I’ve seen many people recommending ways to fight ObamaCare, ranging from lawsuits and Constitutional challenges in court to getting two-thirds of the states to call for a Constitutional convention (in the near term) up to a full repeal and salting of the very Earth under ObamaCare (ObamaCarus delenda est!) if Republicans can recapture the Congress by sufficient margins in 2010, and possibly the presidency as well in 2012. (Impeachment of Obama, prosecution of Pelosi, and so forth are side issues.) Well, somewhere between those extremes is The Hawkins Strategy:
“The IRS might have to hire as many as 16,000 new employees to enforce all the new taxes and penalties the bill calls for! And that doesn’t include all the other government jobs from the 159 new agencies, panels, commissions and departments this bill will create.” What does it take to fund all those government jobs, agencies, panels, & commissions? Tax dollars. Now, who controls the purse strings? Congress. How many votes do we need via reconciliation to make budget changes? 51. So, can we gut Obamacare by refusing to fund it? YES. WE. CAN.
John Hawkins makes the case that this would be far easier to accomplish than a full repeal, which would require filibuster- and even veto-proof majorities in the Congress; after all, the President doesn’t have a line-item veto to make any individual alterations to the budget. (The GOP actually tried to give one to Bill Clinton, but the Dems got it overturned. The last thing they wanted was anyone having the ability to strip pork out of the budget, not even their own President – because then, unlike now, they foresaw a time when they would once again lose the White House and the opposing party would be using the same tools against them.) If a defunding of ObamaCare made it into the budget, the only thing the President could do is veto the entire budget.
…if Republicans don’t back down, we’ve got a stand-off. At that point, it probably comes down to who has the American people at their back. I like those odds.
That still leaves all of the other rules, regulations, and forth, but…
Of course, the ideal is still to repeal Obamacare in its entirety – and that should be our ultimate goal. But, if we can defund it while we’re working towards that end, it’ll be like ripping the engine out of the car that drives the bill – and it’s very doable.
The Democrats will, of course, scream bloody murder (as well as “RAAAAACISM!!”) at the Republicans; but this is a tactic which they themselves have tried to employ in the past – most recently when Bush was President, and they were trying to prevent/end the War on Terror by removing any funds from the budget to be used by troops in the Middle East. Granted, they failed; but back then they were the minority party in Congress, and there were many defectors from their own party. In this case, if the GOP controls the Congress next year, stands firm, and possibly gets some Democrat defectors (who saw what happened to their now-unemployed former colleagues in the 2010 elections) then it is definitely “doable”.