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Letters: Congress is responsible for its laws and programs

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  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:20 a.m.

    Medicare has been ruled constitutional, therefore the premise that federal government can not provide healthcare to citizens is moot.

    If congress wants to repeal Obamacare they can do that. The bill to abolish it has to be passed by both houses of congress and then signed into law by the president. That's how laws are enacted, and how they are repealed. Holding the country hostage unless the President does what you want is certainly not constitutional.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:50 a.m.

    No where in the constitution does it give the government authority to have an Air Force.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:49 a.m.

    Today's episode of "Obama is the only President in History to Over Reach" is brought to you by Don Olson.

    "Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it allow the federal government to care for an individual's health."

    Tell that to Reagan when he signed EMTALA
    Tell that to Bush when he signed Medicare Part D

    "President Obama has no right to change any part of a law, but only to execute the law as it is written."

    And yet, I expect that the GOP will hold the country hostage over the debt ceiling in exchange for pushing back Obamacare for a year or more.

    Also, pertaining to this, see "signing statements". They do exactly what you are ranting about.
    And were put on steroids by George Bush (mostly with a GOP congress)

    "enabled Congress and their staffs to avoid the increased insurance costs mandated to every citizen"

    You may want to become more informed on this before writing a letter to the newspaper. It is easy to find the truth behind this, but your version is more effective at rallying the base.

    Tune in for tomorrows episode. There will surely be one.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 5:17 a.m.

    Utah is home to the most-patriotic, most-religious, most-moral people in the U.S. Ask anyone here!

    Why then do so many of these compassionate, nationalistic, christlike people protest so adamantly and vehemently against helping the least fortunate of our fellow citizens?

    As an atheist, I plead for Jesus to enlighten his followers.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    The letter writer would not know tyrant if one came up and bit him.

    Tyranny was what we experienced during the Bush War/Economic collapse/Government spending Years.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    By Congress, I assume you mean both the House and the Senate, right? Because these two make up the Congress.

    But, of course, any constitutional law also requires the consent of the Executive.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Those who mock Utahns because we believe in obeying the law as written and not as interpreted might want to rethink the basis of their argument.

    What kind of people would demand that government do something that it is forbidden to do? What kind of politician would offer to do something that he is forbidden to do? What would you call those kinds of people? Ignorant? Arrogant? Crooks?

    Literate people know that health-care is not a duty of the federal government, otherwise it would have been listed in Article 1, Section 8, or we would have passed an amendment and we would have assigned that duty to the Federal Government. Because it has not been assigned to the Federal Government, health-care is left to the States or to the People. It is not a question of "Christianity"; it is a question of law. There are NO LAWS that prohibit any American from being charitable but there are laws that prohibit the government from taxing us for services that the government is not authorized to furnish.

    Christ invites. He does not force. Forced "charity" is not Christianity. Force was never part of Christ's plan.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Nowhere in the Constitution are national parks mentioned. I guess we'd better defund them and shut them down. This is government tyranny to the extreme.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Mike Richards,
    Health care is not listed in Article 1 Section 8 for the same reason that the First Amendment guarantee of a free press does not mention the Internet. The Founders couldn't enumerate something they didn't have. The ACA is nonetheless absolutely Constitutional. See Commerce clause, see also General Welfare clause. You're making an argument based on, not the Constitution, but your own idiosyncratic view of the Constitution. Most Americans, and 98 percent of legal scholars disagree with you. In future, please include some qualifying statement, using language like 'in my view' or 'according to my reading'.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    I'm still waiting for Congress to declare War in Afghanistan and Iraq...

    Mike Richards, where's your outrage over THAT little usurping and trampling of the Constitution?
    or
    Bush's Patriot Act and nearly 100% support from Republicans of denying due process, illegal search and seizure, and our Constitutional right to privacy?

    or
    most likely, this is more of the same rhetoric and sour grapes over "general welfare" and taxation which btw, has already been found fully constitutional?

    One final comment;
    You keep saying over and over again that America is a "Christian" nation based on "Christian" law.

    I remind you then, Christ gave away Healthcare to all for free, and commanded us to do likewise.
    So, are you a Christian or not?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Unlike so many people today, whose knowledge of "civics" is limited to what they hear from their favorite politician, the Founding Fathers knew the difference between Federal, State and Local governments. They knew that the purpose of the Federal Government was to defend the federation of states against all enemies, foreign or domestic and that almost every other duty was to be left to lower levels of government.

