Why Have African-Americans Abandoned the Republican Party When the Republican Party Has Never Abandoned Them?

          by Diane Rufino

“I have no separate feeling about being an American citizen and colored. I am merely a fragment of the Great Soul that surges within the boundaries. My country, right or wrong.”    –  Zora Neale Hurston.

The history of African-Americans is a history of cruelty and callousness. But then it became a history of triumph and character.  As Frederick Douglass once said, in the beginning we watched how a man was made a slave, but then we saw how a slave was made a man.

When the delegates from twelve of the original thirteen states met in Philadelphia in 1787 (Rhode Island didn’t participate) to draft a new constitution that would “create a more perfect union,” the hope, and indeed the plan, was to abolish slavery. At first, South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina refused to join that union if the institution was outlawed, but then North Carolina gave in, noting that it already had a state law which banned the slave trade (although not directly).  But South Carolina and Georgia were steadfast and unyielding.  The plan for a Union would not work without those states.  [1]

Thomas Jefferson said: “There is preparing, I hope, under the auspices of heaven, a way for a total emancipation.” George Washington said, near the end of his life, wrote these words:  “It is among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country shall be abolished by law. I know of but one way by which this can be done, and that is by legislative action; and so far as my vote can go, it shall not be wanting.”  Patrick Henry said, “We should transmit to posterity our abhorrence of slavery.”  And George Mason, of Virginia, who refused to sign the Constitution because it did not abolish slavery outright, was particularly passionate on the subject: “Slavery is slow poison, which is daily contaminating the minds and morals of our People. Practiced in acts of despotism and cruelty, we become callous to the dictates of humanity, and all the finer feelings of the soul. Taught to regard a part of our own species in the most abject and contemptible degree below us, we lose that idea of the dignity of Man, which the hand of nature had implanted in us, for great and useful purposes…..    Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. Slaves bring the judgment of heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.”  [Mason’s prediction about “national calamities” would come to pass in 1861].

A compromise was needed to bring South Carolina and Georgia together with the other states.

In the final draft of the Constitution, as submitted on September 17, 1787, a provision was intentionally included in Article I, respecting the duties of the legislative branch.  In Section 9 (“Limits on Congress”), our drafters included the following prohibition: “The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.”  In other words, the government could not ban the importation of slaves for 20 years after the adoption of the Constitution.

The compromise on slavery occurred because the delegates as a whole agreed with Roger Sherman of Connecticut, who made the observation that it was better to let the Southern states import slaves than to part with those states.

As the designated year 1808 approached, those opposed to slavery began making plans for legislation that would ban, or outlaw, the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In fact, in 1805, the first such piece of legislation was introduced by a senator from Vermont. The following year, in his annual address to Congress, President Thomas Jefferson urged Congress to pass the bill, which it did.  The law was finally passed by both houses of Congress on March 2, 1807, and then signed it into law on March 3, 1807 by Jefferson.  However, given the restriction imposed by Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, the law would only become effective on January 1, 1808.

The 1807 law ending the importation of slaves did nothing to stop the buying and selling of slaves within the United States and that turned out to be another battle for another day.  This issue of slavery would not be resolved until the end of the Civil War and then with the passage of the 13th Amendment.

The condition of the Negro during the time of slavery here in the United States can be summed up by a sermon delivered in 1808 by Bishop Absalom Jones:

The history of the world shows us, that the deliverance of the children of Israel from their bondage, is not the only instance, in which it has pleased God to appear in behalf of oppressed and distressed nations, as the deliverer of the innocent, and of those who call upon his name. He is as unchangeable in his nature and character, as he is in his wisdom and power. He has seen the affliction of our countrymen, with an eye of pity. He has seen the wicked arts, by which wars have been fomented among the different tribes of the Africans, in order to procure captives, for the purpose of selling them for slaves. He has seen ships fitted out from different ports in Europe and America, and freighted with trinkets to be exchanged for the bodies and souls of men. He has seen the anguish which has taken place, when parents have been torn from their children, and children from their parents, and conveyed, with their hands and feet bound in fetters, on board of ships prepared to receive them. He has seen them thrust in crowds into the holds of those ships, where many of them have perished from the want of air. He has seen such of them as have escaped from that noxious place of confinement, leap into the ocean; with a faint hope of swimming back to their native shore, or a determination to seek early retreat from their impending misery, in a watery grave. He has seen them exposed for sale, like horses and cattle, upon the wharves; or, like bales of goods, in warehouses of West India and American sea ports. He has seen the pangs of separation between members of the same family. He has seen them driven into the sugar; the rice, and the tobacco fields, and compelled to work–in spite of the habits of ease which they derived from the natural fertility of their own country in the open air, beneath a burning sun, with scarcely as much clothing upon them as modesty required. He has seen them faint beneath the pressure of their labors. He has seen them return to their smoky huts in the evening, with nothing to satisfy their hunger but a scanty allowance of roots; and these, cultivated for themselves, on that day only, which God ordained as a day of rest for man and beast. He has seen the neglect with which their masters have treated their immortal souls; not only in withholding religious instruction from them, but, in some instances, depriving them of access to the means of obtaining it. He has seen all the different modes of torture, by means of the whip, the screw, the pincers, and the red hot iron, which have been exercised upon their bodies, by inhuman overseers: overseers, did I say? Yes: but not by these only. Our God has seen masters and mistresses, educated in fashionable life, sometimes take the instruments of torture into their own hands, and, deaf to the cries and shrieks of their agonizing slaves, exceed even their overseers in cruelty. Inhuman wretches! though You have been deaf to their cries and shrieks, they have been heard in Heaven. The ears of Jehovah have been constantly open to them: He has heard the prayers that have ascended from the hearts of his people; and he has, as in the case of his ancient and chosen people the Jews, come down to deliver our suffering country-men from the hands of their oppressors. He came down into the United States, when they declared, in the constitution which they framed in 1788, that the trade in our African fellow-men, should cease in the year 1808.  He came down into the British Parliament, when they passed a law to put an end to the same iniquitous trade in May, 1807.  He came down into the Congress of the United States, the last winter, when they passed a similar law, the operation of which commences on this happy day.”

Bishop Jones delivered that sermon on January 1, 1808, in St. Thomas’s, or the African Episcopal, Church, Philadelphia, in recognition of the legislation that was passed that day by the US Congress to abolish the African slave trade.

By 1820, most of the Founding Fathers were dead and Thomas Jefferson’s party, the Democratic-Republican Party, had become the majority party in Congress, outnumbering the Federalists.  In fact, 1820 is said to be the year which marked the death of the Federalist Party.  With this new Democratic-Republican Party in charge, a change in congressional policy emerged.  At the time, a law that was enacted in 1789, prohibiting slavery in federal territory, was still on the books. In 1820, the Democratic-Republican Congress passed the Missouri Compromise and reversed that earlier policy and thereby permitted slavery in almost half of the federal territories. Several States were subsequently admitted as slave States.  For the first time since the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, slavery was being officially promoted by congressional policy. Yet, the only way for the Congress to promote slavery was to ignore the principles in the founding documents. As Founding Father and President John Quincy Adams explained:  “The first step of the slaveholder to justify by argument the peculiar institutions of slavery is to deny the self-evident truths of John Quincy Adams the Declaration of Independence. He denies that all men are created equal. He denies that they have inalienable rights.”

Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party would lay the foundation for the Democratic Party.  In 1828, the Democratic-Republicans split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe, and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the Democratic Party.  Andrew Jackson is considered our first Democratic president.  Ironically, the Democratic party believed in strict adherence and strict interpretation of the Constitution, as well as limited government and states’ rights, and it opposed a national bank and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.  [2]

The Democrats soon became the leading party in Congress and they passed several pro-slavery laws, including the infamous 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.  The Fugitive Slave Law required Northerners to return escaped slaves back into slavery or else pay huge fines. In many instances, the law became little more than an excuse for southern slave hunters to kidnap free blacks in the North and carry them into slavery in the South.

In 1854, the democratically-controlled Congress passed another law which strengthened slavery – the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Even though Democrats in Congress had already expanded the federal territories in which slavery was permitted through their passage of the Missouri Compromise, the compromise retained a ban on slavery in the particular territory that would later become the states of Kansas and Nebraska. But through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Democrats were able to repeal that ban and therefore allow slavery to be introduced into parts of the new territory where it previously had been forbidden, thereby increasing the national area in which slavery would be permitted. This law led to what was called “bleeding Kansas,” where pro-slavery forces came pouring into the territory that was previously free and began fighting violent battles against the anti-slavery inhabitants there.

Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley (famous NY newspaper editor of his day), Ohio Senator Salmon Chase (a senator from Ohio, and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (senator from Massachusetts, known as a powerful orator) could not sit back and watch the flood of pro-slavery settlers cross the parallel. They began to toss around the idea for a new party.  In 1854, six anti-slavery members of Congress – belonging to the Democratic Party, the Whig Party, and the Free Soil Party – wrote an article entitled “Appeal of the Independent Democrats” which was widely published in major newspapers all over the states and territories and which criticized the Kansas-Nebraska Act.  The six authors were as follows:

Salmon P. Chase  (Senator from Ohio; member of the Free Soil Party; later to become Lincoln’s Secretary of Treasury and then appointed by him to the Supreme Court where he later wrote an opinion announcing that states have no right to secede from the Union)

Charles Sumner (Senator from Massachusetts; although he helped found the Free Soil Party, he took his seat in the US Senate in 1851 as a Democrat. Sumner was known as a powerful orator. In fact, in 1856, after he delivered an intensely anti-slavery speech called “The Crime Against Kansas” on the Senate floor, he was almost beaten to death by a senator from South Carolina)

J. R. Giddiugs   (anti-slavery congressman from Ohio; member of the Whig Party who would befriend a fellow Whig, Abraham Lincoln)

Edward Wade  (Congressman from Ohio, member of the Free Soil Party)

Gerritt Smith  (Congressman from New York, member of the Free Soil Party; staunch abolitionist)

Alexander De Witt  (Congressman from Massachusetts, member of the Free Soil Party)

The “Appeal of the Independent Democrats” stated:

      “The original settled policy of the United States, clearly indicated by the Jefferson provision of 1784 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, was non-extension of slavery.  In 1803 Louisiana was acquired by purchase from France and the plain language of the treaty under which the territory had been acquired from France emphasized that national policy……

     We appeal to the people. We warn you that the dearest interests of freedom and the Union are in imminent peril. Demagogues may tell you that the Union can be maintained only by submitting to the demands of slavery. We tell you that the Union can only be maintained by the full recognition of the just claims of freedom and man. The Union was formed to establish justice and secure the blessings of liberty. When it fails to accomplish these ends it will be worthless, and when it becomes worthless it cannot long endure.

     We entreat you to be mindful of that fundamental maxim of Democracy—EQUAL RIGHTS AND EXACT JUSTICE FOR ALL MEN. Do not submit to become agents in extending legalized oppression and systematized injustice over a vast territory yet exempt from these terrible evils.

     We implore Christians and Christian ministers to interpose. Their divine religion requires them to behold in every man a brother, and to labor for the advancement and regeneration of the human race.

     Whatever apologies may be offered for the toleration of slavery in the States, none can be offered for its extension into Territories where it does not exist, and where that extension involves the repeal of ancient law and the violation of solemn compact. Let all protest, earnestly and emphatically, by correspondence, through the press, by memorials, by resolutions of public meetings and legislative bodies, and in whatever other mode may seem expedient, against this enormous crime.

      For ourselves, we shall resist it by speech and vote, and with all the abilities which God has given us. Even if overcome in the impending struggle, we shall not submit. We shall go home to our constituents, erect anew the standard of freedom, and call on the people to come to the rescue of the country from the domination of slavery. We will not despair; for the cause of human freedom is the cause of God.”

Following the publication of this “Appeal,” spontaneous anti-slavery demonstrations occurred throughout 1854.  Sentiment was quickly building for this new political party which would oppose slavery and help secure equal civil rights for negroes.  It would become known as the Republican Party.  The Republican Party name was christened in an editorial written by newspaper magnate Horace Greeley. Greeley printed in June 1854: “We should not care much whether those thus united against slavery are designated ‘Whig,’ ‘Free Democrat’ or something else.  We  think some simple name like ‘Republican’ would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery.”

By 1855 it would already have a majority in the US House of Representatives.  By 1856, it held its first nominating convention, in Philadelphia, where it announced that it had become a unified political force.  It’s first presidential candidate would be Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  And his platform would specifically include a pledge not to permit slavery to exist into any US territory that was not already a state.

Before Lincoln would run for president, there would be one more insult to the negro – the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857. This decision would energize the growing abolitionist movement.

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether a slave who escaped from a slave state to a free state is considered free.  And the words and thought which flowed from the minds of such supposed constitutional scholars entrusted with the bench of the highest court in the land represented the lowest point in American constitutional jurisprudence.

On March 6th, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a Democrat, a staunch supporter of slavery, and one intent on protecting the South from northern aggression, delivered the majority opinion. He summed the case up in one question: “The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country (from Africa), and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen?  One of which rights is the privilege of suing in a court of the United States in the cases specified in the Constitution.”

Taney answered: “We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.”

Seven of the nine justices agreed that Dred Scott should remain a slave, but Taney did not stop there. He referred to blacks as an “inferior race” and an “unfortunate race” and a degraded and unhappy race.”  He said they are “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery.”  He ruled that blacks, whether slaves or as free men, are descended from an inferior race which was never intended to be included among the class of persons protected by our Declaration of Independence or Constitution.  As he explained, the framers of the Constitution believed that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.” Justice Taney ruled that as a slave, Scott was not a citizen of the United States, could never be a citizen, was therefore not entitled to any rights or privileges afforded by the Constitution, and therefore had no right to bring suit in the federal courts on any matter.  In other words, because blacks (Africans, as Taney referred to them) are an inferior race, they are only fit to serve the interests of other human beings. No African, therefore, can ever be protected by the Constitution.  Referring to the language in the Declaration of Independence that includes the phrase, “all men are created equal,” Taney reasoned that “it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration….”

In addition, he declared that Scott had never been free, due to the fact that slaves were personal property; thus the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was unconstitutional, and the Federal Government had no right to prohibit slavery in the new territories. The court appeared to be sanctioning slavery under the terms of the Constitution itself, and saying that slavery could not be outlawed or restricted within the United States.

There was a growing abolitionist movement in the United States at the time, particularly in the northern states.  And the Dred Scott decision gave further fuel to ignite the movement.  As mentioned above, Abraham Lincoln ran in 1860 on a platform which promised to end the spread of slavery. He would prohibit slavery in any territory of the United States; only those states already established would be able to keep the institution. He believed if slavery was contained, it would easily die a natural death.  [3]

When Lincoln won the election, and even before he was inaugurated, the southern states began to secede from the Union.  South Carolina led the way.  Eleven southern states would secede and form a new nation – the Confederate States of America – with their own constitution, government, and leaders. Their new constitution permitted slavery outright.  President Lincoln, believing the states had no right to secede, attacked the Confederacy (at Fort Sumter) and engaged them a Civil War from 1861-1865.

The Civil War was fought for many reasons but one instigating factor was slavery, indeed.  While the North did not invade the South for the purpose of abolishing slavery, in 1863, it became politically expedient for Lincoln to announce that slaves will be emancipated.  He figured it would energize the war effort, hasten the defeat of the South, and end the war.  And so, on January 1, as the nation approached its third year of horrible bloodshed, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation which declared that “all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforward, shall be free.”  The 1963 Emancipation Proclamation was a great boost for moral, particularly among slaves and abolitionists.

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways.  First, it would be seen as a temporary war measure, since it was solely based on Lincoln’s war powers. Furthermore, the Proclamation did not free any slaves in the border states nor itself make slavery illegal. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.  What it did, however, was to invigorate the abolitionist sentiment in the north, and more importantly, it changed the character of the war.  The war went from being a war to re-unite and save the Union to a war to free the slaves.  After Lincoln delivered the Proclamation, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, approximately 186,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and for freedom.  But how to overcome the limitations of the Emancipation Proclamation and memorialize the intent and spirit it represented?

A constitutional amendment would have to be the answer.

Even before the war had come to an end, in April 1865, an amendment to the US Constitution was drafted to abolish slavery and a vote was taken in Congress.  It would be the 13th Amendment, which provides: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”  The Senate proposed the amendment in February of 1864 and passed it two months later.  But the House refused to pass it.  President Lincoln then got involved.  If the House wouldn’t pass it, then he would make sure the amendment was added to the Republican Party platform for the upcoming Presidential election. His efforts must have worked because the House passed the joint resolution (the 13th Amendment) on January 31, 1865, by a vote of 119 to 56.  It was a very partisan amendment, with 100% of House republicans voting in favor and only 23% of democrats supporting it. It was then sent to the states for adoption.  Note that the Civil War had not yet been won at this point.  The bloody war would not end until April 9, when the great General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia (the confederate army) to the victorious General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

The 13th Amendment was finally ratified on December 6, 1865 when 27 out of the 36 states ratified it (= 3/4 of the states, as required by Article V of the Constitution).  Unfortunately, Lincoln would not live to see the day when slavery would be officially abolished in the country for he was assassinated on Good Friday, April 14.

When the war ended, and the Confederate States of America were defeated, plans had to be made for the individual southern states to re-enter the Union.  Conditions had to be required. And as it turned out, some degree of punishment would be inflicted as well.  While the 13th Amendment received the approval of 3/4 of the states and became effective as part of the Constitution, many of the southern states were still bitter and not willing to recognize blacks as anything other than slaves or an inferior race of people. Slavery may have been abolished by the Constitution but it didn’t mean that they, as states, had to treat them any differently.  Blacks may have been free, but the states weren’t about to permit them to be citizens.  And so Congress came up with the Civil Rights Act.

