Topics: Obamacare

MORNING EXAMINER: The hoary myth that Obamacare can’t be defunded

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Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Obamacare,Ted Cruz,Analysis,Tom Coburn,Mike Lee

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, say they won’t vote for any continuing resolution to fund the federal government through the 2014 fiscal year that contains funding for Obamacare.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says Cruz and Lee are being dishonest because they know President Obama will never sign any measure that defunds his signature domestic policy achievement.

The Alamo or a fool’s errand?

Who is right and who is wrong depends largely on whether you believe taking a stand based on principle is the right thing to do regardless of the projected outcome or a fool’s errand when the outcome is predetermined against you. People of high principle are found on both sides of what is essentially an argument over tactics.

But there is one hoary myth circulating throughout the GOP debate on this issue that combatants on both sides ought to reject utterly and completely.

Obamacare is NOT immune to defunding

That is the notion perpetuated by the Congressional Research Service and Obamacare defenders that due to some mysterious power, Obamacare is immune to defunding.

Citing a recent CRS report, for example, Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post earlier this week observed that Obamacare contains lots of “mandatory funding,” which is “billions in federal dollars that were appropriated by the Affordable Care Act and can’t be touched without repealing Obamacare itself.”

Kliff goes on to point out that “the tax subsidies to purchase health insurance, for example, are considered mandatory funds. ‘Therefore, the funds for such credits would continue to be available via permanent appropriation during a government shutdown,’ CRS concludes.”

Utter nonsense

But that is utter nonsense because there is no such thing under the Constitution as “mandatory funds.” Much as Obamacare’s defenders want everybody to believe there is such a thing as mandatory spending under entitlement programs, the truth is that what Congress appropriates, it can just as easily un-appropriate.

All that is required is insertion of these words: “Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, no funds hereby authorized shall be expended for ……”

There is no doubt question that Congress has the power to defund Obamacare or any other program it has previously approved because Congress alone under the Constitution has the authority to tax and spend.

What is presently missing is the will in Congress to defund Obamacare. Obamacare advocates commit an intellectually dishonest rhetorical sleight-of-hand in saying Congress cannot do something when all it lacks is the will, not the authority.

From the today’s Washington Examiner:

Examiner Editorial: Oh, the poor dears on Capitol Hill don’t want to pay for their own Obamacare
Shikha Dalmia: It’ll be the Motown Blues when Washington bails out Detroit.
Ron Arnold: Why are tax-funded scientists allowed to keep their work-product private?
Manhattan Institute: Defunding is not the only way to repeal Obamacare.
Examiner Watchdog: House panel demands info on revolving door at Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Examiner Watchdog: Obamacare co-ops refuse to file public disclosure tax documents.
Beltway Confidential: New Christie ad embraces “ChristieCrats”

In other news:

The Washington Post: No budget deal in sight

The New York Times: Obama’s fall trip to Moscow in even more doubt

USA Today: Will rising tide of opposition force change in NSA tactics?

The Washington Times: Christians are in the crosshairs of bloody Muslem wars in the Middle East

The Telegraph: Colin Powell forced to deny affair with Romanian diplomat

Lefty Playbook:
Talking Points Memo: GOP telegraphs massive filibuster of Obama’s top judge picks
ThinkProgress: The devastating spending cuts that even House Republicans couldn’t support
Huffington Post: Riff with Russia!

Righty Playbook:
Washington Free Beacon: China reveals now short-range missile.
National Review Online: The fractured GOP.
The Weekly Standard: The soft underbelly of Obamacare.

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