Justice Scalia Makes Himself Look Like a Fool During Obamacare Arguments

justice-antonin-scaliaIn case some of you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court is currently hearing possibly the most asinine challenge to the Affordable Care Act yet. The case of King v. Burwell essentially breaks down to whether or not the subsidies offered to Americans to help afford health care are legal. Basically, if the Supreme Court rules against the ACA in this case it would strip these subsidies from millions of Americans, instantly causing their health care premiums to skyrocket.


I think it goes without saying that if Republicans get their way on this ruling, the consequences would be catastrophic. Imagine for a moment, a mother or father currently paying $50 per month for health care for their family, seeing their rates jump to $300 per month. Or the entire law itself could eventually have to be repealed (which is the real goal behind all of this) and millions of Americans would instantly lose their coverage altogether.

While Republicans might think that’s what they want, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. Just because Republicans have managed to fool millions of conservatives into believing that they’re not benefitting from this law, once those individuals lose those benefits (or are forced to pay much more for them), they’ll quickly see firsthand that they were being lied to by their own party.

Well, during oral arguments for this case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia absolutely embarrassed himself when he suggested that even if the court’s ruling goes against the ACA, Congress would quickly come in to fix the catastrophic issues that would certainly arise almost immediately after that ruling.

“What about Congress?,” Scalia asked. “You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the, you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?”

“Well, this Congress?,” Solicitor General Don Verrilli quipped. 

The room erupted into laughter. Except, Scalia apparently wasn’t joking.

“I don’t care what Congress you’re talking about,” Scalia responded. “If the consequences are as disastrous as you say, so many million people without insurance and whatnot, yes, I think this Congress would act.”


Either Scalia is delusional, or he’s simply putting on the facade of impartiality as to appear to be a legitimate non-partisan justice. You have to either be gullible to the point of borderline insanity, or simply lying, to sit there and claim that if millions of Americans lose their health insurance (or their costs skyrocket) as a result of this ruling, this Congress would act quickly to fix that problem.

This Congress would repeal “Obamacare” the first moment it was given the chance, even if that meant tens of millions of Americans instantly losing their health insurance. To this Congress, the system we had before, where nearly 50 million Americans didn’t have health coverage, was perfectly acceptable. For years, Republicans in this Congress have been doing just about everything within their power to sabotage this law at every turn.

So, for Scalia to claim that this Congress would fix the wording of the Affordable Care Act if this ruling ultimately brings absolute catastrophe for millions of Americans is a joke, and that’s why almost everyone in that room laughed when he suggested such a ridiculous notion.




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Wiley

    OUT: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.”

    IN: “I want the public to see my email.”

    • davidwachtel1

      Or, we must invade to rid the world of those WMDs-
      Or, “Mission Accomplished”

      • Wiley

        The first one is not a quote, the second was a sign put up by the commander of a ship.

        Weak effort.

      • davidwachtel1

        While they are not direct quotes they are paraphrases. Also, there is nothing OBAMA has done or said that comes close to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice- the thousands of dead of our young men and women with the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. The right wing has a very short memory. According to them everything was rosy until 01/09. The horrible mess left by the Bush administration is unmatched in recent history. I know you will chose to ignore these facts but as Moynihan said -you have the right to your opinion but not your own facts!

      • Wiley

        Iraq doesn’t give Dems a pass now, my friend. It’s a card you use, and will continue to use, but it’s irrelevant right now. Very sorry about that.

      • davidwachtel1

        You are right- what is done since 01/09 is on the Dems plate. The reason I bring it up is the false outrage by the right. They were silent all during the Bush reign of error. Now they are upset. That is called hypocrisy! Where was their outrage then?

      • Wiley

        All straw men arguments. ‘They’ weren’t ‘all’ silent.

        And the NY Times broke this story. Hardly ‘the right’.

      • davidwachtel1

        I understand that not every, single right winger was silent but generally the right did not object to the unpaid for wars, huge entitlement program, tax breaks and TARP. Where was the Tea Party ( a shining example of right wing idiots) during Bush’s administration? My whole point is that I am tired of the right wing pretending to be so righteous when they encouraged and allowed a whole series problems in the last administration.

      • Wiley

        It’s hard to argue with a guy who uses the word ‘they’ as often as you do. You’re just railing at clouds. Do you remember Bush’s poll numbers the last summer of his term? Republicans were without question upset with the deficit. We’re they as loud and boisterous as they were before Ibana announced a near-trillion dollar stimulus package to bail out banks? No, admittedly they weren’t. But they were upset and many were vocal, just not as a group.