That was still the year of 1865.

In 1865,  Republican Senator Lyman Trumbull (of Illinois) proposed the Civil Rights Act.  (He was also the co- drafter of the 13th Amendment).  The Civil Rights Act declared that people born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.  It also said that any citizen has the same right as a white citizen to make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.  The Civil Rights Act passed both houses of Congress, but President Andrew Johnson vetoed it – in 1865 and then again in 1866.  But in 1866, a 2/3 majority in each house overcame the veto and the bill became law (hence, the official name of the legislation – the Civil Rights Act of 1866).  But that victory didn’t come without a fight by the Democrats.  Democrats tried to stall the passing of this legislation by declaring it was unconstitutional, but Trumball, an attorney and former chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, countered by arguing that Congress had power to enact it in order to eliminate a discriminatory “badge of servitude” prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment.  [In the 20th century, the US Supreme Court would ultimately adopt Trumbull’s rationale in finding congressional power to ban racial discrimination by states and by private parties].

To eliminate any doubt about its constitutionality and to make sure that no subsequent Congress would later repeal or alter its core provisions, Republican members of  Congress decided to memorialize the Civil Rights Act in a constitutional amendment. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 would become our 14th Amendment.  Republican members of the US Congress took advantage of the fact that the southern states were not yet restored to the Union.  In order to be sure that they had the required majority of Senators to pass the amendment (2/3, as required by Article V of the Constitution), they pulled a fast one.  They simply refused to seat Senators from the southern states.

The 14th Amendment declares that free slaves are citizens – not only of the United States but also of the state in which they reside – and as such are entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizenship.  (“All persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the state they reside.”)   It also provides that freed slaves cannot be deprived of Life, Liberty, and Property without Due Process and that they are entitled to the Equal Protection of the laws.  The Citizenship Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment paralleled the “citizenship” language and the “nondiscrimination” language, respectively, in the Civil Rights Act of 1866.  (They would not be re-admitted until 1868- 1870).

Specifically, the 14th Amendment reads:   Section 1:  “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that expressly overruled the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which declared that all blacks – slaves as well as free – were not and could never become citizens of the United States.  The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural rights. And the Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in our schools.

The 14th Amendment was proposed on June 13, 1866, as House Joint Resolution 127, and was then immediately sent to the states for ratification.  At that time, the eleven defeated confederate states were not yet re-admitted to the Union. Nonetheless, as with the 13th Amendment, they were asked to ratify the 14th Amendment, which all refused to do – except Tennessee, which adopted it immediately and was therefore permitted re-admission. It was re-admitted on July 24, 1866. (Tennessee had been conflicted even from the very beginning as to whether it wanted to secede or not.  In fact, after the state legislature voted to secede from the Union, a large portion of the population tried to secede from Tennessee and remain with the Union).  In addition, the 14th Amendment was decidedly rejected by the border states as well. By March 1867, twenty states had ratified and thirteen had rejected the proposed amendment. With the southern and border states refusing to adopt the 14th Amendment, it failed to secure the 3/4 of states necessary for ratification as required under Article V.   And so the amendment failed to pass.

After learning that the proposed amendment’s failure, the Republicans (specifically referred to as the “Radical Republicans”) in Congress responded by passing the Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867, which essentially put the south under martial law and restricted their abilities to govern themselves and to participate in the federal government.  Under the congressional plan, the former confederacy (minus Tennessee) was broken up into five military districts. Each district was under the control of federal troops and headed by a particular northern Civil War general.  This was the notorious Reconstruction Era, which would have longstanding impressions on the southern states.  The purpose of Reconstruction, as was made clear by the Reconstruction Act, was to punish the South.  The law set out to determine the conditions under which the southern states would be permitted to return to the Union, how they would be re-seated in government, how they would govern themselves, what would become of their “rebellious” leaders, and how they would treat their freedmen.  All this would be determined while the states were under martial law and under the scrutiny of the federal government.  Specifically, in order to be re-admitted to the Union , the states would have to rewrite their constitutions to disqualify former Confederate officials from office and guarantee black males the right to vote.  Most importantly, the states would have to ratify the 14th Amendment.  Once these conditions were met and military rule was ended, then could the former confederate states be re-admitted to the Union.  As one Republican (northern) representative described the situation: “The people of the South have rejected the constitutional amendment and therefore we will march upon them and force them to adopt it at the point of the bayonet.”

By July 9, 1868, with ratification by North Carolina, Louisiana, and then South Carolina, enough states had ratified the 14th Amendment so that it was certified to become part of the US Constitution.  It would not be until 1870 that the last southern state, Georgia, would be re-admitted and the Union would be reconstituted.  [4]

Let’s return again to the year 1865.  In that year, the Republican Congress created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands (aka, “Freedman’s Bureau”) to help freed slaves transition from bondage to freedom.  An Inquiry Commission was tasked with assessing the needs of Freedman to justify whether such a Bureau was  worthwhile, and in their Final Report, the Commission concluded:

“Let us beware the temptation to treat the colored people with less than even justice, because they have been, and still are, lowly and feeble. Let us bear in mind that, with governments as with individuals, the crucial test of civilization and sense of justice is their treatment of the weak and the dependent.

God is offering to us an opportunity of atoning, in some measure, to the African for our former complicity in his wrongs. For our own sakes, as well as for his, let it not be lost. As we would that He should be to us and to our children, so let us be to those whose dearest interests are, by His providence, committed for the time to our charge.

As regards the question, What amount of aid and interference is necessary or desirable to enable the freedmen to tide over the stormy transition from slavery to freedom?   We have chiefly to say that there is as much danger in doing too much as in doing too little. The risk is serious that, under the guise of guardianship, slavery, in a modified form, may be practically restoredThose who have ceased, only perforce, to be slave-holders, will be sure to unite their efforts to effect just such a purpose. It should be the earnest object of all friends of liberty to anticipate and prevent it. Benevolence itself, misdirected, may play into the hands of freedom’s enemies, and those whose earnest endeavor is the good of the freedman may, unconsciously, contribute to his virtual re-enslavement.

The refugees from slavery, when they first cross our lines, need temporary aid, but not more than indigent Southern whites fleeing from secessionism, both being sufferers from the disturbance of labor and the destruction of its products incident to war. The families of colored men, hired as military laborers or enlisted as soldiers, need protection and assistance, but not more than the families of white men similarly situated. Forcibly deprived of education in a state of slavery, the freedmen have a claim upon us to lend a helping hand until they can organize schools for their children. But they will soon take the labor and expense out of our hands, for these people pay no charge more willingly than that which assures them that their children shall reap those advantages of instruction which were denied to themselves.

For a time we need a freedman’s bureau, but not because these people are negroes, only because they are men who have been, for generations, despoiled of their rights. The Commission has, in supplemental report made to you last December, recommended the establishment of such a bureau, and they believe that all that is essential to its proper organization is contained, substantially, in a bill to that effect reported on April 12 from the Senate Committee on Slavery and Freedmen.”

The Freedman’s Bureau established schools to teach freed slaves how to read and write and provide them with a basic education. The Bureau also provided food, set up courts to protect emancipated slaves’ contractual and other civil rights, and founded savings banks to protect their assets. The crowning achievement of the Freedman’s Bureau was its significant accomplishments in the area education, particularly in the face of the hostile political environment towards blacks at the time. By the end of 1867, the number of schools had doubled and the number of blacks (adults and children) being educated had tripled.  At the same time, the number of banks (including the “Freedman’s Saving & Trust Company,” chartered by Congress) had increased and freedmen were saving at a rate of four times higher than the previous year to purchase homestead plots and businesses.

Unfortunately, the activities of groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), as well as state action in the form of Black Codes and then Jim Crow, would present barriers to the Republican’s plan to advance the freed slaves and make sure that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would fail to secure their civil rights. The KKK, as we’ll soon see, was started in 1866 to frustrate the attempts of Republicans to infect the South.  Black Codes were laws that were passed in the 1860′s by the Southern states (and varying from state to state), to maintain the inferiority of freed blacks and to undermine their civil rights. The black codes were passed in retaliation to the abolition of slavery and the defeat by the North.  They had their roots in the former slave codes, which were premised on the notion that Africans were property, or chattel (and therefore, had very few, if any, legal rights).  Black Codes were distinct from Jim Crow. Jim Crow refers to an era ushered in later in the 19th century, following Reconstruction.

As mentioned earlier, 1867 was the start of the Reconstruction Era.  In order to be re-admitted to the Union , the former confederate states would have to endure military rule until they met the conditions set forth in the Reconstruction Act –  including rewriting their constitutions to disqualify former Confederate officials from office, guaranteeing black males the right to vote, and ratifying the 14th Amendment.  During Reconstruction, military governors oversaw the registration of voters, in order that freed slaves were not disenfranchised. Under the scrutiny of federal troops, elections were held in which the freed slaves could vote. At the same time, while whites who held leading positions under the Confederacy were not only barred from running for office but were also temporarily denied the right to vote.  It was a profoundly bitter time for the South.

Reconstruction was never part of Lincoln’s plan to restore the Union.  We have to take him at his word.  In his second Inaugural Address, he declared: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace.”

As one reference describes that period of time for the South: “Reconstruction is the period after the war when the South was under martial law and when the people basically lost their rights as Americans, was a terrible time for the citizens of the former Confederate States of America. It was intended by the US Congress as punishment for secession. The South was controlled by military leaders, who may have been excellent commanders in battle, but were pretty much universally horrible as governors. A ‘carpetbagger’ government was put in place… Men who were generally scoundrels and often criminals served as ‘rulers’ of the states and communities. They appointed former Union sympathizers and former slaves in positions of authority, to infuriate and humiliate the people. This was pretty much a lawless time throughout much of the south, not unlike that in the western territories. [Former Civil War General Nathaniel Bedford] Forrest described that government as ‘I believe that party to be composed, as I know it is in Tennessee, of the worst men on Gods earth – men who would not hesitate at no crime, and who have only one object in view – to enrich themselves.’ “  [ www.freesociety.com]

Reconstruction would last for 17 years and would be responsible for much of the resentment that the South continues to feel for the North and for the government in general.

In ten out of the eleven seceding southern states (again, all except Tennessee), black freedmen and white transplants from the North (known as “carpetbaggers” because many brought their belongings in large carpet bags)  and white Southerners who switched allegiance and supported Reconstruction (known as “scalawags“) joined together to establish republican bi-racial state governments during the Reconstruction era. They introduced various reconstruction programs, secured massive federal aid to re-build railroads and other transportation, established public school systems, and raised taxes to fund it all.  They also helped freed blacks become involved in the local government, become educated, and become employed. These groups, however, were seen as outsiders and/or traitors and were attempting to transform the South into a society that it wasn’t ready to accept. They would have to be stopped.  Thus was born the Ku Klux Klan.

History teaches us that the Ku Klux Klan was a violent organization aimed at terrorizing and intimidating former slaves. They operated as a secret society – a bunch of cowards with white gowns and masks, often carrying guns and a noose.  We know the Klan’s record of burning crosses and lynching negroes. We know its record on civil rights.

But the reason the Ku Klux Klan was formed was for a far different purpose.  The KKK was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by six former Confederate officers of the Civil War.  These men approached distinguished General Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the great heroes of the war, with the idea of a “police force” and asked for his “blessings,” for he held the love and respect of the people.  He gave his blessings, and in return, he was appointed their first leader. He was the first Grand Wizard.  He would describe the organization as a social club and as “a protective political military organization.”  It was initially formed to help take care of poor Confederate widows.  They also fought crime and “took care” of criminals.  In other words, they basically restored order to the South, where for years there was none.

In an interview, General Forrest had this to say: “Yes, sir. It is a protective political military organization. I am willing to show any man the constitution of the society. The members are sworn to recognize the government of the United States. It does not say anything at all about the government of Tennessee. Its objects originally were protection against Loyal Leagues and the Grand Army of the Republic; but after it became general it was found that political matters and interests could best be promoted within it, and it was then made a political organization, giving its support, of course, to the democratic party…….Since its organization, the leagues have quit killing and murdering our people. There were some foolish young men who put masks on their faces and rode over the country, frightening negroes, but orders have been issued to stop that, and it has ceased. You may say, further, that three members of the Ku-Klux have been court-martialed and shot for violations of the orders not to disturb or molest people.”

But soon, the Klan took on a more aggressive nature.  It began to “persuade” freed blacks to assume their former status and to “scare” them into not voting or running for any elected office, as well as to harass and intimidate northern transplants, southern republicans, and other southerners who were supportive of the Union.

Controversy exists over whether Forrest actually played an active part in the organization and when he decided to sever his associate with it.  Within a year or two of the Klan’s founding,  Forrest was asked if he was a member and he answered: “I am not, but am in sympathy and will co-operate with them. I know that they are charged with many crimes that they are not guilty of.”  In 1869  he asked the KKK to disband, stating: “being perverted from its original honorable and patriotic purposes, becoming injurious instead of subservient to the public peace.”

Again, the KKK, as originally intended, did not target Negroes.  In fact, Forrest gave many speeches and talks around the Memphis area from 1866, the year the KKK was founded, until 1874.  Most of these speeches talked of peace, patriotism for the US Constitution, and trying to bring the country back together.  On several occasions, he addressed black groups, to which he spoke these words: “We are born on the same soil, breathe the same air, live on the same land, and why should we not be brothers and sisters?”  This is hardly the rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan that it would later become — a murderous hate group.

[Someone once asked Robert E. Lee to name the greatest soldier produced on either side during the war and he replied, “A man I have never seen, sir. His name is Forrest.”  William Tecumseh Sherman, General of the Army of the Potomac, who during the War called him “that devil Forrest,” also had a high opinion of Forrest and said, “Forrest was the most remarkable man our Civil War produced on either side.” ]

As we all know, the KKK would continue on to spread into nearly every Southern state, launching a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders – black and white.  It would become the “militant arm” of the Democratic Party.  Forrest’s grandson, Nathan Bedford Forrest II, a democrat and Grand Dragon of the KKK, wrote in the September 1928 edition of the Klan’s The Kourier Magazine: “I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat.  My father  never voted for any man who was not a Democrat.  My grandfather was the head of the Ku Klux Klan in the Reconstruction days….  My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat….  My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.”

In Dr. Eric Foner’s book, A Short History of Reconstruction, he wrote: “In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired the restoration of white supremacy.  It aimed to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.”  [pg. 184].  He provides many accounts of the horrific acts of terror inflicted by Democrats on black and white Republicans.  Professor Foner recounts one such act of  terror: “Jack Dupree was a victim of a particularly brutal murder in Monroe County, Mississippi. Assailants cut his throat and disemboweled him, all within sight of his wife, who had just given birth to twins.  He was ‘president of a republican club‘ and known as a man who ‘would speak his mind.’”   [pp. 184-185].

After examining the abundant evidence concerning this violence, US Senator Roscoe Conkling concluded that the Democratic Party was determined to exterminate blacks in those States where Democratic supremacy was threatened.  As a response to Democratic violence in the South, and in order to further secure the civil rights of blacks, Congress passed the 15th Amendment, explicitly guaranteeing voting rights for blacks.

The 15th Amendment – the final of the three post-war civil rights amendments was proposed by the US Congress on February 26, 1869.  It was ratified by the states in 1870.  It was the first-ever constitutional expansion of voting rights.  Like the two previous civil rights amendments, it was passed along partisan lines. Not a single one of the 56 Democrats in Congress at that time voted for the 15th Amendment.  Not a single Democrat, either from the North or the South, supported granting explicit voting rights to black Americans. Several fierce advocates of equal rights, like Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, abstained from voting because it did not go far enough, in their opinion.  They wanted the amendment to prohibit such arbitrary schemes which states might use to restrict black suffrage, such as literacy tests and poll taxes. Yet, despite the opposition from Democrats, the 15th Amendment did pass, thanks to the overwhelming support by Republican legislators. With the passage of this Amendment, leading abolitionist Wendell Phillips joyfully exclaimed, “We have washed color out of the Constitution!”

Reconstruction officially ended with the presidential election of 1876, which is discussed below. The newly-elected president, Rutherford B. Hayes, removed the remaining federal soldiers from the military districts and the southern states were once again free to resume their traditional state functions. Once the soldiers were gone, however, southern Democrats started mistreating the black people again with no fear of punishment because there were no soldiers to enforce the new laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the civil rights amendments.  As Republican influence was waning in the former confederacy, there was little political protection for the emancipated blacks from the Republican Party. It would only get worse in the years following the end of martial law.

The period that followed Reconstruction was known as “Redemption.”  Redeemers were part of the Southern Democrats who sought to oust the Republican coalition of freedmen, carpetbaggers, and scalawags and “redeem” the states from the Republicans back to the Democrats.  Redemption would be complete before the election of 1880.

It wasn’t until 1876 that the Southern Democrats were finally able to regain state political control. And it occurred thanks to the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan and other more formal paramilitary (terrorist/intimidation) groups affiliated with the Democratic Party, such as the White League and the Red Shirts.  And it most specifically occurred thanks to the fraud and controversy which surrounded the 1876 election between Republican presidential candidate Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden.  By 1876, only 3 states – Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida – were not yet “redeemed.”  The election ended up with 20 disputed electoral votes.  On election night, as the votes were counted and the results circulated about the country by telegraph, it was clear that Tilden had won the popular vote.  His final popular vote tally would be 4,288,546. The total popular vote for Hayes was 4,034,311. But the election was deadlocked. Tilden had 184 electoral votes, one vote short of the required majority. Four states – Oregon, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida – had disputed elections, and those states held 20 electoral votes.

