Tuesday, November 09, 2010


OK, kiddies, here is where this legislation is different from anything ever passed in the history of the republic:

The U.S. Government is requiring its citizens to buy something it doesn't sell.

If that is factually incorrect, please call my attention to where it has happened before (Ground Rules:  State Gov't doesn't count.  War Bonds don't count.  Please save me your skreed on whether it's a good bill or bad bill and for God's sake, spare me your Constitutional Scholarship Paper.).

I say we've never done it before.  Show me where we did, if we did.  


At 10:38 AM, November 09, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Federal Motor Carrier Act - requires financial responsibility limits depending upon the commodity transported. Liability Insurance required in order to make filing.

At 10:43 AM, November 09, 2010, Anonymous Jason said...

The following is neither support or condemnation of the Healthcare Reform Bill. I just love googling random crap on my lunch hour.

The Militia Act of 1792 required every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 and 45 to enroll themselves in a Uniform Militia and within six months of enrolling "provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder."

At 1:19 PM, November 09, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Gong on the Federal Motor Carrier Act. That's just a trade or profession permit requirement. It's not uniform over all citizens. You have to post a bond to get a Nuclear Reactor permit but you're not required to go into the Nuclear Reactor Business.

Thank you for playing and I do appreciate the logic.

At 1:29 PM, November 09, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


This is tantalizingly close to the mark. First, the easy out. It doesn't apply to females.

Second, and this is admittedly weak, this is probably stuff you had to possess to survive anyhow, so they're really just telling conscripts to bring their personal gear with them.

Still, by far the best answer anybody's given, in the b'sphere or the RW.


At 2:10 PM, November 09, 2010, Anonymous Jason said...

Well, since women couldn't vote in 1792 that would have been a mandate without proper representation.

At 2:50 PM, November 09, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

No argument there. But it still wouldn't have been universal.
I'll have to look and see if there was ever a constitutional challenge to the Militia Act.

Of course, all the camo-crawlers in Michigan and Southern Missouri's pine timber are saying "What's wrong with mandatory Militia--Hell, we do it for fun and call it 'patriotism' ".

Thank you and good night.

At 12:03 PM, November 11, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Along that line, children are required to go to school, and parents are required to provide certain supplies for them. (but you don't have to have children, I guess)

There are also levels of care required for children or the elderly ... not exactly specific items, but a certain level of food, housing, health care, oversight, or family services may show up.

Everyone has to provide themselves with housing and food, or the government might pick you up for vagrancy. (I'm not sure if those are state laws)


At 9:06 PM, November 11, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Move along folks, Nothing to see here. All either state functions, non-uniform or industry-relatory.

Militia Act is leader in the clubhouse.

At 7:55 AM, November 12, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't the federal government try to tell the judge it is a tax (after telling us it was NOT a tax)?

So it seems even the big boys couldn't find the precedent you are looking for. But the judge is not letting them change it to a tax, after it was passed as a non-tax.


At 4:06 PM, November 13, 2010, Blogger josephus said...

Goodness, people, the buy requirement is there to enlarge the risk pool, the same reason corporations will try to get as many employees as possible into a single pool: it lowers experience rates and thus supposedly reduces premium costs.

Bottom line: if you like our current for-profit system, then don't bitch about the cost. It will always cost more because there's an economic incentive to maximize profits. Think about all the ways there are to do that.

But you want to reduce the cost of health care et al? There's just one way: national tax-supported single-payer system with optional private insurance if wanted. Some version of what the civilized industrial nations do, or just Medicare for all. If costs really are the issue for you, single-payer is the only rational way.

But if you like to pay the CEO of United Healthcare $106 million a year for (what?), then advocate for pay or die. That's the only way.

At 4:42 PM, November 14, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


I am all for the USA ceasing to be the only industrialized nation where people go bankrupt due to h/c costs.

My inquiry--only inquiry--was whether the "buy something Uncle Sam doesn't sell" is unique federal legislation. I think it is unique (although Jason's answer is tantalizing). That was my only question.

Has the U.S. of A every before had a general population requirement to purchase something the Gov't doesn't sell? I don't think so.


At 6:34 AM, November 16, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe like other civilized nations in the world we can have a government mandated media program that we can all be required subscribe too. Kind of like the voluntary income tax. Then, maybe we can take the San Francisco ban on toys in kid’s meals nation wide like other civilized nations. Goes right along with having our women and children group by our government protectors at the airport. And while your at it have your kids renounce their citizenship so they can get in instate tuition in California colleges. And maybe……………sheesh!

At 3:27 PM, November 16, 2010, Blogger josephus said...

Tony, so a federal requirement to buy something the feds don't sell is unique federal law. Why does it matter? Isn't there a first time for everything? Or is this one of those occurrences only a good lawyer finds intriguing?

At 8:10 PM, November 16, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Perhaps some of the above. It's kind of "modest taking" meets Commerce Clause "Regulation"

At 8:13 PM, November 16, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...


I couldn't concentrate on anything else you said because you used "group" as the past tense of "grope".

My Right Brain/Left Brain analysis is on overload.


At 7:15 AM, November 17, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It" makes a difference because this would mean the feds can require us to buy anything. That would be the new precedent. A free range chicken in every pot ... a GM Volt in every driveway.

There is a first time for everything I guess, but this isn't the first time for this ... fascism is as old as the hills. Federalism may be what is on trial here.

But I'll leave it to Tony to be more legally precise.


At 12:32 PM, November 24, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about car insurance????

At 1:08 PM, November 24, 2010, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Please tell me you're actually spoofing those who don't know the difference between State and Federal Gov't.


At 7:14 PM, November 24, 2010, Anonymous JDH said...

Not a constitutional scholar, but could the single-payer option be voted on by the citizenry? Would a super-majority vote be enough to bring it about?


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