Free health care for all, free college education, free government grants, a guaranteed job, a living wage — the new left is calling these “rights.” They are not rights.

The law of our land is the Constitution and can be changed only with amendments. Our Constitution does not grant rights but provides limits to government. Our rights are assumed to have been born with us.

It is the role of government to secure and protect our natural rights to liberty, life, and property. It is not the function of government to provide for our material needs and wishes. They should be earned.

The Supreme Court decides on any constitutional disagreements, following our Forefathers’ intentions treated in the Federalist Papers. Politicians should not read rights into the Constitution. Doing so is unethical. The progressive left view is that it can be changed at-will or at the will of a few.

Giving away free stuff is not fair, or ethical to the ones who earn it with sacrifice. It’s not fair to the ones who choose to further their education, it’s not fair to pass the debt to future generations, it’s not fair for the government to intervene to even the field.

What they promise us as free is never free. Usually it’s not the rich, or corporations, but the middle class who pays, with higher taxes which stifle economic growth. Do we really want to become like the social(ist) democracies of much of the Western world? There, the “equality,” engineered by the elites, has not worked, and probably never will. Taking away freedom is not the way our Forefathers intended. But, if the majority of us want a different America, follow the process and don’t give rights away, at will.

Felice Schillaci, Pinehurst

(18) comments

Mark Hayes

An article by Cape Fear Valley Health reveals in the U.S. we currently have an obesity problem within our young, of those between the ages of 2-19, 13.7 million are obese, now if the adults that are obese are added to those millions, the number increases by another 78 million. If one is to give thought to just how many medical conditions that are linked to obesity, and the millions who are counted as being in that number, just where will the funding of the long term healthcare needs for them come from ? If The government is to create a healthcare system that eliminates financial responsibility to those being treated, are we to be the funding source for those who have healthcare needs due to self inflicted poor health habits ? Millions have already become a constant burden. The younger generation should be leery as to what this universal healthcare and government control will mean to them in the future. Is it right to pass this burden on to an unsuspecting younger generation, I don't.

William Dean

Where in the Constitution, Bill of rights etc. would we find the right for Congress or the Senate to use taxpayer dollars to hush up sexual offenses and keep these things private. Where does it give the Congress the power to go on a fishing trip to demand the tax information of a sitting president, when they did have no proof of a crime being committed. They did not go after a president that ordered ALL of his records be kept secret.

Jim Tomashoff

Huh?

Peyton Cook

Under law Eminent Domain can be employed for the public good, not private good. Coercing taxpayers to fund free college education is dead wrong. No one has the right to college education for instance.

Jim Tomashoff

Actually, Eminent Domain can be employed for private good IF the governing authority believes its use would serve a public good. So Peyton's not completely wrong, but he's not completely right either.

"The use (purpose) [of finding for the use of Eminent Domain] must be a needed one, which can't be surrendered without obvious general loss or inconvenience. However, the parameters of such needed public use defy absolute definition because of factors such as changing needs of society, increases in population, and developing modes of transportation and communications.

In Kelo v. City of New London (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether that changing parameter was broad enough to include for-profit development of real estate which would ostensibly result in needed economic growth for the community. In a decision that surprised many, the Court agreed.

Although private interests did benefit from the plan, the Court justified its holding on the basis that the development plan fit within the city's broader economic development plans:

"Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the Fifth Amendment," Justice Stevens wrote." realestate.findlaw.com/land-use-laws/eminent-domain-public-use-requirement.html

The rest of his argument has nothing to do with Eminent Domain. He believes taxing people in the U.S. to fund free college educations is dead wrong. That's fine. But I'm far from clear on whether or not someone has a right to a college education has anything at all to do with Eminent Domain. Taxing someone, taking his/her money by Government to fund its operation, is a long established process. Whether any given tax constitutes a "public good," is always debatable.

Jim Tomashoff

Hey Peyton, read this, www.politico.com/agenda/story/2019/01/16/tennessee-free-college-000867

It's about a "free" college program in Tennessee for two-year Community College students. It was the idea of the state's Republican Governor and spearheaded by the very Conservative leader in the Legislature. The majority of Republicans in the State support it. So far, it hasn't cost taxpayers a dime, although personally I'm not a fan of the way it is financed (oh my, Kent and I agree on something!). It's working. It's working so well that the University of Tennessee is starting a version of "free college" for its four-year college students who qualify on the basis of family income and ACT scores. www.knoxnews.com/story/news/education/2019/03/15/ut-promise-what-students-need-know-get-free-college-tuition/3172690002/.

How awful, right? Who'd of thought the creeping socialism would be championed by Republicans in Trumpland.

Jim Tomashoff

Below, Richard Wright argues that, "...Congress can and does force citizens to pay taxes in a patently unfair progressive manner..." That's his opinion and he is certainly free to believe this. We have a system, people are elected to represent us at all levels of government, federal, state, local. These elected representatives decide, among other things, how citizens (and non-citizens) how tax dollars are to be spent. Perhaps Mr. Wright can suggest a more fair and moral way to do so. He clearly states that a progressive tax system is inherently unfair. What's his alternative?

Richard Wright

Jim, what I wrote may be an opinion but it is factual - the truth. We have a system where a majority of one (or the majority party as in ObamaCare) can decide legislation. It also appears that one federal judge can overturn any decision. The left not only believes but espouses that a fair tax is one that is progressive, where the rich should pay a higher percentage of their wealth. How is this moral? Any alternative should require that everyone pay something. Currently nearly 50% of those who have an income pay nothing in federal taxes. Clearly the left does not believe that fair means equal.