        That information is easily obtained. If you’re that mad about it as you claim, why don’t you go back and read about it? Objectively, this time, since it’s about your overall well-being.

      • davidwachtel1

        As usual, you , as a loyal right winger, have a problem condemning the previous administration. You also are unwilling to admit the mess left for whoever was going to be president. Everything was rosy- right?

      • Wiley

        No, unlike you, I’ve moved past the last adminstration.

      • davidwachtel1

        It is called hypocrisy to not to condemn the past before you criticize the present!

      • Wiley

        That’s not true. That’s not what hypocrisy is. That’s absurd and idiotic.

      • strayaway

        How is this? Bush was a lousy president. Obama is a lousy president too. Reasons could be provided upon request. Or do you insist that we go back to Woodrow Wilson or John Adams before criticizing the present? If not, why not?

      • davidwachtel1

        While I agree with your assessment of Bush- I feel there is absolutely nothing that OBAMA has said or done that has caused the thousands of deaths and injured young Americans caused by Bush. There is no comparison. My point is that the right wing ignores the harm of Bush when they attempt to equte them.

      • strayaway

        I’ll play along. Yes, Bush more than anyone else led us into Iraq based on lies. However, candidate Obama promised that taking the troops out was the first thing he would do. He lied too. The majority of our troops killed in Iraq were under Bush. The majority in Afghanistan under Obama. Obama has bombed seven countries since receiving his Nobel Peace Prize and what a mess he made out of Ukraine and Libya. The cold war reignited, Obama sent our troops back into Iraq, IS is training troops in Libya, and Obama continues to try to overthrow Assad our number one ally against IS. I think that Obama is holding his own when compared with the harm Bush caused. Bush, at least, received Congressional support of a sort before entering Iraq. Obama arbitrarily bombed Libya by executive order and violated War Powers Act rules later.

      • davidwachtel1

        You forgot to mention a big difference between Bush and Obama. Bush hid the cost along with a huge entitlement program, tax breaks and TARP. He passed the cost of those on to the next president. The reason Bush got congressional approval is because the lies his administration told. Do you honestly think he would have gotten the approval if he told them that there were no WMDs and SaddM had nothing to do with 9/11- not to mention that the full cost wod be off the books?.

        Where was the right wiing selective outrage when Bush did nothing when Russia took part of Georgia in 2008.

        By the way, with all of the hawkish things you mention why do the conservatives call him weak? We can agree on most of what you said but my whole point is the hypocrisy of the right. They are so outraged about things Obama may or may not have said or done wbe generally saying nothing about Bush’s horrible follies. Finally, remember that the GOP controlled the whole government for the first six years,too.

      • strayaway

        In your previous post, all you mentioned was war so that was all I addressed. Now you are on to “a huge entitlement program, tax breaks and TARP.” I believe that was the TARP that Senator Obama voted for and for which, some of its costs incurred under Obama were moved back to Bush’s last budget.

        You are Correct. Bush lied. However, some in Congress like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (D) saw through the lies while others like Kerry and Hillary did not and should be judged accordingly. Also, Congress did not really declare war. Instead, those who voted yes, unconstitutionally handed over the power to declare war to a president. None should have done that. Even if they were gullible, they should have observed their oath of office.

        Why should the right wing have selective outrage when Bush did nothing when Russia took part in Georgia. You were against Bush going into Iraq but now you want Republicans to be outraged that he didn’t confront Russia? Anyway, its 2015 and Obama has been president for over 6 years.

        I don’t think Obama is weak. I think he is an out of control fool but that is another issue you are just now interjecting. How did the GOP control the first six years when they controlled the presidency and the senate for all six, and the presidency, house, and senate of two of those six years?

      • davidwachtel1

        In your third paragraph you expose your hypocrisy.
        The right wing did not say a word about Bush not doing anything about Russia/Georgia but have their panties in a wad about the Ukraine/Obama. That is the hypocrisy of the right.

      • strayaway

        You are confused. The right wing, people like McCain, support intervention in Ukraine. I didn’t/don’t support intervention in Libya, Georgia, Ukraine, or bombing Serbia (Clinton) for that matter.

