Is this legal?

You may have seen an email saying that the Capitol Hill Switchboard has a :20 promotional message urging support for Obamacare.  The number is 1-800-828-0498.

Here is the transcript: 

Thank you for calling your Representative and your Senators.

Please urge them to vote yes on health insurance reform. Because the American people can no longer wait for more choices, lower costs, and coverage we can count on.

Apparently, the story is not that it’s the Capitol Switchboard, but Families USA, a liberal propaganda group, misleading the public to think that’s the Capitol switchboard.





One response to “Is this legal?

  1. Reminiscent of earlier days… FDR:
    Cass Sunstein and a second bill of rights. Sunstein was confirmed in a 57-40 vote to serve as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which helps coordinate the many regulatory activities in the modern welfare state. Consideration of his nomination was deferred three times, and he was condemned by Glenn Beck: Sunstein has advocated adoption of a second bill of rights, and this earned him some adverse comment.

    In fact, the Second Bill of Rights goes back to Franklin Roosevelt. It first received attention in the State of the Union speech Roosevelt gave on January 11, 1944:

    It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

    This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

    As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

    We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

    In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

    Among these are:

    The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

    The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

    The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

    The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

    The right of every family to a decent home;

    The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

    The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

    The right to a good education.

    All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

    America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

    Don’t you love the simplicity of this formulation? Aren’t the principles self-evident? That’s why the approach is so insidious. The issues it raises are not obvious on first pass, and many in the society would not identify them, perhaps at all. All rights come with duties, and this formulation nowhere informs the listener who has to bear the duties that correlate to the rights. I mean, if we are to make wealth available to all in older age, then we have to take that wealth from someone. Who pays? This formulation only superficially makes sense if we treat “the government” or “the State” as something other than us (as in “this project has been funded with a federal grant”, instead of “this project has been funded with dollars expropriated from taxpayers elsewhere in the country”). If farmers have the right to a decent living, the rest of us have to suffer Roosevelt’s deadly double of agricultural subsidies and state-sponsored crop cartels. We have to strip wealth and property from a portion of the population to assure older Americans do not suffer economic fears.

    Even more difficult in my opinion is a second issue: who decides? Who chooses what constitutes “adequate” medical care? Do we establish a “death panel” to tell us that a specific procedure is beyond “adequate” and that you can’t have it? Who decides what prices are sufficient to provide a farmer “a decent living”? Would it be a farmer or his political representative? Would it make sense to require that any American with a home of over 2,000 square feet house and feed an older American to prevent that older American from suffering “economic fears”? I’m not certain that it is wise to give over such discretion to any arm of the government, and I don’t see how taxing those homeowners is not the functional equivalent of forcing them to board a senior. Someone has to decide, and if that “person” is the federal government, the decision is as far removed from the citizen as possible.

    Finally, someone has to extract property from a portion of the population and reallocate it. For nearly a thousand years since the Magna Carta, we have fought to cast off the yoke of tyrannical government, yet for reasons related to momentary insecurity as a result of a periodic economic downturn, we turn over American automakers to federal control to assure that the jobs associated with the companies are not filled at different companies. Congress now is completely consumed with a new right for every American – to receive health care – and encountering all of the problems that an affirmative right (a right to be provided with something), as opposed to a right not to have government interfere (as with speech, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness), generates. In the latter case, each individual balances what they enjoy with their efforts. Someone does not desire to work more than eight hours a day enjoys less travel, for example. They balance their efforts and their enjoyments as best they can. The alternative is braying mobs beseeching a central government to reallocate differently, and soldiers enforcing the new dynamic once set. Positive rights induce rent seeking behavior in a central political location, while restrictions on governmental interference galvanize individual effort across the society. Mobs seeking rents waste time and effort, while individually motivated, self-seeking commercial activity benefits everyone (the buyer seeking the good or service and the seller of the good or service).

    Hayek was right. “A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” We are about to get one, I fear. I do not think that the Supreme Court is up to the task of enforcing the framers’ intention that the federal government be a government of only limited, enumerated powers. It has proven its limitations as to such questions in the past.

    Go to to follow the debate and health care delivery issues.

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