    Of course there were no national parks because the federal government owned no land except for the small District of Columbia which was the seat of government.

    The Federal Government is limited in authority to those duties assigned to it in the Constitution. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, regardless of what Obama thinks or tells us.

    Nowhere in the Constitution is "personal welfare" ever assigned to the Federal Government. The responsibility to care for ourselves and for those whom we have stewardship responsibility is not a duty of the Federal Government.

    Those who judge us because their understanding of Chirst is so shallow that they would force us to follow Christ's teachings know too little of Christ or His doctrines to tell what Christ's doctrines are.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    Time for opposition to Affordable Health Care to lose the religious and dogmatic radical views.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    You claim this law isn't constitutional and was somehow tyrannically passed. Yet it was passed by the House, Senate and signed into law by the President(clearly going through the normal channels to pass a law makes Obama a dictator....). When some groups thought it wasn't constitutional they sued, all of the way to the SCOTUS. The SCOTUS then ruled that the law didn't violate the constitution. You may not like it, but the ACA constitutionality has been tested and according to the rules and laws of the United States it absolutely is constitutional. You may not like it, you can even say we should defund the law. If a law has been approved by the SCOTUS it IS constitutional. It's how the constitution works.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Re: "President Obama has no right to change any part of a law, but only to execute the law as it is written."

    This, of course, is a reference to signing statements that the president sometimes makes when signing legislation. I suspect that if we compared the signing statements by President Bush with those of President Obama, we'd find that Bush made far, far more of them and that his statements were constitutionally far weaker than Obama's. If we further investigated, I suspect we'd find that those complaining loudly about Obama's statements were quite silent about those of Bush.

    And for those who seem to detest Obama and everything he does, let's remember these enlightening words: "Obama is NOT a foreign-born, brown-skinned, anti-war socialist who gives away health care. You're thinking of Jesus."

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    "They knew that the purpose of the Federal Government was to defend the federation of states against all enemies, foreign or domestic"

    ==============

    Why is an invasion from China any more serious than a flu epidemic? Or an AIDS scare? All enemies does not mean military.

    A healthy populace is simply more productive, easier to govern, and just more humane.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress the authority to declare war and to tax us to pay for that declared war. The "War Power's Act" requires that Congress act within sixty-days of military engagement initiated under the authority of the President as Commander In Chief. Nothng that I've read in the Constitution REQUIRES that Congress declare war before sending the military into action. Having the AUTHORITY to do something is separate from being REQUIRED to do something. The President has limited authority to send the military into action. His "authority" is controlled by Congress - after the 60-day time limit.

    That brings us back to the subject of the letter. Congress is responsible to legislate. Congress is responsible to fund all legislation. The President's role is to enforce ALL of the laws passed by Congress. The role of the Court is to verify that every law legislated is legal and binding.

    Too often, the President self-extends his authority to legislate. Too often, the Court also self-extends its authority to legislate. Only Congress has authority to legislate, unless those other branches are so arrogant to assume that they are above the law.

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    The best session of Congress is when no new laws are passed. We can self-govern, can't we?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    "Nowhere in the Constitution"? What about the clear provision in 1.8 that Congress shall have power to "provide for the general welfare"? Medical care provides for the general welfare by preventing epidemics, rampant disease, and premature death. Congress clearly DOES have the power to provide for health care.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    @Noodlekaboodle
    Poplar Grove, UT

    @Mike Richards
    10:13 a.m. Aug. 21, 2013

    =======

    Thanks for the comment.

    House passed - check.
    Senate passed - check.
    President signs - check.
    SCOTUS un-holds - check.

    It seems "someone" is fighting against our Constitution and form of Government.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    The Supreme Court has not ruled on the legality of ObamaCare as a TAX. The Court declared that it was a tax. The Court declared that Congress can impose taxes. The Court ruled that elections have consequences. The Court would not declare that the ObamaCare TAX is Constitutional because the taxation part of the law had not been implemented. The Supreme Court is an appelate court. It hears appeals. No federal court has ruled on the legality of ObamaCare as a tax; therefore, the Supreme Court cannot rule whether ObamaCara as a tax is legal or not until damages are presented and a lower court first rules.

    Those who tell us that the Court ruled that ObamaCare is legal did not read the ruling or they are deliberately misleading those who have not read the ruling.

    Are we so ignorant of how the government works that we would blindly accept the opinions of those who post incognito as spokesmen for the Supreme Court?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    "Those who tell us that the Court ruled that ObamaCare is legal did not read the ruling or they are deliberately misleading those who have not read the ruling."

