Richard Carey leaves a comment reminding us of a few truths about the US constitution:
it’s like the Queen (Obama) and the House of Lords (Senate) blocking the Commons (House of Representatives). If anyone should yield, it’s Obama and the Senate.
The analogy seems to hold. Our Lords are not democratically elected at all, but the Senate is not perfectly democratic either. The numbers of Senators fall in line with the average world view of the States, not with the populations of those states. Originally, if I recall correctly, they were not even elected. Their role was intended as a safe guard against the excesses of the mob.
Meanwhile the House is more democratic and it is responsible for the budget. This is to protect the people against the excesses of an elite, in particular against excess tax, a big issue during our civil war where tax was wanted by the King to suppress insurrection in Ireland.
In this case, the elite wants bureaucratic control over healthcare. They think it will be cheaper that way, but prices, as Brother Ivo tells us, are rising and there is a question about unfunded liabilities. The House is therefore stepping in and seeking to protect the masses from those liabilities and all sorts of other drags on employment that ObamaCare will create. All that is happening seems to fit neatly with these responsibilities. The elite have got something wrong, it could get expensive and the more democratic house charged with worrying about the money is, rightly, worrying about the money.
The least accountable person, Barack Obama, is the one wanting to spend all the money, and as we know you have to be accountable when it comes to money.
Unless you knew all that then the Republican position could seem like madness, but it is actually all rather logical. It is also very consistent with our system. The Commons initiates a budget, the Lords is our scrutinising house, the Queens role is to protect against excesses and the form, indeed the law, is that the Commons has superiority over both of the more elite and less democratic institutions. The “Democrats” should remember that they hold the two least democratic positions.
Thanks to Brother Ivo and Richard for surfacing these details. Brother Ivo in particular has a lot more to offer. Go read.