A special commission, the Electoral Commission, was established by Congress to resolve those votes. There were 15 members – 7 members from the Democratic House, 7 members from the Republican Senate, and one member from the Supreme Court (who turned out to be a Republican). The commission voted along strict partisan lines to award all the disputed voted to Hayes, making him the winner by an electoral count of 185-184.  Infuriated Democrats threatened to contest the election results until a deal was struck with Republicans. The Democrats would agree to support the commission’s finding in exchange for removing federal troops from the South, naming a Southerner to the Hayes’ cabinet, and allocating federal aid to the South.  The Democratic Party regained power in South Carolina in 1877 and other states quickly followed.  Thus was the quick rise and fall of the Republican Party in the South.

The 1880′s began the period known as the Jim Crow era.  This was the era where democratic state legislatures attempted to roll back the advances on behalf of freed slaves and other blacks by the Republicans. It was during this time that democratic state legislatures disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites through a combination of state constitutional amendments and electoral laws. They segregated blacks from white society and plantation owners found new ways to bind their former slaves as miserably-paid workers through sharecropping and other contractual arrangements. For all intents and purposes, many blacks found themselves in virtually the same position they had occupied before their emancipation.

In 1896, the Supreme Court heard the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which addressed a  Louisiana Jim Crow law that segregated rail cars. Homer Plessy, a black man, tried to board a “whites-only” train in Louisiana when the car designated for blacks was full.  Once he boarded, he was forcibly removed and jailed. He sued the state, claiming the Louisiana segregation laws violated both his 13th and 14th Amendment rights. The Supreme Court, by a vote of 8-1, ruled that the 14th Amendment did not include a requirement that the races needed to be co-mingled and therefore upheld the doctrine of “Separate but Equal” when it came to facilities for blacks.  Segregation was justified, providing the facilities and services were essentially equal.  Plessy marked the beginning of a 58-year period where Jim Crow laws were largely unchallenged and condoned by the federal government.  It not only perpetuated the white supremacist beliefs of the time, but also made it possible for states to make and enforce Jim Crow laws with impunity.

As admirable and inspiring as blacks were in the years following their liberation, a stark contrast in human nature was seen by the forces against them. Groups like the KKK and southern democrats behaved shamefully, deplorably, and inhumanely. Blacks began a distinguished, dignified, and long-overdue chapter in their history after the Civil War, but the opposite was true for the groups who acted in opposition to their freedom and to their rapid success. Many southern Democrats despised blacks and Republicans and they utilized every means possible to keep them from voting – including not only the use of devious and cunning means but also the direct use of violence. Here’s the thing. After slavery was abolished, ALL freed slaves and other blacks were Republicans. [In the South, whites were mostly Democratic, but some could be Republican. Southern whites loyal to the antebellum South were mostly Democratic. Whites who sympathized with the North and wanted civil rights for blacks were Republican (scalawags). The worst thing you could be in the Reconstruction era South, and in the years that followed, was a Republican. And the most offensive Republican was a black one.

By 1900, democrats actually began actively to seek a repeal of the 14th and 15th Amendments.  As democratic Senator Ben Tillman from South Carolina explained:  “We made up our minds that the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were themselves null and void; that the civil rights acts of Congress were null and void; that oaths required by such laws were null and void.”  Prominent democratic leader A. W. Terrell of Texas said that the 15th Amendment guaranteeing black voting rights was “the political blunder of the century.”

Democrats from both the North and the South agreed with Terrell and Tillman, and several asked for a repeal of the  amendments.  Louisiana Senator Samuel McEnery, who was one of those democrats, was confident that the effort would succeed.  He even declared: “I believe that not a single southern Senator would object to such a move.”  Fortunately, the attempt failed.

In 1901, at the same time that democrats were seeking to roll back the civil rights amendments, republican President Teddy Roosevelt infuriated many democrats by inviting Booker T. Washington, a mulatto former slave who went on to become the leader of the Tuskegee Institute, to the White House.  Washington became the first American of African descent to dine with a President at the White House.  He served as an advisor to three republican US presidents – William McKinley, Roosevelt, and William Taft.  Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, however, would not seek his counsel.

In 1915, the pro-Klan movie “Birth of a Nation” by D.W. Griffith was released to help beef up the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan.  It was based on a book called “The Clansman” which was written by an avid racist, Thomas Dixon Jr.  Dixon’s text incorporated some material from Woodrow Wilson’s book, “History of the American People” – particularly the part portraying the Ku Klux Klan in a sympathetic light.  For example, it includes this piece from Wilson’s book: “The white men were roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation until at last there had spring into existence a great Ku Klux Klan, a veritable empire of the South, to protect the Southern country.”  This section also made it into Griffith’s movie.  Democratic president Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) held a private showing of this racist Klan-recruiting film at the White House.  It was the first film to ever be shown at the White House.  How racist was this film?  It would become a major recruiting tool.  It would be so successful that it helped the Klan to reach its peak membership of almost two million. Could the success in recruitment stem, perhaps, from an endorsement of the film from the highest office in the land?

President Woodrow Wilson was the first southerner to be elected to the White House since 1844 and only the second Democrat to be elected since Reconstruction. While he is respected as a scholar (serving as president of Princeton University) and viewed as a man of peace, especially in the public school system (he presented his “Fourteen Points of Peace” to Congress for establishing a lasting peace in Europe after WWI and wanted so badly to establish his particular version of a League of Nations), he was also regarded as an outright racist and a white supremacist. There is certainly an abundance of historical documentation to support this statement. While serving as the president of Princeton, Wilson discouraged black from applying to the university.  And then when he served as Governor of New Jersey, he refused to confirm the hiring of blacks in his administration. As Wilson was known to say: “Segregation is not humiliating; it’s a benefit!” As historians explain, he was a product of the pre- and post-war South and was brought up under the assumption at the time that the black race was inferior to the Saxon people. He was also bitter over the forced policies of Reconstruction on the southern states.  He feared what might arise from a South “ruled by an ignorant and inferior race.”  Ironically, in the election of 1912, “an unprecedented number” of blacks left the Republican Party to cast their vote for Wilson, a Democrat because they were encouraged by his promises of support for minorities.

But once he took office however, he acted contrary to his campaign promises. Black leaders quickly noticed that he put segregationist white southern democrats in charge of many executive departments.  He fired most of the blacks who held appointed posts within the federal government, and then permitted his segregationist cabinet appointees to establish official segregation policies in the Post Office, Treasury, and Navy, which until that time had been desegregated.  (Many of these would remain segregated clear into the Truman administration, in the 1940’s). Suddenly, under his authority, photographs were required of all applicants for federal jobs and new facilities were designed to keep the races working there separated (including separate toilets and lunch rooms).  And then the democrat-controlled House proposed passed a bill making it a felony for any black person to marry a white person in Washington DC.

In the early 20th century, African-Americans needed a President to offer them hope.  In many parts of the country, mostly in the South however, whites made them feel inferior.  State laws enshrined a presumption of inferiority. And the Supreme Court had upheld those laws, thereby allowing the perpetuation of such laws and establishing cruel stereotypes.  In the early 1860’s, Abraham Lincoln was one such president who offered hope.  In a time when it wasn’t necessarily acceptable, he formed a strong friendship with a man of color – Frederick Douglass, a freed slave.  Douglass was welcome at the White House and was often there to speak with the President.  The mutual affection the men had for each other inspired Douglass to write these words in his memoirs after Lincoln was assassinated: “I have often said elsewhere what I wish to repeat here, that Mr. Lincoln was not only a great president, but a great man — too great to be small in anything. In his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color.”

But Woodrow Wilson would not be that kind of president.  His government policies would remind black Americans of their humble origin and of their unpopular color.  It would remind them of the low expectations that the country still had of them.  Robert Kennedy once spoke most eloquently about the importance of standing up for the rights of others. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

The Jim Crow effectively ended in 1954 when the Supreme Court struck down school segregation in the Brown v. Board of Education case.  The case addressed de jure(legislative) segregation in public schools.  Segregation was permissible at the time, supported by the Plessy standard – “separate-but-equal.” As long as facilities were fairly equal, the Supreme Court did not interpret the 14th Amendment to require a physical mixing of the races. With Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court kept the spirit of Jim Crow alive by proclaiming from the highest legal tribunal that segregation was permissible under the 14th Amendment’s notion of Equal Protection of the laws.  But after looking at the particular case of public school segregation, Chief Justice Earl Warren, who delivered the Court’s opinion, declared that the doctrine of “separate-but-equal” doctrine of Plessy had no place in public education. It was a personal opinion that he held strongly and which he apparently withheld during his Senate confirmation for the high court.  He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1953 by President Harry Truman just in time for oral arguments in the Brown case.  As soon as the Senate confirmed him, he told his colleagues on the bench that he believed racial segregation violated the Constitution and that only if one considered African Americans inferior to whites could the practice be upheld.

Chief Justice Earl Warren was a Republican. In fact, he ran as a Republican for the seat of Governor of California, which he won. He served three terms. 

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and was a major victory of the civil rights movement.  It is said that the case was decided by the results of a “doll test.”

The doll test at the heart of the Brown decision was designed by Mamie and Kenneth Clark, African-American (husband and wife) psychologists, to study the effects of segregation and racism on the self-esteem of black children.  In the test, black children were put in a room with two types of dolls – a white doll with blonde hair and a brown doll with black hair – and then observed to see which dolls they preferred to play with. The children were then asked questions inquiring as to which doll is the nice doll, which one looks bad, which one has the nicer color, etc.  (Mamie used a similar test as the basis of her master’s thesis).  All the black children preferred the white dolls.  The findings of the Clarks’ doll test were submitted to the Supreme Court as evidence of the negative impact of segregation on the mental and psychological status of black schoolchildren. The Clarks concluded that the children felt the impact of segregation and felt a sense of inferiority.

The key holding of the Court was that, even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and unconstitutional. They found that a significant psychological and social disadvantage was given to black children from the nature of segregation itself (drawing on the “doll study” research). This aspect was vital because the question was not whether the schools were “equal,” which under the Plessy standard, they should have been, but whether the doctrine of “separate-but-equal” was constitutional with respect to public education. The justices answered with a strong “no.”  Chief Justice Warren wrote:

Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does… Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system… We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The decision did not sit well with Southern Democrats.  After 90 years, they still weren’t willing to allow blacks to “sit at the same table” with whites.

In a campaign known as “Massive Resistance,” Southern white legislators and school boards enacted laws and policies to evade or defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown ruling and its mandate to desegregate schools “with all deliberate speed.”  [Brown v. Board of Education II (1955), where the Supreme Court specifically addressed the relief that would be appropriate in light of the 1954 Brown decision].  In 1956, nearly every congressman in the Deep South – 101 in all (out of the 128 total in the region) – signed a document entitled the “Southern Manifesto,” drafted by Senator Strom Thurmond, to repudiate the decision.  19 Senators and 77 members of the US House from the southern states signed it.  Of all the 101 southern legislators who signed the document, all were Southern Democrats – except two congressman from Virginia who were Republicans. The Southern Manifesto said the Brown decision not only represented “a clear abuse of judicial power,” but it was an unconstitutional interpretation. It argued that the Constitution does not grant the government the power to legislate in the area of education and it has no power to force states to integrate their schools. Furthermore, the signers urged their state officials to resist implementing the Court’s mandates.

Two years later, in response to the Southern Manifesto and in response to southern opposition in general, the Supreme Court revisited the Brown decision in Cooper v. Aaron(1958), asserting that the states were bound by the ruling and affirming that its interpretation of the Constitution was the “supreme law of the land.”

The Southern Manifesto on Integration (of March 12, 1956) read:

      The unwarranted decision of the Supreme Court in the public school cases is now bearing the fruit always produced when men substitute naked power for established law.

     The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution of checks and balances because they realized the inescapable lesson of history that no man or group of men can be safely entrusted with unlimited power. They framed this Constitution with its provisions for change by amendment in order to secure the fundamentals of government against the dangers of temporary popular passion or the personal predilections of public officeholders. 

     We regard the decision of the Supreme Court in the school cases as clear abuse of judicial power. It climaxes a trend in the Federal judiciary undertaking to legislate, in derogation of the authority of Congress, and to encroach upon the reserved rights of the states and the people. 

     The original Constitution does not mention education. Neither does the Fourteenth Amendment nor any other amendment. The debates preceding the submission of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly show that there was no intent that it should affect the systems of education maintained by the states. 

     The very Congress which proposed the amendment subsequently provided for segregated schools in the District of Columbia. 

     When the amendment was adopted in 1868, there were thirty-seven states of the Union. Every one of the twenty-six states that had any substantial racial differences among its people either approved the operation of segregated schools already in existence or subsequently established such schools by action of the same law-making body which considered the Fourteenth Amendment. 

     As admitted by the Supreme Court in the public school case (Brown v. Board of Education), the doctrine of separate but equal schools “apparently originated in Roberts v. City of Boston (1849), upholding school segregation against attack as being violative of a state constitutional guarantee of equality.” This constitutional doctrine began in the North – not in the South – and it was followed not only in Massachusetts but in Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other northern states until they, exercising their rights as states through the constitutional processes of local self-government, changed their school systems. 

      In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 the Supreme Court expressly declared that under the Fourteenth Amendment no person was denied any of his rights if the states provided separate but equal public facilities. This decision has been followed in many other cases. It is notable that the Supreme Court, speaking through Chief Justice Taft, a former President of the United States, unanimously declared in 1927 in Lum v. Rice that the “separate but equal” principle is “within the discretion of the state in regulating its public schools and does not conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment.” 

     This interpretation, restated time and again, became a part of the life of the people of many of the states and confirmed their habits, customs, traditions and way of life. It is founded on elemental humanity and common sense, for parents should not be deprived by Government of the right to direct the lives and education of their own children. 

     Though there has been no constitutional amendment or act of Congress changing this established legal principle almost a century old, the Supreme Court of the United States, with no legal basis for such action, undertook to exercise their naked judicial power and substituted their personal political and social ideas for the established law of the land. 

     This unwarranted exercise of power by the court, contrary to the Constitution, is creating chaos and confusion in the states principally affected. It is destroying the amicable relations between the white and Negro races that have been created through ninety years of patient effort by the good people of both races. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding. 

      Without regard to the consent of the governed, outside agitators are threatening immediate and revolutionary changes in our public school systems. If done, this is certain to destroy the system of public education in some of the states. 

     With the gravest concern for the explosive and dangerous condition created by this decision and inflamed by outside meddlers. 

     We reaffirm our reliance on the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land. 

     We decry the Supreme Court’s encroachments on rights reserved to the states and to the people, contrary to established law and to the Constitution.

     We commend the motives of those states which have declared the intention to resist forced integration by any lawful means. 

     We appeal to the states and people who are not directly affected by these decisions to consider the constitutional principles involved against the time when they too, on issues vital to them, may be the victims of judicial encroachment. 

     Even though we constitute a minority in the present congress, we have full faith that a majority of the American people believe in the dual system of government which has enabled us to achieve our greatness and will in time demand that the reserved rights of the states and of the people be made secure against judicial usurpation. 

     We pledge ourselves to use all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation. 

     In this trying period, as we all seek to right this wrong, we appeal to our people not to be provoked by the agitators and troublemakers invading our states and to scrupulously refrain from disorder and lawless acts.

Signed by:

Members of the United States Senate:
Alabama:  John Sparkman and Lister Hill.
Arkansas:  J. W. Fulbright and John L. McClellan.
Florida:  George A. Smathers and Spessard L. Holland.
Georgia:  Walter F. George and Richard B. Russell.
Louisiana:  Allen J. Ellender and Russell B. Lono.
Mississippi:  John Stennis and James O. Eastland.
North Carolina:  Sam J. Ervin Jr. and W. Kerr Scott.
South Carolina:  Strom Thurmond and Olin D. Johnston.
Texas:  Price Daniel.
Virginia:  Harry F. Bird and A. Willis Robertson.

Members of the United States House of Representatives:
Alabama:  Frank J. Boykin, George M. Grant, George M. Andrews, Kenneth R. Roberts, Albert Rains, Armistead I. Selden Jr., Carl Elliott, Robert E. Jones and George Huddleston Jr.
Arkansas:  E. C. Gathings, Wilbur D. Mills, James W. Trimble, Oren Harris, Brooks Hays, F. W. Norrell.
Florida:  Charles E. Bennett Robert L. Sikes, A. S. Her Jr., Paul G. Rogers, James A. Haley, D. R. Matthews.
Georgia:  Prince H. Preston, John L. Pilcher, E. L. Forrester, John James Flint Jr., James C. Davis, Carl Vinson, Henderson Lanham, Iris F. Blitch, Phil M. Landrum, Paul Brown.
Louisiana:  F. Edward Hebert, Hale Boggs, Edwin E. Willis, Overton Brooks, Otto E. Passman, James H. Morrison, T. Ashton Thompson, George S. Long.
Mississippi:  Thomas G. Abernethy, Jamie L. Whitten, Frank E. Smith, John Bell Williams, Arthur Winsted, William M. Colmer.
North Carolina:  Herbert C. Bonner, L. H. Fountain, Graham A. Barden, Carl T. Durham, F. Ertel Carlyle, Hugh Q. Alexander, Woodrow W. Jones, George A. Shuford.
South Carolina:  L. Mendel Rivers, John J. Riley, W. J. Bryan Dorn, Robert T. Ashmore, James P. Richards, John L. McMillan.
Tennessee:  James B. Frazier Jr., Tom Murray, Jere Cooper, Clifford Davis.
Texas:  Wright Patman, John Dowdy, Walter Rogers, O. C. Fisher.
Virginia:  Edward J. Robeson Jr., Porter Hardy Jr., J. Vaughan Gary, Watkins M. Abbitt, William M. Tuck, Richard H. Poff, Burr P. Harrison, Howard W. Smith, W. Pat Jennings, Joel T. Broyhill.