    Ok, J Thompson. How about this. The law known as Obamacare was legally passed by congress. Until it, or parts of it are ruled by the Supreme court to be UN-Constitutional, it is by definition, Constitutional.

    "Are we so ignorant of how the government works that we would blindly accept the opinions of those who post incognito as spokesmen for the Supreme Court?"

    Heck, many are "so ignorant of how the government works" that they do not recognize the actual opinions of the Supreme court as being constitutional.

    Look at all the premise of this letter for proof.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    Joe,

    The Court ruled that Congress can levy taxes. The Court did not in any way tell us that ObamaCare was legal, only that it was a tax and that it could not rule on that particular tax until a lower court had ruled. That is what we know. That is all that we know. Inferring anything else would be wrong. The opinion was clearly stated.

    Obama told us that ObamaCare was NOT a tax. The Court overruled Obama. ObamaCare is a tax. Not only is it a tax, but it is the largest tax every levied in American history against the "poor". That is Obama's legacy. He lied. The Court called him on his lie. The Court refused to throw out ObamaCare simply because it had not yet been implemented.

    Is that why Obama refuses to implement ObamaCare? Is that why he has told us that he would NOT enforce all of ObamaCare? Is he waiting until he can appoint another Justice to the Court who will rule on party lines, instead of measuring ObamaCare against the Supreme Law of the Land?

    The Court's ruling is clear. Don't twist it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    I suspect there would be a BIG problem if the Republicans just decided to not enforce a law passed by Congress. So why is it OK When the President did it?

    Once legislation is passed by Congress it's "law". And even the President must obey the law.

    I know they passed a rush resolution to not enforce it, but it just seems weird that Democrats seem to be able to do whatever they want (pass whatever they want, refuse to enforce what they pass if it turns out to be inconvenient, etc). When I suspect there would be a big problem if the OTHER side had decided to just not enforce parts of the ObamaCare laws.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    Don seems to want it both ways. Since any tyrant would be sure to lock him up for ANY criticism, Don can either pretend to be someone else, or keep his opinions private by NOT sending them to a newspaper. But if it IS him, then it would seem he doesn't really believe there's a tyrant in charge after all.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    Mitt Romney's presidential campaign broke with congressional Republicans on Monday by arguing that the individual mandate upheld by the Supreme Court last week is a penalty, not a tax.

    "The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty, and he disagrees with the court's ruling that the mandate was a tax," Mr. Fehrnstrom said.

    I guess you are suggesting that Mitt Romney lied also?

    The Supreme court has the final say. They ruled it is a tax rather than a penalty. Does that constitute a lie? How about a difference of opinion?

    And, play word games if you want, but TODAY, Obamacare is not unconstitutional. That could change if it ever gets to the Supreme Court. And only then.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    Mike and friends,

    I suggest you go settle a little corner of the Yukon where no one will find you. Then you can implement the Constitution exactly as it was written in the late 1700s. You can outlaw everything that isn't mentioned in that document. You can ride in your wagons pulled by horses, practice medicine by bleeding each other and administering calomel, and pay absolutely no taxes. In fact, if you want, you can drown your government in the bathtub. I suspect, however, that even if you're all on the same page politically, you'll still argue over what exactly the Constitution means when applied to the vagaries of everyday life. But good luck anyway.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 21, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Joe,

    Mitt Romney is not a justice on the Supreme Court. His opinion in matters of Constitutional law have no more standing than do the opinions of Mr. Obama, who assured us that OamaCare was not a tax. The Court ruled against both Romney and Obama, which shows why there are three branches of government. The law of the land, as now constituted, is that ObamaCare is a tax, that Congress can levy taxes, but that the ObamaCare tax has not yet been declared legal or illegal because it has not yet been implemented.

    Nothing that Romney says or that Obama says will change the legality of ObamaCare. That is a Constitutional issue that cannot be changed by "politicking". The Court did not declare that ObamaCare was Constitutional. Those words are not part of the ruling. You can claim that ObamaCare is Constitutional, others of us can claim that it is not. The Court has not ruled on that issue. All that we know for certain is that it is a tax and that Congress is empowered to levy SOME taxes.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:00 p.m.

    What year are we in? 2009? 2010?

    It's so odd to see the exact same letter writers writing into the Dnews with nearly the exact same letters from a few years ago regarding Obamacare.

    Folks, that ship has sailed!

    It was passed, signed into law, and declared Constitutional.

