Lance McMillian's blog

Understanding what ‘judicial activism’ means

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The fate of Obamacare now rests with the Supreme Court, and President Obama knows it. In the strongest language of a president toward the Court since FDR announced his ill-fated court-packing plan in the 1930s, President Obama recently challenged the legitimacy of any decision by the Court ruling Obamacare unconstitutional. Read More»

Justice Ginsberg’s Constitution: ‘Positive liberty’

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg raised eyebrows in Egypt recently when she offered this bit of advice to the fledging democratic society: “I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012.”

Instead, Ginsburg encouraged Egyptians to seek guidance from the South African constitution, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or the European Convention on Human Rights in forming their new government. Read More»

Steve Jobs and the spread of freedom

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Steve Jobs is dead. Read More»

Taxes and the meaning of Obama’s ‘shared sacrifice’

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President Obama is right. When he talks about the “Bush tax cuts,” the President bemoans the fact that these cuts inequitably distribute the tax burden among Americans. Instead of this inequality, he argues that we need to return to tax rates that promote “shared sacrifice” and ensure that all of us pay our “fair share” of earnings to the federal government. True enough. Read More»

Big Business and Big Government — A bad mix

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One of the most pernicious misconceptions that populates political debate is the notion that big business and free enterprise are one and the same. They’re not.

Adam Smith – the intellectual father of capitalism – wrote in “The Wealth of Nations,” “The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention.” Read More»

The continuing failure of Obamanomics

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One of the first lessons of political spin is, whenever possible, to release damaging information on a late Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. The theory: no one is paying attention anyway.

Applying this lesson well, the White House quietly published a report before the July 4th weekend by the White House Council of Economic Advisors — a group of three economists chosen by President Obama — that laid out the dismal effect of the stimulus on job creation: $666 billion spent to create only 2.4 million jobs, for an astronomical total of $278,000 per job. Read More»

ObamaCare and the Constitution

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The Framers of the Constitution created a federal government of limited, enumerated powers. In the words of James Madison, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Throughout the country, federal courts are presently considering whether this original design has any remaining viability. The question before these courts asks: Is Obamacare constitutional? Read More»

Tax the rich? Tried before; doesn’t work

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Suppose you are a conscientious social planner. You are confident in your ability to do good. Alas, you need money to pay for your plans. You decide to meet your need for revenue by raising taxes. But how?

You want to be careful to avoid any tax that negatively affects working class men and women – the very people you want to help. You think hard and come up with the perfect solution: a yacht tax. You decide to enact a 10 percent excise tax on the sale of any boat over $100,000. Read More»

The case for conservatism

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Conservatism recognizes the limits of human ability. Each of us is flawed in our own unique way. My shortcomings mean that I should not rule over you; your shortcomings mean that you should not rule over me. Still, some civil order is necessary to keep the peace. Left to our own devices, we would devour one another in a world without government. Read More»

Koran-burning and the 1st Amendment

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Let us stipulate from the outset that the Reverend Terry Jones – would-be Koran-burner – is a knuckle-head of the first order. Ideas cannot be destroyed by fire, and the resort to destruction instead of engagement suggests a fear of confronting offensive thoughts with reason, as if the words of the Koran are too strong to survive intellectual challenge.

Still, despite universal agreement on the senselessness of book-burning, no one of note has seriously questioned the right of Jones to perform this stupid act. Until now. Read More»