      • davidwachtel1

        Contrary to your assertion that I am confuse, you proved my point. McCain, et. al. criticize Obama for non intervention in Ukraine but were silent when Bush was non-intervention in Georgia-that is what I meant by hypocrisy. Do not criticize Obama for things you did not criticize Bush for when he did the same thing-

      • strayaway

        As I already wrote, I didn’t/don’t support intervention in Libya, Georgia, Ukraine, or bombing Serbia (Clinton) for that matter. I think that McCain would have made a worse president than even Obama. I really don’t care what McCain did. Obama, however, is president and gets credited or discredited based on what he does, not what Bush did.

      • davidwachtel1

        I agree with you. Bowever, the theme of my responses has been the hypocrisy of most of the right wing critics. When Bush did similiar things they were silent. When it was done by Obama you see selective outrage.

        By your comments Obama should get credit for the economic turn around?

      • strayaway

        The beneficiaries of this so-called turnaround have been foreign workers and the 1%. For the rest of us, our standard of living continues to decline and another $7.5T ($25,000 per American) has been added to the national debt. If anyone wants to credit Obama with that, I guess he deserves part of the credit.

      • davidwachtel1

        So, you do not mean it when you said the president gets the credit or discredit? You and most of the right wing criticized Obama when the economy was bad( even though much of the negative things were carryovers from Bush) but are not willing to give him any credit or the turnaround. It is painful to watch the right wing twist and turn trying to turn some succes by Obama into something negative.

      • strayaway

        I consider those things listed in my previous post as a source of discredit although you might see is otherwise. The “turnaround” is largely smoke and mirrors hiding behind thins like less reported statistics of the percentage of Americans not working, foreigners getting a greater share of new jobs, the 1% increasing their relative wealth faster than under Bush, and Obama’s $7.5T debt. Obama’s $7.5T debt that he is endowing our children with is hardly, in my book a “success”. I consider it closer to child abuse like a father who drinks up his paycheck and leaves an empty refrigerator.

      • Robin Salvadori Allison

        As a point, the debt will grow as long as we have a deficit, just as paying your rent every month on a credit card and only paying interest will see your balance balloon. The biggest chunk of the debt right now is directly a result of the wars during the Bush years, and the Medicare Part D/prescription drug program. The ACA has made some inroads into fixing Medicare. The war debt will only get paid off if we raise taxes. Only wars in history that didn’t have a hike in taxes or fees to pay for them. However, the way to look at the national debt is not dollar amounts (though it is telling that the national debt is roughly equal to the wealth squirreled away by the 1%) but as a % of GDP. If I borrow to buy a 40,000 home, my debt to PDP is roughly 100%. If Bill Gates borrows 40K, he won’t even notice. Growing the economy is the quickest way to get the debt manageable.
        If you look at these charts, and hold a straight edge to the line from 1980 and continue the slope, the debt is showing how well Reagonomics work. There is a dip starting under Clinton, and had we not had the recession, we just maybe could have had a handle on it, but the savings under Clinton got wiped out by the crash and the resultant loss of revenue and extra spending so folks didn’t starve to death.
        http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_national_debt_chart.html|

        Even at nearly 100%, it means little to the economy. I suspect that it is relatively meaningless since the debt is roughly equal to money stashed away. If we had that debt without all our billionaires, we’d have inflation at ridiculous rates. GDP= Public spending+ Private spending+exports. Exports are negative, and huge amounts of wealth are not being spent, which means for positive economic growth government needs to spend. Raising taxes to Nixon era rates and raising minimum wage to where it would be historically adjusted for inflation would drive private spending (if you’re gonna get taxed 75% on that extra million, you just keep it in the company and grow that, as well as consumer spending going up), which increases government revenues and decreases safety net spending, so we can have a surplus to pay down the debt. But if we brought that 16 or 18T back into circulation, it would grow the economy by that much, making the debt to GDP ratio nearly zero. We can’t as long as it is stashed on the Cayman Islands.

      • strayaway

        Yes, the debt is the sum of all annual deficits. I doubt that the biggest part of the debt was from war during the Bush years. For one thing, Bush added $5T to the debt over his 8 years. His budgets totaled about $20.6T. The Iraq war cost somewhere between $1.7-2.4T. That is hardly “the biggest part of the debt” or budget. I disagree that we shouldn’t look at the total amount. The total amount, after all, is what we have to pay interest on. We are already paying about 6.23% of the federal budget on servicing the accumulated debt at the lowest interest rates in history. Make that 12% if interest rates return to normal levels. They eventually will. All that money could have been used for infrastructure, other government programs, or just left with American consumers to pay for things. So I don’t believe the mumbo-jumbo sheeple nonsense about total debt not being a concern. Venezuela has pretty much gone the route you are suggesting in raising taxes and increasing government services. The problem is when that doesn’t work. President Harding got rid of his 11%+ unemployment in two years by reducing the size of the government – something Keynesians would say is impossible.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Obama was well within his discretion on Libya, and you’ve offered zero proof of War Powers Act violations.

