“Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798″
Am I missing something? Is Rick Ungar really comparing a mandatory fee on a particular industry (one entered into voluntarily by citizens otherwise unaffected by the “individual mandate”) — one that soon after became a part of the military (the Merchant Marines), to boot — to a federal law requiring all citizens to purchase a particular product from a private vendor, as directed by the federal government?
And is Greg Sargent really pretending he’s understood the article? (Sargent suggests the law levied a “tax” on these sailors; Ungar claims it wasn’t a tax. In the current debate on a health care mandate, the Obama Administration told us it isn’t a tax while arguing in court that it is. Had the legislation been passed as a tax, proceeding from the House, presumably we’d be having a different debate.)
Also, per Ungar:
Let me add one more thing – I agree completely that since we really can’t fully know all the intent that went into the Constitution, we should focus on the best reading of it. However, is it fair to say that the best reading of it can only happen when we keep it relevant to today’s applications, taking into consideration that life is very different than it was in the early 18th century?
For what should be obvious reasons to regular readers of this site, here we have the gist of Ungar’s actual argument.
The rest is shiny bits festooned to the argument to keep your eyes off the dull machinery behind it.