Jim Tomashoff

You're absolutely correct, everyone paying the same percentage of their income, regardless the amount of their income, is not perceived as fair means equal. How is it moral to ask someone who makes 40k a year to pay the same percentage of his/her income in Federal taxes as someone who makes 400k a year?
Those who do not pay anything in Federal taxes are those who do not make enough a year to do so after deductions are factored in. But these people are still paying taxes on many other things, i.e. gas, food, sales, and others. As a proportion of overall taxation they are paying taxes on their disposable income, perhaps at a rate equal to if not greater than those who are making substantially more money per year. Sometimes a single vote can determine legislation's fate. Sometimes a single Federal judge can make or overturn "any decision," as I recall George W. Bush was "elected" President by a 5 to 4 decision of the Supreme Court. What's your alternative?

Mark Hayes

" California eyeing healthcare for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. " This will be interesting to watch.

Conrad Meyer

I agree. It will be interesting to watch. The spending will be ultimately be unsustainable.
Kalifornia will ultimately have some difficult decisions to make as they slide toward bankruptcy. They cannot possibly afford the gold plated benefits and pensions they give to their state workers on top of paying for education, medical, and other freebies for the illegals. I won't even mention the benefits they ought to be providing for citizens first.
When they go bankrupt, will they demand that the rest of the country bail them out? They will, but let them fix the problem they willingly created.

ken leary

“Free health care for all” is not a right. “Our rights are . . . born with us.”
I read this to mean that a child born to privilege has a right to that privilege just as a child born to poverty has a right to be underprivileged; and the administration of the system citizen’s select has no obligation, or desire if I read you right, to offer the underprivileged child a way out of poverty, You go so far as to say that it is not fair for the “government to intervene to even the field.” By that I assume you mean you prefer an unfair advantage, and would not consider facilitating another’s potential because it would diminish your advantage.

Kent Misegades

Well put. You get what you pay for. Countries that have tried to win votes by giving free stuff include the Soviet Union, NAZI Germany, Cuba, North Korea and more recently Venezuela. The Road to Serfdom always starts with free stuff from socialists and ends in gulags, gas chambers and firing lines.

Dan Roman

Felice and Kent obviously slept thru 9th grade civics. The Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments contain certain enumerated rights but nowhere disallow other rights being declared to exist. Should a right be declared to exist or be disallowed by legislation or otherwise the U. S. Supreme Court would eventually decide it that right was protected under the penumbra of an enumerated right or not. If so then the right exists. if not then it doesn't.. Our rights are what the Supreme Court says they are based on its interpretation of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and amendments. Opinions differ as to what is or should be a protected right, "socialism" has nothing to do with the issue.

Peyton Cook

Our basic rights are life, liberty, and and the pursuit of happiness. Citizens have the right to vote, to own property, and those on the first Ten Amendments. But we do not have the right to seize the property or wealth for our own personal use. Another way of saying this is that Government has not been given the right to coerce others to to provide “free” stuff to others just because they want it.

Jim Tomashoff

I guess Peyton, who claims to have taught U.S. history, is unaware of the fact that "...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." a quote from the Declaration of Independence, has no force of law. That said, it is a concise and accurate statement used to justify the Revolution. The Declaration goes on to state the specific acts of the Crown in contravention of these objectives, in short, it is a Bill of Indictment. Stated the way Peyton does, using a kind of "straw man" argument, who would disagree with his statement? But Peyton is actually, also dead wrong, what a surprise. Government does have the right to coerce others to provide "free" stuff to others. Provided the all laws, procedures, and policies, are followed our Government, at nearly all levels, has the right to confiscate private property, sell it, and use the proceeds to help others, it can use Eminent Domain, to take other's property provided just compensation is made to the property owner. Under Peyton's terminology income based taxes would be off limits to government. Money is property, taxes "seized" it, and that money is used to run government including providing "free" stuff to others.

Conrad Meyer

Agree with you Peyton (also Felice and Kent). Perhaps it is Dan that needs to brush up on the Constitution.
Here is a link to the Constitution for Dummies regarding "rights". I do not see the "freebies" listed and I doubt the Supreme Court will add them (at least in our lifetimes).
https://www.dummies.com/education/politics-government/important-rights-listed-in-the-constitution/

Richard Wright

Well stated. I am not sure why Jim decided to wander off regarding the enforceability of those rights emphasized by our founding father's in the Declaration of Independence. Peyton did not quote the Declaration only restated in a most general manner. And Congress can and does force citizens to pay taxes in a patently unfair progressive manner in order to provide services to those unable or unwinding to provide for their own needs. This is not a right guaranteed in the Constitution but a fact of life. Rather the practice is a tyranny of the majority, where those in power can use their votes to take what they want with the only recourse being the courts. But what may be within the authorities of local, sated or federal governments to repurpose private property is not always moral or right. An interesting quote by a well know French economist is as follows: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” ― Frédéric Bastiat. I realize that ,as a left wing thought provocateur, you have no issues using the law (as long as it meets your principles whatever they may be) to use taxpayers to solve any problem, you might add least see the morally corrupt practice of using laws to pay for imagined slights.

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