        Yes, Bush lied to Congress, the Press, and the People to get Congressional support for the Iraq invasion.

        I totally approve of Obama’s approach in Libya and Ukraine. We aren’t in the business of nation building, and the Ukraine situation needs to be handled VERY carefully.

        I wonder how well you assertion that we should treat Assad as an ally matches up with your preferred disposition for him two years ago.

      • strayaway

        What “discretion” Andy? Only Congress can declare war. The War Powers Act questionably allows presidents the ability act as Commander in Chief if there is an imminent danger but there was no imminent danger to the US from Libya. The War Powers Act also has time limits for a president to get authorization from Congress after he has instituted action. On both counts, according to Dennis Kucinich, the president made himself the object of impeachment. The NATO charter allows retaliation if any NATO country is attacked but none had been attacked by NATO. The UN did not authorize the overthrow of Khadaffi and didn’t and couldn’t mandate the US to even do over flights.

        “Yes, Bush lied to Congress, the Press, and the People to get Congressional support for the Iraq invasion” and some fools like Hillary chose to believe him.

        Our intervention into Libya and Ukraine has been a total foreign policy disaster. Libya had a god standard of living for a North African nation and Khadaffi kept Islamists under control. Since Obama participated in overthrowing Khaddafi, Libya’s economy has collapsed, women’s right have been degraded, blacks have come under oppression, Islamists took over northern Mali with stolen weapons, there was the Benghasi incident, a couple of hundred US surface to air missiles were stolen there by Islamists, and Islamists now control much of the countryside. IS has training grounds there. Ukraine similarly has a civil war and Russia has taken over part of that country. I am amazed that anyone would “totally approve of Obama’s approach in Libya and Ukraine” as you do.

        What did Assad do to the US? He is fighting IS on a larger scale than the US, the Kurds, or Iraq. It doesn’t make sense for Obama and Congress to have given $500M more to anti-Assad rebels recently. So much of what Obama has given to these ‘moderate’ rebels has repeatedly wound up in the hands of IS. Last week another moderate group joined forces with IS.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I’d have to look up specifics, but the POTUS can wage what would effectively be war for about 60d without congressional approval. Libya actually exceeded that by a few days, but Congress let it slide (lest they look a fool for not backing a very successful campaign).

      • strayaway

        from “findlaw” : “Specifically, the War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress and to justify, within 48 hours, the sending of U.S. military forces:
        Into hostile circumstances where imminent involvement in those hostilities is indicated,
        Into a foreign nation equipped for combat, or
        In “numbers which substantially enlarge” U.S. military forces presently in the foreign region.”

        A war with Libya was not imminent. Libya had done nothing to the US since Lockerbie; long since resolved. Libya had dismantled its fledgeling nuclear weapons program I’m not sure if the president notified Congress before they read about his stupid war in the news. The president then, as you mentioned, continued, his war on Libya in violation of requirements found in the Resolution.

        Yes the campaign successfully destabilized Libya. It is now flooding Europe with refugees and harboring IS training camps. We differ on what we consider a success. To me, it was a huge setback in US foreign policy leading to the destruction of Libyan prosperity, the seizure by Islamists of hundreds of state of the art surface to air US missiles, the Benghazi incident, the takeover of northern Mali by Islamists.

      • Andy Kinnard

        We won that battle and lost a war we weren’t interested in being involved with. Libya is and always has been a wreck.

        I guess Libya is Obama’s Iraq. Both leaders were hot and cold with the US, alternately undesired ally vs murderous stepson. We entered each with a goal of regime change. Both countries are now destabilized and playing roles in the regional and world geopolitic that doffer vastly from what was prior to our meddling each haroaring ISIS. There are a lot of similarities.
        Notice the differences: Bush had no plan for either war or post war Iraq (other than “open arms”, “mission accomplished”, and “paying for itself”). Obama had a plan in Libya (at least as far as regime change) and explicit plans neither to land troops, to occupy, or to try to nation build. He convinced the UN, and we commenced air strikes with Congressional having been informed (there is no requirement he beat the news to that punch).

