In his June 9 letter, “Tax what hurts us,” Robert Abby argued that since the government has taken over the responsibility for compelling him to pay for my health care, the government also ought to assume the responsibility to tax or otherwise regulate any behavior of mine that might “impose a heavy burden on the public treasury.” A careful reading of the Constitution reveals that Article I, Section 8, which enumerates all of Congress’ lawful powers, reveals no such regulatory power over our personal choices. In fact, despite the federal government’s establishment of Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the impoverished, and now the Affordable Health Care Act for nearly all of the rest of us, it isn’t empowered to do any of them either. Neither is the government authorized to compel us to provide for each other’s retirement income, nor to dictate the salary agreed to between an employer and an employee, etc., etc., etc.
But with Abby’s approval, the government can interfere into our personal lives and we can all look forward to an intrusive government of busybodies dictating what we can and cannot eat, or drink, or do to amuse ourselves. Thanks, but no thanks. Kindly keep out of my life.
Curtiss Ryan Mooney