What happens when the governing class is not held accountable to the same laws that they have imposed on the people such as ObamaCare?
Thomas Jefferson believed that “legislators ought not to stand above the law they create but ought generally to be bound by it as are ordinary persons.”
James Madison expounded on this principle in Federalist No. 57, explaining that Congress “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”
It is a principle based on plain fairness and common sense. And it is going to play a key role in the ongoing battle over ObamaCare.
Every member of Congress who voted for the deceptively named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, knows that they are facing potential political extinction in the November 2014 elections because of that vote.
There is plenty in the ObamaCare program to outrage everyone. The New American has reported extensively on the many oppressive and unconstitutional features of this federal takeover, which makes up one-sixth of the American economy. Employer mandates, individual mandates, IRS snooping and fines, a dysfunctional healthcare website, security nightmares, identity theft, etc. But perhaps one of the most troubling issues that will plague incumbents in the upcoming congressional elections is the matter of the controversial exemptions to ObamaCare that the Washington ruling class arranged for themselves. ObamaCare cheerleaders vehemently insist that it is wrong to call the special privileges they are receiving “exemptions.” Technically they may be correct, but substantively they are wrong.
Thanks to pressure from constitutionalists and Tea Partiers, ObamaCare now requires that members of Congress and their staffs purchase healthcare insurance provided under ObamaCare. However, as we have reported, Democrat and Republican leaders later connived with President Obama to have the Office of Personnel Management come up with an illegal ruling that has us, the taxpayers, subsidize 75 percent of the premium costs for members of Congress and their staffs. As a result, they can keep their luxurious Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. This amounts to $5,000 in subsidy for an individual plan and $11,000 for a family plan. Is this the same treatment under the law as “ordinary persons,” as Thomas Jefferson put it? Not hardly. Tens of millions of Americans have had their health insurance canceled due to ObamaCare and now are facing ObamaCare sticker shock. But they cannot simply vote themselves fat subsidies.
In relation, James Madison also stated:
If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America.
He then concluded:
If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.
Have we become so debased as to tolerate this law, but not liberty? Will we degenerate into tyranny, as Jefferson warned? Or will we revive the vigilant and manly spirit that once typified America, and force Congress to repeal ObamaCare? We can speed that day by forcing Congress to give up their special subsidies and be subject to the same pains and burdens of ObamaCare they are forcing on us, the “ordinary persons” Jefferson referred to.