[From Congressional Record, 84th Congress Second Session. Vol. 102, part 4. Washington, D.C.: Governmental Printing Office, 1956. 4459-4460]

***  Joel Broyhill and Richard Poff of Virginia were the only Republicans to sign the Southern Manifesto.  All the others were Southern Democrats

It was not unexpected that Strom Thurmond would draft something like the “Southern Manifesto.”  In 1948, after serving as Governor of South Carolina, he ran for President. But he didn’t run as any ordinary Democrat.  He ran as a Dixiecrat, which was an extremist wing of the Democratic Party – also known as the States’ Rights Democratic Party.  In 1948, the Dixiecrats issued their nine-point platform.  Points four through six read as follows:

(4)  We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one’s associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to earn one’s living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights.

(5)  We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling for the elimination of segregation, social equality by Federal fiat, regulations of private employment practices, voting and local law enforcement.

(6)  We affirm that the effective enforcement of such a program would be utterly destructive to the social, economic and political life of the Southern people, and of other localities in which there may be differences in race, creed or national origin in appreciable numbers.

As a presidential candidate, Thurmond said: “All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the nigger into our homes, our schools, our churches.”  He lost the election but carried four of the states from the deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama).  In 1954, he was elected to the US Senate, as the only successful write-in candidate. And thus began his infamous career in Washington DC.

Fast-forward to the year 1963.

On August 23, 1963, civil rights organizers held a massive march on Washington DC, calling for legislative action to end discrimination. Set on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and broadcast to a television audience, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would deliver a stunningly eloquent speech that helped advance the cause of civil rights and define a standard of civility.  He spoke the timeless words “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  This was the Dream.

He invoked powerful imagery:

We have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

      It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice…..

       Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.  I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Dr. King was a Republican. He believed in the “opportunity” afforded Americans under the Declaration of Independence – the “equal” opportunity.  He talked about Natural Rights… Inalienable Rights.  He didn’t preach about equal outcomes or equal things.  He didn’t preach about dependency on government or a political party.  He preached about accomplishment…  the intangible qualities of character and dignity and the tangible ones of education and success.  He preached about a colorless society; one that is based on the dignity of every human being and the notion of common brotherhood.  ”I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Author Zora Neale Hurston once wrote: “I am not tragically colored.  There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes…. Even in the helter-skelter skirmish that is my life, I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less.  No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”   (1928)

The 1960′s was the era of the great Civil Rights movement.  It was John F. Kennedy who originally pushed for Civil Rights legislation, after the 1963 summer of racial violence. But he knew he didn’t have the support he needed in the House. The House was controlled by Democrats.  As was the Senate. He was hopeful, however, when meetings with Senate Republicans showed that he had firm support among them.  But just two days after the House announced the bill would be heard, Kennedy was assassinated. LBJ asserted he would continue the support for Civil Rights legislation.

But in 1964, the legislation would never have passed without Republican support.  In the US House, 78% of Republicans supported while only 58% of Democrats did.  In the Senate, Democrats showed even less support.  In fact, the ‘Southern-bloc’ of the Senate Democrats – 18 of them – launched a 57-day filibuster which they intended would prevent the Senate from passing the bill. They boldly declared: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”   Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond (of South Carolina) said: “These Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary, unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress.”

On the morning of June 10, 1964, Democratic Senator Robert Byrd (of West Virginia), who entered politics as the “Exalted Cyclops” and recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, filibustered the Senate for over 14 hours – the second longest filibuster ever in our nation’s history.  As part of this filibuster, he cited a racist study that claimed black people’s brains are statistically smaller than white people’s brains.  Only 17 years earlier, he urged the re-birth of the Klan, claiming that “It is needed like never before.”  [And just before that, in 1945, he wrote:  “Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”]  When he died at age 92, Democrats still referred to him as the “Conscience of the Senate.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Republican Senate Minority Leader, Everett Dirksen (Illinois) condemned the filibuster and offered the final remarks in support of the legislation: “Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment.  It will not be stayed or denied. It is here!”  Republicans then rallied to support a cloture vote – which means a vote to end a filibuster. Never in history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to cut off a filibuster on a civil rights bill.

The clerk then proceeded to call the roll. When the decisive 67th vote was reached, Senate Republicans cheered and many Democrats slumped over in disgust.  In the end, 80% of Senate Democrats voted ‘nay’ on the legislation and only 20% voted to support it.  Because of his strong support of the bill and his efforts to hold Republicans together and build support for the cloture vote, Senator Dirksen – again, a Republican – is generally seen as the hero of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The following year, Senator Dirksen, together with Senate Majority leader Mike Mansfield, introduced the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

How is it possible that we have forgotten so much of our nation’s history?  In an era where so much attention is given to the accomplishments of each political party, how is it that the Republican party continues to get short-changed?

How is it that our nation’s leaders, our media, and especially our school system are not reminding the American people of the proud achievements of Republican leaders and the Republican Party with respect to Human Dignity and Equal Rights?  At what point did these achievements magically impute to the Democrats?  Are African-Americans suffering some sort of selective amnesia regarding their history?  Africanesia?   How is the Democratic Party – the party of slavery, secession, segregation, and now socialism – all of a sudden the party of fairness and equal rights?

Why have African-Americans aligned themselves so tightly and blindly to the Democratic Party – the party which historically has stood for the racist policies of the antebellum South  and the vindictive policies of Redemption and Jim Crow?  In promising African-Americans a new American Dream – one of greater government rights and benefits – rather than the American Dream enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often spoke about, is the Democratic Party fulfilling the warning that the Freeman Bureau addressed in its Inquiry Commission of 1865 – that with respect to the amount of government aid to provide, “there is as much danger in doing too much as in doing too little. The risk is serious that, under the guise of guardianship, slavery, in a modified form, may be practically restored. Those who have ceased, only perforce, to be slave-holders, will be sure to unite their efforts to effect just such a purpose.“  Too much aid is the enemy of a free man. It will only “contribute to his virtual re-enslavement.”   

And so I ask this question:  Why have African-Americans abandoned the Republican Party when the Republican Party has never abandoned them?

The Republican Party has never thought them worthy of enslavement, either physically or virtually.


David Barton, “What is Slavery?” and  “The Fugitive Slave Law.”   Referenced at: http://www.davidbarton.biz/page/2/

David Barton, “Civil Rights Acts”  and  “Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution.  Referenced at:  http://davidbartonushistory.weebly.com/

The Dred Scott decision (1857)  –  http://americancivilwar.com/colored/dred_scott.html  and   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933t.html

The 13th Amendment:  Ratification and Results, Harp Week.   Referenced at: http://13thamendment.harpweek.com/HubPages/CommentaryPage.asp?Commentary=05Results

The 14th Amendment: Congressional Passage, Harp Week.   Referenced at: http://14thamendment.harpweek.com/HubPages/CommentaryPage.asp?Commentary=03Passage

Gene Healy, “The Squalid 14th Amendment,” Lew Rockwell, August 1999.  Referenced at:  http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/healy1.html   [Originally posted in Liberty Magazine]

Southern Manifesto on Integration – http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/sources_document2.html

TheLies and Racism of Woodrow Wilson. http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/war.crimes/US/Wilson.htm

Bishop Absalom Jones, “A Thanksgiving Sermon,” Anglican History.  Referenced at: http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/ajones/thanksgiving1808.html    [The “Thanksgiving Sermon” was preached January 1, 1808, in St. Thomas’s, or the African Episcopal, Church, Philadelphia, in recognition of the abolition of the African slave trade, on that day, by the Congress of the United States].

Zora Neale Hurston, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me,” The World Tomorrow, May 1928.  Referenced at:  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma01/grand-jean/hurston/chapters/how.html

Joseph E. Fallon, “Power, Legitimacy, and the 14th Amendment.”  Referenced at:  http://southernloyalists.tripod.com/id18.html

“George Mason’s Views on Slavery,” Gunston Hall.  Referenced at: http://gunstonhall.org/georgemason/slavery/views_on_slavery.html

The Original Intent of the 14th Amendment.   http://www.14thamendment.us/index.html

Alex Knepper, “Remembering Byrd’s Racism,”  Frum Forum, June 29, 2010.  Referenced at:  http://www.frumforum.com/remembering-robert-byrds-racism/

Frances Rice, “KKK Terrorist Arm of the Democratic Party,”  National Black Republican Association.  Referenced at:  http://www.nationalblackrepublicans.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.DYKKKKTerroristArmoftheDemocratParty&page_id=93

Dr. Eric Foner, A Short History of Reconstruction; Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1990.   [Dr. Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University].

Our Nation’s Archives: A History of the United States in Documents (ed. Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby); Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 1999.  [pg. 417 and pp. 731-34]

Inquiry Commission Report (for Freedman’s Bureau) –  Preliminary Report  – http://www.civilwarhome.com/prelimcommissionreport.htm

Inquiry Commission Report (for Freedman’s Bureau)  –  On the Topic of Slavery  – http://www.civilwarhome.com/commisionreportchapt1.htm

Inquiry Commission Report (for Freedman’s Bureau) –  On the Topic of Emancipation – http://www.civilwarhome.com/commissionreportchapt2.htm

Inquiry Commission Report (for Freedman’s Bureau) –  Conclusion: “The Future in the US of the African Race” http://www.civilwarhome.com/commissionreportchapt3.htm

Nathan Bedford Forrest –  http://www.freeinfosociety.com/article.php?id=184     [“The Cause for which you have so long and so manfully struggled, and for which you have braved dangers, endured privations, and sufferings, and made so many sacrifices, is today hopeless. The government which we sought to establish and perpetuate, is at an end. Reason dictates and humanity demands that no more blood be shed. Fully realizing and feeling that such is the case, it is your duty and mine to lay down our arms — submit to the “powers that be” — and to aid in restoring peace and establishing law and order throughout the land.”]


[1]  North Carolina’s ban on the slave trade at the time of the Philadelphia Convention was not an express ban.  “Maryland and Virginia he said had already prohibited the importation of slaves expressly. North Carolina had done the same in substance.”

See James Madison’s Notes on the Constitutional Convention:http://www.constitution.org/dfc/dfc_0525.htm  or  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_514525.asp  (the Avalon Project)

Specifically, the Slavery debate:http://www.academicamerican.com/revolution/documents/ConstDebate.html

[2]  The Federalist Party was the party of most of our Founding Fathers and Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party would go on to give birth to the Democratic Party, although elements of the platform ultimately made it into the Republican Party as well, such as the requirement for strict interpretation of the Constitution and limited government.

[3]  The Republican Platform was announced in Philadelphia in 1856 – http://www.ushistory.org/gop/convention_1856republicanplatform.htm

[4]  It is argued that the 14th Amendment was never properly ratified.

Before an amendment can be ratified, it must first be proposed. The Constitution provides two methods of proposing an amendment: (i) An amendment can be proposed by 2/3 of the states;  or (ii) It can be proposed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress. The method was used in the case of the 14th Amendment was the latter – the congressional method.  Section V of the Constitution addresses the amendment process and explains that “no state without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”  When Congress proposed the amendment in 1866, twenty-three Senators were unlawfully excluded from the U. S. Senate in order for the republicans to secure a 2/3 vote for the adoption of proposed amendment. Those excluded included both senators from each of the eleven southern states and one Senator from New Jersey. This alone is sufficient to invalidate the so-called fourteenth because it was never properly proposed.).

Furthermore, history records that Tennessee was the first state to ratify the 14th Amendment – on July 24, 1866.  But did Tennessee improperly ratify it?  The Tennessee legislature was not in session when the proposed amendment was sent, so a special session of the legislature had to be called. The Tennessee Senate ratified the proposed amendment. However, the Tennessee House could not assemble a quorum as required in order to legally act. Finally, after several days and “considerable effort, two of the recalcitrant members were arrested and brought into a committee room opening into the Chamber of the House. They refused to vote when their names were called, whereupon the Speaker ruled that there was no quorum. His decision, however, was overruled, and the amendment was declared ratified on July 19, 1866, by a vote of 43 to 11, the two members under arrest in the adjoining committee room not voting.”

OBAMACARE: What We Should Know (and Why We Must Nullify It)

      by Diane Rufino

The official name of the sweeping healthcare reform bill is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148).  It passed the House of Congress narrowly, by a vote of 220 – 215.  It was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama. We unaffectionately call it “Obamacare” because of the ruthless energy the president used to get it passed, including not giving members of Congress the opportunity to read it.  He called Democrats into closed quarters and despite not having enough votes beforehand, magically he was able to convince them to switch their loyalty from the People to the Government. Not a single Republican voted for the bill, and 39 Democrats refused to vote for it as well. Imagine the breach of confidence those Democrats committed when they voted for the bill without even knowing what they were imposing on the American people.

When we learned about the healthcare plan, we understood that it was going to make healthcare available to 32 million Americans who currently are uninsured. We were told that for those of us who already had insurance, either through our employer or a private plan, or through Medicaid or Medicare, we would be able to keep it.  For those who don’t have insurance or have been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, however, they would be able to obtain coverage either through a state-based insurance exchange system (including an expanded Medicaid program) or under newly-expanded Medicare guidelines. Those with pre-existing conditions would not be penalized for those conditions and would be able to purchase insurance at the same rate as those healthier individuals.  What we didn’t know was that by 2014, every citizen would be forced to purchase insurance or be penalized.  What we didn’t know was that up to 16,000 new IRS agents would be hired under the bill to go after those who didn’t purchase insurance and to have direct access to their bank accounts.  What we didn’t know was that healthy young men and women would be forced to purchase insurance for the sole purpose of paying for other’s coverage. What we didn’t know that the bill was full of new taxes and penalties.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed the bill as “the greatest initiative for the economy.”

Obamacare was sold to the American people by the President and Speaker Pelosi as a fundamental right.  On the House floor, she announced: “Did you know the president’s controversial health care law helps guarantee “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  I appreciate his leadership in helping us honor what our founders put forth in our founding documents, which is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that is exactly what the Affordable Care Act helps to guarantee – a healthier life, the liberty to pursue happiness, to be free of the constraints that lack of healthcare might provide to a family….  If you want to be photographer, a writer, an artist, a musician, you can do so. If you what to start a business, if you want to change jobs, under the Affordable Care Act, you have that liberty to pursue your happiness.”

I’ve never heard someone interpret any of our founding documents so broadly.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich) admonished the Democrats for being so intent on passing a “jobs-killing, tax-hiking, deficit-exploding bill.”  She said: “We are going to have a complete government takeover of our health care system faster than you can say, ‘This is making me sick’.”  Obviously she knew more than most of the other Congressmen knew.

When making promises and assurances to the Congress and to the American people in his attempt to gain support for the healthcare scheme, President Obama emphasized over and over again: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”  Well, funny how that promise; that guarantee, that disclaimer of “no new tax increase” in combination with the term “penalty” that appeared no less than 18 times in the text of the healthcare bill managed to convince Chief Justice John Roberts that the Individual Mandate was in fact a “tax.”

So, in spite of what President Obama promised, we has gifted us the largest middle-class tax hike in history.

Which brings us to the healthcare decision….

The Healthcare Decision –

 The bottom line is that we are stuck with Obamacare.  The Supreme Court handed down that sentence on June 28 of this year in a decision I like to call “Supreme Nonsense.” As we all may recall, 26 states joined together in a lawsuit right after the healthcare bill was enacted (titled Florida v. Sibelius) and challenged the Individual Mandate under the Commerce Clause (the very basis the Congress gave for its authority to legislate) and the Medicaid expansion provision under the Tenth Amendment (claiming that it coerced, or forced, the states into doing something on behalf of the government).  Without the Individual Mandate, the states argued that the bill must fail in its entirety for it is that provision that requires the coverage and which is the primary source of funding. Without the mandate, the stated goals of the bill are defeated.

First, the Chief Justice voted with his four conservative colleagues in concluding that the Individual Mandate violated the Commerce Clause.  They defined the scope of the Commerce Clause and established a “bright line” rule to guide future federal intrusion into the personal lives of Americans. On a positive note, this decision will restrict American Presidents and future Congresses for a generation and more. Furthermore, the Chief Justice agreed with the states that the Medicaid expansion program violated the Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) and impermissibly coerced them and their resources.  But the decision didn’t end there, unfortunately.

As if out of nowhere, Roberts lobbed a curveball to ordinary Americans (who thought they understood the plain meaning of the Constitution) and to legal scholars as well.  He sided with the four liberal members of the Court and classified the Individual Mandate as something the administration took great pains to not classify it as – a “tax.”  He embraced a position denied by the White House.  Roberts wrote that the mandate provision “need not be read to do more than impose a tax. That is sufficient to sustain it.”  He upheld the Individual Mandate, as he explained, under Congress’ expansive tax and spend powers.  As he wrote:  “The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

Chief Justice Roberts went out of his way to salvage the Individual Mandate which most scholars believed was unconstitutional.  As Merrill Matthews wrote in Forbes magazine: “In essence, Roberts reached down and pulled out a drowning man who had gone under for the third time.”

By narrowing Congress’ commerce and spending powers, Roberts moved the law in a decidedly conservative direction. Yet by invoking the taxing power, he saved not only the people but also Congress from the consequences of their political choices. Let’s hope that the decision will help the President suffer from the consequences of his blind ambition by losing in November.  I hope the American people will have the courage to do what the Chief Justice refused to do — stand up to a President and democratic congressmen who never once gave even the slightest consideration to the fact that the individual mandate was likely unconstitutional.  Not one.  As Nancy Pelosi responded when asked about the provision’s constitutionality: “Are you serious?  Are you serious?”  Another democratic congressman, Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill) said to an inquiring reporter:  “I don’t know. I don’t worry about the Constitution on this, to be honest….  It doesn’t matter to me.”

