>> November 15, 2009
A libertarian friend and I were having a debate on the necessity of car insurance, a conversation which was brought about by Pelosi's asinine health care bill mandating all of U.S. to buy health insurance "Under penalty of death!" ok, that last is a bit of a stretch - under penalty of jail time. Although I could see a situation where the brown shirts come to an uninsured person's door saying "You haven't bought your health insurance, you're going to jail." (Insurance Ensurers?) To which the uninsured might say: "Over my dead body." One can see where that would end up, with a dead, albeit uninsured ex-taxpayer, problem solved.
But I digress, back to the argument er- discussion. In arguing against mandatory health insurance it was brought up that people are required to buy liability car insurance if they want the "privilege" of driving a car. Fair enough, I say. I should be able to assure to my fellow citizens that, if something goes wrong, whether by negligence or pure dumb luck, that I can pay restitution where needed. I have no problem with this.
"No" said friend, "it's not". He is of the opinion that we should not be required to purchase even liability car insurance. In his opinion, if I understand it correctly, all insurance should be a voluntary thing, letting karma do the work of... doing whatever karma does. I submit that, if that were the case, then at best only the most noble, moral and ethical among us would be insured and at worst none of us would have insurance at all. This is unacceptable in the eyes of our state legislators. They have seen a benefit to individuals having liability insurance for their cars and acted accordingly. I still have no problem with this. He does. While I'm certainly no expert on the constitution, I will try to explain my point a little better.
The main questions, I think, are these:
1. Where does my responsibility to another person begin and end?
Answer: When I, in the course of living my life and exercising my rights, negatively affect another person or their property. Then I have the responsibility to supply a reasonable amount of restitution.
Ahh, therein lies the rub. Reasonable. Who shall best determine what is reasonable liability? The parties involved will surely bicker about the worth of a fender, or a leg, or a house, or a life, or a wife (2 mules?).
Leading to the next question:
2. What if I cannot, or will not supply reasonable restitution to the injured parties?
Answer: Then the matter is for the courts to decide. This is where the states saw a problem and attempted to fix it by requiring everyone who wants the privilege of driving a car to maintain a reasonable amount of liability insurance in case they harmed a person or their property The point here is, it is an issue for the individual states.
I'll get to that by way of this:
3. Is it the federal government's role to determine reasonable liability in matters of persons or personal property?
Answer: No. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that specifically grants this power to the federal government unless it first goes through the state and comes to the federal government through the courts.
* So check this out. It is, to me, the most important thing in the entire discussion.
The main flaw in the H.C. proposal and frankly most federal laws passed in the last hundred years concerning society and personal responsibility is this: The federal government's thinking has changed from QUESTIONING "Does the Constitution specifically grant me the power to do this?" To STATING "The Constitution doesn't specifically OPPOSE it, therefore, it is ALLOWED." In other words, it's like saying "Well, you didn't tell me I COULDN'T". It's an insolent child's justification and it is wrong.
AS a matter of fact, the Constitution did and it still does "Tell them they couldn't". The clause is called the Tenth Amendment, which has been conveniently ignored or forgotten.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The federal government thinks that when they pass a law it is amending the constitution. They are not. A law in itself is not an amendment. This is no small, quibbling point.
The Constitution and it's Amendments is the litmus test by which we are to MEASURE laws. It should be used to judge a law's fairness with respect to individuals and their property. We have forgotten this basic rule. Our legislators are acting dogmatically to deconstruct our Constitution by creating laws that subvert it. Their dogma is running over our karma. (Car-ma?)
Wait. Wasn't I speaking about car insurance? Where did that lizard go?
4. So, if the insurance question isn't in the federal government's bailiwick, then who's place is it?
Answer: The state is the only place in our system of government where this kind of law can be made. According the Tenth Amendment, the state can in fact, within the parameters of it's Constitution, do whatever it wishes. The state is even allowed to require a person to have liability car insurance. The individual, if he doesn't like it, can move to another, uninsured state although he would be hard pressed to find one except maybe another country, or he could fight it in the courts or at the ballot box or in the state legislature.
Which, in a round about way leads to this question:
5. Why did the founders put the Tenth Amendment in the Constitution?
Answer: It was meant to keep government's power closer to the people. They saw that laws pertaining to and encroaching on individual rights were best kept at the state level. It is close enough and local enough to the people so that if the power is abused, it is then easier to affect meaningful change either by the ballot or by changing law. The founders knew that if power were given to the federal government over an individual, then the federal
government would surely abuse such power and use it to acquire more. Recent events are bearing witness to this fact.
The federal government is, against the will of the American people, passing unconstitutional laws that oppress it's citizens. This is by definition, Tyranny. I think if the American people really understood how far the country has strayed from our Founders' defining principles they would be truly shocked and utterly dismayed.
"Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to god." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Read up people. Educate yourselves before it's too late!
Ok, I've got to find my bible and my "The End Is Near" body signs and get to the busiest street-corner now. Don't mind me. I'm a harmless street urchin. I know nothing. No, really. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Wasn't I talking about car insurance?