        So, we got a similar outcome from a much less costly strategy in terms of time, international political capital, human lives and money.

        Now, you couldake an argument that we shouldn’t have been involved in either place, but there actually WAS an ongoing humanitarian issue in Libya too; so, there was a better case for our being involved there (than Iraq, whose humanitarian atrocities were all historical rather than ongoing).

        Aside from that crisis, though, I’d you were to argue that the US should be more isolationist and less prone to wage war, I’d be right on the same page with you.

      • strayaway

        Libya has not always been a wreck. it had one of the highest standards of livings and education rates in the Arab world under Khaddafi. Now it is almost another Somalia.

        Yes, Iraq was a mess too as was Vietnam if you want to further remove this from Obama. There are humanitarian issues in most non-western countries. That has much to do with their religions and cultures. That doesn’t make it US business. The humanitarian “crises” became much worse in Libya because of the US and others’ bombing and meddling. We agree on your last point although I would substitute “non-interventionist” for “isolationist?

      • Andy Kinnard

        No doubt, Libya has few vestiges os civilization left. We are not reponsible for that.

      • Robin Salvadori Allison

        Uh, no. He went into Lybia as support to allies- allowed by the President, as long as he keeps it to under 60 days IIRC. McCain, Graham and others were raising hell that he didn’t send in ground troops and a ton of weapons to the rebels.When He drew the line in the sand and rattled his saber over chemical weapons, Congress about peed their pants over the fact he might act without them, he and Kerry maneuvered Russia into acting to disarm him (which Russia had blocked for years in the UN security council) and got it done without firing a shot or harming the hair on one American soldier, while Congress had cut short their vacations, dithered, and suddenly didn’t have any use of force to debate. I laughed myself sick.
        Now that ISIL is a threat, Obama has asked for authorization from Congress. Congress informs him he’s already authorized under the rules passed for Bush. You guys need to make up your mind. McCain taking pics with the leaders of ISIL and wanting to arm them, now we should go to war with them. President not authorized to take out Quadaffi, or send bombers to assist with our allies, but he’s authorized to start another fuggin’ war in lands we won’t conquer if history is any guide. All we can do is leave them to their own devices, Fight religious fanatics who don’t care if they die for decades, maybe forever, or commit genocide. No one conquers the Arab nations for long from the outside.

        Oh, and if the President had actually done all the things the RWNJs claim are illegal, they would have impeached him by now.The lawyers John Boehnor tried to hire to sue the president would not have quit, they would have salivated at the fame they’d get.
        Putin is an insane sociopath with delusions of reestablishing the USSR. Russia’s economy is crumbling, which is what destroyed the USSR, not Reagan, and if Putin isn’t replaced, present policies will send Russia back to petty second rate status. Any of the republicans who’ve run for office in recent memory would have had us in a shooting war already. Except Ron Paul, and he’d never have done the sanctions that are working. Free market you know. If you want to trade with the enemy, then Big Government ™ shouldn’t stand in your way.

      • strayaway

        The War Powers Act only allows a president to conduct acts of war if the US is under imminent threat. The US wasn’t under imminent threat from Libya. Neither had Libya done anything harmful to the US. Khaddafi had also gone along with dismembering the start of a nuclear weapons program. He was cooperating. Obama had no basis for conducting his disastrous executive war on Libya. He wasn’t even in compliance with the War powers Act having failed to notify Congress within the required timeframe. That was his war. Dennis Kucinich noted that Obama committed two impeachable offenses with regards to Obama’s war on Libya; going in and not following the War Powers Act.

        But who do you think would impeach Obama? Too many Republicans supported his war on Libya and Democrats are loyal to the Democratic brand right or wrong.

        You forget the parts about handing over weapons to “moderate” who, time and again abandon those weapons for IS or join up with IS. Obama even tried to get support to bomb Assad our best ally against IS. Even Custer never did anything that stupid. After everyone from the British parliament to the Pope objected, Obama resigned himself to sneaking weapons in to “moderates”. One Congressional bill sponsored by many Republicans dedicated $500M toward this effort. IS is partly a creation of horrible foreign policy under Clinton/Obama.

        It also seems that US agencies, under Obama, helped overthrow the legally elected leader of Ukraine giving Putin an excuse to slip in and take Crimea.Again, how stupid can Obama be? The cold war has been restarted with Russia siding with China. North Africa, Syria, Ukraine, you name it. Hillary/Obama’s foreign policy has been a setback for the US. Obama seems unable to sit in the same room with Putin these days. This is going to get very expensive and ugly. I don’t like that. I would prefer having a President whom Putin respects.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Syria was in no way a greater existential threat to the US than Libya. So, if the GOP thinks war powers were present for Syria, they were operable for Libya too. Congress sure seemed to have treated it that way too.