Again, the bottom line is that Obamacare survived judicial scrutiny, whether legitimately or under a flawed application of constitutional interpretation.  The Individual Mandate, as both a premium and a penalty, is a tax. Obamacare is paid for by a tax, and in fact, many additional new taxes.  But the tax is not uniform. The Obamacare tax does not apply to those who presently are untaxed, and it will not apply to the more wealthy, who will be excused because they carry health insurance anyway.  So the tax will fall to the middle-class and in fact, the healthcare bill imposes the biggest tax on the middle-class in the entire history of the United States. (And that doesn’t even factor in all the other taxes included in Obamacare).

[Consider that the median US family income is about $50,000.  Family health coverage can easily run $20,000 a year, to increase sharply year after year.  In this scenario, the coverage mandate is essentially a 40% tax on that family, which is now required by law to ensure that every family member has qualifying coverage. ($20,000 is 40% of $50,000).  Because the cost of the coverage will be similar even though incomes vary significantly, the lower the income the higher the effective tax rate, thereby making the tax the mostregressive tax in US history, as well].

The most offensive parts of the healthcare bill, as addressed above, are the Individual Mandate, the Medicaid expansion provision, and the series of taxes that will be levied one on top of another, and to be applied stepwise in the next ten years, as a means to pay for the plan. There are at least 21 new taxes embedded in the bill. Obama pulled the old “bait and switch,” which is defined as “an illegal tactic in which a seller advertises one product with the intention of persuading customers to purchase a more expensive product.”  He sold us on a product that would cost us one price and impose little burden on the middle-class when in fact, the product comes at a much higher price and at a much greater consequence (to liberty).

As Judge Andrew Napolitano explained the decision: “When we pay our taxes in April, we’re paying taxes on income that we earned. We went out and earned it. When you put gas in the car, you’re paying a tax on the gasoline that you bought. If you use tobacco products, you’re paying federal taxes on tobacco products that you purchased. In each of those cases you are affirmatively engaging in behavior that you know is taxable. But this is the first time in the history of the country that the Court has permitted the Congress to tax people for doing nothing. To punish them for refusing to do what the government wants them to do. That is a very, very dangerous precedent.”

Simply put, the government is going to take a lot more money from the people who earn it — mostly from wealthier Americans who as I explained above, will most likely not even feel it (although $250,000 doesn’t really get you much these days, especially if you live in parts of the northeast, Florida, California, and Arizona) and from most small businesses who will most certainly feel it.  It will result in those businesses hiring fewer people, laying off more employees, cutting hours, closing facilities, and thus increasing already high unemployment.

The healthcare decision was most unfortunate and has put the new demons over the American people.

The “Job-Killing” Bill –

Many people have a basic idea of what Obamacare does. Because the bill was so unwieldy and complicated, many are only now discovering many of its details and implications. You can hide a lot of needles inside a haystack that contains 2,700 pages. Three of those needles included the Individual Mandate (an act of coercion by the federal government), the Independent Advisory Payment Board (IPAB, also known as the “death panels”), and the Medicaid expansion program which will put an enormous burden on the states.  I’ll discuss them in more detail.

We now know that Obamacare will be the largest tax increase on the middle class in US history.  It is already chilling job creation because employers are afraid of what will come down the pipes with Obamacare, and it will KILL any new jobs because of the massive increase in taxes on those who earn over $250,000.  As you know, most small business owners organize as an LLC or an association, which means they file as an “individual” under the tax code.  And most small business owners are able to classify as earning over $250,000.  So they will be hit the hardest by Obamacare, as well as by Obama’s plans to increase taxes on that group if he is re-elected.  They will not be able to absorb all the new taxes and still be able to invest in expanding their business, especially when it means they will have to pay healthcare benefits for all new employees (in addition to those they already employ).

–   On Wednesday, October 10th, we heard on the news that a Florida billionaire, David Siegel (owner of Westgate Resorts) sent a letter to his 7,000 employees, informing them that he could be forced to lay some of them off if President Obama wins a second term.  He said that the Obama administration was a threat to their jobs.  He warned that “if any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. I can longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive.  My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities.”

–  That same day, Darden Restaurants announced that it will cut worker hours to part-time in order to meet the rising healthcare costs imposed by Obamacare. Darden Restaurants includes chains such as McDonalds, White Castle, Ruby Tuesdays, Jack-in-the-Box, and many others.  Darden has been providing healthcare benefits to its part-time employees which it thought was more than fair, but now under the healthcare bill, which is inflexible on this matter, employees who work 30 hours or more must be provided the same all-inclusive plan that full-time employees receive. Furthermore, companies that do not comply will be penalized.  So Darden is going to respond by cutting all non full-time employees down to under 30 hours.  [Note that these restaurants, along with Unions, were granted waivers from Obamacare, but they were only temporary.  They were 1-year waivers in order to give these organizations time to figure out how to adapt.  And now we know…  They are going to cut worker hours].

Parts of Obamacare have already affected you or someone you know, and the economy has already been affected.  We hear so much about the depressed jobs numbers.  How many jobs could be created today if businesses, especially small businesses, didn’t have to worry about how Obamacare will negatively impact them?  We can only imagine how many jobs are instantly able to be created if we only had an administration that wasn’t intent on punishing business in order to establish a socialist scheme. We already have the highest business tax in the entire world.

If Mitt Romney is elected, he has promised to repeal Obamacare on his first day in office.  I predict that we will immediately see an increase in job creation and an improvement in our economy.  As Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney understand, the economy depends on production and that means jobs.  The biggest driver of revenue to the federal government isn’t higher tax rates….  it’s economic growth.  Growth is the key to fiscal sustainability. And low tax rates are the key to growth.  We can never hope to lower taxes if Obamacare is implemented.

If Obama is re-elected, we can hope to repeal it, but he will never sign it.  That will require a supermajority.  And we will only have a supermajority if a whole lot more Republicans are elected into both houses of Congress, especially the Senate.  We can also look into defunding it.

Repeal and Dismantlement –

Obamacare was intended and designed to withstand attempts by Republicans to make it go away.  We saw how easily the Supreme Court was able to convert the Individual Mandate “penalty” into a “tax.”  We are seeing how the plan goes into effect piece by piece, to be fully implemented by 2014 but still requiring further appropriations into 2019.  The massive 2,700-page health care law is deliberately designed to make defunding and dismantling difficult.  Dismantling will be difficult because Obamacare has created so many new governmental agencies.  Although original estimates reported that it created 159 new government agencies, the Congressional Research Service later concluded that the actual number of new agencies, boards, etc., “is currently unknowable,” because so many of them are empowered to spawn additional entities, just as weeds grow by sending out runners and seeds.  Defunding will be particularly tricky because the law is designed to be difficult to uproot, just like a plant with an elaborate root system.

How does the healthcare bill frustrate efforts by Congress to defund the bill?

–   First, approximately $120 billion in funding appropriations were included in the bill which Obama signed.  Appropriations were made immediately.  This violates the typical Congressional process of appropriations. The normal process typically involves enacting authorization bills that authorize spending, and then follows those with separate legislation that actually appropriates the money.

–  Second, by making advance appropriations for tens of billions of dollars up to the year 2019, these provisions of Obamacare seek to remove spending decisions from the reach of the current Congress and from future Congresses and Presidents. Although Obamacare was not pitched to the public as a mandatory spending entitlement, the details of the legislation reveal an intent to block any future Congress from controlling spending on Obamacare.

–  To defund Obamacare, it is insufficient simply to deny future funding. Until the full law can be repealed, at least the existing and advance appropriations need to be rescinded, just as the House voted last year to repeal billions of dollars from previous appropriations to 123 federal programs.  Unfortunately this vote was void because of a parliamentary procedure violation.  That was most unfortunate.

–  With the healthcare bill, the Congressional Democrats sought to bind future Congresses to spending obligations with Obamacare – for a full decade in advance.  This is an outrageous effort.  It may not be unconstitutional per se, but in a system that gives citizens the right to have input in the affairs of Congress thru the ballot box, spending decisions should be made by those who currently hold office, not by those who have resigned or been turned out by the voters.

What are some efforts so far to make Obamacare go away?  Eric Cantor introduced H.R. 2 – “Repeal of the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” – in the US House where it passed on January 19, 2011. The Act simply states: “The Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”  H.R. 2 was sent to the Senate where it was put on the calendar but it still has not been allowed to come up for a vote.  Also, on July 9th of this year, Congress introduced H.R. 6088 – “Total Repeal of the Unfair Taxes on Healthcare Act” –  which would amend the tax code to repeal certain tax increases enacted as part of health care reform. The Act is still in committee.

The healthcare bill can go away if:  (i) Congress repeals it (see H.R. 2);  (ii) Congress disapproves it under the Congressional Review Act of 1996;  (iii) Congress defunds it;  (iv) the Supreme Court reverses its opinion; or (v) the States nullify it and are willing to interpose on behalf of their citizens.  I will discuss this last option at the end.

Why Obamacare is Bad for America and for Americans

1).  First, you should know that members of Congress have EXEMPTED themselves from Obamacare.  If it was such a good healthcare plan, why did they exempt themselves?  InFederalist Papers No. 57, James Madison listed five ways that members of the House of Representatives can show their fidelity to their constituents and earn their trust.  He wrote: “As a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society?  I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.”

2).  So far, over $105 billion has been appropriated to fund Obamacare, not including the $760 billion stolen from Medicare. This program is not going to help the economy; it’s going to hurt it.  Government spending will be uncontrollable.

3).  Under the law, most individuals who can afford it will be required to obtain basic health insurance coverage or pay a fee (termed a “penalty” in the healthcare bill) to help offset the costs of caring for uninsured Americans.  This is the notorious Individual Mandate (Section 5000).  In other words, everyone must purchase private health insurance or pay a fine.  This is the cornerstone of the healthcare reform bill. As Justice Kennedy emphasized at oral arguments, he was very concerned about the status of young people with respect to the healthcare bill. He noted that the government wasn’t exactly been honest about its intentions with the bill, which was to find a way to offset the burden that uninsured individuals place on healthcare.  Kennedy said that if the administration was really interested in preventing young people (many who are uninsured) from being such a burden, the healthcare plan would allow them to buy only catastrophic health insurance (instead of the plan that includes well visits, preventative care).  Catastrophic health insurance is all that 20-30 year-olds really need; It’s the only product that makes any economic sense for them. But Obamacare doesn’t allow that. So, as Kennedy emphasized, we see what the healthcare bill is really all about. It’s about using 20-30 year-olds to subsidize the plan, to subsidize insurance for those who can’t afford it.  It’s about using young healthy people to fund the program.  It’s about a social scheme.  And now we know…  the government’s plan is to subsidize health insurance for everyone, especially those who are uninsured and sick (approximately 20% of all uninsured). The plan forces insurance companies to cover the sick. But it doesn’t want to use the typical means to pay for this – such as tax subsidies.  Instead, the government wants to reach OUTSIDE the market and COMPEL a whole bunch of healthy people into that market so they can be used to subsidize the program and help bring healthcare premiums down.  In fact, this was the finding by Congress: that bringing young healthy people into the market will bring down the health insurance premium by about 15% for everyone.  Unfortunately, though, it will force them to buy something they don’t need or want. This provision kicks in in 2014.  By 2014, most citizens and legal residents must carry an expensive health insurance or pay a penalty.

4).  A small number of Americans will be exempt from the tax. Those exempted include: (i) people with religious objections; (ii) American Indians with coverage through the Indian Health Service; (iii) undocumented immigrants; (iv) those without coverage for less than three months; (v) those serving prison sentences; (vi) those whose income is below the poverty level.  This list of exemptions provides for abuse and group exemptions for certain religious groups.

5).  Obamacare will impose 5 major classifications of taxes in 2013 alone, aside from the Individual Mandate (which is the core funding provision, which will hit in 2014):

(i)  The Medical Device Manufacturing Tax  (a 2.3% tax on medical device makers which will raise the price of every pacemaker, prosthetic limb, stent, operating table, and much more.  Most of the manufacturers are small companies).

(ii)  The High Medical Bills Tax – This onerous tax provision will hit Americans who face the highest out-of-pocket medical bills. Currently, Americans are allowed to deduct medical expenses on their 1040 form to the extent the costs exceed 7.5% of one’s adjusted gross income.  The new ObamaCare provision will raise that threshold to 10%, subjecting patients to a higher tax bill. This tax will hit pre-retirement seniors the hardest. Over the next ten years, affected Americans will pony up a minimum total of $15 billion in taxes thanks to this provision.

(iii)  Flexible Spending Account Cap  –  The 24 million Americans who have Flexible Spending Accounts will face a new federally imposed $2,500 annual cap. These pre-tax accounts, which currently have no federal limit, are used to purchase everything from contact lenses to children’s braces. With the cost of braces being as high as $7,200, this tax provision will play an unwelcome role in everyday kitchen-table health care decisions.

The cap will also affect families with special-needs children, whose tuition can be covered using Flexible Spending Account funds. Special-needs tuition can cost up to $14,000 per child per year. This cruel tax provision will limit the options available to such families, all so that the federal government can squeeze an additional $13 billion out of taxpayer pockets over the next ten years. The targeting of Flexible Spending Accounts by President Obama and congressional Democrats is no accident. The progressive left has never been fond of the consumer-driven accounts, which serve as a small roadblock in their long-term drive for a one-size-fits-all government health care bureaucracy.  At this point already, under Obamacare, families cannot use these accounts to pay for over-the-counter medication.

(iv)  Surtax on Investment Income –  Under current law, the capital gains tax rate for all Americans rises from 15 to 20% in 2013, while the top dividend rate rises from 15 to 39.6%.  The new Obamacare surtax takes the top capital gains rate to 23.8%  and top dividend rate to 43.4%. The tax will take a minimum of $123 billion out of taxpayer pockets over the next ten years.  This new tax will hit capital gains, dividends, rents, and royalties, discouraging investment and harming economic growth.

(v)  Medicare Payroll Tax increase –  In 2013, the employee portion of the Medicare payroll tax will increase from 1.45 to 2.35% for families earning $250,000 or more and individuals earning $200,000 or more. The income threshold is not indexed for inflation, so more and more middle-income families will be hit by the tax hike as time goes on. This tax soaks employers to the tune of $86 billion over the next ten years. Another provision, as emphasized in the Ryan plan, is a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income of “high-income” taxpayers which could apply to proceeds from the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income, depending on your individual circumstances and any capital gains tax exclusions. This 3.8% tax on home sales and unearned income will raise more than $124 billion to pay for Obamacare. As you can understand, there is a reason why the authors of Obamacare wrote the law in such a way that the most brutal tax increases take effect conveniently after the 2012 election. It’s the same reason that the bill was pushed thru Congress before anyone had a chance to read it.  It’s the same reason that members of Congress (and I’m sure President Obama himself) exempted themselves from it.  And it’s the same President Obama, congressional Democrats, and the mainstream media conveniently neglect to mention these taxes.

6).  You’ve probably all heard that Obama raided $760 billion dollars from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. But what we didn’t find out until later is that he has no plan to pay that money back. The embedded taxes in Obamacare for Medicare, from what I understand, are to provide for the vast numbers of seniors who will be on the program in the coming years and to provide them with more preventative benefits and coverage. (but not for greater care for major illness).  In fact, over-all, Obamacare will reduce the amount of future spending growth in Medicare thru the IPAB.  So while more seniors will be on Medicare, spending will not increase accordingly.

7).  Medical records will be centralized with the government – in a national database.  Put in other terms, the government will have the ability to seize your medical records.  In order to make information more readily available for doctors during their appointments, the government intends to create a national database containing every person’s medical history.  [This is potentially a violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments – a seizure of a person’s privacy, as well as a taking of private property].  People are the owners of their medical records, and the doctors are their custodians.  With the creation of such a database, healthcare decisions will be dictated by government bureaucrats and NOT the doctor or patient.

8).  Perhaps the most offensive part of the bill is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) – a 15-member panel of bureaucrats tasked with finding ways to cut Medicare spending (that is, it’s role is to ration care in order to keep the costs of the program contained). It is also called the “death panel.” It will take effect in 2014, although there is talk that Obama will try to have it take effect earlier.  By law, no more than 7 of the members can be physicians. Board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Its decisions cannot be easily challenged. In order to override IPAB’s proposal, opponents must assemble a simple majority in the House and then a three-fifths majority in the Senate and finally, the president’s signature.  That makes IPAB more than an advisory board. It’s a super-legislature whose members are more powerful than members of Congress As one leading challenger of the bill has said: “The IPAB is ‘independent’ in the worst sense of the word: it is independent of Congress, the President, the judiciary and the American people. The IPAB is a death panel not only by virtue of its awesome powers to control health-care decisions for millions of Americans, but because its creation and existence are antithetical to our republican form of government and the freedoms it was designed to protect. Here is another bit of info about the IPAB…   It appears that in order to repeal the IPAB, a repeal bill MUST be passed by 2017; otherwise we are stuck with it.  Furthermore, to pass the repeal, there  must be a 3/5 supermajority……  and then even after that vote, it would – by law, continue at least until 2020.   [IPAB – See Sections 3403 and 10320]  In fact the House has already voted to repeal the IPAB, but the Senate, under Harry Reid, will not take up the measure.

9).  Illegal immigrants are not covered by Obamacare.  So they will still be able to receive healthcare, mostly by going to the emergency room, and continue to burden the healthcare system so that costs and prices will continue to go up.  The burden of Illegal immigrants on the healthcare system was one of the very drivers of its cost increases.

10).  Parents of dependent children will be required to keep their adult children on their policies until age 26.  One of the provisions in Obamacare is a requirement that group health plans that provide dependent coverage of children make that coverage available until age 26.  Will this provision can be considered a good one to some, there are many parents that look forward to the day that their children become adults so that they can wean themselves from supporting them.  Provisions like this will be seen as a burden by couples who work and can afford health insurance.  When deciding how many children to have, this provision will have to be something they need to consider, in addition to college tuition, etc, etc.  Those who can’t afford the premiums and are supplemented by the government can, once again, reproduce without responsibility.

