Keeping the lights on and the bills paid is part of what is commonly known as housekeeping and is one of the jobs of the head of the household. If there is insufficient income to pay the bills, the head of the household has to either reduce expenses, increase the household income or both. Since there are other people in the household who have an interest in these matters, their input is important, particularly if one of the other members is a spouse with a co-equal voice in such decisions. The discussions regarding what expenses to cut and how to increase the family income will very likely be unpleasant, possibly acrimonious. Nonetheless, it this the responsibility of the head of the household, and remember that he not only took that job voluntarily, he actively sought the job, to resolve these differences and get the problem solved. Leaving town and complaining to friends about the intransigence of other members of the household is not an option. It is showboating and the action of an adolescent, not an adult.
Housekeeping is not glamorous or fun, but it has to be done if the other things the family wishes to do are to be possible. The American family can’t go to the moon and Mars, cure disease, help the less fortunate, protect the natural world, fight for freedom or do any of the other more exciting and glamorous things we would prefer to do if we can’t keep the lights on. It is time for the head of the household to return to the kitchen table, sit down and hammer out a plan that will keep the lights on. He won’t like the final plan, nor is it likely that the rest of the family will either; but in the end, everyone will be able to live with it.
Why John Roberts did what he did.
Roberts is no dummy. The ruling did three things, all consistent with Roberts limited government thinking.
1. By limiting the enforcement power of the Feds over the states, he is forcing the Feds to negotiate agreements with the states, 27 of which were plaintiffs in this case, over the issue of Medicaid expansion.
2. By calling the individual mandate a tax, he has inserted a poison pill in what appears to be a ruling in the favor of the administration. He has given Romney another issue to run with: Obama raised taxes on you. Romney need only use CBO numbers to show what this new tax could cost the “average” American family: $15,000 per year for a family of four. Remember what happened to GHW Bush after he buckled on his “no new taxes” pledge.
3. By not addressing the commerce clause directly in this particular case, he leaves it to be done in a less controversial case. In part of his ruling he telegraphed that he believes the clause to be too expansive in its current interpretation, and by saying that begs that a commerce clause case be brought before him, possibly one with a more clear cut solution.
Roberts is a political animal. You don’t get where he is by not being one. I think he is right if he believes the legislative and executive branches need to settle this. It is their job. The fact that there is so much controversy over this issue makes a prima facia case that it is bad law. By contrast, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed congress with 80% Republican and 65% Democrat support. If a health reform can be put together that will pass muster like that, the controversy will be over. The people on the far left and right will have to go fish. Both sides of this issue wanted to go the cheap and easy route and let the court decide, and take the heat. Roberts basically decided not to decide. My initial disdain for this decision is being tempered by these thoughts.