      • strayaway

        I have no explanation for what the “GOP thinks”. Rand Paul seems to be countering whatever the rest of the GOP is thinking. I have no reason to believe that war powers should apply to Syria whatever you believe the GOP thinks.

      • Andy Kinnard

        On only this issue (and domestic spying) do I agree with Rand Paul. I actually tend to agree more often with his Dad.

      • strayaway

        I would like to see a Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders matchup. Either way, there would probably be fewer wars to afford and more privacy. I guess that’s dreaming…

      • Andy Kinnard

        What?!?!? We can’t have POTUS debates where they only argue about social issues and entitlement funding.

      • strayaway

        How did he support allies? None were under danger of attack. Under the NATO Convention, a NATO country must be attacked before other NATO nations retaliate.

        Again, I must keep repeating, Republicans like McCain and Graham are on the same side as Obama in pushing all these wars. They don’t care about the Constitution either.

        Putin made an ass of Obama. Obama can no longer stand to be in the same room as Putin and look him in the eye because Putin bested him. I don’t like that. I would rather the US had a leader who could stand up to Putin.

        What laws passed by Bush? Obama correctly declared the US out of there. What was stupid on Obama’s part however was giving weapons to anyone calling themselves a moderate only to have those weapons wind up in the hands of IS over and over. Also, Since Assad is the number one enemy of IS, it makes no sense funding anti Assad rebels who usually join up with IS anyway.

      • James Omalley

        Obama did not bail out the banks, bush did right before the elections. you are not even smart enough to know the difference between bush and his bank bailout and obamas auto bailout and stimulus package, what makes anything you say worth listening to?

      • Wiley

        I know ten times more about all three than you ever will. Obama voted for the bailout in 2008 as senator, continued it in 2009 as President.

        I don’t have a problem with what either he or Bush did with regard to banks. But a lot of conservatives did with both presidents.

      • Robin Salvadori Allison

        Uh, point here- TARP bailed out the banks, McCain put his campaign on hold to go help pass it and it was signed by Bush. There was already work being done on a stimulus package by November/December because every economist said we needed one. Obama bailed out the Auto companies (also negotiations begun before he took office), but made sure we got paid back, unlike Tarp. The stimulus was an immediate priority, since by December we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Still, most economists didn’t realize how bad it was going to get until the stimulus was pretty much written, with republicans insisting on wasteful provisions before they’d vote for it (which they then didn’t, so any recovery can’t be credited to them), so we got a stimulus that was less than 1T, which needed by most estimates in hindsight to have been 1.2T or 1.5T (the latter with the republican tax cuts included). It is why we had to toss in another 500B that fall, again, forced through with lots of horsetrading solely because the dems had the majority by wide enough margins.

      • strayaway

        Where was the tea party? The tea party didn’t exist until 2009-2010 when it took down some establishment Republican candidates. Bush wasn’t even president then. It was then more or less taken over by establishment Republicans to do their bidding and its energy dissipated. How many large tea party rallies have you read about lately?

      • Andy Kinnard

        The party didn’t exist because the anger wasn’t yet there. That’s David’s whole point, but you dance around it in an attempt to discredit the question. The TP is an expression of conservative popular discontent: Why had that discontent at Bush’s wild overspending on war and tax breaks for the wealthy NOT create enough frustration for the TP to have formed in 2007?

      • strayaway

        Good question. The first mention of tea party was a Ron Paul fundraiser on December 16, 2007. His “tea party’ fund raiser raised $6M in 24 hours. Paul’s issues included opposition to wars, big government, and spending. Other conservatives picked up the tea party theme although it quickly absorbed some mainstream Republican planks and became something different.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I don’t remember even one…not one, not personally, not in the media. Hell, even Colleen Powell surrendered his soul on the altar of GOP truthiness. Normally, I’ll give some credit to #notall type arguments, but this is an exception.

      • Kuzimo Gardner

        So what’s the alternative plan for insurance…….none, typical Repuke.