11).  New plans must cover 100% of wellness or pregnancy exams (even if the person is beyond child-bearing age)

12).  Other problems with the healthcare bill include:

(i)  It penalizes marriage.  Obamacare creates new taxpayer-funded subsidies for the low and middle classes to purchase health coverage, but the structure of the subsidies allows two individuals to claim more in subsidies alone than if married. This discriminates against married couples and discourages marriage at almost all age and income levels.

(ii)  It violates religious liberty. We’ve all heard of the Contraceptive Mandate.   Churches are in an uproar over this.  The Department of Health and Human Services included the full range of contraceptives, including abortion-inducing drugs, among the women-specific preventive services that Obamacare requires insurers to include with no cost-sharing. This mandate violates Americans’ conscience rights and religious liberty. Its narrow exemption for religious employers will force many who find these products morally objectionable—including religious charities, hospitals, and schools—to pay for them.

(iii)  It puts over half of all Americans on a government program. Because of Obamacare’s huge expansion of Medicaid and creation of taxpayer-funded subsidies to purchase health coverage, more than half of all Americans will be dependent on a government health care program (Medicare, Medicaid, or the government exchanges) by the end of this decade.

13).  There is no tort reform provision in the bill

14).  The government cannot run any program or agency efficiently.  It has a history of bankruptcy and failure.  For example:

(i) The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775 – they’ve had 234 years to get it right; it is broke, and even though heavily subsidized, it can’t compete with private sector FedExp and UPS services. The U.S. Postal Service will lose over $7 billion this year and will require yet another “bailout.”  [The Postal Service is a CONSTITUTIONAL obligation;  Healthcare is NOT).

(ii)  Social Security was established in 1935 – they’ve had 74 years to get it right; it is broke. There is nothing in the Social Security Trust Fund except IOUs from the government.

(iii)  Fannie Mae was established in 1938 – they’ve had 71 years to get it right; it is broke. Freddie Mac was established in 1970 – they’ve had 39 years to get it right; it is broke. Together Fannie and Freddie have now led the entire world into the worst economic collapse in 80 years.

(iv)  The War on Poverty was started in 1964 – they’ve had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our hard earned money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor”; it hasn’t worked.

(v)  Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965 – they’ve had 44 years to get it right; they are both broke; and now our government dares to mention them as models for all US health care.

(vi)  AMTRAK was established in 1970 – they’ve had 39 years to get it right; last year they bailed it out as it continues to run at a loss!

(vii)  In 2009, a trillion dollars was committed in the massive political payoff called the Stimulus Bill. It shows NO sign of working; it’s been used to increase the size of governments across America, and raise government salaries while the rest of us suffer from economic hardships. It has yet to create a single new private sector job. Our national debt projections (approaching $10 trillion) have increased 400% in the last six months.

(viii)  “Cash for Clunkers” was established in 2009 and went broke in 2009 –  after 80% of the cars purchased turned out to be produced by foreign companies, and dealers nationwide are buried under bureaucratic paperwork demanded by a government that is not yet paying them what was promised.

With a perfect 100% failure rate and a record that proves that each and every “service” shoved down our throats by an over-reaching government turns into disaster, how could any informed American trust our government to run or even set policies for America’s health care system, which is over 17% of our economy?

15).  Obamacare only achieves its goals if:  (i) everyone is forced to participate and those that can pay do pay; and (ii) the states provide Medicaid expansion to get as many people signed up and on the program as possible.  The goal of course is to provide affordable care to everyone and to keep costs contained over the course of the program.  Hence, the title of the bill.  With the Supreme Court’s decision, however, states are no longer mandated to add people to Medicaid.  They have the option of opting out of the expansion provision and therefore do not have to set up the exchanges. In fact, several states have been adamant about not creating the health care exchanges, namely Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and Florida. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed setting up an exchange in his state in May of this year, and Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire (a Democrat) also vetoed the initiative in his state.  The question is this:  If enough states opt out, will the goals of the bill be frustrated to the point that universal healthcare will not be viable as a government entitlement program because of the increased costs that will result?

16).  If Obama is re-elected, the fear – or, the likely reality – is that we are stuck with Obamacare. By extension – because of its chilling effect on the economy, the new norm here in the United States might be 8%-9% unemployment (most of it part-time with no benefits) and most people living on the government dole.  The question is where will the money continue to come from?

We’ve Lost our Fundamental Liberties —

The average American would love to believe that as long as he or she isn’t annoying anyone or isn’t infringing on anyone’s legitimate rights, he or she should be left alone to enjoy his life and property —  to pursue happiness.  But there are too many government regulatory agencies to allow that to be true. This is not a nation where people are left alone anymore. This is a nation where they are hounded from the moment they are born until the moment they die by the arms of a regulatory state run by men and women weaned on the ideology of big government, socialism, and the idea that the government’s job is to protect our green planet and to promote the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people).  Sadly, this is a nation, founded on the inherent power of the individual over his life, liberty, and property, where just being left alone is the greatest of luxuries.

All of this begs the bigger question:  What has become of our Inalienable Rights?  Government has strayed away from its intended purpose.  All levels of government have abused their powers. The federal government is no longer constrained by the document that alone gives it permission and limits on what it can legally do — that is our Constitution.  It no longer protects our Life, Liberty, and Property.  It attacks our Life with the Obamacare.  It attacks our Liberty with the Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and even the TSA at our airports.  And it attacks our Property with the federal income tax system and Agenda 21.  The government’s evil, liberty-killing scheme is funded by the power of plunder that was granted it under the 16th Amendment.  The government plunders our very natural human resources — our Property….   the fruit and improvements of our property, the products of our labor, and the creations of our mind. But then again, a government that can create economic stress is in a good position to constrain our liberties. A hungry man thinks about food, not freedom.

Finally, I don’t like the notion of a planned society.  We’ve seen how many of them have ended – Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, Communist China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Kim Jung Il’s North Korea, to name a few.  Obamacare puts our lives under the power of bureaucrats and experts. They claim to be experts, but in what field. One such “expert” who helped craft the IPAB (“death panel”) is an expert in cost effectiveness. Ezekiel Immanuel.  He has a cold inhuman approach to healthcare.   I don’t trust when government gets involved in questions that talk about what is good for man, and what justice should be.  I don’t trust when government enters those debates that talk about what things are worth having at what price and who should have them.  And I certainly don’t trust when government gives an opinion on the value of life.  I saw what they did with the unborn in Roe v. Wade.  A decision that asks whether a person’s life is worth living on certain terms (as with an unfortunate diagnosis), is a decision that should be left to that person alone and according to the God-given right of self-preservation, he should be entitled to pursue whatever medical options he can.  Finally, I don’t like a program that demands my obedience to government or be penalized for it.  That was Nazi Germany.


The US republic is unique.  Government can pass no law or take no action unless the authority for such law or action is specifically granted in the Constitution.  That is the essence of our limited government.  It is also the understanding of the states when they signed the Constitution (a compact, or contract) and formed the American Union.

What happens when the government oversteps its constitutional powers?   Well, initially we are instructed to let our constitutional system play out since our government has a clear separation of powers in its three branches and is designed with a series of checks and balances.  Each of the branches is expected to act as a jealous guardian of its powers and responsibilities so that no other branch tries to intrude on the others.

When these procedural safeguards break down, then it is up to the States to take matters into their hands.  The States, as sovereign entities, under our federalist system are the final check in the series of checks and balances. It is sovereign versus sovereign.  Alexander Hamilton explained it best in Federalist Papers No. 26: “….The State legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.”

Since the states can no longer control the Congress from within, as the Constitution originally provided in Article I, Section 3 by appointing Senators (“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof…”), it’s most effective, and “rightful,” remedy is Nullification and Interposition.  The answer is Nullification.  This is the doctrine articulated by Thomas Jefferson which states that the Constitution, by word and by creation, empowers states to nullify laws passed by Congress. That is, it allows states to decide when laws passed by Congress have exceeded the powers granted by the Constitution and to rightfully declare that they are null and void and therefore unenforceable.  The Constitution, through the Supremacy Clause of the Sixth Amendment, acknowledges the residuary sovereign powers that reside with the states to govern themselves and their citizens.  Our system of federalism (embodied in the Tenth Amendment) empowers the States to stand up to the federal government.  And the compact nature of our Constitution gives the States the legal authority. The states, as the parties to the Constitution, are the ones who rightfully can reign in the government in its application of that document.  The States, as creators of the federal government, have the final authority to determine the limits of the power of that government.  Under this compact theory, the States and not the federal courts are the ultimate interpreters of the extent of the federal government’s power.  In other words, the states are the rightful parties who can enforce the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Kentucky Resolves of 1799: “That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a Nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under color of that instrument, is the RIGHTFUL REMEDY.”

A similar doctrine, called Interposition, was advocated by James Madison and takes nullification one step further. It imposes a duty upon each state to intercede or insert itself (to step in) between its people and the government in order to prevent them from unconstitutional laws, executive policies, and even federal court decisions.  James Madison wrote in the Virginia Resolves of 1798:

The powers of the Federal Government, as resulting from the compact, to which the states (alone) are the parties, as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting that compact; as no farther valid than they are authorized by the grants (of power) enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by said compact, the states who are parties thereto have the right, and are duty-bound, to INTERPOSE for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them….”

As the Constitution’s absolute sovereign creator, the People are not – and were never intended to be – subordinate to their creation, the federal government.  The government was created as an agent, to both the States and the People.  The people have final authority.  An agent serves its master and never the other way around.  The Constitution is merely “a description, (or memorialization), of those powers which the people have ultimately delegated to their Magistrates, to be exercised for definite purposes.”  The people therefore, according to Madison, are entitled to interposition by their State governments when their agent, the federal government, fails to conform with constitutional dictates.  [Note: To make clear – the States spoke for the People through the State Conventions which were selected by the People].

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were enraged when the Alien and Sedition Acts were enacted in 1796 in response to the Quasi War with France. The Acts were designed to round up and deport aliens that the government deemed problematic and to detain and imprison those who dared to criticize, disparage, and malign members of the government (except the VP, who just happened to be Jefferson at the time!!) either in word or in print. They believed the laws were unconstitutional. Jefferson complained to Madison that both acts showed “no respect” for the Constitution.  Madison called the Alien Act “a monster” that would “forever disgrace its parents,” the Founders that demanded a limited government and a Bill of Rights.  The two men corresponded  about what remedy should be taken in response.  They didn’t trust the judicial review process for the Court at the time was dominated with Federalists, and it was the Federalists in Congress who passed the laws and it was the Federalist president, John Adams, who signed them into law and who didn’t believe they offended the Constitution.  In general, they didn’t trust the Supreme Court to be the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution. They also understood that an oppressive government would lead states or even parts of states to secede and that was an extreme situation that should be avoided as aggressively as possible. They concluded that it was up to the states to declare when acts of the government exceeded constitutional authority and then to declare them null and void.  And so they came up with their doctrines of nullification and interposition.

The Alien and Sedition Acts prompted Madison and Jefferson to organize protests. They did so by drafting a series of resolutions that would be adopted by the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky to pronounce the unconstitutionality of the Acts.  The resolutions that Madison authored were adopted in 1798 by the Virginia legislature and became the Virginia Resolves, while the resolutions that were drafted by Jefferson drafted were eventually adopted in modified form by the Kentucky legislature. (The Kentucky Resolves of 1798; another set of resolutions were adopted in 1799).  In passing the resolutions, both legislatures expressed the judgment that the two federal laws were unconstitutional. The Kentucky Resolves stated that its purpose was to protest the Acts while the Virginia Resolves were more forceful.  It declared that “necessary and proper measures will be taken” to maintain the authorities, rights, and liberties” of the States and the people and then appealed to the other states to join in the protest. The governor of Virginia was instructed to transmit copies of the Resolves to the other state legislatures in the hope that those bodies would adopt similar measures.

The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions highlight a grave flaw in the Constitution of 1787:  the states did not  explicitly provide or designate an umpire to settle disputes between the states and the central government.  The Constitution is quiet on that subject.  TheFederalist Papers, the ultimate authority on the meaning and intent of the Constitution, only gives the Supreme Court the power to offer an “opinion” to the other branches and no binding authority.  [Federalist No. 78 says the federal Judiciary “has no influence over either the SWORD or the PURSE (executive or legislative branches) …. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment.”].  It was the Supreme Court itself which redefined its powers in Marbury v. Madison (1803), vaulting its status to the final arbiter of the meaning and intent of the Constitution.  If the Supreme Court is to remain the unchallenged ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, as the Court unanimously proclaimed in Cooper v. Aaron (358 U.S. 1 [1958]), then the caprice of the national government and not the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  Clearly, if the national government is the judge of its own powers, it will construe them broadly and dispose of any hopes for limited government.

Thomas Jefferson wrote on this topic in 1820:  “To consider the Judges of the Superior Court as the ultimate arbiters of constitutional questions would be a dangerous doctrine which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. They have with others, the same passion for party, for power, and for the privileges of their corps – and their power is the most dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the Elective control. The Constitution has elected no single tribunal.  I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves.”   

He wrote again in 1821: “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary: an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”    

Jefferson warned in very strong terms that the federal judiciary is not to be trusted.  He inferred that in the absence of a designated umpire, the parties to the compact are the ultimate arbiters of the Constitution.  His reasoning is sound and needs to be re-asserted, just as states are now re-asserting the doctrines of Nullification and Interposition.

We arguably have an unconstitutional law with Obamacare. Arguably, the government has overstepped its constitutional powers.  It has over-stepped its bounds as a government of limited powers and one obligated to protect our Life, Liberty, and Property and not to attack those precious liberties.  It simply doesn’t have the authority to legislate for healthcare. That is a state function, under its state police powers (to regulate for the health, safety, welfare, and morality of its people).  It is the same argument that Jefferson and Madison made with the Alien Act of 1796.  Congress didn’t have the constitutional authority to pass such legislation. Now, there may be some who will say that the government can use its taxing/spending powers to regulate for the “general welfare,” but read further for my argument on the taxing power.  Additionally, the “general welfare” clause refers to the people of the United States, in general, and not just certain groups of people.  Everyone must be served, equally. With Obamacare, the poor and other uninsured are served.  A 2011 census showed that 15% of Americans are living in poverty. There are additional people who are uninsured because they have been denied on account of pre-existing conditions.  These people will benefit from Obamacare. But the young, healthy people forced into the system for no other reason than to provide the ‘tax’ revenue to support health insurance and care for the uninsured are not receiving a benefit but rather, a burden. The government is plundering their property.

Furthermore, Obamacare has abused its powers under the Commerce Clause (the power the administration gave for its authority to pass Obamacare), as the Supreme Court agreed.  It has abused its powers under the taxing power as well, as Judge Andrew Napolitano has explained: “The ruling basically gives power on a platter to Congress – power that it never had before, power that it never exercised before. It sets a dangerous precedent for all sorts of non-action that government can place a tax on….  But this is the first time in the history of the country that the Court has permitted the Congress to tax people for doing nothing. To punish them for refusing to do what the government wants them to do. That is a very, very dangerous precedent.”

We just need to walk through the steps to see if we’ve allowed our constitutional system the opportunity to work for us in stopping this unlawful act of Congress.  Again, I am assuming, as a great many other intelligent, constitutionally-literate, and patriotic Americans are assuming, that Obamacare is unconstitutional both in the first instance (no power to legislate for healthcare) and under any other power in Article I (Commerce or Taxing/Spending):

(i)  First, did the Separation of Powers stop the bad bill?  No, it didn’t.  President Obama, head of the Executive branch, should not have signed the bill, passed by the Legislative branch, into law.

(ii)  Did the people contact their representatives and did Congress respond to the peoples’ wishes by repealing the bad bill?  No, they did not.  A gallop poll in February of this year showed that 72% of all Americans (including 56% of Democrats) believe the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional and want it struck down or repealed.  These polls are no secret to members of Congress.  Letters and calls are delivered constantly and protests have been held in Washington DC.  Yet the House and the Senate (especially the Senate) has remained firm on the bill. Congress intends for it to stand.

(iii) Third, did the Supreme Court strike the unlawful bill down?   No, it didn’t.

(iv)  Can the people fix the problem at the ballot box?  That is still yet to be seen.  Will this year’s voters retire those representatives who have violated their oaths and failed to tie legislation to a legitimate source of constitutional authority?  Will the new Congress repeal the bad bill?

Obamacare must be stopped.  Government must be stopped.  The unstoppable growth of government must be stopped.  Obamacare will lead to an unprecedented growth in the number of agencies it will require to implement the program and then, perhaps, even incidental programs to keep people from needing healthcare.  If President Obama is re-elected, or if Mitt Romney is elected and fails to repeal Obamacare, then the States must be prepared and willing to use Nullification and Interposition in order to protect the liberties of the American people which are secure only as long as the Constitution is faithfully adhered to.

Just like the early Americans who supported the unconstitutional acts of the Federalists, such as the Alien and Sedition Acts, and did not question them, modern Americans have been dupes in forging their own chains.  The chains have gotten stronger and have been fastened tighter. We are on the verge of losing the precious liberties and safeguards we were blessed with by our divinely-inspired Founders.  We need a revival of the Spirit of  1776.  We need to recapture the constitutional urgency that men like Jefferson and Madison felt in 1798 and 1800.  And then we need to promote Nullification as never before and if need be, declare Obamacare null and void and make sure it is unenforceable upon the American people.

I’d like to believe what Thomas Jefferson said in 1799:

“The spirit of 1776 is not dead. It has only been slumbering. The body of the American people is substantially republican. But their virtuous feelings have been played on by some fact with more fiction; they have been the dupes of artful maneuvers, and made for a moment to be willing instruments in forging chains for themselves.” 


