Hamilton-Jefferson history repeats itself over ObamaCare
July 25, 2017
OK, let's talk about the failure of Republicans in the Senate to pass an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill this month. But first, a little history lesson.
After the Revolutionary War, the new states owed a boatload of debt for financing the war effort.
Then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton favored a robust central government and wanted the feds to assume the debts of the states. As such, according to Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow, Hamilton proposed "a gigantic package of fiscal measures (related to "assumption") that he wanted accepted all at once."
Then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson abhorred the notion of a strong central government and opposed the funding proposal. And on April 12, 1790 "the House voted down Hamilton's assumption plan…and two weeks later voted to discontinue all debate on the issue."
But there was another very controversial issue front-and-center at the time: Where the new national capital would be located. Hamilton adamantly wanted it to be in New York. Jefferson, however, wanted it near his home state of Virginia.
You can see where this is going, right?
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Yep. In order to get his "assumption" plan passed, Hamilton gave up his burning desire for New York to be the new capital.
Why did Hamilton capitulate? Because, Chernow writes, he realized the funding scheme "created an unshakeable foundation for federal power in America." The kind of federal power that today forces every single American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine!
As Hamilton himself wrote about his reason for compromising away the capital to get his assumption plan passed…
"Whoever considers the nature of our government with discernment will see that obstacles and delays will frequently stand in the way of the adoption of good measures, yet when once adopted, they are likely to be stable and permanent. It will be far more difficult to UNDO than to DO."
And this is exactly the political corner Republicans now find themselves painted into as it relates to ObamaCare. As difficult as it was to do, it's even more difficult to undo.
And despite what President Trump has said, Senate Republicans DO own ObamaCare now. Yes, Democrats approved ObamaCare without a single Republican vote. But Republicans, including Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, campaigned on "Elect us and we'll repeal it."
That check has now arrived. The bill is due. And the GOP owes it.
Make no mistake. If Republicans don't get this done before the 2018 elections, both the country and their GOP majority in the Senate are screwed. This is the last chance to uproot ObamaCare before it's set in stone — like Social Security.
Of course, it ain't over 'til it's over. On the other hand, Republicans never seem to blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity. And if they blow this one, they will pay dearly for it at the polls in 2018 —- just like they did in 2006 and 2008.
Pirates, ye be warned!