      • Charles Vincent

        This was the republican research on healthcare reform circa 1989. Moreover the ACA’s individual mandate is directly from the heritage foundation research.

        http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/assuring-affordable-health-care-for-all-americans

      • Andy Kinnard

        That’s kind of the point, Charles. The GOP was for the this plan until they were against it, all of a sudden when the “opposition” embraced it. Since then, the GOP has fought it tooth and nail.

        So, the question is, “If you’re against it now, then what is your new alternative you ARE willing to support.” The answer has been mostly crickets and a little hot air.

      • Charles Vincent

        they got the idea of it from heritage the individual mandate from trhe ACA is different that what the heritage plan proposed.

        See here;
        http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/assuring-affordable-health-care-for-all-americans

      • Andy Kinnard

        ‘Sup, Charles?

      • Charles Vincent

        Another day in paradise my friend.

      • fafhrd

        While it may be true, that the individual mandate was an idea of the Heritage Foundation, it was rejected in 1990 as being against personal liberty.

      • Charles Vincent

        Yes I think I mentioned this a few times. More importantly I dig your name but you are missing your sidekick mouser hehe.

      • strayaway

        Alternative plan – Let states have their own plans. Massachusetts has one. Vermont tried to institute an AFFORDABLE Canadian like single payer plan but the (un)ACA thugs in Washington wouldn’t allow Vermont to do so without including all the socially unaffordable provisions of the (un)ACA. Imagine if Vermont’s plan had worked. Other states would have been copying it. Attorneys, insurance companies, bureaucrats and Obama won that round.

      • My, my, with that kind of a witty riposte, I definitely understand why you’re on the Obamacare side of this issue. How did you ever get the University to give you the time off from your scholarly duties to lend your vast intellect to this issue?!

      • Andy Kinnard

        Ad hominem attack much? That idea required no clever phrasing or rhetorical polish. Way to keep it classy, Alf.

      • Ah me, another pseudointellectual operating egeo substantia with Alinsky-style bos fimus…. I’m impressed – one of these days, you may actually mature enough to carry on an intelligent conversation and be ten per cent as classy as Kuzimo Gardner…. (Truth be told, I think it’s kind of cute when you little fuzzballs try to join in with the adults…)

      • Andy Kinnard

        Doubling down on logical fallacy us so edgy…and extra points for two, count ’em, two whole dog whistles!

      • Kuzimo Gardner

        Since you’re so scholarly I guess you could probably come up with a plan just like your counterparts, so whats your plan genius? As I thought more huff and puff from the party of stupid.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I don’t remember one single Republican joining in the many anit-war protests I attended in 2003 (protesting the deceptive push to invade Iraq). I don’t remember ANY “reasonable Republicans” breaking ranks to oppose Presidential actions or policy. It didn’t happen. It WAS “all”.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Following his return to the US Republican Party, he maintains the party has largely abandoned traditional anti-war, anti-imperialist conservative principles in favor of neoconservatism. On MSNBC before the 2006 State of the Union Address, he characterized President George W. Bush as a “Great Society” Republican:”

        Pat Buchanan

      • Andy Kinnard

        So, yes, points (barely) for the objections of a GOP outsider/prodigal son. He was not (inless memory fails) an actual office holder at the time and could be considered a party leader only on the basis of his conducting serially failing POTUS campaigns…hardly a representative of the GOP caucus (which is now and was more so then) extremely homogeneous.

      • Charles Vincent

        Never the less he was still in the GOP and was not a new face there so to speak and was promoting the ideals of the actual grand old party, and not the bastardized neocon/Dixiecrats.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Yes, one of the defining characteristics differentiating traditional GOP and neoconservative.

      • Charles Vincent

        Almost forgot about Ron Paul who has consistently voted no on wars and the patriot act and was thrown under the bus by the GOP even though he could have beaten any democrats they could have fielded.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Ron Paul: The ultimate outsider. He was as consistently anti-war as Dennis Kucinich. I always liked their stances on that.

      • Charles Vincent

        is that the only stance they had that you liked?

      • Andy Kinnard

        There isn’t a WHOLE lot more. There may be some smaller issues I’m not recalling. I generally agree with small “L” libertarians about (how we shouldn’t have) domestic surveillance programs and the drug war (although Rand is not as clear as Ron on the second).

        I tend to disagree with the (in my mind) unsupported assertion that government is inherently bad and that there is some particularly bad about the Federal (as opposed to state) government. That part of the libertarian orthodoxy really klangs with me.

      • Charles Vincent

        Empirically speaking government isinherently prone to violating the rights of individual. I am on the side of Jefferson and Locke, concerning the little l. I believe that governments only mission is to protect the life liberty and property of the individual and as such it’s only job is national defense and a litigation system to solve problems between individuals.