If anyone would like to support the Nullify Obamacare movement, please sign the petition with your state Tenth Amendment Center.

For example, if you live in NC, the site is  –http://northcarolina.tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullifyobamacare/

If you live in Pennsylvania, the site is – http://pennsylvania.tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullifyobamacare/

If you live in Florida, the site is – http://florida.tenthamendmentcenter.com/nullifyobamacare/

And so on.
If anyone would like to help the NC Tenth Amendment Center bring a Nullify Now! tour to North Carolina, please purchase a ticket and donate – http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-2969?show_tab=invite


The IPAB –  http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/103021

50 Dangers from Obamacare –  http://www.coachisright.com/special-reports/50-dangers-from-obamacare/

Rand Paul, “The Five Major Obamacare Taxes That Will Hit Your Wallet in 2013,”  FOX News, July 9, 2012. http://paul.senate.gov/?p=news&id=570

Defunding Obamacare –  http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/09/defunding-obamacare-istook-testifies-in-the-house/

The 10 Terrible Provisions of Obamacare – http://blog.heritage.org/2012/03/07/the-10-terrible-provisions-of-obamacare-you-may-not-have-heard-of/

Companies Cut Jobs to Cut Healthcare Costs, FOX News – http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1891838208001/

Jonathon M. Siedl, “Pelosi Defends Obamacare Using the Declaration of Independence,”The Blaze, March 22, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.theblaze.com/stories/pelosi-defends-obamacare-using-declaration-of-independence/#

Christian Fritz, “Interposition and the Heresy of Nullification: James Madison and the Exercise of Sovereign Constitutional Powers,” The Heritage Foundation, February 21, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/02/interposition-and-heresy-of-nullification-james-madison-exercise-of-sovereign-constitutional-powers     [I, along with the Tenth Amendment Center, take issue with  the thesis of this article ]

Daniel Greenfield, “There Ain’t No More Middle Ground,” Sultan Knish, June 30, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/06/there-aint-no-more-middle-ground.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FromNyToIsraelSultanRevealsTheStoriesBehindTheNews+%28from+NY+to+Israel+Sultan+Reveals+The+Stories+Behind+the+News%29

Andrew Kirrell, “Judge Napolitano on Obamacare Ruling: ‘Gives Power on a Platter to Congress to Tax Anything,” Mediaite, July 3, 2012.   Referenced at:  http://www.mediaite.com/tv/judge-napolitano-on-obamacare-ruling-gives-power-on-a-platter-to-congress-to-tax-anything/

Merrill Matthews, “Is Obamacare the largest Tax Increase in US History?,” Forbes, June 29, 2012.  Referenced at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrillmatthews/2012/06/29/is-obamacare-the-largest-tax-increase-in-u-s-history/

Mike Sacks, “Supreme Court Healthcare Decision: The Individual Mandate Survives,”Huffington Post, June 28, 2012.  Referenced at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-decision_n_1585131.html

Rep. Phil Hare (D-Ill) comments to reporter –  http://reason.com/blog/2010/04/02/i-dont-worry-about-the-constit

“A History Lesson on Government-Run Programs,” Soda Head – http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/a-history-lesson-on-government-run-programs/blog-147103/

Comments by Democratic Congressmen on the Constitution – http://commonsensewonder.blogspot.com/2012/03/democratic-congressman-and-senators-on.html

Thomas Jefferson’s Reactions – http://www.streetlaw.org/en/Page/284/Thomas_Jeffersons_Reaction

Angie Drobnic Holan, “Smokers, Tanning Aficionados, the Happily Uninsured: More Taxes Coming at Ya!,” PolitifFact.com, April 8, 2010.  Referenced at: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/515/no-family-making-less-250000-will-see-any-form-tax/

Paul Jacob, “The Supreme Oxymorons,” Townhall, July 1, 2012.  Referenced at:http://townhall.com/columnists/pauljacob/2012/07/01/the_supreme_oxymorons/page/2

The 17th Amendment repealed Article I, Section 3 which provided that Senators would be appointed by the state legislatures and provided that they would be elected by the people.

A 2011 census shows that 15% of Americans, on average, are living in poverty.  [28% of blacks are living in poverty, whites are in single digits, and Hispanics and Asians are tied somewhere in the middle]

Terence P. Jeffrey, “Gallop: 72% of All Americans and 56% of Democrats Say Obamacare Mandate is Unconstitutional,” CNS News, February 27, 2012.  Referenced at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/gallup-72-all-americans-and-56-democrats-say-obamacare-mandate-unconstitutional

William J. Watkins, “The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions” – http://www.constitution.org/lrev/kentvirg_watkins.htm

The Virginia Resolves of 1798 –  http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/laws/virg1798.htm

The Kentucky Resolves of 1798 and 1799 –http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/laws/kentres.htm

I.   50 DANGERS of OBAMACARE (broken down by category):

1).  For those concerned with the damage this plan will do to business: 
Pg 22 mandates that the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure. So every employer in the United States will be subjected to a health insurance audit just as all taxpayers are subject to audit. Of course, we will have to pay for an entire new bureaucracy to do this–the Internal Health Revenue Service?
Pg 42 recognizes the power of the Health Choices Commissioner to determine your health benefits. You will have no choice.
Pg 50, section 152 states that free, taxpayer-paid health care will be given to the 30 million non-citizens in the USA, even illegal aliens.
Pg 30, Sec 123 states that there will be a government committee that decides what treatments you are allowed and what your overall benefits are.
Pg 29, lines 4-16 basically mandates the rationing of health care as is being done in Canada.
Pg 42 recognizes the power of the Health Choices Commissioner to determine your health benefits. You will have no choice.
Pg 58 states that government will have possession of all your health care records & history including finances and you will have to have a National ID Healthcard.
Pg 59, lines 21-24 gives direct access to your banks accounts to compel you to pay any out-of-pocket or premium costs electronically without your previous consent.
Pg 72, lines 8-14 creates a Health Care Exchange to bring private health insurance plans under government control. This part of the bill reveals Obama’s lies about being able to keep your plan if you like it. Any health insurance plan which does not completely rework itself to conform to these regulations will be dropped from the exchange and those insured will have to pick one of the plans in the exchange. This is why the Congressional Budget Office determined that over 20 million will lose the coverage they are now enjoying if Obamacare is implemented.
Pg 145, line 15-17 any employer not currently insuring their employees must enroll employees into public plan option, with no choice of private insurance allowed.
Pg 126, lines 22-25 mandates that employers must pay for health insurance even for part-time workers and their families, which will certainly lead to massive layoffs.
Pg 149, lines 16-24 all employers with an annual payroll bigger than $400k who does not pay to enroll employees in public insurance option will pay an 8% tax on all payroll.
Pg 167, lines 18-23 any individual who is self-employed and does not have health insurance will be taxed 2.5% of income and forced to accept public health insurance. So paying for health care out of pocket will be banned from the face of the earth.

2).  For those concerned with the inherent unfairness in this plan:
Pg 65, sec 164 provides for a political payoff from the Democrats and Obama; a special subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions community groups like ACORN.
Pg 102, lines 12-18 mandates that all Medicaid eligible will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid based upon income and insurance status. No choice.
Pg 124, lines 24-25 states that no private company or individual can have the right to sue the federal government for medical price fixing, basically eliminating your right to seek redress in the courts regarding your medical care.
Pg 469 mandates “Community Based Home Medical Services” through non profits like ACORN. Happy yet that we elected a community organizer to the White House?

3).  For those afraid of healthcare rationing:
Pg 85, line 7 provides specifics for benefit levels for all health plans, giving government the right to ration everyone’s healthcare.
Pg 239, line 14-24 mandates that available physician services will be reduced for Medicaid recipients. Many poor people including many seniors will be affected.
Pg 272, Sec. 1145 regulates the operation of certain types of cancer hospitals, again rationing the care of cancer patients.

4).  For those concerned with the costs of this plan:
Pg 91, lines 4-7 mandates that doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals provide language-appropriate services, basically ordering them to hire translators at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Pg 95, lines 8-18 allows the government to hire non-profit community groups like ACORN and Americorps to sign up people for the government health plan.
Pg 170, lines 1-3 exempts non-resident aliens from the individual health care taxes, so Americans citizens will pay for these aliens, legal and illegal alike.
Pg 489, Sec 1308 force taxpayers to pay for Marriage & Family therapy under the public insurance plan.

5).  For those concerned with the damage this plan will do to the medical profession:
Pg 127, lines 1-16 dictates doctors’ payment and therefore income which will reduce what doctors earn and lead to greater shortages of doctors and more rationing of care.
Pg 150, lines 9-13 mandates that employers with an annual payroll between $251K & $400K who does not pay to enroll employees in public insurance option will pay a 2-6% tax on all payroll.
Pg 241, line 6-8 mandates that all doctors receive the same pay, regardless of specialty. This will vastly reduce the number of specialists available in the United States, a common problem where medicine is socialized like Canada.
Pg 253, line 10-18 allows the federal government to set the value of doctor’s time, professional judgment.
Pg 265, Sec 1131 mandates and controls the productivity of all health care providers including surgeons!
Pg 280, Sec 1151 allows the government to penalize hospitals for what is deemed to be preventable re-admissions. So instead of being sued for malpractice, the government will be the punitive body when mistakes are made.
Pg 298, lines 9-11 mandates that if a doctor treats a patient during initial admission and that result in a re-admission, the doctor will be subject to federal penalties. Gee do you think that’s going to drive up the cost of malpractice?
Pg 317, lines 13-20 will create prohibitions on ownership and investment in the health service industry for doctors.
Pg 317-318, lines 21-25, and 1-3 will prohibit the expansion of all hospitals.
Pg 321, lines 2-13 allows hospitals apply for an exception to the expansion rule but they must seek community input first!
Pg 335, lines 16-25, Pg 336-339 mandates the establishment of outcome based health care and insidious idea that actually limits the treatment choices made by patients with their doctors, based upon the patient’s health and condition. This will result in the oldest, weakest and sickest patients being denied treatments simply because the statistics for success in their demographic category are poor! This is a form of health care rationing that will save money at the expense of seniors to help buy insurance for the uninsured, most of whom are young and healthy!
Pg 341, lines 3-9 allows the government to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans and HMO forcing people into the government run public plan.

6).  For those concerned with violations of individual rights violations in this plan:
Pg 195 officers & employees of the new Health Care Administration will have access to all Americans personal financial records and accounts.
Pg 203, line 14-15 actually says that “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” Yes, it says that.
Pg 268, Sec 1141 regulates the rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.
Pg 379, Sec 1191 mandates the creation of even more bureaucracy in the Telehealth Advisory Committee.
Pg 425, lines 4-12 mandates “Advance Care Planning Consultation,” another insidious vehicle to save money by encouraging seniors who are in poor health to be more accepting of death rather than fighting to stay alive and healthy and with their loved ones.
Pg 425, lines 17-19 mandates that all senior patients will be consulted regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney.
Pg 425, lines 22-25, 426 lines 1-3 provides an approved list of end of life resources, to help guide seniors about the process of dying!
Pg 427, lines 15 mandates program for orders on the end of life, actually giving the government a say in how your life ends!
Pg 429, lines 1-9 dictates the frequency with which an Advance Care Planning Consultant will have to meet with patients as their health deteriorates.
Pg 429, lines 10-12 give an Advance Care Planning Consultant the power to order end of life plans for a patient.
Pg 354, Sec 1177 will arbitrarily restrict the enrollment of special needs children and adults.
Pg 429, lines 13-25 will only allow certain doctors, not necessarily your own physician, to write an end of life order.
Pg 430, lines 11-15 allows the government to decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.
Pg 494-498 allows government to define mental illnesses and what services will be allowed to treat, again rationing this care.


Obamacare was passed and signed into law on March 21, 2010.

–  Maximum Out-of-Pocket Premium as Percentage of Family Income and federal poverty level
–  PPACA includes numerous provisions to take effect over several years beginning in 2010. Policies issued before particular provisions take effect are grandfathered from many of these provisions, while other provisions may affect existing policies.
– Guaranteed issue will require policies to be issued regardless of any medical condition, and partial community rating will require insurers to offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age and geographical location without regard to gender or most pre-existing conditions (excluding tobacco use)
–  A shared responsibility requirement, commonly called an Individual Mandate, requires that all individuals not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicaid, Medicare or other public insurance programs, purchase and comply with an approved private insurance policy or pay a penalty, unless the applicable individual is a member of a recognized religious sect exempted by the Internal Revenue Service, or waived in cases of financial hardship.
–  Health insurance exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible).
–  Low income individuals and families above 100% and up to 400% of the federal poverty level will receive federal subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (those at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be 2% of income, or $50 per month for a family of four).
–  The text of the law expands Medicaid eligibility to include all individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level, and simplifies the CHIP enrollment process. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court effectively allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion, and some states have stated their intention to do so. In states that choose to reject the Medicaid expansion, individuals and families at or below 133% of the poverty line, but above their state’s existing Medicaid threshold, will not be eligible for coverage; additionally, subsidies are not available to those below 100% of the poverty line. As many states have eligibility thresholds significantly below 133% of the poverty line, and many do not provide any coverage for childless adults, this may create a coverage gap in those states.
–  Minimum standards for health insurance policies are to be established and annual and lifetime coverage caps will be banned.
–  Firms employing 50 or more people but not offering health insurance will also pay a shared responsibility requirement if the government has had to subsidize an employee’s health care.
–  Very small businesses will be able to get subsidies if they purchase insurance through an exchange.
–  Co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles are to be eliminated for select health care insurance benefits considered to be part of an “essential benefits package” for Level A or Level B preventive care.
– Changes are enacted that allow a restructuring of Medicare reimbursement from “fee-for-service” to “bundled payments.”

Summary of Funding
The PPACA’s provisions are intended to be funded by a variety of taxes and offsets. Major sources of new revenue include a much-broadened Medicare tax on incomes over $200,000 and $250,000, for individual and joint filers respectively, an annual fee on insurance providers, and a 40% excise tax on “Cadillac” insurance policies. The income levels are not adjusted for inflation, with bracket creep eventually increasing taxes on middle incomes. There are also taxes on pharmaceuticals, high-cost diagnostic equipment, and a 10% federal sales tax on indoor tanning services. Offsets are from intended cost savings such as changes in the Medicare Advantage program relative to traditional Medicare.

Summary of tax increases: (ten year projection)  –
–>  Increase Medicare tax rate by .9% and impose added tax of 3.8% on unearned income for high-income taxpayers: $210.2 billion
–>  Charge an annual fee on health insurance providers: $60 billion
–>  Impose a 40% excise tax on health insurance annual premiums in excess of $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family: $32 billion
–>  Impose an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs: $27 billion
–>  Impose a 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices:$20 billion
–>  Raise the 7.5% Adjusted Gross Income floor on medical expenses deduction to 10%: $15.2 billion
–>  Limit annual contributions to flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans to $2,500: $13 billion
–>  All other revenue sources: $14.9 billion
–>  Summary of spending offsets: (ten year projection)
–>  Reduce funding for Medicare Advantage policies: $132 billion
–>  Reduce Medicare home health care payments: $40 billion
–>  Reduce certain Medicare hospital payments: $22 billion
–>  Original budget estimates included a provision to require information reporting on payments to corporations, which had been projected to raise $17 billion, but the provision was repealed.

The PPACA is divided into 9 titles and contains provisions that became effective immediately, 90 days after enactment, and six months after enactment, as well as provisions phased in through to 2020.

Below are some of the key provisions of PPACA. For simplicity, the amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 are integrated into this timeline.

Effective at enactment (2010):
–  The Food and Drug Administration is now authorized to approve generic versions of biologic drugs and grant biologics manufacturers 12 years of exclusive use before generics can be developed.
–  The Medicaid drug rebate (paid by drug manufacturers to the states) for brand name drugs is increased to 23.1% (except the rebate for clotting factors and drugs approved exclusively for pediatric use increases to 17.1%), and the rebate is extended to Medicaid managed care plans; the Medicaid rebate for non-innovator, multiple source drugs is increased to 13% of average manufacturer price.
–  A non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is established, independent from government, to undertake comparative effectiveness research.[44] This is charged with examining the “relative health outcomes, clinical effectiveness, and appropriateness” of different medical treatments by evaluating existing studies and conducting its own. Its 19-member board is to include patients, doctors, hospitals, drug makers, device manufacturers, insurers, payers, government officials and health experts. It will not have the power to mandate or even endorse coverage rules or reimbursement for any particular treatment. Medicare may take the Institute’s research into account when deciding what procedures it will cover, so long as the new research is not the sole justification and the agency allows for public input.[45] The bill forbids the Institute to develop or employ “a dollars per quality adjusted life year” (or similar measure that discounts the value of a life because of an individual’s disability) as a threshold to establish what type of health care is cost effective or recommended. This makes it different from the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
–  Creation of task forces on Preventive Services and Community Preventive Services to develop, update, and disseminate evidenced-based recommendations on the use of clinical and community prevention services.
–  The Indian Health Care Improvement Act is reauthorized and amended.
–  Chain restaurants and food vendors with 20 or more locations are required to display the caloric content of their foods on menus, drive-through menus, and vending machines. Additional information, such as saturated fat, carbohydrate, and sodium content, must also be made available upon request. But first, the Food and Drug Administration has to come up with regulations, and as a result, calories disclosures may not appear until 2013 or 2014.
– States can apply for a ‘State Plan Amendment” to expand family planning eligibility to the same eligibility as pregnancy related care (above and beyond Medicaid level eligibility), through a state option rather than having to apply for a federal waiver.
–  Adults with existing conditions became eligible to join a temporary high-risk pool, which will be superseded by the health care exchange in 2014.  To qualify for coverage, applicants must have a pre-existing health condition and have been uninsured for at least the past six months. There is no age requirement. The new program sets premiums as if for a standard population and not for a population with a higher health risk. Allows premiums to vary by age (4:1), geographic area, and family composition. Limit out-of-pocket spending to $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families, excluding premiums.
–  The President established, within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a council to be known as the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council to help begin to develop a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. The Surgeon General shall serve as the Chairperson of the new Council
–  A 10% sales tax on indoor tanning took effect.
–  Insurers are prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays, in new policies issued.
–  Dependents (children) will be permitted to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until their 26th birthday, and regulations implemented under PPACA include dependents that no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.
–  Insurers are prohibited from excluding pre-existing medical conditions (except in grandfathered individual health insurance plans) for children under the age of 19.
–  All new insurance plans must cover preventive care and medical screenings rated Level A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.  Insurers are prohibited from charging co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles for these services.
–  Individuals affected by the Medicare Part D coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate, and 50% of the gap will be eliminated in 2011.  The gap will be eliminated by 2020.
–  Insurers’ abilities to enforce annual spending caps will be restricted, and completely prohibited by 2014.
–  Insurers are prohibited from dropping policyholders when they get sick.
–  Insurers are required to reveal details about administrative and executive expenditures.
–  Insurers are required to implement an appeals process for coverage determination and claims on all new plans.
–  Enhanced methods of fraud detection are implemented.
–  Medicare is expanded to small, rural hospitals and facilities.
–  Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored/evaluated on a 3-month basis for coverage of the medications for treatment of such illnesses.
–  Companies which provide early retiree benefits for individuals aged 55–64 are eligible to participate in a temporary program which reduces premium costs.
–  A new website installed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services will provide consumer insurance information for individuals and small businesses in all states.
–  A temporary credit program is established to encourage private investment in new therapies for disease treatment and prevention.
–  All new insurance plans must cover childhood immunizations and adult vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) without charging co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles when provided by an in-network provider.


