Supreme Court decision was hardly 'bizarre'
Re: "Roberts pulls a fast one," July 5
Examiner columnist Gregory Kane argued that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' ruling upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare was "bizarre" because "Congress can't compel you to buy a product or service as part of its powers to regulate commerce, but (according to Roberts) it can tax you for not buying what it is you're not compelled to buy in the first place."
Perhaps I can clear up some of Kane's confusion. Congress can compel citizens to buy health insurance. It just can't do so under the commerce clause, which -- as Mr. Kane rightly points out -- allows the legislature to regulate, not compel, commerce.
But Congress does have the right to impose a tax on individuals whose neglect (i.e., failing to guard against unexpected health care costs) increases costs for everyone else.
If you drive without car insurance and are caught, you will suffer a financial penalty. Not everyone drives, so not everyone should be required to buy car insurance. But everyone needs medical care at all stages of life, sometimes unpredictably.
Since the uninsured increase costs for everyone else when they unexpectedly need care and can't pay their bills, Congress has a right to penalize (tax) those who make this choice.
Pepco needs a management shake-up
Re: "After mass outages, Pepco waits for ruling on rate increase," July 4
The recent storm and Pepco's poor response is indicative of how unpreparedPepco continues tobein circumstances that require a timely and efficient operation.
The storm hitFridayevening, June 29th. ApparentlyPepco got next to nothingaccomplished the following Saturday and Sunday.To tell the publicand news media that it could take up to a week or longerto restoreservice to90 percent of its customers exposes Pepco's lack of care and plaininefficiency.
Their lack ofcommunication updates was appalling. We Pepco customers certainly deserve betterservice.
It's high time thatPepco is investigated. Changesneed to be made in the utility's management and performancein order toensure adequateservice."Disaster" isa label thatapplies to Pepco as well.
"Great Green Fleet" is a great big mistake
Navy Secretary Ray Maybus' "Great Green Fleet" initiative will have half our nation's Navy running on clean biofuels by the end of the decade. This will benefit the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, both of which are great news for the U.S. Right?
Wrong.Republicans are correct to criticize this move. It is bad enough that the biofuels the Navy intends to use are seven times more expensive than conventional fuels.Worse still is that biofuels don't reduce carbon emissions.
Yes, ethanol and its siblings burn more cleanly than conventional oil, but when farmers convert forests and grassland to the crop fields needed to grow these fuels, they release more greenhouse gasses into the air than they would have if they had mined and burned a dirtier fuel.
If Congress is genuinely concerned about military spending and the environment, pursuing the "Great Green Fleet" initiative, however well-intentioned, would be an egregious mistake.