On Fox & Friends this morning, House Budget Committee chairman, bigtime Romney surrogate, and all-around fiscal guru Paul Ryan had what I thought was a very reasoned view on Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare (emphasis mine):
“Absolutely,” said Ryan. “There are 21 taxes in this bill, 12 of which hit people making less than $250,000 per year. That in and of itself is a violation of the President’s promise not to tax people making less than $250,000.”
Ryan said that the way the President and Congressional Democrats sold this bill has been proven false by the Supreme Court ruling. “I agree with the dissenting opinion that they rewrote this law calling it a tax,” said Ryan.
“We have a law that we have one more chance to repeal, and that’s this November election,” Ryan continued. “That’s basically what the Supreme Court did; they raised the stakes of this election. We have one more chance – and that’s basically what they said. The people of this country are going to be the final arbiters of this.”
For one reason or another, I’m sure many of us will be bristling with Chief Justice Robert’s mandate-permitting opinion on ObamaCare for some time to come, but everybody’s been discussing at least one key takeaway from his decision that I thought very profound:
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
At the end of the day, it is absolutely true that we did this to ourselves. As the years have worn on, we’ve consistently demonstrated a prevailing penchant for electing people into office who do little to safeguard our personal freedom and responsibility. Instead, we reward politicians for signing more ‘free’ stuff into law and sending home as much pork as possible. If we don’t stop living in our little bubbles of willful ignorance and summon the political will to reverse the bacchanalian frenzy of entitlement spending and big government, America’s best days really are behind us — and it’ll be nobody’s fault but our own.
So I have to agree with that point of Justice Roberts’ (not his entire decision, mind you) and with Paul Ryan here — this election really is going to be about a fundamental choice. We’re wildly mistaken if we think that our position as the wealthiest, freest, most exceptional country in the world is a secure one — you’d think that was obvious, but here we are, with Mitt Romney and Barack Obama neck and neck in the polls. The core question of this election is going to come down to Ben Franklin’s warning after completing the Constitution: “A republic, if you can keep it.” I think we can still do this, America — I’m not ready to give up on you yet!