Effective in 2011:
–  Insurers must spend 80% (for individual or small group insurers) or 85% (for large group insurers) of premium dollars on health costs and claims, leaving only 20% or 15% respectively for administrative costs and profits, subject to various waivers and exemptions. If an insurer fails to meet this requirement, there is no penalty, but a rebate must be issued to the policy holder. This policy is known as the ‘Medical Loss Ratio’.
–  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is responsible for developing the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and overseeing the testing of innovative payment and delivery models.
–  Flexible spending accounts, Health reimbursement accounts and health savings accounts cannot be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs, purchased without a prescription, except insulin.
–  All health insurance companies must inform the public when they want to increase health insurance rates for individual or small group policies by an average of 10% or more. This policy is known as ‘Rate Review’. States are provided with Health Insurance Rate Review Grants to enhance their rate review programs and bring greater transparency to the process.

Effective in 2012:
–  Employers must disclose the value of the benefits they provided beginning in 2012 for each employee’s health insurance coverage on the employee’s annual Form W-2′s. This requirement was originally to be effective January 1, 2011, but was postponed by IRS Notice 2010–69 on October 23, 2010.  Reporting is not required for any employer that was required to file fewer than 250 Forms W-2 in the preceding calendar year.
–  New tax reporting changes were to come in effect. Lawmakers originally felt these changes would help prevent tax evasion by corporations. However, in April 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 repealing this provision, because it was burdensome to small businesses. Before PPACA businesses were required to notify the IRS on form 1099 of certain payments to individuals for certain services or property over a reporting threshold of $600. Under the repealed law, reporting of payments to corporations would also be required. Originally it was expected to raise $17 billion over 10 years. The amendments made by Section 9006 of PPACA were designed to apply to payments made by businesses after December 31, 2011, but will no longer apply because of the repeal of the section.
–  All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Women’s Preventive Services – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening – will be covered without cost sharing. This is also known as the contraceptive mandate.

Effective in 2013:
–  Income from self-employment and wages of single individuals in excess of $200,000 annually will be subject to an additional tax of 0.9%. The threshold amount is $250,000 for a married couple filing jointly (threshold applies to joint compensation of the two spouses), or $125,000 for a married person filing separately. In addition, an additional Medicare tax of 3.8% will apply to unearned income, specifically the lesser of net investment income or the amount by which adjusted gross income exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 for a married couple filing jointly; $125,000 for a married person filing separately.)
–  Beginning January 1, 2013, the limit on pre-tax contributions to flexible spending accounts will be capped at $2,500 per year.
–  Religious organizations that were given an extra year to implement the contraceptive mandate are no longer exempt.

Effective in 2014:.
–  Insurers are prohibited from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on gender or pre-existing medical conditions.
–  The Individual Mandate kicks in. Either individuals carry mandatory health insurance or they are required to pay a fine (government will be linked directly to the person’s bank account). Obamacare will impose an annual penalty of $95, or up to 1% of income over the filing minimum, whichever is greater, on individuals who are not covered by an acceptable insurance policy; this will rise to a minimum of $695 ($2,085 for families), or 2.5% of income over the filing minimum, by 2016.  Exemptions to the mandatory coverage provision and penalty are permitted for religious reasons or for those for whom the least expensive policy would exceed 8% of their income.
–  Insurers are prohibited from establishing annual spending caps.
–  In 2014, the state-run health exchanges will be set up in participating states (note that the Supreme Court decision left the states room to opt out of this “medicaid expansion” provision). Medicaid eligibility will be expanded to include those with incomes up to 133% of the Federal poverty line ($29,000 for a family of four)., including adults with dependent children.  New subsidies will become available for with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level ($88,000 for a family of four).  Those who don’t purchase insurance will be assessed penalties:
2014 – The greater of $95 or 1% of income.
2015 – $325 or 2% of income.
2016 – $695 or 2.5% of income

As written, PPACA withheld all Medicaid funding from states declining to participate in the expansion. However, the Supreme Court ruled, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, that this withdrawal of funding was unconstitutionally coercive, and that individual states had the right to opt out of the Medicaid expansion without losing pre-existing Medicaid funding from the federal government. As of July 10, 2012, the governors of several states: Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, New Jersey, and New Hampshire had announced that they would decline to participate in the Medicaid expansion.

–  Two years of tax credits will be offered to qualified small businesses. In order to receive the full benefit of a 50% premium subsidy, the small business must have an average payroll per full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employee, excluding the owner of the business, of less than $25,000 and have fewer than 11 FTEs. The subsidy is reduced by 6.7% per additional employee and 4% per additional $1,000 of average compensation. As an example, a 16 FTE firm with a $35,000 average salary would be entitled to a 10% premium subsidy.

Impose a $2,000 per employee penalty on employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers (as amended by the reconciliation bill).

–  For employer sponsored plans, set a maximum of $2,000 annual deductible for a plan covering a single individual or $4,000 annual deductible for any other plan. These limits can be increased under rules set in section 1302.

–  The CLASS Act provision would have created a voluntary long-term care insurance program, but in October 2011 the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the provision was unworkable and would be dropped, although an Obama administration official later said the President does not support repealing this provision.

–  Pay for new spending, in part, through spending and coverage cuts in Medicare Advantage, slowing the growth of Medicare provider payments (in part through the creation of a new Independent Payment Advisory Board), reducing Medicare and Medicaid drug reimbursement rate, cutting other Medicare and Medicaid spending.

–  Revenue increases from a new $2,500 limit on tax-free contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow for payment of health costs.

–  Establish health insurance exchanges, and subsidization of insurance premiums for individuals in households with income up to 400% of the poverty line.

Effective in 2015:

–  CMS begins using the Medicare fee schedule to give larger payments to physicians who provide high-quality care compared with cost.

Effective in 2018:

–  All existing health insurance plans must cover approved preventive care and checkups without co-payment.

–  A 40% excise tax on high-cost or high-end (“Cadillac”) insurance plans worth over $27,500 for families ($10,200 for individuals) is introduced.  [Dental and vision plans are exempt and will not be counted in the total cost of a family’s plan].

***  Appropriations in Obamacare continue until 2019.


Tax Calculations:

Taxes begin in 2014 and rise in years following. In each year, the tax consists of the higher of a dollar amount or a percentage of household income. For a given household, the tax applies to each individual, up to a maximum of three. Following is the schedule of taxes:

2014: The higher of $95 per person (up to 3 people, or $285) OR 1.0% of taxable income.
2015: The higher of $325 per person (up to 3 people, or $975) OR 2.0% of taxable income.
2016: The higher of $695 per person (up to 3 people, or $2,085) OR 2.5% of taxable income.
After 2016: The same as 2016, but adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases.

Here are some sample tax calculations.  (Note: line-to-line changes in variables are in bold type)

2014; family of 2; taxable income = $26,000;  tax = $260; because $260 (= $26,000 x1%) is higher than $190 (= $95 x 2).

2014; family of 3; taxable income = $26,000; tax = $285; because $285 (= $95 x 3) is higher than $260 (= $26,000 x 1%).

2016; family of 3; taxable income = $26,000;  tax = $2,085; because $2,085 (= $695 x 3) is higher than $650 (= $26,000 x 2.5%).

2016; family of 3; taxable income = $85,000;  tax = $2,125;  because $2,125 (= $85,000 x2.5%) is higher than $2,085 (= $695 x 3).

2016; family of 8; taxable income = $85,000;  tax = $2,125;  because $2,125 (= $85,000 x 2.5%) is higher than $2,085 (= $695 x 3).

2016; family of 8; taxable income = $300,000;  tax = $7,500;  because $7,500 (= $300,000 x 2.5%) is higher than $2,085 (= $695 x 3).

The President Has Some S’Plaining to Do

    by Diane Rufino

The President’s got some s’plaining to do !!  For those who’ve been following the Embassy attacks of 9/11 and then the assassinations of ambassador Chris Stevens, his computer aid Sean Smith, and 2 former Navy SEALS, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, it was obvious that the President and his State Department were not on the same page.  The statement released by the administration – The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims….” – was quickly retracted by the White House.  Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and many administration officials have described what happened in Benghazi as a terrorist attack, yet the President still refuses to do so.  Our agencies had plenty of intel to indicate that our officials in the Middle East would be in danger come the anniversary of 9/11 yet they never thought to share it with the ones who were in harm’s way. According to senior diplomatic sources, as reported by UK newspaper The Independent and others, our State Department had credible information at least 48 hours ahead of the attack in Benghazi that Americans and American missions might be targeted.  Not a single warning was given to our diplomats, no “high alert” status was announced, security wasn’t upgraded, and personnel movement wasn’t restricted.

In the days leading up to the attack, ambassador Stevens notified the State Department that he feared there was a growing al Qaeda presence in Libya and even feared for his life.  He believed that they were making him a target.  Yet he was moved from the heavily-secure embassy in Tripoli to the unsecured compound in Benghazi, where he was a sitting duck for militants.  To this day, the FBI has not been to the compound to investigate the assassination of Ambassador Stevens, Smith, Doherty, and Woods.  We have been told that it’s too dangerous for them to go there. The FBI has yet to set foot in Benghazi.  We have been told that it is too dangerous for them to go there.  But we know that’s a bold-face lie.  In just 3 days after the attack, CNN reporters had no problem sorting through the rubble that is now the US consulate.  In fact, they found a hard cover journal containing 7 pages of hand-written notes by Ambassador Stevens (documenting his anxiety and suspicions). The journal revealed that he was aware of, and worried about, “the never-ending security threats” that he was facing in Benghazi, and specifically about “the rise in Islamic extremism” and “growing al Qaeda presence in Libya,” and “being on an al Qaeda hit list.”  One has to wonder why the State Department didn’t do more to protect Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel.  [Perhaps it was a good thing that CNN found that journal before the government got its hands on it; otherwise, we would never have learned that Stevens feared for his safety and his life and the State Department had been aware of that].

I watch plenty of forensics and crime scene investigation shows and know that the general rule is that evidence is destroyed after 24 hours. By its absence, the FBI has made a decision not to investigate the death of our men.  Low-life scumbag drug dealers and gang members are afforded more attention when they are gunned down than our ambassador, our computer expert, and our ex-Navy SEALS.

Craig Andresen wrote a hard-hitting piece about the “information that is evolving” and being released to us from the White House.  He isn’t buying the government’s story that more information is needed before President Obama can officially label the fateful events in Libya on September 11 as a “terrorist attack.”

Andresen wrote:

“On September 16th, Susan Rice, our U.N. Ambassador told us: ‘First of all, we had a substantial security presence with our personnel…with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically, two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.’  Rice was speaking, of course, of Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

On September 20th we were told by administration officials: ‘The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security. They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi.’

Then, on September 23rd, we learned that: ‘Woods and Doherty were killed in the firefight at the annex, according to official reports.’  That annex, some 2 miles away from the Consulate compound where Ambassador Stevens and State Department official (computer expert) Sean Smith were murdered, was attacked in a second wave of the terrorist attack a couple of hours after the initial attack.”

It was amazing how the story evolved over 12 days.  How did the State Department not know what its personnel were assigned to do?  How was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton NOT notified immediately of the deaths of Smith, Woods and Doherty?  (We all heard the reports that no one knew the whereabouts of Stevens for several hours). Wouldn’t she have gotten that “3:00 am phone call”?   How was the State Department NOT quickly briefed on what happened as to the events as the violence unfolded?   Glenn Beck has a theory. He believes Chris Stevens was a CIA agent and the administration is taking its time in order to cover up its complicity.

[The gist of Beck’s allegation is that the U.S. government surreptitiously dropped weapons into Libya during the uprising against the Gaddafi regime, but with extremist forces moving in and Libya teetering on the edge of complete chaos, it needed to get those weapons out of the country before they fell into the wrong hands. That was why Stevens was in Benghazi: He brokered the original deal and so he was sent in, with CIA handlers, to clean it up].

But there is no doubt that what happened in Benghazi on the night of September 11 was a terrorist attack. Many labeled it as such almost immediately. Within days after the attack, Libya’s president, Mohammed el-Megarif, went public to say that he believed al Qaeda was behind the deadly attack.  In an exclusive interview with NPR in Benghazi, el-Megarif says foreigners infiltrated Libya over the past few months, planned the attack and used Libyans to carry it out.  How did the administration handle his statement?  Essentially it said that the Libyan president must be wrong and that it had better intel. A few days later, Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson said it was “self-evident” that the violence was a terrorist attack in a press briefing about a week after the attack. “It is our view as an administration, the president’s view, that it was a terrorist attack,” Carney told reporters. On September 21, Clinton addressed a group of reporters and told them: “What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack” and promised that the U.S. would track down “the terrorists who murdered four Americans.”

Nineteen (19) days after the attack, Obama still refuses to use that language.

Despite what President Obama continues to profess (even before the United Nations), the attack was not a violent protest in response to a short video that disparages the prophet Mohammed.  By all accounts (including actual footage), there were there were no protesters at the site before the attack. The protest had broken up about an hour before the attack began, which came in two assaults, first with rocket-propelled grenades on the consulate, then with mortars at a safe house. In an interview with NBC, Libyan president said that the anti-Islam film that sparked violent protests in many countries “had nothing to do with” a deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. He noted that the assault happened on September 11 and that the video had been available for months before that.  El-Megarif noted that if it were really the case that the video sparked outrage, then the reaction would have happened months ago.  “No, he said, “They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message.”

Andresen’s article continued:

“We now know that this administration KNEW this was a terrorist attack within 24 hours of the attack. The State Department, under the guidance of Hillary Clinton would have known FULL WELL who was or, was NOT attached to Ambassador Stevens’ security detail.  That means that the State Department and thus, the administration, before making a single statement regarding this attack,  would have known full well that neither Doherty nor Woods were attached to Ambassador Stevens.

Is Obama waiting for intelligence to evolve or is he involved in a cover-up?  While the Obama administration is calling it ‘Evolving’ Intel, I can tell you that what it really is — ‘DE-volving’ Intel.  It’s scandalous.

Am I leaping to conclusions here?   Ask yourself this before you answer:  Why was our Embassy in the Bahamas more well protected on 9-11-2012 than was our Consulate and our Ambassador in Benghazi on that very same day???”

The American people are not getting the truth from this administration.  They are hiding something.  From this government’s involvement in the Arab Spring in Libya (and in Egypt as well), in the events leading up to the anniversary of 9/11, to the protests and attacks on 9/11 and the killing of Americans, and now to the suppression of information, the botched investigation, and refusal to acknowledge terrorist involvement…….  the government is not being honest with the American people.  In fact, it is acting as a rogue element, unanswerable to the American people and dedicated to a policy that will bring harm to us and to Israel, and will jeopardize our safety and security. It is emboldening our enemies, weakening our position, advancing the effectiveness of terrorism as a tactic, and putting the men and women who bravely step up to serve our country abroad recklessly in harm’s way.

Mark my words..  the only thing that will come out of the TARGETED DEATHS of Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Wells in Libya on 9/11 by Islamists will be the eventual censorship of free speech here in OUR COUNTRY.

Craig Andresen, “Weekend Edition: Lies Upon Lies to Cover-Up Blood on His Hands,” The National Patriot, September 30, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.thenationalpatriot.com/2012/09/30/weekend-edition-lies-upon-lies-to-cover-up-blood-on-his-hands/

Andy Chalk, “Glenn Beck Claims Murdered EVE Player was CIA,” Escapist Magazine, September 28, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119854-Glenn-Beck-Claims-Murdered-EVE-Player-Was-CIA

Libyan President to NBC: Anti-Islam Film Had Nothing to Do with US Consulate Attack,” NBC News, September 26, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/26/14105135-libyan-president-to-nbc-anti-islam-film-had-nothing-to-do-with-us-consulate-attack?lite

“Ambassador Stevens’ Journal Speaks from the Grave of Death Threats,” Larouche Pac, September 24, 2012.  Referenced at:  http://larouchepac.com/node/24012