming us with a bill in excess of 1900 pages, weighing in at 20 lbs and costing over $1 trillion are all huge clues. If that weren’t enough, any bill containing the word “shall” 3,425 times is automatically, and very, suspect.

And what about penalizing inherently lawful behavior? The healthcare bill loses on that count, too. For the first time in our history, individuals just minding their own business are compelled to purchase insurance. Or face hefty fines. This is a giant step in the socialist direction from which we may never recover.

So, how about that two-thirds vote? Of course, it would take an act of Congress.

See you in the mirror.