    Rather than rehash these sad arguments over and over again, why not offer alternatives? Sorry, but tort reform and insurance across state lines aren't reforms.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    If private "free market" health care insurance was such a great idea, then why don't more industrialized countries have them? Why has literally every single industrialized country moved away from insurance/free market health care and moved to single payer government mandated health care?

    I know I know, "liberal media." The liberal media boogeyman. Sigh

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    Can you believe the arrogance of someone telling citizens to leave if they don't accept his idea of what law should be, of what the Constitution says, of what the duties of each branch of government are?

    That's why we have a Constitution so that both the citizens and the government know who has what responsibility and what limits the people have put on their government.

    That poster reminds me of Ted Kennedy who tried to get Mr. Bork and Mr. Thomas to tell us that lower court federal judges were superior to the Supreme Law of the Land, and that if a judge had ruled, his ruling became law, no matter if that ruling contradicted the Constitution.

    Look how many are telling us that ObamaCare is "settled law". It is nothing of the kind. It is a tax. No ruling has been made on the legality of that tax, but because those people want ObamaCare, because those people want someone else to pay for their healthcre, because people don't believe in personal responsibility, ObamaCare is suddenly "settled law".

    All federal law must be tested against the Constitution, not against the ruling of a lower court judge.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:21 p.m.

    So many posters here have been distracted from the issue.

    This issue is not the legality of Obamacare. Yes ACA was passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president. Yes it is LAW. The point here is that the president, King Obama, is now revising the law without any bill from congress to do so.

    It is bad enough that he ran both houses of congress for 2 years, but now that he can't control the house anymore, he just grabs the powers of congress to himself.

    This citizen of this free country does not want to change to a monarchy form of government.

    Obama needs to act like a president instead of a king.
    We live by the rule of law and so should he.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    J Thompson, whether or not its "settled" law is immaterial, it IS the law. And it will remain the law unless it is repealed (which isn't going to happen) or it is overturned in court (which also isn't going to happen).

    The ACA, is the law of land. It was enacted constitutionally, and the Supreme Court gets to determine its constitutionality. That's the way the Constitution set things up. And it really doesn't matter what J Thompson's or Mike Richard's feelings on the matter are, nor mine.

    EVERYTHING that has happened with the ACA has been constitutional.

    And this really doesn't have anything to do with personal responsibility or people wanting others to pay for something. It has to do with providing effective affordable healthcare to a populace. Providing it to people, ALL people.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    "The point here is that the president, King Obama,"

    Perhaps, badgerbadger, you do not understand what a king is.

    See, President Obama's kids will never step in in his place. Perhaps when they are grown they might run for president and win. But they never will inherit the position. President Obama was elected to office by a majority of the voters through the electoral collage. If Romney of McCain had won they would be sitting in the office. If the president dies in office it will be the vice president that replaces him, not family. At the end of his second term President Obama WILL step down and we will have a newly elected president, Hillary Clinton. There are checks on the presidents powers, both the congress and the courts. For these and many other reasons the president is not a king. Hope that straightens things out for you a bit for you.

    "This citizen of this free country does not want to change to a monarchy form of government."

    Well that's good. There is absolutely zero chance of this country becoming a monarchy in the foreseeable future. You can sleep well.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    The Real Maverick,
    RE: "Folks, that ship has sailed! It was passed, signed into law, and declared Constitutional".

    Tell President Obama that. HE's the one who decided not to follow/implement the law (at least parts of it).

    It was signed into law (so legislators could see what was in it). But it's the law once it's passed by Congress and signed by the President. That's all done. Now the President is obligated to obey it. He said he won't (at least parts of it).

    Maybe you need to give your "that ship has sailed" speech to President Obama!

    I suspect if a Republican President just decided not to implement the law Congress passed... there would be a BIG problem, hearings, forced compliance, etc. It's happened before.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    "It was signed into law (so legislators could see what was in it)."

    Why do you think the legislators (or anyone for that matter) couldn't see what was in it? All they had to do was read the bill. But you saying that they needed to pass it to see what was in it is just one of those silly things some people do. It has no basis in reality, but It is just repeated constantly like it actually means something, and the low information people hear it and repeat it and think they have said something clever. (And yes, I know it is from something dumb Pellosi said.)

    "HE's the one who decided not to follow/implement the law (at least parts of it)."

    I don't think that's really what's happening, he's delaying the implementation of parts of it to work out some problems. Not the first president to do something like that. But, nevertheless, if conservatives want him to implement it all right now, why don't they go to court and try to force it?