What if America’s Founding Generation had Twitter?

by Don Boudreaux on April 2, 2012

in History, Law, Myths and Fallacies, Reality Is Not Optional

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Flabbergasted that several justices of the U.S. Supreme Court think it appropriate to question the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate, E.J. Dionne tries to dismiss those justices by saying that they “repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the tweets and talking points issued by organizations of the sort funded by the Koch brothers” (“The right’s stealthy coup,” April 2).

A less inflammatory and far more accurate description of last week’s oral arguments is that those justices repeatedly spouted views closely resembling the statements and analysis issued by the founding fathers.

The “tweets and talking points” of 200 years ago are found mostly in written letters, such as a February 13, 1829, note from James Madison (who, I believe, was not funded by the Kochs) to Joseph Cabell, in which Madison said of the Commerce clause: “Yet it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government.”

This statement (and others) by the Father of the Constitution makes clear that questioning the constitutionality of the individual mandate is perfectly proper.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

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