      • Charles Vincent

        I think the difference state v fed are proximity to the populace which is glaringly evident currently. Politicians are out of touch with the general populous.

      • Mark Schmidt

        Republicans are anti American trash. Fuck you…fuck your whole family.

      • Victor Victoria

        You’re a loser, Mark.

  • Keith

    So, the very rich do not want us to have insurance, living wages, social security, Medicare, etc. Why would you vote for politicians that do those guys bidding?

  • Charles Vincent

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nalCco0iEk8

    How is the law written by democrats ala the way Gruber speaks to it in the video link above the republicans doing Allen?

  • So the point before the court is the consequence of the decision and its the lawyer for ACA that is making that argument . His point seems to be that the letter of the law fails in this case and the court should legislate again . My congrats to Scalia for getting this on the record . The Obama care case is exactly now that its done we have no choice but to accept it . Telling that they know the case is lost on the letter of the law and are working the greater good argument on the liberal justices . I think Kennedy understands that the greater good is for courts to uphold laws over partisan fantasies . Pray to God . If they just have to answer up to one of the major flaws the house of cards can collapse sooner rather than after we ante up to stack a few more decks on the heap . The kind of thinking that gave us the debt clock .

    • fafhrd

      The argument the government was making wasn’t about the law, as written, but about the consequences of having the Court rule that the law means what it says.

  • fafhrd

    No Mr. Clifton. The case is about whether the law means what it says.
    The subsidies are legal. Because they are in the law.
    But only for the subsidies offered on exchanges established by the state. The Federal exchange, was written into the law as a ‘backup’ to the state exchanges, with a different set of limits. This was to encourage states to set up their own exchanges. Nancy Pelosi and Jonathon Gruber told everyone as much.
    It also isn’t about whether or not Republicans “get their way” on this. This law was crafted and approved solely by Democrats. It would be them that you should direct your ire at.
    Starting off your article with blatant lies and falsehoods? Are you trying to show impartiality as a journalist? Or as a blatant partisan?

    • Robin Salvadori Allison

      Yet in a dozen other places, the law is written assuming both federally run and state run exchanges will have subsidies. It is a typo. It is a typo Congress should have fixed by a single amendment fixing the language in one sentence that doesn’t match the rest of the bill.
      If I write you 1000 pages on the dangers of too much internet surfing, and on page 507 I write “Should surf as often as possible” instead of “Should not surf”, you certainly wouldn’t argue that my intent was for people to surf the internet more often, you’d realize it was an error that was contradicted in many places. Such is this.
      You can also look upon the states using federal exchanges as being established by the state, because they chose to have the feds do it for them. Say if VA decided to hire a contractor to run their exchange, it would still be established by the State. All places such as Texas have done is contract their exchanges to the federal government rather than a private concern.
      The whole argument is one of the sillier things I’ve run across. Any other SCOTUS would have laughed it away from their court.

      • fafhrd

        No, you are mistaken.

        Dr. Gruber, one of the principal authors of the law, has been recorded as saying that the law was written NOT HAVING SUBSIDIES for federally operated exchanges, as a ‘carrot’ to help convince states to set up their own exchanges.

        There are two major sections regarding the exchanges, 1311 for state run exchanges, and 1321 for federally run exchanges. They are clearly different.

        “It is a typo Congress should have fixed by a single amendment fixing the language in one sentence…” Except, the Democrats haven’t accepted amendments. Even portions that aren’t being enforced, are still in the law. Not enforced by executive edict-the reason behind the House lawsuit against the law.

        True, if you were to be writing a 1000 page treatise about that one topic, unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act is 2700 pages long, with hundreds of sections with diverse passages and intents. In this case, we have to accept that Congress (hundreds of staffers writing) had specific intent. The law was passed with that “flaw”, apparently nobody read it.

        “Any other SCOTUS…” except two different Circuit Courts split on this, split along political backing. And unfortunately, a basic precept of law is that you have to treat the law as written. If there is a problem with it, it needs to be sent back to the legislative body to fix. Fortunately for you, Republican “leadership” is planning a ‘fix’ for this if the SCOTUS rules against the administration (fearing backlash for a law that Republicans weren’t allowed to aid in crafting, but it’ll somehow be the Republican’s fault if the law crashes).

  • Larry Dawson

    Scalia is plainly demented. Time for him to retire.